Looking to wrap up the story of the “Core Four,” Netflix's “On My Block” returned on October for its fourth and final season, starring Jamal (Brett Gray), Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao) and Cesar (Diego Tinoco).
“On My Block” follows the “Core Four” and their lives in the fictional neighborhood of Freeridge. The characters have to navigate the struggles of high school alongside the drama of their mix-ups with local gangs, the Prophets and the Santos due to Cesar’s family affiliation with the Santos.
Season three saw the group being blackmailed by the leader of the Santos, Cuchillos (Ada Luz Pla) to find her long lost lover, Lil’ Ricky. After finding out that Cuchillos will murder them whether they found Lil’ Ricky or not, the group conspired to murder their blackmailer themselves.
They later found out Cesar’s brother Oscar aka Spooky (Julio Macias) who is also a leader in the Santos, conspired with a rival gang to kill Cuchillos to keep his brother safe and take away Cuchillos’ hold over the gang.
Broken down from the drama they faced over the first three seasons, the group of friends find themselves physically and mentally distant by the end of season three.
The fourth season opens up two years after the events of season three and the start of the main characters’ senior year. We see that Monse has been away at school for the past two years, Ruby and Jamal, once the best of friends, no longer speak to each other and Cesar is now fully integrated into the Santos and has taken over his brother’s position as a leader of the gang. The audience also learns that Oscar is no longer a part of the Santos and has started his own family with a baby on the way.
Throughout the season the characters see themselves on a journey to reconnect with each other and themselves. The problem is that the season feels rushed.
Canonically it has been two years since the characters started going through these changes, but in the episodes some problems are resolved over the course of a day or two while others take the whole season to put back together.
This would be fine if they were told throughout the season, but they are only brought up in short scenes and instead new plot points are added in many episodes that don't get resolved or are resolved so quickly that they feel unnecessary to the storyline.
A few new characters were added this season, mainly to play a side role to already existing plots in the series.These new characters are so underdeveloped that it is hard to really build a connection with them.
In the case of Vero (Nikki Rodriguez), a new love interest for Cesar, it feels like she is only tossed in to create a love triangle that simply doesn't feel genuine. Her relationship with Cesar isn't ever really explained and the chemistry between the actors isn’t completely there.
On the other hand, a major character throughout the series, Rudy’s Abuelita, Marisol, (Peggy Blow), returns to have an even bigger impact than previous seasons. Her connection with the kids ties the stories together and adds to the emotional connections that are created this season.
Blow’s chemistry with Gray’s character in particular has added more fun scenes in the series. This season their chemistry is more evident than ever and adds a more emotional side to their comedic banter.
At the end of the day, the final season isn’t the worst series finale for the show, but parts of the story feel incomplete and can leave a bitter taste with fans who expected more from the characters they love. With the series coming to an end, it doesn't seem the fans will be getting the closure they want.
One thing that fans can look forward to is the fact that Netflix has greenlit a spinoff series called “Freeridge” that will be telling another story of a group of friends from the same fictional neighborhood.
It is yet to be known if characters from “On My Block” will return in any capacity for the new series, fans can only hope that some of their beloved characters will return for at least a cameo to keep the spirit of the original series alive.