[Warning: The following contains spoilers for On My Block Season 2.]
Just as the kids started to get their lives back in order after the events of the first season's heart-stopping cliffhanger, On My Block delivered yet another massive twist in its Season 2 finale.
Secretly working with his brother Spooky (Julio Macias), Cesar (Diego Tinoco) helped set up the Prophets by giving them the marked bills from the Freeridge Savings heist under the guise of buying Ruby's safety and his own. The Prophets were then arrested and — with the exception of Spooky keeping the Roller World money — everything seemed to work out just fine for our favorite teens.
But once the life or death drama was resolved, Monse (Sierra Capri) finally had the room to reflect on the revelation that Cesar had slept with another girl while they were broken up. She ultimately forgave him, but said that she still couldn't trust him and ended their relationship, seemingly for good. After a sweet pep talk from Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) about the importance of female friendships, Monse decided that she's going to listen to her father and leave Freeridge for the all-female boarding school he recommended. Once Cesar, Ruby (Jason Genao), and Jamal (Brett Gray) learned of her plans, they all brushed her off, assuming that she'll return to them just like she always does.
Resolute in her decision, Monse turned her back on the guys and stormed off, oblivious to the men who then jumped out of a van, threw black hoods over the trio's heads and kidnapped them. And before she could realize what was going on, Monse found herself abducted as well.
So, who kidnapped them? And why? Is this because the money is cursed? TV Guide spoke with co-creator Lauren Iungerich about these and more burning questions after that shocking Season 2 finale.
I definitely did not see this cliffhanger coming! What can you say about the identity or motivations of the kidnappers?
Lauren Iungerich: In Episode 10, when the kids find out that the money was switched, like a bait and switch, and that the Prophets were given the dirty money, they were worried that it would get back to them. And so potentially that's what's happened at the end. We have an awesome story planned for Season 3, if we get a Season 3. I like to know where I'm going before I start writing and so I always try to figure out the next season before I start the season I'm working on. I think what we have in store is a fun, surprising reveal in Season 3.
How worried should we be about the kids?
Iungerich: I think you should be as worried as you would be knowing this is a television show and characters we love. I think they're definitely going to be in danger, that's for sure. But it might not be what you think it is.
We saw how the effects of the shooting and Olivia's death in the Season 1 finale played out throughout this season. Will the consequences of this kidnapping also have long-lasting effects?
Iungerich: What we try to do when we tell a story is to really paint the authenticity of the experience for these kids. Typically in a show, and obviously we're a comedy — I guess we're a dramedy. But a lot of shows would have just glossed over the PTSD and gotten Ruby back to Ruby. But we really felt like that wouldn't be true to what the show is and that there are ups and downs along the way with PTSD, and that makes his character that much deeper and that much more effectual to the audience that really understands or has gone through it. Our world today, every kid, no matter what neighborhood you live in, is being affected by gun violence. For us next season, what is coming into play will have definitely ramifications for the series as a whole.
Monse was planning on going to boarding school before this. How might this event affect her plans?
Iungerich: It could potentially affect her plans. And also where that story is driving to and the potential rift with these friends at this moment in time and their gradual moving away from each other as they're all spreading their wings in these directions is par for the course for kids. But we definitely are interested in exploring where Monse fits in this world after feeling betrayed and feeling a sense that her friends are not appreciating where she is and what she's doing for them.
Do you think Monse was right when she said she'd outgrown the guys?
Iungerich: Yeah, I think that was a little hyperbole. I think that was a little bit of her feeling hurt by them and then trying to rationalize it in the way that she does. She's never going to basically come forward and tell them how she feels in the moment, but I think she's hurt and then she's been able to take that pain and rationalize it in thinking, 'Oh, this is what happens when you start to grow apart from your friends.' But I also think she's a little dramatic and I don't think she necessarily wants to be apart from her friends. I think she's just in a new chapter and really looking at being pro-Monse and not worrying about being the glue of the group.
Monse ended things with Cesar in the finale. What will their relationship look like moving forward?
Iungerich: Any great young, YA show always has a good love story, the will-they, won't-they. And I think there is a deep love between Monse and Cesar; they're each other's first loves, and I think that that kind of relationship is complicated. And now it's even more complicated because she feels betrayed. So yeah, we're going to see the effects of that feeling and betrayal and his desire to really be with her and be understood. That's all going to come into play. We hope. We hope we get a Season 3.
The first season saw Cesar dealing with the ramifications of joining the gang and this season was all about him just trying to stay alive. What can you say about what his journey looks like next and whether he'll be able to start really finding his place in the world?
Iungerich: I think we just want to pay attention to the truth of what that experience is for a kid like Cesar. And so he's at this point now where he's back with his brother but he's also made it clear that the life is not for him. And so ... there will be complications.
Between the secret Spooky-Cesear team-up and the kidnapping, this finale was insane in the best way. After the shocking cliffhanger of the first season, did you feel any pressure going into this episode to top that or do another wild twist?
Iungerich: I think we just felt like the show is innately really bingeable and that's just kind of how I drive story. Awkward is the same way. I don't like to close chapters. I want the audience to want to come back. And so I felt like we knew what we were driving toward for Season 3, so that was really helpful in planning out how to end Season 2. But I love cliffhangers and I think it makes it more exciting for the viewer and [worrying] about these characters you love and what's going to happen to them is part and parcel of the fun in us being creators and writing them. I think we were driving toward having a pretty exciting ending. I don't think we were trying to top what we did last season and we definitely knew it would tonally feel different; there was no way we could recreate what we had last season, nor did we want to. But I think we were just looking for a way to keep things exciting and keep these kids' lives exciting and keep it exciting for the audience.
The kids really were put through the ringer this season. So is the money really cursed?
Iungerich: I don't know. It's a good question! That is a great, great question. And I think it will be up for interpretation as things move forward. The underlying mythology of Roller World is the underlying thematic drive of the entire series, along with the relationships in this group of friends. So I think that the question you're raising is the question everyone will be raising as we continue.
I'm so glad Chivo returned and we got some insight into the gnomes, like how he has one for each of the fallen original Santos members. Is there significance we should be reading into about why there isn't one for Little Ricky?
Iungerich: He explained it in talking about they're all sort of him. But that's all I can say. No comment on that.
Jasmine is my favorite character and we saw her get closer to Ruby this season, but she still wasn't fully accepted into the group. Will we see her start to gain the appreciation and respect she deserves next season?
Iungerich: I think the goal with Jasmine is always to continue to pull back the layers of who she is as a character. We love her. She's not one note. Jessica, the actress, is incredible and she can do anything and so we want to give her the opportunity to show all the different layers and range of Jasmine as a person. So I do think they've started coming around to Jasmine a little bit in this season but it can't be overnight. I think Ruby has come around to her in a significant way. But the rest of the group is slowly but surely, and I think she is going to become more of an asset to this group of friends.
How are you feeling about your chances of a renewal right now and what have the conversations with Netflix been like?
Iungerich: I think we're all hopeful. Netflix loves this show, we love this show, we're hopeful we'll get another season. I mean, that's why we make the show is to continue making the show. I feel as good as I can feel waking up at two in the morning and going on Twitter and seeing that we were trending in the top position and knowing last year that we were the most binge-watched show of 2018. I'm hopeful that the audience is going to take us home and that's what drives content on Netflix, the audience. So I feel hopeful. We love our fans. It's really overwhelming how much the audience loves this show and it's incredible. And so I don't know what the future holds, but we're hopeful.
On My Block Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.