'On My Block' Season 2 Tackles Gun Violence, Privilege, And Relationships

'On My Block's' Second Season Tackles Gun Violence, Privilege, And Platonic Relationships

The all-POC cast precisely executed the aftermath of trauma, emphasizing just how important community and love is when things go wrong, all while commenting on controversial and necessary discussions.


The hit Netflix original show "On My Block" made its long-awaited return to the screen on March 29 with the release of its sophomore season. Following the cliffhanger of the last season, the show covered many important topics in the course of its ten-episode season including post-traumatic stress, gun violence, differences in class and privilege, especially in accordance to race, and the dismissal of toxic masculinity in the emphasis of platonic relationships. Warning: major spoilers ahead.

We last saw the main characters of the fictional inner city of Freeridge, California at a quinceanera for Olivia (Ronni Hawk), just following the sequence of Cesar (Diego Tinoco) sparing the life of his gang enemy, Latrelle. The two were enjoying the party alongside friends Monse (Sierra Capri) and Ruby (Jason Genao), when Latrelle had missed his aimed gunshot from Cesar and hit both Ruby and Olivia. At the same time, Jamal (Brett Gray) had been discovering the $200,000 of hidden money from previous gang crime.

Needless to say, we were left with an abundance of questions, all of which were answered (thankfully) in this second season.

Perhaps the most dominant plot point was the death of Olivia, a beloved main character who Ruby had fallen in love with and who had created a rift in between Monse and Cesar's relationship after coming to Freeridge to stay with her mother's friend (Ruby's mom) when her parents were deported. This left her friends in complete distress, despite it just being another number of death by gun violence in their community. Ruby, who had been shot as well, lived with a survivor's guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder, consistently reliving the shooting when met with certain triggers. It, essentially, changed the way Jamal, Ruby, Monse, and Cesar looked at the fragility of their lives.

Because of this, Monse made a conscious decision to relocate (though short-lived) to Brentwood, where she lived with her newly-discovered mother in a beautiful house in a safe neighborhood. This brought up ideas of privilege, found in her other two white friends in comparison to the people of Freeridge, who are predominantly of color. Monse is constantly worried that she will get in trouble for doing risky things, as she would in Freeridge, but realized that in Brentwood, a richer area, there is much more privilege and that people worry of much fewer things. This leads Monse, after a heavy inner-conflict, to move back to Freeridge, for love and pride of her community in spite of its flaws.

Yet, with all of this going on, the writers of "On My Block" made a point to do anything but glorify and romanticize gun violence and privilege in this second season. Despite how much we love our ships, there was a heavy focus on platonic relationships, as the characters found support in each other for the hardships of their lives. Toxic masculinity could not be traced, as even the male characters shared emotional moments between brothers and best friends.

Once again, "On My Block" covered poignant and significant topics through art and entertainment. The all-POC cast precisely executed the aftermath of trauma, emphasizing just how important community and love is when things go wrong, all while commenting on controversial and necessary discussions. It is a show that everyone should watch, not only for its funny moments and carefully-cultivated characters but because of its message of representation and overcoming adversity.

Popular Right Now

36 Rules Of Life From 'NCIS's' Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sometimes we all need a smack on the back of the head.

I have been watching "NCIS" since the show began back in 2003, and season 15 will be airing this September. It is one of the longest running series and for a good reason, even though a lot of your favorite characters die off in the show they somehow still keep it alive. Anyone who has watched an episode or more knows about the infamous Gibbs's rules. Here's the list that we can gather from the many episodes:

Rule 1: "Never let suspects stay together." - revealed in the Season 1 premiere episode, Yankee White (episode).

Rule 2: "Never screw over your partner." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode). McGee also stated this rule to Ned Dorneget in Need to Know (episode). McGee also mentioned to Abigail Borin in Ships in the Night (episode) that rule number one has been taken twice, showing that he knows that there are two number one rules.

Rule 3: "Always wear gloves at a crime scene." - revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 4: "Don't believe what you're told. Double check." - again revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 5: "Never be unreachable." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Deception (episode) although Gibbs has been known to be intentionally unreachable. The rule was shown in Rule Fifty-One (episode) in the background when Gibbs opens the box.

Rule 6: "The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode)

Rule 7: "You don't waste good." - revealed in the Season 8 episode, Baltimore (episode).

Rule 8: "Never say you're sorry. It's a sign of weakness." - This rule has been mentioned throughout the series, but it wasn't given a specific number until Flesh and Blood (episode). The rule is also a direct reference to John Wayne's catch phrase in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" (John Ford, Director). Wayne said: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness." to subordinates in a military situation. DiNozzo notes the connection in Hiatus Part 1 (episode). Mark Harmon's career has paralleled John Wayne's. They both were quarterback of their southern California college football team, both went into acting. (Harmon's father, Tom Harmon, was a Heisman Trophy-winner and actor & announcer as well.) Note: This is continuously told to Tony, Ziva and Tim through a smack to the back of their heads.

Rule 9: "Always be specific when you lie." - revealed in the Season 1 finale episode, Reveille (episode).

Rule 10: "Never take anything for granted." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Probie (episode) although Gibbs also quotes it as being "Never assume" during the Season 9 episode, Rekindled (episode).

Rule 11: "Never go anywhere without a knife." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, One Shot, One Kill (episode)although it's sometimes quoted as "Never leave home without a knife" or "Always carry a knife."

Rule 12: "Never get personally involved in a case." - revealed in the Season 7 episode, Obsession (episode) and again referenced by the new SECNAV Clayton Jarvis in the Season 9 premiere episode, Nature of the Beast (episode) as the number one rule in Washington politics.

Rule 13: "When the job is done, walk away." - revealed in the Season 6 episode, Semper Fidelis (episode).

Rule 14: "Never date a co-worker." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, Enigma (episode).

Rule 15: "Never, ever involve lawyers." - revealed in "Collateral Damage." Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 16: "Bend the line, don't break it." - revealed in Anonymous was a Woman (episode).

Rule 17: "Always work as a team." - revealed in Leap of Faith (episode).

Rule 18: "If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it." - revealed in the Season 8 finale episode, Pyramid (episode).

Rule 19: "Never, ever interrupt Gibbs during an interrogation." - revealed in the Season 14 episode, Privileged Information (episode).

Rule 20: "It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission." - revealed in Silver War (episode).

Rule 21: "Always look under." - revealed in The Artful Dodger (episode)

Rule 22: "Never ever bother Gibbs in interrogation." - revealed in Smoked (episode).

Rule 23: "Never mess with a Marine's coffee... if you want to live."- revealed during "Forced Entry."

Rule 24: "There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you." - Jack Knife (episode) and "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 25: "When you need help, ask." - revealed during Blood Brothers (episode).

Rule 26: "Always watch the watchers." - revealed in "Baltimore."

Rule 27: "If you feel like you are being played, you probably are." - revealed in Nature of the Beast (episode).

Rule 28: "Your case, your lead." - revealed in Bounce (episode) placing Tony as temporarily in charge of the team, and also in Phoenix (episode) with Ducky as leader.

Rule 29: "There is no such thing as coincidence." - revealed in Obsession (episode) although DiNozzo states that Rule 39A is "There is no such thing as a small world" during Canary (episode).

Rule 30: "If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are." - revealed in Borderland (episode).

Rule 31: "Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you." - revealed in Psych Out (episode).

Rule 32: "First things first, hide the women and children." - This rule number was mentioned in Patriot Down (episode) but was not stated until Rule Fifty-One (episode).

Rule 33: "Clean up the mess that you make." - revealed in "Rule Fifty-One" although it's also stated as "Never leave behind loose ends" in Hiatus Part 2 (episode).

Rule 34: "Sometimes you're wrong." - Created by Gibbs in Rule Fifty-One" by writing it on the back of the card containing Rule 13. It is unknown if his coworkers are aware of this rule.

Rule 35: "Always give people space when they get off an elevator." - revealed in Double Back (episode)

Rule 36: "Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man." - revealed in Devil's Triangle (episode).

While some seem to deal with Gibbs only there are some very great life lessons present. If you haven's started watching "NCIS" I suggest you start soon, it is all on Netflix.

"A slap to the face is an insult - a slap to the back of the head is a wake-up call." Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Cover Image Credit: CBS TV / Twitter

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Boyle Moments 99% Of Students Will Feel During Finals Season

"Cool cool cool."


It's that time of year. Finals. The time where you drink an abnormal amount of coffee, the library is packed with people hyperventilating, and eight hours of sleep seems like a distant, childhood memory. Well within the finals season hell that we all know, there are people that properly express the emotions we have and the cast of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is an accurate representation of finals.

1. That moment when you realize that exams are right around the corner


2. Then when you're reviewing in class and have no clue what's going on


3. So instead of studying you pretend everything is fine and laugh the pain away


4. But then you end up living in the library and don't know what day or year it is


5. When you walk out of the exam and can finally live life again and celebrate with your friends, no matter how bad you all did 


Exam time is hard, but together (and with Boyle) we can get through it!

Related Content

Facebook Comments