Netflix’s On My Block has perfected the art of the cliffhanger. Season 1’s finale scene — a shooting that leaves two major characters’ lives hanging in the balance — is one of the best on Netflix. The ending of the teen show’s third season packs an equally painful wallop. After a hopeful goodbye, 2020 finale “Chapter Twenty-Eight” uses a time jump to reveal Block's core five friend group is destined to splinter apart. Best friends are now strangers — and someone is even in a gang.
There is some good news for fans out there. If the co-creators of Block have their way, we’ll head back to Freeridge for a season 4 — at minimum.
“Our hope was a season 4,” co-creator/executive producer Eddie Gonzalez told reporters during a late September 2019 visit to Block’s Los Angeles set, thinking back to his series' inception. “In our mind, there were tentpoles, places that we wanted to go. We always saw this as a show that was going to go more than three seasons. Of course we don’t dictate that, but that was always our hope.”
If you’re worried that Gonzalez’s Netflix bosses don’t know about his and showrunner Lauren Iungerich’s plans, don’t fret. “We do communicate that,” Gonzalez said when asked if he shared his long-term story ideas with the streaming platform. “When we talk about long stories, when we talk about where the characters are going, we’ll say, You may not see where Spooky’s going this season, but you’ll see it here. Or you may not see where Jamal is going, but trust me, we’re getting to that point and we are building to those things. So, yes, we communicate [the story] is going to go more than that season.”
That’s why Iungerich — who also created cringe-y MTV favourite Awkward. — has already mapped out much of season 4 in her mind. “I have a lot of friends who run shows and they figure it out on the fly. I don’t work that way. I like to know what I’m driving to so we can tell a really rich, deep story and be really thoughtful about it,” the writer begins. “I know now what’s going to happen at the beginning, middle, and end of season 4.”
While Iungerich can’t spill any major plot points for a prospective fourth season of On My Block, there are some themes she is excited about exploring, whether that’s with the recently released third season or a prospective fourth season. “We all as a writing team continuously talk about, What does it mean to stay [in an inner city neighborhood]? And to rebuild? And to make something a better place?” she explained. “We are going to see all sides of that through this [third] season and possibly next season.”
Block’s third season cliffhanger puts the series in the exact position to answer those questions. Monse Finnie (Sierra Capri) has fully left her Freeridge community behind for the brightly coloured walls of her East Coast boarding school. Jamal Turner (Brett Gray), Ruby Martinez (Jason Genao), and Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) have all seemingly given up local sleuthing in favour of normal high school careers. Cesar Diaz (Diego Tinoco) has also stayed in the neighborhood, but has taken over a power position in the Santos gang in the wake of his older brother Oscar’s (Julio Macias) apparent flight to the suburbs. Only a serious crisis about the fate of Freeridge — and, likely, a mystery — could bring Block's core five back together again.
“It’s always about character and story for us,” Gonzalez noted about his series’ now-classic jaw dropping endings. “Yes, we do know we want to hook the audience and we want them to see something at the very end and go, Oh my God. I have to tune in next year … But we’re not sitting there going, Okay, what’s our cliffhanger for this year?”
If Gonzalez and Iungerich do get to cook up a fourth cliffhanger for On My Block, expect it to cap off an intense run of episodes. As star Diego Tinoco said on set, “Season 3 is my favourite one so far. But, if we do season 4, I already know that one that one’s going to hit home the most.”