R29 Binge Club: The Get Down Episodes 1-6 Recaps

Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
The Get Down begins with some much-needed scene setting, particularly for those of us who didn’t live through the 1970s and don’t know much about New York City history. Luckily, Baz Luhrmann — The Get Down’s critically acclaimed director — is the right person for the job, capable of weaving a rich visual tapestry that unearths beauty from decay, and glitter from the rubble.

New York is in a bad way in 1977 — but nowhere in the city is that more apparent than the South Bronx, where buildings are being burned left and right for the pittance insurance money and lawlessness seems to rule the land. The infrastructural issues — the housing, the schools, the train platforms — are in shambles; but they also translate to a moral corruptness that has taken root with politicians and the people who make the decisions about what to invest in the community, situated far above Harlem. It’s a figurative world away from the glamour we’ve come to associate with Manhattan.

But the South Bronx has its own gorgeous and rich culture that’s in the midst of a renaissance: Graffiti is becoming an art form, disco culture has hit a fever pitch, and another underground music movement has gained a foothold (more on that later).

I'm spending today full-on binging this series today, in the comfort of my air conditioned apartment. So if you're doing the same (or you just want to play catch up!) read ahead for a recap of every single episode of the season so far. Without further ado...
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Mylene, Regina, and Yolanda have a little afternoon dance session.
Episode 1
The Get Down kicked off by introducing us to Ezekiel (Justice Smith) — Zeke — a teenage boy with a talent for poetry and the heart to match. His mother and father are dead; he lives with his aunt and her boyfriend, who seems intent on beating the passion out of the boy. Cockroaches crawl through their apartment, a small place where Zeke sleeps behind a strung up sheet. He’s rushing out of the house before school to go meet a friend: Mylene Cruz (newcomer Herizen F. Guardiola), a Puerto Rican pastor’s daughter with a huge voice, and the girl he loves.

Zeke meets Mylene at the church to play the piano for her while she sings and records the track on a tape. She is incredible, belting out a cover originally popularized by the artist the show calls Misty Holloway. They wrap up and Zeke is clearly in awe of Mylene, who tells her that she’s going to hand the tape off to a popular DJ at a disco later that night. But they get caught playing around in the church by Mylene’s little sister, who blackmails her into handing out pamphlets in exchange for not telling their father that she sang secular music in the space. Mylene agrees, but then she and Zeke head off and talk about the plan for getting her tape into the right hands — and Mylene reminds him, as he tries to kiss her, that she’s not interested in starting anything up with him. She wants to be the next Donna Summer — and nothing is going to get in her way.
At this point, it definitely helps to have a primer on who all the new characters this series has gifted: Mylene and Zeke are accounted for, but they’ve each got their own crews. Mylene is best friends with Yolanda Kipling and Regina Diaz, both of whom are a little more wild than the other member of their trio. Zeke’s squad includes Dizzee, and two brothers named Ronald “Ra-Ra” and Miles “Boo Boo: Kipling (yep, Yolanda’s siblings).

Sidebar on Dizzee: He’s obsessed — in awe of, really— another emerging facet of hip-hop culture: graffiti artists. Dizzee especially worships a street artist who goes by the name of Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore). When Shaolin Fantastic (who appears to be deeply influenced by Kung Fu culture) has laid down new graffiti, Dizzee won’t stop until he goes to see it for himself — and that’s how we wind up in the next scene: The boys are all on their way to the high school when Dizzee gets wind of a new Shaolin Fantastic piece, and drags his friends along with him to see it. They wind up in a burned out building, and are almost immediately surrounded by a gang that patrols the neighborhood. Things get dicey fast, but in the nick of time a community pillar shows up: Francisco “Papa Fuerte” Cruz, the unofficial mayor of this neck of the borough, who is the public face of the community, Mylene’s uncle, and a man who is pulling out all the stops (even the less-than-legal ones) to get money and infrastructure invested by the city of New York into the South Bronx. When Papa Fuerte arrives, the gang quickly scatters, allowing the boys to make their way back to school.

Cut to English class, where Ezekiel finds out that a poem he wrote was the best in the class. It’s clear that he’s deeply talented, but afraid to speak his poems — when the teacher asks him to read the poem aloud to the class, he refuses, going so far as to tell her that he’s not the one who wrote it. On her way out the door after the bell rings, Mylene pointedly tells their teacher that Zeke did write the poem, he’s just being a chicken by not reading it. The teacher goes back to Zeke, and he does end up reading his poem aloud: It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking homage to the community — to the violence, the racism, the struggle — and the teacher weeps. But still, when she tells him that he could really be someone, he shrugs it off and explains that he may not even return to school the following year.

Refusing to read his poem aloud has pushed Mylene away from Zeke, but he still feels like he can win her over if he manages to get into the club she’s going to that night and put the original Misty Holloway record into the set list somehow. But first: He has to track down the record in the first place. He does, to a makeshift shop nearby. Almost as soon as he finds the right record, the gang who accosted him and his friends that morning surround the shop, demanding that the shop owner start paying them weekly protection money. In the scuffle, another person sneaks into the shop: Shaolin Fantastic. Shaolin quietly moves through the back of the store, where Zeke is hiding, and steals the record right out of his hands before darting away on foot.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Mylene walking to school with her best friends, Regina and Yolanda.
Zeke tears off after him, and the gang tears off after them both through the street. Shaolin manages to escape by taking a running jump off the top of a building and somehow managing to land on the next; but just when it seems like he’s safe, the cement starts crumbling beneath his feet, and he is suddenly hanging several stories in the air. The record falls from his hands to the street, and Zeke — who has been tailing him — catches it and runs off. Miraculously, Shaolin pulls himself up and escapes.

It might seem like a coincidental encounter, but the truth is, the two are destined to meet. You see, Shaolin is ready to give up the graffiti game. What he wants more than anything is to be a DJ. But Grandmaster Flash — his master and inspiration — tells him that before he can spin, he needs to find a wordsmith. Bingo: That would be Zeke.

Speaking of Zeke: He’s got everything he needs to go out on the town and win Mylene’s heart tonight — except for a fly ensemble. With his friends, he raids their father’s closet and steals his uncle’s boots before heading to the club, Les Infernos, ready to take on the crowd. When he arrives without a girl on his arm, though, he gets turned down, even though he tries to grease the bouncer with cash. No can do: For now, Zeke is stuck on the outside. Mylene and her girlfriends have already made their way downstairs to the disco.

Zeke was right to be concerned about someone trying to take advantage of his girl: Mylene has already caught the attention of Cadillac, a dangerous dude whose mother, Fat Annie, owns the club and the lounge upstairs. Mylene is trying to get her tape to the DJ spinning that night and Cadillac tells her he’ll be more than happy to help if she would consider going back to a hotel with him later that night. She refuses and heads out to the dance floor with her girlfriends, instead. Cadillac isn’t ready to give up: He joins Mylene, apologizing for being forward, and dances alongside her.
Outside, Zeke is recovering from being tossed to the curb just as DJ Malibu arrives for his set, along with Shaolin, who is sort of like a lad-in-waiting. But when Shaolin seeks Zeke, and the record that he’s carrying, he goes after him to get it back. They duke it out in a shadowy building, but in the end, Zeke tells Shaolin that if he’s going to take the record, he might as well kill him, because he’s in love. If he can’t get the record to Mylene and win her affections, he doesn’t want to live. Shaolin comes up with a deal: He’ll get Zeke into the club and get DJ Malibu to play the record. But Zeke needs to let him have the record for good. He agrees and they make their way to the DJ booth.

When they get there, though, they have to convince Malibu to relent on a personal rule he has to never take requests. Zeke dons a fake accent and trades rhymes back and forth with the older man. In the end, however, it’s the promise of plenty of coke that convinces Malibu to play the record.

A perfect little moment unfolds when he finally does: Cadillac is called away from the dance floor to go upstairs and sing “Happy Birthday” to his mom, Fat Annie. Just as that happens, the record hits its groove, the floor parts, and Zeke walks up to Mylene, who — at least for the moment — can’t resist him. They start to dance and kiss. But then, Cadillac sees Zeke cozying up to Mylene and returns to the dance floor, where he starts busting out his best disco. One thing is for sure: Cadillac may be a lech, but he’s got mad moves. It doesn’t take long for him to totally take over the floor.

Upstairs at the birthday party, a massacre is about to unfold: The same gang that chased down Shaolin earlier that day has shown up at Les Infernos — and they’re out for blood. While everyone is singing, the gang opens fire, killing the bartender and plenty of others in the room before making their way downstairs to take out more revelers. For reasons not yet explained, they’re looking for Cadillac. In the meantime, they manage to take out a number of dancers, as well as DJ Malibu.

Zeke and Shaolin manage to usher Mylene and the girls out of the club and into the street, where Zeke tries to comfort Mylene. It’s an emotional moment: Mylene clearly wants to be able to turn to Zeke, who is telling her how much he loves her and how much he wants for them to be together. But in the end, she still says no to a relationship with him, reminding him that she wants to get out of the Bronx — to become something — and that he doesn’t seem as driven to make something of himself. She wants a man, not a kid from her neighborhood. She runs away, leaving Zeke to piece himself together. When she arrives back at home, her father is in a rage and he winds up beating her for disobeying him. Mylene’s mom screams at him and tells her to call her uncle — Papa Fuerte — to come pick her up. When Mylene gets into the car, she breaks down, telling him what happened at Les Infernos and that she wants to be a singer. Papa Fuerte promises to help her in any way he can.

In the midst of all this, Zeke makes his way to the park, crying, but his buddies are hanging out, waiting for him. Shaolin shows up, too, sending Dizzee into a fanboy tizzy. Shaolin tells Zeke that he needs to snap out of it and get over this girl, because crying isn’t going to help anything. To distract him from all this, Shaolin invites Zeke and the guys to a different kind of party, leading them to a decrepit warehouse. When they get there, the crowd is raging and Grandmaster Flash is helming the turntables. Shaolin hands him the Misty Holloway album and the DJ queues it up, finding the “get down” part of the album, which will get layered over a beat. Then, an emcee steps up and starts rhyming to the music. Suddenly, Zeke realizes that this is what he wants to be doing with his poetry, with Shaolin as his DJ.
But it’s not going to be easy: When Zeke winds up with the mic the first time around, he falters and makes a mess of it — proving to the crowd, who is already judging his disco attire, that he’s out of place at this party. But when he sees Shaolin standing up for him (in a break-dance fight, no less), he takes the mic a second time, impresing the naysayers with his rhymes and winning over the crowd.
After the party, the guys all go back to Shao’s pad, which is run-down and has rigged electricity, to check out the future DJ’s record collection and watch the sun come up. It’s there that Shao and Zeke decide they want to be a duo and that Zeke’s buds will be their crew. They want to rule the hip-hop scene. To mark the occasion, Shao gives Dizzee all his graffiti supplies, ready to embark on the next chapter of his life. The guys get to the roof to watch the sun come up just in time to see a train blaze through an otherwise bombed-out skyline.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Cadillac, standing behind the bar at Les Infernos.
Episode 2
Grandmaster Flash is at Shao’s pad, which the guys are referring to as “the dojo.” Flash gives Shao a purple crayon and tells him he has 24 hours to figure out the meaning behind it. If he can’t, DJ lessons are officially over. The guys are stumped, so they get stoned to think it over. Eventually, everyone leaves, except for Shao and Zeke, who are sticking around to solve the puzzle together. That’s how they spend the whole day.

On the agenda for Mylene’s day: being grounded and working at the soup kitchen. Her dad has decided that’s the best way to punish her for breaking the rules. Papa Fuerte stops by the church to talk to his brother, Mylene’s dad, about being a little less rigid, but they wind up having an argument about pride. Papa Fuerte reminds his brother, Pastor Ramon Cruz, that he only has this church because he bought it for him. Clearly, there’s a story there that we’re guessing will get unraveled later.
From there, Papa Fuerte, a.k.a Francisco, heads back to his office at the community center, where an old friend (and gambling buddy) comes by to talk about some debts owed. Francisco reminds the guy, who is a record exec, that he owes him about $25,000 — and that he better pay up soon, because he’s going to wind up on the hook for much more. Francisco also tells the man that he’ll hold off settling the debt if the guy does him a favor and goes to see a young woman — Mylene — sing at church on Sunday morning and consider her for his record label. Terrified, the exec agrees to go see Mylene sing. That’s how Francisco intends to help his niece land a record deal, and escape both her father and the Bronx.

In another part of the neighborhood, Cadillac and Fat Annie are trying to figure out who paid the gang to shoot up Les Infernos. Cadillac winds up bringing in two young boys for interrogation, and winds up shooting one of them. So much for the police officer’s requirement that Fat Annie keep dead bodies out of the club. The kid who isn’t killed gets away.

Meanwhile, Shao and Zeke are still trying to zero in on the meaning of the crayon, so they take a break and go up to the rooftop to watch the homing pigeons. They fly in big swirling groups, in big circles. Eventually, Zeke comes to a realization. The crayon is meant for marking up a record, so you know where the get down starts. They’ve officially cracked the code. Now that they’re making headway, he suggests that they take some time and really focus on their music for a couple weeks, which also means taking a break from hustling for Fat Annie. Shao agrees and goes to see Fat Annie at Les Infernos to ask for her blessing.

While Shao is spinning records at the dojo and the boys are trying to dance to the beat, a bell rings: turns out, it’s Mylene looking for Zeke. He tears downstairs to see what’s up — the two haven’t spoken since that night at Les Infernos — and she tells him that she wants to be friends again, but also that she needs his help with the song for Sunday’s church performance. He gets angry, feeling used, and tells her to go away before fleeing upstairs. When he gets there, Ra-Ra reminds him that he has the opportunity to prove to Mylene that he’s trustworthy and dependable, which gets Zeke thinking about if he really should go to church and help her impress the record exec.

She’s definitely in desperate need of his help, by the way: Because she needs to sing a church song, she’s got to find one that demonstrates her considerable talents. Only Zeke can really help her on this one. In the end, he does, dropping off lyrics in her windowsill later that night so she can learn them for the next morning.

By late in the evening, Shao has officially mastered the beat. The boys — minus Dizzee — go out to celebrate and have a bite to eat. But as they’re walking back toward the dojo, they see a burning building in the distance: Shao’s pad. Of course, it contains all his records and DJ equipment. Turns out, the two boys from the gang that keep cropping up were paid (Maybe by Papa Fuerte?) to burn the place to the ground. Dizzee was inside when it happened and managed to get out, bringing the turntables with him, but that’s all.
Shao runs to the building, realizing that he won’t be able to save his records and fighting back tears. Zeke follows him, to comfort him, but Shao is having none of it: He says that they’ll just have to double down and work hard on making money to buy new equipment. Zeke is on board with the plan, but not the methodology: Shao wants to go back to Fat Annie and hustle. But Zeke thinks they should stay out of that trap and take on extra handyman work from his uncle, even if it takes longer. They have a big fight about it in the street. In the end, Shao shoves Zeke to the ground and tells him that he doesn’t want to be friends or music partners anymore.

The next morning, Zeke heads to church to accompany Mylene. But just as she gets onstage, her father calls to her to come down so they can talk: He tells her that she can no longer sing front and center in the choir, because it’s prideful. Mylene protests. She knows that the record producer, Jackie, is coming that morning and she’s wearing a specially made dress beneath her choir robes. She retreats to the back of the choir while the singing starts and stays there until she sees Jackie start to leave the audience. It’s her one chance and she’s taking it: While the crowd is going wild, convulsing and speaking in tongues, she pretends that she’s been inhabited by the spirit, too, stepping forward to the microphone and turning it into the beginnings of a solo.

She’s magnificent and mesmerizing. Moments later, the beat kicks up with Zeke on piano and Mylene whips off her robe to reveal a stunning white dress beneath. The church goes crazy and the Jackie right along with them. When the song finally ends, everyone — including Mylene’s parents — just stand there, stunned, with the exception of the record Jackie, who cannot stop clapping.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Francisco, a.k.a Pap Fuerte, soothes Mylene's mother in the wake of a family squabble.
Episode 3
After her stunt in church, Mylene’s been kicked out of the house. However, there’s good news: She impressed the record exec. Except it’s not panning out: As it turns out, he’s a fake. Even though he’s got a couple of Grammys under his belt, he hasn’t had a hit in years and he’s a joke in the industry. But that doesn’t mean he comes clean to Papa Fuerte — no way. He takes his cash and tells him he’s going to make Mylene a demo.

Since Mylene can’t stay at home, she’s at the Kipling house with her girlfriends and all the boys. Mrs. and Mr. Kipling are headed out of town for the weekend and leaving the kids alone. They’ve decided to use this autonomy to throw a party and make some money, which all falls into place when they acquire a Grandmaster Flash tape deck at an electronics store. They bring it back and turn the Kipling salon into a dance hall. It’s all going great until a bunch of dudes bust in, take their money, and call them out for stealing Flash’s tape. The thugs trash the salon, leaving the boys further behind than when they started.
After that happens, Shao shows up in a sweet convertible. He’s supposed to get rid of the car for Cadillac, who is paying him to do that now that Shao’s back in Fat Annie’s graces. The crew gets in the car and spend the afternoon cruising. Eventually, they open the trunk and find the body of the boy Cadillac killed. They realize they can’t run away: They have to get rid of it. So, they shove the whole car in the river and watch it sink.

When the boys go off with Shao, Mylene heads downtown to record her demo. But when she gets there, things are kind of a mess: Jackie is on coke and wrote her a pretty bad song. She questions him, but just as he’s having a fit in the booth, the lights go out. It’s a major blackout in NYC, one of the worst in history. The lack of power actually forces them to have a real conversation about what’s going on, and Jackie confesses that he’s burned out and that Mylene probably should just try and make music with someone else.

Back in the Bronx, the blackout is making the streets pretty dangerous. Shao, Zeke, and the gang decide to head over to Les Infernos to take back what was stolen from them, money and equipment-wise. They gather all their gear and then head back to the Kipling home.

We also find out this episode what’s going on between Papa Fuerte, a.k.a. Francisco, and Mylene’s mom: Turns out, they were once lovers — Francisco might even be Mylene’s dad — and they have fought their feelings for one another for almost 20 years. They share a dance and a kiss in the blackout before she goes running out the door, afraid of anything more happening between them.

Mylene’s recording isn’t going very well at all. Jackie has a total meltdown. He comes clean with her about everything: He’s dead in this business, but he tells Mylene that she’s the real deal and promises to write her a masterpiece. At the end of the night, she heads back to the Kipling house, where she recognizes that something is off with Zeke. He winds up telling her about dumping the car and the body in the river. They wind up finally having sex on the rooftop, while the city remains without power for the next 36 hours.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Shao and Grandmaster flash practice spinning.
Episode 4
The blackout and looting continued — now, there are all these black markets springing up, selling stolen goods. Mylene and Francisco go to one together, so he can meet with the current mayor. Once they are there, however, he and the city representative have a big fight. Something must be in the air, because Mylene and Zeke also wind up fighting, even though they’ve officially had sex and should be all lovey-dovey. Mylene and Shao are basically duking it out over who has more control over Zeke. Yikes.

In the aftermath of all the looting, the Kipling kids confess that they are actually the ones that are responsible for the salon getting trashed. Their punishment is to clean up the place and work it all off. Boo and Raa get started on that, but Dizzee is off doing his graffiti stuff. He meets this guy named Thor, another tag artist, and they trade books. But there’s something else between the two of them in addition to respect.

Also, the crew hasn’t told Shao what happened with the tape, so he doesn’t know that they’re in the doghouse with Grandmaster Flash. By the way, he’s super pissed. When Shao does find out what happened, he’s furious and he tells his security staff they need to find the bootlegger who made the tape. When Shao goes to see Flash, he tells him that he’ll make it up to him by finding the bootlegger and taking him down. Shao is searching all over town, trying to find him without much luck. He finally makes some headway and arranges a situation where he can catch the guy, and he and Shao go together to deal with the situation. The rest of the crew also joins in, secretly going to support Zeke and Shao, even though they know they’re entering enemy territory. When the guys get there, they realize they’ve busted in on a family party. But they end up getting caught by another DJ who wants to know what the hell they’re doing in his ‘hood.

Having broken ties with the current mayor’s administration, Francisco has to find another way to develop funding for the South Bronx. He winds up aligning with Ed Koch, even though they grate at each other pretty bad. Francisco agrees to have a rally in the South Bronx and formally endorse Koch, who promises to get him the money he needs to help revitalize the community. He also tells Koch that he’ll help him find a posterboy from the community who can stand up next to Koch onstage. Zeke, who Mylene recommends, is a perfect candidate. He is also up for an internship downtown on Wall Street as part of this whole deal, at the insistence of his aunt and his English teacher, Ms. Green. Zeke is trying to make nice with Francisco and winds up being offered the internship.

Meanwhile, Jackie, who lives down at the Chelsea Hotel, is having a hard time getting Mylene’s song together. He’s doing tons of drugs and making very little progress. Mylene is trying to get him on the phone, but it’s not working. So, she decides to go down there herself. She asks Zeke if he’ll go with her, but he ends up having to go help Shao, instead. Mylene ends up bringing Regina and Yolanda to figure out what’s up. When they get there, Jackie has overdosed in the bathtub. The girls revive him and tell him they want to hear the song, which clearly isn’t done, but they put him on the subway and head to Francisco to share the new song.

Of course, when they go meet Francisco at an eatery in the Bronx, it quickly becomes clear that the song isn’t done. Then, Mylene’s parents show up and make things even worse.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Mylene, Yolanda, and Regina records the single for their record onstage at the Cruz family church.
Episode 5
Francisco gets so angry that he outs Ramon in front of Mylene, bringing up the fact that he was once in jail, has kids from a former relationship that he abandoned, and once dealt drugs. Jackie tries to smooth all this over by saying that the disco song he wrote for Mylene is actually a Pentecostal song that incorporates religious themes with a little bit of Latin flavor. The band at the restaurant starts playing along with him, and in the end, it all works out: They’ve got a hit on their hands. Now, they just have to get it recorded — in the Cruz’s church. Also: All three of the girls are going to sing on the record together and Mylene is going to move back into her parents’ place. The family is reunited. The recording is amazing, especially with Zeke playing the piano.

The crew manages to prove to the other DJ that they are not the bootleggers and that his equipment manager is actually the perp, but they wind up getting challenged to a DJ battle the next Saturday night. They start prepping for it almost immediately, but before that, Shao brings the tapes back to Grandmaster Flash to make peace with his mentor. Shao sets up shop in an abandoned house, but he’s also back in with Fat Annie’s crew. They want him to keep an eye out for the kid who escaped. Shao also gets a little deeper into the muck when one of Fat Annie’s thugs catches him stealing records. He tells him that Shao owes him one for not saying anything. This is not the kind of dude you want to have a debt to though.

Because the crew was out so late dealing with the bootlegging issue, Zeke is late to his internship interview on Wall Street with Ed Koch’s right-hand man, Mr. Gunns. Because he’s late, the secretary won’t let him in. Dejected, he heads home. But when his aunt and Miss Green find out what happened, they remind him that his mom raised him to have opportunities so he could get out of the Bronx. He just blew it and it’s no one’s fault but his own. Ultimately, Zeke decides that he is going to get that internship, no matter what, and heads back downtown to sit in the office all day and wait for Mr. Gunns comes out. When he does, Zeke convinces him to take him on as an intern. Mr. Gunns agrees to give him a second chance and invites him to dinner at his home the next Saturday night — the same night as the DJ battle.

Speaking of the DJ battle: The guys realize they have to have something up their sleeve to beat the crew they’re going up against the next weekend. Raa realizes that the best way to do it is to have them all rhyme — he wants to combine their voices, with Zeke writing verses for all of them. Shao agrees and it becomes clear that all the guys really DO have skills and can bring something awesome to the crew. They’re all really good, but Boo is a standout. Turns out, he’s got an incredible voice. They also come up with a couple signature scratches — and since it’s finished, Mylene gives them a copy of her record to add into the mix, too. They also stumble onto another little piece of luck: While they’re up practicing on the rooftop, Boo discovers the kid that Fat Annie’s crew has been looking for — giving Shao another thing to leverage.

Even though Mylene’s record has been cut, it still has to get into the hands of the DJs. There’s one woman, Lexy Lesgold, who can help them do just that. Jackie makes an appointment for them to see her the next night: Saturday.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Zeke and Mylene share a kiss at the club.
Episode 6
The guys haul the kid Cadillac has been hunting down back to the mansion. His name is Napoleon and he is straight-up terrified. Even though Shao wants the crew to beat him up, they won’t — the kid ends up breaking down and revealing everything that happened the night that Cadillac killed his friend: Turns out, he knows that one of Fat Annie’s henchmen, Wolf, is actually the one who hired the gang to shoot up the club. Shao goes back to Fat Annie with this information and outs Wolf to her. She makes Shao shoot Wolf and now he’s even deeper into the family than before — and losing his humanity.

Jackie takes Mylene and the girls to go see Lexy Lesgold at the record pool and make sure that her record gets passed along to the club DJs. But there’s some bad blood between Lexy and Jackie: She used to be his intern and he fucked her and fired her. Now, she’s taking revenge. She makes him go down on her — but in the end, still refuses to distribute Mylene’s record to the DJs, which means that it’s essentially DOA unless they can figure out another channel into the clubs.

In the end, Dizzee winds up being the guy to get Mylene’s record out there. He heads to Soho to meet up with Thor for a party. It’s a totally different world: He’s in a loft filled with balloons and glitter, everyone is voguing, gorgeous trans models are walking the runway, the music is bumping. His mind is in major expansion mode and he might be starting to realize that there’s something sexual going with Thor, too. They both make out with the same girl — and then they make out with one another. But before that happens, Dizzee finds out that Thor knows the DJ spinning at the party and asks him if he would play Mylene’s record. He does, and the whole room goes crazy for it. It doesn’t take long for the record to start making the rounds on the club circuit — or for Francisco to get a call from the head of Marrakesh Records saying he wants to sign Mylene to the label.
Image: Courtesy of Netflix.
Jackie and the head of Marakesh talk things out about Mylene's record.

While all that’s going down, Zeke is at Mr. Gunn’s house having dinner and basically being interrogated. (Also, his teenage daughter seems intrigued by Zeke, in part because he says he’s never heard of punk music.) Zeke has a real talk with Mr. Gunn and ultimately winds up landing the internship — but that means he’s definitely going to be late for The Get Down Crew’s DJ battle next weekend, since he’ll be onstage giving a speech endorsing Koch to the neighborhood.

When Koch speaks, he is adamant about wanting to clean up the neighborhood — including putting graffiti artists behind bars. The young people listening to this speech seem seriously disturbed by that idea. For a moment, it seems like Zeke is going to bail on the event, because he doesn’t agree with Koch on an ideological front. But in the end, he gives the speech and manages to work in some subtext about how the graffiti artists are what make the community special, so he’s not selling out completely.

When it’s over, Zeke makes his way over to the DJ battle. (Sidenote: Shao is also doing double duty, only on the opposite end of Zeke’s doubled-up commitment. He’s overseeing all the drug dealings, selling coke and who knows what else at the meet-up, because Fat Annie told him he had to be working that night, now that he’s a more established member of her “family.”) At the battle, the Get Down Crew finds that the guys they’re battling, the Notorious III, have a much better sound system. The speakers are so loud, they literally drown our boys out. But just when it seems like Shao and the guys are going to lose, the secret weapon they need shows up: Zeke gets there. Together, they hit their mark. The guys put on their jackets, start their set, and it is phenomenal.

The crowd goes crazy — they’re clearly more talented than the Notorious III. Mylene and the girls show up just in time for Shao to put their record on, which officially puts the crowd back in their favor. For the first time, Mylene realizes that Zeke’s music might actually be something to be taken seriously.

The episode ends with Zeke and Mylene up on a rooftop, talking about the future while looking at the Manhattan skyline. They decide that they’re going to keep a foot in the Bronx. We also get a peek at a private moment between Mylene’s mother and Francisco. They’re holding one another while they listen to Mylene’s record play on the radio: From where they stand, it seems like their girl is about to become a major star.

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