At the end of On My Block season two, things were not looking good for our young heroes. In Netflix’s dramatic comedy, high school friends Cesar (Diego Tinoco) Ruby (Jason Genao) Jamal (Brett Gray) and Monse (Sierra Capri) are trying to survive their freshman year in Free Ridge, California, after Jamal finds a lost stash of money from a roller rink heist buried in the school football field.
On top of their money problems, their plan to get Cesar out of the gang life has put such a strain on their collective friendship (and his romantic one with Monse), that they are no longer on speaking terms by the end of the school year. In fact, Monse is literally in the middle of walking out of the boys’ lives when they are all kidnapped and thrown in a van.
During a visit to the set of On My Block, as they filmed season three, the cast, directors and producers helped shed some light on what promises to be a very emotional and hilarious season three.
GOALS FOR SEASON 3:
Eddie Gonzalez, Executive Producer
When we started this process, we had a lot of stories to tell and it would have been really sad if we ended this after two seasons. In season three, you’re going to see the proliferation of a new gang that we actually set up in season one. It wasn’t completely planned, but it’s part of the fabric of our show, so you can see where it’s going. I think audiences will watch and see ‘this character has come long way since season one.’
So basically, season three is about the pursuit for Little Ricky (who originally robbed Roller World). Solve the Little Ricky mystery of it all. You’ll know in the first five minutes of the first episode who kidnapped them at the end. It’s a summer season and the way we left off was Monse saying she’s leaving and going to boarding school. She’s pretty headstrong and still thinks she’s going to boarding school, but they have to do this thing this summer first. The beauty is that we’re not confined to school— we’re only in school for about two episodes— but it’s really about these kids, about their adventure and trying to solve this mystery. And it’s lighter than last season.
The beauty of only eight episodes is you feel this tension; there’s a ticking clock. In eight episodes you feel the pressure of that and hopefully that urgency comes across in the episodes.
Diego Tinoco: I think that season three is by far one of the best seasons yet. The stakes are definitely higher than they’ve ever been before and you’ll see that off the bat. The core four and more, we go on a summer adventure— not by choice, but by force. You’ll see that we’re looking for Little Ricky and our heads are on the line.
Did you know who was kidnapping you?
Sierra Capri/Monse: We were in the dark, too. We didn’t find out who it was until we started filming season three.
Diego Tinoco/Cesar: I didn’t make any hypothesis on who it was. I trusted the writers. They can write up a good story.
Sierra Capri: Things happen after the kidnapping that may change her mind [about leaving]. I was listening to “Don’t Hurt Yourself” by Beyoncé before shooting that scene.
Jason/Ruby: I’m gonna be honest with you, I thought it was someone else. I didn’t know who I thought it was. I was surprised.
Brett/Jamal: I knew. Someone told me. I knew the whole opening shot of season three without knowing who the kidnapper was. So, when I found out who it was I was like “Ohh, interesting.” I was surprised at the why.
Diego: Cesar’s Dad is back. He is coming out of prison after twelve years and we’re going to get to explore that relationship between Ray and Cesar. Cesar has looked at (his brother) Oscar as a father figure for the past many years. So we’re going to explore how they interacts with the dad actually coming into the picture.
Does Monse’s dad have a link to The Prophets gang?
Sierra: In season three that question is still not answered. It’s left pretty open. We touch on the topic but...
Diego: They have definitely had a crazier summer than I ever had, for sure.
Sierra: I think especially because this is the summer before they go into another school year, I think they’re all just trying to remain friends.
Diego: You’ll see a lot of Cesar and Monse’s teenage romance as we’ve seen them in the past.
Sierra: The pool scene was so fun but so hot.
Diego: I’m Mexican so I’m used to the heat. I grew up there as a kid so the heat is nothing new.
LOVERS AND FRIENDS
Jason: No crew is ever friends for life definitively. But the core four is the core four. Season three does bring little rifts, but nothing definite.
Brett: [Being] Lifetime friends have its ups and downs. High school is crazy, especially for a friend group that came in from elementary level.
Jason: Plus their dynamics are crazy. Most friend groups are "Oh my gosh she’s got a boyfriend." While ours is “Oh my gosh you’re in a gang and we’re laundering money.” I need a minute. Go be friends with someone else for a minute.
Brett: Everything since season one has been bent towards helping Cesar, and us being mad at him [and] mad at [His and Monse’s] relationship.
Jason: They are not healthy for each other.
Brett: That is the most toxic relationship. They gotta break-up.
Jason: They need to just call it a day.
Diego: I would love to see Monse and Cesar live happily ever after -The Notebook style.
Sierra: I’d love to see them get older and married with kids and going down good paths. Right now they’re going through a lot. But you never forget your first love.
RETURN OF RUBY
Jason: Season one was the jump off of Ruby’s incident and the trauma and PTSD. So, season three is bringing season one Ruby back; the old Ruby back. He went from this depressed kid who was blaming the whole world for what happened. Season three is where he sees these lights at the end of the tunnel. He’s now seeing the light as to what the trauma can bring. Life is short so I’m gonna start taking advantage of the good stuff. I get to be a snarky a**hole again. He’s funny and mean, which is my favorite part of Ruby.
THE (R)EVOLUTION OF JAMAL
Brett: Jamal is on an interesting journey. I think Jamal is finally coming to terms with the fact that he’s had a huge part in all of this. Probably the biggest part in all of this. And so I think that he’s kind of taking it in a negative ray. He’s becoming a bit of a narcissist, not just cocky. He’s like everybody doesn’t appreciate me so "effit," I’m gonna do what I want to do. It’s funny because it starts effecting the whole group in this way that he needs to be in control and wants everything to be perfect and be the one that’s right. I think he’s going a little off the edge on that side. He’ll be brought back of course by the end of the season, but it’s been fun to get a little bit meaner and assertive with them. Of course in a funny way.
Jamal does have a love interest this season. My mom was like, “What’s going on with Jamal? He got a love interest this season?” And I was like, “Yeah!” And she said “Is it a gnome?” I said, "It’s a real person." It’s so funny, too. She’s sort of the opposite of Jamal. She’s super shy and kind of creepy. Really quiet. You get to see who Jamal is as a romantic, but it’s also the most ridiculous relationship ever.
On My Block season 3 premiers March 11 on Netflix.