Previously on The Get Down
This series has gotten better with each episode. This finale to part one of season one, distilled what makes this show unique and engaging and delivered a satisfying conclusion. Here are the top 5 moments
#5. Trust Your Wings
DJ Grand Master Flash advises his young grasshopper to trust his wings. The wings are definitely to be trusted. Old Man Ra Ra dispenses sage comic book advice. Regina saves Jackie who mends fences between Mylene and her father. Yolanda’s brother and Zeke’s friend Dizzee is the key in launching the girls’ careers. Boo is just his Boo-tastic self and Books brings them all together. This series has done well to flesh out a large cast in a short time and show that no DJ is an island.
# 4. I Can Do Both
Zeke and Shaolin have their feet in two worlds. Both believe in their music is their future. But they have to mind the present. Zeke is the new poster boy for the Koch campaign and Shaolin is Fat Annie’s new Wolf. They sell their souls today so they can follow their hearts, tomorrow. In a great cross-cutting of scenes, we see Gunn talk to Zeke about political power. Fat Annie urges Shaolin to seize his power by killing Wolf. And Jackie surrenders his power to Leslie Lesgold to help Mylene. Each was highly uncomfortable. The tension mounted nicely until Zeke smashes a cockroach and commits to Koch, Shaolin pulls the trigger and commits to Annie and Leslie… well, Leslie is satisfied and commits to no one. Both Shaolin and Zeke pull off their promises. For now.
#3. Power to the People
After hearing Koch speak about the evils of graffiti and street music, Zeke has a hard choice to make. Most shows would have him stick to his morals and denounce the political candidate. But Zeke is a true politician. He uses his words to say one thing and mean another. He sticks it to an unwitting Koch and reaches the hearts of his people by using a language only they understand. He makes his point, drops the mic, and runs from one world to another.
#2. Free People Being Free
They’ve alluded to gay culture in previous episodes and it was wonderful to see it paid off so well, in this episode. Despite Jackie’s best efforts, traditional methods of promoting Mylene’s album are not working. Luckily, one of her best friends has a brother who has a friend. Dizzie’s foray into the gay club scene as a newcomer made sense and gave a tantalizingly view into counter culture. It was so well shot and edited it can be forgiven a couple of misses. Namely, the insistent urgings of the nameless friend to “Go on and kiss da boy” followed by no kiss actually being shown.
#1. The DJ Rumble
We heard them rehearse. We saw them sweat. We saw them slay. This was the most rewarding, well-earned scene of the entire season. From the Star Wars theme (I cheered) to each of the Get Down Brothers (I said it without cringing, that time) showing their individual talents. Each member of the team contributed to the success of the whole. This was a worthy culmination of a half-season worth of struggle. Shaolin, with Books as his wordsmith, became a true DJ and even conceded to use the lyrical portion of Set Me Free. It was a predictable outcome, but a wonderfully executed and rich emotional payoff for characters we’ve grown to care about.
Mylene and her friends are on the rise. Zeke and the Get Down Brothers have made their mark. Mylene and Zeke come together to discuss the future. So ends the Part One. Do we really need Part Two? Maybe not “need.” But if they have the music, the camaraderie and feel-good of this last episode, then I’ll be watching.
Part Two Musings
- Can Zeke have it all? Nope. Mylene doesn’t seem to be around in the 1997 future and older Zeke looks battle-worn. There seems to be a fall following the rise.
- I hope there isn’t girl group in-fighting between Mylene and her friends. We’ve seen this far too often.
- Shaolin shot and killed Wolf. Repercussions are bound to abound
- Koch is now mayor, but how closely will they stick to history? I doubt Cisco will get his dreams fulfilled. At least his political dreams. His romantic ones look promising. Watch out, Cisco. Your brother is Gus Fring.
This finale made me ooh and aah at the visual eye candy and cheer at the DJ rumble. I was moved by Zeke’s speech and sang along with Set Me Free. I could have done without the end button of Zeke and Mylene. It was either too sugary or too ominous and I’m not comfortable with either. I’ve watched the DJ Rumble more times than I care to admit.
The Get Down S1E6 = 9/10