Chapter Twenty-Seven (2020)
Compliments of the chef.
I thought about what you said, about 19th Street Those kids are reckless.
Reckless is not good for business. What do you wanna do?
Throw them a bone.
We'll give 'em Jefferson.
Set a meeting for us.
Consider it... - Handled!
What do you mean, handled? Handled could mean anything.
Handle with care. Manhandled. Twitter handle.
Yeah, 'cause Spooky is setting Cuchillos up with a Twitter handle.
There are handlers that handle every-- Enough!
Are you sure about this?
We're talking about taking a life here.
Or yours, mine, everyone's.
And yet you work for her. "Worked."
She's out of control.
It's never been this bad before.
And it's all for nothing.
Putting you kids in the middle of her crazy vendetta...
Shit's messed up.
And she doesn't give a damn.
She doesn't give a shit about no one.
Even those most loyal to her.
Like our dad.
Made him take the fall back in the day.
But her time is up.
She's taking a meeting she's not walking out of.
You guys need to keep yourselves busy starting now.
Go somewhere you'll be seen. A place with lots of cameras, like a mall.
I hate malls. Dying industry. I shop for everything online.
Wherever you are, use your phone.
Just don't use it to call me.
How do we know when it's been handled?
I'll hit up Cesar.
Respond to her.
Jasmine can't be here.
I don't want to put her in any more danger.
You're right. Ignore her.
When were you going to tell me what Cuchillos did to Ray?
I only just found out myself.
You really think I would have been loyal to Cuchillos if I knew all this time?
I don't know what to think anymore. What's that supposed to mean?
You threw me out.
You've chosen the Santos over your own family before.
For a long time, I didn't think that I had a choice.
But after shit didn't add up about Ray, I started asking around.
Found out what really happened with him and the Santos.
They turned on him.
She turned on him.
For no reason.
Our family ain't sacrificing for her no more.
Yo, what's up, fam?
It's 4:00 p.m. here on the West Coast, or as my Latino-- correction-- Latinx peeps would say, son las cuatro.
Look, I'm all about being seen, but not next to that.
Leon? Leon works.
It's time to get off your phone. No, you need to be on yours.
You kind of look like you're waiting on a call that you shouldn't be waiting for.
It's one thing I know about your brother, aside from being a good kisser, is...
He's gonna be fine. Stop worrying.
I got to take this.
Don't start without me.
She doesn't leave here alive.
Yo! It's J to the A to the M to the A to the L!
I'm here at the counter, baby.
We live, baby. It's still hot girl summer.
Jamal. My man.
This is not a discotheque where you can just boogie down all night long.
It's been hours.
Vic, my man.
So those corn nuts, sardines, and travel-size toiletries I buy every week count for nothing?
You're killing the vibe in here, bro.
I am the vibe.
Why are you avoiding me?
And what's going on with the investigation?
You're lying to me. I'm not lying.
Your throaty voice drops an octave when you lie.
I clocked a six-semitone drop and immediately knew something was up.
Plus, Jamal was Instagramming live?
Not exactly laying low.
If you're going covert, don't be overt.
Actually, I would argue that I'm the antithesis of covert.
And there's that octave drop again. Something's not adding up.
The four of you hanging out, after you told me that Oscar was handling things.
I didn't want to get you into this, but you remember the hospital collection notice, right? Yeah.
Things have been stressful between my parents, so I came here to get them a Ring Pop.
It's what my dad gave my mom when he proposed because they were so broke.
I thought it might ease the tension between them.
And the gang tagged along.
You could have told me. I didn't wanna get you worried about it.
Ruby, you're so sweet.
Always thinking of others.
If anyone can handle it, it's him. I'm not worried.
Then don't make that face.
That face that tells me you're starting to panic.
I'm not panicking. I'm just trying to kill time.
Sorry, wrong choice of words.
Okay, well, I'm panicking. I don't know much about handling things, but I do know that when you handle things, you handle them quickly.
Three hours isn't quickly.
Cuchillos is gonna screw you.
Bullshit. She promised us a seat at the table.
But is she gonna let you eat? Shut up, pendejo!
Whiny little bitches whose balls haven't dropped.
You're talking a lot of shit for someone with a gat in their face.
That's what she called you.
She's never going to give you what you want.
She'll never treat you as an equal.
I already gave you my connect.
Without her taking a taste from all of us... there's plenty to go around.
Come on, cuate.
do you want to be a shooter... or a shot-caller?
Maybe he's hiding out. Laying low.
For three days?
No, this is bad.
He would have called me or taken my calls.
Spooky's car hasn't moved from the driveway.
Did you look in the house? Through the front window.
Nothing. And the side. Nothing.
What about the back?
You didn't tell us to look in the back. I didn't think I had to.
"Check the house" means check the house, not part of the house!
Okay, Cesar, everyone is doing the best they can.
You know what? Just forget it.
I'm gonna go see if there's any sign of him.
No. We agreed you can't go home.
Maybe this is what Spooky meant by he's handling it.
You're being stupid.
I'm just trying to help.
If this was just some dumb-ass conspiracy, then maybe, just maybe you could help but this is real life!
Something awful is happening.
Dude, what if Cuchillos got to Spooky and he started talking?
Are we sitting ducks?
What the hell did you just say?
Nothing. No. Say it.
Look, we're all worried. Yeah.
My brother wasn't thinking about himself when he stepped in to save all of us.
That's not what we meant. Well, what did you mean, Jamal?
What did you mean?
God forbid you guys would have to grow up and handle things yourselves.
Dude, that's not fair.
Nah, you want to know what's not fair?
Is that you all complain about my brother and the gang, but as soon as you need them, you come begging.
Well, I'm not sitting on my ass while Oscar's out there saving all of yours.
Hurry up, Joker. I got next, homes.
Have you guys seen Spooky?
It's been three days.
Have you seen him?
You guys are all his day ones.
Where the hell is he?
Look at Little Spooky trying to grow up.
You gonna shoot me?
His gun would jam.
What's your problem, fool?
I asked you a goddamn question.
Have you seen my brother?
Maybe he's kicking it with some haina.
Remember when he dipped to Vegas with fine-ass Leti?
Maybe he's there. Yeah.
We ain't seen him for a few days.
Then why the hell are you all sitting around?
Put a goddamn ear to the street and go find him.
You want to test me?
Did you turn on him? What?
What you just say? Hey.
Just get out there and find him!
We got you, Little Spooky.
You heard him.
I still haven't heard back from Oscar. Call me back, please.
She got to my dad after she got to Oscar.
You don't know that.
Every hospital I've called, there's no John Doe.
And there can be a million reasons why your dad isn't picking up.
He could be working, or he could have awful reception, or his phone could've just run out of juice.
No, this is what they do.
They take out your whole bloodline, make sure no one can come after you. Stop saying that.
And after your bloodline, they take out everyone you love.
I accused Oscar of choosing the Santos over our own family.
That's the last thing I ever said to him.
We need to go to Ruby's house.
Cuchillos texted us.
Then that means that she's still alive and Spooky is...
How do we even know it came from her? Anyone can text on any phone.
"How are my four little sleuths? Tick-tock."
Who else would say that?
I'm so sorry, compa.
You were right.
That we're all just sitting ducks.
So we gotta pack some shit and hide.
Where? Anywhere she won't find you.
And we should split up.
We can't make it easy for her to get us.
Figure out where you're gonna go and go.
I, I have some family in Long Beach.
I can stay at my old babysitter's house.
She lives in San Diego now. I know a bunker in Pasadena.
That would have helped Cesar months ago. I just got off the wait list.
Wait. Where will you be?
But what are we going to say to our parents?
Tell them as little as possible.
We're going to deal with this before it gets to them.
What do you mean, we're going to deal with this?
She needs to go.
That's not who we are.
That's not who you are.
Which is why I'm going to do it.
Why are you icing me out? I just saw everybody leave.
We're not icing you out.
No octave drop in my voice.
It's all good.
It's all good?
Yep, it's all good. Handled.
So... that's great, right?
Then why are you acting so weird?
I'm not acting weird.
It's just... the investigation is over, the threat's over.
It's all wrapped up. So what does that mean?
Maybe you should take a vacation.
Go see some family for a while. A little R&R will do you good.
I prefer a little Q&A.
Jasmine, it's over.
Thank you for your service.
My service? Yeah.
You served your purpose, but now the investigation's over.
Something's up. Why were you all meeting?
We weren't meeting.
We were just hanging out. Why were you hanging out?
Because we're friends, and that's what friends do.
Look, I like the "D," but not the "ick," and you're being a dick.
Just... go home, Jasmine.
Not until you tell me what's going on. What do you want me to say, Jasmine?
It's over. Yeah, you already said that.
Look me in the eye. Say that again.
I don't need a crutch anymore.
But we kissed.
For real. It meant something. Maybe for you.
That's when I knew it didn't mean anything.
Might as well have been kissing my abuelita.
Destruction and devastation.
That's what we're facing because Freeridge is on a fault line.
Our likelihood of being at the epicenter of an earthquake--
Baby, I thought our emergency preparedness meeting wasn't until next week.
As discussed at our family scheduling meeting, emergency meetings are subject to emergency last-minute changes.
I'm calling it early because I'm going to Ruby's for a couple days.
In case you miss me.
Miss you? You said just a couple of days.
An earthquake could strike at any moment.
We need to be prepared in case we're unexpectedly separated.
These are Jamal go bags, as in, if "Jamal goes."
I get it. Like parent stay bags. No.
You don't get it, because stay bags aren't a thing, Mom.
This is my unreleased podcast.
So we can listen to your conspiracy theories?
Or just in case you need to hear my voice.
There's one more thing I need to tell you.
In case of a tsunami...
Grab small bills, flashlights, a Thomas Guide, and head for higher ground.
But not too high because of aftershocks.
I have done my job.
And you have too.
I love you guys.
You say it. No, you say it.
I love that kid. Military school.
Luis, give your sister back the phone and get in the car.
Do you want anything from Costco?
Why are you packing? Um...
Jamal's mom is doing a donation drive.
These pants are new. Do you need your abuelita to hem them?
And this shirt. You love this shirt.
Sometimes... you have to let go of the ones you love... to protect them.
Mijo, is everything okay?
Dad moved out the house, didn't he?
Is that what this is all about?
Your father isn't going anywhere, except back into our bed.
He slid back into my DMs.
Did I say it right?
Let me contribute. I can get a job.
You worry when I worry, and right now, I'm not worried.
I know that things have been a little tough lately, and I'm sure we haven't made anything easy on you.
So, you're not splitting up?
That was never on the table.
Was I mad at your father? Yes.
Were we having money problems? Yes.
But splitting up?
So everything's okay? Everything's gonna go back to normal.
It will be.
Ruby, I can't imagine a life without your father.
Without any of you.
But you have to fight for family.
You never quit on them.
Not even your klepto little brother.
This shit ain't never gonna jam.
I rode with your brother.
I'd ride with you too.
I know you would, but I'm good.
You shouldn't be here. Wrong. We're where we need to be.
This isn't a joke. Cuchillos picked us because we found the RollerWorld money, took down the Prophet$, and we're smart.
And we have a plan to take her out.
A plan? Yep. Step one.
We call her using the burner phone.
Is it hot in here?
I think I'm gonna step out and get some air.
Ruby, give him the deets. Be right back.
Anybody need anything? Cool.
You're okay, J.
Smell the flowers. Blow out the candles.
Smell the flowers. Blow out the candles.
It's a good plan. It's the only plan.
Are you sure about this, compa?
Ride or die.
You know, I'm going to go check on Jamal.
I bet his nerves have gotten the better of him.
There's still time to change your mind.
Have you ever known me to change my mind once my mind is made up?
Never mind. Don't answer that.
Hello. - Mons?
Hi, I'm McKenzie. I'm gonna be your roommate.
Cool. - I'm so excited.
I know this is gonna sound super weird, but I'm so over the summer.
Yeah, me too.
You bored too?
Sometimes I need a vacay from my vacay.
There's only so many beaches you can hang out at, feel me?
What do you think of yellow as our color scheme?
And I got us a fridge.
Don't wanna be under the gun the weekend before and have to Amazon Prime everything.
Okay, sounds good. Can I call you back?
Sure. Sure. Just call me back before...
Hey, this is just a one-time thing, right?
'Cause we have to.
Technically, doing this is self-defense.
Cuchillos threatened our lives.
It's premeditated self-defense. Exactly.
But do you think it'll hold up as legal defense in court?
Once we do this, there's no turning back.
You'll find what you're looking for there.
What is that?
It's Oscar's phone.