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Recap / The Boondocks - S1 E14: "The Block Is Hot"

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"The Block Is Hot" is the 14th episode of the 1st season of The Boondocks. It originally aired on March 12, 2006.

During the middle of February, an intense heat wave is driving everyone in town crazy. Jazmine DuBois opens a lemonade stand, which she sells to Ed Wuncler I, who promises her a pony. But after Wuncler back-stabs Jazmine and exploits her labor, Huey is determined to help her out of this. Meanwhile, Uncle Ruckus becomes a victim of police brutality, but he reacts to this in a strange way that only he's capable of - by turning down a huge settlement in favor of joining the police department.

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Tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Tom, despite being an attorney, never steps up to take legal action against Ed Wuncler I for exploiting his daughter. Why? Because Wuncler threatened to unload some "gangster shit" on Tom and so Tom chickened out.
  • All for Nothing: Jazmine, after she gets cheated out of her lemonade profits by Ed Wuncler I through a ridiculously-written legal contract entirely biased against her ends up being forced to sell more than 4000 lemonade cups, doesn't receive a pony or a penny for all her hard work. She's responsible for all the operating costs and the pony's upkeep, which leave her more than $300 in debt.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Jazmine really wants to have her own horse named after Sammy Davis Jr..
  • An Aesop:
    • Beware of deceitful businessmen and con artists, like Ed Wuncler I.
    • As with "A Date with the Health Inspector", the forces of law and order are depicted as total buffoons.
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  • The Bad Guy Wins: Wuncler's plan succeeds (running Jazmine out of business so he can sell his own brand of lemonade), and he gets away with his actions yet again. While Huey fails to stop him, he was at least able to stand by Jazmine's side throughout.
  • Cue the Rain: During the riot, the heat wave suddenly ends with snowfall, which seems to bring most people back to their senses.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This is about corporations using child labor and suffering little or no repercussions when they get caught.
  • Easily Forgiven: Uncle Ruckus forgives the police officers who beat him up, somehow believing that they were doing their jobs honorably.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Under the blazing sun, the large crowds of customers start fighting and rioting with each other over the lemonade.
  • Faux Affably Evil: We get to see how cruel Ed Wuncler can be when he sweet-talks Jazmine into selling her lemonade stand to him, then after the deal is done, he rudely bosses her around, and makes her work in sweatshop conditions. He doesn't even reward her with a pony like he had promised.
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    • To be fair, he does buy her a pony. Too bad he also was charging the room and board for said pony against Jazmine's profits, which did not come close to covering them. He even uses pictures of the pony a couple of times to goad her to keep working.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Uncle Ruckus calls the cops on Riley for hosing him with a fire hydrant. The cops mistake Ruckus as the threat. This later gets invoked again when Ruckus joins the police rather than taking a 7-figure settlement and then a cop gives Ruckus another beating.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The police attempt to shoot Uncle Ruckus 118 times without hitting him once, and in the end resort to beating him with nightsticks.
  • Loophole Abuse: Wuncler designed his contract so he can get every penny out of Jazmine's hard work without paying up his end of the bargain. Wuncler kept verbally egging on Jazmine to sign the contract using an optimistic voice that she might earn her pony eventually, but really the contract was made out that Jazmine would never be able to make any money off her own hard work.
  • Mythology Gag: This episode expands on one comic strip about Jazmine running a lemonade stand, complete with a scene where Riley and Robert ask her stupid questions about the lemonade.
  • Over Complicated Menu Order: Jazmine gets a customer (maybe several off-screen as well) who makes one. Ironically, the only thing Jazmine's selling is ice-cold lemonade of uniform size.
    Female customer: I'll take two small lemonades, with ice. Two small lemonades, without ice. Three large lemonades, one with ice, one with no ice, one with crushed ice.
  • Police are Useless: Uncle Ruckus tries to call the cops on Riley for his hooliganism. When the police show up, they mistake Ruckus for a threat, unsuccessfully shoot at him, and then beat him down with batons. Despite this police brutality, Ruckus forgives them, and he decides to join the police so he can do the same to other black men!
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: After Riley is short on money for lemonade, but he keeps insisting on it anyway:
    Jazmine: LEMONADE — IS — A — DOLLAR!
  • Shoot Him! He Has a... Wallet:
    • Ruckus pulls out two wallets (one of them orange for safety), and the police mistake them for guns, which leads to the brutality incident described above.
    • Later in the climax, while Officer Ruckus is swinging around a nightstick, another cop mistakes it for a gun, which leads to Ruckus getting another beating.
  • Shout-Out: To Do the Right Thing.
    • An unseasonably hot day leads to rising tensions in the neighborhood once Jazmine gets her lemonade stand going.
    • Huey blasts "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy on a boombox while walking down the street, á la Radio Raheem.
    • Riley breaks open a fire hydrant to cool off the street, leading to the confrontation between the police and Uncle Ruckus.
    • Huey throws a garbage can through the front window of Jazmine's stand, prompting a riot that leaves it a burning wreck.
  • Special Guest: Edward Asner plays Ed Wuncler I again.
  • Strawman Political: Huey rallies together a bunch of hippy protesters who refuse to take his lead of trying to dismantle the lemonade stand by force, instead they just stand back and peacefully sing. They're also gullible enough to buy Wuncler's "cruelty-free" lemonade, just because he claims it wasn't made with child labor.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ed Wuncler I claiming his lemonade is "free" of child labor exploitation.
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