Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Seven”

I haven’t had a lot of time for writing today, because it’s my mum’s birthday so there have been family things happening, and also I haven’t had time to watch much. But there’s a lot happening this week, between Jane the VirginGirls and Looking on Mondays, and Justified and Broad City coming back on Wednesday. I was able to record Jane the Virgin tonight so I have some brief thoughts, because I have to get up at 6 tomorrow morning and it’s nearly 10.

As far as Team Michael vs Team Rafael goes, I would say that I’m on Team Rafael because Michael is just a jerk; when he finds out about Jane’s pregnancy, he gets super possessive, then he gets more possessive when he finds out that Jane kissed Rafael once five years ago and he never called her again, and then he lied to her just to make sure that he wouldn’t have to keep the baby. Despite that, Michael has had some redeeming moments, particularly the scene at the wedding dress shop, which is one of the most beautiful scenes the show has ever done, before the devastation of Jane finding out that Rogelio is her father. In this episode, Jane and Rafael have a conversation like the one they had at the country club all those years ago, and it’s impossible to deny that there’s some amazing chemistry there. At the same time, Jane literally broke up with her fiance the day before, and when Michael sees the card from Rafael, you can’t really get mad at him for sleeping with his partner, even if that particular pairing seemed to come out of nowhere.

On the Rogelio and Xo front, Xo isn’t doing so well after breaking things off, and somehow Jane’s parents manage to start an argument through her and end up going on a double date, which is hilarious. Xo’s date is the father of one of the girls in her dance class that she teaches in the living room, and also a professional soccer player. I have no idea who Rogelio’s date is, but then neither does he, because he’s so preoccupied with Xo. I actually quite like the soccer player. I also like Rogelio, but I think the show’s more interesting if he and Xo are seeing other people.

Petra abducted some guy, and then was in desperate need of money so she went to the guy she was with before Rafael (I can’t remember his name) to try and get $350,000 out of him but he said no. Then she ordered her captive food, and I started to get bored by this particular storyline until it turned out he had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts and it looked like he was going to die. Then Petra used her mother’s Anapen to save him, which led to one of the best lines in the show so far: “Ah yes, the poison your captive then save him to earn his trust technique”. Then Petra seduced the ex and gave him information that would get Rafael fired and now Rafel is off to Mexico for some reason. I’m sure we’ll find out why.

The last thing I wanted to discuss was the theme that’s come up in the show of being safe (or smart) versus being brave. Back in the premiere when Jane and Rafael had their first talk, Rafael asked what Jane wanted to be. Her response was “Am I being safe or am I being brave?”. Xo has always seen her daughter’s approach to life as the ‘smart’ approach and doesn’t want Jane getting too close to Rafael in case she gets hurt, but Jane realises that she was just being safe, and, as she said she’s having this baby, so she doesn’t have a lot of time to actually do what she wants. I like that Xo realises the mistakes she made in her own life and wants to prevent Jane from making them, the familial relationships in this show are what makes it work (at least in the Villanueva family, the Solano family is less functional).

Other thoughts:

  • The way this show uses texting is great, and the addition of emojis this week made it even better.
  • There’s a subplot at the Catholic school where Jane’s teaching, and the nuns are using her as a fertility charm for couples who are having trouble conceiving. The first time a woman hugs her, Jane tells Rogelio about it, and he just assumes its his fans: “My fans do crazy things”
  • Jane is probably the character on television I relate to the most (outside of Edwina on Upper Middle Bogan, she’s also great). I often worry that I’ve spent too much time making the safe choice, and she realises that she doesn’t want to hurt Michael’s feelings by starting something with Rafael too early.
  • The Target product placements seem to be there every week.
  • Rafael is scared of ducks!
  • Passions of Santos!
  • There hasn’t been any more of the twins, which seems to confirm my theory that they were just a plot device, but we’ll see more next week.
  • I hope Luisa comes back soon.
  • I’m still thrilled that Gina Rodriguez won that Golden Globe
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