Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Eight”

When we last left Jane and the gang, Jane and Rafael were together, Michael was sleeping with his partner, Xo and Rogelio were doing their weird thing, and Petra got Rafael fired from the hotel (I seriously have no idea how this family business works). Now we fast forward two weeks, and find out that Rafael was fired because he underwrote his sister’s lawsuit (she was being sued for artificially inseminating Jane) with his shares in the hotel, and because Luisa has gone missing, the judge may rule against Luisa and Rafael by default. So Rafael spent two weeks looking for her in Mexico, and now it’s (default) judgement day. Also Rafael finds out that Jane’s a virgin, and he didn’t react as well as Michael did when he found out. But we’ll get to that later.

By far the most interesting part of this episode was the moment when, upon finding out that Luisa is going to reveal their affair, Rose convinces Rafael and her husband that Luisa is mentally ill. In my notes, I wrote “Rose is a Solano”. She may have married into the family, but when her back is against the wall, she will do whatever it takes to keep her secret/reputation/interests (tick all that apply) safe. Rafael stole Petra from Lachlan after Lachlan (someone outside the family) was promoted over him. After the divorce and her money troubles, Petra used Lachlan to get Rafael fired, and now Lachlan pretended to delete his sex tape with Petra to gain her trust, and Petra’s using Lachlan, but they don’t know they’re using each other. You don’t have to be of Solano blood to be a Solano. It’s more like a frame of mind, and Rafael (and to some extent Luisa, but who knows now that she’s been committed) seems to be moving away from that.

What the Rose/Luisa situation ended up doing is make me ask a lot of questions about Rose’s marriage. How did she meet Mr Solano (I don’t know his first name)? Was it through Luisa? Does she love him, or is it just a marriage of convenience? He’s pretty rich. Does she want children of her own, since she’s the same age as her step-children? This week we learned that Rose isn’t just a pretty face, and her scheming was on par with Petra hiring a prostitute to break up Rafael and Jane.

Last week I didn’t understand the point of people going to get hugs from Jane because they thought her pregnancy was a miracle. This week, it drives the conflict between Rafael and Jane. When Rafael gets home from Mexico, he and Jane are enjoying each other’s company, and he suggests they move into his bedroom. Jane, naturally, freaks out, and it’s not until dinner the next night when someone orders them corn chips and dip because she’s “Jane the Virgin” that Rafael learns the truth, downs his scotch and orders a second. The Latin Lover Narrator says that Michael didn’t act this way when he found out about Jane’s decision, and I really wish we’d spent more time exploring that – suddenly, after spending most of the show acting like a jealous jerk, apart from the flashback where he meets Jane, Michael has a redeeming feature. Also Jane had just discovered how Rafael met Petra, so she was feeling a little defensive that someone who stole another man’s fiance would judge her for being a virgin. Then there was the whole thing with the prostitute, who happened to be wearing a “Jane the Virgin” necklace that the church was selling, which is how we find out what really happened that night. When the escort (I don’t know her name either, that’s poor – people are more than their occupations) asks Jane for a hug, Jane says:

“I don’t want to give you false hope, I am not a messiah, I’m the result of a medical mishap. Can I hug you anyway?”

Jane is a Villanueva, not a Solano. This informs why she dropped the lawsuit. Not because she found out that Rafael underwrote the lawsuit, but because she felt it was the right thing to do. In the best episodes of Jane the Virgin, the flashbacks at the beginning of the episode are central to shaping Jane’s character, and usually involve some sort of callback. This week, Abuela was praying for Jane because she doesn’t like going to court; she’s an illegal immigrant. In the flashback, she explains to Jane why she worries every time Xo gets a parking ticket, and after that Xo made sure never to get a parking ticket again. And so Jane drops the lawsuit for her family, and because she realises that her pregnancy is not unwanted. As long as the relationships between the core family unit feel true, I’ll keep watching this show. The writers know what they’re doing.

Other thoughts:

  • Xo and Rogelio are doing their thing. I find this storyline to be the least interesting on the show. But I did enjoy Rogelio’s reaction to Xo finding out that he got her the recording session: “Don’t be angry. It was a nice thing I did. Wasn’t it?” The question at the end is Rogelio second guessing whether what he did was a nice thing or not, which is perfect.
  • The other great Rogelio moment when he’s talking to Xo: “Don’t worry. I believe in you almost as much as I believe in myself.”
  • The police investigation is ongoing, and a man came out of the crate that Michael and his partner thought were full of drugs. Then the onscreen text called him “The Crate Guy”, which was great. He checked into the hotel and after there was no activity of him on the security cameras, they searched his room but he was gone.
  • What happened with Petra’s hostage? Was that all just cleared up in the missing two weeks with Rafael’s firing and getting money from Lachlan? Petra and Rose are by far the most fascinating characters on this show now.
  • This episode aired two weeks after “Chapter Seven”, so the schedulers and writers really know what they’re doing.
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