Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Ten”

Once again this is going to be a reivew that I’m writing in a hurry because I have to get up at 5 tomorrow morning. So, onto the show. The “previously on…” segments of Jane the Virgin are probably the only I’ve ever enjoyed, because the Latin Lover Narrator is great, and it gives me time to open up a document and take notes. The end of the segment showed Abuela falling down the stairs, pushed by Petra’s supposedly wheelchair-bound mother, and with the Latin Lover Narrator saying “It was an OMG moment! Trust me.”

“Chapter Ten” begins with another flashback/story about Jane’s childhood, growing up with both her mother and her grandmother. This story demonstrates how smart Jane is, and also the beginning of her faith in God. What I like about Jane the Virgin is that it treats its characters’ Catholicism with respect, and even though Xiomara doesn’t believe in prayer the way her mother and daughter do, she remembers the number of times it worked for them, and she tries it anyway. Jane the Virgin isn’t making a statement on the power of prayer, it’s just showing that these are characters who do believe in it. Jane believes in prayer because Xiomara did cook well for the heritage festival, and despite asking Alba to do it, Xo did learn how to make all the food herself. Jane also points to prayer as the reason she got into her teaching degree, but her mother points out that Jane has always been incredibly smart and probably would have gotten in anyway. These are two characters with different interpretations of events, and that’s okay. (Xiomara’s prayer that finished when Alba woke up was quite moving, and also amusing).

I also like that Jane and Rafael’s relationship isn’t just easy for them, and the show seems to be throwing up natural (and slightly contrived) obstacles to their happiness together. Because of the hurricane that has hit Miami, Lachlan is stuck somewhere else, and Rafael convinces his father to take on responsibilities at the hotel while Lachlan is away, which includes laying off fifteen percent of the staff. Jane’s friends hear about it, and they want her to talk to Rafael; when she doesn’t they get mad, when she does, they get mad. Jane is now in a position of privilege, and her friends want her to use that privilege to make sure they keep their jobs, while realising that Jane isn’t probably going to lose hers. When Jane realises that saving Frankie’s job would mean that Regina would be gone instead, she knows the right thing to do is not interfere. It was never going to end well, and Jane learns from it.

The other obstacle to Jane and Rafael’s relationship is Michael, who, upon finding an underground tunnel that leads to a plastic surgery room, is now convinced that Rafael is Sin Rostro. The problem is that Michael’s evidence is that Rafael runs the hotel and knows everything that’s going on, without realising that Rafael was replaced, and it’s obvious that he’s acting out of jealousy. But Jane and Michael did have a touching moment when they were stuck in the elevator; Michael is one of the people who knows Jane the best, and you can see the history in their relationship when he finds out about Abuela. He still cares for Jane, so he uses the police radio to get in contact with Xo, and he also uses his position to prevent Alba’s deportation. The phone call between Michael and Xo is worrying. I understand that these people have a history, but we can never be certain of Michael’s true motivations. I just hope that next week’s Villanueva family dinner with Rafael doesn’t have Xo outright saying that she thought Michael was a better match for Jane – that’s subtext becoming text, and Jane the Virgin is better than that.

Other thoughts:

  • I’m fascinated by Petra’s plight – she didn’t get any money from the divorce because Rafael doesn’t believe her story about Milos, and now her hostage has escaped.
  • Luisa to Rose: “You could have broken up with me, you didn’t have to commit me”
  • This show needs more Luisa in general, she’s another one of my favourites
  • Rafael: “Here, have some concealer”
  • Rafael and Luisa’s father has a house in Croatia, where there is no extradition to the United States, so he’s now the frontrunner for Sin Rostro’s identity
  • Pun. Intended.
  • I’m thinking about doing power rankings, but all I’m going to say is that Luisa is the winner this week.

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