Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Sixteen”

But alas, fantasies must come to an end

Until last week, Jane and Rafael’s romance was a fantasy. The honeymoon period lasts longer for some people than it does for others, and Jane and Rafael’s romance is certainly unconventional. Given the circumstances, it’s surprising that their honeymoon period lasted so long, but I guess things like a baby will do that to a couple. Despite Rafael’s impulsiveness and Jane’s more measured approach, they’re both really looking for the same thing, which is a family. Jane has only just met Rogelio, and Rafael has always assumed that his father’s story of what happened to his mother was true. They’re just two people who go about different ways of expressing what they want – Rafael makes a big romantic gesture by proposing to Jane, and Jane just wants him to be there so they can talk about things. The true test of a relationship is how they make it through the tougher times, and Jane and Rafael have had it quite easy, despite the baby thing.

Meanwhile, Xo and Rogelio have finally found a house. Rogelio, of course, has several requirements for the perfect house, including having a larger square footage than his rival. Where this storyline has its most weight, however, is in Xiomara telling her mother that she’s moving out. At first, Alba didn’t take her daughter seriously, and she has reason not to – Xo has made impulsive decisions. When it turns out that Xiomara is actually moving, they have a huge fight, and they hurt each other because they know each other so well. It’s the people who love you the most that hurt you the most. For Xiomara, she’s taking an exciting new step in a relationship that is a step she’s never made before. But for Alba, her granddaughter is having a baby and most likely moving out soon, and her daughter, who has lived with her for nearly forty years has chosen a man over her own mother. She feels lonely and abandoned, and given that she will only speak Spanish at home, it’s perfectly understandable.

Over on the lighter side of Jane the Virgin is Rogelio, who has learned from social media that he isn’t believable on his new telenovela because he doesn’t act enough like a cop, including not knowing how to hold a gun properly. When he speaks to Jane and Michael, he decides that it would be a good idea to shadow Michael for the day. The only problem with this storyline is that there isn’t enough of it. Jaime Camil has always been fantastic as Rogelio, and Brett Dier is a great comedic actor. And Rogelio helps catch the bad guy! Never underestimate the power of adoring fans and selfies when catching a potential murderer. When Jane and Xiomara listened to the men talk about how they caught the guy, they tell them to get a room. What’s most interesting is that the four of them were a family in that moment, standing together. Michael is able to do stupid impressions and talk about Jane with Rogelio, and he’s also making an effort to be friends with Jane even if it hurts him. But then Michael runs into another old flame, who also has an interest in romance novels.

The main problem I have with Andie from the writers’ workshop being Michael’s other ex-girlfriend is that how could Michael have laughed at Jane’s love of romance novels in last week’s flashback while not knowing that his previous girlfriend was also into romance novels? This show is so tightly constructed that the flaws are small, but this seems like a bit of an oversight. I did enjoy the writers’ workshop storyline, as Jane’s preoccupation with her relationship problems overflow into the fact that she didn’t read the back of the flyer. Also, that’s really stupid. Who puts anything on the back of a flyer? I liked that her new favourite romance novelist helped her realise what the problem was – Jane was so busy trying to get Rafael to not be mad at her that she couldn’t let herself be mad at him. Two of Jane’s idols over two episodes is a bit much, so I hope the writers ease up on this particular catalyst before it becomes too much of a trope.

In my favourite storyline of the episode, Petra and Rafael begin their relationship as business partners. The antagonism that existed in their marriage when it went bad may prove to be fruitful in this particular incarnation of their relationship. They could be the Will and Diane of hotel management (yes, I’ve moved from Scandal to The Good Wife). They work well together, and the audience can see why their marriage worked when it did – they are two people who truly cared about each other at one time, and Petra even says “Rafael, come on. I know you.” There’s a reason their marriage lasted as long as it did. Even though Rafael proposed to Petra after five months, it made sense to both of them. But what worked for Petra isn’t necessarily going to work for Jane. Alas, fantasies end.

Other thoughts

  • There are two main things I didn’t address in the main review, the first of which is that epic salsa scene. Gina Rodriguez and Justin Baldoni are great on the dance floor, and like the Rogelio and Michael storyline, I wish it was longer. At least we got Rogelio dipping Michael.
  • The other one is Rafael and Petra looking after a dog, which is a great insight as to what they would be like if they raised a child together #Motherbarker
  • Petra is following Rogelio on Twitter, which once again is kicking Rafael when he’s down. I wish he wasn’t so wounded (I believe I’ve said this about Michael more than once, so they’re more similar than I thought).
  • Rogelio is mad at Rafael for not asking his permission to propose to Jane, which is classic Rogelio and also perfect.
  • Petra to Rafael: “Bro?”
  • After I published last week’s review where I mentioned Mo Ryan’s interview with Jennie Snyder Urman, she also published an interview with Gina Rodriguez last week, which is great. At the end of the interview Mo says, “I was going to ask you what you’ll be doing over the break, but it sounds like you’ll be running for President”, and Gina replies “I would like to run for President, but that’s another conversation”. It’s just one part of a fantastic interview, and Gina Rodriguez has some really interesting things to say about diversity in Hollywood that’s different to what I’ve been hearing recently.
  • It seems that The CW is taking a break from Jane for a couple of weeks, so I’ll have to find something else to review on Mondays, but I’m getting Netflix tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll find something.

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