Happy Halloween, friends! I have been sick and/or flooded with visiting/sick family all week; in advance of tonight's ep, please accept this v v late and quick recap of last week's cherry-wallpapered Jane. It's got confessions!
THIS WEEK'S MVP(arent)
Tie between Alba, for finding a way to separate her personal religious beliefs from her love for her daughter, and Rafael, for finding a way to separate his parenting decisions from his lingering (or not) hangup with Jane.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
Not just the *fact* that Anezka started an affair with misogybro Vests to cover her snooping on Rafael, but the fact that #Petrafied #Anezkatized Petra had to watch.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Thick Russian literature as a signpost for dbag diva men (Esteban) to avoid.
The loading wheel of death from this screenshot is an exact replica of my rolling eyes throughout this scene
Fun (embarassing??) fact: I have two degrees in Russian literature, and still haven't read all of War & Peace. It's very boring! There are a billion other great pieces of Russian literature to fall into bed with first, if that culture and history is the thing you are truly interested in! In fact, want some Halloween reads? Search out Gogol's Viy, The Nose, The Overcoat, or Dead Souls; or Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog; or Ludmilla Petrushevskaia's There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby. Carry THOSE around in your bag, and just see who is impressed.
Ugh, Russian litbros. The worst.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Michael was shot, on his and Jane's wedding night, IN THE CHEST, by his partner Susanna/a reanimated Sin Rose-tro in deep disguise. Michael survived; Rose kidnapped Luisa and absconded in a submarine. Meanwhile, Xiomara discovered she was pregnant after a one night stand with her true-love Rogelio's nemesis' baby, and decided to have an abortion, which Ro and Jane fully supported, but Alba knew nothing about. Over at the Marbella, Rafael succeeded at getting over both Jane AND Petra in one fell swoop, sleeping with "Petra" on Jane's wedding night and feeling zero spark. Why no spark? Because "Petra" is really her twin sister, Anezka, who is keeping the real Petra prisoner in their suite by drugging her to be in a coma while Anezka and jailed Mama-bird hatch some scheme to swindle Petra and Rafael, both.
Snug in a trundle bed next to Michael in his hospital room, Jane jolts awake from a nightmare in which she sends him off to his first day back as a detective and he immediately gets shot again in the Marbella hallway. She reaches over to let him comfort her, and so many many weeks of a flashforward later, we see her sending him off to his first day back for real…when he immediately gets shot again in the Marbella hallway, and Jane jolts awake for real in the hospital room beside him. Once Michael finally is ready to be released, the nurse interrupts Jane and Michael's lusty canoodling to remind them to keep Michael from A N Y (S E X) strenuous activity for the next six weeks. SIX WEEKS.
As much as I was pro-Raf in a romantic sense before, I'm even MORE pro-Jafael as friends. We need more IRL dude+lady friendships built on mutual respect and equal footing; Jane can lead the pack as a cultural model.
Jane is not doing well!
Also not doing well? Matelio, who is toddler tantruming at both Jane and Raf for not getting enough, consistent attention. I can't imagine where Matelio learned that behavior…on wait—
Technically yes this is from Chapter Forty-Five, but it is just too perfect
Yes, Rogelio is just as stressed and unhappy as Jane, only using Michael's literal bullet wound to the chest as a less-strong reference point for the feeling he himself has over Esteban's apparent success in becoming an American crossover star before him rather than as cause for like, existential anxiety about Michael's literal mortality.
Ro's solution (inspired by Tiago's travels to turn-of-the-century Ellis Island to inspire yet another woman's great gift to to culture and American identity): make America's legacy of embracing immigrants his own success by launching his own crossover career. First step? A three-ep arc on Hawaii Five-0, for which Esteban too just so happens to be auditioning…
Too Stubborn to Change
This describes almost everyone in Miami this week!
Desperately doesn't want Michael to go back to work while a criminal mastermind who genuinely has it out for anyone tangentially related to a Solano is still on the lam; doesn't know how to let it go; ultimately lets her stubbornness get the better of her on her and Rafael's tours of many new preschool options, screaming "BITE ME" at a yuppie white lady who accused Mateo of biting her son; discovered Matteo really has hit a biting phase; was jolted back to reality by Raf/the hippie principal of the next preschool who made her and Raf forgive each other in detail in front of everyone, then told Jane that biting was just a phase and the best way to curb it was to comfort the victim immediately rather than giving direct attention to Mattelio, himself; ultimately realized that holding Michael back from what he loved was no way to support him; supported him.
Is stubbornly holding onto his public-facing declaration that watching Jane marry another man made him TOTALLY GET OVER HER; demonstrates the strength of his declaration by walking back on his previous agreement to Jane's choice of Catholic preschool and making her tour a dozen other options so he can make up his own mind independent of wanting to win her favor; ultimately comes to an understanding with Jane about their need to move forward together as friends; probably isn't really over her, after all.
Unrelated to the rest of his arc: does not seem to have one iota of a clue that his sister has gone missing/been kidnapped again. Get it together, man!
Is so stubborn he can't even admit to himself that he had a legit near-death experience, so spends the majority of the episode (save for the moment the nurse informs him and Jane that sex is off the table) serenely foiling Jane's anxiety over his future as a detective/Rogelio's anxiety over Esteban's impending crossover success; breaks down the moment Matelio bites him and Jane puts her "comfort the victim" trick into practice for the first time; admits he is also scared of returning to work with Rose still out there; ultimately finds a middle ground of understanding with Jane as co-supporters of each other's lives.
Full to bursting with his need to prove himself as viable and compelling a star in America as he is in his native Mexico (META, Jaime, META); convinced he has to do it by A) beating Esteban and B) using an American accent; has a terrible American accent; fails the Hawaii Five-0 audition; ultimately realizes he needs to move his telenovel production to America, to the new home he has made in Miami with Jane and Xo and Alba and Matelio and Michael; warms all our hearts.
Insists on keeping her medical abortion secret from Alba for fear of what Alba's reaction will be; is so committed to the lies and her anxiety over Alba knowing anyway she accidentally tips herself off and has to come clean.
Insists on declaring her love for the heinous yellow wallpaper with cherries she had installed on the renovated living room walls. Oh, also Insists on not forgiving Xo for the sin she committed; refuses to accept the idea that her desire for Xo to get an abortion when she had Jane at 16 should make it so that supports Xo now; stops talking to Xo for days; ultimately realizes that she can be too stubborn, and invites Jane and Xo to help her tear down the wallpaper while coming to a place of peace over their difference of opinions regarding abortion.
Can't…let go of Vests, I guess! Which: gross. Petra come back to us!!!
Repeat poll, since Anezka's game is still afoot
Will either be a HUGE payoff (that's what she said) if Jane and Michael finally have sex, or a giant letdown if they DON'T, and we are cheated out of Matelio's first Halloween airing on Halloween just to watch the continuing saga of the universe's cosmic joke against Jane's sex life play out for another hour.