Hi, friends! I have missed you all so much. My apologies for leaving you hanging for a couple of episodes. It's…well, it's certainly been a time! I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and each other, and rising to action with a billion Jane-approved to-do lists and spreadsheets (we're his problem now).
Okay—let's get through the highlights from the last two MIA chapters quick, so we can dive into CHAPTER FIFTY real talk.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
the Virgin and Michael finally found their groove…but lost their little house. Turns out making plans to secretly subsidize your best frenemy's rent isn't so smart when you have a twin sister who's got a secret identity-swapping agenda of her own, PETRA. And that wasn't the only out-of-character move Anezka made after drugging Petra into a coma and taking over her life: she also started an epic romance with Vests Scott, had a flamingo pool brawl with Jane, and pulled the trigger (on Magda's orders) on blackmailing Rafael out of his 1/3 share of the Marbella. Dang! You'd think that any one of these people would have realized at SOME point that none of these behaviors are quite Petra's style! I mean, Petra sure thought so. Which is why she went along with Anezka's ruse when she finally broke herself out of her coma (well, Raf accosting Anezka about his suspicions right as she was about to administer the next dose of coma-drug helped), and stepped right into Anezka's scheme as payback for Raf not realizing she had been missing for three months. Bye, Rafael! Been nice knowing ya.
Elsewhere, Rogelio began taking steps towards American Fame. What kind of steps, you ask? Hallmark Christmas Movie steps, is what kind! Specifically, a Hallmark Christmas Movie based on a cookie baker romance by Jane's old writing mentor/Rogelio's former lover, Jane Seymour, who Ro tried to seduce again, only to be upstaged by Rafael's handsome face. After Rogelio recovered from discovering precisely how handsome Raf actually is, he convinced him to be Jane Seymour's date to charity function by trading him Luisa-babysitting time. It was truly a treat for everyone, watching Rogelio get to interact with a whole new set of equally, but differently, ridiculous people. Anyway, he convinced Luisa, who is evidently *not* secretly scheming on behalf of Rose, to go back to preventative rehab: win! But he lost the audition to Cookie Movie: loss. But! He won a new bromance with Rafael! Win! And then an episode later Michael and Rafael started their own nascent bromance in the Marbella gym! WIN. FOR EVERYONE.
Jane, meanwhile, struggled to get Alba to share her box of letters from home to help her develop her manuscript—and when Alba finally agreed, on the condition that Jane not make any effort to reach out to any of them and possibly trigger Cecilia contacting her—Jane dove in. And started facebook stalking every cousin she could find. And made a donation to one of their GoFundMe pages. And started facebook chatting her. And then skyping. And then—heartbreak—Cecilia called Alba, and Alba and Jane had their first serious breach of trust.
Finally, Xo: she became a bank teller! Then quit, at the end of her first day. Then she agreed to take Alba's advice to slow her roll and think about her actual options, doing so while herding her dance kiddos through their final recital. And then, lightbulb! She realized her ideal career was NOT making that her last recital, and instead opening up a real, brick-and-mortar dance studio of her own. Perf.
THIS WEEK'S MVP(arent)
Alba, as she had to fight so many of her own long-lived ghosts to get back to a place where she and Jane could have a close relationship. Sometimes parenting well means dealing with your own crap, yo.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
You want some real talk? Catalina IS ROSE.
IDK. Maybe. Maybe not. But WHAT IF???
Anyway, the Vests/Raf double-cross was pretty good. The fact that they managed to actually make me feel genuinely sad for him was even better.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
HBO SEO FTW
Shoutout to TSwift, too, for being at the core of the amazeballs joke of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" being Anezka and Scott's "song." 2 good.
Who has time for a flashback? Jane's first non-Xo, non-Alba, non-Ro family member is here! On her and Michael's front porch! With absolutely zero warning! HI, CATALINA.
So, turns out Catalina is a real free spirit—a world traveler, a seeker of experiences. If Mexican(/any) beer companies thought women could be more than just objects, she'd be The Most Interesting Woman In The World. Alas, she is left to only be The Most Interesting Woman In Jane's Life. Not that that isn't plenty on its own! Under Catalina's wildly ambitious influence, Jane bluffs her way into and then immediately and devastatingly out of an opportunity Professor Donaldson snagged for her to work as an assistant to a bigwig in the publishing industry. Catalina also squares herself up in Rafael's moony gaze, much to Jane's frantic unhappiness, and challenges a tentatively forgiving Alba's version of family history, much to both Jane AND Alba's teary shock. Did I say free spirit? Catalina is a hurricane.
Jane finally gets over herself, and explains to (a remarkably patient) Michael that what was coming off as impulsivity and jealousy was actually Jane realizing (or thinking she had realized) how boring her life is in comparison to Catalina's, and how self-conscious that made her feel. "That is exactly what I was afraid of," Michael huffs as the two of them decompress at the publishing assistants' happy hour meetup Jane got herself invited to using Catalina's sneaky ambition advice, gearing up to win my loyalty more solidly than he has to date, "that she would make you hate your life and choices." Come through, Michael Cordero!!! He then slams his bottle down on the bar and strides through the crowd to the karaoke stage, where he announces to the crowd that he is out to prove to his wife that they aren't boring. He sings (badly, bestly); she joins him. Alice the Assistant loves her and wants her to stay and hang more. Jane and Michael leave while they're ahead. They love each other a lot, and love their life together. It's sweet.
Oh—and also Jane and Michael *spontaneously* get a cat on their way home. Real wild ones, those.
Catalina, for her part, seems genuinely aghast at the rift her announcement of Cecilia's version of history made at the Villanueva dinner table, and apologizes to both Alba and Jane with what seems like genuine emotion. Alba, for her part, realizes that she has been too hard on Jane, and the two of them at least make up. Aglow in good feeling, Jane gives Catalina the go ahead to go after Raf. She does. They do. They are a devastatingly good looking pair. Rafael is almost certainly about to be devastated by her.
Meanwhile, Rogelio—on a pre-nude scene celery-only diet—has taken it upon himself to help Xiomara secure the very best studio space for her new dance school. The space they find and sign the lease for, unfortunately, turns out to be in the same business strip as her worst ex's new law office. Bruce is, in fact, so thoroughly the worst that Jane's first reaction upon hearing the news is to ask if Xo can get out of the lease. This hint that Xo might never have been/ever be over Bruce worries Rogelio, who, recall, broke up with writer genius Dina on the off-off-off-off-off-off chance that he and Xo might someday, finally, get their shit together. After a fantastic dance battle re-enacting their first meeting, when teen!Ro crashed teen!Xo's dance team rehearsal just to meet her, Xo reassures him that it isn't the possibility of Bruce that has her so worked up, but the fact that he was so awful, and she never got to tell him just how awful he was.
Rogelio helps Xo gather her courage to approach Bruce directly and get that declaration of his douchiness off her chest, but after a glitch pause during which Bruce mentions that he moved office spaces after his divorce, Xo and Bruce end up smooching on the street, and though she makes no mention of it later, Ro sees the whole thing. He is devastated (get ready for your turn, Raf), but the realization this devastation triggers is not related to Xo at all: it is, rather, that he just truly, desperately, wants to have a child to raise. And Honey Bunches of Oats dammit if that is not exactly what he is going to do!
Finally, Petra. Oh, Petra. I one thousand percent get where your heartbreak over not having been missed by even your ex-husband for three whole months is coming from. Your spite is well-earned, friend! But just like always, you bit faster and harder than even you could handle, trying to kick Rafael not just out of his share of ownership in his father's hotel, but *out of his living quarters* to boot. This is the MARBELLA we're talking about! The only way a Solano man leaves is by dying (and even then, Solano Sr. got himself poured into part of the hotel's literal foundations).
So Raf devises his own scheme, plotting with Scott behind Petra's back to cook up a bogus (well, real, but not intended to be carried through) sexual harassment suit to back her deep enough into a corner that she would have to go to Raf for help out. It works. Raf and Petra strike a compromise to return shares to the status quo in exchange for Raf backing her against Scott in the Case That Would Never Be; Raf and Scott carry through their deal, Raf paying Scott off with both cash and the knowledge that even though no one will be able to prove it, Anezka was behind everything, and their love was true. And gosh darnit if I didn't feel a twinge of relief that Scott got to know his heartbreak had a reason. VESTS!!!! **shakes fist at Miami sky**
Meanwhile, back at the Miami PD, Michael's new-old detective buddy confirms that Michael and Raf's theory about Mutter's Bible message beind routing numbers. And Michael is almost cleared to return to duty. This should go so well!
Rogelio is going on celebrity dates?? Sure! Sounds like the prefect plot for a midseason finale!