Oh wow, hey, Jane's back! We're back! I'M back! I have no excuses. I'm just happy to be back here, with you, right in time for our favorite candy-colored primetime telenovela to bring us not only Michael's personality in Rafael's body, but the amazing news that one SCOTT MCCALL will be descending on Miami for a whole end-of-season ARC.
via (by way of Just Jared)
Truly, Jennie Snyder Urman is the Ur-Fairy Godmother.
THIS WEEK'S MVP(arent)
Oh man, it just has to be Rogelio, right? For bottling up his friend grief over Michael all these years, in order to never burden Jane? My heart just, oh man, my heart.
The runner-up in this category is obviously Alba, who sits down with Jane after Jane decides she will open herself up to talking about Michael publicly to tell Jane that she is making the absolutely right decision, but also has to realize that she is now, like Alba, "in a long-term relationship with grief," and how there will never not be a time when something small or inconsequential might not trigger a memory of Michael, just like she constantly has about Grandpa Mateo.
What a truly honest and deep view on every form of grief this show is taking. The rest of television could BE so thoughtful, jeez.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
Aside from the fact that we got to see inside Alba's sexy fantasies for a brief, glorious moment, this episode didn't have many novela-level twists. That Anezka would come back and land in jail isn't surprising, Fabian's puppy dog devotion to Rogelio is fun but like, whatever, and Rogelio's revelation of his own journey through grief was truly moving, not just gasp-inducing. So…maybe Rose NOT killing the AC repair man/Raf's PI? I mean, who'd have thought she had it in her?
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Chevrolet did manage to get the most subtle Chevrolet-level placement they could there in the beginning (which is never subtle, and always bad, in every show, even our beloved JtV), but obviously the truest capitalist takeaway from this episode was bookishness sells, right?
I mean, Jane got the pre-marketing book festival spot, the interview with Maria Semple, AND a real date with Fabian all from her writing! We are all clearly in the right business here.
Runner-up: The VoG callout to the fact that LADY SCIENTISTS ARE JUST SCIENTISTS. Gracias gracias gracias, VoG. Way to be an ally.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Literally one billion things, because this is Jane's Miami and I was pretty much* gone! Let's see…Jane became the pre-school parent pariah, trying to take too much on when she thought Petra was out-momming her and Mateo was the worst kid in class, but they made up over pantsuit politics; Rafael and Jane continued to make the permanence of their BroTP status even more desirable, even after his disatrous one night stand with Petra, and Jane's disastrous one-time date with Michael's ex-partner; Petra lied to Chuck and the cops about Scott's bones being originally on his hotel's property, then had to work hard to gain back his trust and affection after her conscience forced her to come clean (aw, how she's grown); Alba owned her crush and started dating her cute co-worker; Xo owned HER crush and broke off her engagement with the ultimately great dude that Bruce became, and returned to Rogelio; Michael's memory and influence still loomed large over every decision and moment in Jane's life, especially those surrounding her debut book based on their crazy romance, which was officially bought by the bro-y-ist editor in Miami.
Once upon a time, the pre- dropped off of Jane's pre-pubescence while she was watching a half-naked waterfall makeout scene on a telenovela, sandwiched in between her mother and grandmother. It was very very very very very very very awkward for everyone involved.
One of the shows my dad and I have watched all of together is ORPHAN BLACK, Jane, so, like, I totally feel you
These days, though, Jane and Xo at least are ALLLL about that sex life talk, which, extremely not same!!! I truly have no idea how anyone could joke with their parents about their sex lives, but also I do not have a parent with the wild abandon like Xiomara, or a grandparent with the religious certainty of Alba. We all exist instead in the classic Scandinavian/Midwestern void of never referring to any aspect of anyone's intimate life, good or bad or wild or austere or even basically human at all.
Jane, however, is neither Scandinavian nor Midwestern, and so she's perfectly happy being straight with Xo about how she is finally ready to get back on the lust horse—and she's got Rogelio's hot new co-star, Fabian, square in her crosshairs.
I mean, she's not wrong
Now is the time when I need to explain that Alba is basically in the same position as Jane, in that she is totally vibing with her beau to the point that, even though she still doesn't believe in sex without marriage, she's imagining him drenched in sexy telenovela rain, but I backed myself into a corner with the phrase "lust horse" and am having trouble figuring out how to get away from describing Alba's situation relative to that image. Oh, look, I just did.
Anyway, Alba's got that telenovela-loving feeling, but she's still firm in her position on sex…she's just nervous about telling Jorge about it, in case that's a dealbreaker. Welcome to Jane's entire life under your flower-crushing influence, Alba!
Speaking of crushed flowers, Rafael is, we should all be pained to recall, back to pining after a woman in a relationship with someone else. This time, it's Petra, with whom he had a one-night fling thinking he was doing something nice for her, and came out the other side stupidly re-smitten. So now he's jealously fumin about every interaction she or the twins has with Chuck, who has suddenly become a great and omnipresent boyfriend, and jeez luisa I wish Raf could just keep one storyline that has nothing to do with a love triangle.
Luisa, honey, no
And no, Luisa and her hot mess secret relationship with a fake-faced Rose doesn't count. Not unless she sticks around for more than a single episode and actually gets to play out some real character development, rather than being sprung back to square one every time she shows back up. No one, not Raf OR Luisa, benefits from the current pattern.
So why is Luisa at the Marbella this time? Shareholders' meeting, of which she is apparently still one (or all?). She's not allowed to see Mateo, though, nor to meet the twins. And why is THAT? Because Rafael still doesn't trust her story of having abandoned Rose for her family, which is why he still has that sketchy prison friend on the Marbella payroll, because that sketchy prison friend is actually a PI and is in charge of bugging Luisa's room while she is visiting. Luisa is very offended at the parts of this she is aware of, as is Eileen, her girlfriend, who is actually Rose, who is sitting in Rafael's suite right next to Luisa as Luisa is complaining about not being trusted to have let Rose go.
The women are so indignant at Raf's lack of trust, in fact, that they decide they'll show Raf what trustworthy is! They'll demand to change rooms! And then they'll (or at least Roseleen will) refuse to leave their new room when the AC "breaks" "down" and the temperature tops 90°! Teach him not to trust them!
The only lesson any of them learn is that Rose's first instinct is no longer to kill the men that threaten to (literally) unmask her. Yep, through the ingenuity of strategic bra flashing, Raf's PI lives to PI another day.
The disguised supervillain's version of "lady troubles"
Luisa and Roseleen, though, are off yet again for parts narratively unknown. We'll miss you, ladies! Hopefully you will have a real storyline that lasts whenever you get back.
Book It, Jane!
In the biggest news of Jane's present life (her willingness to entertain the thought of a fling not included), her debut manuscript is finally complete! Her bro-editor loves it, and the marketing team is ready to take the reins and get Jane's wild personal history working for them dolla dolla bills.
"WHAT WHY DO THEY NEED MY STORY," Jane demands, totally blindsided by this very obvious next step. Can't her work stand on its own? Can't she, as a writer, stand on her own???
"What's your social media following like?" Bro-editor asks.
Also extremely same, Jane! But as endearing as your total lack of social media fluency is, it won't help you get into the Miami Book Fest in lieu of using your own juicy personal backstory—upon which your own book is directly based.
Jane's artistic integrity/personal boundaries make her stand firm, though, and while her editor is clearly disappointed, he supports her decision. Still, the publishing house ends up ordering a tiny first run (10k), and the Miami Book Fest declines to include her on Maria Semple's panel. And that's even after Fabian helps her out by staging a big fight at a cafe with dozens of paparazzi around to catch it, earning her 200k hate follows from Latin America in the span of hours!
Jane goes to campus to have lunch with her mentor and recounts this whole tale. She clearly expects Marlene to be proud of her for standing up for her writing, but Marlene is anything but. Well, she is proud, but she also recognizes how dumb an ideological sticking point is when it comes to your debut book: you only get one chance to make a splash, and earn your spot to have artistic integrity be part of a CAREER. Take it from her, Jane, and the boxes and boxes of unsold copies of her vulva-pun mystery hanging out in her office closet.
And so Jane decides that she will be open about her personal story as part of Snow Falling's marketing push, after all. She gets the Miami Book Fest slot, she gets Maria Semple interviewing her, she gets her very first non-family fan, and she even gets the respect of Fabian, who, at Rogelio's demand that he not break Jane's heart because Jane is so intelligent and fun and great and deserving, attends the panel incognito and finds himself falling into a thirst trap all his own.
Because he was incognito, Jane thinks that Fabian didn't end up showing, and so resigns herself to the idea that he was just being nice to her to get on his hero Rogelio's good side, and that she and him won't work out as a fling, after all. But it turns out that Fabian was so moved by her panel answers about vulnerability and writing that he started thinking about his own vulnerability, and how that will come through in his memoir. And he comes to her house that night to tell her that, and also to ask her out using what is basically the exact technique that Oz used to first ask out Willow and has ever since the 90s been my highest ideal for courtship policy
Ugh, get a room, kids. I love it.
Two kids who have gotten a room are Petra and Chuck, Chuck being the "something new" to Petra's "something old" police trouble blues. His presence isn't enough to save her from the cops' constant surveillance, though, or from their warrant for her computer that proves she is still in contact with Anezka after all.
Given that the reason she is in contact is blackmail, somehow (that document about Rafael's legitimacy) her paying off Anezka despite the fact that it was Anezka who coma-ed her for all those months, Petra isn't too happy about this. Still, she agrees to the cops' request that she get Anezka to come in to answer some questions, on the condition that it is JUST questions they are bringing her in for.
It is not. The moment Anezka lands, she is arrested and put in jail, at which point she calls the Marbella and threatens Petra with basically everything, if Petra doesn't fix things immediately…
Fabian is saving himself for marriage!