Wow hi everyone. I have A LOT OF FEELINGS about everything this week, which was basically the Platonic Ideal of JANE THE VIRGIN. We had love; we had lust; we had deep philosophical discussions about the intersections between love and lust and religion; we had new (possible) murderers; we had deeply real and anxiety-inducing friendship drama; we had deeply compassionate and anxiety-inducing call-outs to social justice and both the United States' current failures and our stalwart resistance movement. We even had honesty about the specific disgustingness of potty-training!!
I say this in the most non-meme way possible: this show is everything. Everyone not on board is missing out on actually becoming better and more complete humans by not watching it.
THIS WEEK'S MVP
I'm skipping the parent part of this awards this week* and awarding pure MVP status to our Voice of God (AKA Latin Lover) narrator. He is always great, obviously, but this week he gave us hints that he both A) might be Jack Harkness' 21st century Latino brother (the fact he might take Fabian off Jane's hands if she breaks up with him) and B) MIGHT BE A TWIN (trust him, he knows about twins).
Over at PLL, Catie and Rosemary and I have been floating theories/sending prayers into the universe for years that the Liars' final tormenter will be a secret twin. Between Anezka and now the VoG, it seems like maybe we were so fervent that some of those prayers leapt to the CW lot and found Jennie Snyder Urman ready and waiting to answer them! I am so, so excited.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
In the front half of the episode, the news that Jane and Lina haven't seen each other for TWO YEARS. TOO MUCH.
In the back half, a tie between Xo's surprise proposal and the revelation of Chuck's possible nefariousness—the latter because, duh, telenovela, the former because that storyline seemed so muted next to all the other ones in play this week that it didn't even occur to me to prepare for a twist in it.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Rogelio tried his best to get OWN this award, but then Lena came in as basically a one-woman Bumble PR machine.
Runner-up to Netflix, who is the crux of slang that has become so ubiquitous, it wasn't until I actually noticed the shot of Fabian's TV with real Netflix actually on it that I remembered it is a real company that sells a real product.
…IS there a less "Netflix and chill" show than THE CROWN? I mean, Jane, c'mon, the signs were THERE
Google it! With a box of Kleenex handy! Xerox your results!
…okay, I'm done.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
After three long years of mourning Michael, and several long episodes of getting into non-romantic, universally relatable hijinks, Jane decided to try to jump back into the dating pool…or at least, the fling pool. Her first lust-target? Rogelio's new scorching hot telenovela co-star, Fabian, who was clued into Jane's awesomeness after watching her kill at the Miami Book Fest (the ultimate dream tbh). Xiomara and Rafael, meanwhile, have both also leapt back into romance—literally back in, Xo getting back together with Rogelio, Raf realizing after their one-night stand that he's back in love with Petra. It is going well for Xo; not so much for Raf, who has managed to insert himself into another love triangle, this time with Chuck, the Florida Man owner of the anti-Marbella hotel next door. For her part, Petra has no time for any new male nonsense: her sister has been arrested for murdering the nonsense male she'd been married to (Scott), whose bones were found on the boundary between the Marbella and Chuck's hotels, and now is threatening to reveal all of Petra's secrets if Petra doesn't get her out…
Harley Jane was a baby teen, her first date was actually a double-date, obviously with Teen!Lina, who is the best friend Jane has ever had—even if she tried peer-pressuring Teen!Jane into making out with a boy who had popcorn stuck in his braces. Teen!Jane, thankfully, was as immune to romantic peer-pressure as current Jane is. No popcorn smooches for her!
And no best friendship for Jane and Lina in the present, turns out. Lina moved away to New York (!) to work for Marchesa (!!) two years ago, and she had Jane haven't really communicated much except through facebook ever since—not even when she got engaged. So obvs things are muy awkward when Jane runs into her in a food truck line on some random street corner.
Awkward for them, at least—both then, and later at Jane's, when Mateo clings to Jane's legs rather than take Lina's gift because she is a stranger and "Mommy told me not to talk to strangers." And she will stay a stranger, because she's not there two minutes when her fiancé—whom Jane has not met!—texts alerting her to a wedding venue visit slot that opened up at the last minute.
Lina leaves. Jane wrings her hands. I break into "oh god oh god this is too relatable" stress sweat.
But then we are off to the Miami-Dade prison, and Petra and Anezka are whisper-shouting their memories of the last time Scott was alive to each other, and my very personal anxiety about best friendships waning over long distances falls into the background as MURDER resumes its rightful place center stage.
The last we saw Anezka, she was threatening to out Petra for (any one of) her (numerous) wrongdoings if Petra didn't find a way to clear her of Scott's murder. The last Petra and the police saw Anezka, she was in the background of a hotel patron's home video, threatening Scott's life for breaking up with her. The footage is pretty damning! As is Anezka's very fuzzy memory of everything that happened that day after Scott texted that they had moved too fast into monogamy, and Petra had taken Anezka back up to her suite to console her with Czech liquor. "Sure seems like maybe you killed Scott by accident," Petra all but says. Sure seems like maybe Petra has some scheme going we don't yet know about, we all interpret instead.
Back at the Marbella, Rafael is incensed and baffled that Petra would put her name and safety on the line by visiting Anezka alone like that. "She drugged you into a coma and took over your identity for three months" he reminds her. "Sure she's done some bad things, but she's no killer," Petra shoots back. And while the VoG notes correctly that this is a depressingly low bar, it seems like my duty to mention that it is still a bar that every other family member Petra had from her pre-Rafael life still couldn't manage to hit it.
Anyway, the moment Rafael sees Petra so unfazed by her visit, he knows something is up. As in, he knows she has something secret up her sleeve. That something? His birth papers. Which, he told Luisa about it already, so that's not a problem. What else? Well, something about Scott's burn book, but also, as we won't find out until later, Petra was the one who fired Scott, then broke up with Anezka from his surrendered work phone, then dressed like Anezka to break up with him…which she could do because she roofied Anezka to make sure she didn't accidentally cross their paths and screw everything up. Which means Petra was also the one who threatened Scott's life on the one piece of evidence the police have.
PETRA. Just let us give your sympathy without making us feeling guilty about it for once!
Someone deserving our unconditional sympathy is Alba, and by extension Jorge, for every insult and fear they have to endure at the hands of white/anglocentric ignorance and intolerance. Shit.
JANE has always been stellar at weaving in the plain, devastating importance of broad civic knowledge and social tolerance into its storytelling, making it feel like an organic part of the story and not a PSA (much like their very smooth product placements). But this week's light shining on Alba's impotent rage, Jorge's absolute fear, and Matelio's earnest dismay at the ramping up of ICE raids and daily anti-immigrant rhetoric hit a new high bar.
I know there are a million reasons (not least legit social science) that we can't expect this to ever happen, but if only anyone on the side of mass deportation orders, the banning of refugees, and the arguments "this is AMERICA, we speak ENGLISH here" and "our economy is dying because these people are stealing our jobs and bleeding our social safety net" would just sit down and watch JANE THE VIRGIN, like, at least some forward progress would have to be made.
In the meantime, I'm so happy Alba will be joining Jane at the next march. I'll be right there with them.
Please Like Me/Best Friends Whenever
Before Jane goes to that march, though, she'll have to get through her first date with Fabian. Why "have to"? Oh, don't you know? After a long (long, long, long) history of increasingly empty sexual exploits, he has recommitted himself to saving sex until a longterm commitment, maybe even marriage. And since Jane's whole reason for pursuing him was for a sexy, sexy, sexy fling…well. Call Alanis Morissette: we've got a new verse for her 90s hit.
After reveling in some fairplay-turnabout vibes following her own no-sex dating anxiety last week, Alba chides Jane for being so quick to want to ditch Fabian at his big personal revelation. He is sweet and earnest, and even if it doesn't seem like he and Jane have much in common now, Jane is a better person than kicking someone to the curb because they won't put out.
Between that mini-lecture and seeing how amazing Fabian is with Matelio on the telenovela set, Jane gives in and asks Fabian out again. And when that date turns into a fiasco after she can't stop staring lustily at even the least appealing dinner behaviors, she asks him out again, this time to a dine-in-the-dark place, where she can finally stop focusing on his hot, hot bod and instead start listening to his deepest thoughts. Which…it turns out aren't so deep. He doesn't read! He's never heard of 1984! Clearly they are just not meant to be.
Which is why Jane is so desperate to check her phone when a text comes in. Unfortunately, it's from Lina, who Jane is still feeling awkward and depressed about. Fortunately, Fabian's one true passion is friendship (honestly same!), and so off he whisks her to Lena and Danny's wedding cake tasting so Jane can have one last shot at getting to the bottom of her best friendship woes. And if that wasn't amazing enough, he introduces himself to Danny (who is v hot and seems great, good job, Lina) with the 1-2 punch of "Where are you from? Who are your enemies?" and man oh man am I in love.
While Fabian is getting to know(?) Danny, Jane and Lina finally have it out: Jane is upset with Lina because she disappeared—not physically to New York, but emotionally, during the second year after Michael's death, when Jane really needed her. Only, that isn't how Lina remembers it. She never disappeared. She kept calling, even after she met Danny and started falling in love, but when they had their first fight and she called Jane in tears, Jane's response was "in the long run it won't matter; I'd give anything to have Michael back for even one more fight," and Lena realized she had no way to be normal around Jane, to be upset over small things without feeling like she was bulldozing over Jane's big tragedy.
Jane needed this reality check, and before long, the two are hugging and telling each other just how much they each want the other to have every happiness, and they are back on the bathroom floor, catching up on two long years, and Lina is reminding Jane of how little the two of them have always had in common, so just give Fabian a chance already, and they are crying, and I am crying, and their hearts are glowing with deep best friend love, and just, like, this show.
And then Jane shows up to Fabian's later to break up with him (sorry, Lina), and sees 1984 on his shelf, bookmark nearly to the end. He picked it up after she mentioned it, and really likes it! And Jane finally gets what everyone has been trying to tell her, and sees the guy worth giving a shot (well done, Lina!). And so she and Fabian stay up all night talking, getting to know each other, laying on the patio staring at the stars.
Well done, kids.
And finally, our two remaining romances: XoRo (how has that portmanteau not caught on beyond our digital walls yet), and the dread Petra-Chuck-Raf triangle.
First, Xiomara and Rogelio are on the fast track to bliss. Three years of Xo living with Bruce and Ro just pining? Water under the gigantic fork bridge! They make plans to move in together, again, like, that weekend. Rogelio is ecstatic; Xiomara is concerned they are maybe moving too fast, just like always. Alba and Jane give Xo permission to feel some kind of way, and when Xo calls off their dinner date that night, lying to Rogelio about being sick even as he sees her through their kitchen window, we think we know what choice she's made. But then surprise! Alba manipulates Rogelio into driving her to the film lot to pick something up, and there is Xiomara, waiting for him on a soundstage made up to look just like the high school party where they first told each other they loved each other. And DOUBLE surprise—she has a ring!
YEP. Xiomara Villanueva is proposing to Rogelio de la Vega, completely out of the blue. I'm so happy, both for them, and for the fact that at least one romance can move to the next stage and mine some drama there, this time, without death butting in.
On the Marbella triangle front, Chuck is doing his darndest to convince Petra of two things: that Raf has the hots for her, and that she is a fierce independent lady who doesn't need help from anyone (although he'd still like to be there for her regardless). After Jane warned him off rushing into something and breaking Petra's heart again, Rafael denies reality when Petra asks him about his feelings.
*extremely Carol Kane in Princess Bride voice* LIAR! LI-AAAARRRRR!
After she heads out of town with Chuck to investigate the mysterious JP from Scott's burn book who might have some insight into his death, though, Raf reconsiders, and calls to leave her a voicemail about how they should be together. And I would totally roll my eyes at this melodramatic development and its concomitant promise of more triangle dramz ahead, the scene cuts to Anezka telling the cops that JP stood for Jerky Pants, because the pushy owner of the hotel in development next door was always eating jerky and being, well, a jerk.
YEP. Chuck's (probably) a bad dude. Petra sure knows how to pick them.
So! Rafael and Petra!
Fabian…changes his mind. Sex ahoy!