How were YOUR dreams last night, Janesters? REALLY GOOD, I hope.
Last week’s MVP(arent) poll netted Jane 55% of the vote, Petra 41%, and ALBA got a write-in for the remaining precentage points. Jane’s the winner! As she always should be.
Now for Chapter Four’s awards:
BEST USE OF VOICE OF GOD DEVICE
I’m increasingly convinced that this whole show is an example of the Best Use Of A Voice Of God Device, which would override the need for a weekly award to an individual VoG moment. But I will say that I very much enjoyed the sassy greeting before the rundown of previous events at the very top of the hour.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
When it was revealed that, way way back, Petra was engaged to Lochlin, I thought for sure that was it. Then when Jane accidentally slipped the sexy letter to Raf, I thought that was it. Then like two more major twists happened, and I couldn’t decide. So, poll!
- Petra is Natalia is part of the Czech mafia (or something): 51.56% (33 votes)
- Petra and Raf were playing Lochlin all along: 15.63% (10 votes)
- Lochlin was engaged to Petra back when Raf was passed over a promotion in Lochlin’s favor: 10.94% (7 votes)
- Jane gave the sexy letter to Raf instead of Michael: 18.75% (12 votes)
- Other: 3.12% (2 votes)
Unsurprisingly, Petra is central to 3/4 of the biggest twists.
THIS WEEK’S MVP(arent)
Although seriously, the REAL telenovela twist of the ep is that this week the MVP(arent) award goes to…MICHAEL*. He made worse decision after already-terrible decision from moment 1 this week, but then managed to turn it all around by the end with the realization that the baby is half Jane’s and being willing to do anything for her means also being willing to do anything for the baby.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Accidentally pregnant Jane’s detective bf is the worst. Jane has no idea how actually bad the perceived good couple of Raf and Petra is. Raf thinks Petra might be hiding something from him; that something is that she was having an affair. With his best friend. Who was murdered on an ice sculpture. Jane’s father is
a self-obsessed diva self-obsessed robot self-obsessed diva robot telenovela star who has been sleeping with Xio and trying to convince her to reveal his identity to Jane.
We’re going chronological! Partly this is because we already know all the main players. But partly also it is because I am home in the old Wyoming stomping grounds and got to watch Chapter Four with my lifelong best friend (LLBF). And like any great lifelong best friend, her mere presence prompted me to be better at life, which here translates as better, more succinct, chronological show notes. Let’s see how it goes!
Going to the (Living Room) Chapel
This week’s guiding-light flash
This last hallucination causes us to giggle and Jane to explode. And because Jane learned NOTHING from her abuela last week re: BIG BALLS OF EVIL, she lies about why she is freaking out, saying it’s the crazy, one-week wedding planning, when of course it is actually ol’ glossy-eyes Raf. Michael is totally cool with her freakout, at least…just as he is totally cool with the prospect of the pre-cana with the Villanueva’s priest the next day. They merged their calendars! They’re meant to be!
(LLBF, who is recently married herself: Unless you’re going to elope, one week of planning is NOT reasonable; also “we merged our calendars” is WEIRD even when not being used as a justification for a marriage.)
In the room where you sleep
Michael is also super cool with the door being left wide open for his first sleepover at Jane’s, because Alba. For a guy who’s abusing his power as a detective and tampering with evidence just to keep an admitted adulterer from being revealed just so that his fiancée’s baby has somewhere, anywhere to go but with him and Jane, he sure has mixed priorities about which figure of authority (Alba v. the priest) to be most afraid of.
Hint, Michael: the man whose vestments promise the ear of God Himself is probably the person someone in your position should be more wary of at the moment.
Anyway, as Jane tells Michael, Alba is asleep, and just because they aren’t going to sex it up doesn’t mean that they can’t get a bit freaky. And you think that Michael has gone along with her innuendo, given the look on her face and movement under the covers, but NOPE. SEX DREAM. With ol’ glossy-eyes himself.
Michael is still irrationally excited for the pre-cana when he kisses Jane goodbye on his way to work the next morning. Jane, meanwhile, is so freaked out about her dream that she one-ups Michael’s excitement with the MOST AWKWARD “Yayyyyyyyyyyy!” at his departing back. Because he is a terrible fiancé and not great detective, Michael doesn’t notice how weird she is being. Because she is a mother, Xiomara does. And because she is Xiomara, she digs the idea of a Raf sex-dream much more than seems outwardly appropriate.
In any case, after Xio gives Jane the binary possibilities of True Feelings vs. Pregnancy Hormones as reasons for the dream, Jane clamps on to the second like it will save her from drowning in her plate of eggs. Xiomara nods sagely and suggests that Jane do her best to keep at least three feet…no, probably four, what with Raf looking the way Raf does…between herself and Raf for the next seven months. And not to tell Michael, because hormonal fantasies SHOULD have zero impact on real-life wedding plans, which of course means Michael would make them have impact, should he find out.
Jane’s resolve to keep 4ft of physical distance between herself and Raf is put to the test the moment she starts her shift at the Marbella, because a) he is her boss and b) he is the father of her accidental baby and c) he has some specific business thing to talk to her about. LET IT BE KNOWN that from the moment Jane sees him, Raf has a halo of light around his beautiful head that WILL NOT GO AWAY. For like the whole scene.
He’s maybe talking about magazine articles? Something he wants her to write? But neither we nor Jane really has any idea what he’s saying because HALO OF LIGHT. AROUND HIS HEAD. He’s either an angel, or radioactive.
A Man, A Plan, A Hotel
Raf, unaware that he is a walking, talking, head-glowing sex god, leaves Jane to go work on his Sisyphean plans to convince his father that he is a dependable, clever business man. While he is shuffling papers, his stepmother (and sister’s lover) Rose comes to Raf with reno plans for a lounge/screening room/who really even cares. She asks where Luisa is, because she hasn’t been able to get in touch with her for days and is worried. Raf is patently not worried, as he was already pissed at Luisa for lying about the insemination, and now has seen the surveillance tapes of the night of the fire alarm and saw that it was Luisa who pulled it, “for no apparent reason,” so has come to the conclusion that she is drinking again and has likely gone off on a bender.
Rose is horrified. “There was a murder here, you know,” she lashes out. Raf levels his gaze at her. “I know.” And then, because no telenovela would be complete without a bit of good situational irony, he stops Rose on his way out to balance out that cold shoulder by thanking her sincerely for caring so deeply for Luisa. “It’s more than any of my husband’s other wives did.” You think?
Raf’s hotelier dad is mad at Raf because Raf’s rockin’ memorial for Zaz the other night meant that the hotel wasn’t able to weasel out of their connection to Zaz and his bad-for-business bloody murder. (The hotel, for what it’s worth, is at half-capacity, and that despite the fact that the star of the city’s Number #1 telenovela is just hanging around the pool bar every single day smiling his idiot smile.) So Raf, Raf has to step up his game. And also accept help from one of Daddy Solano’s right hand men: new character Lochlin.
Lochlin’s history with Raf is, well, fraught. Raf resents being overseen by a lackey of his father’s who has historically been more respected by the man. He also, as we will come to learn shortly, harbors some small degree of guilt over having stolen Lochlin’s fiancée PETRA from him as (likely) vengeance. But the implications of that will have to wait.
At the pre-cana meeting, Jane’s priest (Betty’s dad from Ugly Betty!) kicks things off with an ATV metaphor—like, a really really detailed ATV metaphor—to try to explain to these crazy kids what weathering marriage will be like. He asks if there is any road hazard they are currently weathering, and then flips head over cassock off his metaphorical ATV when they explain the pregnancy debacle. After he fumbles around the details, Father Ortega lands on the question: “at least there’s no physical connection between you and the father, right Jane?”
While Michael jumps in right away with a negatory, sir, JANE IS THE WORST LIAR and can’t manage to do the same. The conversational gap she leaves when trying to decide how to answer is wide enough for an ice-sculpted Merlin to cast snow spells through, and Michael calls her on it. And then, because she is Jane and because she is in the presence of Father Ortega and (by the transitive property) God’s ear, she spills the sex dream beans.
Michael storms out. However, both this and Jane’s chasing after him is interrupted by his detective partner texting to alert him to the fact that the police have secured a search warrant for Petra. So of course Michael spits at Jane that she has more explaining to do later, as he races off to help Petra cover up for her adultery and also invite her into a crime scene to help identify/doctor evidence. Michael is a Very Good Detective and a Very Good Fiancé, obviously.
Back at the Marabella Mines
Jane is super regretting her pre-cana confession, and is doubly dedicated to the stay-away-from-Raf cause. While she is stewing over the day’s events, she spots Rogelio and Rogelio’s smile, which is definitely a human male’s smile and not the smile of a robot who has not yet fully learned how to pass as a man. After having been weirded out by an earlier run-in with him during which he showed FAR TOO MUCH interest in her upcoming nuptials, Jane turns tail—too much weirdness to deal with on top of everything else.
UNFORTUNATELY Raf is right behind here when she turns, causing the VoG to alert us to the fact that Jane is caught between a rock and a hard place, “…and the hard place is Raf’s body.” And while they already pulled this gag when she was the mermaid in Chapter One, Jane’s falling into the pool in her haste to back away from Raf is still comedic gold. Especially since this time, Raf and his fine white linen suit and still-glowing halo jump right in after her. Plus, we get this glorious exchange:
Jane, pushing Raf away: “IT’S FOUR-FEET, BAYWATCH!”
Raf: “I didn’t know if you could swim.”
Jane: “You know I can stand, right?”
*the most charming mutual giggling*
Raf: “You look like Cousin Itt.”
*the most charming hair detangling and also more giggling*
Of course, Michael shows up at the hotel (read: Michael makes his way down to the pool area from his secret evidence-hiding meeting with Petra a few verandas above) right at that moment. And gets a second chance in as many hours to storm away from Jane.
Jane, in her soaked Cousin Itt glory, also gets a second chance to chase after him. She tries explaining that she was only talking to Raf in the first place to try to set clearer boundaries, but Michael won’t let her finish. We were dead certain that he was going to pull the “Quit your job” ultimatum again, but nope! For once getting it right, Michael comes to the reasonable conclusion that if Jane is having any feelings at all for another man, then the two of them probably shouldn’t be getting married.
(LLBF, to husband: “Would you be a douchecanoe if your girlfriend accidentally got impregnated by somebody else, or would you be normal?”
LLBF’s husband: “…well. It would be WEIRD.”)
Dad’s Calling Time on This Game
Speaking of douchecanoes, Rogelio is convinced that NOW is the time for Jane to be informed of his existence, but preferably not of his habit of having his lingerie-clad ex-wife put together gift baskets for all the women he’s ever slept with (which Xio discovered after tracking him down at his trailer earlier, only to have said lingerie-clad ex-wife snatch back the engraved XO bracelet that slipped off her wrist when packing baskets the week previous). What? he demands over the phone of Xio, Xio can’t expect her to be the ONLY one Rogelio gives the “carnal gift of Rogelio” to. And anyway, what he and Xio have is different…special…a “chemical” connection. “Just sex?” Xio demands, equal parts pissed and cut to the quick. “PHENOMENAL sex.”
So Xio’s dream of finally getting her fairy tale ending is ruined, and with it, whatever small chance there’d been that she’d mom-up and tell Jane the truth about her dad before Jane’s wedding. Alba is not at all pleased with this development, especially when Rogelio shows up in a ridiculous costume (jeans and a t-shirt, obvs) with a bracelet engraved especially for Xio: “For Xiomara, the beautiful mother of my daughter”.
Which makes Alba throw her hands up in exasperation that Xio is continuing to keep Rogelio secret from Jane. But Xio, too, is remembering 10yo Jane’s fake wedding, and how Xio used it as an opportunity to fabricate all sorts of details about Jane’s “soldier dad” that, once Jane finds out the truth, will be so many hurtful lies.
Petra + Lochlin, Schemin’ in a
After overhearing Raf and Petra arguing about Raf’s lack of an actionable expansion plan that will impress Raf’s father, Lochlin sidles up to Petra at the bar. He wants to “help facilitate” the expansion deal he overheard Petra and Raf arguing about. And what’s in it for Petra? she wants to know. Well, just everything he ever did for/to her, Lochlin purrs in her ear, skeezily. Petra will pass on that, but make the deal, “anything to put the nail in the coffin of my marriage.”
Freshly confident, Lochlin sticks his head into Raf’s office to announce that they will be having a surprise board meeting—in Raf’s office—at 3. Raf looks duly unnerved.
Jane the Virgin, not the Saint
Jane’s solution to Michael’s storming out is to write the sexiest of sexy letters to him. This plan occurs to her at the moment she sits down at her computer to write that magazine article Raf had been talking to her about earlier. So, of course, she is definitely going to give the article to Michael and the sex letter to Raf.
Jane realizes her mistake hours after the envelopes have been delivered, so also obviously does not make it to Raf’s office before he becomes even further unnerved by reading her, erm, vivid depictions. She tries to explain that the letter wasn’t meant for him, but he and his glowing face keep talking over her to explain that nothing like that can ever happen, that he sees her like a sister. And with that deadweight of an S-word, his halo vanishes, and Jane is able to butt in and tell him the truth. He is relieved, she is relieved, and they part ways as friends, Jane with letter in hand to finally deliver to Michael.
Michael Cordero, Worst Detective/Human Being
Michael, meanwhile, is dragging his career deeper and deeper into the mud by using the single hour his captain has given him to find a new angle on who possibly could have been in Zaz’s room other than Petra…to immediately race off to Zaz’s crime scene suite with Petra in tow. He further cements his role as Worst Detective by leaving Prime Suspect Petra IN THE CRIME SCENE ALONE when Jane surprises him outside the door.
Michael, frazzled as he is by his horrible Petra scheme, is cold as ICE to Jane, using their earlier fight and her culpability therein as a smoke screen for his culpability with oh, just everything else. Because Jane is the best, she cuts him off. She’s had enough. She did nothing wrong, and has only ever been trying to make things as good as possible between the two of them, and he needs to get over it. And then it’s her turn to storm off, sexy letter still undelivered.
Michael’s hour is made even worse when Petra, too, storms off, pissed that she is being asked to play detective at all, and convinced that she still has leverage over Michael, what with him doing all this stupid shit just to avoid any scenario in which Jane might keep her baby. She throws off a passing complaint about the “mess” the cops have made of the room on her way out, pointing to a gold-flecked gouge in the wall. This gouge was not in the surveillance tape of Zaz’s attack on Petra, which means that it happened between her leaving and his death, which leads the police to skip arresting Petra and start looking at all the bellboys who might have rammed the matching luggage cart into the wall that night.
Michael’s successful detectiving leaves him feeling more hollow than before, though, as he finally faces some hard truths about himself.
Wedding Shop Robot Creeper
That really says it all. Because of the crazy one-week time constraint, Jane is obliged to storm away from her infuriating fiancé straight to the sparkly white lounge of the local wedding gown shop for a fitting. Xio and Alba meet her there, and Alba makes both girls get over themselves enough to at least go IN the dressing room.
All the time that this is going on, a bigger and bigger crowd is gathering outside, because who should be creeping like a smiling robot creeper there but Rogelio the telenovela star? So of course when a frenzied knock sounds on Jane’s dressing room door, accompanied by strangled “you shouldn’t be here!”s from the staff, we expect the Dad-truth to finally come out.
Only no! It’s Michael! Come to tearfully apologize, backing adorably into the dressing room to avoid seeing Jane in her dress. Michael wins the day by finally realizing that the baby is half hers and the worst thing is not her keeping it but him losing her and no matter what she wants, he wants in. Their reconciliation is very moving, and Jane finally even manages to give him the letter. Michael continues his campaign of complexity, keeping from siding firmly pro or against.
You’d think that Jane would get to end the episode on this happy note, but no: Rogelio did not interlope on her dress-day for nothing. He tumbles into the shop after Michael leaves, and his identity is quickly uncovered. Jane is shocked and betrayed and collapses to the fancy settee, demanding everyone leave her alone. She, too, is remembering all the details Xio told her about her soldier dad, and needs time to come to terms with that BIG BALL OF EVIL and what it means to have her dad in her life now.
Good luck, Jane. You need it.
The Schemer Gets Schemed
While Jane is on an emotional rollercoaster, Raf is on his hotelier GAME. After Lochlin starts the “surprise” board meeting with his and Petra’s bare bones expansion plan, Raf wows everyone—especially his dad—with a fancily-bound, money-saving, status-building plan of his own. And Lochlin suddenly realizes that Petra played him; Raf had had a plan he’d been finetuning for months all along. And now Lochlin is back out of the picture.
As Raf and Petra celebrate over champagne later, Raf cannot say enough complimentary things about Petra’s ability to play a rube. What a fantastic plan, he says, acting as allies until the very last moment. And then, at the very last moment, he asks her just how long she had been sleeping with Zaz, for real? And informs her that they are DONE.
WELL DONE, RAF. A congratulations that extends to the mirror-image sex dream you have of Jane later on…
This whole time Petra has been working every angle of Michael’s murder case he asked her to, because she was absolutely unwilling to reveal her true alibi. We still don’t know exactly what she was doing while Zaz was being murdered, but we do know it has something to do with the huge reveal that she has another identity, speaks fluent Czech (as the VoG informs us), and owes what looks like a Czech mafioso money. I’m not sure where she got the money she is handing off to him all shady like in his car there at the end, but wherever it came from, there better be more, as Czech mafioso has determined that their originally deal was insufficient.
Good luck, Petra. You really need it.
And that’s it! How’d the new format feel? Shorter? Longer? Funnier? Harder to read? People, I am ALWAYS open to constructive feedback. And of course, to any soapy predictions you have for Jane et al!
About the Contributor:
Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. A Wyoming expat, she now lives in Maryland, where she runs the DC chapter of the FYA Book Club. She can be found talking about Teen TV on Twitter, and her longform criticism can be found on Authory.