As for last week’s Best Telenovela Twist, Petra being Natalia being part of the Czech mafia was the runaway winner (52% of the vote), with Jane switching the letters a faraway second (195). Also, two people wrote in Raf playing Petra as a twist I missed listing, and they were so right: that was another awesome moment.
Raf! Keep being awesome! Petra! Keep being devious!
On to this week’s awards…
THIS WEEK’S BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
This episode gave us more closures to/consequences of twists than brand new ones, so no poll, alas. The reveal of Petra’s years-ago pregnancy was more of a follow-up to last week’s slipped in mini-twist, so I’m not really counting it. And Billy dating Lena had the air let out of it after Michael’s uncharacteristic coming clean to Jane about his past. So for this week’s award I’m going with Magda punching her own daughter in the face so that Petra could file a police report in one last effort to grab all she can from her prenup.
Jane will almost certainly believe Raf’s side of the story, as he is (as we will see later) the only character who has consistently been completely honest with her, even about the hard stuff, but Michael will also almost certainly use this turn as a way to try to “win” his way back into Jane’s good graces. Either way, it keeps Schemin’ Petra on our screens.
THIS WEEK’S MVP(arent)
Petra would (probably) say Magda; future Solano-Villanueva baby might say Jane. But I’m going to go with Xiomara. She took complete responsibility for her actions re: Rogelio, didn’t lie about the selfish reasons behind them, and let Jane have all the space and support she needed after “moving out”—up to and including staying away from the Second Chance Dinner with Rogelio, to whom she gave good (if ultimately) unheeded advice as to how to ease his way into Jane’s life. Plus:
My heart is too big for my ribcaaaaaaage.
MOST SUCCESSFULLY STEALTH PRODUCT PLACEMENT
This one-off award goes to TARGET, who, despite having a prominent pre-roll promo in the first commercial break, didn’t jump out at me as product placement until Jane brought in her canvas Target totes at the very end of the ep. Xio name-checking the Scandi-land big boxer as the low-key place Jane likes to shop in her downtime was perfectly in-character. And also reminded me I haven’t browsed the clearance racks in awhile and should probably make a trip soon…
TARGET. For all your down-to-earth telenovela heroine needs.
To the recap!
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Jane is accidentally, virginally pregnant with Raf’s baby. She wants the baby to have a stable, two-parent home and so is planning to give it to Raf and Petra, but WHOOPS Petra is terrible and had been sleeping with Raf’s best friend Zaz…until Zaz flew off his balcony and onto the icy-sharp spike of a party marlin. After some hints dropped by the cops, Raf figured out Petra’s game and is demanding a divorce. Jane’s detective fiancé Michael has known about Petra’s sleaziness since episode one, but has kept it from Jane for fear that it would prompt her to keep the baby, and even though he came to terms with that possibility last ep, he still hasn’t come clean about what he knew about Petra because Jane? HATES BEING LIED TO. And since her mother has just been revealed as the perpetrator of a 23-year long lie about who and where Jane’s father was (the telenovela diva, Rogelio, instead of a brave army officer), Michael doesn’t want to add his name to Jane’s shit list.
Good luck, dude.
Flashback to 10-year old Jane’s desk with mom+daughter pics as the VoG describes Jane’s and Xiomara’s as the “typical mother-daughter relationship,” with the role of the mother played by Jane. After all—if Jane didn’t worry, who would? Alba, btw, needs help researching something called diabetes and my heart breaks for Jane a hundred times.
Present-day Jane, heartbroken by the revelation that her father exists (and is a robot diva man, not Jimmy Smits), is packing to move out. Xio, weeping, tries to write the 23-year long lie off as a mistake, but Jane’s not having any of that and storms out the door.
On the bus to work, the saddest of sad songs playing in the background, Jane texts with Michael, who promises that the drawer he is clearing for her will be ready after work. She asks, trying for a lighthearted tone, if he’s even READY for her to move in a week before they get married. His response is to remind her that she’s not speaking to her mom, and that they need to make up before Jane walks down the aisle. Way to be mood-killer, useful fiancé!
As Michael is making last minute preparations for Jane (man, she has SEEN the clutter of all your Super Confidential Police Files on your coffee table) there is knock at the door. Only, it isn’t Jane—it’s Michael’s rotten, no-good older brother Billy, last seen blackmailing Michael at his and Jane’s fake engagement party.
Billy, with his slightly rumpled jacket and slightly shaggy hair, still looks like the most wholesome of possible villains, but the 2k he tries extorting—and the vague threats he makes about “talking” to Jane—is real enough to rattle Michael into later *actually telling Jane the truth about something* for the first time in all the episodes we’ve known him. Namely: the Cordero bros used to steal cars and sell them for parts, and Billy took the fall for it once when Michael was already in small trouble to save him from getting in Big Trouble. And then Michael turned his life around and Billy didn’t and Michael’s got a guilt/hate chip the size of an ice-sculpted Marlin permanently affixed to his shoulder because of it. A fact Billy takes advantage of at every indebted turn. Thus: the extortion.
Speaking of Extortion
Raf is offering Petra 10k to move out of the apartment immediately while they finalize the divorce. Petra tries to verbally abuse/seduce her way out of it—she’s wearing the beach-ready version of Jane’s wedding dress, for pity’s sake!
But Raf’s not having any of it. Using Magda’s entrance as his cue to exit, Raf leaves Petra with the divorce papers and strides off to find Jane. And instead of lying or even tiptoeing around the ugliest facts, he TELLS HER THE TRUTH (i.e., Petra is terrible and he is getting rid of her but he still wants to raise the baby more than anything in the world) and it makes for BETTER DRAMA (Jane might keep the baby, because she is dealing with her own issues w/r/t a single-parent upbringing, and what with Michael’s change of heart, she now has to decide which would be harder: her raising a baby she didn’t want yet in a stable two-parent household, or her giving the baby to the single parent who DOES want it) and EVERYONE SHOULD ALWAYS DO THIS.
Good job, Jane writers. I’ll keep you.
Is a bellboy at the hotel, who has this face:
Which he uses to leer at Jane and Lena as the two BFFs talk about BFF stuff. You know, like Lena covering Jane at lunch so Jane can go meet her telenovela star dad. And Lena talking annoying texts from her sister. Only ALERT ALERT says VoG: those texts? Not from Lena’s sister. Those texts? From Michael’s No Good Brother Billy who Lena is totally (to use the show’s own terminology) boning. She’s pretty mad at him for making her keep their relationship a secret from her own BFF but she shouldn’t be because Billy is ready to finally
muscle that 2k out of make their love known to his brother—and Jane.
Too bad Disgusting Tom’s not around to leer at THAT makeout fest.
(Also spoiler alert: Lena comes clean to Jane about the relationship and Jane loves her anyway and is willing to give Billy some benefit of the doubt. We’ll see what Michael does.)
High Fives for Planned Spontaneity
After work, Jane returns to Michael’s place to spend a billion minutes tying back her hair. Also to complain about the nerve on Raf, dropping that divorce bomb on her but still wanting the baby. Michael responds in his characteristically gentlemanly way, calling Raf a total jerk. This jolts Jane out of her complaint loop and prompts her to remind Michael to be fair, because Raf is the father of the baby, which Michael accepts…with the counter reminder that he is ready to keep the baby, too, if that’s what Jane wants. He then offers up his closet as a potential baby room, and it is not clear how much of a joke it is meant to be. Jane treats it as one, so I guess we will, too?
The other thing Michael is ready to help Jane with is getting ready for her big First Date with Dad. She has an envelope of baby pictures to show him, along with the head shot of Jimmy Smits in case she needs a spontaneous icebreaker. After a GREAT high five over planning spontaneous ice breakers that really cements what a cool couple these two can be, Michael helps Jane calm her final dad-meeting nerves…while across town, Rogelio’s stylist helps him calm his image concerns. This bodes well.
Spotlight on Rogelio
At the studio lot, Jane is met by Rogelio’s PA, Nicolas, who was prepared by Rogelio…and instructed to bow. I like Nicolas. He can come back.
On the soundstage, Rogelio makes the grandest of grand entrances. Like, too grand. Awkwardly grand. Robot-smile grand. He tries to get Jane to call him “Dad” right off, then forces a hug on her in front of his whole crew. Then he and Jane go off to get to know each other and bond over Xiomara’s “hate crime” of keeping his existence secret for so long and to set a voodoo doll of Xio aflame while laughing in maniacal delight.
…okay, that last part was just Xiomara’s worst imagination. As Alba, across town, soothes, “that’s obviously not what’s happening.”
What is really happening is: Rogelio downing a barrel of wine to calm his nerves as he and Jane dine awkwardly in front of a set of Chichen Itza, the Aztec Temple, where Rogelio had a very spiritual experience as a young man praying for Great Fame. Then, instead of letting Jane show him any of her baby pictures, and instead of telling her about his own life himself, he has Nicolas bring her this:
But don’t worry: his gifts to Jane only get creepier later.
Spotlight on MUUUUUURRRRRRDER
While Jane is enduring Rogelio’s vapidness, Michael and his intensely dour partner are assaulting Raf for a list of all hotel employees who could have had access to Zaz’s room the night of the murder. Raf is pretty emotional about the possibility of losing his only child before even meeting it just because Petra is the worst, and also pissed at Michael because Michael is the type of person to make THIS face when saying the words “sorry to hear about your divorce, man”—
And Michael, well, Michael made that face and is looking for any excuse to shit on Raf for no reason except that Raf is a generally decent dude who continues to be decent to Jane at every turn. God. Michael is ALSO the worst.
Easy, Veronica Mars
Back at the studio lot, Jane leaves her Date with Dad even MORE freaked out about how little they have in common. She wants to talk to her mom, but remembers she ISN’T talking to her mom. Michael, picking her up, follows Baby!Jane’s example and steps into the role of Xiomara and gives pretty decent advice about giving Nervous Nelly Rogelio another chance, on her turf.
Jane’s acceptance of this advice is hastened by the ginormous clutter of Very Important Police Files just floating around in Michael’s car, which he totally lets her paw all through. She immediately finds one of the many and confidential Sin Rostro files and sees her name on a list of hotel employees working the night of Zaz’s big fall. She points out that one Disgusting Tom is missing from the list, even though he was definitely working, then reels back in excitement as she realizes she’s uncovered a CLUUUUUUE.
Okay, I wasn’t certain certain before, but this clinches it: they are in Miami. And zero way is a police force as large as Miami’s going to hand a case as big as Sin Rostro’s over to a baby (& terrible) detective like Michael. Just ZERO WAY.
Anyhow, Jane and Michael banter adorably over her discovery a bit more until he invokes FYA’s patron saint, VMars and yoinks the confidential file out of her grasp. Michael. You make it V. V. HARD to like OR hate you. Which I continue to love.
Mother Magda Knows Best
Speaking of people making themselves hard to love, Petra is in her mother’s room opining the true death of her (unfulfilled prenup) marriage. Magda’s response? Super weird lotion-veiled threats. Like, she threatens Raf…or Petra? or the world?…by rubbing lotion into Petra’s porcelain skin while talking about Petra’s many weapons. But don’t worry: she only gets creepier later.
Anyhow, the ultimate takeaway of this scene is that Petra promised Magda she would always take care of her “after…what happened,” and Petra’s best bet is to remind Raf not just how much he wants the baby (the crux of Petra’s plan), but how much he wants Petra (the crux of the, erm, lotion plan).
So of course Petra puts on some corseted lingerie and pulls out the wonky pastel “frisbee” she crocheted back when she was pregnant (yup!) three years ago, back when she and Raf were happy and he was only just recovering from playboyhood and making plans for his hotel, and tries to use both to seduce Raf back into loving her/fulfilling the terms of their prenup.
The reminder of happier times—and the lingerie, and the thought that he might lose the baby if he jettisons Petra without at least trying to fix things—prompts Raf to respond to Petra’s advances. Or at least, that’s what we’re made to think. But nope! He stopped the action before it got too hot and sexy, and the next day again, with infuriating calm (also MY favorite weapon in any argument; ILU Raf) demands that Petra sign the divorce papers and walk away with her 250k.
Remarkably, her spitting how much he disgusts her does not get her back in his good graces.
Xiomara Breaks Our Hearts
Jane returns home while Xio is supposed to be at dance class to look up recipes for Michael’s suggested Second Chance Dinner with Rogelio. Only, Xio (obvs) can’t dance when her own daughter isn’t speaking to her, so she is home and aching to talk. Unfortunately, even the most innocent question—How did the meeting go?—explodes right in her face. Because Jane and Rogelio, they’re strangers. And that is Xio’s fault.
What Xio took away from Jane is NOT okay, Jane explains, and she doesn’t understand how Xio could have done it. Xio’s explanation? Because Jane’s not a mother yet. And then she tells that heart-expanding story about how they’d go to the park when Jane was little and Xio always thought all the other mom’s were crazy in how they crowed about their kids, because it was so obvious that Xio got the very best one. And if that isn’t the best thing a parent could ever say, I don’t know what is.
Jane is clearly moved by it, too, but not enough to forgive her mom—even after Xio comes clean about how it was fear of losing Jane to even the tiniest claim by Rogelio that kept her lying all those years. Jane leaves Xio alone with her tears a second time in as many days.
Horror in the Hotel Halls
Back at the Marbella, Rose’s plastic surgery recovery suites plan continues to be boring as HECK so of course it will be important later. Detectives Michael and Dour Face interrupt the meeting with further questions about bellboys—especially Disgusting Tom—and the BEST doublespeak elevator conversation occurs. Just. The best. It can be enjoyed it its entirety here, but, most importantly, in culminates in this:
Later, Michael gets a text about Disgusting Tom having a record and being AWOL, while Raf and Rose, deep in conversation about Rose’s custody lawyer friends (of course) and Raf’s feelings for Jane (double of course), stumble on the the disgusting bellboy himself, stabbed through the neck with a corkscrew and just drenched in his own blood. He has just enough time to lay the blam on Sin Rostro before expiring, which Michael and Dourface even later forbid Rose and Raf from even breathing outside the confines of the interrogation room.
Not for nothing, but at least two of the times Sin Rostro has been given a title card, it has been on top of Michael’s face. JUST POINTING OUT FACTS.
(I actually think it’s Raf’s dad) (Not for nothing)
Second Chance Dinner/Second Chance Raf
Xio’s Worst Day also included Rogelio storming over after messing everything at on the soundstage meeting. He wants Xio to come with him to the Second Chance dinner to smooth the way, but she really can’t. She instead advises him just to be himself and be low key and let Jane show him baby pictures.
Rogelio takes this advice (hooray Xio!), and dinner DOES go well (hooray Jane’s biography speed-reading skills!)…so well that Rogelio thinks it a good idea to step in on Xiomara’s behalf and try to tell Jane what to do w/r/t forgiving her. Nicely, but still. Wrong move, man. And Jane kicks him back out of her life.
After blowing up at Rogelio about his overstepping in what amounts to a stranger’s (her) life, Jane realizes she can’t walk away from her own baby. And because Raf was so immediately honest with her, she heads straight to the hotel to be honest with him. Raf is much harsher towards her about it than would be expected…until it’s revealed that Michael is in the chair next to her, holding her hand right in Raf’s line of sight.
Raf, staring at those clasped hands, tells Jane that he is going to fight for more than just weekends. Jane accepts this, saying she knows that it won’t be easy or perfect, but reminding them all—herself especially—that nothing is.
Jane is so happy with Michael after their successful meeting with Raf—and relieved that her day of awkward Dad Dates is over—that she makes plans to settle in for tacos and movies and her in nothing but Michael’s Reynaldo jersey. Digging around for the jersey nets her instead the confidential Roman Zazo surveillance files that Worst Detective Michael just happened to have lying around, in which of course is photographic evidence that Michael knew about Petra’s affair all along and had lied to her face even after Raf himself laid his soul bare.
When Michael gets home from threatening Rose and Raf into Sin Nostro silence, Jane confronts him about the Petra lie. He utters Xio’s exact “I made a mistake” line, which jettisons Jane from her chair. He did it because he LOVED her, but that isn’t enough—as she said to his very face just hours earlier, she doesn’t need him to be proud with her, just honest (and Raf, sidebar, is the ONLY one who has known that implicitly from the very start). Also, she needs someone other than her to have the best interests of this surprise baby at heart, and Michael having been willing to let it go to a known adulteress’ care is expressly NOT in the baby’s best interest.
So no, Jane doesn’t know if she can forgive Michael. What she DOES know is that she needs her mother. So home again to the porch swing she goes. I really like this show, guys.
ALSO I think we need a new weekly poll: HOW DO WE FEEL ABOUT MICHAEL THIS WEEK?
- Hero: 15% (9 votes)
- Zero: 38.33% (23 votes)
- Jerkules/That’s clumsy, teenage, trying-but-still-selfish Hercules, right?: 45% (27 votes)
- Other: 1.67% (1 votes)
Kicker (and Puncher)
NEVER FORGET: Magda punched Petra in the face, and now Petra is presenting the big, blotchy bruise to the cops, blame dropped squarely on Raf’s brawny shoulders.
VoG is right: sometimes a girl really does just need her mother.
Jane teaching at a Catholic high school! Our FIRST insight to her school/professional future life. I mean, I’m super excited for Jane vs. evil Catholic high schoolers, but it will be a BIT WEIRD having had precisely zero insight into the actuality of Jane’s (in action) career aspirations thus far. Ah, well. To the parochial halls!
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.