WHAT AN EPISODE, JANESTERS. What an episode.
THIS WEEK’S MVP(arent)
Rogelio (as Santos as Rogelio as Santos), hands down.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
This episode was ALL TWISTS ALL THE TIME. But I called Rose’s secret a billion years ago, so while her reveal (and Emilio’s demise) was epic, I am still going to go with…
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Welcome back, giant Target bag! And thanks a lot, because now I’m remembering how much I need a spatula, coconut water, and gummy bears.
Runner-up: real-person wardrobe rotation, with hardworking student Jane finally recycling looks she’s worn before like an honest-to-goodness human.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Jane was accidentally inseminated with Rafael’s sperm BY Rafael’s OBGYN sister Luisa who it turns out is an emotionally unstable alcoholic who rekindled an old romance with Rose, her and Raf’s stepmother who is a very good/creepy whistler and who turned on Luisa and lied about their affair in order to convince Raf and Solano, Sr. to commit Luisa to a mental institution. The Solano family is one huge telenovela. Speaking of! Jane’s dad Rogelio is the sexy, lauded leading man of his very own telenovela, The Passions of Santos, on which he got Jane “hired” as a writing intern. Little does he know, Rogelio’s assistant Nicholas has been scheming/making out with with the head writer behind Ro’s back…
RIP Baby!Jane’s Good Girl Status
Back when Jane was a wee girl, she borrowed her grandmother’s beautiful gold earrings…only to immediately have them stolen by Sabrina the Teenage Witch (aka she lost them). After briefly entertaining the idea of tossing all her worldly possessions and herself out the window to go on the run, Jane admits what she did to Alba, who reassures Jane that she is her flesh and blood, and thus will always be forgiven—a lesson that will stay with her forever.
RIP Raf’s Embargo on Seeing Luisa
Yes, Jane is ALL about forgiveness. She’s even willing—nay, ready!—to forgive Luisa. She is even willing to accompany Rafael to the mental institution to meet with Luisa and her therapist for a making amends session, she informs him over a leisurely fancy breakfast. And if he doesn’t want to go with her, that’s fine: she’ll just go on her own.
Not for the last time this week (and probably their whole relationship), Raf tips his head and says, “well played.”
At the mental institution, Luisa’s heartfelt apology follows the exact pattern Raf predicted it would—even to the result of Jane buying it entirely. Only: twist! Luisa needs to tell Raf that he hurt her, too. Because he was part of the decision to send her to the hospital, even knowing how scared she would be, given that their mother was institutionalized before committing suicide.
Raf tries to explain how he sent Luisa to the hospital because of what happened to their mother, but does apologize for not having made a vision board about how his decision might affect her future, explaining how he has a ton going on right now. “Like what precisely?” asks the therapist completely for thearpy reasons and not at all for Sin Rostro-aiding reasons. “Maybe if Luisa knew what you were dealing with right now, she’d be able to feel less hurt.” Yeah, maybe that, too.
Well for one, Raf reports, there have been a billion murders at his hotel, including one of a corkscrew-stabbed bellboy right outside their father’s door, and the police are pretty sure that their father is Sin Rostro.
“A corkscrew???” Luisa asks, remembering the corkscrew she couldn’t find in her father’s suite one night when she got drunk in between resuming her affair with Rose and running off to Mexico. Instead of warning Raf or Jane, though, who are right there in the hospital with her, our ice cream bar lovin’ lady doc instead writes a letter of apology/warning to Rose, which she charges Jane with delivering.
Raf finds the letter before Jane can hand it off, however. He originally plans to keep it to himself, but after Luisa calls to leave him a voicemail to at least read what she wrote before deciding whether or not to give it to Rose (sure a lot of steps that could be avoided by just saying what she means out loud in the first place), he reads his sister’s warning. And between that and this adorable confession from Jane:
…he decides to pass Luisa’s warning along to Rose. Thank goodness, too. She’d sure have been in trouble without it. –___–
RIP Jane’s UNGlamorous Target Run Internship
Fully ensconced in the world of TV interning, Jane arrives to the writers’ room laden with lunch and Target booty. “Say,” says Dina Milagro, head Santos writer and secret lover of Nicholas the assistant, “what would you think of maybe taking a solo stab at writing the next episode of the show, no strings attached?”
“I trust everyone!” Jane exclaims, “bring it on!”
Actually, she worries that this is another confidence-building machination of Rogelio’s, so runs to his dressing room to shake the truth out of him. “Are you acting your surprise right now?” she demands. “No, I suck in my gut and raise my chin and apply twinkle to my eyes and sparkle to my smile when I am acting,” Rogelio says. “This surprise is real!”
Jane is glowing. It’s a huge career opportunity, her dad is proud of her, and she definitely for real got it allllll on her own.
Only, the no-strings thing wasn’t quite true, as Jane discovers when Nicholas hands her the story pages for her script the next day. Because the story she’s scripting? Santos’ death.
RIP Xo’s Vow of Chastity
Unaware of the looming twist in Santos‘ story, Rogelio makes his way to Xo’s bed that night to discuss how great Jane is/how great all of his and Xo’s various body parts are/how great it would be if they had sex right now.
They are both good about observing Xo’s vow, though, and just sleep. Too bad for Ro, as he could have used the boost in dopamine to get him through the trauma that greets him at the Santos set the following day. Since Nicholas’ explanation of the twist involved Ro being a huge pain to work with since moving the show to Miami, Jane does her best to tone down Ro’s freakout when he goes to the writers’ room to try to talk his way back into the lead role. Jane does a fairly good job serving as his interpreter, until Dina refuses to budge and Ro has just had enough.
Rogelio is devastated at his failure to change Dina’s mind, and drowns himself in recordings of him in his glory days, eventually convincing himself that it is because he is old and no long sexy that he was fired. Xo comes THIS CLOSE to breaking her chastity vow to convince him that this is the opposite of true (although her holding off is maybe more convincing?), then makes the argument that he is basically Latin George Clooney: primed for silver fox movie stardom.
“I have always had a face meant for 3D,” Rogelio admits humbly.
RIP El Presidente, We Hardly Knew Thee
And so Rogelio agrees to the death scene, with one condition: that it be the greatest (and sexiest) death scene of all time. No pressure or anything, Jane.
At first Jane’s dialogue is stilted and too ironic. “You have to embrace the telenovela,” Imaginary Santos declares in Janes living room. And after Alba comes in to bring Jane a writing snack and some grandmotherly words of support (and some memories about the earrings she replaced Alba’s lost ones with when she was a child), Jane comes up with the perfect end for Santos—made even more perfect by the discovery that Nicholas was the one setting Rogelio up to look like a diva for the past few months, all to get the role of Santos’ murderous son and thus take over the lead role.
(“I can’t believe you were right, but people really ARE terrible!” Jane exclaims to Rafael on the phone right before they film the death scene. “One of the things I love best about you,” Raf replies, “is the fact that you don’t really believe that.”)
Rogelio takes his job very seriously, however, so when the lights go up and the cameras start rolling, he kills Jane’s scene. Probably the first and last time that dialogue that contains a line about an affair with “my mother’s half-sister’s half-sister” will make me tear up.
The scene makes the whole crew explode in cheers once it’s over, and makes Jane call Rogelio “dad” for the first time, at which his heart nearly explodes from his chest and my chest and all of our chests.
Santos is dead; long live ROGELIO.
RIP Petra the Villain
Those yellow tulips last week may have been planted by dbag Lachlan, but Ivan the Hostage really did escape, and this week Milos the psycho ex really has arrived at the Marbella. Has, in fact, made an appointment with the Marbella Event Coordinator to discuss plans for “a wedding.”
The Event Coordinator? Petra. And if she doesn’t leave the high security suite Lachlan moved her and Magda to last week to take this meeting, Rafael isn’t signing her paycheck. (Harsh for Petra and her mental state, but another good reminder of what a solid manager Raf is).
Forced by politeness/her lies/Raf’s threat to sit down with psycho Milos in the middle of the Marbella’s restaurant, Petra does a really commendable job not screaming and/or vomiting as Milos explains how he has been in a recovery/anger management program and has sought her out to explain that it wasn’t HER he was trying to throw acid at, but MAGDA, who had been doing her damnedest to keep the Czech lovebirds apart. It was even Milos who threw the koruna on the ground for Petra to pick up just so he could AVOID hitting her!
“Next time maybe go with, I shouldn’t have thrown acid AT ALL,” Petra says, with a remarkably straight face. Well Milos knows that NOW, sure.
Petra does not forgive him. She also doesn’t want to hear any of his lies about other truths Magda is keeping hidden from her, like her being able to walk for one example that Petra finds absolutely inconceivable. Still, Milos promises that if she at least hears him out—and then still doesn’t want to return to him—he will leave her alone forever.
Sweet words from an abusive ex. Petra leaves him to think about it, which here translates as weeping in the back stairwell. Which is where big-hearted optimist Jane finds her. Petra finds Jane’s concern sweet and all, but doesn’t want Jane to think she’s such a monster that she’d pity her into being a shoulder to cry on. Jane’s too much a softie, though, and settles in. And Petra keeps her honesty streak up and comes completely clean…
And then the two bond further over the fake telenovela blood smeared on Jane’s arm. Which, spoiler! Petra uses to out Magda’s secret later that day, after Milos throws another koruna onto the carpet to grab Petra from behind and muffle her screams to once more demand she let him tell the truth…you know, like cute lovebirds do.
The only thing better than the shock of seeing that knife slide across Petra’s jugular is the robot-zombie way she comes back to life, for which there IS a gif set. Somehow it is this action that freaks Magda out enough to jump from her wheelchair, as opposed to the very serious death threat and ACTUAL THROAT CUTTING moments earlier. So while Petra is justifiably freaked out/pissed off about Magda lying to her in the first place, she is for real not putting enough weight on the fact that her mom basically let her die.
Anyway, Petra kicks Magda out. Leaving her only friends in the world right now Lachlan, who is messing with her head and also is out of the country; Milos, who only barely recognizes that throwing acid at people is not healthy problem solving, and Jane.
RIP Michael’s Detective Career/Bad Posture
UGHHHHH the less said about Michael, the better. First of all, it is not entirely clear if Michael has been suspended from the case/the force/even at all after Nadine’s diming him out to their boss last week. At the very least he is not working with Nadine, whose main concern is that he is letting his obsession with Jane obstruct their investigation into Emilio. “YOU’RE JEALOUS” Michael declares, like the completely narrow-minded misogynist he hasn’t grown out of being. And then he goes off to conduct his own rogue investigation into The Plastic Surgery Clinic (like…it’s the only one in Miami?) to try to find a connection between them and the Solanos/the Marbella.
There are a billion reasons I don’t buy Michael as a competent detective, but high among them lately rank his continued use of his terrible brother as consulting dbag/investigation interference, and also the fact that he went to a medical clinic with the express intent to get copies of electronic patient files and rather than bringing along a USB stick, depended on them having an accessible printer (in the exam room?? what kind of sham facility IS this place).
Anyway, Nadine is totally going to accept this illegally obtained evidence that points concretely to Emilio Solano as Sin Rostro (for real: she does). Thanks, Michael!
RIP Raf’s Defense of Emilio
Raf spends the entirety of this and last episode trying to keep an increasingly freaked out Rose from running to the cops prematurely and ruining Emilio/the hotel’s reputation. They have no evidence linking Emilio to the secret surgery suite! Raf exclaims, two seconds before seeing Emilio hand a wad of cash over to the burly subcontractor who scared Raf away from his “undercover investigations” last week.
“Okay, we can go to the cops,” Raf says.
RIP Emilio. Just, RIP.
For reasons of Rich Men Do What They Want, Emilio is only back in town at all because he decided 1) to sweep Rose away on a secret sex vacation, and 2) to move his and Rose’s departure for their surprise getaway to a surprise foreign locale from two days hence to TONIGHT. When he gets Rose alone in the dead quiet under-renovation courtyard to inform her of this change, she visibly shudders at what must certainly be her imminent kidnapping by an international druglord/demise.
To distract him long enough to form a plan of escape, Rose turns sultry and suggests the two of them get a bit freaky in the open construction hole just there under that concrete chute, pls. Emilio is baffled then excited, especially as Rose starts to unbutton her blouse/strip off her unmentionables. GREAT distraction, Rose! Only, turns out it isn’t to distract the probable druglord from kidnapping her. It’s to KILL THE RUBE.
RIP Rose, and WELCOME SIN ROSTRO
What did I say last week? GOALS AF.
I mean, we knew Rose was a monster when we watched her lie her pants off (pun intended) at Luisa’s “intervention,” resulting in Luisa’s being shipped off to the mental hospital. But the ice cold calm in her eyes as she calls Raf to whimper about Emilio/Sin Rostro’s “fleeing the country” without her? OH MAN.
That said…do we really think Emilio’s concrete grave is going to hold him?
Jane the Pregnant Virgin…with complications. Guys, pregnancy is SO STRESSFUL and Jane is neither me NOR real! *freaked out emoji*
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.