Lucky 13! AKA, the one where everything changes.*
*jk that’s every week.
THIS WEEK’S MVP(arent)
Villanuevas-de la Vegas win!
…except Jane, who was right to analyze her decision to go through with the procedure as selfish, regardless of Rafael’s supportive protestations to the contrary. But Alba, Xo and Ro? Each had more than one shining moment of parenting this episode, including the mutual parenting betwen Alba and Xo during their heart-to-heart about Xiomara’s father and Alba honoring his memory.
Runner up: Emilio, for not being Sin Rostro after all! Too bad you’re too dead to accept the trophy, man.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
In terms of fluidity, Xo name-dropping Target when talking about how excited Rafael was by his graduation plans. It fit the dialogue perfectly.
However, there was also this:
Never change, Rogelio.
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Jane was accidentally inseminated! Old news. Also, her surprise telenovela star father, Rogelio, was “fired” from his job as a telenovela star and is struggling to find meaning in his exceptional life. Petra was finally tracked down by ex-lover/acid-thrower Milos, who concocted a false throat-cutting plan with her to prove that her mother Magda has been able to walk the entire time. Petra threw her out, and is now taking comfort for all the terrors in her life in super trustworthy jilted fiancé Lachlan’s arms. Also remember how that dbag Zaz was impaled to death on the ice horn of a swordfish? Good. He was Sin Rostro’s man, who it turns out was running a secret criminal plastic surgery ring from the basement of the Marbella. Michael and Nadine have found evidence that Solano, Sr. was the one running the ring/murdering his lackeys, but nope! He was murdered himself…by Rose. His wife/SIN ROS(E)TRO.
Our tentpole flashback is brief, showing ten yo Jane asking a very patient nurse a billion questions about needles and needle pain before releasing her tiny vice grip on the woman’s arm and allowing her to administer a shot. “Jane is bad with needles,” Voice of God narrator tells us. “And letting go.” PUNNY RIMSHOT.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Also bad at letting go is Xiomara, who in the present day has her arms wrapped vicelike around Jane’s baby belly, while Alba kneels in front of them pinning up the hem of Jane’s graduation dress. Yep! Graduation day is finally here (…in two days. Let go, Xo!)! I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TIME OF YEAR IT IS.
Jane is excited about graduation of course, but is equally excited for her next doctor’s appointment, where they will get 3D pictures of the baby (this is a thing?) and will find out the gender.
“Right but what if we DON’T do that” Raf suggests, as the ultrasound technician starts spreading jelly on Jane’s stomach at the appointment. Because I guess Raf hasn’t had enough surprises in his life lately? Anyway, Jane shoots him down, partly because A) Villanuevas always have girls, but also B) she is a PLANNER. So yes, lady technician. They will be learning the gender today, thank you.
Only, the technician isn’t enjoying Jane and Raf’s adorable discussion as much as we are, instead staring fixedly at the baby screen. Jane immediately knows something is wrong and tries to wrestle it from the technician, who hedges a billion times about how only the doctor is allowed to read the results before Raf finally has the presence of mind to interrupt the loop and suggest she go get the doctor.
Raf, just in case you hadn’t already determined, is a superhero this episode. Like, legit “we will probably find a costume and secret hero lair” level of superhero. (Next week on JtV, a special appearance by THE FLASH!).
The doctor returns to read the results, and the what they are is…inconclusive. There is a bright spot called an echogenic focus over the baby’s heart, which could EITHER indicate chromosomal abnormalities, OR nothing at all. They’d need to stick a giant needle into Jane to take a fetal tissue sample to be sure—a procedure with a 1 in 300 risk of miscarriage. And also: the doc gets booked fast, so make a decision about this huge procedure soon, thanks.
After a long discussion with her mom and abuela about how the procedure’s only purpose would be to give Jane information with which she could start making plans—she would definitely not get an abortion this deep into the pregnancy, she informs Xo/assures Alba—Jane decides not to have it. It wouldn’t change the outcome, and would just make her worry. Raf is super on board with this decision when Jane tells him during their goodnight phone call, and tells her to sleep well. And she DOES.
Just kidding. She does the exact thing he stopped her from doing that day she took him on his first bus ride: goes on WebMD and spends the whole night researching all the possible abnormalities and echogenis focus could indicate.
So the next day, instead of getting ready for graduation, she sits her family (now including Rogelio) down and explains her new decision. She can’t let it go. She trusts the doctor. She has faith. And as far as graduation goes, skipping it in order to accommodate the busy doctor’s schedule/48-hour enforced bedrest is no big deal. It’s just a ceremony.
Accompanied by Raf, Xo and Alba, Jane returns to the doctor’s office, where, just like when she was ten, she has him count down from three before he plunges the needle in…
Petra’s Big (Heart) Break
Almost as uncomfortable as Jane at this moment is Petra, who may not have a foot-long needle in her stomach, but does have this:
Milos, you see, still loves Petra. And she should love him, too! Besides, Magda only got A BIT burned from that acid he threw at her—and what Magda did to Petra was way worse! “You are kidding,” Petra deadpans. “I NEVER KID” Milos screams to the whole hotel lobby. Then he starts a breathing exercise and suggests the two of to attend couples therapy.
“Exactly zero people should blame me and my solid gold blinders wrt Scheming Lachlan, given what you are presenting me with right now,” Petra responds, before swanning off to the side of that very schemer.
Those solid gold blinders do their job, too, leaving Petra alone and shocked on the front steps of the Marbella later that night, after Lachlan reveals that she has not packed her entire life into half a dozen designer suitcases in order to join him at a new posting in Spain, so much as she has done so to sneakily kick HERSELF out of the Marbella. Because PSYCH, sister! Lachlan hates you and still holds a huge grudge about that broken engagement, and karma is a witch.
Fortunately (????), Milos is there to catch Petra as she free falls. He has had some of his (expensive! dangerous!) people look into Lachlan, you see, and he’s no so charmi—oh, what’s that? You broke up? Well then please accept this parting gift of a 33% share in the Marbella’s ownership, which he purchased through his “family” business and intends to share control of with Petra.
From fire to fire, that girl is hopping. Sigh.
Sin ROH!stro, or: Michael Finally Does Something Right
Hot on the heels of the big “Emilio is SIn Rostro!” break in the case procured by Michael illegally snooping through the computer files of Miami’s only plastic surgery clinic while on suspension for illegally tailing Rafael while obsessing over Jane, Michael and Nadine return to the Marbella to grill Rafael—and Rose!—about the incredibly inconceivable to Michael notion that Emilio could have been running a secret crime ring literally underneath their feet without Rafael knowing anything about it.
“I literally gave you complete access to my whole hotel and also every single piece of even maybe-evidence that I could think of and ALSO zero slaps in the face,” Raf responds, heroically still not slapping Michael in the face. “And if he contacts me for money or any other form of aid while on the lam, I will obviously also contact you immediately.”
“Anyway, we are all just so shocked,” Rose interjects supportively, sipping her noon mojito and really leaning into her mesmerizing hair game. “Just SO SHOCKED.”
Emilio’s former assistant, Scott, leans into the room then to remind Rafael of his and Jane’s ultrasound appointment, and he looks primed to drop some knowledge that may or may not break the Sin Rostro case one more time, but he gets a flash of Rose’s hair game and chickens out.
Turns out, the secret Scott was keeping was that Emilio had a mistress, who Michael and Nadine bring down for questioning that afternoon. “Do you have NSFW timestamped sex selfies to prove his alibi?” Nadine asks. “DO I EVER,” says the mistress.
Rose, for what it is worth, is genuinely surprised to hear about Emilio’s affair. And then she surprises US by revealing, as she calls a mysterious other person to declare that their timeline needs to move up, that her mesmerizing hair game IS A LIE.
Armed with evidence that precludes Emilio from being Disgusting Tom’s murderer, Michael and Nadine call Scott the Assistant down for questioning, too. “Well, you know,” he hedges, “guy code…
…so I didn’t want to say anything until now.”
A light LITERALLY goes on over Michael’s head (thanks Nadine!) as he finally puts one and a billion plastic surgery recovery suite plan clues together to point the Sin Rostro finger at Rose. “We found all this evidence that pointed to Emilio, but why didn’t we ever think how it just as easily pointed to HER?!” he laments. A) WE nothing. YOU laid the blame on Rafael, while Nadine was busy ferreting out the Emilio angle. B) I called Rose from that very recovery suite plan scene. I watch a LOT of tv.
Anyway, by the time they send officers to apprehend Rose, she’s cleaned out her rooms and disappeared.
Poll time! Last week, there was a dead even split between those who thought Emilio was dead for sure, and those who bought into (or really, really want) my evil twin theory. This week, let’s take a stab at predicting who Rose’s phone call partner is…
The Passions of Sandwiches
Despite Xiomara’s words of wisdom and support at the news of Santos’ death, Rogelio has spent the last two weeks of show time spiraling, half-living at the Villanuevas’ as he eats his way through a hundred grilled cheese sandwiches and engages in heated bidding wars on eBay to distract from the heated bidding war over his acting services.
“Job offers?!” Xo asks, sounding too much like everyone’s mom. “AUDITION offers,” Ro says, disgusted. They want to test his American accent! THE NERVE! Still, work via audition is better than no work at all, Xo the nagging mom says, so Ro gives it a shot.
Unfortunately, his American accent does not pass muster. Double unfortunately, WE DON’T GET TO HEAR IT. Triple unfortunately, he vents his frustrations with the entire showbiz industry to Xiomara’s class of 10yo dance students (I missed you kiddos!).
After banning him from all future dance classes, Xo suggests that Rogelio not close himself off to imperfect offers, regardless of the disappointment of this specific audition. He agrees, and within the day DOES get an offer. For a leading role! In a telenovela!
…for a year and a half.
RO DON’T GO.
Alba + Cheech, Flirting Over an Exercycle
Alba’s new storyline is SO CUTE. She has apparently been going to physical therapy for her back (glad to see old plot threads not completely abandoned), and Xo is initially baffled by her anxiousness to get going. But when Xo returns to pick her mom up later and catches her flirting with a cute old stoner on the neighboring exercycle, she understands what is going on, and in true Xiomara fashion encourages Alba to get her some.
“Yes!” chimes in Rogelio, when he figures out what Xo is talking about. “Any man would be luck to have Alba as his LOVER.” The only valentine we need, just print it on a billion tshirts.
That night, as they are agreeing that Raf is actually pretty good for Jane and joking about his excitement at his plans for Jane and how he spent two whole hours in Target (“probably because he’s never been there before!” Alba laughs, not knowing about the amazing Target date from several episodes back), Xo catches her mom off guard by asking her why she never dated after Xo’s dad passed away.
“He came to this country for me, and worked so hard, and his heart gave out. For me. He deserves for me to honor his memory,” Alba explains, as we all weep.
“Well,” Xo replies, “don’t close yourself off from the possibility of a second love forever.” And Alba agrees.
Always Wear Sunscreen, Part II
Jane returns from the needle appointment sore and subdued. Rafael tucks her into bed, brings her orange juice (it makes the baby move around usually!), and lays down on a makeshift pallet of knit blankets on the floor next to her bed. When she can’t sleep, he agrees to talk to her about anything other than the baby (namely, that he has made the decision to sell off part of the Marbella…like his father would have done, he says, even though Emilio’s likely plans shouldn’t really be a guiding light right now when everyone suspects him of being Sin Rostro, I’d argue). He promises he’d forgive Jane if her decision to go through with the appointment does end up costing the baby’s life, and reassures her that her decision wasn’t purely selfish, and that there wasn’t a clear best choice. He does EVERYTHING, basically.
He’s such a perfect partner, *I’M* starting to suspect he’s got something up his sleeve.
Anyway, the biggest and best thing that Rafael does is plan a surprise solo graduation ceremony at Jane’s bedside, with Rogelio as the keynote speaker, and it is at this surprise ceremony that the award-worthy parenting really comes into focus. Ro tells Jane how proud he is of her, on this day that he has been awaiting for the two and half months he has known her. He even ignores a call from his agent to continue his speech!
Then Xiomara comes forward and tells Jane that she is amazing and perfect, and that the secret to being a good mom for Jane was that there was no secret, because Xo was lucky and got a girl who became her best self all (or so Xo thinks) on her own.
Then ALBA comes forward to say one, that not all mom’s are so lucky, as Xo was the exact opposite experience as a daughter, but more importantly two, that Jane is the best gift she could have ever been given—all thanks to God. (Much like the subtle, story-correct insertion of brands into dialogue, the Villanuevas’ religion is handled just as deftly. They are shown as being no more or less overtly religious that they are. It’s not a message of PRO or ANTI religion, it just is what it is for their family, which is great—and rare—to have on television).
Points to Raf, for correctly predicting that this surprise would be one that Jane would love.
Raf’s Got Something Up His Sleeve
Just as Rafael is collecting all the accolades Xiomara never thought she’d give him, Michael and Nadine are across town watching security footage of the night Zaz was murdered. On it? Rose, Emilio, AND Bellboy Tom.
“Then who killed Roman Zazo?” they ask each other, incredulous.
I knew it was too good to be true!!!
Jane comes face to face with a dead man, and Rafael has some explaining to do.
(PLEASE BE SECRET TWINS PLEASE BE SECRET TWINS)
Also, be on the lookout for some JtV valentines in the FYA valentines post later this week…
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.