BEST FRIEND STORY. BEST FRIEND STORY. Screw love triangles (no for real, I hate them, burn them all)—I am SO here for any Jane+Lina BFF story.
THIS WEEK’S MVP(arent)
I’m going to go with Rafael, for multiple times stepping up with a rational response to/plan for the various babies now in his life—first with bringing up with Jane the need for them to establish custody rules, then with supportively “dressing down” Petra for hurting Mateo/getting herself pregnant with his baby, finally with seeing Jane’s new-mom-tunnel-vision for what it is when she explained it to him point blank in the third act—even when his emotions could understandably have gotten the better of him.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
OMG, Xiomara stealing a luxury RV full of silky long-haired rabbits to counter-blackmail Luciana, for SURE. The onscreen map-tracking even paralleled the twist of Rose kidnapping Mateo at the end of Season 1! So, so great.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
The über-meta commercial pop-up bug for Make Love Week featuring Rogelio de la Vega as El Presidente:
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Brand-new virgin mother Jane fell in love with two hotties—baby daddy and rich hotelier, Raf, and ex-fiancé and Worst Detective Michael—and now finds herself needing to make a final decision for real RIGHT NOW COME ON HURRY UP YOU DON’T HAVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE OR EVEN MATEO’S FIRST MONTH ALIVE AVAILABLE TO FIGURE YOUR HEART OUT OR ANYTHING. The dudes are restless. Raf even kissed Jane, trying to kick-start the decision making process! Which, ofc, Raf’s lovelorn, machinating ex Petra filmed on her camera right after extracting a promise from Raf that he will keep Petra and her unborn turkey-baster baby in his life in Miami. Man, if their lives were a telenovela, its ratings could only possibly matched by the BTS action on Rogelio’s Passions of Santos set, where his ex-wife has come in to (blackmail him into letting her) play El Presidente’s lost love for the show’s Make Love Week storyline. What does she have on Rogelio?? Surely not that he is involved with Rose, Rafael’s ex-step-mom/Miami’s ex-leading-crime-lord Sin Rostro, who had an affair with Raf’s sister Luisa that was so passionate that every bad guy from Miami to Montreux knows she’s Rose’s weakness. Example? The Swiss-German lugs who kidnapped and beat-up Luisa on camera to get Rose’s attention. And Rose had BETTER be paying attention, because if it were left up to Worst Detective Michael Cordero and his sketchy lead of #HeidiVanOcher to uncover Luisa’s kidnapping, Luisa might actually end up learning more German than just “I’ll sleep with your wife!”
Me’N the Rest of My Heathens
We already knew this, but Jane Gloríana Villanueva has always been good—a good student, a good daughter, and a good friend. We’ve seen the first two in force, but have had less opportunity thus far to see the latter in as much glorious detail as at least this recapper would like.* Thankfully, that exact problem—friendship duties being the first casualty of new momhood—is the emotional pivot this week, kicked off by an amazing flashback to Young!Jane shucking her “good girl” reputation in order to back Young!Lina up pulling a hip-hop bait-and-switch at their elementary school’s talent show.
I was like, good gracious, ‘se girls are bodacious (#friends4lyfe)
Jenna Ortega as Young!Jane is a gift. Thank Nelly we’ll get to see even more of her *as a smartypants engineering whizkid* on her new Disney show.
*My top complaint for all shows with awesome female leads is that more often than not, that complexity is won at the expense of a *weekly* cast of equally interesting, consistently present and complex female friendships (I’m throwing shade at you, iZombie, Mindy Project, Veronica Mars; you should know better!). Jane is pretty good with keeping Lina around, considering the sheer volume of character arcs and plot points it has to juggle, but I will allllways welcome more of her.
Real Friends Celebrate Your Peep-in-Pants Progress
Smashcutting directly from the only Mary Katherine Gallagher pose I’ve not cringed at (see header image), we find our fave BFFs in the present, doing walking lunges around a playground as part of Jane’s post-birth “Carriage Cruisers” workout group. Jane’s matching yoga gear and luxurious high pony are definitely on point, but nothing can top the fact that Lina is matching Jane lunge for lunge in a shimmery club top, tight mini-skirt, and platform heels. Girl looks GREAT. Her secret, the workout leader wants to know?
WHY is Lena so dressed up, though? Well, because her 25th birthday is coming up, and as we learn through a second mini-flashback to that great baby shower Lena threw Jane that hits Jane like a brick, Jane promised to throw Lena an over-the-top incredible SURPRISE 25th birthday party in return. And so Lena has been showing up to every friend date with Jane and Mateo dressed to the nines, just in case that friend date was the friend date. This explains a lot, although maybe not exactly why Lena thought that a surprise party starting in the morning at a neighborhood park would require club clothes.
Anyway, unwilling to admit that she was a bad friend and completely forgot about Lena’s birthday at all, let alone that she was meant to plan a blowout surprise party for it, Jane tells Lena that yes, yes, the party is on Friday like she guessed. And the theme? Well, thanks to a quick glance at her World Lit Class’s book of the week as she’s squatting (not to brag, but Jane stopped peeping her pants yesterday and so can totally do squats now, thankyouverymuch)—it’s The Great Gatsby! “Ahh! I love that movie!” Lena squeals, one thousand percent trolling everyone in earshot (girl is NOT dumb).
MAN. Everything about this scene was fantastic, a perfect example of precisely what JtV is so skilled at: the subtle and consistent layering of story and character development through what seems like little more than background noise. We have a continuation of the real physical limitations on a woman’s body following a birth, which JtV has always couched in humor (adult diapers; peeping in the pants) but is still more honest about than *I’ve* seen before. We have enough references in Lena and Jane’s conversation to be convinced that they both have a life and experiences outside of what we are seeing through the VoG’s narration. And, finally, we’ve got Jane preparing to take on just THIS MUCH more than she can handle in attempt not to let anyone down. We’ve got it all!
Secrets? WHAT Secrets?
Speaking of getting it all, I’ve had a WEEK, so am going to just race through the episode arcs for each of our main characters. Their arcs? Mostly about secrets! What is this, a telenovela???
Jane’s secrets: Well, one, obviously, that she forgot to plan Lena’s big birthday, a problem which puts Jane into a gear so high we get to see old pal Luca AND new lounge manage Scott in quick succession as Jane tries and fails to a) get enough people to RSVP at such short notice and b) keep the Marbella lounge free of papier-mâché Alps that might detract from the Great Gatsby theme. “Why are there mountains here??” Jane reasonably demands of Scott. “I have zero idea, lady, gooooood, it’s not like this is my sole job these days!” Scott snarks back. Good hire, team Marbella!
Anyway, the party falls through and Lena blows up on Jane for ditching her the moment Mateo appeared, and we are all very, very sad because the fight is very, very real. But Xo convinces Jane she can take one night off for her best friend, and after sending Mateo off for an evening with Daddy Rafael (successfully concluding the co-parenting arc), she meets up with Lena at the club and, thanks to a strategic playing of Nelly’s classic “Hot in Herre,” they resolve everything.
Jane’s second secret—not that she intends to keep it one—is that Rafael kissed her. At the top of the hour, Jane announces her intention to tell Michael for the sake of transparency (Xo isn’t thrilled at the idea), but the twists and turns of the Sin Rostro investigation end up scuttling her plans, and Petra gets to Michael first. The tables eventually turn after Jane wanders tipsily into the papier-mâché Alps after her very successful Girls’ Night Out and finds Worst Detective Michael and kisses him under the fake jodeler’s snow. And kisses him. And kisses him. And then goes home to tell Xo all about how it made her feel that Michael is the one, despite the baby monitor camera staring straight at them and beaming into the living room where Raf is asleep on the couch. Jane races out to ensure that he didn’t hear, but of course his peaceful repose is a LIE he heard EVERYTHING.
Ugh I hate love triangles.
Michael’s secrets: Well, one, obviously, that he kissed Jane a lot, although that is more of a secret to drive next week’s drama. His main secret is, naturally, about Sin Rostro—the fact that in order to get Mateo back he let Nadine go. He hasn’t once told anyone about that, until this week, when he finally tells Jane after she apologizes to him for not telling him about the kiss with Raf right away and they promise to not keep secrets from each other anymore. I mean…okay? But those don’t seem like symmetric secrets?
Anyway, despite the fact that he has no partner and Sin Rostro is no longer in Miami causing trouble (probably), Michael is still begging his boss for the latitude to do whatever the hell he wants. Like for example, fly to Switzerland to investigate #HeidiVonOcher, about whom he knows nothing more than her name. Flying to another country is not the first step in tracking down a lead, Michael!
Doesn’t matter to him. “I know the Sin Rostro case better than anyone,” he spits when told repeatedly that he can’t track this lead. That does NOT inspire confidence, and I’m not just being glib, considering the fact that the *brand new partner transferred from Tuscaloosa* his boss saddles Michael with ends up having a deeper understanding of the historical crime scene in Miami and how that history might inform the present, because reading. A little less Jane distraction, a little more (investigative) action, Michael!
Heidi von Ocher’s secret: She is a world-class yodeler (“jodeler”) who was previously Rose’s lover, back when Rose was Denise, and who was then unceremoniously dumped by Denise!Rose when Mutter called. We learn all this through her translators, Gerta and Brigit, who fly with her to Miami when Michael uses chicanery and Raf’s connections to booking agents to book Heidi as the Marbella’s newest floor-act. “Mutter, like mother!” the milkmaid translators shout at Michael and Susanna in the interrogation room. “Right but also couldn’t Mutter be—” Susanna starts in, but Michael cuts her off with his mansplaining hands. Yes, that makes sense.
Also, Heidi ends up with a second secret, and that is that she sleeps with Luisa. That may turn into less of a secret and more of a something nice ought to happen to Luisa ONCE thing, tbh.
Luisa’s secret: Well, after sleeping with Heidi, she opens up her email to see a banner ad for a Garden of Eden website that looks exactly like the one her kidnappers were using to communicate with Rose in code. The banner ad, in code, asks if she would be willing to talk to Rose. And Luisa? Probably clicks “yes.”
Susanna’s secret: Susanna is Michael’s newest partner, and pretty much everything about her is secret from Michael because he just CANNOT BE BOTHERED to learn fact one from her file. Like, she is an expert lie detector.
Like, she has a photographic memory. Like, she spent significant time reading up on Miami’s major crime history when she was assigned to this post and learned all about Mutter, the original faceless crime lord from the 1980s who was known for tying up her hostages with blue silk cord. You know, Michael, like the blue silk cord that Luisa was tied up with, that you would never have learned about if Susanna hadn’t asked when Luisa came in for questioning after being returned to Miami by her hostage-takers?
Oh, also Susanna’s secret is that she is a mole for the police captain, assigned to figure out what secrets about Nadine/Sin Rostro Michael is hiding. I would bet anyone real money that Michael will be completely and utterly surprised when Susanna’s true purpose is revealed. He is NOT A GREAT DETECTIVE.
Petra’s secret: Mostly it is that she was the one who crumpled up Jane’s OCD babysitting instructions to Raf in an effort to poke holes in any burgeoning fondness Jane and Raf might be developing. It totally works! But that is in great part due to the fact that Jane’s brain is so overwhelmed by new-mom feelings and fears that she can’t see past them.
After Jane and Raf have a heart-to-heart about that fact, and about how it is WHY she can’t even think about romantic options right now, because she barely even recognizes herself (take note, Michael!), Raf heads off to Petra’s office to confront her about how all the petty things she is doing to get between him and Jane is only hurting Mateo. There is zero future between him and Petra, he repeats, repeatedly, but she doesn’t need to think of her pregnancy gambit as a mistake, because after years of miscarriages when they were younger, she finally got pregnant. And that is great! Raf says. And he will love the baby. But Petra needs—and deserves—to find someone else to love.
Unfortunately, the good vibes from this surprisingly uplifting breakup only last a moment, as when Petra returns to her suite she is confronted by Milos, her violent, lovestruck ex, who tells her as he sinks to one knee that the time has come to pay the angel-investor piper, so, Petra, “you will marry me.”
Man, PETRA. ZERO breaks for that girl!
Rogelio’s secret: The big one from last week’s cliffhanger! The majority of you chose the two options having to do with something scandalous from his time climbing the Hollywood ladder pre-Santos, and while the details weren’t correct, the idea of it was. Rogelio’s secret shame is that, when he and Luciana were married, Rogelio was a SCIENTOLOGIST. And he and Luciana made a bunch of crazy confessional videos at home because they couldn’t afford the fees to do it officially. And now, Luciana has those tapes, and is threatening to release them to the public if Rogelio doesn’t accede to her demands.
He does, temporarily—with Xo’s blessing—but Luciana ends up asking too much. And she Ro and Xo hatch a plan and bunny-nap Luciana’s trailer full of silken long-haired rabbits in order to make a hostage exchange. It works. It’s great.
And that’s it for secrets! Raf stayed away from that mess this week, mostly, choosing to confront Jane directly with the idea of involving lawyers in custody negotiations rather than going behind her back (he wouldn’t, but a telenovela might). This co-parenting thing will be tough! But they are both going in wide-eyed, I guess.
Rogelio’s (amazing) nemesis BRITNEY SPEARS (amazingly) descends on Miami. In preparation for what is *certain* to be an amazing chapter in Jane’s life, how about you listen to the Britney Spears episode of the Mystery Show podcast, and just imagine Rogelio fuming in the green room one casino over the whole time…
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.