Title: Jane the Virgin S2.E14 “Chapter Thirty-Six”
Released: 2016
Series:  Jane the Virgin

My apologies for the late recap! We started Misandry Madness over in the PLL-verse this week, and my free time just vanished. But I didn’t forget about Jane and Michael and Raf and Petra and Xo and Ro and Alba and the VoG and all the many Solano babes in Miami! Two of them are named Anna and Elsa, turns out—how COULD I forget about them all?






Rafael joining Michael’s investigation and Lola waking up before Rogelio could escape were certainly both very good, but the moment that actually took me by (delighted) surprise was Petra revealing her TWO BABIES’ names to be Elsa and Anna, and proceeding to stare blank-faced at Jane as she reacted the way everyone else in the world will react for the rest of the twins’ lives.


So many choices! In the first four minutes alone, we saw or heard reference to Naja (Jane’s dream-sex bra/Gina Rodriguez’s IRL women-founded fair-labor investment org); Scandal; contraception-as-sexy-foreplay talk; video-feed baby monitors; the nightmare of 1-95. The rest of the episode also made some major calls, to BitMoji (YOLO) all throughout Rogelio’s kidnapping, and to both Sliding Doors AND Frozen (i.e., the moment Petra and Raf were more believable than ever). Gah! What’s a fan to pick?

I missed another Naja placement two eps ago!

I think I’ll go with Naja, since it is a cool company with gorgeous products that I truly covet. If it weren’t a total abuse of my recapper power, I’d share my personal “Give $15, Get $15” link here. But you should all take advantage with your friends if you can! 


After two years of drama and vacillating, Jane’s forever feelings finally settled on her ex-fiancé Michael, rather than baby-daddy Rafael. Michael’s stoked, and much improved as a human being. Raf is bummed. So bummed, he tried to rebound immediately to his second baby-mama, Petra, who months ago impregnated herself with surprise twins (TWO BABIES) in a gambit to win him back. Petra knows her own worth, though, and told him to not make a move on her until his crap is together and he is completely, utterly, over Jane. This will be a slow process, as much of his possible healing time is bound to be taken up with Solano-adjacent crime drama, as he still has to deal with the fallout of learning that his stepmother Rose (RIP) was the newish crimelord Sin Rostro AND the stepdaughter of his birth mother and legacy crimelord, Elena, aka Mutter. Plus, Raf has a half-brother on Elena’s side that will absolutely be coming into play ANY MINUTE, much like Rogelio’s former prison pen-pal/stalker mentioned two episodes ago came into play last week, when his new assistant Paola revealed herself to be said pen-pal moments before trapping Rogelio inside his lavender condo like they were in some telenovelized version of Misery. One would hope someone would know to miss him, but alas, he and Xo broke up just before Paola was hired, and he and Jane had an argument just before Paola kidnapped him. Oh, the dramatic irony!


[REDACTED] Awakening

Our flashback this week is to Teen!Jane’s first discovery of bodice-rippers, which awoke in her a fervent passion for reading, and…that’s it, as Alba censored anything that might have awoken any OTHER kind of fervent passion with a black sharpie. Yep, that’s been the story of Jane’s life! Knowing that fun sexy times are juuuuust around the corner, but somehow (thanks to Alba) always out of reach. 

Back in the present, Jane’s and Michael’s make-up make-out after Jane’s fight with Rogelio makes it seem to Jane like those sexy times she’s always longed for might finally be within reach. And so she goes for it! So hard!

JK, that’s just the VoG messing with us. Michael puts the brakes on, remembering how seriously Jane took her promise all those years they were together the first time, and conscious of the fact that the (marriage) finish line this time really is SO CLOSE. And while the cynic in me could read this as Michael once again telling Jane what she wants and how things will be, the pragmatist in me instead is choosing to see this as very sweet, that he wants to give the gift to her of something that has had historic importance to her, even at a high cost to his own pleasure. I don’t know, YMMV, but I’m chalking this one up as a point in Michael’s PRO column.

Let It Go/A Decent Proposal

The next day, Raf arrives at Michael’s house to pick up Mateo just as Jane and Michael are sitting down to catch up on Scandal (Jane’s shock at learning Michael kept up on his own echoing Rogelio’s strong belief that couples should never watch a mutual show without the other). The whole interaction is awkward, as even though Michael is still as chill as he has ever been about Raf and Raf is sincerely *trying* to make it work on his end, the chill in the room could make a polar bear shiver. 

Jane, ever the dreamy optimist Petra accused her of being in the baby shower episode, sees this cold reception and can’t stop herself from daydreaming about how things might be going instead, had she and Michael never broken up. They’d be married, for one, and not only would Raf have no trouble navigating to Michael’s house, but he and Michael would be best buds, giving Jane crap together over her overzealous planning of Mateo’s upcoming first birthday.

Such a friendship isn’t in the offing now, of course, and Jane’s hypersensitivity over making Michael feel any anxiety over their reconciliation keeps her even from lingering on the fact that Raf neither looks nor is acting like his usual self—she even ignores Petra’s texts about that very topic, for fear that any attention she gives the problem might put her and Michael’s new-old romance bubble at risk.

Jane dives so deep into honoring the old part of that new-old qualifier that she even takes advantage of Raf’s night with Mateo to set up a “would’ve been first anniversary” dinner at Michael’s house to celebrate what, well, WOULD have been their first wedding anniversary, putting herself riiiiight on the edge between “sweet” and “unhealthily fixated.” Unsurprisingly, Michael was of the same mind, as he arrives home with a gift for her, too—which, year one being the paper anniversary and Jane being Jane, is naturally the new Angelique Harper hardcover.

Jane (after ignoring two new texts re: Raf from a frantic Petra) briefly relives for Michael and us the mortification that was her last interaction with Angelique Harper—that impromptu massage-for-manuscript-chapter exchange she made after embarrassing herself at Angelique’s reading by declining Raf’s first proposal of marriage—and wonders aloud why Angelique never got back to her about that chapter. Then she lets Michael let her push dinner back an hour, Old School Jane and Michael Style, so that she can start reading.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t even get past the back cover before there is a problem: save for the time period and country of action, Angelique’s newest bestseller is the exact plot of the manuscript chapter Jane gave her after the massage. Thankfully Jane has a conscientious cop boyfriend on hand to both back her angry shock, and help her walk through every step of documentation Jane will need to bring a legal complaint up against Angelique and her publisher, if it should come to that. Uncomfortably, this includes digging through her old lovey-dovey emails with Raf to find a timestamp on the first draft Jane sent beyond the confines of her computer, which in turn sends Jane into another daydream about how those lovey emails would all have been from Michael, had she never broken off their engagement.

The next day, Petra finally gets Jane to pay attention to her, by showing up at (barging into) Jane’s house unannounced, story in hand about a birthing class Raf “insisted!” she go to, that now he has flaked out on, so since she doesn’t want to go alone and Jane is obviously so good at these things…

“You want me to go with you?” Jane fills in the blank. Want was a nice way to interpret Petra’s attitude, Jane. Demand was more what was happening.

So Jane passes Mateo off to Xiomara and gets in Petra’s car. Only, they don’t aren’t headed to a birthing class—they are headed to a local restaurant, where Petra’s “Find My Friend” bug on Raf’s phone has told her he is. “Something is going on with him, and he is NOT okay!” she exclaims, and Jane is the only person who has had any recent success getting through to him. 

Because of Michael (see below), Jane happens to know exactly where Raf is and what he is doing, and quickly explains things to Petra before they can reach their destination and ruin any carefully laid plans. The two women are only briefly at awkward, loose ends after that crisis fizzles, though, as the radio announces an Angelique Harper book signing going on right then at a local bookstore, at which Jane can’t help but make loud sounds of anger, at which in turn Petra can’t help but perk up. Petra LOVES reacting to anger, and while at first she thinks Jane’s suspicions are unfounded, the moment that Angelique Harper tells the radio dude that her inspiration came to her like a lightning bolt “after a really good massage,” Petra sees that Jane was right to be suspicious, and wheels the car around to help Jane with the confrontation of her life. 

Petra spends the entire time they are waiting in line helping Jane rehearse the exact lines she will use to confront Angelique. Did I say helping? I meant abusingHaranguingBullying. “Toughening you up,” in Petra’s words. Jane has to be ready to Angelique to argue back that Jane is making things up, and she can’t back down, no matter how hard it is. And above all, she can’t let her tone go too high or her words come out too loud and unhinged. “Calm. Quiet,” Petra intones, dead-eyed. “It’s always much scarier.”

And then her water breaks.

At first Petra doesn’t believe her water broke—she just thinks the TWO BABIES that are past term are pressing on her bladder, and Jane isn’t much help, because apparently (thank you for pregnancy mythbusting, AGAIN, show!) the majority of women don’t have/feel their water break. Everyone in the romance book signing line weighs in to co-sign this, in fact. So yeah, Petra is having a baby—TWO babies! And Jane is the only one there to bring her to the hospital.

Because of the same secret reason Raf was at that restaurant Petra was going to confront him at, he can’t get to the hospital right away, even though Jane has texted him and Petra is freaking out. So Jane is also stuck being Petra’s birthing partner, walking her through the pain of the contractions (Petra’s got some condition that makes it too dangerous for her to get an epidural) and distracting her from the very worst of them—the latter which she does by reading aloud from Angelique’s book, which, after a chapter or two in, Jane realizes really isn’t at all similar to her own, save for the cross-dressing heroine plot, which, tbqh, anyone using is just cribbing from Shakespeare.

And so Petra DID help Jane! And now Jane can help her get through the worst part of the labor itself (the pushing) completely undistracted.

Unsurprisingly, the Villanueva’s secret to labor pains—Five minutes of pain for a lifetime of happiness—does absolutely zilch to help Petra pull herself together. So Jane has to try a different trick, and ends up using one from Petra’s own playbook: Calm. Quiet. Scary as hell. “Suck it up,” she intones, glaring. “Push. These babies. OUT.”

And Petra does! And they are named Anna and Elsa. And they are perfect. And Raf gets there, finally, and is able to at last to shed his pettiness by holding his newest little family member.

Outside the hospital, Michael (who drove Raf there) waits to commiserate with Jane over her long day. And seeing him, after seeing Petra and seeing Raf and seeing how things turned out with the book she though Angelique Harper stole, Jane realizes that all her Sliding Doors fantasies had it wrong: she didn’t need and doesn’t WANT to go back to how they were a year+ earlier. They weren’t, as Petra bluntly helped her realize, in a good place back then, or else they wouldn’t have broken up. They both needed the year to learn and grow and become better, both as people and for each other. So Jane wants them to be them now, and forever. And Michael?

He gets down on one knee.

“Yes, yes!” Jane interrupts, dropping to her own knees. He can’t get two words deeper into the basic question itself before she is interrupting again, and then two more words, and she is interrupting again. It is all very sweet, and while it isn’t the direction I would have picked for myself or for Jane, I definitely think it’s consistent with the characters and the story, and the growth feels real. Plus, the triangle is OVER, thank god. Now all I want is for that end to stick.


People Who Live in Glass Houses

So where was Raf all that time Petra was freaking out about his behavior? 

Well, for the first half of her freakout, he was mostly in his own suite, having sex. Lots and lots of sex. With lots and lots of women. And lots and LOTS of contraception.

Sexy, defined.

He was also drinking himself to sleep, and waking up too hungover to be much use for anything in Marbella meetings. Oh, and he was refusing every one of Michael’s calls about him maybe dropping in to help them with their Mutter investigation, which now has grown to include Elena’s other son, Rafael’s half-brother, who went missing from the world/social media the day after Mutter’s identity was revealed to the cops, and who was last seen in St. Croix with a sometimes girlfriend who ahs recently turned up in Miami. That, Rafael wants *no* part of.

Petra finally calls him out on his behavior, echoing PLLs Ezra Fitz (only, being justified in it) as she points at her overdue belly and states that some people have REAL problems, dude. And yeah, most of what Raf is letting himself fall apart over—his mom, his dad, his sister, Jane choosing Michael—he had no control over. But how he reacts to it all? He has control over that.

Her speech works better than she realizes, and Raf understands that there actually is one thing in that litany of issues she listed for him that he could have control over. And so he drops by Michael’s place of work and offers up his services in doing whatever is necessary to track down his rotten killer mom, and Michael sets him up on a long-con of a stakeout to charm half-brother Derek’s sometimes-girlfriend, Avery, to try to use her to get to Derek, and Derek to get to Elena. 

Unfortunately, Raf’s charm isn’t strong enough to keep Avery at the table after he utters Derek’s name. Double unfortunately, Derek shows up and checks in at the Marbella that very night.


On the other side of Miami, Alba is about to learn her own lesson in taking responsibility for one’s own shit, and owning up to when an overreaction has caused genuine harm to someone else. To wit: Jane, and then Xiomara, discover a secret correspondence Alba has been having with her ex-lover, of whom Jane learned about recently, but Xiomara is still in the dark about. 

At first, Xo thinks the sexy IMs are part of some new romance, and she has her fun ribbing Jane about it. But Jane’s lying face is bad, and quickly Xo figures out what is up, and freaks out. Alba comes in, then, and rather than taking her own daughter’s unhappiness at face value, instead turns on Jane and admonishes her for telling Xo even after she specificially asked her not to. At that point, Xo realizes what is going on, that Alba had had sex herself before marriage, and that she still spent all those years giving Xiomara hell about sleeping around and being slutty—a fact which is driven home when Alba of the present day tries to defend herself by repeating what she told Jane—”well YOU didn’t need the encouragement!”

And Xo is, rightfully, off. Not only was Alba a hypocrite for Xiomara’s entire life, she let her own daughter feel like crap about her own perfectly normal enjoyment of sex for just as long. And when she storms out of the room, Jane, telling Abuela herself how wrong she was, follows. 

It’s rough.

Later, the two make up, Alba sincerely apologizing for treating Xiomara so badly, and Xiomara agreeing to forgive her…if she gives Xo all the deets on hot, hot Pablo. Oh, and also Xo reached out on Alba’s behalf and invited Pablo to come visit, at which news Alba nearly dropped a hot kettle on her foot because, “es hombre? Es malo suerte!” An aged bad luck ex-lover priest traveling from abroad?? YES PLEASE.

La Miseria

So where has Rogelio been this whole time? Well, according to his few Twitter updates and even fewer text messages, having fun in the sun on vacation, no one but his new assistant in tow. And even though he has been gone for two weeks, neither Xo nor Jane are that worried about him, the former because of the breakup, the latter because of the argument they had at the Tiago premiere because of the breakup. As far as the Villanuevas are concerned, Rogelio is just leaning into divadom in his sulking.

Little do they know, Ro has been locked in his condo this whole time, literally shackled to his own couch/drugged to sleep every night by his assistant/former prison pen pal/stalker, Lola. She has always been obsessed with him, it turns out, ever since his run on the hit telenovela, La Miseria (hello, Stephen King!), which plot hinged on a barefoot bandit trapping a Hollywood starlet in a cage inside a cave and holding her captive until she fell in love with him. It is literally the most frightening take on “misogyny as entertainment” I’ve seen in months, and I recap Pretty Little Liars every week.

Anyway, that is Lola’s plan now: hold Ro captive until he falls in love with her. He spends two weeks putting on the best show of his life, slowly winning Lola into thinking she might be succeeding, at least so far as to allow him to eventually dictate a message greater than a BitMoji YOLO to Jane, into which he weaves a subtle SOS code that he prays Xo will be able to interpret. Unfortunately, she doesn’t, as the code is “my besos to Xo,” which he intended as a callback to the stalker part of when she realized he used that line when responding to internet stalkers, but instead she interpreted as him telling her she now means so little to him that she might as well BE one of those internet stalkers.

So Ro is left to effect his own rescue, which he does by palming one of his nightly knockout pills (and hiding it in his secret bronzer underwear pocket) to drop into Lola’s wine on the night of the full moon, when she plans for them to consummate their love. The pill only works temporarily, though, and Lola wakes up before Ro can get the pile of new locks on his front door open. And she picks up one of his many acting awards, and aims it straight at his face…


Isn’t for a couple of weeks! AHHHHHHHHHH RO-RO!

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.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.