Jane the Virgin
One of the downsides of doing weekly recaps for a show is that what initially may seem like cause for concern in an episode could begin to be addressed in the very next episode, as was the case for this week’s episode of Jane the Virgin. Last week, the show went to extreme lengths to reiterate a fact of which the audience was already well aware: Jane is a good person! The problem with this reiteration was the fact that, increasingly, it seemed then like the show was pushing Jane to untouchable status, making her much more akin to a saint than anything resembling a relatable character.
What’s evident now, which was impossible to see last week, is that it’s this compulsion to always do the right thing and never looking back, of micromanaging to the nth degree, all borne out of this need to be good — all of those things that make Jane such a good person also fuel her most glaring imperfections. This revelation arrives this week when Rafael and Jane, excited at the prospect of learning the sex of the baby at the latest ultrasound, instead are informed that the baby has an echogenic marker, which is likely nothing, but could signify chromosomal abnormalities. They are left with a choice: do nothing and just wait and see, or have an amniocentesis to examine the baby’s chromosomes and search for potential abnormalities, which would increase Jane’s chance of miscarrying.
Theoretically, this should not be a difficult decision for Rafael and Jane to make. After all, in discussing the matter with Alba and Xo, Jane firmly states that, no matter what the amniocentesis results are, she’ll carry the baby to term. But still, the open question eats at her. Ultimately Jane decides to proceed with the test, not because she thinks that the results will inform her choices with regards to her pregnancy but merely because she just can’t stand not knowing. In this moment, Jane chooses to serve her own need for control, rather than trust that whatever will be, will be. It’s not a strange thing to want to feel like you have power in a powerless situation, but Jane’s choice is not one made without consequence. She literally risks her pregnancy in exchange for information.
Her choice is far from some monstrous decision made to reveal how deeply selfish she is, but rather a profoundly humanizing one. Because Jane is who she is, it was never really a question of what she would choose to do, no matter how much she loved her child. Jane is ruled by her need to try to organize her life, a need that is only more pointed when she’s faced with tremendous amounts of pressure. But before she’s truly able to do anything akin to working on her weaknesses, Jane needed to make that choice to become aware of the grave consequences that could result. It’s that recognition that spurs her to attempt to let go and accept the unknowable future, confident that she will be able to handle whatever comes her way.
But how did everyone else fare this episode? Note: No House Telanovela this week!
The episode begins with a handy flashback that establishes both Jane’s need to be in control of her fate and her skittishness with regards to needles, which succinctly sets us up for the amniocentesis plot to come. Another negative consequence I didn’t mention above is the fact that after Jane’s procedure, she’s on mandatory bed rest for 48 hours, meaning she misses her graduation ceremony. Rafael, however, steps in and throws her an impromptu, quite touching bedside gathering with her family.
Alba is in a hurry to get to her physical therapy appointment this week, only to be in a hurry to leave once Xo realizes she has something like a gentleman suitor (played by Cheech Marin) on site. Xo is thrilled to think that her mother might be on the verge of a new relationship, but Alba refuses to discuss it, leading Xo to inquire why Alba hasn’t dated after the death of her husband. Alba says that her deceased husband deserved that much, but Xo assures her that what her father would really want is for Alba not to shut herself off to the possibility of love.
Rogelio spends his time bumming around the house, alternately online shopping and avoiding calls from his agent, but primarily being a pest. Xo, sympathetic but tiring of him being underfoot, strongly encourages him to go out on auditions, telling him that he owes it to his fans, even when things don’t go as planned. She exhorts him to find that version of himself that worked so hard for so long to become the star that he is. Her belief in him pays off when he snags an offer as lead of a new telenovela. Sadly, the role would require Rogelio to relocate to Mexico for no less than 18 months, and the two are unsettled by the prospect.
Petra and Lachlan are preparing to finally leave town, but not before Lachlan sits down with Rafael, informing him that his father, before disappearing, was considering selling off part of the hotel because of the business’s dire financial straits, encouraging Rafael to follow through on the sale. Rafael agrees to consider it but struggles to think about anything other than Jane’s health.
Milos, meanwhile, is still anxious to win Petra back, but she remains resolute in her disinterest. That changes somewhat when Lachlan informs her that he’ll be leaving town without her and wants her out of the hotel, his revenge for her betrayal finally complete. In the aftermath, Milos tells Petra that he’s just purchased a third of the hotel under the guise of a British corporation and is willing to share it with her. Petra, lacking any other viable options, seems intrigued.
Michael and Nadine begin by speaking to Rose and Rafael about Emilio’s disappearance, and eventually end up speaking with Emilio’s assistant, who tells them that, although he’d previously informed police that Emilio had been working in his office all night, he actually spent the night on his boat with his secret mistress. The mistress informs the officers that she was with Emilio that night and has the lurid selfies to prove it. She also tells them that she overheard Emilio calling his wife and telling her that he’d be staying on the boat that night — which suddenly makes it clear to Michael just who the real villain is. Sadly, it’s too late, as Rose is always two steps ahead of the law. Once Rose got word that Emilio had a mistress, she’d stripped off her auburn wig and made a call saying that they needed to move up their plan, before disappearing into the night (via delivery van).
The last sequence of the episode reveals Rafael appearing to meet up with his old best bud Roman Zazo, which is largely unremarkable except that Roman has supposedly been dead for months — remember the guy who got impaled on a rogue marlin ice sculpture a few episodes back?
- Michael still seems like a dead man walking. Will it happen in the finale or *gasp* before the end of February sweeps?
- Will Rogelio really flee to Mexico or will he disappoint his millions of Twitter followers and remain unemployed?
- Jane is so convinced the baby is a girl — could she possibly be wrong?
- Should Jane really have had that amnio?
- Will Alba and Cheech Marin smooch before season’s end?!
- Follow-up question: Will Alba and Cheech Marin smooch before Xo and Rogelio get sexy again?!!
- The most important: Was the biggest surprise of the episode the return of Roman Zazo or the reveal that Rose isn’t actually a redhead?