Posted in TV

“Jane” Falls Flat Again

So, this episode of Jane the Virgin wasn’t just disappointing, it was infuriating. Most of the season so far has been hot and cold, but this episode was a new low. The A plot is Jane’s struggling with Jorge’s new presence in the family home, while the B plot is Xiomara losing it over River Fields’ new infatuation with Rogelio. Both were poorly conceived and were only watchable because of how talented the show’s actors are.

Jorge

Jorge is probably the worst part of the episode. Pretty much everything he does is the wrong thing. He acts essentially like he’s a guest in the house, and expects everyone to alter their lives for his convenience. Turning up the TV when Mateo is having a temper tantrum, acting as though he’s okay with Jane’s reasonable requests and then complaining to Alba about it? That’s teenage behavior, not that of a grown adult man able to communicate effectively. He knew going into the situation that Jane lived at home, and regardless of how he felt about that, he should have understood that this would mean she would probably, you know, have stuff there. He is somewhat considerate of Alba, asking Jane to take the farther parking spot, but overall he’s self-serving and kind of an asshole about the whole thing. It’s almost like he wanted to annoy Jane into moving out.

Alba

Alba enabling the situation is almost as bad- when Jorge comes to her upset, she immediately yells at Jane, despite him not telling her what it’s about. She immediately blames Jane, and then tells Jane that her marriage is none of her business and that Jane never minded when Alba was taking care of her and Xiomara. The thing is, this argument doesn’t ring true. First of all, Alba never keeps her opinions about other people’s relationships to herself. If Jane were to see something troubling in any relationship, I think she would speak up. She’s a busybody, and she cares about people. Secondly, Jane and Xiomara also contributed to the household. While Alba worked, so did Jane and Xo, and Jane took on a lot of family responsibility from a young age. They all had a symbiotic relationship. Alba being sexist and saying that Jorge deserves consideration because he’s “The man of the house” is so awful, and frankly unworthy of her. I expected more from Alba, since she’s grown so much.

I really wanted to see Jane talking to her mother about this- is it something that existed in Alba and Mateo senior’s relationship? Ordinarily, in a problem like this, we would see Jane consult Xiomara and get advice. I missed that. Jane moving out is a good call, and honestly I could see her being Petra’s roommate. They’re stronger together than separately, and while their parenting styles might clash, I think they could learn a lot from each other.

River

This came totally out of left field for me, if you’ll forgive the pun. Honestly, it seems like they’re playing River deluded and unhinged, as opposed to her previous moderate level of crazy. Rogelio has really grown as a person, and I can see why she’d fall in love with him, but we got zero warning about this. The twists on this show only work it the groundwork is laid, and the job wasn’t done right here. I guess we’ll see where it goes, but it doesn’t look promising.

Xiomara & Rogelio

The idea that Xo and Rogelio wouldn’t trust each other absolutely after all they’ve been through is a little far-fetched. The idea of getting back to normal is great, but I’m not really interested in Xo being insecure, it doesn’t suit her anymore. She’s grown so much, seeing her regress this way is kind of painful. However, Rogelio being honest with Xiomara, but realistic about his job, is a breath of fresh air. He can’t avoid River, but he can defer to his wife’s feelings as much as possible.

Overall, the actors pulled off the episode, but it wasn’t a good time to watch. I was hoping this week I would be back to enjoying the show, and not just watching it out of commitment. It seems I was wrong.

Small Things

  • Will Rafael help Jane find a place? This could help them spend a little time together.
  • Krishna coming back to work for Petra is ringing bells in my head- I feel like they’re going to get together.
  • What’s going on with Luisa? I never want more of her, but after last week I do.

 

 

Posted in TV

We need to talk about that episode of “Jane”

jane the virgin petra solano GIFSo this week’s episode of Jane the Virgin was garbage, we’ll get that out of the way. There are a lot of reasons it was bloated and unnecessary, but it also made me think worse of Jane in a lot of ways. In general, it was a wasted episode in a short final season, and we deserve better. I’ve been watching the show since season one, and I haven’t been invested all of this time just to be handed a load of crap.

The premise

The whole idea of the episode is Michael and Jane getting back to basics, leaving Miami behind and seeing how they feel about each other without the context of their collective past. But here’s the thing: That’s BS. Jane’s whole life is that context- her son, her family, her community. She’s lived in Florida her whole life, she’s lived in her grandmother’s house the majority of her life. That’s not something she’d realistically want to give up. I get Jane wanting to run away from her problems, but the whole trip sat poorly with me. A relationship isn’t just about love, it’s also context. The idea that they would take time away and try to make it work without that context is ludicrous.

Rafael

No way would Jane go away on a trip with Michael with the way things are with Raf. He would assume that they had slept together, and that the trip was about them reconnecting and getting back together. Even though they are broken up, Jane knows that Rafael is having a hard time. Rafael is her best friend, and she shouldn’t and wouldn’t treat him this way. Her concern for his feelings just shows that she’s guilty about the way she’s been treating him.

Wasting Time

We are seven episodes in to a nineteen episode season, and they spent a whole episode on this weird Montana adventure. The central conflict of the bull and Charlie was contrived and uninteresting. The conflict with Michael’s boss added some suspense, but not much, and just put pressure on an already difficult situation. There is so much ongoing in the show, that this taking so long is unacceptable. Not to mention that we were deprived of Petra so that fans could see Jane diffuse the situation between Michael and an angry rancher.

jane the virgin eye roll GIF

We’ve seen so much character growth this season, especially from Alba, who has really opened up, become more sex-positive, and been honest about her feelings. We’ve been seeing Xo reconciling with her new identity, and Rogelio trying to be supportive, rather than the center of attention. Petra is in love, trying to navigate her new relationship, and Rose is up to something. I would have been happy to see any of that explored this episode, rather than all of this campy manufactured conflict.

Jane’s Choice

Jane has finally made the definitive choice between being with Michael or Rafael, and, as Rafael told her, she did it way too late. Rafael was pretty patient, all things considered, and it is a complicated situation, but Jane should have just signed the divorce papers and let it go. She was too indecisive, and while Michael was willing to deal with that, because Jane has always chosen him, Rafael was not. I feel confident they’ll still end up together, but I have a feeling that Jane is going to annoy me for the next couple of episodes. She’s never been good at respecting other people’s space, and I hope for her sake she is subtle about waiting for Rafael to come around.

season 2 jane villanueva GIF

So this week was disappointing, but hopefully, we’ll get something more satisfying next episode.