Posted in TV

“Jane” Gets Back on Track

I’ve been putting off catching up on the last three episodes of JtV. Honestly, Jane has been backsliding into self-destructive behavior, and having watched her grow so much these last few years, it was disappointing and uncomfortable to watch.

Rafa-Ew

Rafael was also giving me reasons to be annoyed with him, because of the way he’s been treating Jane. I get him being frustrated, and even angry, but given his relationship with Petra, I think his feelings toward her are a little over the top. He’s forgiven Petra for cheating on him, stealing from him, lying to him, blackmailing him, spying on him, and impregnating herself with his sperm without his consent. I get that the love triangle is a sore spot for him, but I think he’s being overly harsh, especially considering how much he has grown over the last few seasons. Rafael has developed into a supportive, empathetic, principled person, and his actions in the last couple of episodes haven’t felt honest to his character.

Petr-Oh No!

Petra trying to get J.R. a job close by is a sweet gesture- if she’d asked about it beforehand. So is her purchase of a gorgeous engagement ring approximately the size of Miami. But a big pitfall of Petra’s relationships has been her inability to communicate, and that’s what has happened here. J.R. realizes, with some distance, that she’s not going to be able to move forward with Petra, while Petra is planning to propose. It did feel a bit rushed, them breaking up, but it’s also been a long time coming. Obviously, they were one of the better couples on the show, both in terms of hotness and dynamic, and we’ll be sad to see Rosario Dawson go. This breakup feels very final, so I’m pretty sure that’s a series wrap on J.R. and Petra.

Luis-Ugghhh

So, as usual, Luisa is the worst, but I have some faith in her this time. I think she might try to work with the police to figure out what’s going on, and thus is pretending to work with Rose. Uncovering whatever it is that Rose is planning is the only way to put the Sin Rostro plot to rest, and it centers Luisa firmly in the center of the story, which is where she started. Luisa desperately wants to prove to her brother that she’s clean and trustworthy, and bringing Rose down would be the only way back into his heart at this point. It wouldn’t surprise me if she did just decide to go back to Rose, though, just because she’s been written so inconsistently. Sometime she’s smart, sometimes she’s easily tricked, it makes little sense. It would make sense if she were vulnerable when she’s off the wagon, but she’s made some of her worst decisions while completely sober. So, I have some hope, but it’s not exactly a lock.

Back on the Jane Train

I really liked episode ninety-one, which was a change from most of the season so far. It’s been pretty weak overall, but I think we might be getting back to our favorite things about Jane now. Jane and Rafael are working together again as co-parents to tackle the new challenge posed by Mateo’s ADHD diagnosis. Rogelio has acknowledged his growth and change as a person and promised to do good by the long-suffering Dina. Jane and Petra are close and providing support for each other in their times of need. Some of the best elements of the show are firmly in place to make the last nine episodes good, the team just needs to deliver. There are a lot of plot-threads to tie up, and this is just a short list:

  • What is Rose up to, and how does it involve Rafael? Why did she really fake Michael’s death?
  • Will Petra retain control of the Marbella? Who even really owns the hotel at this point? Milos? What will happen to him?
  • How will Raf and Jane find their way back together?
  • Is Luisa betraying her family again? What is she gonna do with all that sweet drug money?
  • Will Xiomara beat cancer?
  • Will Jane get her book published?
  • Will Rogelio’s telenovella take off in America?
  • Who is running the Marbella gift shop while Jorge and Alba are on their honeymoon?
  • Will Alba ever reconnect with her family in Venezuela?
  • And finally, who is the narrator?

My biggest concern is how they are going to tie up the Sin Rostro plot, but I’m really worried about them messing up the whole Rafael/Jane reunion. It has been coming for literally years and the writers have already done such a mixed job of things, I’m concerned they won’t be able to pull it off. I hope they prove me wrong next week.

Posted in TV

Jane the Virgin Season 2 Finale Analysis

The season two finale of Jane the Virgin aired more than a month ago, but we’re still not over it. A lot has changed in the last season, and there’s so much to cover, so let’s begin.

Mateo is one, and adorable. Jane becoming a mom and coming to terms with her new life was the central theme of season two, and the show was really successful in conveying its message: every mom is different, no mom is perfect. Seeing Petra become a mother this season was pretty amusing, and the relationships between the Villanueva women are always fascinating. The center of Jane has always been family, and it has remained the core strength of the show.

jane jane the virgin jane villanueva gina rodriguez jtv

The romance in Jane the Virgin has always been flawless, but this season failed to win me over entirely. Jane’s ill-fated attempt at internet dating aside, her failed liaison with her academic advisor derails half of the season. I love her new advisor, but Jane is, above all, practical. No way does she try to get with the guy who has her future in his hands. Jane is a romantic, but she isn’t stupid. It just isn’t believable that her character would throw away a good student-teacher relationship because she thinks he might have a thing for her.

Watching Ro and Xo dance around each other this season, both literally and figuratively, has been entertaining, but the two reached a breaking point this season, resolving their differences pretty satisfactorily in the finale: Ro wants more kids, Xo does not. Every kid dreams of their estranged parents getting back together, but it’s not to be. It makes decent sense, Rogelio is still very much the young man. He has his moments of darkness, and a complicated life, but he has the fresh, childlike excitement of a younger man. Xiomara is just as youthful and lively, but more serious. She sees things as they are, and she and Rogelio want different things. Xo not wanting more kids, even with a man she loves, makes sense too. She was still a kid when she got pregnant, and she hasn’t had the easiest life. Wanting to spend the rest of her life focusing on her goals is something her character would want.

There were approximately  a hundred dramatic reveals in the last few minutes of episode 44, a typical day in Miami with Jane and the Villanueva clan. First of all, Sin Rostro faked her own death, Rose is alive and has been posing as the folksy Susanna, Michael’s partner. As fast as Michael got fired, he was rehired at the department when he had a break in the case. Don’t ask me how that works. Rose shoots Michael when he figures out that she’s a fraud, and we’re left not knowing his fate. Rose asks Luisa to run away with her, citing their true love in spite of their differences, those including that she kidnapped Luisa’s nephew and killed her father. We also see Xiomara staring at a positive pregnancy test in horror, leaving her future in question. Finally, Anezka, Petra’s twin sister finally shows her hand, drugging Petra and putting her in the hospital, taking her place. Posing as Petra, Anezka seduces Raphael, leaving her plan somewhat unclear.

no screaming jane the virgin 2x03 nooo

Now to unpack this whole mess. Jane and Michael just had their fairy-tale wedding, and now his life is in jeopardy. There are two ways this could go, to my mind. Michael could be dead, or he could end up in intensive care, unresponsive, to give Rose and Luisa time to get away. I have no doubt that Luisa will chose to run away with Rose, her decision making is pretty much universally terrible.

Raphael letting Jane go without trying to win her back shows how he has developed as a character, he loves Jane enough to want her to be happy, even with another man. We’ve seen Raphael jealous, petty, selfish, and, at his worst, shady. He still has a ways to go in terms of growing up, but he’s getting closer to being worthy of Jane. It seems obvious to me that Jane and Raphael are end-game for the show. The plot of the show got them together flawlessly, then drew them apart just as well. They need to walk away from each other before they can be happy together. Raphael has become a better man through loving Jane, and Jane has become a better person having been challenged by Raphael’s complexities. Michael is a simple character, lawful good. He is the right choice for Jane to make, but he isn’t her destiny. True love is complicated, and what Jane and Michael had was pure, and sweet, what first love should be. But Jane and Raphael have a future together, Michael only would hold Jane back from her true potential for greatness. However, Jane and Raphael can’t be together until they meet on even footing, as equals. He has always had the upper hand on her, he’s older, he has money, and worldly influence. Jane fundamentally cannot be with him with such a gulf of differences between them, we saw the fissures in their relationship forming due to those differences last season. This next season will hopefully be about Jane becoming the successful, powerful woman she has the potential to be. Once we see that, hopefully Jane and Raphael can begin to detangle the complications in their lives and make their way back to each other, to be a family.

Xiomara’s path seems pretty clear. The pregnancy is something I wasn’t expecting, and it will make things difficult for Xiomara early in the season, but it seems obvious that she’s going to get an abortion. She doesn’t want more kids, and it seems likely that Rogelio’s telenovela rival is the one who got her pregnant. That being said, nothing is certain when it comes to Jane. 

When it comes to Petra, I’ve generally lost interest. Her issues with her mother have been played out over the last two seasons, and having her in jail honestly has been a relief. Anezka being in league with Magda seems out of character, but we really can’t put anything past her. Nothing about Anezka can be trusted, since she’s been a double agent this whole time. She is an unknown commodity. I think it’s safe to say that she’s got it bad for Raphael, but other than that, she seems to have been acting a part for the entirety of her time in the lives of the Solano-Villanueva family. She probably is going to pose as Petra for the foreseeable future, possibly to get the charges against Magda dropped. The twin trope should probably be retired after this season though, because so far we’ve had four sets of identical twins on the show and that’s just a bit much. Any more and they should probably test the water supply, because there’s gotta be something in it.

Wow, that was a lot. Never will the Jane the Virgin team be accused of a dull moment. I’m not making any bets, but I think my theories have some merit. Jane has never been predictable, but in order for the plot to move forward, I think at least some of these things gotta go down. Hopefully, we won’t suffer any more broken hearts, but given Jane’s track record, I think it’s highly unlikely that any of the characters get through the next season unscathed.