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

Unpopular Opinion: Michael Sucks Now

So, we are four episodes into the fifth and final season of Jane the Virgin, and I have to say, Michael is making me so mad. Of course, he did turn out to have amnesia, which was what we predicted, and that wasn’t his fault. But, he is being an ass now that his memory is intact.

Allow me to explain: Jane is in a stable, loving relationship with the father of her son. He has recently taken a job to support them so that they can live together and she can write her novel. They are co-parenting their child effectively and maintaining a close familial connection with both Jane’s family and their extended family of Petra and the twins. Frankly, things are good. Jane has a good life, one that makes her happy. There is a future that she is excited about. She took three years to mourn her husband, and now she has her life back.

Then, Michael returns. First of all, he was kind of a dick when he was Jason, and now he’s back to himself, and still being awful. He’s being so selfish, trying to get Jane to be with him again when she has her life together and is happy. If he loves Jane, he shouldn’t be trying to disrupt her life. He knows Jane really well, and what does she want? Stability. Jane loves lists, and order, and Michael deciding to try to win her back brings her world crashing down in a big way. When he was going to leave without seeing her, he was doing the right thing, the selfless thing. He was going to allow Jane to make peace with their past and move on with the rest of her life. Then, he saw her and they had to talk it out. That’s fine- but he still should have left. It would be one thing if Jane and Raphael were just dating, or had feelings for each other- but they just moved in together! Raphael was about to propose to Jane, and she was going to say yes. They are committed to each other, and in a healthy way. Their relationship is good, and trying to break that up because he still loves her is peak selfish of Michael to do.

Jane is obviously not blameless in all of this- her conflict is understandable but still hard on everyone involved. What she needs is a therapist, and some patience. It is understandable that Rafael needs to take a step back, but heartbreaking. He has to protect himself, for his own emotional health. Asking Jane to move out is a huge step back, and how are they going to proceed? They haven’t technically broken up, but is that coming? If so, it probably won’t stick, but it was truly terrible thing to watch, and it helped Jane realize her new greatest nightmare, hurting her son and losing the man she loves. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for Jane to get her shit together and tell Rafael that he’s the one she wants to be with. It is possible that the middle of the season could see Jane single, because there’s no way she’s going to get back together with Michael. There has just been too much change for their lives to ever fit together again. Is he going to be a detective again? What’s going to happen to Bo?

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you are team Rafael or team Michael, as long as you’re team Jane. Jane will decide what she wants to do, and hopefully with minimal hurt on all sides. Breaking up with Rafael would cause the most structural damage to her relationships and life. This conflict has been set up to mirror the previous times Jane has had the choice between Rafael and Michael. The first time, when she broke her engagement to Michael because she’d fallen in love with Rafael. The second time she’s at a crossroads, she chooses Mateo over them both, in order to focus on herself and her new baby. The third time, she chooses Michael, and then soon after has to break up with him for Mateo’s safety. When Michael comes back into her life, they get back together, and get married. At that point, Rafael was still in love with Jane, but he knew that she was happy and wanted to marry Michael, so he respected her decision. He was tempted to tell her he loved her on her wedding day, fifty feet from the alter, and he kept his mouth shut. Why? Because he cared about her.

the young pope season GIF

Initially, when the whole story started, Michael and Jane had been together two years, and Jane and Rafael had kissed briefly in the past. Then, the whole artificial insemination thing happened, and everything went bananas. Michael was about to ask Jane to marry him, and she was about to say yes. Then, blast from the past, Rafael shows up.

Now, Jane and Raf are happy, and Michael, blast from the past, returns from the “dead.” They are about to get engaged, but are shocked by Michael resurfacing. In this case, it’s a resurrection, not a pregnancy, that disrupts Jane’s life. I feel certain that Jane and Rafael will end up together, but I understand his distaste for the love triangle. It’s been played out before, and she’s never chosen him. I hope that Raf has grown enough as a character that he can give Jane the time she needs to make her peace with Michael, so that they can start their lives together. Their story has been a convoluted one, but they deserve a happy ending.

jane the virgin couple GIF