With just six weeks to go until Jane and Michael’s wedding, what’s a girl to do? As it turns out, it’s a pretty long list: Try to get on an adviser’s good side, make peace with her future in-laws, find out where her dad’s been, convince her grandma that flying her ex-boyfriend out for a visit isn’t the worst idea ever, and you know, plan an engagement party. In the words of our oh-so-wise narrator, “Let’s do this!”
Jane is officially back on the market for an adviser, and as it turns out, she’s been paired with one Marlene Donaldson. She seems pretty harmless — that is, until she starts talking, making it clear that Jane is going to have to work really, really hard to make sure her writing passes both the Bechdel test and her own strict requirements when it comes to good fiction. Never mind the fact that Jane the Virgin teasingly frames its sequences so that its very own script fails the test; Jane is having a tough go at it. It’s not that she doesn’t want to feature two women who talk about something other than a man, but let’s face it: When a girl lives in a novela world, it’s tough to stick by man-made rules. (See what I did there?) As it turns out, Professor Donaldson hates her first draft, but homegirl’s got other problems: She hasn’t been able to get ahold of Rogelio, a situation that’s gone from mildly alarming to code red, especially since Rogelio never responded to the news about her engagement to Michael. In the words of Beyoncé, ring the alarm!
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With that, Jane reaches out to Michael. Her fiancé — who has been busy this episode counseling Rafael about how to best learn details about his mother’s criminal past from his half-brother Derek — quickly puts on his detective hat and sniffs around and quickly finds out that Rogelio is being held captive at his home. It’s a reminder that for whatever other failings Michael might have, he’s pretty good at his job.
In fact, he might have his parents to thank for that, as evidenced by how hard nosed they are when it comes to Jane re-entering their son’s life. Rare is the truly successful on-screen depiction of a future in-law’s scorn, but I have to say, Jane nails it with a hefty serving of furrowed brows, cold sneers, and palpable disdain. But why, might you ask, would anyone anyone hate Jane? It’s because she broke their son’s heart, and you kind of can’t blame them for it. That said, if there’s one thing that Jane learns tonight, it’s that, as much as she’d like to, she can’t live her life hoping that everyone will like her — a lesson that comes in handy when, at the close of the episode at her engagement party, she cuts her losses with Michael’s parents and decides to move on. If Michael loves her and understands her point of view, that’ll have to be enough. In a world where women are often depicted as super popular and eager to please, Jane’s about-face is really quite refreshing.
NEXT: Someone’s not settling into her new role very well