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'Jane the Virgin' recap: 'Chapter 40'

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Patrick Wymore/The CW

Jane the Virgin

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
2
run date:
10/13/14
performer:
Gina Rodriguez
broadcaster:
The CW
genre:
Telenovela, Drama, Comedy

Throughout the series, Jane has had her fair share of ups and downs — the panic surrounding her unexpected pregnancy, her anxiety over being reunited with her father, guilt regarding Mateo’s health problems — but hands down, one of the most significant of these is her argument with Xo.

Here’s a refresher: At Jane’s bachelorette party last week, Xo had a wee bit too much to drink and ended up making out with Lina’s crush, a boy a few decades younger than her. Jane was absolutely steaming mad over Xo’s lack of judgment, and in return, Xo is seething over the fact that Jane rejected her apology and is acting super judgmental. The result? The two ladies refuse to speak to or see each other, a fact which definitely doesn’t help Jane when she finds herself out a babysitter.

Enter a moment tailor-made for #TeamMichael fans: Michael cheerfully volunteers to babysit Mateo, assuring Jane that he’ll carefully review any and all lists associated with the responsibility. Forget about last week’s shirtless towel scenes: This is definitely Michael’s sexiest moment! As one might assume, Michael is the best babysitter of all time — so much so that when Jane and Rafael head to the Marbella later to check on their baby, Mateo spontaneously calls Michael “dada.” This is, as the narrator calls it, a “daddy debacle.”

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Rafael — who’s a bit stressed out as it is, what juggling with 1) having acted on an insider trading tip and 2) trying to get a loan in order to buy a neighboring hotel – isn’t too pleased over the big milestone. And who would blame him? He’s trying to get to the bottom of the matter of his mother, trying to advance his career, spend time with his newborn twins, and is doing his best to be there for Mateo. But it’s not enough, it seems, and after the daddy debacle, Rafael asks Jane for three days custody instead of two. She’s amenable to this, which seems to ease a bit of Rafael’s anxiety. And you know what? Good for Jane for putting out fires where she can, especially since she’s treading on thin ice as it is when it comes to the matter of her novel draft and her adviser.

NEXT: The best fantasy sequence ever, right this way[pagebreak]

That’s right: No amount of tears is going to make Professor Donaldson budge her deadline date or her obvious distaste for Jane’s genre of choice. (A factor that might also impact whether Jane gets the go-ahead to return to her grad program next semester.) And try as she might — despite all editing and writing and rewriting of a story centered on a salsa-dancing, pink sparkle-wearing heroine in 1962 Havana — Jane just can’t seem to come up with something that pleases the prof. For the record, I’m a fan of Jane’s heroine, whose coquettish delivery and funny turn of phrase during a few standout fantasy sequences definitely was one of the best alter-ego bits we’ve seen from Gina Rodriguez all season.

Speaking of alter egos, let’s talk about Petra’s long-lost twin, shall we? Anezka is everything that Petra isn’t, from her mousy brown locks to her humble, self-deprecating demeanor. (Note: The one thing they have in common aside from their looks is their love of personal space.) Maybe that’s why Petra has taken to her, feeding her everything from bananas to bread pudding, and listening carefully to her tales about growing up in an orphanage in the Czech Republic. And though Petra has done her best throughout the show to appear as though she doesn’t have much of a soft side, it seems that she actually does, marching down to the prison to demand answers of Magda.

Here, we get the whole story behind the twins. In a nutshell: Magda could barely afford one child, much less two. So, she shares, she picked the pretty one (Petra) and gave up the ugly one (Anezka). “But now I see you’re the pretty one,” she tells Anezka. “My other daughter is an ungrateful beetch.” She’s a loving one, that Magda.

Meanwhile, on top of everything else she has going on, Jane still has wedding-related tasks to tackle, among them, picking a dress. Her standoff with Xo has definitely helped delay planning, so Rogelio decides to take matters into his own hands by enlisting one of his former writers, Dina Milagro (welcome back, Judy Perez!) to help him come up with a solution. His plan? To have Dina write a telenovela that will simultaneously get network execs off his back about building a massive new set and will help Jane and Xo mend their relationship. And it works: Network execs are over the moon when Dina reveals that the read is a setup for an episode about clones, and Jane and Xo are moved to tears when they realize that their relationship is worth saving. Here’s to Rogelio saving the day! (And for getting it on with Dina. Who says writers can’t be smart AND sexy? Cough cough.)

NEXT: Bad choices about big bucks[pagebreak]

With Jane and Xo back on track that means our titular heroine can finally pick a wedding dress, and she does. I’d describe it to you in all of its ivory glory, but sorry kids – it was never shown on camera. That said, Jane the Virgin has always been about more than just romance and happy endings, and that’s all too apparent when Jane and Michael are photographed by an unseen person. (Though this episode does end with Jane fixing her novel and getting the go-ahead for grad school in the fall.) Why does this person care about what Jane is up to? Why are her and Michael’s movements being tracked? Could this impact their wedding? Uh-oh.

Big stakes and huge mistakes are a running theme in “Chapter 40,” which sees Rafael nearly lose the purchase of the Fenwick Hotel when Petra’s twin smacks a female banker in the face when she invades her personal space and mistakes her for Petra. All the wining and dining Petra and Rafael had done in order to secure a big loan seems to have gone out the door with the slap, and it seems like all the apologies in the world can’t make up for it. With the prospect of the loan gone, Rafael makes a choice: He’s put the $5 million dollars he made from his stock purchase toward buying the hotel. For the record, he definitely lied to Petra about getting a bank loan and while we have to applaud him for trying to lessen her stress about the whole ordeal, I have to wonder: When exactly is this decision going to bite him in the butt?

Burning questions, stray observations, and memorable one-liners:

  • You gotta love how Alba totally acts the part of the quintessential Latina grandmother at the sight of Jane’s cleavage-boosting wedding dress. “God doesn’t need to see boobies as you enter the Holy Sacrament of marriage.”
  • Derek Hough in the salsa dancing scene of a lifetime? YES, PLEASE.
  • Did anyone else expect to see Rogelio dive head first into a new fling? Or could it be more than that? Dina is certainly the type he usually falls for, and I for one wouldn’t be mad to see him with a whip-smart woman who challenges him intellectually. But what will Xo think?
  • “My whole life is not built around that goal.” —Professor Donaldson. Consider this my virtual hat tip to Jane writers for emphasizing that although Jane strongly desires a traditional happily ever after, women shouldn’t be made to feel that marriage is a one-size-fits-all proposition.
  • Did anyone else love seeing Petra being knocked down a peg or two with her sister’s arrival? Also, props to Petra for taking her post-partum meds. Ain’t no shame!
  • The woman who played Xo in the telenovela read was around the same age as the Juanita (Jane) character. Because heaven forbid that a female lead in a telenovela actually look any older than age 35 – well played, writers!

At the risk of having my brain explode, Jane brought some serious drama tonight — was it all you expected? What’s your take on the future of Petra and her twin? Did Rafael seriously just screw himself over by using his new fortune? Why are Jane and Michael’s movements being tracked? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? As always, conspiracy theories are welcome below and over on Twitter!

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