Jane suffers from writer's block, Rafael struggles with rejection, and Xo finds herself feuding with Alba.
This week’s episode featured two major guest stars: British small screen siren Jane Seymour and Spanish singer David Bisbal. On any other show, these two celebrities might be at odds—but on Jane The Virgin, they helped set the tone for an episode that focused on relationship problems and the possibility of new beginnings.
“Chapter 16” began with Jane feeling guilty about her decision to turn down Rafael’s marriage proposal. Rafael is downright frosty after having been rejected, but insists nothing is wrong. (How typical, right?) “Try to be patient,” he says. For Jane, this can translate to “leave me alone,” and so she decides to finish the draft of her romance novel. She’s typing furiously and then …nothing. Zilch. Nada. This is what’s known as writer’s block, and for Jane—just as it would be for any writer—it’s supremely aggravating.
Lucky for her, Michael can help. Or rather, he helps by passing along a flyer for a local romance writer’s group, a workshop much like her favorite course in college.
The writer’s group—composed of an eclectic bunch lead by Jane Seymour’s character, an award-winning novelist named Amanda Elaine—is friendly, stimulating and inspiring. At least, it is until Jane finds out that she’s only supposed to share positive comments with her fellow writers. So much for her “constructive criticism” for writer Wendy. “We are builder uppers, not tearer downers,” offers Amanda Elaine.
Jane—whom one can assume has always been a teacher’s pet—is horrified: first she’s managed to hurt Rafael, and now she’s unintentionally insulted some romantically challenged, middle-aged aspiring writer, to say nothing of offending Amanda Elaine. She goes to bed, upset and angry with herself. But in the morning, she’s determined to make peace with everyone, starting with Wendy. This gesture earns her brownie points from Amanda Elaine, who offers her the following gem: “The problem isn’t where you think it is. It’s often further back.”
NEXT: Jane turns to Bon Jovi to help set the mood
Having downed half a glass of wine, our favorite preggo has decided to make a romantic gesture for Rafael in his hotel suite. There’s (more) wine, cheese and she even has “Living On A Prayer” all cued up. But when Rafael strolls in, he’s hardly in the mood for flowers and fantasy.
Rafael: “I don’t know what you want from me.”
Jane: “I want for you to be present.”
Rafael: “I asked you to marry me.”
While Rafael’s happy to trade monosyllabic answers, Jane digs a bit deeper. “You asked too early. Things were great. We were moving forward and then you got into your head to ask me to marry you …You’re impulsive …Had you stopped to ask anyone who knows me, you wouldn’t have asked and I wouldn’t have said no and we wouldn’t be here. So please, please stop putting it all on me.”
And in that moment, the narrator tells us, Jane felt “unblocked.” While her speech has let loose the passion she needed for the pages of her novel, she’s less certain of its long-term consequences on her relationship with Rafael. But in these moments, Jane writers never fail to please—and a big, beautifully choreographed dance scene, set to one of David Bisbal’s hits, cements the fact that some love stories do end in happily ever after. (The one issue, of course, is the dance is totally a figment of Jane’s imagination.)
Even so, Rafael has something to get off his chest. The night’s over, and he goes to the hotel employee break room to find Jane, who’s busy writing (And, I should add, is dressed in a hoodie that’s reminiscent of the rapper gear Gina Rodriguez wore in Filly Brown.) “You were right. I did propose too soon,” he admits. “For me, it was all about family …and so I tried to rush it and I tried to lock it down so you wouldn’t leave.”
NEXT: Rafael reveals the reason for his deep-seated insecurity
But Jane won’t leave—and tells him so. “I’m here. We don’t have to rush.” And Rafael—bolstered by Jane’s encouragement to “go back further”—brings up the fact that he’s never tried looking for his mom. “I took my dad’s word and trusted that she didn’t want to be found.”
This makes Jane a bit misty-eyed. “Lives are complicated. People are complicated. She may have had a good reason for leaving …but you’ll never know unless you look.”
With that, Rafael heads over to his laptop and starts the search for Elena Di Nola. But, the narrator warns, “You should never search for something you aren’t prepared to find.
Elsewhere in “Chapter 16”
Petra and Rafael put their dramatic past behind them and worked together to bring musical guest David Bisbal to the Marbella. Though the Latin star’s rock-infused pop number went off without a hitch, Petra and Rafael had a mishap when they temporarily lost the dog his team entrusted to their care. They eventually find the pup, and Petra makes an unexpected discovery of her own: There’s a tiny part of her that still cares for Rafael. Will she end up making a move in order to get her man back?
Rogelio is trending online, but not for the right reasons: fans aren’t convinced by his telenovela performance as an outer space police officer. Only one person can help him, and that’s Michael, whom he wants to shadow in order to gain authenticity. “This GIF is embarrassing because I take my craft very seriously,” Rogelio says. “Which you can tell by my use of the word craft.” Though these two seem like an unlikely duo, together they successfully nab Tony Vaughn, who emerged as a suspect when his name was found on Aaron’s flash drive. He’s eventually cleared of any connection to Zaz’s murder, but could he be a business associate of Sin Rostro?
Rogelio and Xo have decided to move forward with their decision to move in together. There’s just two issues: Rogelio’s being picky about the size of their prospective new home (“If we tear down that wall, we can double the size of my closet!”), and Xo needs to convince Alba about her choice to live with Rogelio before marriage. As we saw in this week’s episode, Alba stands by the old saying, “Why buy the milk when you can get the cow for free?”
Jane keeps a Tupperware container of shredded cheese in the fridge should she have a craving for her signature grilled cheese. Cute, right?
Our favorite virgin wasn’t the only new face at the romance writer’s workshop—an aspiring writer named Andi was in attendance too. She has a few things in common with Jane: she loves salsa music, Latin food, and—you guessed it—Michael. Though it’s been three years since their split, girlfriend still has the hots for him. Could she be the character whom the narrator has hinted will “change Jane’s life forever?”
Total sex scenes this episode: 3 (Wendy from the writer’s workshop shared a sweet, reconciliatory kiss with her husband; and in different scenes, Rafael and Jane kiss each other’s hands. Yawn.)
Did you like the use of writer’s block as an analogy for the hurdles that many of the characters had to face in “Chapter 16?” And while this episode veered on the sweet side, the narrator’s tone during the show’s final scenes seemed to indicate that darker days lay ahead—are you ready for things to get dramatic?