Jane the Virgin recap: Chapter 21
Jane stresses out about her high school reunion, while Petra makes a play for her man.
If there’s one thing we’ve come to learn about Jane over the course of the season, it’s that she’s a planner. Like a type-A, color-coded Post-its type of planner. In fact, the whole premise of the show is driven by how Jane—she of the calendars, schedules, and detailed life plans—handles the unexpected.
So, imagine her stress level when she realizes her five-year high school reunion is around the corner. Always the eager beaver, she had started to help plan the reunion when she had been out of high school barely a year. Back then, she was sure she’d show up with some awesome accomplishments to her name. After all, during high school she had been named “Most Likely To Succeed.” But that was five years ago and now Jane—preggers, single, and unemployed—is feeling less than successful. Even Lina is having a hard time persuading her to go to the reunion, as each of her pleas is met with an excuse by Jane. “I’m on a schedule, 10 pages a day,” says Jane, not looking too convinced. Not even mention of Alex Mendez—a hottie back from her days at St. Cullen changes her position. Lina then brings up the fact that Jane’s archenemy Stephanie Kovakovitch (whose father Xo dated back in the day) probably hasn’t become a success story.
“She dropped off of Instagram last year, which means she looks terrible, which by seeing her will make you feel better,” rationalizes Linda. “Just like seeing all the teachers who worshipped you.” Some argument, huh?
Meanwhile, Rafael is also feeling less than accomplished. He’s wrestling with whether he should dissolve the Maracay Group, his dad’s holdings conglomerate. “Dad’s dead. We have to move on,” says Luisa. Too bad he also can’t move on from Jane—weeks later, and he’s not over her. “Luisa. I think I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have broken up with Jane.”
While Rafael is trying to figure out his feelings for Jane, our leading lady is standing firm about her decision to file for sole custody. In fact, she’s off to the Marbella to inform her baby daddy about the decision when she “bumps” into Petra and Magda in the hotel lobby. (I used quotation marks since Petra had spied a note about Jane’s meeting with Rafael in his calendar. That girl is never up to any good!) Just as Petra planned, the encounter leaves Jane in a somewhat foul mood once she finally makes her way to Rafael’s suite.
Even so, Jane sticks to business and coolly informs Rafael about her decision to file for sole custody. “That doesn’t mean you won’t see the baby,” Jane assures him. Rafael then offers to get a separate apartment. “If this isn’t about keeping the baby from me, than don’t.”
NEXT: Michael makes his move
In the moments following this emotional encounter—isn’t it rare to see the father’s side of a custody battle?—Michael gives Jane an update about Luisa. She hasn’t been with Sin Rostro, which seems to eliminate her as a threat to the baby. Michael then extends Jane an invitation to accompany him to his commendation ceremony.
“I was wondering if you wanted to come. As friends, because you were with me when I first started.” Jane will totally go. Why not?
Evening approaches and while Petra is busy consoling Rafael (“I hope you know you can talk to me, as a friend, even if it’s about Jane,” she says), Jane is at home trying to work on her novel. That is, until she gets distracted by the unopened piles of baby gifts that are stacked in her room. She opens one package, then another, and then another, boxes of robes, towels, and adorable onesies. Alba finds her and is somewhat amused to find her granddaughter in full-on nesting mode. Wait, what? “Nesting is not in the calendar,” insists Jane, seconds before she starts “awwing” at a pair of adorable baby booties.
The next day, Jane puts on her prettiest maternity dress and heads out to accompany Michael to his commendation ceremony. She’s thrilled to support him, but when a photographer approaches the two of them and asks to take a picture, the former couple quickly gets awkward about their status. Have you ever tried to be friends with an ex? Even if you don’t actually hate the person, it’s 100 percent awkward. That’s certainly something that Xo can attest to—she’s in the middle of rehearsing her Vegas routine with Rogelio and it’s totes uncomfortable.
“I could feel you out there. Desiring me. And it made me uncomfortable,” Rogelio tells Xo as they’re rehearsing their Sonny and Cher-style number. “So I want you to spend the afternoon gaining control over that.”
Back to Michael and Jane. Michael—despite feeling slightly guilty about his commendation given that let his ex-partner Nadine off the hook given her connection to Sin Rostro—asks Jane out to eat after the ceremony. She would, but you know she’s got that thing. Her reunion! She’s decided to go after all, and heads off to the Marbella to pick up Lina for the reunion. And guess who’s waiting for her? It’s Petra, who makes her move by playing to Jane’s emotions.
“I just want you to know I would never ever harm your child,” she tells Jane as assurance that she shouldn’t have to fight for sole custody. Jane should trust her, she says. But Jane has trusted her, remember? “And then you, turned back into a huge bitch again, basically,” responds Jane. This prompts Petra to turn up the charm. “Look, I’m coming to you with no ulterior motive and I just need for you to know that I would never hurt your child okay? Don’t punish Rafael for my mistakes.”
Whatever. Jane has bigger fish to fry and it’s called getting through her high school reunion without embarrassing herself. Which is harder than it seems: At every turn, it seems as though she’s totally overcompensating for her pregnancy status or a second away from a breakdown. It seemed as though the latter had almost happened—there was a crazy scene where we saw her lose it (“I don’t want to just be a mom. I want a career. I want a life!” and go into labor during her big on-stage speech—but thankfully, it was just those crazy, fantasy sequences that we’ve come to love from the show.
NEXT: Jane’s Mean Girls moment
In fact, it seemed like she was going to successfully avoid a confrontation with her old archenemy Stephanie; that is, until Stephanie intentionally seeks her out. “I just wanted to apologize,” Stephanie tells Jane. “I was kind of harsh on you in high school and I just wanted to say sorry.”
Jane gets it—she’s a cool chick, and totally understands how their parents dating could be hard to handle. But it wasn’t about that, says Stephanie. It was about Vincent DeBaco: The guy who asked Jane out to prom, just to change his mind the very next day. It turns out that Stephanie calling Jane’s mother a slut was a complicated, if common way of getting what she wanted. “You use people’s vulnerabilities against them,” she tells Jane. “Your mom was your vulnerability.”
With that lesson under her belt, Jane heads home. She’s determined to tackle her romance novel, but a message from Michael turns into a marathon text session, which turns into a phone call, during which he gives her some advice about tackling her ambitious writing plans.
“You said you wanted to be a writer six months ago. So give yourself time ago. You like plans. So make a new plan,” he tells her. “A real one.”
The conversation continues as they lay in their respective beds, settling into their old habit of heart-to-heart confidences. It’s worth noting that while Michael notes that he has mixed feelings about his commendation—“it’s complicated”—he doesn’t elaborate, even when Jane pours praise on him given her conviction that he did the right thing. Though she doesn’t realize it, the very thing that kept them apart during the first days of her pregnancy—his reluctance to tell the truth—is the very thing that’s enabling their intimacy months later.
The next morning, Jane—looking adorable in a white floral sundress—informs Alba and Xo of a new plan. She wants to apply to a graduate writing program. This is met with lots of enthusiasm and with good reason; it gives Jane a calculated way to achieve her goals without driving herself crazy with unreasonable, self-imposed deadlines. And before they can start questioning her about the fact that Michael helped her arrive at that decision, she’s off to a doctor’s visit. (Where she’ll meet up with Rafael.)
So here we are: Jane’s officially eight months pregnant and her bouncing baby is 5.5 pounds. The baby is also in prime position for the labor process, and though the OB/GYN assures her and Rafael that labor is still weeks away, Rafael’s kind of skittish. Though not for reasons you might expect: He’s wrestling with whether he should proceed with a business trip that he’s planned. Should he proceed with business and potentially miss the baby’s birth?
Within moments though, it’s back to business as usual at the Marbella. Well, not really. He goes to find Petra and launches into an unexpected speech. “I just wanted to thank you for talking to Jane. She said she doesn’t think you’re a threat to our baby.” Petra’s all aglow and gushing at the idea that her plan has succeeded. But it hasn’t. Rafael confirms that Jane hasn’t changed her mind about custody, given that she’s still uncomfortable with Magda around. Even so, “It means a lot to me that you tried to help. It means more than you know.” Petra reaches over on the couch where they’re sitting and touches his hand. He trails off, mid-speech. “Maybe if all this baby drama wasn’t going on…”
NEXT: A genius plan is put into action
This is more than enough toforPetra to go off on. She knows what she has to do, and without a moment’s hesitation, marches up to her room where Magda is painting her nails. She asks Magda to turn herself in. “I’ll be the hero and Jane will drop her custody play. Mother, I am so close to getting him back. Mother, you know that’s all I want.”
It sounds too good to be true—will Magda really turn herself in? She does, and Michael calls Jane with the good news. It turns out that Jane really did learn a thing or two from Stephanie, and had hatched a plan with Rafael that would result in Petra betraying her very own mother. “I think she’d do anything, even turn in her own mother if she thought she had a chance with you,” Jane tells Rafael in a flashback.
A celebration is in order, and Michael brings sparkling cider over to the Villanueva house with which to toast to the triumph. Meanwhile Rafael cancels his business trip to Spain. “I don’t want to be like our father. This is my chance to make a different choice,” he tells Luisa. “Now what about Jane?” Luisa asks, urging him to call Jane and tell her he loves her. “Things can change in a moment.”
Rafael takes out his cell phone and makes the call. But Xo sees the call—Jane’s phone is in the kitchen while she’s out on the porch with Michael—and she makes the choice to send the call straight to voicemail.
Jane—never suspecting that Rafael has called—seizes the opportunity to ask Michael if the two are “really” friends. “Look, I’m not going to lie,” he tells her. “In a perfect world, I want more. But the world isn’t perfect and the most important thing is that I want you in my life. And you said friends, so I’m good with that. That’s still all you want, right?” Jane says “definitely,” though her hesitation is obvious to any fan watching. Is it too late for her and Michael to have a life together, just as she had planned so long ago?
Elsewhere in “Chapter 21”:
Remember how Rogelio insisted that Xo’s awkwardness was due to her residual feelings for him? We learned that it was Rogelio’s way of covering up his fear of heights, though he initially insists differently. “I’m not afraid of anything. Except acne and leprechauns.”
Then Xo did the unexpected: She decided to show her commitment to a friendship with Rogelio by faking a fear of heights so that Rogelio could save face in front of Broadway director Mitchell Murray. “That’s what friends are for,” Xo says.
Total sex scenes this episode: 1 (Juicy Jordan is back, and sucks face with Luisa.)
Jane fans, do you think Michael and Jane are on track for a romantic reunion with the season’s end? Will Petra realize the mistake she’s made in making Magda turn herself in? And what about Rogelio and Xo—is their romance really over? And finally, with the series finale next week, what are you hoping happens?
Jane the Virgin