Jane the Virgin recap: Chapter 37
Jane tries to win over her future in-laws, while Rafael gets to know his long-lost brother Derek
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
Elsewhere this episode: Alba’s one-time lover Pablo Alonso Segura made the trek out to Miami from Venezuela and did his best to convince Alba that he was never, nor is he currently, cursed. Though Alba didn’t believe that for a moment — when Pablo entered the Villanueva home the power went out! — their attraction proved too powerful to resist, and a date at the end of the night found them dancing the tango. While this might normally provoke a big fat “Aww” from me, it was the tease to the scene simultaneously taking place at home — where Jane and Xo are relaxing after Jane’s engagement party — that prevented any excess sentimentality on my end. The reason? Well, the Villanueva’s ceiling collapsed thanks to an epic water leak, which can only mean one of two things: 1) Maybe the Villanueva house is in need of some serious repairs, or 2) Pablo is a walking, breathing example of bad luck incarnate. But which is it?
Meanwhile, Petra has suddenly become a doting mother to her newly delivered twins. NOT! Did you really think she’d give up conference calls and meetings just because of motherhood? Far from diving right into baby bottles and burping breaks, Petra shirks away from taking care of and bonding with her twins, which raises the question: Is being a gushy, super-sentimental mother the only way to be a successful parent? While future episodes might provide an answer to that question, here’s what we do know: With a little encouragement from doting dad Rafael, Petra might just warm up to the idea of being a mom — maybe.
Oh, and speaking of Rafael — remember that bit about him trying to get to know his half-brother? Well, after a lobster lunch and some time spent on his brother’s boat, it seems he’s learned a little bit about Derek — well, sort of. You see, Derek is super-smooth just like brother, and with the help of some scotch, seems to have sold his story about having been sailing when he heard about their mother’s misdeeds. That being the case, Rafael is quick to jump to his brother’s defense when Michael checks in about the case. “You’re entitled to your opinion, but this is my family,” Rafael tells Michael, with a not-so-subtle hint of scorn in his voice. Alrighty then. But is Derek really blame-free — or did he just manage to pull a fast one?
Burning questions, stray observations and memorable one-liners:
- “Is there a particular concealer that you recommend for an injury of this kind?” —Rogelio asking a police officer about a large bruise that Lola gave him
- About that chemistry between Rogelio and Xo, though! Do you think their breakup is for real, or will they find their way back to each other?
- Rogelio dreams of giving a tell-all interview with Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart. For all you non-Telemundo viewers, here’s the 411: He’s like Oprah, but Cuban (and sans Stedman).
- Extra props for having Yael Grobglas (Petra) rock a mini-baby bump in the scenes immediately following labor. That weight doesn’t just melt off, people!
- “I never like you kids to be blindsided. Everyone’s so sensitive these days.” —Professor Donaldson on #Millennials
Fans, place your bets now about the drama to come in next week’s episode! Will we get any close to learning details about Rafael’s mother? Will Derek be exposed as a sham – or is his story for real? What about Jane and Michael? Is the worst of the wedding drama behind them? And will Alba’s only shot at happiness be blown up due to “bad luck”? Share your thoughts and theories with me in the comments or on Twitter.