Jane continues to cope with a major death, three years afterward
A BIG spoiler from last week’s episode lies ahead! Of course, if you’re reading this you probably saw last week’s episode, but just in case, don’t say we didn’t warn you…
“It will always feel different,” Alba tells a crying Jane two weeks after Michael’s death, which happened suddenly at the end of last week’s episode. “You’ll always feel different, but you will be okay and your life will be beautiful again — just in different ways.” That’s exactly what this episode proves. Things are different now for Jane and her family alike, but there’s still much to celebrate, to feel excited about. That’s not to say that this episode isn’t emotional, because it definitely is — yes, I cried blubbered again — coming off of the loss of such a significant character, but it shows that Jane has a life beyond her terrible tragedy.
It does so, in part, by going forward three years to the same scene we ended on last week, in effect skipping past the immediate grief and bringing us back to a major question: What wedding is Jane attending? I had guessed Xo, with her husband up in the air, and was very wrong. Turns out, Rogelio is tying the knot — #FourthTimesTheCharm — with Darci, but the nuptials are fake and for their reality show, which apparently has really taken off. Xo, for example, has been dubbed one of BuzzFeed’s 10 most notorious reality show villains, as the show portrays her as Rogelio’s evil ex — shout-out to that promo reel and her out-of-context freak-out — and she’s even been harassed by a fan for coming between Dargelio. Needless to say, Xo and Rogelio aren’t in the best place at the moment; also, Xo and Bruce look to still be together.
That’s just one of many things that have changed in the time jump. Petra has totally transformed the Marbella into a kids’ paradise and is preparing for a grand opening, but she runs into problems when an outdoor kids’ club is five feet over the property line. She either has to tear it down or get her neighbor — Chuck, the owner of an adults-only hotel next door, who happens to dislike kids and hotels that serve them — to sign an easement. Rafael, who has pretty much passed the hotel reins over to Petra and appears with a beard and “zen” demeanor, tells her to breathe and stay calm. Petra, baffled, asks, “Who the hell goes to prison and comes out softer?” (You’ll recall that he wanted to have a clean slate after covering up some of his father’s wrongdoings.) Perhaps she’s not relaxed, but Petra is hopeful that she’ll be able to fix the problem and convince Chuck, whom she just so happens to be sleeping with, to sign the paperwork.
Petra threatens to rat out Chuck for for serving lobster during the off season to get her way, to no avail, but she ultimately does get her way. After Rafael points out that someone tampered with the blueprints, changing a 3-foot mark to an 8-foot mark, Petra confronts Chuck, believing he must have made the change during a rendezvous: “I staked everything on this renovation, everything. Not just my reputation. It’s my vision. It’s my gift to my daughters. It’s mine. It’s the first thing actually that’s truly mine. I didn’t marry it. I didn’t steal it. I made it, and now you’re trying to take it all away.”
With that, he agrees to sign. By episode’s end, however, Petra realizes that Chuck couldn’t have been the one to make that change because they started hooking up six months ago — something she uncovers when he sends her a package celebrating their “bangaversary,” yuck — and they broke ground on the kids’ club eight months prior. So, they make up (and make out, and presumably more), but the question remains: Who made the change?
NEXT: Trouble with Mateo
Chuck, and whoever tampered with the blueprints, isn’t the only troublemaker. Mateo has been misbehaving, causing Jane and Rafael to worry about his parent-teacher conference. They’re right to be concerned, because the teacher tells them that while their son has a sweet side and that adjusting to a new school can be difficult, his behavior is distracting the class, so he’ll need to have an aide help out if he’s to stay at that school. She does give Jane and Rafael two weeks to work on the problem before resorting to that, so Jane says she’s going to track his behavior to see if she can determine any triggers, and Rafael signs Mateo up for martial arts because it teaches discipline and is good for overactive kids. (To add insult to injury, Petra appears to be a sort of supermom — her daughters with Rafael are perfectly behaved. She often tries to discipline Mateo, and she’s queen bee of the PTA.)
The martial arts classes seem to be helping, but Mateo’s issues persist. For instance, he struck a classmate, so he’s left off the invite list for that classmate’s birthday party even though everyone else is invited. Mateo does get an invite in the end because Petra — again, queen bee of the PTA — intervenes, per Rafael’s request. Jane doesn’t take well to Petra helping out, but ultimately the pair talk it out. Jane admits that she didn’t want to take help because it made her feel like she failed Mateo as a parent. She worries that she let her sadness about Michael get in the way and that’s why Mateo is acting the way he is. Petra says that’s ridiculous, that she’s seen Jane once a week for the past two years, so she knows what a good mother she is.
More on those weekly visits in a sec, but first, let’s recall that Jane landed her dream job just before Michael’s passing. That position seems to be a little less desirable now, but when a spot opens up for Miami’s Ones to Read, Jane jumps at the opportunity. With her boss tweeting about her drink being like liquid zen, landing her a favorite from Lena Dunham, Jane assumes she’s in a good mood and gathers the courage to ask her to read and consider her novel for the event. Jane does make it in, but not with the novel you’d expect. She was working on one about Alba before the time jump, but the one she’s finished is about Michael and is called Falling Snow. Devastatingly, it gives them their happy ending. She struggles before going on to read and tries to bail, but “Zen Rafael” gives her a firm, but well intentioned, talking-to and convinces her to go on.
Jane has moments where she seems to be struggling with her emotions about her late husband, but she makes it through. She reads: “Knowing what would happen — the heartbreak, the tears, the love, the hope, the betrayal, the heartbreak; yes, it was always the heartbreak — would she do it over? And she knew: The answer was yes because of how it all ended, but I’m getting ahead of myself…” Afterward, she tells Rafael that she thought she’d be further along by now, and that he’s kind of her best friend; they also agree that Mateo does need a shadow in school, so at least that’s settled. Later, Alba tucks Jane in, as she’s apparently been back at her grandmother’s since the death. When Alba leaves, Jane listens to a message from Michael, and it’s difficult, but she’s able to confront her feelings, showing that even if she thought she’d be further along, she is still moving forward.
That she is, but she finds beauty in her life in different ways — just like Alba predicted. The end of the episode shows her at Saturday brunch with Rafael, Petra, Mateo, Elsa, and Anna, something that became a tradition between the two mothers when Rafael left for jail, just to check in on one another. At that brunch, Jane gets a call that a publisher wants to buy her novel about Michael. The photo of Michael on her phone’s screensaver tells her he told her she’s got this, just like the photo of Michael from their time at the photo booth encouraged her earlier. It’s all very sweet and exciting, but this being Jane the Virgin, Petra gets a call of a very different kind, which leads her and Rafael to the beach to find a skeleton with a name tag with “Scott” written on it buried in the sand.
Will the show head in more of a mystery direction? Until next week…
Other things of note…
- Rafael is boo’d up with Abbey Whitman (Minka Kelly), the owner of Whitman Greeting Card Company. They’ve been dating for over a year and have never been in a fight. Could she be it for Rafael, or is he destined to be with Jane? (Down the line, of course. Nothing can happen too soon after Michael, IMHO. Even if it’s been a few years, we the audience have only had an episode to process.)
- Scott was MIA following his split with Anezka. Could Anezka have had something to do with his apparent death? Did he even die, or was this a setup? What caused him to part ways with Anezka? What happened to the addendum they were using as blackmail against Petra and Rafael?
- #XoRo have been arguing about Xo’s portrayal in Rogelio’s reality show, and while Rogelio says he won’t do another season, Xo ultimately tells him that she can handle the hate if one more season means he’ll get to star in the American version of The Passions of Santos, called The Passions of Steve.
- RAFAEL’S BEARD: because that needs another shout-out.