Jane’s fling is in full swing, or at least it looks like things are heading in that direction at the beginning of “Chapter 61.” She goes on and on to Xo about how Fabian is perfect fling material — Fantastic Looking Intellectually No Good — and she even has a Netflix-and-chill date set. What could be more fling-like than that? But Jane is in for a big wake-up call when she suggests they do a little less Netflix and a little more chill, and Fabian pumps the brakes because he’s — wait for it — saving himself.
Oh the irony. But to be clear, he’s not a virgin. No, no, no. He lists the many types of sex he’s had — including Halloween — and explains that sex started to become meaningless, so he’s decided to wait for a meaningful commitment and possibly marriage. Sounds pretty admirable to me, but Jane doesn’t take it well. “How did I find the one telenovela sex symbol that doesn’t want a fling?” Jane asks Xo. When she clues in Alba and says she plans to call things off with Fabian because they want different things, Alba reminds her of the many men who called things off with Jane for not wanting to “put out.” Jane seems moved and, after seeing how wonderful Fabian is with Mateo, decides to give things another try.
She asks Fabian when they’re getting together again, and that sweet, sweet telenovela star says he’s so glad to hear she wants to meet up, as sometimes women don’t want to keep things going with him because of his aforementioned outlook. Despite knowing what’s off the table, Jane still continues to fantasize about Fabian, going so far that she gets lost in him eating nachos and even blowing his nose. Later, they go to a dine-in-the-dark restaurant, where Jane can focus on getting to know him without the distraction that is his dashing good looks… and needless to say, things don’t go well. Jane says, for example, that she’s reading Orwell because of all that’s going on — Jane leans into politics this episode, but more on that later — and Fabian has no idea who she’s talking about. But he proves he has a really good heart when he brings Jane and her BFF Lina back together mid-date.
Let’s backtrack for a sec: Jane runs into Lina — you know, Orange Is the New Black’s Diane Guerrero — at a food truck and things get pretty awkward pretty quickly. Turns out Lina moved away a while back, and she and Jane haven’t really kept in touch beyond some social media activity. Lina is now engaged and says she was going to reach out to Jane about being in town for all things wedding planning, but she basically hadn’t gotten around to it yet. In any case, they’ve reconnected, so problem solved, right? Not exactly. Lina comes over to visit Jane, and they’re not really clicking. Mateo pretty much points out that Lina, his godmother, is a stranger to him, and Lina shows how much she and Jane have drifted when she suggests that Jane use Bumble, the app she met her fiancé on, when she’s ready to date again. Jane, of course, is already dating again.
That’s not too bad, but then Lina cuts their hangout short due to a last-minute wedding appointment that just popped up. Jane’s surprised and disappointed, but what can she do? Later, Alba tells her that when her husband died, she found out who her real friends were, and that’s what Jane seems to be questioning here: Is Lina a real friend?
So, back to the date with Fabian… Jane gets a text from Lina saying she’s sorry that their time ended early, and Jane is clearly bummed. She tells Fabian what Alba told her about friendships fading, but Fabian is having none of it. He tells her, with all the vigor, that a real friendship is worth fighting for, and that Jane needs to go to Lina and tell her how she really feels.
With that, Jane and Fabian crash Lina and fiancé Danny’s cake tasting party. Eventually it comes out that Lina was in town previously and didn’t say anything to Jane, and Jane, naturally, is pissed. She feels like she’s chasing after someone who doesn’t even want to be friends and adds that Lina disappeared when she needed her most, so Lina calls for a bathroom chat. Lina says that she didn’t abandon Jane; she saw Jane every week the first year after the death. Jane says the second year was even harder, and Lina could have tried to stay in touch, but instead, she dropped Jane when Danny came into the picture. But that’s not the way Lina sees it. She explains that she called Jane and tried to be supportive, but then there was a time when she needed support from Jane and called after a fight with Danny. Jane said, “It’s all insignificant in the big picture. I mean, I’d give anything to have one more fight with Michael.”
That was kind of it for Lina. She didn’t know how to be upset in a regular way, or even be happy around Jane. Jane says she just wants Lina to be happy, and they both apologize. With the drama out of the way, Lina asks about Fabian, and Jane gives her whole spiel about how she doesn’t think they’re right for one another, but Lina encourages her to keep an open mind. After all, the two of them are very different on paper, but they’re best friends; she adds that people can surprise you, and their hearts start to glow. (I love me some good JTV friendship moments, and would like to see more of them. Just sayin’…)
It’s all so sweet, as is Jane giving Fabian that chance. She shows up at his place and sees that he’s reading 1984 after the Orwell incident during their date. They joke around and play checkers, and Fabian even lets slip that he has an album and later sings, revealing that he doesn’t have the chops to have said album. Then, Jane tells Fabian about how she waited, but things are different now. She asks Fabian if he’s ever been in love. He was once, but he explains that people started treating him differently when he got famous. That’s why sex is on the back burner for now: so he can figure out what he really wants, which is love. They kiss, and it would appear that despite Jane’s initial impression, maybe Fabian is boyfriend material after all…
There’s more good relationship news in store, this time for Xo and Rogelio. Xo has been pondering whether she and Rogelio are moving too quickly. When she finally asks Rogelio about it, she says she loves him and wants to be with him, but she doesn’t want to repeat previous mistakes — and they’ve always moved quickly, like how they said, “I love you” to one another for the first time at a high school beach day after waiting for a week. Rogelio’s response is the actual sweetest: “And it was true. I did love you, and I love you now. And I spent the last three years adjusting to life without you and it wasn’t as good, so we can slow down if that’s what you want, but for my part we’re not moving fast enough.”
With that, the pair agree to move in together, and Alba is far from stoked. Rogelio calls Xo about a home to look at as he’s walking into Alba’s place to meet her; she says she’s sick in bed and can’t make it, but he sees through the window that she’s standing in the kitchen and looks to be fine. Then, he hears Alba tell Xo that she’s doing the right thing and doesn’t need to move in. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with Rogelio, who lets Alba have it when she asks Rogelio to take her to set. With a smug smile, Alba explains that she didn’t think they should live together before marriage, those last two words being key. Rogelio turns around to see Xo on a soundstage, with a beach day-like setup. She apologizes for canceling and lying but says she wants to do things right now. Life is beautiful and hard, and she wants to go through it all with him. Rogelio is clearly moved, even if his Botox won’t allow him to shed tears, and Xo gives him her father’s wedding ring and pops the question — to which he, obviously, says yes.
Things aren’t all sweet this episode, though. Alba is upset about ICE raids, but she says she won’t march with Jane in a protest. She admires her optimism but doesn’t want to expose herself. Things change, however, when a customer comes into the shop and asks Jorge a question in Spanish, which another customer is extremely critical of, saying, “This is America. You should learn how to speak English.” Alba apologizes for not saying anything and explains that she didn’t because she’s in shock. Once again, Jane encourages Alba to march, but she fears that her participation might lead to the loss of her green card. She has a change of heart, though, when she sees that something is on Mateo’s mind and encourages him to talk about it. He doesn’t want to talk to her. Alba says that’s fine, but he should with Jane or Rafael, adding that you always feel better when you talk — when you’re brave.
With that, Alba decides to be brave herself and march. She asks Jorge to come along with her, but he won’t go. Alba correctly assumes that he’s undocumented, and he tells her he tried to get his green card but lost his money in a scam. She understands, having gotten her green card not that long ago, and says she’ll march for the two of them.
And the immigration conversation doesn’t end there. Turns out the thing that was on Mateo’s mind was him wondering why people don’t want Alba, or Bisa, in this country. That’s a pretty difficult conversation to have with a toddler, but Jane handles herself well by saying that the country was founded by people from all over who dreamt of more opportunity, but some people can’t see that. As for Bisa, Jane says no one is taking her away, so no need to worry. This isn’t the first time that Jane has tackled immigration, but kudos to the show for addressing it through the eyes of Mateo.
Also difficult, but in a very different way, is the lingering investigation into Scott’s death. You’ll recall that Anezka was locked up for the murder and threatened to tell Petra’s secrets if she didn’t help get her out. Anezka claims she didn’t kill Scott because she loved him, but in a video taken by a guest, you can see her yelling at him, exclaiming, “I hate you. I wish you were dead. Never come near me again.” Soooo, that doesn’t look good. Petra asks Anezka to go over what she remembers, which isn’t much; Scott was flirting, so she got jealous, and he hated it when she got jealous. Then he broke up with her via text and Anezka drank her sorrows away. She doesn’t remember what happened after that, but she knows she couldn’t have done it.
Petra knows Anezka couldn’t have either, because she’s the one actually featured in the video. She reveals to Rafael, who’s suspicious as to why he would help her sister, that she fired Scott and reclaimed his work phone, which she used to break up with Anezka via text. Then, Petra drugged Anezka so she would pass out and pretended to be her to break up with Scott. “My plan would’ve worked perfectly, except then Scott had to go die and ruin everything… may he rest in peace,” Petra tells Rafael. So yes, she’s been lying to the police, but she defends herself by saying this only mattered when Scott’s death was ruled a murder, adding that she kept Rafael in the dark because he’s on probation. Rafael says he’ll put his P.I. on it, but their moment is cut short when Chuck shows up to take Petra to lunch — and once again comments on Rafael’s apparent feelings for her.
Rafael finally admits those feelings for Petra to Jane, saying that maybe what he’s been looking for has been right in front of him all along. Jane is surprised and advises that Rafael not say anything unless he’s sure; it took Petra a long time to get over him before, and she doesn’t want to see her get hurt again, even if she doesn’t want to admit it. So when Petra later asks Rafael if he does have feelings, he denies it. That confrontation happens after Rafael’s P.I., Elvis, reveals a finding from Scott’s burn book: some erased writing about meeting up with J.P. to shake him down. They decide if they identify J.P., they can drop an anonymous tip to the cops, and the cops can do the rest. Elvis says he’ll look into it, but when Anezka puts the pressure on, Petra tries to move that investigation up. Chuck says he and Petra should go themselves because he wants to be the guy to help her out (not Rafael). She agrees to go, and Rafael doesn’t take it well. He leaves a voicemail admitting his feelings and asks Petra to be with him — not Chuck.
But he might be too late — and not because of Petra’s feelings. Anezka tells the cops that J.P. is “Jerky Pants,” which is what she and Scott called the alligator jerky-eating guy trying to buy the hotel next door… Chuck. That is to say that Chuck is, apparently, dangerous — and he’s armed, with a gun in the back of the car he and Petra are driving in. Bum, bum, bummmmmm!!!
So, the outlook’s not so good, but Petra’s a fighter, and I, for one, am confident that she’ll make it through — but how will she do it? That is the question. Send me your theories about Petra and otherwise (was anyone else disappointed to find out J.P. isn’t Jared Padalecki? What a twist that would have been), at @cmollysmith.