Fabian proves he might be more than just a fling.
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.”