When Jane was 18-years-old, the family’s decrepit box television blacked out right at the moment when the on-screen telenovela bride was about to learn that her new husband was actually her brother. Clearly, this was an unacceptable circumstance (the nuptials, as well as the TV) and extremely unfortunate timing.
The three Villanueva women step into their family roles to address the situation. Jane consults all future television options and makes a chart based on price, size, and picture quality. Alba supports her by feeding and nurturing her granddaughter through the process. And when push comes to shove at the electronics store, Xo’s authoritative tone and no-nonsense attitude gets the women through the door with 90 seconds to spare before closing time.
Things are a little different today. Thanks to Xo’s recent mastectomy, her spark has flickered out just like that old TV. It will be up to her mom and daughter to challenge Xo to reclaim her feisty spirit. In the meantime, Jane and Alba have no problem carrying on with their usual family responsibilities.
Jane is all about the spreadsheet and Google searches. She has every article ever written about cancer, plastic bottles, and foods that help fight diseases. Jane is on information overload, spouting facts and tidbits of information left and right. With that much non-stop verbal vomit spewing, it was only a matter of time before she inadvertently drops a love bomb on Rafael without even thinking.
Both stare at each other, knowing this is the first time that phrase has been uttered. Rafael immediately responds back with an equally casual, “I love you, too.” I wait for bells, whistles, fireworks, or something to commemorate the occasion, but six eyes and six ears of three little children watch intently. We only get a few smiles and then everyone hustles out the door.
I feel cheated.
Rafael rushes the girls over to Petra, who answers the door and is clearly irritated that her babies’ daddy is dropping the twins off early. Why is she annoyed? Because JR is in her shower at this very moment and she doesn’t want the girls to meet her new main squeeze.
Whoops. Too late.
Petra shoves the girls out of the hotel room as Rafael apologizes to JR for the interruption. JR waves him off, thankful that the twins are gone. You see, JR is not a kid person.
Oh no she didn’t. Rafael immediately calls Jane claiming the scantily clad JR hates his children. Jane encourages him to calm down, giving JR the benefit of the doubt before suggesting they all get together for a double date. Also, she wants to do a little in-person research on the woman who makes Petra giggle like a school girl.
Petra grandly announces that no one is to bring up uncomfortable topics of conversation at dinner. JR doesn’t need to know about the insemination snafu or the infidelity hijinks. Other controversial topics to avoid: sex, religion, politics, and the New York Mets.
Luckily Jane is a walking encyclopedia and is proficient in the art of random gab. Rafael chooses the interrogation route and Petra has no choice but to make out with JR to defuse the tension. When Jane orders a round of wine for the table, JR is quick ask for a nice scotch. She then bonds with Rafael over a sweet elixir of single malt whiskey. Cheers to this budding bestie festie!
The next day, Jane confronts JR, trying to initiate any sort of relationship. JR all but rolls her eyes at Jane’s willingness to bond. She asks “JV” why she’s trying so hard and Jane’s response is simple: Because JR is important to Petra and Petra is important to Jane. It’s simple math.
Petra explains to JR that Jane is family and JR must get on board with this arrangement. If it helps, she also tells JR that she doesn’t technically like children either. With that said, the twins are like miniature adults who are annoying. TRUTH. If JR is serious about this relationship, Petra hopes they can all live in accordance.
From the kiss they share, it looks like JR is pretty serious.
Jane struggles with the obvious conclusion that JR does not like her. Suggesting to Jane that she just “let it go” is like telling Petra to not wear shorty shorts. It just doesn’t make sense in their brains. Fortunately, Rafael has a plan for taking Jane’s mind off of her non-existent BeFri necklace with JR. He opens the door to his apartment revealing twinkling lights setting the mood for a romantic night. He wants to celebrate the aforementioned “I love you” moment with amorous activities.
Let the record show that I no longer feel cheated. I can’t say the same for Rafael. After their sexy time, Jane hops out of bed to write, inspired by the night. The next morning, Rafael finds her story and is shocked to see that Jane wrote about Michael. He later confronts Jane, explaining that he feels like second fiddle to Jane’s deceased husband.
On the one hand, that’s harsh, Rafael. But I get it. Jane just told him she loved him for the first time ever. What gives? On the other hand, Rafael can never compare to Michael. He just can’t. And the fact that Michael is gone and never coming back (#sadface) is a brutal reality because he will always be Jane’s first deep love.
Jane understands Rafael’s predicament. But she also wants him to know that this is the first year she didn’t mourn his deathaversary. This is definitely a step in the right direction. You know what else is? Jane asking Rafael to move in together! Yay!
Remember how Alba has been preparing for her immigration test? Bad news on this front. She wrote the date down wrong and her test is in just six days. She doesn’t want to worry Xo in any way, so she makes Jane swear she won’t tell. Her mother needs rest, pampering, and lots of care and Alba is going to be the one to give it to her.
Jane reluctantly agrees to keep the secret and enthusiastically agrees to make Alba some flash cards to help study for her test. Hooray for government research!
Jorge notices as Alba studies her flashcards. He is so excited for her upcoming test and encourages her to take time off the next day to properly prepare. When Alba reminds him that he can’t cover for her because he plays cards with Sophia (the new girlfriend), Jorge says that he and Sophia are no longer an item.
Xo and Jane hear the news and immediately draw the conclusion that Jorge didn’t just mention this bit of information. He wanted Alba to know! Jane spouts facts about body language. Alba encourages Xo to get up and move around. Xo ignores them both.
Alba decides to throw all caution to the wind. She wants Jorge to know that she made a mistake. We can all tell she’s genuinely sorry because her heart glows in true Jane the Virgin passion. Jorge’s heart must be made of stone because he turns Alba down. He proposed not once, but twice and he was brutally rebuffed. It’s not the same. It will never be the same. He’s so sweet about it that we can’t be mad. But we can be sad for Alba.
Rogelio can no longer be Baby’s nanny and he’s scared to tell Darci. When she shows signs of flipping out, Rogelio shrewdly plays the cancer card. Darci understands immediately and encourages Rogelio to take as much time caring for Xo as he needs. He never offers his real reason: that his show is in pre-production and he has to work on not staring at River Field’s bald eyebrows without snickering.
Naturally, Darci brings flowers by the house and Xo lets it slip that she’s proud of Darci and Rogelio figuring things out for the sake of the show. Darci earmuffs her baby’s ears and rips Rogelio a new one for not only using Xo’s illness as an excuse to ditch his daughter, but she also blames him for losing out on the best celebrity nanny on the planet.
The nanny’s name is Felicia. It only takes a 20-minute deep dive on Instagram for Rogelio to find her at a neighborhood playground. Let the espionage begin.
Felicia is a professional. She’s willing to listen to Rogelio’s terms, as long as he remains cool and aloof. Don’t mind these two. They are just a couple of adults chilling on a bench, engaging in some light small talk about the weather or the state of the sandbox. Pay no attention.
Just as Rogelio ticks off a list of amenities he’s willing to toss in Felicia’s direction in exchange for her services, Felicia’s boss walks up. It’s Mario Lopez. We all swoon.
Mario knows exactly what Rogelio is up to and he shouts for his kids to join him so their angelic little faces can swing Felicia back to the Saved by the Bell side. Offers are volleyed back and forth. Vacations, money, houses, cars. But it’s a three-episode arc on Rogelio’s show that wins Felicia over. Rogelio may have the best nanny out there, but he will never be a guest on Extra. That’s a high price you have to pay for child-rearing.
Hello, Felicia. Bye, Slater.
Xo is in a bad mood and it’s not because she’s tired of her mother’s coddling. She saw a practice immigration test in her mother’s purse sporting a failing grade. Xo calls a family meeting and insists that the three Villanueva women stop keeping secrets. Everyone has to do their part to make this family a success. ROLL CALL!
Jane quizzes Alba all day long. Alba takes care of Xo all day long. And when it’s time for Alba to take her test, Jane and her grandmother are devastated to learn that they are two minutes late thanks to ridiculous traffic. The immigration officer won’t let them into the room.
Enter the Enforcer. Xo slowly makes her way up to the man and explains that her mother is late because of her. She whips out her cancer card, along with the tubes and agonizing facial expressions of pain and humiliation. She aggressively tells the officer that he will let her mother in to take the test because being a U.S. citizen is the most important thing in the world.
You play that card, Xo. You play it for your mama. I’ll be over here bawling my eyes out because CANCER SUCKS. Believe me when I say that all three women did an amazing job acting through this scene. It was beautiful.
Alba receives a perfect score and an imaginary shout-out from Lady Liberty, a round of applause from our forefathers, and a hearty wink from a Barack Obama poster.
JR receives a call from the district attorney’s office. She assumes they are phoning to tell her that all charges have been dropped, but instead learns that there is a new eyewitness who claims Anezka’s death was not a result of self-defense, but cold-blooded murder.
Who is this eyewitness? The only person we know with one eye: Magda, of course.