Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 5
Posted by Kim
First of all, I apologize for skipping the recap for “Chapter Forty-Eight” which was an episode I ADORED (Rogelio and Luisa was EVERYTHING you guys). What can I say? I got hit with the election sads and then we had Long Island Who and then all of a sudden it was Monday again and I hadn’t even found the will to rewatch the episode to take notes. I promise I’ll go back and recap it when the show goes on winter break.
ANYWAY. A lot of good stuff happened in this episode. PETRA (the real Petra) IS BACK, Xiomara made an important career choice, Michael and Rafael bonded, and Jane found herself at odds with her grandmother for the first time in her life. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Jane the Dramatic
At the end of “Chapter Forty-Eight,” much to the delight of Jetra shippers everywhere, Jane was FINALLY the one who question whether Petra was really Petra. Rafael and Jane go back and forth about the idea of twin-swapping because it IS outrageous. However, Jane and Rafael don’t know that they are living in a telenovela, where twin-swapping stories are the normal, not the exception.
Thanks to a NannyCam from Michael, Rafael observes Petrezka, looking for clues that she is not who she says she is. He overhears a phone call between Petrezka and her mother where Petrezka says “Okay, I’ll kill her then,” which spurs him into action. Rafael storms in right as Anezka is about to adminster Petra’s paralytic dosage and demands to know what’s going on. He calls her Anezka and MUCH to Anezka’s credit, she manages to only SLIGHTLY flinch before going off on a tirade. The damage is done though…Petrezka and Rafael argue long enough for the paralytic to wear off and for Petra to start moving.
What happened next was completely unexpected, for me at least. Once her breathing tube is removed, rather than declaring to the world that her identity had been stolen, Petra actually COVERS for her sister, saying that she is indeed Anezka. All the kudos to Yael Groblas for the way she schooled Anezka’s features into a “Yooooooooooo….really?” expression that spoke for ALL the viewers. Rafael slinks away with his tail between his legs, while Anezka squeals with gratitude, saying that she only did it because their mother told her to. “Do you have ANY idea what you put me through,” Petra snarls, grabbing Anezka by the neck. THERE’S THE PETRA I KNOW AND LOVE. It turns out that even after being Petrafied for three months (IMMA MISS THOSE PUNS), nothing can affect Petra’s shrewd business skills. She didn’t turn Anezka in for one reason and one reason only: it would nullify Rafael’s sell of his shares in the Marbella if it came out he sold them under false pretenses. Then Petra tells Anezka that she has to do everything she says, unless she wants to wind up in jail. First on the list? Breaking up with Scott.
Of course, Anezka balks at the request and asks her sister for time to pull away from Scott first, rather than dump him cold turkey. Naturally, this backfires as Scott, anticipating a break-up, proposes to Petrezka instead. Scott may be a diabolical son of a bitch, but I couldn’t help but feel bad for him in the end. I feel like his affection for “Petra” was genuine. It’s not HIS fault that he was being deceived. Scott goes to his new fiancée, saying he found a buyer for the hotel. Always keen to play the game, the real Petra put off dumping him until after she’s met the buyer. (Her FACE when he kissed her though. Amazing.) Petra and Scott meet with the buyer, who is totally on board, and then Scott suggests that it’s time for them to start looking for a house for themselves. It’s here where Petra proves that she’s not a complete monster, even after everything that has happened. She breaks up with Scott, but she does it gently and with kindness. “I’ve been married twice…and seeing this ring on my finger, it…made me realize I need to be on my own for a while.” PETRA CHOOSING PETRA. I live. She assures Scott that he’s been nothing but a true surprise in her life. Surprisingly, Scott takes it well, as if he’s been waiting for this to happen the whole time. He keeps it classy too. “You came from nowhere, and you’ve made yourself into this…total badass. Anyway, I…I won’t argue. I mean, if you’re willing to walk away from this hotel, which is all your blood, sweat and tears, well, then you can walk away from anything. Even me.” Okaaaaaaaay so now I am kind of rooting for the real Petra to fall in love with Scott? He sees her for who she truly is and he LOVES her for it. *Wipes a tear away*
With Scott’s words about walking away from the Marbella ringing in her ears, Petra confronts Rafael. She’s not going to be the one walking away from the hotel. He is. The power struggle for the Marbella is a bit of a retread, story wise (HOW MANY TIMES HAVE THEY FOUGHT OVER IT?) but what I appreciate here is Petra standing up for what she feels like she deserves. I’ve always felt like Petra has felt more accomplished regarding her work with the hotel than Rafael does, and honestly, I would love to see a story for Rafael exploring what he loves outside of his pressure to carry on his family legacy. But for the moment, Rafael is refusing to just walk away. “I’m only going to say this once, and if you repeat it, I’ll deny it,” Petra sneers. “You were right. It wasn’t me. And I heard everything.” Listen, I knew that people carrying on as if “Anezka” wasn’t conscious would bite SOMEONE in the ass. One moment in particular sticks out in Petra’s mind and it’s a damning one. Rafael observed Petrezka playing with the twins and commented that he was so glad she wasn’t missing the “mom gene” after all. YIKES. It’s a pretty insensitive comment ANYWAY, considering Petra struggled with postpartum depression. I can’t IMAGINE what kind of pain and insecurities it brought up in Petra KNOWING that Rafael thought that about her AND that it wasn’t HER he was complimenting. Listen, men of the world, the “mom gene” is not a thing. Being a good mother is not genetic and it doesn’t come easily (or at all) for some women and it shouldn’t have ANY bearing on a woman’s worth as a person. Got it?
I completely and totally empathize with Petra’s “I’m going to destroy you” attitude here because that’s what (in her eyes) she’s been reduced to. Petra’s character arc has been so interesting over the past two seasons as she has tried to open up and become vulnerable. She’s been clumsy about it at times but I genuinely believe that her motives in trying to “be a better person” have been pure. And she’s been burned by it, so she’s reverting to what feels safe to her. Her bitchiness is her security blanket. Petra hurts others before they can hurt her. “I tried nice. And I was freaking paralyzed, and nobody even noticed. So I am done with nice.” This apparent character regression pains me, but also I get it. PLUS, like any good soap opera, Jane the Virgin needs a scheming villain. The bitch is back indeed.
Jane the Heartfelt
Jane stays up all night with the letters and she learns that her family is so much bigger than she ever knew. I think it’s SUCH a big deal that Cecilia has continued to write her sister all this time and I ALSO think it’s a big deal that Alma has kept the letters, even if she’s never read them. I think there is a big part of her that wants to forgive her sister, but she just doesn’t know how after all this time. Cecilia’s letters are conversational, telling stories of marriages, births, and deaths. It’s a virtual treasure trove to Jane, who stays up all night devouring them. The next day, Alma gets a phone call and she nearly drops the phone because it’s her sister. It turns out Jane donated to one of her cousin’s GoFundMe campaigns and Cecilia viewed it as Alma opening the door. Naturally, Alma is furious (“You didn’t THINK.”) and for the first time in her life, Jane is on the receiving end of her grandmother’s wrath. The scene where Alma closes the gift shop right in Jane’s face broke my heart.
It’s so hard because I see both sides of the story. Family is one of the things Jane holds most dear in her life, if not THE most important thing. There’s this great big family that she had no knowledge of. When her cousin Catalina reaches out to her via messenger and then via Skype, Jane LIGHTS UP. I imagine that she’s desperate for her SON to know his family. She wants him surrounded by oodles of cousins that will dote over him and she wants him to be surrounded by family members close to his age. She wants for him what she didn’t have. It’s important to her. At the same time, Jane doesn’t know the pain that Alma’s falling out with her family caused. Jane asks her grandmother if it isn’t time to let the past go and for her to find forgiveness. Alma tearfully tells Jane that the rift her sister caused ruined her relationship with her entire family. Alma’s mother DIED not speaking to her…and that’s something that she can never get back or change. That’s a hurt that is not easily healed. It is a rift that is, perhaps, not able to be fixed. And no amount of pressure from Jane is going to make Alma change her mind. Everyone processes pain differently and they do it in the way that allows them to get through their day. Alma is asking for Jane to respect that, even if she doesn’t understand it.
THIS MUSICAL NUMBER WAS EVERYTHING. Seriously. My first thought was that I was SO MAD that I missed Jaime Camil as Billy Flynn this past summer because he is SO PERFECT. My second thought was OF COURSE Xiomara should open up a dance school. It’s the perfect balance between her creative passions and a legitimate business decision. Her students adore her. So why NOT move from teaching in her living room to an actual studio. It’s a GENIUS move and I’m so excited to see (hopefully) Xiomara being fulfilled in this way. Finally, please please please can we have an all musical episode? I think I would actually die from happiness if that happened.
Jane the Romantic
This episode may have been lacking in the hearts, butterflies, and swoony moments that have been a major part of Jane the Virgin‘s DNA but it DID make progress in further resolving the lingering love triangle tension between Michael and Rafael. The relationship between these two men is ALWAYS going to be complicated and I am SO GLAD the show is willing to show these guys struggling to find equal footing outside of their relationship with Jane. It’s often one step forward, two steps back with Michael and Rafael. One minute they are cordially working together on the Sin Rostro case, the next they are literally coming to blows. For a while in this episode, I feared these two were falling in the same old pattern that they always did. But by the end, we saw Michael and Rafael airing out feelings that spoke to the very root of their issues and we saw them sharing a genuine moment of camaraderie. There may be hope for these two being (at least casually) friends yet.
But first, we had to get through quite possibly the most awkward laddy-lad bro pal date I have seen since that time that Ross Geller and Mike Hannigan sat down and discussed lagers. Let me first say that I don’t think Rafael invited Michael to work out with him to intimidate him or make him feel awkward. For reasons he reveals later, Rafael takes his fitness very seriously and I think he felt like being workout buddies was something that he could offer Michael. Now, Michael is no slouch in the physical department (HIIIIIIII Brett Dier, do you remember when we nominated you for Most Handsome Young Man?) but who WOULDN’T have all their raging insecurities come roaring out in the face of what a SPECIMEN Rafael Solano is? (DAMN SON DAMN.)
Michael does what so many of us do in an awkward situation: he babbles endlessly, desperately trying to find SOMETHING in common with Rafael. Rafael, in the meantime just wants to do his arm workout (and leer at the gym bunnies) in peace. At the end of the workout, Michael sees Rafael flirting with an apparently married woman and offering to join her in the shower, thus fulfilling all the assumptions he has about Rafael in the first place. He shares this with Jane afterwards, declaring that he and Rafael are just too different and they will never be able to find any sort of common ground. Later, Jane confronts Rafael about this, and it turns out that the woman was not married and was an old friend. All this does is fulfill Rafael’s assumptions about Michael: that he is a judgey dude who will always think the worst of him. BOYS.
Here’s where Rogelio steps in as the Patriarch of this little family unit though. He can’t bear to have his two favorite bros at odds, so he kidnaps them both under the pretense of a lunch date and forces them to get all their issues out in the open. “You really thought I’d sleep with a married woman,” Rafael asks, obviously hurt by the assumption. “Well…Jane was engaged,” Michael says later, after they argue about changing Rogelio’s flat tire. “We were engaged. You didn’t seem to give a damn about that. Not once.” AND THERE IT IS. The root of all their problems.
When they find Mateo fourteen
years seconds later, the brief moment of panic is enough to take down the walls between them. “You’re right,” Rafael admits. “You were engaged. I didn’t think about it and I’m sorry.” HALLELUJAH. Rafael’s apology opens the door for Michael to admit where HE’S been wrong. “I’m sorry for getting insecure about your muscles.” And then we get what is perhaps the first genuine moment of friendship between these two. “I had cancer,” Rafael tells Michael. “That’s why I am so focused now. I like controlling my health.” “I’m a dick,” Michael says ruefully and the two share a laugh. Then they finally find a mutual interest: soccer. MY BABIES ARE GROWING UP AND BECOMING FRIENDS I AM SO PROUD.
Rafael sets Rogelio up with a meeting with an old college buddy of his who is a film producer. The initial meeting is disastrous, thanks to Rogelio googling the wrong Spencer Davis and calling his dead wife a bitch. Rogelio turns on the puppy eyes and the sob story about seeing Esteban’s Hawaii 5-0 promo, so Rafael manages to smooth things over and get Rogelio an audition. The caveat? The part requires full frontal nudity. ONLY ROGELIO DE LA VEGA WOULD SIT HIS WHOLE FAMILY DOWN TO DISCUSS THIS. I’ve said it before in recaps but one of the best things about Rogelio is how he treats every single event in his life as if it was the single most important event EVER. I died over EVERYTHING in this scene, from Brett Dier’s face (he looked THISCLOSE to breaking) to the Fassbender reference to Rogelio’s complete obliviousness in regards to Jane’s embarrassment. (“So, will you be comfortable seeing it 40 feet high?” “I’m not even comfortable having this conversation.”) BLESS.
Rogelio was due for a win, so thanks to a move straight out of Magic Mike (WHY DIDN’T WE SEE IT????), he scores the part. Eat it, Esteban. He runs into a roadblock when the Tiago producers pull him into a meeting, saying the full frontal nudity violates a morality clause in his contract. “I can’t take the part?” Rogelio asks dejectedly, surely seeing Esteban taunting him in his mind’s eye. “It’s at our discretion,” the producers reply. “So you CAN do it…if you do something for us in exchange.” WHAT IS HE GOING TO HAVE TO DO? Cause let’s be real…Rogelio is not going to let anything get in the way of Rogelio Jr. getting his shining moment on that 40 foot screen. It worked WONDERS for Smith Jerrod after all.
- This week’s subtitle: Jane the Happy Mom. Remember how Cougar Town used to change their Title Card every week with a new snarky caption? This is going to be as fun as that was.
- Every time Jane does her excited and happy dance, an angel gets its wings.
- “I Jane’d this sitch and researched him online.” Seriously, having my name used as a verb is a life goal.
- Rafael punching Scott in his mind gave me life.
- Michael was basically “OMG JANE DON’T TELL THE CUTE BOY I HAVE A CRUSH ON HIM” in this scene.
- “It’s very secretive, that means it’s good, probably a festival opener. Hopefully not Sundance. Finding a flattering parka will be hell.”
- “Think your dad’s got one of those, “I’m sorry I thought your sister was impersonating you” gift baskets?” Listen, I am sure he does. Never doubt Rogelio’s gift basket skills.
- Rogelio’s little workout with the tiny weights as he walked and talked with Michael was adorable.
- Explanation for Scott’s obsession with vests: “It’s a modified Alex P. Keaton.” Listen, I love a good vest. Never change your aesthetic, Scott.
- JUDGEY FACE IS JUDGEY.
- I live for how Rogelio still clings to calling Mateo “Matelio”.
- The lyrics to “Open a Dance School” were SO PERFECT. Also, you better werk, Gina. The Tatums WOULD be proud of her.
- The boys figured out the Bible code that Rafael’s mother left him. It’s a bank account! (Of COURSE Raf and Ro would have figured that out from a nine digit number. #TheOnePercent)
What are your thoughts on “Chapter Forty-Nine”? Do you need a musical episode as much as we do? Let us know in the comments!