The Top 20 Television Moments of 2016 – Part One

Posted by Kim and Sage

WE DID IT YOU GUYS. The end of 2016 is nigh. Everyone take a deep sigh of relief.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2016 was a dumpster fire of a year. It was brutal with the celebrity deaths and it felt like the world was on the verge of imploding every time you turned on the news. I can’t help but think of Samwise Gamgee at the end of The Two Towers when I think of 2016. “How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you.” These end of year posts are the stories that have stayed with us. We hope you enjoy the memories as much as we do. –Kim

1) Michael Phelps swims the 200 Butterfly – The Rio Olympics

Michael Phelps did not come to the Rio Olympics to play. After being disappointed with his performance in the London Olympics (you know, a measly six medals, four of them gold), Michael returned to the pool as a man on a mission. The most important part of that mission? Getting back the gold medal in the 200 meter butterfly that South Africa’s Chad le Clos had taken from him. As fate would have it, Phelps and le Clos were in the same semifinal, swimming right next to each other. It’s the perfect sports story, really. The undisputed King of the Pool and the younger and cockier rival who had lorded his victory over Phelps for four years. Who would triumph? Here’s why I love the Olympics so fucking much: the completely pure and unstaged moments of human emotion. As cameramen in the holding room focused on the two rivals they caught le Clos showboating and shadowboxing in front of Phelps. And there sat Michael, his hood up over his head and his trademark headphones on making a FACE OF DEATH. Seriously…laser beams were about to shoot out of his eyes. Thus, the greatest meme of 2016, #PhelpsFace, was born. (It’s also the default facial expression to describe the year.)

Was le Clos trying to psych Phelps out? Was Michael truly just in the zone, as he later claimed, or was he making the face at the obvious showboating? We’ll never know, really. What we DO know are the results in the pool. Phelps and le Clos qualified 2nd and 3rd in that semi, which set up an exciting final that was packed with contenders for the Gold. There was something about Michael’s swimming and attitude in Rio though. While he never looked MISERABLE in previous Olympics, it was clear that Michael had always been focused on winning and shattering records alone. In Rio, he seemed to have rediscovered the JOY of swimming and it showed in his interviews and his emotions on the podium. Michael shaved off nearly 8/10ths of a second off his semifinal time to take back his precious Gold Medal and his jubilation was reminiscent of a certain end zone dance by Rod Tidwell. One might say that Michael Phelps found the Kwan in Rio and we all got to see it. — Kim

2) The #HamilTonys

Look, Hamilton was going to come into the Tonys like a wrecking ball. Everyone knew it. Hence the joke in the opening (Hamilton-themed) number: Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, and Okieriete Onaodowan advancing on a Tony-toting James Corden, who stops them by singing, “Just you wait, just you wait…”

The Best Musical award was a foregone conclusion. (In any other year, Waitress. Any other year.) Score and Book were too. The tightest races in a couple of the acting categories were actually BETWEEN Hamilton castmates. And though no choice would have been the wrong one, the Tonys – in our opinion – played it just right. For once, Alexander Hamilton didn’t spoil an Aaron Burr victory; Leslie accepted the Leading Actor Tony he deserved. There was no controversy, since Lin went home with a wheelbarrow of other awards. Broadway veterans Christopher Jackson and Jonathan Groff looked on proudly as newcomer Daveed Diggs was handed the Featured Actor Tony. It’s safe to say that being in Hamilton would change anyone’s life, but of those three, it changed Daveed the most. And come on, the guy plays one character per act, spits RECORD-BREAKING fire, and delivers the best asides in the show. (Whaaaaaaat?) Renee Elise Goldsberry cried as she gave her Featured Actress acceptance speech. And if it hadn’t been for the unstoppable Cynthia Erivo, Phillipa Soo would have been on that stage too.

All told, Hamilton took home 11 Tonys, falling just short of the The Producers‘ record. But that wasn’t the whole story. Hamilton in its very existence is a statement. In the same awards cycle when #OscarsSoWhite trended worldwide, Hamilton contributed to the Tonys’ incredible diversity achievement of all four musical acting awards going to non-white performers. The show made this the hippest Tonys (is that a thing??) in recent memory. The 2016 telecast was the highest rated in the last 15 years. And those new viewers were tuning in SPECIFICALLY to see Hamilton – a piece of art that’s reinvigorated and redrawn the medium by prioritizing inclusion, truth, and a ridiculous amount of work.

A dark shadow was cast on the Tonys. Early that same morning, the Pulse massacre occurred in Florida. The telecast was dedicated to the victims and their families. One of Lin’s speeches was a quickly composed sonnet honoring them too. And Hamilton‘s producers made a decision to alter their performance. There were no muskets in “Yorktown.” The actors and the ensemble mimed their presence. And that image – two dozen people in Colonial garb pointing invisible guns into the audience – will stay with me for a long time.  –Sage

3) The Origin of The Big Three – This Is Us



source: thisisusedits.tumblr.com
I was fully on board with This Is Us from that first trailer that featured guaranteed tearjerker “I Won’t Give Up” as the soundtrack (and because it had Mandy Moore). But I was also completely aware that a great trailer by no means makes a great show and that This Is Us could easily be saccharine overdose. I was lucky to get to see an early screening of the This Is Us at the Paley Center a couple of weeks before it premiered. I was immediately taken in by the sharp and funny dialogue and the tightly drawn characters. (Sterling K. Brown gets Randall from the GET GO, guys.) I was so drawn in by the four principle stories of the pilot that I forgot to look for the twist of how they were all tied together (SILLY ME). I ignored niggling questions like why in the hell with triplets did Mandy Moore’s Rebecca NOT have a c-section scheduled? I missed the hints of Randall saying that he was abandoned at a fire station and adopted by a wonderful couple. I COMPLETELY missed it…and so did most of the people in the Paley screening room.

A collective GASP swept through the room when Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack, mourning the loss of one of his triplets, stood at the nursery window smiling at his two babies and started talking to the fireman standing next to him, who pointed out the baby who had been abandoned at his fire station. “OH MY GOD,” I quietly (or not so quietly) exclaimed, as the camera panned back to reveal people in period clothing wandering the halls of the hospital. “THEY ARE A FAMILY.” It was in that moment that we KNEW that This Is Us was going to be a special kind of show: unabashedly sentimental, expertly acted, and one that would take us along on the journey.  — Kim

4) The Blood Threesome – Penny Dreadful

Rest in peace, Penny Dreadful. You crazy bitch.

Showtime’s literary horror masterpiece pulled out all the stops for what we didn’t know would be its final season. We didn’t get this gory orgy not in the finale, oh no. This was episode THREE.

I have some issues with the way it was resolved. But overall, I am all about Penny Dreadful turning the horror of being a woman of no consequence in Victorian London around on the godless men who exploit them. It facilitated some jaw-dropping Billie Piper monologues, that’s for sure. It also facilitated this consummation: Lily, her benefactor Dorian, and their bloodthirsty protege Justine celebrate Justine’s first kill by indulging in the most indulgent act possible. Lily and Justine are celebrating being masters of their own bodies for once. And Dorian? Well, Dorian’s just a hedonist.

The camerawork, the candles, the score: it’s all so over-the-top and UBER-DRAMATIC and not really that necessary for the plot. I love TV that will throw over subtlety when necessary, and go to these places just because it’s FUN. –Sage

5) Murtagh gets his vengeance – Outlander

When I look back at Season Two of Outlander, I can sum it up with a singular text I got from Sage whilst she watched episode 11, “Vengeance is Mine”: “THIS SHOW IS SAVAGE.” Season Two was a LOT, from all the shenanigans in Paris to the emotional wallop that was the entire episode of “Faith” to Jamie stabbing BlackJack Randall IN THE DICK to a pregnant Claire being sent back through the stones. The entire season was a masterclass in pacing and storytelling because we KNEW the ending in the opening moments of the season premiere, yet the show managed to keep us on our toes and have us HOPING that said ending would not come to pass. But sadly, I can’t single out the entire season for this post. Thus I settled on the moment that prompted Sage’s text message: Murtagh’s savage beheading of the Duke of Sandringham. Because as a book virgin, I did NOT see that one coming.

Let’s face it: Murtagh is the unsung hero of the series. He faithfully stands by Jamie and Claire’s side in France, even though every expression on his face says “I MISS SCOTLAND”. His only reaction when Jamie FINALLY told him the truth about Claire was to punch him in the face for not trusting him with this information sooner. He pulled a “I’m with you till the end of the line” with Jamie at The Battle of Culloden when Jamie tried to send him away. (SIDE NOTE: MURTAGH BETTER BE ALIVE IN SEASON THREE BITCHES.) Murtagh is good people. So it was devastated to see him wracked by guilt over not being able to protect Claire and Mary when they were attacked (and Mary was brutally raped) on the streets of Paris. HE WAS UNCONSCIOUS WHAT COULD HE HAVE DONE? Nevertheless, his promise to avenge Claire and Mary was one he took to heart. The last minutes of “Vengeance is Mine” were absolutely thrilling, from Red Jamie storming in ready to kick some ass to Mary grabbing the knife and stabbing her attacker once Sandringham’s complicit involvement in the attack came to light. But it was all capped off by Murtagh grabbing a fucking AXE and taking a swing at the Duke. Off came his head and he grabbed it and placed it at Claire and Mary’s feet as they looked on in shock. “I lay my vengeance at your feet,” he said, kneeling before them. That’s Murtagh for you. Taking things literally. — Kim

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“I love the cereal but I need eggs.” – Jane The Virgin Recap – Chapter Fifty

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Jane The Virgin Season 3, Episode 6
“Chapter Fifty”
Posted by Kim

Lessons learned from this week’s Jane the Virgin:

  • Never trust someone with a British Accent who tells ridiculous stories and name drops like there is no tomorrow.
  • Always make sure your arepas are moist.
  • “If you love someone, you say it right then. Out loud. Otherwise…the moment just…” “Passes you by.”
  • Bruno Mars fixes everything.
  • No matter how hard up you are, don’t date your baby mama’s cousin. JUST DON’T. IT’S GROSS.  (I don’t CARE that you actually never had sex with your own baby mama. It’s still gross.)

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Jane the Heartfelt

source: michaelandjane.tumblr.com

source: michaelandjane.tumblr.com

When we last saw Jane, her long-lost cousin Catalina had literally just shown up on her doorstep. Our Narrator spent the intro of the episode reminding us how Jane used to have tea parties with her stuffed animals, longing for a sibling of her own to share them with. In Catalina, Jane appears to have all her dreams for a sister fulfilled. She’s vivacious, she’s spontaneous, she’s full of glamorous stories, and she even speaks Jane’s language in regards to believing in signs. The two cousins stay up all night talking and it seems too good to be true. Which means that it likely is. All of Catalina’s outrageous stories about just how awesome her life is reminded me a WHOLE lot of Malin Akerman in 27 Dresses – meaning that there is absolutely no way that she is telling the full story here.

Do I believe that Catalina flits about the globe? Sure. Do I believe that she doesn’t have a care in the world and everything has worked out exactly as she says? Nope. Me thinks there is a hell of a lot more to the story of just how Catalina wound up in Miami on Jane’s doorstep and I am scared to know what the answer is. My Spidey Senses are tingling, y’all. You know who is with me on the trepidation train? Michael. You can tell by every micro-expression that flits across that Brett Dier’s face that Michael is not fully on board with this but at the same time, he doesn’t want to rain on Jane’s parade when he knows how much this means to her. Thus, despite his obvious reservations, he agrees to Jane’s request that Catalina crash with them for a few days. (The way his voice goes all high-pitched when he says “Yeah, why not?” though. His distress is so subtle yet so obvious at the same time.)



source: aprilkeepner.tumblr.com

Catalina’s influence on Jane is swift. Professor Donaldson sets Jane up for an assistant interview with a Romance Publishing company (since she lost her TA gig due to Bachelorette Party shenanigans) and when Jane expresses her worries about not being able to properly prepare for the interview, Catalina breezily tells her to fake it till she makes it. (She also tells another outrageous story about how she faked her way through an interview and Michael’s face = me. Mmmmmmm OHMIGOD. Stop fuckin lyin’.) Listen, part of Catalina’s advice is sound: you should always lead with confidence when you go into a job interview. What you should absolutely NOT do is lie about your skills, especially when you are asked a direct question. A very harried Leslie (hey Kelly Rutherford) asks Jane if she is familiar with a software program, and when Jane lies and says yes, Leslie immediately asks her to help her troubleshoot a document. RUH ROH. Jane has no idea what she’s doing and accidentally erases not only the document Leslie had spent hours on but all the goodwill Jane had built up in the interview. Someone’s clearly not getting the job. A failed interview means naught to a free spirit like Catalina. She launches into yet another story (Michael’s inner monologue = BE COOL DON’T START YELLING) about how she was besties with Zac Posen’s assistant when she fucked something up during fashion week in Milan (WHO ARE YOU) while she sends Leslie’s assistant a pithy “Did I get the job?” text. Catalina is right on the money when it comes to buttering up assistants though. Her text opens up communication between Jane and Leslie’s assistant, Alice, so maybe that job isn’t a lost cause after all.

What I DO love about this whole situation with Catalina is that Jane stays very open about it with Alma, despite the fact that things are still very stilted between them. It shows just how much Jane respects her Abuela, because she could have very easily kept the whole thing on the DL since Catalina was only supposed to stay a few days. But that’s not the kind of person Jane is. And ultimately, keeping a chasm between her and her granddaughter is not the kind of person Alma is. Despite all her reservations about the whole situation, Alma agrees to have Catalina over for dinner because she hates feeling distant from Jane. The whole thing sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially when Catalina shows up free-boobing and clutching a rival platter of arepas. To the surprise (and delight) of Jane and Xiomara, Alma and Catalina get along swimmingly, as they laugh and tell stories of young Alma and her adventures. (She sounds like she was a saucy minx, which makes complete sense in regards to her total personality turnaround after the family fallout.) However, the evening comes unraveled when Catalina brings up Cecilia and Mateo. See, from HER point of view (since this is how Cecilia was telling it) ALMA was the one who did the man-stealing because Cecilia had her eyes on Mateo first. (This is also the story the rest of the family tells since Alma hasn’t been around to tell her side.) Naturally, Alma is enraged because to her, Catalina doesn’t know what she’s talking about. “Your Abuela is a LIAR,” Alma spits. “You’re as bad as your grandmother. And your arepas are dry.” LOW BLOW, ALMA. (Well done though.)

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“I am done with nice.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Forty-Nine

source: evolregals.tumblr.com

source: evolregals.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 5
“Chapter Forty-Nine”
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

source: evolregals.tumblr.com

source: evolregals.tumblr.com

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*



source: sinrosetros.tumblr.com

Was tattooing “NOT PETRA” across Anezka’s forehead a little extreme? Of course. (OH MY GOD CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH THAT HURT? I almost passed out getting a tattoo on my foot, I can’t imagine my forehead.) But then again, Anezka tried to steal her life, so maybe it’s not. I’m very curious to see how Anezka is used from here on out. Petra makes it clear that the only reason she’s allowing her sister to stick around is because Elsa and Anna have bonded to her. Will she just be floating around in the background or will she have an ongoing story. I can’t imagine their mother taking all of this lightly. Bitch wants out of prison BAD, y’all.

source: evolregals.tumblr.com

source: evolregals.tumblr.com

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


source: evolregals.tumblr.com

Family is complicated as hell, y’all. Familial wounds are the hardest to heal and the pain often runs very, very deep. I love how season three has been slowly exploring Alma’s family dynamic, with Jane trying to gently push for more information while still respecting her grandmother’s wishes. While Xiomara and Alma’s often tempestuous relationship has been a cornerstone, we’ve rarely seen Alma butt heads with Jane. I think it’s a part of how a relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter is different from the mother/daughter dynamic; Alma tends to give Jane a lot more leeway than she gives her own daughter, as we see in the Disney World flashback. So I loved that Jane explored a massive conflict between Alma and her granddaughter this week. Both women have right stances in the conflict. Jane has a right to know her extended family and Alma has the right to say that Jane has no idea the pain that she is dredging up. I loved seeing how they handled it.


source: evolregals.tumblr.com

It turns out that while Alma has cut herself off completely from her family, her sister Cecilia has never stopped reaching out to her. Alma has an entire box full of letters, dating back over 40 years and she entrusts them to Jane, who is desperate to learn more about her family. Alma still doesn’t want to talk about what happened with her sister (“It’s all stories about people you don’t know.”) and Jane is emphatic that she doesn’t HAVE to. Just giving her the letters is enough and she tells her grandmother that she can trust her with them.

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.



source: evolregals.tumblr.com

Ultimately, Jane tells her grandmother that she wants to be in touch with her relatives. She tells Alma that she’s going to build a relationship with them, even if she doesn’t have her blessing. Alma’s respect and trust is important to her, but so is this. “I’m not always going to agree with you. I can’t always agree with you.” I think Jane handles the situation with as much grace as she possibly can, And ultimately, so does Alma. She may not be willing to bridge the gap with her sister, but she ultimately isn’t going to try to stop Jane from reaching out. I love where this is going and I truly hope we get an Alma and Cecilia reunion before season’s end. (WHO WILL PLAY HER?) Jane and Michael come home to find Catalina on their doorstep. Naturally, my first inclination is to not trust her. WE SHALL SEE.

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“I blame the flower.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Forty-Seven

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 3
“Chapter Forty-Seven”
Posted by Kim

Long story short, they did it.

Jane the Romantic



source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

After being denied by murderous Crime Lords, gunshot wounds, and over-attentive families, Jane and Michael finally finally FINALLY had sex. And it was…sex. Here’s the thing that Jane didn’t count on: no matter how much you love someone and want to be with them, first-time sex (except on VERY rare occasions) isn’t always what it’s built up to be. Bodies are weird and sex is even weirder, so it takes practice for it to be good. So while Michael (bless him) had the best intentions of making it good for Jane, he missed the mark and then Jane faked her orgasm because she didn’t want him to feel bad. What compounded the matter is the fact that saving herself for marriage was such a MASSIVE part of Jane’s life that once she gives it up, she feels like she’s lost a massive part of who she is and that can fuck a girl up. My favorite thing about the immediate post-coital scene was Jane stopping in the kitchen and looking at herself in the window. (My second favorite thing was her initial instinct to text her mom because she needed to talk about it.) “I’ve had sex,” she tells herself. “I am now a person whose had sex.” It’s so real. Who DIDN’T have that reaction after doing it for the first time? I love how she has a sense of relief, but her relief is also marred with some confusion and a hint of melancholy. She had sex…and the world didn’t stop turning and this whole time, a small part of her must have felt that it would. THAT SHIT IS CONFUSING.



source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

All of Jane’s confusion is put on hold once she realizes that not only did she and Michael accidentally make a sex tape, she accidentally sent it to her adviser instead of sending her updated thesis. “Why do you kids have to record everything,” Professor Donaldson scolds in their meeting the next day. A humiliated Jane confesses that it was her first time and something clicks into place for Donaldson. “That’s what’s been missing from your writing. You’re writing romance, but romance without sex is just fantasy stuff. So use this, okay?” I mean, she’s totally right but she’s also totally not helping Jane’s mental state.

Later, Michael only has time for a quickie, so he just suggests that they do the same thing they did last time, since they came together. (Me: Oh, puppy. You’re so cute.) A panicked Jane blurts out that she faked it and Michael looks like he’s just been punched in the stomach. I LOVE that Jane DIDN’T keep the fact that she faked her orgasm quiet for too long, even if she probably should not have blurted it out right as they were about to do it. Michael is hurt, obviously, but he is also undeterred in his quest to get his wife off. “Have you faked it before when we did other things?” “No, definitely not.” “Okay. We’ll just start with other things then.” BLESS. And thank you, writers, for confirming that Jane and Michael very much engaged in oral before they got married. (Jane had previously said that she was no saint, but it’s still nice to get confirmation.) Michael proceeds to go downtown for a good 20 minutes before Jane stops him. She’s too in her head and it’s just not going to happen. Sex lesson #1045: If you are thinking too much about your orgasm, the orgasm will never happen.

The most important thing to me about Jane and Michael’s struggle is that they never stop trying. One night, Jane goes for a sexy nightie and some pleasure enhancing lube…which actually just makes her end up feeling like wasabi had been rubbed on her lady parts. OUCH. The next time she tries to just tell him that her pleasure doesn’t matter, that they should just focus on the intimacy of their connection, which is so grossly offensive to Michael because her pleasure is SO important to him. (Dear dudes, be like Michael always.) He’s so bummed that Jane’s willing to give up her orgasm that he gets in HIS head and can’t perform. SEX IS HARD.



source: sancriss.tumblr.com

Jane FINALLY gets some of the answers she’s been looking for regarding her feelings when she has a heart to heart with her mother. Xiomara sagely guesses that Jane’s obsession with Xo’s identity as a singer has little to do with that (as much as she does care) and ALL to do with projecting her own feelings about losing her identity. “You gave up something pretty big lately,” Xo reminds her daughter gently, and that’s all Jane needs to break. “This is so stupid! I’m married. I wanted it to be gone. I don’t know. I just…I feel weird. Like…I lost something, like a part of my identity.” And there it is. It’s not about Jane’s orgasm (well, some of it is). It’s about the fact that a good chunk of her life has revolved around the fact that she was a virgin and she doesn’t know how to deal with the fact that she isn’t anymore. She willingly and lovingly gave her virginity to Michael. She didn’t LOSE it. But when you’ve been told your virginity makes you whole and perfect, you can’t HELP but feel a sense of shame EVEN IF you have no ACTUAL shame about it. “I blame the flower,” Xo scoffs. ME TOO GURL.

Jane stresses that she knows she’s not ruined, and I truly believe that she knows that. What she HAS been doing, her mother points out, is focusing on the LOSS of the whole thing and not what she’s GAINING. She’s discovering parts of herself that she’s never explored before and she now has the most intimate way of connecting with her husband that she can possibly have. She’s gained so much by losing one thing. That mental clusterfuck out-of-the-way, Jane confesses her fears that she and Michael may not be compatible. Once again, Xiomara calms her down. “This has nothing to do with you. But…with sex, it can take time to find your groove and figure out what you like, what you need. You’re just starting out. You’ll get there.” MUM OF THE YEAR.

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Jane gets home and is crushed to hear that Michael is watching what she thinks is a porno. I mean, porn has its time and place but that’s not what Michael is doing. He’s watching their sex tape (“That’s not porn! It’s us!”) trying to pinpoint exactly where they went wrong so they can fix it. (Thanks for sticking your nose in, Lina, we all appreciate it.) They watch their sex tape together and Michael asks for specifics on what was real and what was not. They both end up getting so turned on by watching and talking about the sex that they get out of their heads at LAST. The clothes come off and there’s no faking it this time. THANK GOD.

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Jane the Heartfelt

Jane isn’t the only one facing an identity crisis this week, as Xiomara finds herself at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to her career. Xo FINALLY auditions for The Voice (in an ADORABLE pineapple print top, GIMME) and falters when the producers don’t even bat an eye at her “I’m a grandmother” backstory. (Yes, you’ve seen seven grandmothers, but were they young and hot grandmothers?) The producers ask her what she would be if she wasn’t a singer and Xo can’t come up with an answer. She’s been so wrapped up in pursuing that dream that she finds herself in her late 30s without any sort of alternate career path. I FEEL THIS SO HARD. This realization knocks Xiomara on her ass, especially when she ends up not getting a callback. Has she been chasing a pipe dream this whole time? Is it time to let that dream go? “I haven’t considered anything else since I was 19,” she confesses to Jane. “Maybe it’s time to move on.”

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“Comfort the victim.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Forty-Six

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source: queerpeaks.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 2
“Chapter Forty-Six”
Posted by Kim

With “Chapter Forty-Five” tying up most of season two’s dangling storylines, “Chapter Forty-Six” dove right into laying down the groundwork for the stories Jane the Virgin wants to tell in season three. There are no flashbacks to Young Jane, no past life lessons to tie in to the present day, we just dive right into the state of Jane’s life, 4 weeks after Michael’s shooting. This is another point in the long list of reasons why I love Jane the Virgin and why it’s one of the smartest shows on television right now: its willingness to play with story structure. Some weeks they use extremely heightened story structure and other weeks (like this one) we’re presented with a traditional story and we have to adjust the way we watch. ALWAYS KEEPING US ON OUR TOES, WRITERS. I LOVE how Jane unfold like a novel…some chapters have big momentous stories while others tell smaller stories that still reveal vital elements of character. “Chapter Forty-Six” is one of those chapters. Let’s take a look at what went down this week…

Jane the Heartfelt


source: maddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com
So often, when a character has a baby on a TV show, once the baby is born we rarely see it and the mother’s life continues on as if it had never happened, other than random mentions of the baby. Jane the Virgin is not a typical TV show and they never let us forget that having Mateo has changed Jane’s life forever. (Plus, that baby is so effing cute, clearly they want him on camera as much as possible.) “Chapter Forty-Six” dealt with the search for a pre-school for Mateo and it also laid the groundwork for a completely new dynamic between Jane and Rafael: completely platonic co-parents.

Yes, with Jane MARRYING Michael, it appears that we are finally FINALLY past the Jane/Michael/Rafael love triangle and everyone can get on with their lives. Despite claims from both Michael and Xo about Raf still being in love with Jane, Rafael himself declares that he is over her and I REALLY want to believe that’s true. (Or if it’s not true YET that it’s in the process of being true.) Rafael deserves the chance to be happy and he’s never going to get that chance if he’s sitting around pining after Jane. He and Jane are always going to be in each other’s life because of Mateo and it’s so important that they have a good relationship. I loved the whole discussion they had about Mateo and the tantrums. Rafael never shamed her or hinted that Mateo’s behavior is her fault. He takes ownership too. THIS IS PROPER CO-PARENTING.



source: madddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com
What this new dynamic DOES bring is freedom for Rafael to push back at Jane’s decisions a little more, since he’s not agreeing with her because he’s trying to woo her. (YIKES. Was that how he was making choices before? Oh, Raf, be your own person.) Rafael declares the Catholic preschool they had previously agreed on “too Jesus-y” for him and he wants them to look elsewhere. He should have said something MONTHS ago because preschools FILL UP but he was too busy letting Jane call all the shots because he was in love with her. Now all the good places are wait listed and Jane is left scrambling trying to get a spot somewhere. They manage to get a visit at a snooty rich private school where the parents are more concerned about being able to send their nannies in to parents’ night than taking care of their kids. Jane is IMMEDIATELY judgey because this kind of environment is not her style. Clearly it’s not Mateo’s either, since he’s accused of biting another child. Since no one saw it happen, Jane lashes out at the mom who accused Mateo and they are kindly asked to leave. Raf accuses Jane of sabotaging the visit, which let’s be real, she probably did. All arguments are forgotten when Mateo bites Jane. Turns out snobby rich mommy was right.



source: sancriss.tumblr.com
The next stop on the preschool tour is hippie-dippie school where they don’t care if kids know their letters and numbers as long as they can name their feelings. Jane and Rafael immediately dismiss this place and start fighting about the rich school because Jane ate her pride and begged for another chance there but Rafael has changed his mind AGAIN because the rich school asked for money to make the whole biting thing go away. This leads to them screaming at each other on the playground and the preschool teacher calling them out for it…but not for the reasons you would expect. At this school, it’s fine for parents to fight in front of the kids, but they ALSO need to make up in front of them. Jane and Rafael have to sit in the compassion corner and get to the root of their issues. Rafael confesses that it’s important to him to not back down from decisions as they navigate this new dynamic between them. Jane understands that but she also stresses that Rafael can’t push back against her just because SHE wants something. I love how open with each other they were here. He’s so honest about his fears about losing his voice now that Jane is married and starting a family with Michael and she’s so steady in her reassurance that she and Rafael will always be their own family. I LOVE THIS, MORE OF THIS PLEASE.

In the end, after getting some sage advice from the hippie teacher about Mateo’s biting (“It’s just a phase. And it’s not your fault. But the next time it happens, don’t give him attention. Comfort the victim.”), Jane and Rafael choose that preschool because it’s the perfect mixture of both of their philosophies. It’s so important for Jane and Rafael to respect their differences but also have the willingness to put them aside for the best of their son. Healthy relationships FTW.

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Can I just say that I am SO PLEASED that Jane didn’t do a very special “Xiomara gets an abortion” episode? With the time jump to get us to the end of Michael’s recovery, we also skipped the ACT of Xo getting the abortion, leaving the narrator to just tell us it happened and focus on the fallout between Xo and Alba instead. While she doesn’t have any guilt regarding her choice, Xiomara DOES fear how her mother will react to the news and she’s hyper aware of it, interpreting all of Alba’s choices as passive aggressive ways of shaming her. (“Calm down, Cersei!” = me dying laughing.) After not so casually dropping “abort” into conversations and having Alba not take the bait, Xiomara finally confesses to her mom. Alba does not take it well and she walks out on her daughter, refusing to discuss it. Xo takes that hard (understandably) and later calls out Alba for telling her she should get an abortion when she found out that she was pregnant with Jane. THIS CONVERSATION. Xo thanks her mother for helping her CHOOSE to have Jane while Alba confesses her enduring guilt for even suggesting an abortion in the first place. “This is my fault for putting it in your head that it was ever okay,” Alba says. What we have here are two women on completely different ideological sides and they are both being portrayed thoughtfully and it’s so important. “Look, I know how upset you are about the choice I made, but I made it and it’s done. So can’t we put this behind us and move forward?” It’s such a monumental moment for Xiomara and Alba because even after Xo’s heartfelt plea for understanding Alba can’t find it in herself to extend it. It’s not out of cruelty, it’s out of her deeply seeded beliefs that what Xo did was wrong. It’s so real and so very painful.



source: gael-garcia.tumblr.com

source: gael-garcia.tumblr.com

In the end, thanks to a life lesson from Jane’s preschool, Alba finds the courage to admit that while she doesn’t agree with Xo’s choice, it was HER choice and it’s one that she has to accept. Xiomara is her daughter and that bond is unbreakable, even when choices are made that Alba disagrees with. She will never cheer or be happy that Xiomara got an abortion, but she WILL accept it and move on from it. The Villanueva women always find a way to come back together, no matter what. This time, they gather around and rip the cherry wallpaper from the walls. It’s cathartic and it’s symbolic and this is what happens when women are in charge of creating a show.

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“There are rules to the genre.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Forty-Five

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source: gilmoregorls.tumblr.com

Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 1
“Chapter Forty-Five”
Posted by Kim

After sweeping the Feelies for two years straight, I KNEW that it was high time we got Jane the Virgin recaps on this website. I had been trying to crack the perfect way to do the recaps because Jane is so many shows to me…it’s a telenovela, it’s a family drama, it’s a wacky comedy, and it’s a romance. How the hell do you break it down? Well, you can all thank our lovely fashion blogger Maggie for telling me I should structure Jane recaps like our old Sleepy Hollow ones, by breaking it down into sections according to what kind of show it is at any given moment. Brilliant. Here we go.

Almost every episode of Jane the Virgin opens with a flashback to Jane’s childhood where some type of lesson she learned has an impact on her adult life. For the season three premiere, we saw little Jane and Xiomara at a book signing for a romance novel. Jane (BLESS HER) gets up and rips the author a new one for breaking the number one rule of the romance novel: not giving her characters a happy ending. Like Monica Geller, Jane Gloriana Villanueva finds comfort in rules because they control the fun. What Jane the Virgin does with this kind of flashback is it ALSO reinforces the rules the VIEWERS have for a television show like this one. We can deal with the drama and the angst but goddammit we EXPECT a happy ending from a show like this one. We can take the cliffhangers of Michael getting shot on his wedding night because we know we are in the middle of this story and therefore we can handle the angst. But it ALSO means Michael is not allowed to die. Savvy? Let’s get to it.

Jane the Heartfelt


source: villaderogifs.tumblr.com

Never a show to leave us hanging, “Chapter Forty-Five” immediately picks up in the moments following Michael’s shooting. Jane, knowing something is up because it should never take this long to get ice when you’ve been waiting this long to FINALLY have sex, finds Michael in the hall unconscious and bleeding. AT LEAST HE’S ALIVE THANK GOD. Cue all the dramatic hospital waiting room scenes and the chances for Gina Rodriguez to prove how magnificent she is at ugly crying while still looking fucking beautiful. Teach me your secrets, you evil wizard.

Understandably, Jane is in shock and barely has time to react when she’s told about Michael’s condition. It’s SO HARD to see Jane so completely unraveled (also mega OUCH to the handing over of Michael’s wedding ring) and the writers did a beautiful job portraying the sheer panic and dread of waiting in a hospital room. Jane’s family tries to comfort her and I LOVE how Gina delivered the “You don’t know that.” It wasn’t snappy or angry, it was just bone tired and fearful. She perfectly captured the “Why is this happening? This is not supposed to be happening to us?” feeling and it was beautiful and painful to watch. How is this woman not getting all the awards?

source: sseureki.tumblr.com

source: sseureki.tumblr.com

Matters are compounded when Michael’s mother Patricia arrives. Patricia and Jane’s relationship is incredibly strained, mainly due to the on/off nature of Jane and Michael’s relationship. Patricia predictably steamrolls Jane, answering to “Mrs. Cordero” (when she FULL WELL KNEW the nurse was addressing Jane) and taking over the meeting with the Doctor that JANE requested to speak with once she had gotten a handle on the questions she needed to ask. Patricia takes over the medical history form from Jane after she corrects some of the answers Jane had put down and she shames Jane for eating a granola bar (when LBR Jane probably didn’t even eat at her own wedding and she’s probably STARVING). Basically, she does everything she can to make Jane feel out-of-place and bad about herself. But here’s the WONDERFUL thing about Jane Gloriana Villanueva: she sits there and fucking TAKES it. Because she is a strong and compassionate woman and she knows her mother-in-law is scared and needs someone to take her fear out on. So she allows it, at great emotional cost to herself, as she truly only allows herself to break down and sob out of Patricia’s presence. (It reminded me SO MUCH of the episodes of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall’s father died and Lily allowed his mother to pick on her for the whole duration of the funeral because Lily KNEW that’s what she needed to get through it and now I’m pissed at HIMYM again.)

source: maddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com

source: maddeninglyrichard.tumblr.com

Once Michael is stabilized, a different complication arises. There are bullet fragments lodged near his spine and it’s causing swelling. They can either take a wait and see approach or they can perform surgery to remove the fragments but risk paralysis. Patricia leans towards the wait and see option, but as his WIFE, the decision falls to Jane. She asks for time to think, which causes Patricia to storm off and call Michael’s father, who she is POSITIVE will side with her. “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Jane tearfully tells her Abuela, who is (as ALWAYS) a pillar by her side. “We talked about who would take out the trash and when we would have another baby, not what I should do of there was a bullet near his spine. I don’t know what the right answer is.” Abuela reminds Jane that when it comes down to it, it’s NOT about what she would do in this situation. It’s about what MICHAEL would do. And Michael Cordero? He’s a fighter. (MORE ON THAT LATER I PROMISE) He’d want the surgery. She stands up to her mother-in-law on behalf of her husband and it’s beautiful. And Patricia admits that his father agreed that they should go do the surgery. I like to think that Patricia’s opinion of her daughter-in-law changed that day because Jane REALLY showed what she was made of.

source: bscgirl99.tumblr.com

Then, because we haven’t had enough feelings in this episode, we get to see Jane send Michael off into surgery. Jane tearfully tells Michael he’s not allowed to die because this is not the end of their story. She lays out the entire life she sees for them: more kids, family vacations, HER ABUELA LEADING A LONG LIFE (seriously protect Alba for always, I’m always so scared she’s going to die), grandchildren, and sitting on the porch, old and grey and still bickering like they always have. “We’re gonna be happy, Michael. We’re gonna be happy.” GOD. Let me LIVE, Gina.

source: sancriss.tumblr.com

source: sancriss.tumblr.com

Because this is a romantic comedy and not a tragedy, Michael’s surgery is a success. He DOES do an amnesia fake-out, which gave both me and Jane a heart attack. (I bought it for a hot second because in addition to being a Rom Com, Jane is above all things a telenovela and the amnesia trope is a tried and true one.) For now, Jane and Michael are at peace. Who knows what trials lie ahead for them (and there will undoubtedly be trials) but for now, they have their future laid out for them and it looks bright. JUST LET THEM HAVE SEX NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. She can’t accidentally conceive all those other babies she envisioned.

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