Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 1
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
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Jane the Dramatic
My favorite thing about Jane the Virgin has always been the way they deftly juggle the emotional stories with the outlandish telenovela plotlines. The storytelling on Jane has always been brisk and they rarely allow storylines to languish in the name of dragging it out for dramatic effect. So even with the principal focus of the episode being Michael’s brush with death, we got forward movement on all the storylines set up in the season finale, namely Petra being #Petrafied and Xiomara learning that’s she’s pregnant with Esteban’s baby.
When we last saw Petra she had been injected with a paralytic poison and had her identity stolen by her twin Anezka, who immediately made the moves on Rafael. (GOD I LOVE THIS SOAP OPERA REALNESS.) I have to give all the props to Yael Groblas, who has ALWAYS been delightful as Petra, for continuing to up her game with her portrayal of Anezka. I love the way she shifts her posture and her mannerisms and I love the way she alters her voice. It’s so fun to see her seamlessly shift from Anezka to Petra and it’s even MORE fun to see her desperately trying to maintain the facade in the face of others.
So Rafael and Petrezka (as I will refer to her when she is in the presence of others) had sex and therefore have each other for alibis in the investigation into Michael’s shooting. What they AREN’T off the hook for is being a part of the investigation, since they are the owners of the hotel. The cops need Petrezka to sit with them while they go over the security footage of the incident which presents a MASSIVE problem because she needs to get to the hospital and re-inject her sister with the paralytic because it wears off every ten hours. Petrezka tries to play up the sympathy card of needing to be near her sister at a time like this, but the cops don’t buy it because this is a time sensitive situation. SO IS “FREEZING THE CHICKEN”. Petrezka excuses herself to use the ladies and tries to make a break for it but she fails to realize that all of the stairwells are locked from the inside and the security cameras alert the cops to her VERY sketchy behavior.
Meanwhile, the REAL Petra is at the hospital, mind active but body frozen, and she sees the news about Michael’s shooting and realizes that Jane and Michael are at the same hospital as she is. If she can somehow get Jane to her, surely Jane will know what’s happened right? She’s slowly starting to thaw, so she inches her fingers towards the call button, slowly but surely.
Rafael and the cops confront Petrezka about the doors and it’s clear that Rafael is suspicious because Petra SHOULD know that’s how the doors work. Petrezka slithers out of the situation, blaming it all on the stress over her sister. Rafael volunteers to stay with the cops to go over the footage while Petra is escorted to the hospital. The hospital is swarming with cops because everyone is invested in Michael Cordero, so it’s not a simple matter of just being able to re-inject Petra with the paralytic. Anezka sits at Petra’s bedside, playing up her grief under the watchful eyes of her escort, while Petra wiggles her finger ever so closer to the panic button. FINALLY the cop gets distracted by the news that Michael is going to be okay and Anezka is able to re-paralyze her sister. SO CLOSE.
Back at the hotel, Petrezka convinces Rafael that it’s better that her sister be moved to the Marbella so she can watch over her all the time/continue to poison her. Rafael agrees because he’s a stand-up guy and then Petrezka smoothly transitions to telling him that she wouldn’t have made it through the day without his support because girlfriend has been DYING to know what he thought about the sex they had. And here’s where things take a turn. Clearly Anezka was expecting Rafael to be over the moon about their reunion but Raf drops the dreaded “we need to talk line” which we all know NEVER ends well. Anezka asks him if he regrets it and Raf tells her that he doesn’t…but not for the reasons she wants to hear. “Because I always wondered if, uh, you know, that thing that we had, if it was still there. You know? And it just wasn’t. I’m sorry. I just, I want to be honest. You’ve told me to be honest. But things just felt different. So I’m glad that it happened. Because now we can move on to being friends. Because romantically, I just don’t want to go there again.” THANK GOD HE SAID THAT. I am so relieved that he KNEW he was having sex with a different person even if he doesn’t actually KNOW he was. Also Anezka’s FACE when Raf tells her he’s not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship. Y-i-k-e-s. Later, on the phone with her mother, Anezka says “Forget what I said earlier. Rafael part of the plan is on too.” RUH ROH.
On to Rogelio and Xiomara. In the waiting room, Rogelio observes two dudes sneakily taking a picture of him and recognizes that they are about tweet it (because that’s something HE would do). He corners them in the hallway and begs for them to respect his privacy and offers to do anything they want in exchange for them deleting the picture. Thus, Xiomara finds him outside, clutching a coffee cup of his own pee, because the dudes need to pass a drug test. Xo offers up her own pee to help before she realizes she actually CAN’T do so because she’s pregnant and that would show up in the test. How much do I LOVE that they didn’t leave this plot thread dangling? Xo confesses to Rogelio that she’s pregnant with Esteban’s child and he takes it surprisingly well, saying that he will support her no matter what. The very core of why Xo and Ro can’t be together hasn’t changed though: Xiomara tells him that she still doesn’t want any more kids. If she didn’t want one with Rogelio, a man that she loves and wants to be with, she certainly doesn’t want one with a careless fling like Esteban.
MY HEART JUST BURST BECAUSE ROGELIO IS THE WOKEST BAE. A thoughtful and succinct conversation about a woman’s right to choose and a man respecting that choice, no questions asked? This is what happens when you have a lady showrunner, my friends. Bless you, Jennie Snyder Urman. Bless you.
The cops get back the analysis on the mysterious white powder found at the crime scene and discover that it’s not cocaine but powdered sugar. Cue a light bulb going off in Rafael’s head because that can only mean one thing: Sin Rostro has returned. We flash to Luisa waking up in a bed, with Rose watching over her whilst eating her signature powdered donuts. “Where am I? What’s going on?” “All in good time,” Rose replies. “Just know we are going to get our happily ever after. I promise.” The camera pans out to reveal that Rose and Luisa are on a freaking submarine. WHAT? I’m super curious where they are going with this because I have to admit that the Rose and Luisa thing feels a bit tired. Luisa has been a trainwreck since the show started and she’s shown zero signs of growth and has been mainly used as a damsel in distress, blinded by love. It would be nice to see her choose a side once and for all. GO BAD GURL, IT’S THE MORE FUN OPTION.
Jane the Romantic
I love how Jane constantly uses flashbacks to reinforce the present-day story and I am a SUCKER for early Jane and Michael stories, so this entire episode was like the most delicious and satisfying meal to me. It’s so funny that early on in season one that Michael was presented as the safe option for Jane, the option that didn’t challenge her, and the option that lacked any pure sexual spark. Because the more they reveal of Jane and Michael’s past, the more that early supposition becomes completely not true. Jane has ALWAYS felt an undeniable pull towards Michael and they have always kept each other on their toes. And when it comes right down to it, Jane will ALWAYS end up choosing Michael. She’s done it in two different love triangle situations because at the end of the day, he’s who she belongs with.
We’ve seen their magical first kiss on her 21st birthday. “Chapter Forty-Five” shows us the morning after, where Jane is giddily exchanging texts with the cute cop and proclaiming that they already have private jokes. (How PERFECTLY does the episode capture that initial rush of having a crush on someone and getting a text from them? It’s so real.) Of course, when it rains, it pours when love is concerned. In the midst of the banter with Michael, Jane’s long-term crush Sam shows up and asks her out on a date for that night. I’m with our narrator on this reveal…HELLO SAM U CUTE. HAVE A NACHO CUTIE. On paper, Sam is everything Jane longs for. He’s academic (he missed her party to finish his paper on Chaucer, for Christ’s sake) and bespectacled and just the perfect amount of awkward around her. He wants to take her to a book signing that night and in her rush of OMG FINALLY IT’S HAPPENING, she forgets that she had already agreed to go out with Michael that night.
On the advice of Xiomara, Jane blows off Michael for Sam, telling him that she’s sick. Because Michael Cordero is a puppy, he shows up at Jane’s house that night bearing homemade chicken soup and he sees her getting into the car with Sam. Here’s where Michael gets petty and I cheer from my couch because I LOVE IT. He uses his position as a cop to pull Sam over for an illegal u-turn and he calls Jane out for lying to him. This whole exchange REALLY reminded me of Chris O’Dowd’s befuddled cop in Bridesmaids, which gave me all the warm fuzzies. Go on with your petty self, Officer Cordero. Jane is understandably pissed off but a little turned on by it at the same time, as evidenced by her date with Sam not living up to the fantasy. Mainly because she was thinking about the hot cop the whole time. So Jane goes home, eats the soup, and does a little Facebook stalking, as you do when you have a crush.
The next day, Jane shows up at the Police Station with an apology Cubano (AW! Their first Cubano!) and asks if they can start over. She also accidentally get him in trouble by revealing that he kissed her on duty. This is the stuff Rom Coms are MADE OF. Jane and Michael both agree that they want to go back to the magic of their first night together and then Jane drops a truth bomb: she still wants to pursue Sam because she’s been waiting for him for so long. “I’m not interested in being in a love triangle with you and Sam.” OH, MICHAEL. Then they engage in some grade-A hate to love banter that ends with them screaming at each other across the parking lot about Michael’s dead cat.
Because this is a romantic comedy and there are rules (and well…we’ve seen them get married), we know this is not the end for Jane and Michael. He shows up at Jane’s door and apologizes for calling her a jackass. (I mean, she did insult his cat. It’s merited.) He also shows up to say that he doesn’t care about Jane pursuing Sam. Sam can come on their dates, for all he cares, Michael just knows that there’s something there with Jane that he can’t walk away from. Magic. (Are they Sleepless in Seattle fans? They have to be.) Jane ponders if the magic between them is just the tequila talking. Michael asks if he can kiss her again, sober this time. (MY HEART.) “Why won’t you give up?” she asks, staring at his mouth because how can you NOT when someone busts out with a line like that? “Because I’m a fighter. You should know that about me. I’m a fighter.” AND HE’S BEEN FIGHTING FOR HER EVER SINCE. (“I’m gonna be your soldier. I-I-I’m gonna fight until it’s overrrrrrrr.”)
Jane the Hilarious
Due to the heavy nature of this episode, the LOL moments were few and far between. But I have to point out the whole Erik Estrada exchange because there’s one thing that never grow old or less hilarious and that’s swipes at Rogelio’s vanity.
Rogelio: You thought I was Erik Estrada? That guy’s, like, 100. (gasps) Oh, my God!
Stoners: Dude, calm down.
Rogelio: I will not calm down!
Stoners: There are, like, cops everywhere, man.
Rogelio: Good. You should be arrested. I gave you guys my urine! And then you make this egregious racial and generational mistake! I hope you rot in jail.
Listen, I love that Rogelio would gladly sit in jail for a few hours AS Rogelio de la Vega rather than have people believe that he was Erik Estrada. NEVER CHANGE, BOO.
- The narrator reveals that Jane likes to know the endings of books before she reads them. IS JANE HARRY BURNS? This is so unexpected, I totally had her pegged as a Sally.
- I LIVE for know-it-all little baby Jane.
- “Right about now, I’d need to put the book down and take a break.” Listen, the need to put books and TV shows in the freezer is SO REAL, thank you for that Joey Tribbiani.
- I LOVE how Xiomara gets all Mama Bear in regards to the way that Patricia treats Jane in the waiting room.
- Jane’s dress that she wore for her date with Sam is SO CUTE. I love the wardobe department’s commitment to Jane’s sense of style and the budget she has. I always feel like I could go shopping and actually come home with the exact dresses she wears.
- “Who are you going to take dating advice from? Me or Abuela?” ABUELA EVERY TIME.
- “It’s just…this stupid soup is so good.”
- Rogelio being so upset about Michael and calling him his best friend. I swear to GOD they are my favorite brOTP on TV.
- Okaaaaaaay but is Mateo (or their other son) gay in Jane’s vision of the future? Her vision of her family with Michael includes them having another boy and girl in addition to Mateo and I am counting 4 adult men and 2 adult women at this Villadero family barbeque, ergo implying that someone has a same-sex partner. Thoughts? I LOVE the subtlety of it SO MUCH.
What did you think of “Chapter Forty-Five”? Let us know in the comments!