Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Jane the Virgin 2x01 "Chapter Twenty-Three" (She’s Armed, She’s Fearless) [Contributor: Connie]

"Chapter Twenty-Three"
Original Airdate: October 12, 2015

The first thing that told me Jane the Virgin would remain the same show we all adore was the fact that the episode title was Chapter Twenty-Three. Of course, it would be difficult to choose a different idiosyncratic episode naming convention, but it’s the indicator that not much within the context of the show has changed. It is still the same dramatic, hilarious, emotional, mysterious, silly, serious, amazing television show that we left last season. The only change now is the adorable baby Jane doesn’t want to let go of.

And, really, who could blame her? When we left last season, Mateo Gloriano Rogelio Solano Villanueva was kidnapped by Sin Rostro! In this season's premiere, Michael faces off with Nadine at a chapel and exchanges the baby for the dragonfly broach Luisa stole from Rose (which contains before and after photos of the criminals Sin Rostro surgically altered). Though Mateo is back safe and sound, Jane’s trauma over losing him (and not realizing he was in danger when he was taken by the hospital nurse in the finale) causes her to suffer breastfeeding problems.
“I’m his mom, I have to stay strong.” “I just want to be able to do this one good thing.”
What was great about this episode was that all of Jane’s admirable qualities and also her fears were showcased throughout.

Her neuroses with over-preparing and asking every single question known (and unknown) to man, her panicked breathing when she doesn’t know what to do, her take-charge mentality when she’s made a decision and it’s final, her joy and relief, her desperation to figure out a way to feed Mateo in what way she thinks is normal, her obsession with things being “normal,” her relaxed laughter when she learned her mother married her father, and her hope that one of the men in her life is the one for her.

If that was a lot of emotions to cycle through, it was a lot for Jane, who proved she was strong (and armed and fearless) enough to handle them all. It was also a lot for Gina Rodriguez, who demonstrated, yet again, that she can seamlessly navigate the transitions from one emotion to another with ease and confidence; the same confidence that won her the Golden Globe for this show last season. This episode was an excellent way to reintroduce us to Jane and all the facets of her personality, showing us that the show and these characters we fell in love with last season haven’t gone anywhere.


Michael and Rafael — who both love Jane so dearly — each do what they can to make her life easier as she deals with her first taste of new motherhood. Michael comes in with the save for Mateo, as he faces Nadine and Sin Rostro. In the process, he basically throws out all police rules to help Jane get her son back. He also gives Rafael and Rogelio advice (“He’s a mensch”), proving he is the Villanueva family expert. While I am Team Rafael, I do enjoy how Michael is given his shine and doesn’t fall for into the stereotypical actions of a jealous ex-fiancé. He thinks about it — of course — but steers clear of acting on that jealousy and, instead, helps Rafael with Jane (even when you see how much it hurts him to do this). But Jane doesn’t make any clear decisions in the episode regarding her potential romantic future, giving Michael just as much time (and just as many heart eyes) as she gives Rafael.

And Rafael. Our poor, clueless, daddy is still making amends for being a jerk last season. He hovers for much of the beginning of the episode and realizes that by being a jerk, he missed vital information that would help him become a bigger part of Mateo’s early life. So Michael advises him to read up on the issues that Jane is having, and — as a result — is able to save the day when Jane’s emotional trauma seems to be preventing her from feeding Mateo properly. Jane allows Rafael to stay over, and he immediately goes for some skin-on-skin contact. ... With Mateo of course. Not that any of us minded, I feel like Justin Baldoni worked out a lot this summer

 ::eyeball emoji::

Anyway, he and Jane chat about their new normal, and their relationship seems to get the opportunity to reset. We shall see where Team Michael and Team Rafael go from here in the show. I’m excited!


Oh Petra. You had a few moments of good conscience, but then you sucked those moments up into a turkey baster. Petra weighed the pros and cons of STEALING RAFAEL’S SECOND SPERM SAMPLE and seemed to have chosen to be good, to be noble, and to not act on what she stole.

But memories of the pregnancy attempt that she had with him five years ago and the words of her imprisoned mother send her to the dark, acting-on-the-sperm-stealing side. I assume her attempt works because I think Gina Rodriguez leaked that Petra is pregnant during her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. We kind of knew it was coming though, so I won’t fault her for it. Whatever results from this particular story will definitely be dramatic.

We didn’t spend too much non-Jane time with Xo, Rogelio, or Abuela in the premiere, but their support of Jane and the way they put all their own problems and drama aside to support her was amazing. There are some families who wouldn’t do that. I can’t wait to see all their changing dynamics this season, especially with Rogelio and Xo. You’re getting that wedding annulled? Sure you are, Ross and Rachel.

There were so many other character details and tidbits and with a show like this, that I can’t possibly get to them all, but I am going to close this review with some of my favorite quotes and observations, in a section I will henceforth call:

Rattles and Rockets (I just like the sound of it! And rockets gives it a melodramatic flare):
  • Have I missed the Narrator most of all? Because man, hearing his voice gave me the biggest smile! Also, how does Anthony Ramos not become out of breath while recapping the entire last season like that?
  • Also, I’ve noticed this last season, but the brilliance of this show is that they have these epic Narrator recaps, but also slip in information that wouldn’t fit by using the Narrator later or the typed text introductions (that are always hilarious).
  • Side note: I wish I typed as flawlessly as the Narrator types.  
  • I am still — even after a season — in awe at all the wonderful leading ladies on this show and the flawless way it passes the Bechdel test in more than one scene. Amazing. 
  • Jane’s determination is always so funny, but never so much as when she doesn’t actually have a plan. The entire scene where she storms out to the nuns on her yard and tries to convince them that she isn’t a virgin and they probably don’t want to be in a public debate over her virginity — interrupted by her realization that she is leaking…? Comedic gold. This show, guys. This show.
  • In Jane’s nursing class, you can spot Emily and Maiya Baldoni! That’s right, Justin Baldoni’s wife and baby daughter! If you follow him on Instagram, you see how amazingly cute they are. Their family is so beautiful. If you haven't watched his proposal video or their pregnancy announcement, go forth to YouTube. It's absolutely too cute.
  • “The woman who assisted her? The angel Gabriel.” “It’s Gabrielle.”
  • “Do you want to shut it down or do a tour of the morning shows and turn this into a book deal?”
  • The Villanueva women laughing together at the end of the episode makes me laugh with them just like crying scenes with them makes me cry. I love them.
One more thing:
“Let’s go after her. Now.”
NOOOOO! Why Sin Rostro? Why? Also, who will they cast as Rose this season?

What did you think of the premiere of Jane the Virgin? Let us know in the comments below!


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