Friday, November 27, 2015

Jane the Virgin "Chapter Twenty-Eight" & "Chapter Twenty-Nine" (Sparkly!) [Contributor: Connie]


"Chapter Twenty-Eight"
Original Airdate: November 16, 2015

Between two jobs and pretending like I sleep, plus writing and TV time, I felt like I didn’t have the time or the energy to write this. Then I turn on Jane the Virgin, and I feel lazy. Two jobs is no joke for sure, but watching Jane Villanueva struggle with balancing Mateo, grad school, her family, Rafael, her heartbreak over Michael, and sometimes sleeping — I still got to use watching Jessica Jones as rest time — Jane doesn’t have that luxury.

What’s been another of the many wonderful things about Jane the Virgin is the way people respond to it. Mothers all across Twitter have praised the show for showing what it’s like to be a new mother who also wants to work or go to school or develop their life outside of their child. I saw so many tweets from mothers relating to Jane leaving her breast pump plug at home while on her retreat. While I haven’t experienced the baby/work balance, I still felt so much empathy towards Jane (and mothers like her in the real world), that my own time management problems felt minuscule in comparison. Of course, one person’s struggle isn’t necessarily more valid than another’s, but shows like this one are important in giving people a glimpse into a life they don’t know so that they can feel that empathy, can have that perspective. And it, of course, lets working mothers see their struggles portrayed in modern media, thereby allowing the normalization of their circumstances for others.

Jane the Virgin treats summer like most shows treat summer. Meaning, in this episode, we skip the summer and head straight for the fall holidays. It’s been easy to forget that Mateo was born around May or June — and that we haven’t already skipped ahead to October/November — but this episode gets us to Thanksgiving with a series of photo memories for each month that passes.

When we left off in our story, Jane really had chosen Michael, but then she removed him from her life and he disappeared on a weird road trip with Nadine. Despite the violence that occurred the night before, Jane is still in mourning over Michael, and the length of time that passes in this episode helps her move forward believably so that the audience doesn’t have to wait for her to give Rafael another shot.

Jane and Rafael have an estate planning discussion meeting, where Jane is reminded that Rafael — and therefore, Mateo — is worth 40 million dollars. And growing! While many may ask how Jane could forget that Rafael is super rich, it’s actually refreshing to know that she can forget. It means that Rafael’s former lavish lifestyle isn’t what he’s about now and he’s not constantly rubbing his wealth in her face or flashing it at the hotel. That he is trying to be modest, but still fighting for the right to spend necessary money on his son. He’s not going to treat Mateo like he’s poor, even if that’s what Jane is used to, and Jane needs to learn that while it’s fantastic she doesn’t want to use Rafael’s money, that she can still instill a grounded mentality for Mateo without denying him comfort. All parents want their children to have better lives that they do, and both Jane and Rafael need to understand that each of their definitions of “better” brings them to the same place.

Meanwhile, Petra gets her mother out of prison to assist her with her pregnancy (it’s gonna be twin girls!), but Petra soon remembers that Magda isn’t quite the maternal type. Petra often looks to Jane and thinks she’s having an easy time, but in a wonderful conversation between the two women, Jane reveals what we’ve seen this episode: Jane isn’t handling it at all. The women solidify a bond that’s been growing in previous episodes, which stems mostly from the fact that their children will be siblings. I hope this friendship continues, and not just to fulfill the ideals of #LadiesSupportingLadies.

Because each woman needs someone to talk to, someone not just a new friend from their mommy groups. I love that Jane’s warm heart isn’t used to thaw out a cold, mean man, like in a lot of media. It’s used to warm up everyone around her, including the women. That’s a rare sight — as we know, most media rarely have more than one woman in a single scene, speaking to each other so getting this dynamic is even more rare.
“I would rather be with you at your worst.”
At the end of the episode, Rafael reveals to Jane that even though he has dated someone in the interim six months, he will choose her every single time. Jane gets both Michael and Rafael to confess their adoration of her even when she’s sweaty, mean, achy, itchy, boobs fevery, and bursting — amazing.

Rattles and Rockets:
  • So what do we think Nadine and Michael got up to all those months? Since we didn’t check in with them much, time passed slower for them in my mind than the rest of the team, but it’s been just as many months for Michael, so what has he learned in all that time that he presents to his former boss? Has he been working? How’s the search for Sin Rostro going? Things we should keep in mind. 
  • Jane’s grad school teacher is a douche. Ugh. I didn’t know grown ups in grad school could get locked out of class. [Chelsea Note: They don't.]
  • I like that Rafael was already in agreement that if they should both die, Xo would get Mateo. He knows his family can’t be in charge of that kid. 
  • Baller Mateo, Oliver Twist Mateo, and Charitable Mateo were all so great! I love the way this show has shown us these possible futures Jane dreams up. 
  • Charitable Mateo references #62milliongirls — the campaign to bring awareness to the educational opportunities millions of girls lack across the globe — which has been making its way into a few TV shows lately, including Scandal. Have I mentioned I love the brilliant ways Jane the Virgin incorporates real life issues into their show? 
  • Doesn’t the reveal of twin girls for Petra mean that Mateo gets a third of 40 million? I wonder if that will be an issue down the road between Jane and Petra, who technically also has money from Milos. 
  • “I think the Russian redheaded lady in the kitchen is trying to poison me.” OH SNAP. MAGDA GOES TO THE ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK PRISON. 
  • I really hope they continue with Rogelio’s telenovela version of Mad Men. The cease and desist order is a bit of a problem, but maybe this can be a thing: telenovela versions of current TV shows, with a producer/showrunner cameo? “Mine will move much faster. It will be a masterpiece.”
  • “Thank you grips. For everything you’ve... gripped. Gaffers, thank you for all your gaffs.” 
  • Net-worth 2,622* *Returned shirt to mall. Filed under reasons why I LOVE this show. 
  • More Rafael at mommy class please, if only because knowing Justin Baldoni is a devoted dad in real life means that he probably knows these kinds of baby dances already. 
  • I should’ve known Wesley Masters was a spy. No way he’s in GRAD SCHOOL and his last name is MASTERS is a coincidence. I’m so mad at him for pretending to be Jane’s friend. 
  • “Boobs bursting” makes me think of the Star Spangled Banner. “Boobs bursting in air!” 
  • A little obsessed with Rafael sitting on Jane’s tiny cabin bed at her retreat. 
  • Who thought giving a recent ex-convict a hook for a hand was a good idea? She’s in jail for hurting someone! As soon as I saw it, I knew it would Czechov’s Hook.
  • Aww, caught the Rogelio/Desi Arnaz comparison on the second watch and it made me smile. Rogelio is equal parts Lucy and Ricky.


"Chapter Twenty-Nine"
Original Airdate: November 23, 2015

"Chapter Twenty-Nine" of Jane the Virgin made it so sparkly, I got glitter in my eye. Team Flower Petals picked up steam this week, but then went from pulling a “she loves me” petal, to tearing off four “she loves me not” petals in the blink of a sparkle-filled eye! I’m so upset by Rafael’s betrayal, but we’ll get to that later.

CLEAR EYES, FULL CARTS, LET’S SHOP!


It’s the day after Thanksgiving and the Villanueva women + a Solano head to Target! Now, I love Target. I saw a few critics tweeting annoyance or snark that this episode would basically be a Target ad, but I love it. Not only am I thankful to Target for sponsoring this great show, but unlike a lot of other product placement, it works for the characters. It’s a natural fit for lower income families to have a Target Black Friday plan, and for #BlackFridayVirgin Rafael to amusedly follow along. Target appeals to families like the Villanueva's — families like mine.

Most ads and product integration on TV appeal to people in higher income brackets than me. Rolex, Audi, car after car, jewelry, high end appliances, more cars. The show and Target know that they can appeal to not only lower income demographics, but also younger viewers, who go to Target but aren’t wealthy or advanced enough to be ready for a car or have a house for that fancy appliance. Target is relatable. That kind of thoughtfulness towards the audience? Important. It means they understand who is watching their show, making them — us — feel important. Which creates brand loyalty to both Target and the show. So I’m glad Target sponsors Jane the Virgin, because it means more to me than just product placement.

Besides all of that, that was the tamest Black Friday at Target I have ever seen. They left at what was probably 10 AM, and all the good stuff was probably sold out already. We didn’t even really get to see their haul. Which, if you think about it, makes sense. Villanueva Black Friday isn’t about the stuff, nor does it speak to the consumerist nature of the day. It’s a family outing, a tradition, a chance to get Christmas presents and have a little fun doing it. I’m pleased and fascinated in the way the show handled a materialistic day and made it about family.

THEORY TIME


After the reveal that Michael’s firing and disappearance were all a part of an undercover operation (GASP!), I want Rafael’s involvement in the case to be a part of it, too. I want to believe that he didn’t betray Michael or Jane — that Michael asked him to do this. Mateo getting hurt from their fight was, of course, accidental and awful, but the fight itself was all for show (though, I don’t know for whose benefit).

I just can’t believe that Rafael would manipulate Jane so much without it being for a larger plan. He has issues, but he’s not quite that petty. Maybe that’s the Team Flower Petal in me, but this helps Team Snowflakes, too. It would mean that Michael’s anger — which we all agree was sudden and out of character — has meaning. I think Michael recruited Rafael’s help in planning this so they could take down Sin Rostro, which is the one thing all members of the Seasonal Love Triangle agree on, plus Rafael has the money to help Michael and the cops with less of a paper trail to blow their cover. Hiring Eric gets Michael in trouble, but leaves Rafael blameless in Jane’s eyes. Michael possibly wanted to ensure that Rafael would be there for Jane while he wasn’t around? Yes. It’s ALL a plan. I just need it all to be a plan! *wishes and hopes*

PETRA BURIES HER FRIENDSHIPS WITH IVAN


Petra... oh, Petra.

With Ivan very dead in her very open air bathtub, Magda has her pulling a Weekend at Bernie’s to get him out of the hotel. But in the process, Petra ruins her burgeoning friendship with Jane! As I said in my recap above, Jane warming Petra’s heart and opening her up to love is something we rarely get to see between women on television (again, #LadiesSupportingLadies). Petra needs her potential friendship with Jane, so that also means that she needs to cut Magda out of her life. She thinks she needs her mother in order to care for her twins, but Magda is just poisoning her and ruining her chance at friendship. Also she MADE A PREGNANT WOMAN HELP HER DIG A GRAVE FOR THE MAN SHE KILLED. Magda’s got to go.

UNDERCOVER EX-LOVER


Okay, so let’s see if we can break this down. Michael PRETENDED to get fired. Nadine caught up with him and they had some adventures over the summer that ended up with her dead as he returns to the precinct. She gets shot in Mexico when they attempt to meet Rose, taking a bullet for Michael and he seems authentically shaken up about it. But since the firing was a cover up, could Nadine’s death be faked as well? I know she’s not a major character, but I feel like they wouldn’t push her death to only a flashback.

BABYSITTING IDOL!


Jane struggles to find someone she can trust to leave Mateo with. After what happened with Sin Rostro, her concern is of course sensible, and it’s Jane, too — we know she goes overboard with these kinds of things. But while Chepa may seem great right now, I still don’t trust her. She’s too perfect, and we are not sure if she’s working for Sin Rostro or if — like Wesley — she has a long con planned. But perhaps she will prove me wrong.

THE CURSE OF THE SOLANOS


First of all, why does everyone tell Wesley their life stories? Second of all, Luisa’s mom was the crime boss Mutter? Then Papa Solano later married her apprentice/rival Sin Rostro, who Luisa is in love with? And Luisa’s mother is still alive somewhere, having faked her death. But this also means that Luisa’s mother KIDNAPPED HER AND HAD HER GOONS BASH IN HER KNEE. But it explains why they were so gentle at times — it wasn’t for Rose’s benefit, but for Mutter’s!

And we thought Magda was bad for Petra.

Rattles and Rockets:
  • Will we get to hear Xo’s theme song?!
  • “Two hand grab, this is serious.” 
  • Baby Mateo is SO. DARN. CUTE.
  • That black Target dress Jane wears to her Christmas party is amazing and I need to get to Target to find it. [Jenn's Note: I have a Christmas party coming up and I need to find it.]
  • Never drink and email!
  • The shot of “Matt Weiner” posed as the Mad Men poster was great. 
  • “But I love new pants Wednesdays. It’s the perfect antidote to the midweek blahs.” 
  • “I think Petra just asked me out on a date.” “She said yes!” Team Petra and Jane friendship! 
  • Man, that adviser's writing “advice”... #facepalm. But we’ve all been there, trying to write something based on someone’s vague notes and it makes the writing worse. Don’t let bad criticism get into your heads, fellow writers!
  • “The problem is the tonal shift is too jarring.” “He’s right. That’s just clumsy storytelling. Now: TO THE POLICE STATION!” 
  • Rafael WANTS TO BUY A HOUSE. GUYS. Lots of flowers in the yard, yeah? A tree in the backyard with beautiful FLOWER PETALS?!
  • Rogelio’s De La Condo.

2 comments:

  1. But if Rafael was helping the entire time Michael would not make sense for Michael search who ratted? And it would make no sense the fight, not in that proportion.
    Rafael have a history of manipulation with Petra , so I don’t know if would be so out of character for him manipulate Jane.

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