Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jane the Virgin 2x09 “Chapter Thirty-One” & 2x10 “Chapter Thirty-Two” (Best of Women) [Contributor: Connie]

“Chapter Thirty-One”
Original Airdate: January 26, 2016

I typically sort Jane as a Gryffindor — she’s basically Hermione after all: determined, loves rules and learning, but has a temper that will blow her lid off if she let it. Enter: Chapter 31.

Jane was a bit of a Gryffinpuff in this episode though. Her lion tendencies came out towards the end of the episode, but she began as a sweet little badger who wouldn’t listen to Abuela about Mateo’s sleep training. She reveals it’s because it feels selfish (you Hufflepuff, you!), but Alba says it’s just because Jane is “too soft. You need to toughen up!”

Jane had so much trouble showing Mateo tough love and letting him fall asleep crying and this bled into her treatment of the jocks in her class. As Jane gets more frustrated, she goes from Hufflepuff to Gryffindor in the blink of Mad Eye Moony’s magical eye. I really love that Jane is a complicated woman, who sometimes plays nice and sometimes plays tough.


Rita Moreno returns to be flawless as Jane’s paternal grandma, Liliana. She tells Jane a long-held secret: her grandfather is gay and she hasn’t told Rogelio! The whole family isn’t bothered by it (even super Catholic Abuela invites over her gay friend from church for dinner!), but Liliana struggles, because it means she’s failed as a wife. Her reasoning for not telling Rogelio was that he idealized his parents’ relationship. Now that Rogelio knows, everyone will know. And what will she do, now that she is alone after 40 years?

Everyone tries to cheer Liliana up, but Grandpa Manuel (Castulo Guerra) arrives anyway and reveals she’s known he was gay all along! Whoops.


I’m pretty sure we’ve all had that awkward moment where we accidentally friend someone we didn’t mean to while Facebook stalking. It happened to me once and the person friended me back immediately — then it was too awkward to unfriend them, so I just hid all their posts and blocked all of mine. I’ll unfriend them later.

Jane friends Michael’s new girlfriend, Natalie Tanner, and while she cancels the request, Natalie still got the notification and Michael finds out. He’s truly trying to move on with his life. This is good, because with what happens to Rafael at the end of this episode, Jane’s attentions are soon going to be elsewhere (after some teased almost-sexy times with her professor, of course).


Rafael really can’t catch a break these days. This was the least we’ve seen Raf, but he went from one criminal mother in his life to another. Rafael helps Petra to outwit her mother and have her arrested for Ivan’s murder — getting herself a deal for no prison time. It’s really nice to see Rafael and Petra team up in a non-romantic way. I hope this continues.

Then, Rafael reaches out to his own mother, who weakly explains why she walked away from him. Just as Rafael turns to grab her box of letters, but he notices the blue silk ties. Just as he tries to call the cops, she STABS HIM IN THE NECK WITH A NEEDLE! Michael and Susanna reveal to us just then that ELENA is Mutter, not Luisa’s mother. She wants the flash drive! Why didn’t I think of that all along? Of COURSE Elena should have been a suspect! This show is amazing at what the twists.

Rattles and Rockets:
  • “I know what’s going on here. You’re extra mean to be because you like me. And just so you know, that is not the way to get me to like you. I respond to kindness.” THIS SHOW YOU GUYS. It always finds such brilliant ways to address so many issues that seem little, but grow into big problems. 
  • Jane’s “teacher voice” was so on point and predictable. Gina Rodriguez can do anything, you guys.
  • Jane is a terrible liar. 
  • McBaskets! Books for Ballers!  
  • Alba’s “fed up with Jane” faces were this best this week. Always listen to your Abuela. 
  • “Everyone knows how gay-friendly I am. I was on the cover of Out magazine!”
  • The SleeperBowl was genius. Weight: “100 and none-of-your-business lbs.” // “100-and-you-never-ask-a-lady-that” // “Seriously stop asking how much they weigh and how old they are!” Bless this show.
  • So is Susanna interested in Luisa back? (Also, she still reminds me of Patty Spivot from The Flash.) 
  • Mia, Luisa’s mother, died eight years ago of natural causes. Are we sure of that?
  • Jane jumping to give McBaskets a high five and the whole basketball thing was amazing. I bet Gina Rodriguez plays basketball like a boss, though. 
  • “Wrong choice.” “It turns out these words will come back to haunt Petra. But you don’t know that. Pretend you don’t know that.” DUN DUN DUNNNN!

“Chapter Thirty-Two”
Original Airdate: February 1, 2016

This week on Jane the Virgin, Jane struggles to rewrite a chapter, Lena makes Jane a Cinder profile, Rogelio fires his mother, Rafael and Petra deal with baby stuff (and almost make out?), and Michael finds out where Nadine put the flash drive. THERE’S ALWAYS SO MUCH GUYS! Onto “Chapter Thirty-Two!” My subtitles are all Hamilton lyrics because when one came to me, two more followed.


No show has ever so accurately expressed what it’s like to be a writer as this one. The opening scenes of Jane in the middle of the night, with letters raining down on her? Perfect. Plus the writing, printing, editing, montage? Not only was it PAINFULLY ACCURATE, it was also fantastically done from a visual standpoint. Plus, I think of all the heart-stopping moments on this show, none were as strong as FIRST watching Mateo crawl! THEN the plug making the computer fall, THEN the orange juice! We’ve all had that scare, but what made it so sharp was the joy of seeing Mateo crawl. Man, that kid is cute. I really need Jennie Urman and all of the Jane the Virgin writers to be my writing mentors, because that was a perfectly-crafted moment.

Jane’s computer needs to be fixed, so in the meantime she struggles to recreate her chapter. This was too real for me, because I hate rewriting what I’ve already written. I can fix it, rearrange it, punch it up, cut it down, but if I have to redo it without the original text I wrote, I have an inner temper tantrum. My process usually involves a draft that I painstakingly spit out, then rewrite below it to find the better flow. But it’s that’s not even there? I don’t want to do it. Jane also demonstrates another typical writer moment: heavy procrastination.


Jane decides (and it’s cosigned by her teacher) to take a day to not think about her chapter. With Lena’s help, she goes on a few dates. I absolutely love that the dating app is called “Cinder” and I’m surprised it hasn’t been the Tinder proxy on any other show that has used a similar dating app. It’s perfect for Jane’s world. Jane’s dates aren’t really that important, and it takes until the last scene of the episode to get to what I really wanted to see: Jane’s dream make out with her teacher!

And while I wholeheartedly agree that Jane doesn’t need to add another messy man into her life, at the same time, have you seen Adam Rodriguez? I think he’d make a great break from the Rafael/Michael drama (which can only go back and forth for so long).


As soon as Rogelio decided to hire his mother to be his manager again, I could feel the fandom groaning. We knew it would be a bad idea, and thankfully, Rogelio learned that as well. Liliana steamrolls everything and drives Rogelio crazy. Surprisingly, Xiomara doesn’t push Rogelio to fire her; he comes up with the idea himself. After he does so, Liliana is so sad, because she’s slowly losing everything she once had control over. Rita Moreno was flawless in the scene in the hallway. You could see all of the emotions running across her face. But I mean, it’s Rita Moreno. Also, she was really sweet when she gave Rogelio her ring for Xo. Could a proper wedding/marriage be coming soon?


While watching Rafael and Petra sitting in bed, there was a comfortability between them that’s been growing for a while. For a moment, it seemed like it was going to develop into a kiss. It reminded me of these lyrics from Hamilton:

If I could grant you peace of mind
If you could let me inside your heart

Let this moment be the first chapter:
Where you decide to stay
And I could be enough
And we could be enough
That would be enough

Petra’s desire to be with Rafael wasn’t as strongly addressed this week as it’s been in the past, but I imagine her thoughts mimic some of this song. She wants him to be there; after all, she got pregnant to try to keep him from Jane. So far, it seems to be working. I really hope their relationship remains platonic, however. Their team-ups this week and last were really nice to see, and as I said earlier about Jane, a break for Rafael from the love triangle aspect could be really helpful for both the characters and the viewers.

Sidenote: Rafael all sad and tired and scruffy and non-gelled? Aces. Justin Baldoni plays sitting in bed really well (we’ve gotten it here with Petra and several scenes with Jane. They all make my heart feel warm.)


Michael admits to Susanna that he helped Nadine and she storms away to become a CSI. Wait, no — that’s Patty on the Flash. Turns out, Nadine never gave anyone the flash drive. Elena attacked Rafael because she wanted it back. Susanna gets Michael re-suspended because of his involvement, and Michael considers everything he went through with Nadine. She asked him to trust her and he tried to and it got her killed.

Then he remembers their last day together (lots of secret meetings on the beach... did it turn into anything more?) where she somehow inserted the flash drive chip into his leg? First of all? Eww. Second of all, how did he not feel that? Third of all, is that even possible? Fourth of all: eww. Fifth of all, would it still even work? I have a lot of questions about this secret chip. But either way, its discovery helps Michael remain relevant to the case and provide new information.

We seem to be getting just a little bit closer, guys.

Rattles and Rockets:
  • Google Justin Baldoni’s Wells Fargo commercial! His wife and daughter make an appearance, as do his arms, his dedication to his faith, and a really melodic and heartwarming voiceover. I don’t know where he comes from, but he’s wonderful.
  • Welcome back, Lena! I hope they give you more to do soon, but you always come back to shake things up for Jane in a really fun way.
  • This show’s endless innovation in storytelling never ceases to amaze me. I’ve already written about the letters raining on Jane, but the Cinder profiles propped up on the screen? Amazingly done. What other show can truly get away with that?
  • We all thought about Avril Lavigne during Jane’s date with the skater, right? “He wasn’t good enough for her!”
Keeping it short this week guys, because next week we get more Jane/Teacher! (Be honest, you don’t remember his name either.)


  1. I loved Rafael all tired and scruffy, Justin Baldoni looks good on everything. Also I agree that Jane doesn't need any other man in her life, but they can't stop Jane and Rafael being together for too much longer. But I'd love to ask you about your thoughts, Connie.
    First, can we just assume that Rafael never gets inside of the Villanueva's house while taking care of Mateo? Because, if not, why oh why does she go inside to change Mateo, Rafael stays out at the porch, and they text. THEY TEXT! when they are like two meters away from each other. But they aren't texting about anything, they are texting each other about deep emotional matters between them.
    I felt this part was odd and kinda cold between them.

    Great review! I think I might listen to Hamilton, because I can't stop listening about it, but haven't hear any of the songs.

    1. Hi Jess! Yes, I definitely forgot to address their short-distance texting! I think rather than being cold per say, it was them having trouble addressing it directly, because of the pain they've caused in each other recently. It's easier to say it from afar, via text, than face to face right now? But it was weird enough that I hope it is addressed in some way.

      And you are SO RIGHT about outside Mateo time... He really doesn't go inside? He totally could have, I don't see why he wouldn't...

      I also hope he gets more Jane-less Mateo time. Their relationship stuff shouldn't mean he doesn't get alone time with Mateo like he was getting more, well, more on screen time anyway. I don't want to think that he's not getting Jane-less time away from her house. '

      Thanks for commenting!!