In the seventh episode of the first season of Jane the Virgin, everything is a MESS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Of everything here, this is the one subplot that just rings very oddly to me. It’s such a strange story, and I’m not sure how it fits into any greater narrative. (Or if, for that matter, it ever will.) It’s just a strange story! Like, as someone who used to be Catholic, I understand the veneration of the saints, but I don’t know that someone in the church would like… make someone a saint all on their own like this? I’m not saying it’s impossible; it’s just not in line with what I experienced with Catholics. At the same time, I’m wondering if this was meant more as satire than anything else. Like, it was poking fun at how willing Catholics are to have saints and to bring people to the church. Even then, I feel as I do in part because so much of it was done without consulting Jane. And the sister knew she wouldn’t be okay with it, which is why she didn’t tell Jane she was going to EXPLOIT HER BODY in order to give other people hope. Using someone’s experience to grant hope to others isn’t inherently a bad thing, but generally speaking, you should probably get their permission before using them. So the whole thing was a little icky?
I can recognize that Michael fucked up. He fucked up badly. It changed the way that Jane looked at him. I can also empathize with the kind of heartbreak he is experiencing, too. I don’t talk about my first ex much anymore these days, but he cheated on me a lot, and very shortly after dumping me (over Myspace, I KID YOU NOT), he was quick to break my heart again and again. I was young, I put on clown makeup multiple times with that relationship because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I got hurt. He stood me up on Valentine’s Day because he went on a random, impulsive date with someone else. So I get the pain of wanting someone and not understanding why they won’t just be with you. Jane has the right to be done with the relationship, and I’ll talk later about her arc here. But I also get why Michael is in so much pain. To go from days before a wedding to a break-up… shit. That’s a lot.
His hook-up with Nadine, though? A rebound, sure. And not entirely out of left field, either! They have had a weird tension between them. I also have no idea where this is going. I don’t see them dating, you know?
Holy shit, Petra and her mom are FUCKED UP. You know, maybe they really never will be anything but antagonists and I should accept that. I mean, it’s pretty easy to do that after watching how frequently they manipulate other people or cause them harm. Like, Ivan is not exactly a sympathetic character. I don’t know who Milos is, and I don’t know why Ivan is trying to blackmail Petra. Generally speaking, though, blackmail is super bad??? At this point, though, it’s clear that Petra is in deep shit. She’s desperate to pay off her debt, and what she does to set things in motion… lord. She manipulates Ivan by poisoning him with peanuts, but only so she can pretend to have “saved” his life and win him over. Like… holy shit??? What does she expect out of this? She is still holding him hostage!!! But that’s not even really the point of this. Petra manipulates to get what she wants, and I don’t see her as someone who really cares about the ramifications of her actions.
So, in her mind, seducing Lachlan again is means to an end. Trusting Lachlan after all they’ve been through seems like a horrific risk, but as Petra admits aloud, she’s desperate. Y’all, I can’t even imagine what sort of dirt she had on Rafael that would get him fired and sent to Mexico City??? What the FUCK.
I find both Andrea Navedo and Jaime Camil to be perfect in these roles. It’s so incredible to me that they’re able to veer between an intense physical comedy and an emotional sincerity. It’s a treat to watch these two amazingly dramatic characters act so absurd with one another, especially because it never feels fake. These feel like real people, as ridiculous as they are. Part of that is because the writers are drawing from such intensely real emotions of jealousy and desire. It’s clear that Xiomara and Rogelio want to be together, and Jane even jokes with her mom about their obvious attraction. (Which makes me think that she’d ultimately be fine with them dating one another.) And because they are such overdramatic characters, they can’t help but escalate matters into the realm of chaos.
Y’all, that double date… I’m still recovering from the sheer over-the-top nature of it. I admit that I find Marco IMMENSELY attractive, and there’s an easy chemistry there. It makes a whole lot of sense that Rogelio got jealous; he probably feels like he has to try so much harder with Xiomara. But it’s also the circumstances making it worse! They both want each other, they’ve chosen to sacrifice this for Jane, but then they can’t seem to make good choices in order not to rile one another up. I think Xiomara genuinely wants to give Marco a chance, but is Rogelio going to stop bothering the two of them and let that happen?
Jane & Rafael
Because of this episode, I thought back on all four of the men I have been in love with. And in every case, I had a night where I stayed up super late, talking about everything and nothing with that person, just like Jane and Rafael do here. More than anything else, it makes me feel like there really might be something here beyond the physical attraction that they have toward one another. It helps to explain why someone as careful and sensible and thoughtful as Jane would throw herself to the wind, would pitch forward into this risky path. She is trying to follow her heart because she might not be able to later. So there’s a time component to it as well. Once her child is born, is she going to have time to date? To fall in love?
Granted, this sort of stuff has never happened on a schedule for me. It happens when it happens; I have never been able to plan for it. But when it started… yeah. I made time for it. And I truly believe that is what Jane is doing! She has these complicated, intense feelings, but one of them rises above all the others: she feels happy when she is with Rafael. I can see it in that incredible montage of them staying up late to just… talk. It’s a fascinating contrast to Michael’s rebound scene, too. Jane wants to get to know Rafael. He is not a rebound hook-up at all.
I also feel dread. This is the SEVENTH episode, y’all, and in terms of plotting/pacing, Jane the Virgin is leaning heavily into the telenovela aspect of it all. I knew that these two would not be able to have uninterrupted time to feel things out. SOMETHING was going to happen. I admit to not expecting that thing to be Petra, especially since Petra still doesn’t even know that Jane and Rafael are seeing one another. But I can’t stop thinking about what Xiomara said to Jane. She’s worried because there are so many things that can go wrong. Even though Rafael provided rebuttals for all of them, I think we’re about to see each of them come true.
And will Rafael and Jane outlast that?
The video for “Chapter Seven” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
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