In the eleventh episode of the first season of Jane the Virgin, Jane is torn between three choices. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For brief discussion of domestic abuse
Once again, this show is a lot, and I am perpetually not ready for it.
Oh, I knew not to trust him. Ugh, this is… so, so gross? Look, it’s not like I ever enjoyed Lachlan, and he’s absolutely written as an unlikable character. But after this, I really don’t see him ever coming back from what he’s done. I still feel like this subplot involving Petra and Magda is odd, mostly in that the show’s tone seems to jump all over the place when it comes to Petra. Here, it’s much easier to see her as a sympathetic figure who is trying to hide from her horribly abusive ex. We don’t see anything else butthis part of her, yet this is also precisely what Lachlan takes advantage of. Again: ridiculously deplorable! He’s keeping Petra close to him by making her more afraid that Milos has found her. Which makes me worried for the eventual day when he does show up, because that is still a very real possibility now that Ivan has escaped.
Ugh, LACHLAN IS SO GROSS.
Michael’s Decisions / The Case
I KNEW THIS WOULD ALL COME BACK TO BITE MICHAEL IN THE ASS. The show does a fine job of showing us why he is behaving as he is: He’s still waiting. His heart is still yearning and craving and desiring Jane, despite that Jane has, in every respect, moved on. This is something I wouldn’t have understood years ago, but I do now. And trust, if you’ve not been through something similar to this, it’s awful. It feels all-encompassing. Even though Michael has been trying to focus on other things—his Sin Rostro case, Nadine—one thing haunts over all of it.
It is absolutely why he’s making such horrible decisions. He is doing this because of Jane, even if it’s in a roundabout way. He’s trying to prove himself, isn’t he? On top of that, if Rafael really is Sin Rostro (or has been involved in this enterprise), then he’s vindicated. All the negative feelings he’s had against Rafael are given credence, and I imagine that he sees Jane coming back to him after this is all over.
I’m not saying that’s an impossible outcome because… look, I’ve only seen eleven episodes of this show. Jane the Virgin is already a lot, and if there’s a path to Michael and Jane getting back together, this show can figure it out. But right now, I don’t think Jane would rush to Michael even if he was right. And he’s not! “Chapter Eleven” solidly confirms that Rafael has no idea what his father has been doing. (Unless, for some odd reason, Rafael was acting ignorant the whole time? Which seems like a stretch even for a show like this.) So, what’s going to happen when the identity of Sin Rostro is revealed and it’s not Rafael? What is Michael going to do? (Wow, I really hope I’m not wrong about this.) (I feel like I am going to be wrong about EVERYTHING from here on out.)
And now, Nadine has ratted him out. The house of cards is going to collapse, y’all. IT’S GOING TO GET EVEN MESSIER.
My heart just cannot handle this character, y’all. I just care about Xiomara so much??? Part of what’s so endearing to me is that she is honestly trying so hard. In the wake of the promise she made to God as Alba lay unconscious in a hospital bed, she’s feels compelled to remain celibate, despite that she’s been given the green light to pursue Rogelio from Jane. So what’s practical for Xiomara? What’s realistic? And how does her guilt play into all of this? I know it might seem strange that I’m so into a religious plot-line, given that I’m an atheist ex-Catholic, but I truly loved how real this struggle felt. Xiomara is an adult, and she’s not being forced to have any of these feelings. Her belief in God is genuine and it’s her own, and I am a fan of the portrayal of how people deal with their faith.
Here, Xiomara wants to make good on her pact. She trusts that God had her back, and this is how she is returning her love and admiration. At the same time, knowing that she made a promise to God doesn’t make this easier for her. Her desire for love, companionship, and affection are ill-timed. She’s never wanted them more, and she’s actually in a space where she has someone who is caring and loving and who wants to treat her right! Plus, she’s never had a problem with sex before, so it’s entirely understandable why she’s so anxious about telling Rogelio the truth.
I wonder how much of this affected how she treated Rafael in this episode. Was she hard on Rafael because she’s also being so hard on herself? Just a thought. I don’t think that’s the main motivation at all; she obviously wants the best for Jane, and she knew Michael still loved her. UGH, THIS IS ALL SO MUCH. You know, if I had watched this show back when I first started Mark Watches, I don’t know that I would have been into the love triangle component. (Well… also, the show didn’t exist then, LMAO.) I was so over the over-saturation of romance and specifically of love triangles at that time. That’s not the case anymore. But it’s also that this feels so real. As dramatic as Jane the Virgin is, it still feels so deeply human.
AH, THERE WAS SO MUCH THAT I LOVED HERE, Y’ALL. I know that the whole “butterflies in the stomach” thing was meant as a way of foreshadowing that Jane’s baby was kicking. But there really is a sense of magic that I’ve felt when I’m writing and something just works. It’s happened with every project: this magical spark when certain elements come together in the way that I wanted them to. One of the most challenging parts of being a writer is getting the thing in your head down on the page. There are days when it feels like an impossible task, too, and I don’t want to glamorize it too much. So I loved that little portrayal, and I am deeply interested in this show developing this part of Jane. I want her to succeed as a writer, but I am also not sure that working in telenovelas is for her. Look, some of us are just… not as good at certain mediums or genres. I don’t think I could ever do really hard sci-fi. Or military science fiction. I’m not familiar with those worlds, and I don’t think I possess the skills to write them.
So, look, I understand why Rogelio did what he did here. Again, he is used to this world, and so his language of love is related to it. Getting Jane into the writers’ room was an act of love, even if Jane didn’t quite see it that way. It’s related to why Jane was irked by Rafael in this episode. She wants to work for the things she has; she’s not interested in being given things. That means she truly wanted to know if she was cut out for the work. And yes, feedback STINGS. Trust me, I’m now years into a professional fiction career, and sometimes, this shit hurts. You can put your all into something, and it just doesn’t work. It’s a very strange, subjective thing a lot of the time, and I wouldn’t say that this is an easy industry to crack into either.
Which is gonna make me publicly wonder: What if Jane does have the talent for writing, but she’s writing the wrong thing? Episodic or serialized televised is a whole nightmare to write on its own; I personally don’t know if I would be cut out for something like that! I’ve come to love the long, drawn-out process of writing short and long fiction, where I get multiple developmental passes before we even get to line edits. Granted, I came from the journalism world prior to this, where deadlines were often cutthroat, and you certainly did not get multiple rounds of high-level edits. What if it’s not the medium, but the genre? It sounds like Jane’s writing is best-suited for like… romantic comedies. Up-market women’s fiction. Contemporary drama. Like, maybe she needs a collection of short stories or a novel, rather than trying to fit her skill into the framework of a telenovela.
I don’t know. I’m glad that Rogelio was honest with her, but also made sure to do so in a way that didn’t crush her desire to create. That’s a hard line not to cross for some people, and even as an editor myself, I try to toe that line, too. You need to be honest about why something isn’t working, but you also don’t want to give a criticism that makes a person never want to write again, you know?
So, for the time being, it seems Jane is going to… continue to do everything? I wasn’t sure which of the three (3!!!) jobs she had ended up on, but it seems like she accepted the permanent teaching position, but also is still going to intern? And what about her job at the hotel? I mean, if the school is going to offer insurance…
OKAY, ANYWAY. Jane, I’m getting tired just thinking about everything you’re doing, and you’re pregnant on top of all that! I get why this is difficult for her, but surely she can quit one of these positions, right?
The video for “Chapter Eleven” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– You can now pre-order my second YA novel, Each of Us a Desert, which will be released on September 15, 2020 from Tor Teen!
– Not only that, but my very first pre-order campaign is now live for North American readers! If you submit proof of pre-order, you can get a limited edition print that comes with the book.
– If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.