In the twelfth episode of the first season of Jane the Virgin, I was absolutely not ready. At all. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of domestic abuse, stalking, forced institutionalization, brief mention of suicide.
What the fuck, y’all. WHAT THE FUCK.
Writing the Exit
Most of this episode veers into the telenovela realm, but Jane and Rogelio’s plot? Oh, y’all, I’m just so touched. I love how much Jane’s flashback to losing Alba’s earrings matters to the story, and I love that the twist near the end sheds some light on why Rogelio seemed like such an unforgivable person. I’m going to repeat myself, I know, but it’s all so genuine. Both of these characters are trying as hard as they can in a circumstance that is deeply, deeply complicated.
From Jane’s perspective, this dream of a lifetime is also a bit of a curse. She finally gets to write a script for an entire episode! I’m not sure how realistic it is that she was offered this with no script writing experience, but I also think that while the show may be cutting some corners, that’s sort of the point. None of the existing writers wanted to pen the episode in which Santos was killed off of his own show. Plus, Dina did this to soften the blow, right? If this episode was written by the daughter that Rogelio just recently reunited with, it wouldn’t sting quite so bad, would it?
Yet throughout most of the episode, I felt like Jane wasn’t addressing the elephant in the room. For what it’s worth, I understood that. In the immediate aftermath of this news, she did what she could to comfort her father and also give him a means of possibly changing the showrunner’s’ mind. Which wasn’t going to work for reasons I DID NOT EVEN KNOW. Because everything I’d seen had shown me that Rogelio was a demanding, rude diva. Which… is not all that far from what we’ve seen of him, if I’m being frank??? It was believable! Rogelio is an arrogant person, caught up in this world of being a telenovela star. He often mixes up fantasy and reality (a persistent motif in Jane the Virgin), and he’s certainly let this all go to his head. So I definitely believed that he was such a jerk that he’d been written off the show.
But what does that do to someone whose entire identity is attached to this character? To this experience of being a telenovela star? Well, Rogelio is distraught, and he also lashes out at the head writer, so he handled it basically how I expected him to? Thankfully, Xiomara helped him see that this could be the start of something new, and Jane—wonderful, trusting, forgiving Jane—tries to find the silver lining in everything. Ugh, she tries so hard, and I LOVE THIS ABOUT HER. She holds on to her optimism despite everything that’s happened to her. Unfortunately, that also explains why she completed missed the fact that Rogelio’s assistant sabotaged him. She just saw him as a nice guy doing a nice thing by talking to her about the script!
But something beautiful came out of this. Rogelio and Jane are most definitely closer now from this experience. Jane drew from a painful memory—losing Alba’s earrings—to give her father a poetic death, one that also engaged with the telenovela style that had given her trouble in the previous episode. Look, I want Jane to keep writing, and I would be overjoyed if this resulted in more TV-writing opportunities. But if that was Rogelio’s final appearance, it was Jane’s last chance here, right? She served the purpose she needed to. Still, I was proud of her: she adapted to the situation, and she still delivered. That is the sign of a good writer, y’all.
I know Luisa is a mess, but this episode made me feel even worse for her. The shocking reveal of what happened to Rafael’s and Luisa’s mother only created a deeper tragedy for Luisa. Their mother struggled with her own mental illness and unfortunately took her life. So yeah, this would be deeply, deeply triggering for Luisa, since it made her family distrust her. Yes, I understand Rafael wanting to protect her out of fear of a repeat situation, but this is going to have longterm ramifications. Obviously, there’s a bigger problem at work here that I’ll talk about at the end, but I still feel like Luisa is suffering the worst fate out of everyone here. She’s been punished repeatedly and rather violently for what she did. That’s not to exonerate her or suggest that she shouldn’t be held responsible for her actions. But holy shit, she isn’t lying! She’s not delusional at all! She made bad decisions, but she didn’t make anything up, you know?
So I felt like her attempts at apologizing were based in sincerity. Yes, she wants to get out of that place, too. Understandable! I just feel like she’s been flung from one disaster to another, but nothing ever goes her way.
HI, WHAT THE FUCK. This whole plot was terrifying, and then it went to a place I absolutely did not expect. Look, I don’t like Milos at all, and despite that Magda has lied about a lot of things, I don’t see there being any possible (believable) redemption for him. He’s creepy! And awful! And Magda lying doesn’t make him any less of an abusive ex! Like, if your response to someone lying about your infidelity is to become abusive, then… I don’t know what to tell you. You’re still awful. So I feel really weird about Petra going along with this just to prove that her mother is a liar. Milos got to play the abusive ex a little too strongly, and I still think that’s who he is at the end of the day. That being said: I have no idea where this story is going from here. IT’S BARELY THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE SEASON. What now???
I didn’t see it coming, y’all. I bought every misdirect, every red herring. I honestly thought it was Emilio. In hindsight, Rose’s ability to masterfully manipulate people was… right there. It was right there. And that means she was probably manipulating Emilio to make all those deals, right? So she’s now sent Rafael on the wrong path, and both Michael and Nadine have fallen for it, too.
I just… holy shit. Emilio’s death. I am still reeling from it??? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN HALFWAY THROUGH THE SHOW AND NOT DURING A SEASON FINALE? Oh my god, what NIGHTMARE twists await me if the writers are willing to do this so early?
The video for “Chapter Twelve” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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