Mark Watches ‘Jane the Virgin’: S02E01 – Chapter Twenty-Three

In the first episode of the second season of Jane the Virgin, Jane struggles with some very normal and some very abnormal elements of motherhood. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of trauma (including brief references to child abuse), kidnapping of a child, consent

First things first, friends! Since I changed to the new schedule last year, I thought it unnecessary to have there be a separate post for predictions. Normally, that was a buffer day when I was posting a review every weekday. So, from here on out, predictions will still happen, but I’ll just add them to the first review of a new season (or book, in the case of Mark Reads). 

If this is your first time following along with one of my projects, I just ask that you be particularly careful around predictions. It hasn’t really happened in the past few years, but sometimes people would find interesting ways to get around the spoiler rules when I posted predictions. So please, keep all commentary on them based in rot13, and be aware of the fact that I do read the comments and would like not to be spoiled.

Anyway! Onwards we go:

Predictions for Season 2 of Jane the Virgin

1) I think Mateo will not be reunited with Jane until the end of the second episode. 

2) We’ll find out Nadine helped tip off Sin Rostro, and that’s why Mateo was kidnapped. 

3) Jane will not get back with Rafael.

4) Rafael and Petra will attempt a relationship this season.

5) It will not last to the end of season two. 

6) Most of the season will deal with Jane juggling school AND raising her kid.

7) Rogelio and Xiomara will get back together. 

8) And break up again at least once this season. 

9) Michael and Jane will try to date again.

10) It won’t work out, though SAD FACE

11) Alba and Richard will try dating, but that ALSO won’t work out.

12) The Passions of Santos will come to an end. 

13) We will see Rogelio’s mom again. (PLEASE.)

14) Jane will get a story published. 

15) Petra will ultimately not use Rafael’s sperm that she stole.

16) Xiomara and Rogelio will not tell anyone about their drunken marriage until episode five.

17) Sin Rostro will be played by a new actress! (I don’t think they’re going to do prosthetics or anything.

18) I keep trying to think of more things to predict, but then I flash back to how ridiculously fast season one moved, and I know—deeply and truly in my heart—that trying to guess what will happen this season is a fool’s errand. 

These were all written before starting 2×01, so: off I go to have my life ruined.

SO MUCH HAPPENED and so many of my predictions are already wrong? What the FUCK.

The Kidnapping

Well, this plot didn’t last as long as I thought it would. But you know what? Bravo, writers. This was the right choice. First of all: when I made that prediction, I really wasn’t truly thinking how quickly this show moves. Which is also one of the great things about it! While there are certainly longer arcs, I enjoy that the show doesn’t linger too long on anything. But there’s another reason why this works: the writers are able to focus on other things that are just as or more important.

I’ll get to those in the next section. For now, it’s clear that the Sin Rostro plot is something that’s going to sit in the background. She had Mateo kidnapped (and I was right about Nadine at least playing a part, though I don’t know that my exact prediction is technically correct) in order to get back a crucial piece of evidence. I wasn’t surprised by the lengths that Michael was willing to go to get Mateo back; I knew he’d do anything for Jane. So, Michael’s case has experienced a huge setback, and it’s possible this might come back to bite him in the ass, especially if his boss figures out what happened. Sin Rostro, in a new appearance, is ready to come after Jane. (I assume that’s who that was in the final image.) And Nadine is still on the loose! I admit I really wish we’d explore her character more, especially since I find the unspoken part of her so interesting. What did Sin Rostro do to her family? What leverage did she hold over Nadine?

The Aftermath

The bulk of this episode—and what I found most compelling—is centered on the aftermath of both the kidnapping and Jane giving birth. I appreciated so much that this show didn’t ignore that Jane experienced trauma, that they showed us her dealing with it, and that it was spoken of so plainly. How many times have we all seen a character go through a traumatic incident and the writers don’t even seem aware of what they put their characters through? Even more brilliant, though, is the fact that this is wrapped up deeply within Jane dealing with new motherhood. I mentioned recently that a lot of my friends have had children in the past few years, and some of what they went through appeared here! I had a friend dealing with breastfeeding problems; another dealt with the trauma of having been through an unplanned C-section. ANOTHER HAD TO TAKE BREASTFEEDING CLASSES IMMEDIATELY AFTER GIVING BIRTH!!! So seeing this stuff onscreen as someone who never even dealt with these things directly was a trip! I think it also speaks to the way that Jane the Virgin is constructed. Even here in the second season, there’s still this unique combo of the over-the-top fantastical elements that you see in telenovelas and realism. 

Because watching Jane deal with this trauma—and how it related to her determination to breastfeed Mateo—felt heart-achingly real. It helps that Gina Rodriguez does such a phenomenal job here, too, and seriously, that breakdown she had in her bedroom? IT FELT SO REAL. That’s not an easy thing to pull off. It’s also extremely good television. Jane’s struggle is rooted in something that a lot of people can relate to, but even for those of us who don’t, we can see the humanity in all of this. This kidnapping was cruelty any way you cut it, but there’s a particularly specificity in it happening so soon after Mateo’s birth. And that manifested in Jane’s fear that her maternal instincts weren’t working as they should. That was so hard to watch, especially since anyone would have been fooled by that scenario, but that’s not how Jane sees it. And aren’t anxious people more likely to blame themselves for things that happen, even when such circumstances are out of their control? I’M SPEAKING AS AN INTENSELY ANXIOUS PERSON, LMAO. 

There’s another scene I wanted to address because I felt it really cut to the core of what Jane the Virgin has become in this second season. This is an intensely serialized show, which y’all know I love. And here we are at the start of a new season, and there are new stories to be told. What will become of Xiomara and Rogelio? Will they actually annul their marriage, or might they consider trying things again? (I think they’ll annul it, for the record.) What about Jane’s relationship with Rafael? With Michael? There’s potential for her to end up with either one of them at this point. Then there’s the actual Jane the Virgin campaign within the show itself, an element I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT. Because of course this would rear its head once Mateo was born! 

I bring this all up to refer to the scene where Rafael finally spends the night at Jane’s house and she remarks how weird this all is. Because out of the context of what happened in season one… holy shit. YES. This is a LOT. But it’s regular weird for Jane. This is what her life is right now. And while I don’t things are necessarily ever going to be simple for her, I felt a moment of appreciation for this chaotic show. Jane’s life is a lot, but I’m so glad I’m getting to experience it. 


UGH THIS IS SO HARD TO WATCH. Isn’t it? Because we all know he wants Jane back, and yet, he still chooses to do what’s best for her even at expense to his own happiness. Look, y’all, I have been here. Not in this exact situation (or, frankly, anything close), but I’ve had to be the bigger person in a situation with someone I once dated or was in a relationship with. And for what it’s worth, it’s something I still struggle with. Let’s take a journey through my own therapy for a moment! Because when I was a kid, I developed extreme empathy as a coping mechanism to survive what I went through. Meaning that a survival mechanism, I try to see someone else’s point of view and help them AT ANY COST. So, while this certainly isn’t the same context we’re seeing here with Michael, I still related to his choice to help Rafael even though doing so amounted to him being kicked in the chest. 

So where will Michael fit in here? He’s still close with Jane to an extent, and he’s definitely quite close with Rogelio. But does that make him happy? Satisfied? He’s not going to get over Jane while playing a part in her life; so what does he do next? I GENUINELY DON’T KNOW.


On some level, I sympathize with Petra, and while I think the writers want us to understand where she’s coming from, what she does is… wow. It’s bad. VERY, VERY BAD. The obvious problem here is with consent; Rafael did not consent for her to use his sperm to attempt to get pregnant. And I don’t see a path forward that doesn’t end with LITERALLY EVERYONE hurt. Perhaps that’s why I predicted what I did with Petra; it was wishful thinking. Because what happens if this works? What happens when Rafael learns the truth? (Which I feel is inevitable, not just because Scott found out, but because this is Jane the Virgin. The truth has never stayed hidden here.) There’s no way he’s cool with this, which she knows. That’s why she hides what she’s done. 

But… what if it doesn’t work? What if she gets pregnant but loses the child? What if she never gets pregnant? What if she gets pregnant but DOESN’T get Rafael? Oh my god, this is bad. IT’S SO BAD. How is Petra ever going to come back from this moment? Again, there’s an exploration of why she did this (and how Luisa influenced her decision, which is a whole messy thing in and of itself), but understanding her decision doesn’t mean anyone should condone this.

Mostly… I just feel really bad. Everything about this makes me feel bad!!!

The video for “Chapter Twenty-Three” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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