In the third episode of the second season of Jane the Virgin, Petra’s decision upsets Jane’s already complicated life. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of consent, kidnapping
So, I can’t ever gauge what other people’s reaction was to something, since I’m not watching and reviewing this quite in real time with all of you. There’s always a disconnect because I write these a week in advance. I’m saying this because this batch of reviews hasn’t gone live, and I feel so weird??? I cannot be the only one who feels that this is weird in a way that isn’t being addressed? Yes, it’s deeply uncomfortable that Petra is having Rafael’s kid, but like… this isn’t legal, is it? This is a MASSIVE violation of consent, and as Jane and Rafael try to figure out which of the three scenarios they want of Petra, I couldn’t get this out of my head. SHE SHOULDN’T BE MAKING ANY DEMANDS!!! SHE STOLE SOMEONE’S SPERM AND INSEMINATED HERSELF!!!
And look, it’s not like that’s not acknowledged; pretty much every character remarks on it. But then they just… move on? And accept that it happened? Maybe I’m just massively ignorant here, but this is SUPER ILLEGAL, right? How can Petra just get away with this? I suppose that’s perhaps the point; Petra did this because she figured she wouldn’t ever be caught. Even if she was, she clearly came up with contingency plans. Also, I’m really bothered by how she was like, “HI, NOW THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM, HAVE FUN.” No!!! You made this very bad mistake!!! It isn’t anyone else’s problem but yours!
Okay, clearly this has hit a nerve in me. I just really get grossed out by this kind of violation of bodily autonomy, and I wish the show wouldn’t brush these concerns to the side. It’s not like the writers can’t write about trauma; they addressed it (somewhat briefly) last year in the wake of Petra’s kidnapping, and this season opened with Jane experiencing trauma. So it just feels odd that they’d skip over the ramifications of what Petra did in any substantial way.
I guess this is happening, though!
I know I’ve said a variation of this before, but I’m still such a huge fan of how Rogelio’s plots feel so over-the-top and yet manage to be vulnerable and real, too. If you’ve ever had your heart broken by someone, Rogelio’s story might feel relatable. Particularly one element: unresolved feelings of anger and betrayal. Heartbreak sucks any way you cut it, but if you never got closure??? Oh, I can hear my therapist in my head RIGHT NOW. Because oh lord, this shit can eat away at you over the years. And this isn’t even the first time Rogelio has dealt with issues that are unresolved. Remember his fear of heights? This almost feels worse because… well, that storage unit. That was… a lot? Is that something he owns? Because that’s absolutely making it hard for him to move on, y’all!
Luciana’s actual presence didn’t help, either, but I’m proud of what Rogelio and Xiomara do in this episode. As much as lying and deceit is part of the fabric of this show and its telenovela roots, some of the best parts of Jane the Virgin happen when people are telling the truth. I’m glad that these two could communicate their fears and insecurities. Xiomara was able to admit that seeing Rogelio with Luciana was painful; Rogelio was able to admit that there was some chemistry, but that he’d rather risk ratings on his show than make the person he loves uncomfortable. UGH, THE WAVE OF FEELINGS THAT GAVE.
So… what’s on that video that Luciana has that she’s gonna use to blackmail her way onto The Passions of Santos?
Has it ever proved successful for someone to act counter to their nature to win over another person? Like… ever? It’s a trope we’ve all seen multiple times before, especially in romantic comedies. Rogelio’s weird advice to be “manly” to win over Jane was bound to fail anyway, because that wasn’t why Jane was impressed with Michael anyway. Jane likes that he is thoughtful. That he is sweet. That he tries his best to see someone else’s point of view. Seriously, look at the advice he gives her here. He acknowledges that he behaved poorly when Jane was surprised by her pregnancy, and he urges Jane not to make similar mistakes when it comes to Petra. What does Jane actually want? That’s what he tries to get her to think about, rather than worrying about other people’s desires. It’s also that kind of sweetness that Jane enjoys. Which also means that this love triangle remains a NIGHTMARE to resolve because UGH!!! why can’t one of them just have all bad qualities!!!
Grad School and Motherhood
I kinda thought that this show was perhaps going to address just how deeply it does not accommodate mothers, but I don’t think that’s quite the intent of Jane’s struggle with grad school. But that’s still very much a thing! American society wants people to have kids but then has no real apparatus in place to take care of the people who have kids. And that particularly affects mothers, since so much of this world just doesn’t want them around? Like, I get that the show was trying to point out that bringing Mateo to a lecture hall was a disaster, but… why should it be? Why can’t there be daycare at higher learning institutions? Look, we’re in the age of the pandemic; that shit could be streamed for students who are sick or who have medical issues that prevent them from being in class.
Anyway, not really what this episode is about, but as someone who has watched a number of my mommy friends deal with how people are so gross and condescending to new moms, I WAS FRUSTRATED. I’m glad that this episode really nails down how we need to respect choice. Jane is obviously upset because she wants two things: to be the best mom to Mateo as possible (THAT BABY IS SO DAMN CUTE, I NEED TO YELL ABOUT HIM) and to also pursue her dreams. Accepting a place in grad school might be right for her, but it might be wrong for someone else. Instead of giving us an answer that said all parents have only one ethical and moral choice before them, the show guides Jane to a place where she feels comfortable being able to do both of the things she wants.
That’s also in part of the strength of her family, and I am NEVER going to get over this part of the show. We’ve now got FOUR generations of the Villanuevas onscreen. Alba, Xiomara, Jane, and Mateo. And these three women take care of one another. It’s evident in the way Xiomara and Alba take care of Jane throughout “Chapter Twenty-Five,” and it’s evident in that letter that Jane reads during Mateo’s baptism. Jane can pursue her dream as a writer; she’ll be okay. Because this is who’s got her back.
I JUST LOVE THIS FAMILY OKAY.
It’s wild to me that the show can treat the kidnapping of Petra and Mateo with care, and then write… this. The show opened with Jane dealing with the trauma of having her son stolen away from her. Somehow, it doesn’t seem weird to them that they’ve written Luisa as she is in this episode. It’s weird! It’s like they can’t resist turning every part of her into a joke. Her reaction to (possibly) being kidnapped by Rose is… joy? Like, I know she’s dealing with some unresolved issues—like Rogelio—yet even in Rogelio’s plot, the joke only goes so far before the script takes it seriously. That still hasn’t happened with Luisa.
Also, it’s not Rose who kidnapped her. So, I guess I’m wrong about that woman we’ve been seeing. Is that Heidi? Is she a competitor??? WHAT’S GOING ON.
The video for “Chapter Twenty-Five” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
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