In the twelfth episode of the second season of Jane the Virgin, I continue to feel personally attacked by this show. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of consent, death/grief.
Wow, this episode advanced SO MANY plot lines, THIS IS A LOT.
You know, this could have gone down a much more disastrous path, but this episode dealt with the complications of Jane’s feelings on sex—as well as Jonathan’s—in a remarkably tender way. That’s not to say this wasn’t awkward as hell because OH GOD IT WAS. But that awkwardness stemmed from a genuine desire on the part of both Jonathan and Jane. They were clearly attracted to one another; they wanted that attraction to lead to sex. But that was not a journey from point A to B for either of them, and I appreciated that this episode featured both characters discussing boundaries and desire, even when that meant that sex couldn’t happen. That’s how consent should work ideally.
This is also an episode that genuinely explores Jane’s decision to wait for marriage for sex, another aspect I find compelling and heartfelt. Her conversations with Xiomara (and later with Alba) didn’t try to make her feel bad for being a virgin. No, this was about Jane slowly changing her mind. She had made a decision years and years ago, and that decision made sense. It was honorable and noble and it worked for her. And look how long she kept it! Through MULTIPLE boyfriends and fiancés; through multiple crises; through multiple temptations. She stuck to her decision and…
And now she’s a mother and a virgin.
I feel like Jane is mostly okay with that, and even after this episode, I still feel like it’s not that she feels foolish for deciding to wait for marriage. But “Chapter Thirty-Four” was Jane’s first real attempt at casual sex, which is something that not everyone can have! Not everyone experiences sexual attraction the way we were all told it happened years and years ago. So much of Jane the Virgin is about the collision of fantasy and reality, and Jane approached having casual sex having only had the fantasy of it. The reality of it is much more challenging than what she thought it was. But she gave it a good effort. She really tried! Her attraction to Jonathan was undeniable. (And I don’t blame her, I HAVE HAD A CRUSH ON ADAM RODRIGUEZ FOR YEARS.) There was that physical spark, too. But y’all, I’m gonna agree with Xiomara here: I think Jane blurted out she was a virgin because she wasn’t comfortable with having sex casually with Jonathan. And to his credit, Jonathan set his boundaries, too! He hadn’t had sex with anyone since his divorce, and he needed Jane to know that. He wasn’t really interested in romance, which, on the surface, seemed perfect for Jane.
So she tried again. And yeah, that experience was a lot more mortifying (that scene where she got pulled over was a LITERAL NIGHTMARE), but as hard as it was to watch, it was clear that Jane didn’t actually want this.
With Jonathan. Jane clearly needs the romance. She needs the love and the comfort. Casual sex, at least at this point in her life, is not something that’s gonna work for her. Which makes that incredible scene with Michael so important, because I feel like this plot led right into that one. Right??? More on Michael in a moment.
HI, THIS WHOLE PLOT WAS SO GOOD AND IT HURT SO MUCH. Like I said in the previous review, Xiomara’s story fits so well into the idea that Jane the Virgin plays with telenovela tropes, but often finds dimension within them. And I’ll tie that to what I said here: this is about fantasy meeting reality. Like Jane, Xiomara entertains something that she was initially not really that comfortable with, and she doesn’t do it for a bad reason. She is deeply in love with Rogelio, make no mistake. So she reconsiders one aspect: Maybe she doesn’t want children now, but perhaps she might later? I didn’t think Rogelio’s idea was necessarily the worst, and Xiomara seemed to want to entertain it. But over the course of “Chapter Thirty-Four” you can see some discomfort with the idea of freezing her eggs. Where was that discomfort coming from? See, that scene where Xiomara changed Mateo’s diaper suggested that maybe she did want kids, but that’s because I misinterpreted it. No, Xiomara loves having a grandkid, and that’s a completely different thing.
The fantasy of having a child with Rogelio could not outweigh reality. Xiomara wants no more children. The decision she came to in the previous episode is the one she’s sticking to. And it’s heartbreaking not because she wants to pursue this path. It’s heartbreaking because there’s no fault or blame to assign here. Xiomara doesn’t feel hostility over Rogelio wanting a child; she deeply understands it! Rogelio also gets why Xiomara needs to center herself in her own life. It just means… well, they shouldn’t get married with an incompatibility so deeply at the heart of it all.
IT HURTS. SO BAD.
Michael hasn’t had much of a story himself in this recent batch of episodes that wasn’t directly related to the case he was on. I understand that more now, especially given what he does near the end of the episode. Michael has made so many choices in his life that centered around Jane, and his need to take down Sin Rostro is absolutely because of that. So I wonder: Did he always intend to tell Jane what he did in this episode? Because it’s clear that was why he devoted himself so intensely to catching Sin Rostro. He needed to make sure that Jane and Mateo would be safe again.
And the way that becomes a reality? Oh, shit, y’all, THIS WAS A LOT. I know that describing literally any part of Jane the Virgin as “a lot” is an exercise in futility, but holy shit, this was genuinely thrilling? Like, what a bold move to have the narrator just outright claim that either Susanna Bennett or Rose would die before one of them did. THAT WAS SO RUDE, HOW DARE YOU.
I just… almost can’t believe it? Just like that, Sin Rostro is dead. But I’m less interested in what this means for Michael’s arc as I do for Luisa’s.
I am so glad that this show was very explicit about one thing: in a way, Luisa was “addicted” to Rose. Like Rafael, this is something that, for the vast majority of my life, I didn’t quite understand. All my break-ups, while not necessarily clean, didn’t really involve what we see here. All, that is, until my last one, and now I get it. I know first-hand what it’s like to not just pine after someone you can’t have, but to feel like it takes over your life. But that was the point here: Rafael rejected Luisa’s attempt to make amends because he thought he had no experience with this kind of obsession over a romantic partner.
It was a huge step that Luisa chose to set up Rose, y’all. HUGE. And I don’t doubt that she did that because of Rafael’s reaction to her apology, and I also think Susanna Bennett helped her, too! Which… I have thoughts about? Is there some unspoken history here that made Susanna relate to Luisa? I DON’T KNOW I’M JUST THROWING IT OUT THERE. There doesn’t need to be. And I don’t want to take away this moment from her. She broke the cycle. Unfortunately, Rose dies almost immediately after this decision. That’s gotta weigh heavy on Luisa, right? I’m almost certain she’s going to be feeling an immense guilt over this in the coming episodes, and I JUST… HAVE FEELINGS.
I am really glad the writing for her character has been improving so much, y’all.
It’s fantasy versus reality again, y’all. I have to admit that I have been very much into the fantasy of Petra and Jane being friends. (Well, also I kinda ship them, but that’s a very separate thing, I PROMISE.) I wanted it to happen so bad, and I truly thought that this was going to be it. Jane would help Petra with her shower, they’d become best friends and bury the hatchet and then—
Yeah, no. Despite that this relationship is not romantic, it’s still an exploration of compatibility. Like Jane later says to Rafael, Petra feels like she and Jane are just fundamentally different people. They have different outlooks, beliefs, and behaviors, and this episode demonstrates a number of ways in which the two clash because of them. And it is frustrating to watch!!! I really wanted the best for them, but maybe the best is that they aren’t friends, that they’re just polite and honest with one another, and that’s it.
Of note, though, is the fact that this entire subplot helps Rafael realize that maybe he DID understand Luisa’s difficulty in letting Rose go. Because even despite Jane telling him directly that she doesn’t want to date, he simply didn’t get it. It never quite registered.
And now he definitely knows that’s true.
The video for “Chapter Thirty-Four” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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