In the twentieth episode of the second season of Jane the Virgin, Mother’s Day brings chaos in LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For brief mentions of abuse and trauma
Mother’s Day & Anezka
I just… can’t stop wanting Jane and Petra to be friends? I can’t. IT’S LIKE A COMPULSION. (Well, I also am quietly shipping them over in this corner, but at this point, I know Jane/Petra will never happen.) I keep hoping, I keep seeing their growth, and then BOOM. Everything explodes and they’re ripped apart and I’m back to square one and it just HURTS.
This was an interesting conflict, and I was pleased that some of my concerns from the previous episode were addressed here. Mainly: What was Anezka’s motivation for sending in that ad? Turns out it was far less malicious than I thought and in-line with Anezka’s characterization: She just wants to the people around her to like her. She wants them to love her. She craves that sort of validation, and so, as she was sending in the ad, she wasn’t really thinking how it would hurt Jane. No, all she could see was how it would help Petra with Rafael. And until the last moment of hers in this episode, I saw Anezka as someone who, in the shadow of the abuse and trauma she experienced since Magda gave her up, struggled with where she fit in. She didn’t see things long term, I thought, and instead impulsively pursued things that would provide her with some validation or love in the immediate future.
But let’s come back to that in a second. Anezka’s actions tore apart what progress Jane and Petra had made, exposing the complicated feelings the two had for one another. Yes, they’d been trying so hard, but Petra still struggles with the sense that she’s an inadequate mother, even after getting treatment for her postpartum depression. Jane can’t let go of Petra’s past and judges her for not being the same mother that she is. (Even if she says she’s not judging; we all know Jane can be quite judge-y, you know?) Anezka’s decision to sabotage Jane creates a perfect storm around Mother’s Day, and LORD, does this not go well. There’s passive-aggressive behavior; there is a competitiveness; there is resentment and jealousy and sadness and a million other things wrapped up in this nightmare. And that’s not even including how Jane asked her mother and Alba to give up their normal tradition of PJs, pints, and telenovelas!!!
They all try; they really, really do. The Mother’s Day lunch is awkward and then DEEPLY painful. I actually thought that maybe Jane wouldn’t bring up the classified ad, but NOPE. Lord, things went downhill so fast from that point? Not only the stress contributing to Anezka’s seizure, though. I mean, yes! That was really bad! But after everything, Anezka ends up telling the truth, which pushes Jane and Petra EVEN FURTHER APART. UGH!!!!! I just want them to be friends so badly!
Here’s what threw me for a loop, though: Anezka pretending to be Petra at the end of the episode. Is Anezka as clueless as she seems to be, or does that scene suggest something far more sinister? Look, this is Jane the Virgin! It’s also a huge telenovela trope!!!! So what does it all mean? How much of what I’ve seen is real? Am I just assuming the worst because I’m trying to prepare myself for an upcoming twist? WHAT DOES IT MEAN???
Michael’s New Job
Look at me, trying to apply realism to a telenovela-esque show filled with tropes from that genre! I had to laugh at Rogelio’s explanation of telenovela realism to Michael because I felt a little targeted by that. Sometimes, I do analyze the show through a lens that isn’t as accepting of the ridiculous for the sake of it. Only sometimes! As I’ve mentioned before, part of the fun of watching Jane the Virgin is seeing the show toy with these tropes by bringing them into the real world. Here, in Michael’s subplot, that’s made extremely literal. Michael gets carried away with his expertise role that Rogelio gives him. It’s easy to see why. Michael went from a job that was complex and intellectually challenging, and now he’s… holding a Perrier and a small bowl of almonds. (I think that’s what was in that tiny bowl.) It’s not exactly all that demanding of a job, and so, Michael runs with his new duties to overcompensate. I am thankful that he’s found another job so quickly, as that lessens my anxiety over the new mortgage that he and Jane have to pay. I am worried about Jane not getting the TA job next semester, though? I’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, I suppose.
Ugh!!! I want the best for Xiomara but she keeps making such bad decisions!!! Xiomara!!! What are you DOING??? On some level, though, I do get it. It’s nice to be paid attention to like that. Straight up! Esteban is not nearly my favorite person, but like I said on camera, he actually seems like a person for a moment in this episode? Granted, that illusion is shattered later in the episode when it’s revealed that he has MULTIPLE PAINTINGS OF HIMSELF IN HIS OWN BEDROOM. Oh god, no wonder he’s the perfect nemesis for Rogelio! THEY’RE BARELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
I expect it is only a matter of time before this gets out. Secrets do not stay secrets on this show, y’all. There’s NO WAY that Rogelio will be fine when he discovers that Xiomara slept with his sworn enemy!!! Actually, my guess is that Esteban himself will tell Rogelio. How could he resist that???
This is not going to end well. I’M WORRIED, Y’ALL. I just want all my faves to be happy, is that so much to ask???
I KNEW IT. I knew it!!!!! I even knew that Derek’s ridiculous scarves were… well, ridiculous!!! So this WAS a set-up the entire fucking time!!!! So now I have to ask an uncomfortable question: Did Rafael even buy those stocks at all? We didn’t actually see it happen on camera. Rafael just woke up and he’d purchased them. WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED THAT NIGHT??? Of course, because Petra overhears Michael and Jane talking about this, she’s now in on it. I gotta say: Yeah, she was right that Raf should have gone to her, not Jane. What possible scheme could Petra come up with to get Rafael out of Derek’s blackmail? And I’m guessing that neither of them suspect that Mutter is in on it, too? OH GOD. The sheer potential for chaos here is very, very high.
I’ll start off by saying that I know how much it sucks to be out of your element in a social setting like this one. Rogelio’s dilemma with the dinner is unsurprisingly exaggerated because… well, Rogelio is one giant exaggeration made flesh. HE IS, OKAY. But I could take this scenario and apply it to like… 90% of the publishing dinners I’ve had with strangers and people in the industry. Because sometimes I will just sit there for a straight hour without doing anything but smiling and nodding because I don’t know who everyone is referring to, I haven’t read the series or book people are discussing, or people have veered the conversation into gossip I can’t contribute to or know nothing about. And you do your best to keep up and seem interested, but this shit is hard to deal with! It sucks not being in the know or being surrounded by genuinely interesting people who you aren’t close with and who are so wrapped up in their conversations that they don’t include you. (Or, for the anxiety-minded: they actively dislike you because you’re not in-the-know or smart!!!)
So, Rogelio did what he thought would be best, and in classic Rogelio fashion, it was completely over-the-top. First, I gotta say that the portrayal of his incredibly fast, one-handed, under-the-table texting style was INCREDIBLE. That one detail sealed the deal for me. Of course he thought he could handle this given that context! But regurgitating ideas or facts means nothing if you don’t have the context, hence his inability to improv anything after Jane’s autocorrect has him screw up gloriously. And in the end, did he need to do that? Would Dina have found him more attractive if he hadn’t been caught? I don’t know, perhaps. But how long could he keep up that charade? How many dinners would he need Jane to be at in order to successfully convince people he was an intellectual.
It failed. Rogelio was horribly embarrassed. And yet, Dina finally saw how dedicated Rogelio was to impressing her. She understood that despite his ridiculous behavior, there was a genuine affection that. That was more important to her than any display of intellect! Unfortunately, this is also what helps Jane realize that she isn’t over the break-up of her parents. LOVELY, THAT WAVE OF EMOTIONS THAT CAME WITH THIS. Ugh, I have to admit that I wish Xiomara and Rogelio were back together, but I get why they aren’t. And it is hard to see all this unfold! I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE HAPPY OKAY
The video for “Chapter Forty-Two” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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