In the tenth episode of the third season of Jane the Virgin, no. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of death, grief.
Well, this might be a difficult one. I’ll save the hardest part for the end.
Petra and Parenthood
While this is of course intricately tied to Rafael’s plot, I did want to talk about this separately, since Petra has her own arc to deal with. First, I admit to finding it hard to see Petra and Anezka interact in this episode, especially with Scott mixed up in it all. That one interaction they have here, while Petra is out with the twins, filled me with frustration. Like… you drugged her!!! You stole her life and you gave her intense PTSD and now you think it’s all right to blackmail her because she wants you gone? I know I tried to empathize with Anezka because she was being manipulated and used by Magda, but that empathy only goes so far. At this point, Anezka is just adding salt to Petra’s wound CONSTANTLY. It’s so upsetting to watch, and it’s made even worse every time Petra’s children prefer Anezka. It’s just another reminder of what Anezka did!
So I understood why Petra didn’t want to do this all on her own and why it was so important for Rafael to stay in her life. Petra was already struggling with motherhood before this traumatic event, and Anezka absolutely made things worse. Yet the joy in this episode is watching Petra commit to bonding with her kids, even when it’s uncomfortable, even when she doesn’t understand what she’s doing, even when there’s no immediate reward. That moment where Raf woke up and Petra was just quietly feeding Anna and Elsa? HUGE. SO HUGE. I also can’t deny how heartbreaking it was to watch her tell Rafael to do what he had to, because that meant giving him up. Given that this is the end of Part Two (I’d forgotten there were parts), I’m guessing that this is a huge turning point for Petra. Maybe she will finally be able to regain control of her family.
It’s just… this all hurts? Over the course of this show, Rafael has been trying to escape the legacy that was hoisted upon him. He chased approval from his father, but that obviously didn’t end well. He tried to keep the Marbella afloat and was met with one conflict and bad deal after another. After learning that his parents weren’t his biological ones, he realized that he’d been trying to protect a name that technically wasn’t even his! That’s all to say that I actually get why Rafael would want to give up. On an emotional level, he could finally cut ties with the Solano family in the way he needs to. No more protecting Emilio, no more living in the shadow of family, no more trying to fix the mistakes of other people.
And then there’s Mateo. Rafael knows now, more than ever, that he cannot just make decisions for himself anymore. He’s got three children to think of. What if he waited? What if he fought the charges, as Petra had suggested, and Rafael ended up having to go to jail when his kids were much, much older? How would that have affected them? I think that given the circumstances, this was the best time to do it. I assume, based on the ending, that it actually happened, too.
Remember when I thought this plot was the most shocking, unbelievable thing that happened in “Chapter Fifty-Four”?
Actually, it is a little difficult to analyze this episode without acknowledging the ending! Because as I thought about Tess and Bruce, I wonder if the intent here from the writers was to hint at possibility. If the events of this episode allowed Tess to grow closer to Xo, then… is the wedding Bruce and Xo??? I guess it could be Darci and Rogelio??? But that totally affects the story regardless!!! Still: I loved seeing Tess open up, and I loved Xo’s way of talking to Bruce about it, too. She tried her best to not cross any lines that would make her contributions seem insensitive, but she also offered up empathy. It’s really beautiful to see that! Xo knows she was a Wild Child when she was a teen, so she tries to get Bruce to see his daughter in a different light. Like… yeah, she sought out safe people and a safe place when she was drunk! There’s something to be said for that.
Oh, sometimes, Rogelio makes so much progress, and then we see how he hasn’t quiet learned his lesson, and he reverts right back to the egotistical, self-centered actor that frequently gets him in trouble. Sure, I get why he was upset, particularly after all the work that went into booking the indie role and then appearing nude on film. After all that, his part was still trimmed down. But surely, this isn’t the first time that’s happened?
Of course, that’s sort of the point. Rogelio is used to being the star of the show, and one element that makes him uncomfortable about his crossover attempt is that he’s having to do things he did at the beginning of his career. Why is he suddenly forced to start over? But look, I think Darci was right! At least he was in the film, and it was still a start. Rogelio didn’t lash out at the film for what happened to him, though. He made a low, low blow on Darci in the process. I genuinely thought that Darci would never come back. TRULY. Because not only was this deeply insulting and hurtful, but IT WAS PUBLIC! Him humiliating her WENT VIRAL.
I’m glad they worked things out, though I think it’s odd that we never saw Rogelio apologize to her? Rather, we just got his grand gesture—agreeing to do the reality show—and that’s it?
Hi. I had a whole thing ready to write, but NOPE. NO. WHAT THE FUCK. I hadn’t even recovered from Rafael agreeing to plead guilty and go to jail, and then the show hit me with THIS: Rose got plastic surgery to look like someone else COMPLETELY. And she’s still with Luisa? And they’re trying to just… blend in with every day life? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.
This is gonna be a hard one.
It’s hard because I can’t reflect on the episode without acknowledging that the story I thought was developing was actually charting Michael’s growth just before his passing. We got to see Michael and Jane’s first boardwalk date juxtaposed with their last. I assumed that this was a deliberate parallel to talk about Michael’s nerves, the context for them existing, and how he was preparing to enter a new stage of life with Jane. Which… shit. Ironically, I guess he was. Jane was too! She spent all this time trying to get this assistant position, and with Michael’s help, she nailed her interview. Finally, Jane had accomplished an important achievement that brought her one step closer to having her book published!
But it’s hard for a reason that’s probably obvious to a lot of you. I lost the love of my life about… well. It’ll be nine months next month. In many ways, extensive, twice-a-week therapy sessions have helped me get better. Truly. I don’t say that to be facetious. I genuinely believe I am at a better than I was at the beginning of 2020. I could barely function those days, and most of the time, I was going through the motions. It was as if I was living someone else’s life. I feel like a person now. Meaning that this isn’t someone else’s life unfolding. I’m not detaching or dissociating like I was, though I completely understand why I needed to.
I was trying to survive.
And now, I’m trying to live. To enjoy life beyond survival. That being said, I’m still raw. And this… this hit me hard, more so off camera than on. Losing someone is difficult, point blank. Losing some you love is mortifying. Losing someone you’re in love with… I can’t wish that on anyone. I can’t. It’s just the worst thing.
Thus, this becomes an episode about memory, though not in the context I thought it started out as. Jane the Virgin was preparing us for loss through a red herring. We thought this was about how Michael couldn’t quite remember his past exactly as it happened. But really, we were reliving the moments that would soon become memories for Jane of the last things she did with Michael. Because he’s dead.
In a weird way, as shocking and jarring as that time jump was (three years???), I can appreciate it for an entirely selfish reason. Seeing Jane’s immediate grief was too much, and if we spend time three years ahead of this moment, that means we probably won’t get all that much spent in the day-to-day of grief. That? That would be too much for me.
Holy shit. Michael is dead. Someone is getting married. WE JUMPED THREE YEARS INTO THE FUTURE. What the fuck????
The video for “Chapter Fifty-Four” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– You can now pre-order my second YA novel, Each of Us a Desert, which will be released on September 15, 2020 from Tor Teen!
– Not only that, but my very first pre-order campaign is now live for North American readers! If you submit proof of pre-order, you can get a limited edition print that comes with the book.
– If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.