In the third episode of the fourth season of Jane the Virgin, it’s time to panic. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of death, grief
Adapting to Adam
I don’t know if Adam really is in it for the long run (especially not with this episode’s ending), but the vast majority of this episode makes this possibility feel real. That’s in large part due to the fact that Adam tried! Genuinely and truly, he tried to make a good impression on Rafael, despite Rafael’s bias, and he tried to make a good impression on Mateo, despite that Rafael nearly ruined that, too. Adam met Mateo on his level. He wasn’t condescending to the kid, and he also didn’t try to make it seem like he was taking Raf’s place. I also think him being a kid at heart helped a lot! Once he was given a chance to be around Mateo, look how quickly the two of them bonded! It was a beautiful thing to see I JUST LIKE NICE THINGS.
I say that knowing full well that this was a very complicated issue, one that is contrasted with what’s going on with Rafael and Katherine. (More on them later.) It is of course VERY understandable that Rafael would want to make sure that someone is vetted before being brought around Mateo, though he also overreacts and treats Adam pretty terribly before realizing what he’s done. I can’t help but wonder if this is partially because of his previous relationship and feelings around Jane. But I don’t want to discount how he feels; it’s a very fair thing he goes through here. At the same time, he has to be open to this possibility, especially since he himself is dating someone else, who he ends up bringing around his kids! And didn’t let Jane vet at ALL.
I also appreciate that the end of this episode suggests that we are going to get a bit more of this from Adam’s point of view. It’s clear he adores Jane and loves spending time with her. But this episode also drops a HUGE piece of Jane’s life in his lap, and it was all communicated by Mateo. As a slight aside: one of the things I liked about the previous actor playing Mateo was that Sanders was really good at portraying that unfiltered, open honesty that you often get from four and five year olds. And it made me so happy to see Janssen continue this characterization in his own way. Because that’s an important part of his character! Mateo is being raised to be honest, which makes so much sense given how many lies were a foundation of the upbringing of multiple generations of Villanueva women. Here, Jane is deliberately trying to break that. She doesn’t lie to Mateo about where he came from or who all the people are in his life. So, I saw Mateo’s honesty towards Adam as a manifestation of what he was taught.
At the same time, what he told Adam was heavy. From what we’ve seen, Jane hasn’t spoken all that much with Adam about her grief or about Michael. He appears to know the very basics, but that’s not the same as knowing how much grief has been in her life, or that her son is so aware of it. But that’s the thing: we often don’t realize how perceptive kids are. Hell, my own parents thought they pulled a fast one on me regarding a million different things, but deep down, I often knew when something was wrong or when I was being fed a story. In this episode alone, Mateo is able to pick up on Rafael disliking Adam and on Jane liking Adam enough that he might reach a level that Michael did. Hence his concern!
So what does that feel like to Adam? I imagine that’s why he’s panicking: It’s very obvious to him now what he is inheriting. What if he’s worried about hurting Jane and disappointing Mateo? I feel like anyone would be freaked out by this! Though I do think it’s because Adam respects Jane and wants to do right by her and her family.
In direct opposition to literally all of this is Petra’s family. You know, it’s not lost on me that Luisa wouldn’t care about the ramifications of getting someone out of prison who hurt others. (I assume after this episode that she was the one who orchestrated Magda’s release, given that she had a “deal” with Magda and Anezka.) Magda has demonstrably ruined Petra’s life. (And I hope Anezka, once she’s out of the manipulative control of her mother, realizes the same thing, too.) She’s hurt SO MANY people, but Luisa doesn’t care, as long as she can get what she wants. (Which is… getting someone out of prison who has demonstrably ruined lives.) So, with Magda back in the picture, we have to watch Petra interact with two people who don’t really care anything about her or what happens in their life. I don’t want to ignore Petra’s past and shitty things she’s done, but y’all. Magda being back is a DISASTER. I hate everything about it! I hate that she’s working with Luisa, and I hate that she’s trying to manipulate everyone around her. Well, to varying success. I will admit to being amused that she tried to threaten Luisa and Luisa was like, “Who do you think I’m trying to free from prison? Someone a million times worse than you two.” (AND THAT PAUL MANAFORT JOKE, HOLY SHIT. That aged… interestingly.)
I see Petra’s larger arc as her trying to find her family. It’s so sad to me that she got so close, and now, Magda and Anezka might threaten it. AGAIN. Magda is already trying to poison Petra’s own children against her!!! NO! I HATE IT!!! Please let something terrible happen to her so she can go away forever! Can she be the one who dies???
Rogelio’s Plan and Darci’s Choice
Before I get into Rogelio’s home birth opinions (and how wrong they were), I do want to say that I really hope we get some sort of plot that centers Xiomara in an upcoming episode. These three episodes have almost entirely focused on Xo reacting to things happening in Rogelio’s and Darci’s lives. And I get it! Darci being pregnant is a huge thing, and it’s an important chapter in Rogelio’s life. But Xo kinda feels like she’s been flung off to the side, except when she can serve this other story. MORE XO! BESIDES HER GIVING EXCELLENT ADVICE.
But about that excellent advice… yeah, now that I think about it? All the home births I know of were accomplished by women over 28. Literally all of them in recent memory! I get that a lot of this was paranoia and anxiety on the part of Rogelio, and yes, it was extra complicated by the presence of Esteban. He was feeling insecure! Left out! And he projected all of that onto Darci’s choice to do a home birth when that wasn’t his choice to make. Despite that it was actually less dramatic and more mature that he went to Esteban, at the end of the day, Xiomara was 100% right. This was Darci’s body, and thus, it was her choice. The end! Now, we can all judge her relationship with Esteban because WHAT THE FUCK DOES SHE SEE IN HIM, I DON’T GET IT, but that’s different. Home births are perfectly natural and safe, and also? Rogelio seemed to think that Darci didn’t have any contingency plans, which just shows how little he thought this through.
I can also safely say that this was one of the strangest birth sequences I’ve ever seen on television, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get the image of a shirtless Esteban cradling Darci while a shirtless Rogelio, on the opposite side of the pool, coached her into giving birth. Seriously, I’m the doula here: Y’ALL COULD HAVE WORN BATHING SUITS. But hey, this is Jane the Virgin. Bizarre family arrangements are part of the very fabric of the show. So, in context, it’s not really that weird that Esteban and Rogelio were both a part of this as they were, right?
…..okay, it was still weird. But I’m going with it!
Rafael and Katherine
THIS IS BAD. IT’S ALL SO BAD. Rafael!!! Like, aside from the hypocrisy, and aside from the potential for the Marbella deal to go south… oh my god. He’s going to hurt Katherine really, really badly! And I don’t even care about her, especially after that gross confrontation she had with Jane. NOPE, DON’T LIKE PEOPLE HOLDING POSITION AND MONEY OVER OTHERS. Hate it! Lots!!! And that whole food display??? Look, we’re living in the age of coronavirus, so asking someone else to eat your food like that is a waking nightmare, but this was also gross long before that! So, we’ve established I don’t like Katherine at ALL, and I can still see that Rafael is making a horrific decision. There’s no good end to this! If he breaks things off with her in the next episode: the deal is over. There’s no way she’s going to allow it to happen. But I’m guessing this isn’t going to happen that quickly or easily, so all I foresee in the future?
Mess. A BIG OLD MESS.
HI, WHAT??? WHAT THE FUCK? NO!!!! NO, NOT AT ALL. Surely, Luisa won’t… actually, now that I think about it, I kinda feel like Luisa could be convinced to burn down the hotel that her family built. If it got Rose out of prison, then hey! She might actually do it. But I hope she comes to her senses and sends Carl away. At the same time, I’m also guessing that if Luisa refuses, Carl would do it anyway. Right??? I trust him NOT AT ALL.
As unfortunate as this is… some people I know have been through pretty much the same process with their covers. I’m lucky that with both my published books, I got to see multiple sketches before a concept was used to develop a draft. And even then, because I have a great agent, I’ve been consulted on various stages of both of my cover designs. I admit I have very little idea what I’m doing, but my publisher has been fantastic and has taken my feedback to heart. Plus, I’m very lucky because I adore all three of my covers!!! That being said, I haven’t always had a smooth experience, and one day I’ll share a story about how this industry is stacked against a lot of us. What I can say is that I know plenty of authors who have had an experience that was pretty much exactly what you see here: Their first cover isn’t good. It’s clumsy and trite and stereotypical. The next draft is often worst, and the final version makes it clear that either no one read the manuscript or the sales team is trying to sell a different type of book than the one that was written. Which is a real thing! Even outside of publishing, we’ve all probably experienced a work of art that was promoted in a way to land a certain audience, despite that this isn’t actually indicative of the contents.
It’s not totally realistic that an outside artist can come in that late into the process to do a cover, but it’s also not a fantasy either. Chris Koehler did the actual illustrations that make up both the hardcover and paperback versions of Anger is a Gift; Jenna Stempel-Lobell is the artist who did Each of Us a Desert. So that’s actually very, very common!!! Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to provide some insight from someone who’s been through this process. As usual, Jane the Virgin tells it almost exactly like it really is. WHICH IS SO FULFILLING.
The video for “Chapter Sixty-Seven” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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