Mark Watches ‘Jane the Virgin’: S04E04 – Chapter Sixty-Eight

In the fourth episode of the fourth season of Jane the Virgin, this is so chaotic and stressful, and I feel like I ran a marathon after watching this episode. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin. 

A Week Break and Protection

I’m so pleased with the emotional depth that the writers put into this plot between Jane and Adam. To be honest, I’m not even sure I’ve seen a plot like this on television before, and even if I have (and just don’t remember it), it’s still pretty rare. But it’s something single parents have to deal with! Even more specifically, what is it like for a young mom to date someone again? At what point do you introduce that person to your child? And what expectations should you have for a romantic partner becoming a potential parental figure?

These are the things Jane has to worry about, but I’ll echo Alba’s thoughts here: I think it was incredibly mature of Adam to communicate that he was panicking, and then to ask Jane for some time to think about the relationship and his willingness to move forward with it. Because there really WAS only moving forward at this point! Mateo was going to have to be in Adam’s life to some extent, and it’s also completely fair that Jane be worried about Mateo getting hurt in the process, too. (Which is why Rafael’s actions were so enraging in this episode, but more on that in a moment.) Clearly, Mateo had taken a liking to Adam. What if Jane let Adam get closer to her son, and then he just up and left? How would Mateo be affected by that? Yet there’s an interesting parallel between Jane and Xiomara in this: both women have issues with putting their own needs first when it comes to the people they love. And here, Jane eventually realizes that there is another issue she’s been avoiding: that Adam once broke her heart and left her. Y’all, I love so much that Alba was the one who provided the key to unlocking this epiphany. I just love all the generational love and healing we get from the Villanueva women??? Plus, Alba was part of the reason Adam left all those years ago, and now, she’s helping Jane accept that Adam is not the same person anymore.

And really, that’s what this comes down to. She should be concerned about pursuing a relationship with him, and I never got the sense from this episode that that was an irrational thing to worry about. However, Adam IS still here, and after a week away from her AND that slightly disastrous incident in his apartment, he continues to desire her. AND Mateo. Is it going to be a challenge? Of course it is! Adam is moving with intention now, and I believe that makes all the difference. I don’t know that this is going to last, but I want it to. Like… he’s such a good partner with Jane, and he’s fantastic with Mateo! I HAVE FEELINGS, OKAY.

Katherine

You know, I would feel a little bit different about all of this if Katherine hadn’t been repeatedly cruel and mean to Jane. For all Katherine claims to worry about being treated fairly while being rich, she sure doesn’t care about fulfilling the stereotype that rich people are utterly gross to anyone they see as beneath them! There was that terrible scene in the Marbella’s restaurant, and here, the confrontation she has with Jane was just cringe-worthy. I know it’s never stated outright, but the fact that she confronted Jane while Jane was on the clock? I bet that was intentional. That way, after baiting Jane, she had insurance. If Jane “misbehaved,” then she could report her to her manager. We already know she’s exactly that kind of person!!!

So, putting aside my immense dislike of her, I could still recognize that this was the worst possible path for Rafael to take. Raf is borderline unlikable throughout nearly every scene in this episode, y’all. He’s so up his own ass! He convinced himself that lying to Katherine would “save” his family! Nevermind that he was already doing things to disrupt the family dynamic. After he made such a huge deal over Mateo accidentally meeting Adam, it was downright hypocritical that he deliberately introduced Mateo to Katherine. And that was all so that he could get her to further believe the lie of the relationship!!! It wasn’t even a genuine thing!!! 

The other aspect of this that was frustrating to watch was that Rafael was so certain he was thinking about the longterm. BUT HE WASN’T. At all! If he HAD been, he would have realized that he had absolutely no plan to extract himself from a romantic relationship once the deal went through. What was he actually intending to do? How long was he going to keep up that facade of love and interest? He was already in too deep, y’all. I saw this as the opposite: Rafael was only thinking of the short-term. As long as the deal was signed, that’s all that mattered. Of course, that’s not the case at all. Once again, I was pleased that Alba played the role she did in this story, and that whole bit about her husband not changing after giving up his wealth? WHEW. THAT WAS A LOT. But it’s true! Having a family and moving to Miami was far more important to him than the legacy of money. Rafael was chasing what he didn’t have any longer. (Which we know is an anxiety of his. Remember that he said he didn’t want Mateo to pinch pennies or grow up without being on a plane until he was 20? Rafael is TERRIFIED of being poor.) So in this case, we have a plot that’s the opposite of what Jane and Xiomara are going through. While they’re struggling to center their own needs, Rafael had to resist NOT centering his own desire for wealth again. 

ALSO: SHE RAN HIM OVER. OH MY GOD. IT SHOULD BE ABUNDANTLY CLEAR NOW THAT SHE IS VERY BAD.

Studios and Photoshoots

Y’all, I genuinely never thought we would ever see Slutty Crystal in the flesh. She’s always been a punchline on this show, an element of Xiomara’s backstory that added humor to the show. AND YET HERE SHE WAS!!! Not only was she Xo’s nemesis from childhood, but it turns out she ran a vocal studio in town… that was also competing with the much more successful studio that was pulling clients away from Xo. Look, I thought it was a good idea for Xo and Crystal to team up and have a joint vocal/dance studio. Seriously! Why not combine forces?

Oh. Because Crystal is a DISASTER. I love the idea that she’s a character who fits a very specific trope: the person from high school who did not change at ALL. As far as I can tell, this is how she’s been the entire time. And oh my god, she should never teach dance to kids??? Thankfully, she doesn’t get the chance to. In order to talk about that, though, I have to address the plot that intersects with this one:

Xiomara is worried about putting everyone else’s needs over her own. 

Again: I LOVE THIS EMOTIONAL DEPTH. It was such a fulfilling story to watch unfold because, like Rogelio, I began to worry that Xo had no interest in being in his kid’s life. Which was her prerogative! I was more concerned about what sort of conflict that would bring up in the future. And like Rogelio, I misread what she was going through. Growth! That’s what she’s doing! Y’all know I love character development a great deal. Here, Xiomara is trying so hard to be aware of her flaws and how they’ve held her back in the past. She knows she has this tendency to put other peoples’ needs before her own, which… I truly am not kidding. I have spent a great deal of time on this very problem in therapy. It is an incredibly hard habit to break, and in my case, it stems from childhood trauma and a core function of my own sense of self esteem. I am learning to value myself first, even when this desire of mine to be nurturing and kind to others is activated like some goddamn superpower. 

At the same time, I don’t want to lose it! I don’t want to close myself off and not be this kind of person anymore. So I understand Xo’s actions so well in hindsight. She was trying her best not to tempt herself, yet at the end of this, she realized that she was holding herself back TOO much. There was a happy middle ground, and even better? Rogelio promised to be there with Xo on this journey. He would help her and support her how SHE needed. That’s a good partnership, y’all. I AM SO HAPPY FOR THEM. I am also glad we got a story that centered more on Xo’s needs post-wedding and post-baby!

The Name

I truly think no other show could get away with naming a newborn Baby Michaelina, but you know what? In the context of Jane the Virgin, it’s oddly endearing. I mean… I foresee some issues when Baby is older, but I’m here for this name. It’s cute!

Luisa’s Plan

So, I don’t think Luisa is going to go through with this plan. Before Anezka interrupted her, I still wasn’t sure it was going to happen. Burning a whole hotel down??? That’s… that’s a big thing. Of course, there’s a whole angle to this revealed in the end: Carl isn’t real. He never has been. So… what the fuck is going on here? Is this like… stress hallucinations? Trauma-induced delusions? I don’t know. I hope the show treats this with care because this shit is very much real, but sometimes, I still feel like the show isn’t quite sure what to do with Luisa. We’ll see.

The video for “Chapter Sixty-Eight” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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