In the eleventh episode of the fifth season of Jane the Virgin, Jane and Rafael attempt structure with Mateo; River goes too far; Petra tries to redesign her life; Jorge moves in. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of consent, trauma, cancer.
So, I definitely have no real experience here at all when it comes to either having ADHD or being a parent. I can’t speak to the accuracy of anything beyond saying that I recognize some of what I saw here because I know parents like Jane and Rafael, but that’s all. Again, not much of this is centered on what Mateo is experiencing, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that as we discuss this episode. This is about how Jane and Rafael deal with their attempt to give Mateo structure. What does that structure look like? How does it affect each of their daily lives? That’s… well, it’s a complicated answer, right? Sometimes, it seems like things are working better for Mateo, and then sometimes, he gets overwhelmed and melts down. Like Jane notes multiple times throughout this, this is something that she and Rafael have to invest in over a long period of time. Mateo isn’t going to adapt to new patterns or behaviors overnight.
The same goes for his parents, too! And that makes this challenging because both of them are also trying to adapt to new routines: running to school in the morning. Healthier foods. Limits on screen times. They’re coordinating all of this while working on their own problems in their life. But for what it’s worth? Jane and Rafael are trying. Virtually no part of this entire plot is dedicated to these two bickering with one another, or even disagreeing all that much. Unlike recent episodes, they’ve actually managed to sync their parenting in an impressive (and frankly, relieving) way. Of course, it still stings, seeing them interact so positively while knowing that there is no real sign they’ll ever get back together. Rafael is dating again, y’all. Which is his prerogative! He’s moved on, and Jane needs to as well. She can’t keep waiting around for something that probably isn’t going to ever happen.
Still, it’s nice to see them get along. Truly! If they can’t be a romantic couple, they can be fantastic parents, and they really seem like they’re doing their best with Mateo.
Oh, Petra. I fully understand what she meant when she told Jane that she felt powerless and out of control, and it made so much sense to me that she channeled all of this into a pointless renovation of the Marbella. Petra is trying to move on from JR, but it’s still possible to want to move on—a healthy reaction to a break-up—and end up doing something that’s toxic or harmful to one’s self. It’s a difficult situation, sure, since it’s understandable that the entire hotel reminds Petra of JR. But to ruin yourself and your business financially in order to escape someone? It’s unlike Petra in that sense, but sometimes, traumatic events or break-ups can cause people to behave counter to their nature.
This plot isn’t without some positives, though. Petra may have made some missteps, but there are some wonderful strides forward! With Jane’s help, Petra makes a vital choice and returns the engagement ring she bought. That’s massively relieving to her! However, I was much more interested in Petra rekindling a professional relationship with Krishna. (Who, I must note, did not die. I WILL MAKE FUN OF MYSELF FOREVER FOR THINKING THIS.) It intrigues me because I want to see if Petra can actually change in a significant way when it comes to dealing with her employees. I thought that perhaps she might actually do so post-Krishna, but she’s still snappy and mean with all her assistants. She might not personally insult them in quite the same way, but it’s there in her tone and how she views those who work “underneath” her.
Clearly, Krishna is at a point in her life where she’s able to stand up to Petra and demand what she is worth. But does that also mean the writers will have her stand up to Petra’s inappropriate behavior as a boss? Or will Petra resist treating Krishna like she used to?
Living alone in a pandemic presents a whole new set of challenges to me, mainly in that I am an extrovert forced into being a perpetual introvert. Some days, that is very, very hard, but in the end, I actually prefer living alone. I’m generally pretty good at cohabiting with another person because I’ve had to do so for such a long time; the majority of my life, I’ve lived with other people. It’s always an adjustment with a new person, too. What are their habits? Their quirks? Their internal rhythms and clocks? I admit I also like cohabiting with someone I’m in a romantic relationship with, as long as I’m able to get some space and time to myself. (I might be an extrovert, but I do need my own time separate from that person.) So I actually see both perspectives here! I get why this was so challenging for Jane, who was being asked to change so much for Jorge. But I also see why both Jorge and Alba were hurt by Jane, too. (Though I feel like one part of this went unaddressed: Most of what Jane was asking for was to help with Mateo when Mateo was around.)
Jane is a deeply judgmental person. We know that. It’s part of her characterization. And on the surface, it seemed as if Jorge was treating Alba badly, when the truth was that Jorge and Alba were settling into routines of care and desire that Jane couldn’t recognize. She only saw one side of it, and she certainly didn’t consider if Alba derived joy from what she was experiencing.
Still, I think Jane moving out to be on her own is a good thing. She needs her own space to be more controlling in a way that makes her happy. Again, I get it! I have very, very particular ways of living. I like a lot of organization. (Turns out that clutter/messiness is a huge trigger for my anxiety. Only took me until my mid 20s to find that out, lmaoooo.) So I think this will give Jane more structure of her own, and that can only be good for her and Mateo.
Wow, I… I genuinely didn’t see this coming?
First things first: XIOMARA IS CANCER FREE!!!! Oh my god, I’m so relieved. I loved that this episode then moved into Xo’s notion of normalcy. She wants to return to her “normal” life, but what exactly does that mean?
Well, we get an example of one element of normalcy here, but holy shit, what a surprising one. Again: I never once thought that River Fields had any romantic or sexual feelings for Rogelio. Did I miss the signs or was this as sudden of a revelation as it seemed to be??? Regardless… holy shit. This was bad. IN EVERY WAY. I was shocked by River kissing him, and I was shocked by Xo’s confrontation of her on set, and THEN I WAS SHOCKED WHEN RIVER DOUBLED DOWN. Oh my god, what the fuck is happening? Is this… oh god, is River about to engage in some creepy stalker shit? I’m also now realizing that Rogelio has had a lot of toxic co-stars, though to be fair, he’s often the toxic co-star himself. WHEW. Still, this is… oh my god.
I’m glad that there was a silver lining, though: Xo and Ro rekindling emotions and sexual energy again! They’ve found some “normalcy,” like… arguing? I know it seems strange, but you know what? I’m happy that they argued, because it led to such a good place. But what now? What the hell is River going to do next???
The video for “Chapter Ninety-Two” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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