Is Jane The Virgin Falling Back In Love With Rafael?
And other not-quite-burning questions from this season's penultimate episode!
What?!? How can we be this close to the end of this season of Jane The Virgin? Doesn't it seem like we just made our three-year leap, and now we have to say goodbye? This seems cruel and unfair -- but not as cruel and unfair as the new romantic turn the show sets up this week (albeit one we have all been predicting), right before they end the season seven days from now.
If this was a normal show, this week's episode would be when the writers start to wrap things up, but as we're frequently reminded, this is a telenovela. Therefore, even more questions get raised as we hurtle toward the cliff that is the extremely elaborate, time-sensitive, and meta season finale wedding of Xo and Ro.
Let's tackle a few!
Why aren't Xo and Ro saddling some reality show with their wedding details?
It hasn't been that long since Xiomara was drubbed as a villain on The De La Vega Factor Factor, so it seems like the news that the then-estranged couple are now preparing to wed is ratings gold! I know Xo was not a fan of the show or how it treated her, but if she truly wants this questionable fairy tale extravaganza, doesn't it seem like the best way to get it is to rope in that (or another) reality show production company to make it happen instead of a priss-stereotype of a wedding planning duo or an inexperienced Jane?
As I am now an expert on reality TV based on my consumption of UnREAL and Making The Sausage's recent episode on the topic, I am here to tell you that if anyone could pull together a full-on Disney production in the two-week window required, it's a reality TV crew. And that way, not only would the wedding be free, but Xo and Ro would make some extra cash...something Rogelio might soon need, if he's ducking out of work to take Xo for a carriage ride.
I'm just saying, if Rachel Goldberg had been on the case, those would be full-size horses.
Did Fabian deserve that punch in the kisser?
What is worse, ghosting a hookup then using him for his horse connection, or a man calling a woman he slept with a slut? While I've got two jerky knees that say "uh, the slut thing," for the sake of argument I'll consider both sides.
It's a nice reversal to see the traditional roles of needy woman and distant man reversed, and it's a good opportunity to soul search, too. If this were a show where a bro was dissing a woman like this, it would be called Ballers and I'd just fast-forward to the parts with the Rock (oh, and that part in the credits with the dogs on the treadmill. I always watch that) with the excuse that the rest of the show is misogynistic garbage. But when it's my dear feminist pal Jane, suddenly I'm all "ew, cling less, pal!" and I'm cringing along with her when Fabian calls. It's a great nudge at my -- and, perhaps, at our? -- gender hypocrisy, and I seriously appreciate it!
After all, no one deserves to swap spit one day, and be ignored the next. It's weak and unkind, and as understandable as it is, it's beneath Jane. Then Jane takes the situation from ghosting to a flat-out haunting, by using Fab for his horse connections and pretending that she hadn't been ignoring him after all.
I suppose we can defend all this by saying that it wasn't premeditated, as Jane only thought of the horse thing when she was caught in Fabian's dressing room. And perhaps it's a testament to how desperately she wants her parents to have the wedding that they want that she's willing to sell herself out with Fabian, at least temporarily.
Still, for all his goofiness, Fabian is a human being with feelings, and it's cruel to ignore that in service of an equine accent. So when Jane was found out, I do think she deserved this:
I'm less clear on why Fabian thought feigning unprofessionalism would would be a fitting revenge, as it seems like that would just make him look bad, and would inconvenience his co-workers more than it would Jane. But perhaps that was all a contrivance to get Jane to set, so Fabian could say this:
There was a time when the word "slut" was a commonly used one on nighttime soaps like (arguably) Jane:
But we used to say a lot of words we don't anymore, right? "Slut" has become a loaded term, something that I'm sure has not escaped the fairly woke writers' room of JTV. So it's a conscious decision to use the insult, a word that angers Rogelio so much he demands Fabian fight him to defend Jane's honor...I guess, as part of the overall fairytale theme of the episode?
Jane ends up apologizing to Fabian for how she treated him, but Fabian still winds up to hit Ro, which is when Jane (on instinct, she says) punches him square in the face.
But was it instinct? I kind of hope not, as even after hashing all this out I still believe that Fabian's butt-hurt slut-shaming crossed the line. We can all tell people off without resorting to (racial, religious, gendered) degradation, and that that was Fab's go-to says something very specific about his character -- and it's that slur-using piece of him, in my opinion, that might benefit from a nice punch.
Will Luisa finally get what's coming to her?
I've complained about Luisa's fecklessness before, so I won't repeat myself. So now I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that she'll face some consequences for her now-unmasked relationship with Rose.
It's kind of funny that the cops just thought they were luring Eileen back to Miami on the (pretty slender, if you ask me) suspicion that she had a hand in Scott's (presumed) death. And instead they got Sin Rosario!
What I don't get is why Rose, the presumed brilliant criminal mastermind, would be soliciting alcohol on the beach shortly after discarding Scott's (I'm not going to keep writing "presumed," just know that I'm skeptical about his actual death) remains? Was this an attempted distraction maneuver on Rose's part? Or was the mysterious woman, perhaps, the real Eileen?
Maybe the real question is why Rose keeps coming back to Miami with Luisa. Are they really so desperately in love that they can't be apart for a few days? Why can't Rose stay in those gorgeous Sheltering Sky-looking lodgings while Luisa goes to help Rafael with his pretend cancer? You're both grown-ass women, you can take separate vacations.
Is this bachelor/bachelorette party that bad?
Given the ever-shrinking social circle of JTV's main characters, I was wondering just who we'd see at Xo and Ro's stag party. As it turns out, no one -- Ro was stuck on set, so Xo canceled the party in an apparent snit. Which left her and Jane to polish off the bar.
Not that I'm complaining! It was a lot of fun watching Jane and Xiomara get wasted and talk, and as I was watching this on Mother's Day, Xo's announcement that she gave birth to her best friend seemed especially holiday-appropriate. It was a sweet scene, and a good reminder of how Jane's unconventional relationship with her mom likely set her up perfectly for her unconventional family as an adult. And speaking of...
Is Jane falling back in love with Rafael?
Actually, the question I should be asking is "Why isn't Rafael falling back in love with Jane?" Because I think we all saw this:
I have a vague memory of some young and virginal Franciscan philosophy prof attributing the concept of love as choosing the best for another person even if it harms you to Thomas Aquinas, a guy who probably wouldn't have shied away from calling Jane a slut either. But despite the questionable nature of both sources, that's stuck with me over the years as a check-myself point in romantic relationships -- if I can't get past my (formidable!) selfishness to care for my partner, do I really love him in the first place? In many cases, that answer was "no," but when I could really say "yes" I headed to the checkout.
I thought of that (unconfirmed, as Google isn't serving me as much religious philosophy as you might expect) Aquinas paraphrasal when an intoxicated Jane was babbling to Rafael about the worthwhile risk of love and realized, it appears, that she was talking about her feelings for Raf as much as she was about the potential he and Petra have. But instead of manipulating the situation to her benefit, the suddenly love-stricken Jane instead worked to being the two together, because she believed that that was the best for the formerly married couple.
Not to dismiss Jane's selfless and loving act, but is it, though? Now, we never knew the Rafael and Petra who fell in love before the show began, but when we met them Petra was cheating on Rafael and he was silently miserable. I'm sure we can all think of multitudes of nasty things she's done without a second thought since then! Look, I like Petra fine, but she's damaged goods, and I just don't think she's capable of happiness or true, consistent kindness. She's also repeatedly said she has doubts about the potential success of a relationship with Rafael, which, isn't this pretty much the textbook example of when it's smart to listen to your gut?
Then again, maybe I'm also still feeling a little bit stung by the Silence Of The Lambs misdirection the show just served me. I've never been unhappier to see Xo and Ro than when Jane opened the door after Rafael said "I'm here." Seriously, I nearly threw the cat across the room, I was so shattered. And that's when, Jane-like, I realized I'd gone from thinking a relationship between the two was a rotten idea to cherishing it as my fondest desire. Insert photo of my heart glowing here!