Is Jane The Virgin Sending Jane Back Into Rafael's Arms?
Or are we reading too much into her book? Questions abound!
I think it's got to be a lot of fun to work on Jane The Virgin, what with the slippery (yet ultimately kind-hearted) plot twists and goofball situations the actors get to play with straight(ish) faces. But I suspect things get especially fun when the show plays with the characters, like in the Vertigo-themed midseason finale, or this week, when Jane's creative struggle with her book channels the sepia-tinted melodramas of the gold-rush era, complete with Rafael as a robber baron in a dastardly cape, hat, and mustache that just screams for a twirl.
But here's the problem with Jane's melodramatic take on narrative: Even her editor thinks it isn't nuanced enough to sustain a novel, so she repurposes even more of her real life to fix her book's flaws. No big, right? Wrong, as by doing that she unwittingly sets into motion events that could bring down Rafael's arguable legacy. Let's discuss!
Is JTV gearing up to throw us a curveball about Jane's editor?
First, allow me to say for the record that I do not believe that gay men are incapable of being into sports, being "broish," or are in away "unmanly." Nothing could be further from my opinion, or the truth as I know it. So I can't help but feel that the show is setting us up regarding Jeremy Howe, the editor Jane and we meet this week as she begins the hard work of preparing her manuscript for publication.
Here's why: As the show hits the gas on the "Jane is not comfortable with male authority figures" theme, we're ushered into a scenario slapped with a heavy coat of traditional heterosexual male signifiers: an office filled with sports memorabilia, a slang-slinging white dude, and a demand that Jane add to her manuscript, it seemed, some action movie-ish conflict. But surely I am not the only person who thought Jeremy's fratty persona was a bit overplayed, and that he was also dropping a subtly gay vibe.
Here's my prediction: A future episode reminds Jane not to judge a book (ha ha) by its cover, with our heroine's jaw dropping as she spies Howe macking on another dude (please god, a bi-curious Dennis), and the narrator explaining to us that one can be a Dolphins-loving douchebag and be M4M.
Were you as excited to see Raf and Xo almost kiss as I was?
Okay, it wasn't really Raf and Xo, it was their book characters, and Xo was appropriately disgusted when she saw Jane going in that direction. And yet, when we had that moment, did those two have chemistry or what?
Of course, I never want the actual show to go there, because it is way too weird and yucky. But I was surprisingly fine with the book version of the couple, and was pretty bummed when they broke their clinch before locking lips. You go, Xo!
Are we supposed to trust Bruce?
One thing I've learned from JTV is that if something is too good to be true, it's about to prove itself false. And Bruce is way too good this week, basking in Jane and Alba's adoration, helping out in the kitchen, mediating between Xo and Rogelio, and planning a cutesy marriage ambush (sorry, that's my bias -- I am a proposal opponent, but that's my thing, not yours) intended to prove to us that he's an awesome dude.
All this is great, and while I still look askance at a man who I know was not just an adulterer but was mean to Xo, I know that everyone else has had three years to get used to him and I've only had three episodes. So maybe he is just a good guy, after all?
Or is he? Why was Bruce so eager to be Rogelio's lawyer, and why did he seem to head out for a ring so close to when a meeting with "The Jackal" appeared to establish that it's Xo who has the real legal grounds for a juicy case against the Factor Factor producers? Is Bruce setting himself up to get half of Xo's still-speculative winnings on top of his doubtlessly hefty fee?
Hmm, maybe Jane isn't the only one having trouble trusting male authority figures this week.
Why do Petra and Chuck have to like each other?
I'll admit it, I kind of dug Chuck and Petra as a nasty booty call. The phrase "opposites attract" was made for the spur of the moment desk dive and the drunken Monte Carlo night "u up?." But why does it have to turn into a relationship? Why can't it just be a hookup thing?
Maybe it's simple expediency, as if Petra is just in it to win it (the "it" is an orgasm BTW) she won't necessarily feel compelled to admit that she moved the remains formerly known as Scott onto Chesser's property. But, honestly, what do these people have to talk about? It seems like the surest way to kill a good casual encounter situation is with conversation and/or (shudder) dating. The second surest, I guess, is to confess to scooting bones across property lines.
Are Jane and Raf going to get back together? Are we okay with this?
I have been enjoying Jane and Rafael's friendship a great deal in the episodes following the three-year leap forward. It's an easy, respectful camaraderie that we rarely see between telegenic heterosexuals of similar age and opposite gender. I like it so much, in fact, that I'm torn over the possibility that the show is working to get them back together.
I never objected to Jane and Rafael 1.0, as, like Alba, I believe that it made Jane's eventual decision to be with Michael all the greater, and it made sense at that moment in Jane's life. An argument in favor of a 2.0 go-round, in addition to their established mutual respect, is that Rafael is a much different guy now than he was then (I think?), one that's a much better fit for Jane.
And yet, vestiges of the callow Raf still remain, like his endorsement of a "let's move in together" card that he claims a single read of Jane's new pages made him drop. Look, I'm not saying that he should have moved in with Abbey -- if a single rejection sends her on a vengeful raid of Petra's apartment, then to the post office with the spoils, she's a bad apple. Sure, Raf didn't know she was that nasty (a whole other count against him, as you'd think that time in prison would have sharpened his people-assessment instincts), but if Rafael is still fickle and easily swayed enough to end his relationship with Abbey over a desire to recapture some long-ago feeling of infatuation, is he the best guy for a still-fragile Jane?