The Run Up To Jane The Virgin's Housewarming Finds All Its Characters Working On Their Relationships
Including some characters who've never had any relationships with each other before!
Because nothing in poor Jane's life can ever go smoothly -- not even throwing a housewarming party at the first place she's ever lived without her mother and grandmother -- Jane and Michael find out that they're getting turfed out of their new house for not paying their rent for the past two months. Or, rather, for only paying some of it: while they'd thought this whole time that their rent was only $1000, it's actually $2000, and whomever had been making up the difference recently stopped. While Michael and Jane try to figure out who their benefactor might be, literally all the other characters are working on their relationships with LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE: let's check in and see where everyone ends up.
Rafael finds out that his mother was killed in prison at the end of the last episode (which I didn't mention because it was hard to care what with all the virginity getting lost). By the end of the episode, we'll learn that the Bible she was found with -- which Rafael can't explain, since his mother wasn't religious -- contains just four underlined words: "angels"; "guard"; "the"; "sun," or possibly "son," but for now what we get is Rafael's very matter-of-fact conversation with the cops about his mother's death. It's clear to the viewer that Rafael is more exasperated than anything else -- he and his mother weren't close -- so when Luisa, who's also there, breaks in to announce that the conversation is "very painful," he has to tell her it kind of isn't. It turns out that Luisa's the one who's in pain: being present for this discussion is bringing back her memories of telling the police all about her months on Rose's submarine and her conflicted feelings about it. She eventually comes to the realization that what's actually torturing her is her guilt about being a bad sister to Rafael -- particularly that the love of her life definitely killed their father, and also probably killed Rafael's mother -- but as for how she reaches this emotional breakthrough is very special. Keep reading.
Back on the scene is Amanda, the bestselling romance novelist who used to run Jane's writers' group and who also totes boned Rogelio. One of her books is being turned into a Hallmark movie, and if Ro were to get cast in the lead, it would be a huge boost to his efforts to break through the American TV market. Not that he'd go so far as to sleep with her again just to get the part!
JK, he totally would. Unfortunately, he's not going to get the chance: now that she knows Rafael is no longer Jane's boyfriend, she is eager to claim him for her own, and strongly implies that Rogelio could benefit if he can set them up.
Prior to this point, Rogelio has focused all his bro-ffections on Michael, which is why it's fun to see him in a position where he has to cultivate a relationship with Rafael for his own selfish purposes. He even acknowledges Rafael as a fellow heartthrob!
Rogelio has to assure Michael later that he's still #1 in Rogelio's heart, but Rafael and Rogelio make huge strides in their relationship, which will be good if all the narrator's doomsaying amounts to anything.
Jorge is the sweet clerk at the Marbella gift shop who can even charm Alba's crusty old client, Mrs. Cohen. AND SOON MAYBE MORE???
Magda's still in prison...but now she's got at least one friend on the outside -- one too tough to offer a name. And she is very eager that Anezka quit letting herself get distracted by her new love affair with her dreamboat Scott and focus on the plan she and Magda hatched: she's got 72 hours to sell her Marbella shares, hire a good lawyer with the proceeds, and get her out. THE CLOCK, IT TICKS. Magda has always controlled Anezka with psychological warfare; this lady's got two good hands and seems like she's prepared to use them to tear Anezka apart.
Luisa confesses to Rafael that her stress over his mother's murder has her on edge and craving a drink, so she doesn't want to be alone. However, Rafael has let himself be seduced by Rogelio's charm/gift basket offensive and agreed to escort Amanda to a charity event, so he enlists Rogelio to "babysit" Luisa. Rogelio's attempt to distract Luisa with novelas doesn't work, he decides to use his training to get to the root of her pain. Oh, not psychological training; he uses the Meisner technique to get her to express her guilt about Rafael, and the two of them figure out that what's best for her will be to pre-emptively return to rehab. If only American casting directors could see how well Rogelio's using his talents!
Xiomara is still committed to finding a day job, and decides it should be bank teller. Alba sadly tells her she's going to hate working in a bank -- but, remembering how Jane always urged Alba to be gentle with Xo's feelings when the three of them lived together, she backs off and decides to be supportive instead. Alba turns out to be right -- Xo quits the bank after just one day -- and when the two of them discuss it later that night, Alba admits that she didn't want to be totally honest with Xo lest the two of them start fighting the way they used to do before Jane got so (codependently) good at being the buffer between them. Alba knows that Xo has been frustrated in pursuing her singing career, but she doesn't want Xo to settle for a job she hates.
Xiomara reminds Alba that she has her green card now; she doesn't have to stay in a job she hates anymore. By the episode's end, she's quit her job as Mrs. Cohen's home care aide and gone to work at the Marbella's gift shop. Alongside sweet Jorge? HMMMMMM.
Amanda might need a refresher on affirmative consent, because although Rafael is a very gracious escort at her event, he is not picking up what she's putting down. When he meets back up with Rogelio after the date, his Amanda-rejecting ass sadly tells Rogelio he's pretty sure he didn't clinch the role for him. "It doesn't matter," says Rogelio. "You're more important." AW.
Jane and Petra always had a difficult relationship. Now that "Petra" is actually Anezka, things are even worse. Jane finds out from her real estate agent that Petra had been the one who was paying the difference in her rent; she invites "Petra" to dinner at the house, which actually means inviting Petra and Scott. And when Rafael tells Jane about Petra's intention to sell her shares in the Marbella -- something Rafael and Luisa will have to give her their permission to do -- he worries that she's getting blackmailed again, this time by Scott. At dinner, Jane attempts to find out whether "Petra" has ended up in the same predicament again, and since Anezka actually knows what "the Milos situation" means, she's horrified on behalf of Scott, whom she really seems to love. Jane feels guilty about doubting the sincerity of "Petra" and Scott's relationship and finds her at a Marbella party to apologize...at the precise moment Anezka's begging Magda's friend for more time.
A splash fight ensues, after which Jane declares, "That's it: we're out of each other's lives. FOR GOOD." Maybe Anezka realizes that when she's lost Jane, she's past the point where the soft touch is going to work on Rafael, and she blackmails him not just into giving her his permission to sell her shares -- she wants his too, because thanks to Scott, she knows all about the shady shit Rafael did after his father's death to cover up his dirty dealings. Luckily for Rafael, Jane helps him figure out why "Petra" seems like she's off lately: a yelp of surprise at seeing Jane in the hallway at the Marbella gives Anezka away, and finally Rafael and Jane (and probably Michael) can now start trying to get the real Petra back.
In an attempt to boost the Marbella's profile, Scott has come up with all kinds of cost-cutting and promotional ideas that the staff hates -- and for which he'd already extorted Jane's public support in exchange for giving Xo a singing gig last week. However, Lina -- as representative of the rebelling staffers -- goes through back channels to get Jane to try to use her relationship with Rafael and Petra to get them to bring Scott in line...until his dumb Flamingo Friday party gets sold out and the staff is more interested in making mad tips than in staging a walkout. Jane also finds out that the BS "social ambassador" title he tried to give Jane for $1000 a month -- to make up the difference in her rent -- ended up going to Lina instead. But when she and Lina discuss it, Lina reminds Jane that she now has safety nets she never did before, in her son's rich father, and Jane's own rich father. $1000 a month will make a bigger different to Lina than it would have to Jane, if she hadn't refused it on principle. Jane admits that Lina is right, and doesn't begrudge her taking it. I love when these two get to be true friends to each other and would love to see even more of it.
The news that they're losing their rent subsidy finds Jane and Michael facing the second big crisis of their marriage -- you know, after that whole thing where Michael got shot on their wedding night. The two go through their budget and, with some hard cuts, get within $280 of affording what is, for them, effectively double rent, and agree that it's not such a large amount that they'd feel weird asking Rogelio to make it up (particularly knowing how much joy it would give him to help them with it). But the fights start almost immediately: over Jane's discovery of Michael's expensive latte cup in the trash when they'd agreed not to splurge on those; on Jane's purchase of good wine for the big Petra dinner. But when Michael finds out that while Jane had claimed the fees for Mateo's gym when that was always an expense Rafael picked up, Michael confronts Jane over his resentment that Jane padded the budget instead of being honest, and, implicitly, deals with his insecurity about the things Rafael can easily afford but Michael can't. One of the (many) things this show depicts with insight and sensitivity is the difference between Jane's upbringing and Michael's: loving each other enough to work on finding common ground doesn't erase the anxieties she has about money, and from which he was sheltered.
Ultimately, Michael and Jane agree that they'd rather move to a smaller place and not worry about every cent they spend. "We'll move into a one-bedroom," she says. "We only have Mateo half the time!" "Perfect," says Michael. "We'll just move back to a bigger place when we can afford it." "And friends, they really believed that would happen," the narrator tells us. ...Because what's actually going to happen is that Rogelio's going to get famous in America and consequently far more wealthy and buy them a house even bigger than this one, right? RIGHT? (I know. Probably wrong.)