Snark Tank; Recap
Jane the Virgin Chapter 24: Love isn't all champagne and roses
Previously on Jane the Virgin:
After worrying an entire summer over the fate of Mateo, Abuela assured me in the opening scene that everything would be alright. By the 12 minute mark, she’s proven correct when Mateo is successfully rescued and back in the arms of Jane and Rafael.
In other developments, Michael continued his streak of Worst Cop Ever but Guy Who Really Loves Jane, while I begrudgingly resolved to finally give him another chance. Rafael, who looked like he’d spent the entire hiatus working out, attempted to and ultimately succeeded in figuring out his place as Mateo’s father. The wonderful and caring Villanueva women remained the best part of the entire series and the characters most likely to make me cry. Petra literally used a turkey baster to cook up Rafael’s bun in her oven, while Sin Rostro committed more mysterious and nefarious acts.
As a voracious reader of YA fiction and a long-time fan of The WB/CW nightly line up, I’m certainly no stranger to love triangles. And it’s not like I’m an outright hater of them. Mostly I feel about love triangles the way I feel about seeing pictures of Chris Evans on my tumblr dash: I certainly understand the general appeal, but I’m not exactly thrilled with their ubiquity.
In fact, one of my favorite aspects of last season was that the love triangle was portrayed realistically and remained blessedly short. I think there were only a handful of episodes that featured direct tension between Michael and Rafael before Jane officially shut it down with her firm decision making.
However, the season premiere officially welcomed The Love Triangle version 2.0, when Jane told Michael “for reasons unknown” (to her, but known to Michael and the rest of the viewing audience) that Rafael was staying over just as the baby’s father…then also smiled tenderly at said father while telling him that him being there with their child was “regular weird. Good weird.”
But, I decided after last week’s triumphant return from a shaky finale to trust the writers implicitly. And the good news is…I was totally and completely right to do so. Not only was the official return of The Love Triangle handled well in this follow-up episode – it ended up being the best damn part of it.
Introducing: Bachelorette Jane!
This week’s helpful daydream/hallucination was a sequined wearing, perpetually tipsy, champagne-and-rose wielding Jane plucked right out of NBC’s romantic reality series. Now, I’ve never watched a single episode of the actual Bachelorette, but if any of them feature someone as effervescent, charming, and over the top of Bachelorette Jane (you’ll have to tell me in the comments if they do), then I really regret missing out on so much.
(Source: billyxbones tumblr )
Apparently while Rafael has been staying over and shirtlessly bonding with baby Mateo, Michael has made what appears to be daily drop-ins equipped with coffee and that ever-present puppy dog look of adoration in his eyes.
This causes Xo to giddily compare their home to a real-life episode of The Bachelorette. “It’s not like that!” Jane protests. Except that…it kind of is like that. Which is the reason that Bachelorette Jane shimmies her way onto the screen and tells Jane that she needs to figure out who she’ll choose because the entire situation is like a powder keg. Jane tries to insist that there are no teams, but honestly – Xo is firmly on #TeamMichael, while Abuela definitely leans on #TeamRafael. I could not love Abuela any more if I tried.
(source: janegifs tumblr )
Jane is understandably unsure about her decision since, oh, you know, she has other things to think about. However, she and Bachelorette Jane embark on a journey to see who she’ll give the final rose to.
First, you have sweet, dependable, Good Guy Cop (as the Bachelorette-esque caption dubs him) Michael. It’s undeniable that they have history and a strong foundation in friendship. In a series of flashbacks to the beginning of their relationship, we see just how caring and sweet Michael is: from whittling a giraffe on the worst camping trip ever, to comforting her when she told him about undocumented Abuela, it’s clear that Michael is a mensch.
(source: restyourhearteasy tumblr )
“Blah, blah, blah,” Bachelorette Jane says. “It doesn’t matter how he fit into your life, how does he fit into it now, with Mr. Sweetface?”
Admittedly, pretty well. He comes over to install a security system to help her feel safe, knows how to hold a baby, and admits that while he was shocked to find out she was pregnant with a child that wasn’t his, Mateo is now no longer a hypothetical baby and that he’s all in. (As a personal and very biased aside: he very conveniently and irritatingly glosses over the fact that he was an incredibly selfish douchebag for basically the first half of season one. He and Jane both seem to have forgotten this fact but I certainly haven’t and I probably never will).
They have so much history tying them together that they nearly almost repeat their first kiss at the doorway when Michael decides to head home. However, they don’t because Jane has yet to make a real decision and she can’t do that, she tells insistent Bachelorette Jane, until she’s had her one on one with Rafael (what am I saying? She says to herself/her hallucination in wide-eyed disbelief).
Now onto Hunky Hotelier (the Bachelorette’s words, not mine) and baby daddy Rafael. Jane ends up staying over for a night in order to escape her awful neighbors (a subplot featuring Kesha that barely warrants this sentence pointing it out). On the way to his penthouse suite, Bachelorette Jane is rhapsodizing about what they might find waiting for them – a room full of roses, champagne roses, candles everywhere! Except what they find is much, much better: the entire nursery and baby section from Target™!
Bachelorette Jane freaks out a bit (and is also admittedly a little too tipsy), but then asks the real questions: where does he see his life going? What does an ordinary Thursday look like?
Apparently, it looks exactly like this Thursday, with two of them eating spicy waffle fries in their car and discussing the finer attributes of their adorable son as he snoozes in the back seat. Rafael wants that to be his life. He wants a life where eating fast food as a family is the norm, rather than the first time he’s been happy in weeks. He looks deep into Jane’s eyes and tells her that he loves her and that he never stopped loving her. I melt a little bit inside. Jane does too, but also somehow possesses the presence of mind to pull back from a kiss.
(Source: uptownhags tumblr )
Obviously, it really can’t continue on this way. Things comes to a head later on at the Villanueva abode and both men basically ask Jane to make a decision. Except she can’t. Why?
“Because I love both of you!” She cries out. Both men leave rather dejected (as evidenced by their hilarious and amazing Bachelorette-style confessionals), but end up making one last play for her feelings before the end of the episode.
When Jane apologizes for that incident, Michael tells her that he isn’t worried because he knows her better than Rafael does, so he knows that she’s not really in love with Rafael but only in love with the idea of family. Which, ok, I can definitely concede that he knows her better than Rafael does. But it really grates on my nerves for him to tell her what he think she’s actually feeling, as though she’s so wide-eyed and naïve that she can’t figure it out on her own. Then, he follows this statement up with a statement so baffling and, frankly, irritating that I flashback to early season one Michael.
“You’ll figure it out,” he says, “and hopefully I’ll still be around.”
Perhaps if he’s speaking about the fact that nothing is ever certain and we could all die at any moment (as my husband half-heartedly suggested), then this wouldn’t be annoying. But really it sounds rather possessive and somewhat like an ultimatum: make a choice before it’s too late and I get tired of wanting to be with you.
Rafael’s one final play for Jane is to send her an adorable selfie of him, her, and Mateo with the following words:
“I’m fighting for this. I’m all in.”
I remain firmly Team Rafael.
Finally, let’s touch on the minor storylines in jampacked/slightly overly stuffed episode that did not include The Love Triangle and the delightful Bachelorette Jane:
Petra: Purveyor of killer teal dresses and incredibly bad choices
Petra, as usual, wears a ton of amazing dresses and icily orders around people in them. She’s also blackmailed by Scott into successfully getting him promoted and also, we find out by episode’s end, successfully impregnates herself with Rafael’s sperm. She not quite so successful at hiding her pregnancy from Luisa. Rafael chuckles at the thought of the poor sucker that impregnated his scheming ex-wife, until he realizes that he’s the poor sucker.
In order to avoid getting sued for breaking their Vegas contract, Rogelio and Xo agree (albeit kind of by accident) to perform on a cruise ship. During the course of this, the two end up getting back together but still decide to annul their marriage.
On the home front, after having a brief and terrifying run-in with the police over Kesha’s stolen amp, Abuela decides to apply for her green card in the most emotionally affecting part of the entire episode. Her fear as an undocumented immigrant hung over both Xo and Jane’s childhood, she says, and she resolves not to have it hang over Mateo’s. She cried, Jane cried, I cried. Maybe it’s just because I’ve seen family and close family friends go through similar fears and ordeals when it comes to immigration, but also Ivonne Coll kills it every scene and she just played this one perfectly.
And the award goes to…
Episode MVP: Bachelorette Jane, the perfect boozy companion.
Best VOG line: “Never was there sounder advice from a tipsy hallucination.”
Best moment from #Rogeliomybrogelio: “I tend to react very emotionally. It’s one of my greatest strengths and what makes me such a compelling actor.”
Number of times I…
Cried: Once, when Abuela decided to apply for her greencard
Had to remind myself that I am giving Michael another chance: Twice, when he tried to tell Jane what she was actually feeling and then again when he ended his statement with, “and hopefully I’ll still be around.”
Sighed and said, “I love this show”: Every time Bachelorette Jane was onscreen.