Snark Tank; Recap

Jane the Virgin Chapter 26: Everything's coming up Michael

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Previously on Jane the Virgin: 

Mateo was baptized, Petra was confirmed to be definitely pregnant, and Michael figured out that Sin Rostro was connected to someone named Heidi Von Ocher. Rogelio decides not to hire his ex, Luciana, until she threatens to blackmail him. Finally, Jane decided to go back to grad school! She was so adorable and excited about it that Rafael got all caught up in her cuteness and kissed her! I melted and Petra took a picture, which I’m sure she’ll do nothing devious with.


(source: condestuart )


This week: 

Jane has always defined herself as being good: a good Catholic, a good daughter/granddaughter, a good student, a good girlfriend, and a good friend. Now she has another good thing she is striving for: being a good mother. This week’s episode focused on Jane’s attempt to balance all these different facets of her life.

Jane as: That friend you can always count on 

The episode opens with my most favorite flashback to date: young Jane and young Lina at their elementary Catholic school talent show. At first, it’s just the two girls in cute little dresses, singing a song that you would generally think to find at a Catholic school. They look sweet and wholesome and it only reinforces the fact that Jane has made her career as the perfect, good student. But then the greatest thing happens: they ditch the Sunday school dresses for loud tights and t-shirts and begin a dance routine to Nelly’s greatest hit and my current go-to when it comes to singing karaoke – “Hot in Herre”.



(source: kepnerrrd )

The nuns are horrified, Abuela crosses herself, but Xo and I are absolutely loving it. As a current middle school teacher, I have to say that this dance routine is actually pretty tame and gets a wholehearted thumbs up from me. And honestly, compared to a lot of the hip hop songs that my students are currently listening to, “Hot in Herre” isn’t even all that salacious. If I were Jane’s teacher and she wasn’t already my favorite student, then she would’ve cemented herself as such with this routine.

As it is, her participation in this routine gives her a lifelong friend in Lina. Lina is actually one of my favorite characters in the show who also happens to be criminally underused. I understand that she’s in another, also very successful show, but I hope that TPTB (the powers that be) manage to include her more this season. It’d be nice to see Jane’s friendships with people who she isn’t in love with or related to.

Anyway, after we see this amazing flashback, we come back to present day with Lina and Jane spending time together at an exercise class for new moms. Lina is in a glittery top and mini skirt and I love it. She looks amazing and also gets one of the best lines in the episode when a new mommy asks what her secret is. Her response?

“Birth control.”

We find out that Lina keeps showing up to hangouts with Jane all dressed up because back when Lina threw Jane an awesome baby shower, Jane promised to throw her an amazing 25th birthday party in return. Now Lina’s birthday is a week away and Jane…has nothing planned.

She doesn’t admit this, of course, because she’s always held the title of Really Good Friend, and instead tells Lina that she’s throwing her a themed party! When Lina excitedly asks about the theme, Jane looks around in panic and spies The Great Gatsby in the stroller, which is apparently the book she needs to write an essay about for her World Lit class. It’s a Great Gatsby themed party, Jane throws out, to celebrate your roaring 20’s! Lina is thrilled and Jane looks relieved to have thought of something so quickly, but then looks slightly panicked at the reality of having to plan an awesome birthday party on the fly. I’m mostly left wondering why Jane has to read The Great Gatsby for a college, world lit class.

Jane as: The mom who does it all

In the midst of all this harried party planning, Jane also has to deal with the fallout of her kiss with Rafael aka her baby’s father aka one leg of her love triangle. Rafael texts her and says he wants to kiss her again, badly. Jane texts him back that gritted teeth emoji, which, as she tells Xo, is supposed to relay the message of, “I’m a little overwhelmed right now. And I just had a baby and I’m not ready. And I know that’s not what you want to hear, but I’m sorry, that’s where I’m at.”

“Think he got all that from a gritted teeth emoji?” Xo (and I) ask.

He obviously didn’t because when he comes by to pick up Mateo, he goes in for another kiss…which Jane promptly backs away from.

“Guess I misread the emoji,” he says.

Jane says she just needs time, which I totally get. Rafael responds by saying he understands, and then asking about figuring out custody of Mateo, which I also totally get. Jane looks shocked (what’s the emoji for gut-punch, our Latin narrator asks) but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request. It’s not like he’s asking for full custody. It’s just that Mateo is changing so much everyday and Rafael wants to be a part of his life.

“You are a part of his life!” Jane protests.

“I drop in,” Rafael counters, “but it’s your life with him. It’s your routine. And it doesn’t include me.”

This point is made abundantly clear when, later on, Jane tells Xo that Rafael’s going to take care of Mateo while she’s in school. Xo asks if she’s ok with that, to which Jane says, “I mean, I guess I have to be.” This is a weird question to even ask because Rafael is the father and a mensch, so it’s not like Jane is dropping Mateo off at some shady little daycare. I’m a little irritated that she makes it sound like it’s such an overwhelming burden on her that the father of her child actually wants to be around and help take care of their kid. I know a lot of single mothers who would love even a small amount of that kind devotion from the fathers of their children.

Then, instead of typing up her essay on The Great Gatsby (probably because she’s going to just resurrect one she typed up during her Freshman year of high school, which is what I would do. [Honestly, what college professor assigned this paper?]), she types up a four page document on how to take care of Mateo. Rafael is less than thrilled, which is understandable since Jane is treating him more like a babysitter she picked up on craigslist rather than as the father of their child. She is, in fact, so concerned about Rafael’s inability to take care of Mateo, despite having no evidence to support this belief, that she stops by the hotel to check up on them. She sees that her instructions have been crumpled up and calls Rafael immediately to accuse him of all sorts of dastardly deeds…and promptly accidentally locks herself in a utility closet to avoid being found out.

Jane as: An amazing, flawed woman who’s trying to figure it all out

Of course, Jane’s juggling act comes crashing down on her. She has to come clean to regarding the birthday party that was never planned and is now not to be. Turns out it was so last minute that no one can come. She just wanted Lina to know that she’s still important to her – that her whole life isn’t about Mateo. Lina, however, isn’t having it and walks away while telling Jane that obviously her entire life is about Mateo. It’s a little harsh, I think, considering that a lot of really crazy things have happened (including a kidnapping), but I can also see where Lina is coming from.

Rafael also figures out that she’s been checking up on him and calls her out on it. He’s frustrated because he loves her and wants to be with her. He implores her to think about Mateo.

She’s flabbergasted. Think about Mateo, she cries out. That’s all she can think about! She can’t even write a paper on The Great Gatsby without it evolving into something about Mateo. She didn’t plan her best friend’s birthday party because Mateo is all she can think about. Her boobs literally hurt when she’s away from him. She can’t figure out who she wants to be with because her entire life is about Mateo and she can’t spare a moment to think about what she might want.

She’s crying and I’m crying (and feeling quite bad about judging her behavior regarding Rafael so harshly before). I’m not a mom, but I’ve seen this exact same issue play out with a lot of my friends who have become moms. Gina Rodriguez once again knocks it out of the park with this performance and this whole scene is a reminder of how this show stays so grounded and evocative despite all the kidnappings and face changing villains that are involved.

Rafael apologizes and Jane replies with one of her own. She does want Rafael to be involved and begins with asking Rafael, before asking her mother or Abuela, to take care of Mateo that very night while she goes out to party with Lina and make it up to her for not planning a rocking 25th birthday party. Rafael is thrilled – so thrilled that he suggests keeping lawyers out of the custody issue for right now because he wants to keep the emotion in this whole thing.

Jane then squeezes into a pre-baby party dress. Michael pops by because I guess he’s always just loitering around her house and helps her zip up the dress. He tells her that he knows he shouldn’t be upset about the kiss between her and Rafael (which he knows about because Petra showed him) and that she can kiss whomever she pleases. She says that she should’ve just been honest, since that’s the right thing to do. He then repays her honesty with an honest confession of the fact that he let Nadine go. I suppose I’m supposed to get sexual tension mixed with sweetness out of this whole exchange, but mostly I’m just annoyed that Michael is only decent when he’s losing.

Anyway, Jane goes off to party it up with Lina, who’s pretty pissed at first. But, good friend that she is, she accepts Jane’s apology and the two break out their choreographed dance to “Hot in Herre” on the dance floor as I dub the two #bestfriendgoals. Jane downs like four shots in two minutes and the two bond on the floor of the bathroom, both reveling in the fact that neither are thinking about Mateo at all! She even sits down to write her Gatsby essay on the bathroom floor. Oh Jane, you’re the best.


Michael as: The Worst (Police) Partner Ever…

In other news, Michael gets a new partner named Susanna who’s from Tuscaloosa and also, as we’re told by the onscreen captions, has a whole lot of awards and qualifications to be a kick ass partner to Michael. Michael, of course, is myopically focused on whatever he wants and basically ignores all the help that Susanna tries to offer him. However, when Luisa is released from being a hostage of those random Germans, Michael takes her in for questioning and Susanna turns out to be all sorts of helpful!

 
(source: talesofnorth )

Turns out there’s a tie between the Germans that held Luisa and Sin Rostro that Susanna sussed out and that Michael could’ve known too had he just taken her seriously instead of being, well, Michael. He apologizes and she asks about Nadine…which causes him to get real shifty. Because Susanna looks like she’s actually competent in her job, she reports to Michael’s boss that yep, Michael is definitely hiding something and she’ll figure it out since that’s what she was hired to do.

But the one who has Jane’s heart (for now…)

After Jane hits the club, she goes over to the Marbella to pick up Mateo, only to realize that Mateo is actually at her house because Rafael wanted to save her the trouble of coming over to pick Mateo up. You know who is at the Marbella, though? Michael, of course, because he is literally everywhere that Jane is. They chat a bit and honestly I don’t really know what happens because I was just shrieking the entire time and covering my head because I knew that this was going to happen:

 
 
(source: rhondalyon )

Jane goes home and feels like she’s floating on air. She tells Xo that it was beyond romantic and that it was the best kiss of her life. Suddenly, she says, it was so clear. It’s Michael! She sighs…and then freaks out when she realizes that the baby monitor is on. She rushes out out to the couch that Rafael is sleeping on and breathes a sigh of relief at the fact that he’s sleeping.

EXCEPT HE ISN’T AND HE HEARD THE WHOLE THING.


A quick check-in on the other storylines

  • Apparently the videos that Luciana had were audits from Rogelio’s days as a Scientologist, which means that Rogelio is forced to hire her for Passions of Santos. She takes advantage of that – until she’s forced to sign a NDA in exchange for getting her beloved bunnies back, which Xo and Ro kidnapped.
  • Michael tells Jane and Rafael that Petra still loves Rafael and that if the feelings aren’t mutual, Rafael should let Petra know. Which, he promptly does, because Rafael is a mensch. He also tells her that even though they aren’t together and will never be, she should rejoice in the fact that despite all the doctors saying that she couldn’t have a kid – it happened! She should celebrate that because it’s an amazing thing – with our without him. Without him, specifically.
    “Look, you are smart and tenacious.” He tells her earnestly. “And you deserve someone that’ll really make you happy.”
    “Thank you.” She says, surprised and a little bit touched.
    “Again, not me.” He clarifies.
    “Okay, enough already.” But she says it with an embarrassed smile.
    I don’t want the two of them to get back together, but it’d be really nice if they could have some sort of a friendly relationship. Neither of them really have anyone that’s there for them.
  • Speaking of my favorite femme fetale, Milos shows up and demands that Petra marry him for tax purposes. I really, really hope that this doesn’t happen because I quite like Petra and would like Milos to stay far, far away from her.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO…

Episode MVP: My best friend, Kendra, for being with me in my time of need.

Best VOG line: “Sorry I’m screaming! It’s just so loud in here!.”
Best moment(s) from #Rogeliomybrogelio: “I will take the left side, but only because your left side is far worse, and I want what’s best for the show.”

Number of times I…

Cried: Twice. When Jane gave her speech about not knowing herself any more and when she and Lina danced to “Hot in Herre” at the club. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Nelly repairing friendships.
Had to remind myself that I am giving Michael another chance: Ugh. I don’t wanna talk about it.
Sighed and said, “I love this show”: Every time “Hot in Herre” was played or Lina was onscreen.

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