Snark Tank; Recap

Jane the Virgin Chapter 29: The Curse of the Solanos

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Previously on Jane the Virgin: 

We sped through five months of Jane’s life and got to see the ups and downs of motherhood + grad school-hood (is that a word?). There were a few bumps along the way and a lot of speeding through plot, but a lot of character development. We see Michael a total of two times in the episode and I couldn’t have been happier. Jane and Petra became kind of, sort of friends. Jane and Rafael reconnecedt after five months of co-parenting their son and she agreed to a date with him. Rogelio remained Rogelio.


What are you thankful for?
(source: uptownhags tumblr)

 


This week:

Last week’s episode went through five months of potential plot points in order to really develop characters and character relationships. What could’ve just been a glorified clip show was instead heartfelt, solid character development that will likely end up as one of the best episodes of the season. In perhaps an attempt to balance out the two elements a little bit, this week’s episode went more plot heavy and skimped on the character development. There was a lot of focus on things that I generally find boring (Sin Rostro/Michael’s “detective work”) and less time for the things I enjoy (the relationship building between all the characters). It was, in my opinion, a wholly less successful endeavor than the previous episode.

Rogelio: Still wealthy (just not as wealthy), but this recapper remains disappointed that she never got to see Los Hombres Locos

Turns out that the studio execs did not love Los Hombres Locos (which is tragic for us all), Rogelio’s idea for a telenovela version of Mad Men. To further rub salt into the wound, we find out that Rogelio invested all of his money into his passion project. He’ll still have his retirement, thanks to his financial adviser, but he no longer has 50,000 paychecks coming every month to support his lavish lifestyle. The Villanueva women get started on helping Rogelio downsize. The first thing to go? New Pants Wednesday. Rogelio balks.

It’s a perfect antidote to the mid-week blahs!

The ladies suggest a smaller car, less spending on Hermes scarves, and an adorable, one bedroom condo. Rogelio is incensed at the very idea of it. At first, Jane thinks it’s just Rogelio being fussy and grandiose as usual. But when she confronts him about it, he tells her that he’s already been there before – broke, miserable, eating ramen noodles in his crappy one bedroom apartment. He’s worked too hard to go back to that place again. He decides then to take on a project that leaves him passionless but gives him a paycheck so he can continue on with his lifestyle. In the midst of all this, Xo hears from the network that they want to use her song from Rogelio’s now defunct Los Hombres – only they want to use it for Esteban, Rogelio’s archnemesis’ new show. Xo is beyond thrilled, but Rogelio is suspicious that Esteban is just doing this to mess with him.

Only…it’s not about Rogelio at all, which he finds out when he confronts Esteban – who had no idea that the song was Xo’s but now that he knows, he’s not going to use it. Rogelio feels terrible. He’s screwed things up for his lovely girlfriend and he has to star in a show that basically a rehash of all his previous shows. He has an epiphany though on the day his new show is set to start shooting. His whole family shows up – even Xo, who’s still mad at him – to support him. He realizes that he’ll never be back to that sad, lonely place in his life because now he has the Villanueva women. With that, he literally rides off the set on horseback so that he can go and make a literal fool of himself on Esteban’s show by playing a jester, just so Esteban will agree to use Xo’s song again. He doesn’t tell this to Xo when she finds out that the network is going to use her song again, but I have a feeling that she has an inkling.

Of course I had nothing to do with it! #acting

Rogelio likewise decides to drop the telenovela and wait for something that will really appeal to him. In the meantime, he moves into a smaller place and perhaps makes New Pants Wednesday a bi-monthly affair instead.

Petra: Still not Jane’s friend (unfortunately), but this recapper remains hopeful!

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for a real Jane and Petra friendship, which were further buoyed this week when Petra made an adorably awkward friend-date call to Jane.

 
 
 
Petra x Jane: my new OTP
(source: kepnerrrd)

Honestly at this point, forget Rafael and Michael – Jane and Petra is the relationship we all deserve (just kidding. #TeamRafael RIDE OR DIE). Jane needs a friend who isn’t in love with her, isn’t related to her, and isn’t currently on another wildly successful television show. Petra needs someone who isn’t terrible to her, related to her or both. Unfortunately, as always, Petra terrible mother gets in the way of any healthy relationship that Petra might have because she is the actual worst character on this show.

The show decides to quickly rehash an old plotline with Ivan, only instead of him being held hostage, he’s rotting in Magda and Petra’s room. Shenanigans ensue! Weekend at Bernie’s references are made! In a last ditch effort to distract Jane from the fact that Magda is wheeling out a dead man from the bushes in a wheelchair, Petra tells Jane that she doesn’t really want to be friends – she was just making it up because she felt bad. Jane scoffs at her and turns away. Petra looks heartbroken.

 
Don’t worry, Petra. Your time with Jane will come!
(source: rootsmachine)

And honestly? I am too. And also a little bit irritated at the writers. That honestly couldn’t be the only thing you could’ve given Petra to say to distract Jane. It seemed like a feeble, lazy way to throw a wrench into their burgeoning friendship, though what the use would be for that is beyond me. But, I’ll trust the writers and am confident that real friendship is on the way between these two. They’ve invested too much making Petra sympathetic and likable. Also, I just need more Petra in my life.

Michael: STILL NOT FIRED (or in jail), and this recapper remains exasperated

So, Michael. Not really fired!

michael
If I were a billionaire, I’d offer Michael a starring role in the next ten Marvel movies. That way he’d have a wonderful movie career (which he deserves) and his character would definitely get killed off. Everyone wins!
(source: my twitter account)

Even after breaking scores of laws, going against established legal proceedings, and making loads of morally dubious decisions, Michael remains on the police force. He’s actually been undercover for the police force for the past five months that we were blissfully unaware of his whereabouts. During this time, Nadine took a bullet for him and died and his more competent, current partner pieced together whatever intel and clues he scrounged up into an actual worthwhile lead and conclusion because she seems like she’s an actual detective who takes her job seriously.

 

 
(source: jane gifs)

Jane: Still adorable even when squeezing prospective adviser’s boobs…

Another person who takes her job seriously? Jane, who’s on the hunt for her grad adviser. She has her sights set on Dr. Lorraine Bolton (no relation to Michael Bolton), author of the The New York Times bestseller 12 Things Romy Did Before Dying and inspirational TED Talk speaker with two million hits. Jane goes to a grad school mixer with five ‘spontaneous’ anecdotes that she can slip into a conversation with Dr. Bolton that will make her believe that Jane is someone she should advise. Unfortunately, Jane has one too many postpartum drinks and accidentally paws at Dr. Bolton.



(source: talesofnorth)

She recovers later by visiting Dr. Bolton in her office and bonding with her over new motherhood. Dr. Bolton doesn’t immediately agree to be Jane’s advisor, but she does offer to review and give suggestions to Jane’s writing. Unfortunately, Dr. Bolton’s suggestions are all vague things like – “turn up the volume!” and “make me gasp!” – which are not pointed and direct enough for Jane…or, honestly, for anyone really. Jane realizes that Dr. Bolton is not the adviser for her. Instead, the one person at grad school that’s going to make her a better writer is Professor Chavez, the guy she referred to as:

Like the description is really all that incorrect? C’mon, professor.

This is the guy whose pen bleeds all over Jane’s writing by offering her very targeted, specific suggestions and directions for her writing. He initially tuns down her request to be her adviser, half because he knows she calls him His Holiness the Lord Emperor of Smug Condescension and half because she’s been kind of a bad student throughout his class. But, when she signs up to take his class again, he relents and says he’d rather see her once a week as an advise than three times a week as her teacher. I’m happy for her, but also very much in fear that this youngish, rather good looking professor is going to be yet another love interest which I am totally NOT here for. As a teacher myself, teacher-student type of stories kind of squick me out.

Jane: Still on the hunt for the love of her life, while this recapper becomes perplexed and subdued.

Things are going swimmingly in the Jane and Rafael department, at first. Rafael gets invited to Black Friday shopping with the Villanueva women where he looks super confused the entire time, as would be fitting for a man worth $40 million dollars who I’m sure has never shopped for sales before.   Xo and Raf seem to be getting along well, even managing to convince Jane to hire a babysitter for when everyone is stretched a little too thin. And even though Jane is a total control freak who scares away the prospective baby sitter by going through 83 minutes of precise instructions on how to take care of Mateo, she and Rafael finally get to go on their date when Jane relents and apologizes to the harried and very competent looking nanny.

Everything is going well on the date, especially when Rafael drives Jane to a beautiful house with an actual white picket fence in the front yard. It’s halfway between the hotel and her house, and even though he’d never ask her to move in (until they’re married…) he still wants to know her opinion on it. She smiles that radiant Jane smile of hers and says she loves it. They’re about to kiss when Jane gets a text with a link to an expose on the Solanos, which cuts their romantic interlude short.

Turns out Wesley from Jane’s MFA class was pumping her for information so that he could write an expose. Rafael takes it all in stride and is not even the slightest annoyed with Jane for gossiping about his family’s secrets and goes to call his very expensive lawyer, I’m sure, to slap a defamation lawsuit on Wesley. Back at Rafael’s apartment, Jane goes to check the nanny cam and finds out that Rafael did indeed have a hand in Michael’s (not) firing. Turns out he paid Nadine’s friend to expose THE TRUTH about Michael. Jane is super pissed, as she should be, but I become immediately frustrated when she seems more upset by the fact that his truth telling got Michael fired than the fact that Rafael guilt tripped her pretty hard about thinking he was the one who turned Michael in.

For the record: what Rafael did was super shady and underhanded, but only because he didn’t turn in Michael himself and pretended like he had nothing to do with it. He should’ve just done it himself, rather than paying someone else off and lying to Jane about it and making her feel guilty. That’s super messed up. On the other hand, Michael deserves to be fired. I know it, you know it, any one with a modicum of respect for the police force knows it. The dude has broken a ridiculous amount of laws and made highly questionable/morally dubious choices while on the police force. The only reason he was able to go undercover is because he’s been so shady and ridiculous while on this case!

*Deep breath* Anyway, Jane is pissed – rightfully so, though for the wrong reason – and storms out of Rafael’s place and perhaps out of his life.


And the award goes to…

Episode MVP: Rogelio, for sacrificing himself of the alter of love by playing a jester
Best VOG line: He’s right. That’s just clumsy storytelling. Now, to the police station! – I’m happy the writers acknowledged it!
Best moment(s) from #Rogeliomybrogelio: Describing the pilot we’ll never know: “But instead of cigarettes, the cigarette carton is filled with cocaine. Then, Rogelito starts to snort the cocaine when, BAM, Don Juan Draper shoots him in the head. Then, he turns coolly to the camera, and says, ‘I’d like to sell the world some coke.'”

Number of times I…

Cried: Almost once – in frustration when I found out Michael hadn’t been fired
Sighed and said, “I love this show”: Not once, actually. This might end up being one of my least favorite episodes so far. Still head and shoulders above most things on TV though.

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