It was only a matter of time before Jane The Virgin started bringing Jane and Rafael back together. The Jane/Michael/Rafael love triangle was one of the building blocks of the series, and with Michael out of the picture, Jane and Rafael will most likely find their way back to each other. I appreciate the writers resisting the urge to revive this romance too soon after Michael’s death, but with the season finale approaching, it’s the right time for Jane’s feelings for Rafael to bubble up again. It’s good timing for the narrative arc of this season, but it’s horrible timing for Jane, who is stuck in the middle of Rafael and Petra’s relationship in “Chapter Sixty-Three.” She doesn’t want to get involved because she always gets involved and those experiences have taught her to set up some boundaries, but when Rafael and Petra both come to her for help, she can’t resist the pull.
The connecting theme this week is fairy tales and happily ever afters, and just as Jane complicates the happily ever afters in the stories she reads to Mateo, this series complicates Rafael, Petra, and Jane’s current happy state. They have a good thing going right now, and Rafael and Petra getting romantically involved puts their currently healthy relationship in jeopardy. Rafael wants Jane to tell Petra they should get back together, but she doesn’t agree with him. She thinks they’re terrible, volatile, and mean as a couple, and Petra has the same fears, even though she’s done most of the awful things in their relationship (sleeping with his best friend, accusing him of domestic abuse, and inseminating herself with his sperm but without his consent).
With Jane’s support, Petra decides to turn down Rafael’s proposition, but there are still more complications to come. After seeing their kids’ classroom performance of Cinderella, Jane has a realization about why she doesn’t want Rafael and Petra back together. Rafael, Petra, and the twins are a fairy tale royal family, leaving Jane and Mateo as the despondent peasants hungry for affection from the father that abandons them. She doesn’t want Rafael romantically (yet), but she wants that family unit that he’s trying to rebuild with Petra. A drunken conversation with her mother gives Jane some perspective, and after even more drinks, she chooses to get over her personal feelings and help Rafael and Petra get back together.
And that’s when Jane’s heart lights up again. She tells Rafael about why she sabotaged him and Petra, and he responds by reassuring Jane that when he thinks of family, he thinks of her and Mateo. He loves Jane “so much,” and hearing those words come out of Rafael is the exact spark Jane needed to reignite her own romantic feelings. (It doesn’t help that all the alcohol has made her very flammable.) Her own desire for Rafael is back, but she’s on a mission to reunite him with Petra and she’s not going to let her emotions get in the way again. Jane succeeds, but now she’ll have to deal with the new stress of tempering her own burgeoning feelings for Rafael.
The entire drunk Jane sequence is outstanding, beginning with her and Xo bonding over why they’re not in the mood for a bachelorette party. The performances are convincingly wasted and Paul Sciarrotta’s script uses the emotional frankness of inebriation to create some really touching moments for the mother and daughter. The ghost of Michael looms large in this interaction, and the memory of the happily ever after he had with Jane is painful, yet cherished by both of them. Jane acknowledges that she had her fairy tale moment so that it doesn’t look like she’s hurt by the one her parents are having, and Xo remembers Jane’s happiness during that time and wants her to have that again. You can sense all that emotional baggage weighing them down in this scene, which makes the burst of humor via stripper all the more effective at the end. Getting drunk and enjoying a private stripper show together reinforces Xo’s claim that Jane is her best friend, and I love seeing how the mother/daughter and best friend dynamics intersect.
Xo points out that Jane is used to being at the center of big events, and we see this throughout the episode. When she’s asked to be the Maid of Honor for her parents’ wedding, she immediately starts taking on extra responsibility so that she can play an active part. This isn’t selfish. She’s not craving the attention—although I’m sure she appreciates the praise for a job well done—she’s doing this because she loves to help people and she wants to do everything she can to make her parents’ wedding a success. But as I mentioned earlier, Jane keeps discovering the downside of getting involved, and this week isn’t an exception.
Jane costs her parents their wedding planners when she disagrees with their critique that Xo is too old for a princess wedding, and tries to make up for it by taking on the wedding planning duties herself. She runs into a hiccup when she can’t get the white horses Xo wants for her carriage, but when she finds out Fabian has an equine connection, Jane tries to use Fabian to get the horses. Alba is firmly against this plan, which blows up in Jane’s face when Rogelio accidentally reveals to Fabian that Jane was planning on breaking up with him. Fabian is rightfully hurt by this, but he acts in a completely immature way, holding up rehearsal to get back at his costar and his duplicitous daughter.
Things are already going badly and then Fabian calls Jane a “heartless slut,” sending everything off the rails as Rogelio vows to fight to protect his daughter’s honor. Having the entire crew gathered in a circle excitedly waiting for fisticuffs is a hilarious visual, and it adds an extra layer of embarrassment as Jane is forced to air all of her dirty laundry to stop the fight from breaking out. She consoles Fabian by telling him that their fling wasn’t meaningless because he’s the only person she’s slept with other than her dead husband, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to throw a punch when Rogelio offers a handshake to smooth things over. Jane’s boxing instincts kick in and she punches Fabian in the face, breaking his nose and firmly closing the door on their relationship, which was never to evolve into anything deeper anyway.
Another telenovela plot is wrapping up at The Marbella. Surprising no one, the woman Chuck Chesser met on the night of Scott’s death was Eileen/Rose, and I’m hoping that this episode’s conclusion with the police arresting Rose leads to the door being firmly closed on the Sin Rostro storyline. I’d enjoy this plot more if Luisa and Rose were more prominent players in this series, but they’re a device used to add telenovela intrigue rather than a fully developed couple. There’s a lot to explore in their extremely toxic relationship, but the writers are only scratching the surface. If Sin Rostro is going to be a presence for this entire series, I want to see more time spent exploring that character, the woman who loves her, and why they’ve been together for years.
- Rafael lying to his sister about his cancer coming back to lure her out of hiding is a vicious move, but Luisa is still dating the woman that kidnapped his son hours after being born so I can’t feel bad for her.
- Jean and Luc are the typical gay wedding planner caricature, only doubled.
- The growing nose is such a great indicator of dishonesty because you can visualize the size of each lie being told.
- The giant sandwich is my favorite stupid Los Viajes De Guillermo green screen effect that we’ve seen thus far. I want even more.
- I am always down for a character being chased by a flock of birds.
- “But you know what wasn’t tiny? Rogelio’s happiness…”
- “We are all slaves to the television schedule.” Cue the CW chiron announcing the Jane The Virgin season finale.
- “There’s got to be something between a priest and Ricky Martin?” That something is Jane Gloriana Villanueva, who is asked to officiate her parents’ wedding at the end of the episode.
- Jane: “It’s not every day that my parents get married.” Narrator: “True! This is only their second marriage and third engagement.”
- “This is way too much food! The Earl Of Sandwich is a madman! Who would add a second piece of bread on top?”
- Jane: “I tried to use Fabian for his horses, and now he’s taking it out on dad!” Narrator: “A tale as old as time.”
- “Oh wow, they’re really wasted.”
- “In a twist of fate, or timing, or storytelling.”