When will Jane have sex?
Jane The Virgin has gotten a lot of mileage out of this question. It lingered throughout Jane’s romantic relationships with Michael and Rafael in the first two seasons, and even after becoming pregnant and having a child, Jane still held on to her virginity until marriage. Michael getting shot was especially heartbreaking because it happened just before the sex question was about to be answered, and Jane (and the viewers) had to keep waiting during the first few episodes of this season until Michael was well enough to have sex with his new wife. But then they did it, and they kept doing it over and over again.
Jane and Michael had a very active sex life, but when she lost him, she lost her sexual drive. She wasn’t ready to make any sort of romantic connection during her grieving period, but after three years, she’s back in the game and primarily motivated by her desire to have passionate, commitment-free sex. She’s still not fully committed to the idea of a more substantial relationship, but now that she’s actively seeking out sex, there’s more urgency behind the recurring question: When will Jane have sex?
The answer is this week, but it’s not an easy journey to that point. She has to sit through Fabian’s elementary analysis of Fahrenheit 451, have panty-less dinner with his abuela, and suffer through the public humiliation of a televised proclamation of love modeled after Tom Cruise on Oprah. Fabian wants to show Jane that he’s serious about his affection for her, but she doesn’t want serious. Each gesture makes Jane more confident that Fabian is not a person she wants a lasting relationship with, and the key to getting into Fabian’s pants is letting him know that sex is all she’s looking for.
Even with this all this passion, Jane can’t completely abandon her sexual hangups. The flower that symbolized her virginity haunted Jane’s nightmares when she was young, and she’s still haunted by it as an adult that has already had sex. When Fabian decides that he’s willing to have sex with Jane to show how much he cares about her, she immediately becomes anxious about the situation and looks for an escape route. She still feels guilty about having sex outside of marriage, and Xo is the person that helps Jane realize that this is an unreasonable emotion. She already waited until marriage once, and if she wants to have casual sex without a ring, she can do that without making any sort of moral sacrifice.
Jane is also a good person, so I think another reason she turns down Fabian’s advances is because he’s operating under the misconception that Jane wants more from this relationship than what she’s willing to offer. She doesn’t want to lead him on, and she feels guilty about having sex with someone under false pretenses. Unable to continue pretending, Jane finally comes clean to Fabian and tells him that she just wants to have sex with him without any other strings attached, and that forces him to change his view on their situation. He can break his 33-day period of celibacy to have sex with someone that just wants to act on their chemistry, and after one last pep talk from Xo, Jane goes to Fabian’s room and has the steamy sex she’s been desperately craving. Then she leaves. She’s there to hit it and quit it, and once the deed is done, she has no problem leaving Fabian behind. And he’s cool with it, too.
Kathryn VanArendock had a great piece go up today on Vulture about why it’s so great that Jane The Virgin is letting Jane be ravenously, unapologetically horny, and the saga of sexpot Jane ends this week as she finally has sex with the telenovela beefcake she’s had her eyes on. It’s fitting that an episode featuring a big sexual breakthrough for Jane would take inspiration from Sex And The City, and when Jane is asked to write an online column for Cosmopolitan about dating as a 28-year-old widow, she starts envisioning herself as a Latina Carrie Bradshaw. Jane imagines herself in the SATC opening sequence (and actually gets splashed by an oncoming bus), has multiple moments where she sits at her laptop ruminating about the complications of sex and romance, and even has a brunch date with her own personal Samantha (Xo), Miranda (Alba), and Charlotte (Rogelio, complete with his dog Salma Hayek as Elizabeth Taylor). It’s a fun, loving homage to the groundbreaking HBO series, and SATC’s influence made it possible for network shows to have more frank conversations about female sexuality.
It was only a matter of time before Mateo became a player in Jane and Rafael’s will-they/won’t-they relationship, and while the show is still keeping them in platonic territory, Mateo’s sleepy comment about them all living together feels like set up for a future story. Jane and Rafael team up to tell Mateo the complicated story about how he was conceived, and it’s a conversation that forces them to look back at everything they’ve overcome together. Mateo had a very unconventional conception, and despite all the ups and down of the pregnancy, his birth, and the years afterward, Jane and Rafael have stuck together and become best friends. I love the intimacy of this scene, particularly when the parents have an entire conversation through text so they don’t keep Mateo from falling asleep.
The chemistry between Gina Rodriguez and Justin Baldoni is so warm and relaxed, and they feel like a happily married couple. Thankfully, Rafael is still pining for Petra, which keeps him and Jane apart. I’m fine with the two of them getting back together eventually, but I also want to see them as friends for as long as possible, especially when it gives us moments like Jane excitedly calling Rafael to tell him that she just sealed the deal with Fabian. Rafael and Petra are forced to talk about their relationship after Petra listens to Rafael’s heartfelt voicemail, but their conversation is cut short when the police show up at Rafael’s door with new information about Scott’s murder.
The criminal subplots at The Marbella are consistently the least interesting parts of any given episode, and the mystery of who killed Scott is losing momentum each week. Chuck isn’t as dangerous as last episode led us to believe, and he takes Petra somewhere private so he can tell her he loves her, not kill her. He did lie to the cops about his past relationship with Scott, but Chuck didn’t see him on the night of his death. He did meet a woman who gave him a shell bracelet, and after making a deal with the cops, he tells the police exactly what the woman looked like. Petra and Rafael are stunned by who they see, but we’ll have to wait until next week to find out the culprit. The most obvious guess is Eileen/Rose, but that would be really boring so I’m hoping it’s not the case. I’m going to predict that the face looking back at Petra and Rafael is Abbey Whitman, whose whole schtick was being forgettable. Her exit was so abrupt that it felt like a dangling thread, and while it’s predictable to have one of their love interests be a villain, it’s less predictable than making Rose responsible again.
- Alba and Jorge don’t do much this week, but they do have a very sweet scene at the telenovela blessing where Alba tells Jorge that the big reason she loves telenovelas is that they brought her closer to her daughter. Xo and Alba argued a lot, but when they were watching telenovelas, they were together and peaceful and focusing on the same thing. It’s a touching moment that praises the power of media to strengthen personal relationships, and after hearing this story, Jorge and Alba’s relationship reaches a new level when they profess their love for each other.
- Is a telenovela blessing a real thing? It makes for a very funny moment, especially when the priest blesses the giant breasts on the Guillermo poster.
- Xo and Rogelio don’t want to have a big wedding because they fear it will give Jane bad memories of her own wedding, but Jane shuts that down quickly. Her parents getting married is a big deal, and she wants a massive celebration.
- I get that you should go to your child when he needs you, but I wanted to slap Jane for leaving behind a naked Fabian so she could help Mateo get to sleep. Yes, Mateo is Jane’s excuse to leave a situation she’s not comfortable with, but I still wanted her to seize this opportunity to get freaky.
- Speaking of naked Fabian, that cactus shadow really threw me off when it first appeared. I was like, “Damn, they went there.” Alas, it’s just a cactus, which appears as a penis stand-in throughout the scene.
- Fabian pronouncing genre as “gone-ruh” irritates me in a way I didn’t know I could be irritated.
- There’s some really nice physical comedy from Gina Rodriguez when Jane tries to pick up a fork for Fabian’s abuela without flashing her.
- “Did Elon Musk finally return your calls and you guys are getting married in space?” Rogelio: “First of all, Elon Musk always returns my calls after a very tasteful interval, just as one would expect from a very busy man.”
- “Has this widow peaked?” That is a damn good Carrie Bradshaw pun.
- “I’ve gotten over the temporary guilt caused by years of negative sex messaging and I am ready to celebrate that with Fabian. Naked.”
- “If you don’t go have sex with that obscenely hot telenovela star, your mother will never forgive you.”
- “And while someone was spying on Rogelio, across town…Jane only had eyes for Fabian. Sorry, that’s no good. But Sex And The City never had to deal with these drastic tone shifts.”
- “I don’t know what these books are about, but I can tell that this story had a happy ending.”