Jane the Virgin: Family Matters...and Curses

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Previously on Jane the Virgin:

  • Jane and Michael are getting married! Here’s hoping that a love triangle doesn’t block their way down the aisle.
  • Petra gave birth to twins Ana and Elsa. She honestly doesn’t get the “Frozen” reference. I’d advise everyone to just “Let it Go”.
  • Rogelio’s been kidnapped by Paola, his crazy assistant who turned out to be his crazy prison pen pal
  • Xiomara invited Pablo, Alba’s first love, to visit Casa Villanueva but Alba swears he is cursed
  • Since Jane dated Professor Chavez, she has to get a new grad school adviser
  • Oh yeah, Rafael is meeting up with his half-brother Derek to track down his drug lord mother Elena. I don’t know. I was never very invested in these drug subplots.

Get it? Got it? No? Too bad. We’re diving headfirst into telenovela land.

The Latin Narrator explains that Alba has always superstitious. At one point, she scolded young Jane for stepping in front of the broom as Alba swept, saying that Jane would never get married if her feet were swept over. It’s a silly superstition and Jane dismissed it then, just like she and Xiomara dismiss Alba’s insistence that Pablo can’t come to visit because he is “cursed”.

Jeez. I know Alba suffers from severe Catholic guilt from having sex before marriage but that’s blaming the other guy a little too much, don’t you think?

Jane needs a headcount for her engagement party and calls Rogelio to see if he can make it. Paola answers the phone and makes up an excuse about Rogelio being stuck in a meeting, which satisfies Jane temporarily. However, Paola knows that if Rogelio doesn’t see his family for this big occasion, they will figure out he is missing. “You’ll say good-bye to them tonight,” decides Paola. “When we live-stream our murder suicide.”

Rogelio is understandably horrified–he’s going to get so much attention and yet he won’t be alive to enjoy it.

Jane meets with her new adviser, Dr. Feminist Killjoy, who tells Jane that romance novels suck but since she’s stuck with Jane, Dr. Feminist Killjoy will try to make it work. Jane’s first test is to make sure all of her chapters pass the Bechdel Test. It’s surprisingly more difficult than it sounds; I don’t even think this episode of “Jane the Virgin” passes the Bechdel Test.

But Jane has other impossible tests to pass: Michael’s divorced parents have set aside their hatred of each other to hate her instead. The Corderos aren’t pleased after the whole “dumping our son to date a rich, handsome playboy/baby daddy and then dumping that guy again to be with our son” thing. “We don’t want you to marry Jane,” Ms. Cordero tells Michael bluntly.

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“Maybe there was something to that whole broom thing after all.”

Meanwhile, Petra isn’t adjusting to motherhood smoothly–mostly because she seems to refuse motherhood completely. At the hospital, she continuously pawns off her crying twins to the nurses and back at the hotel, pawns them off to nannies in favor of going back to work. Rafael is concerned that Petra isn’t spending time with her children but gets distracted when his own family troubles come into play. Derek Ruvelle, Rafael’s recently revealed half-brother, confronts Rafael and demands to know why Rafael is working with the police to spy on Derek. Rafael apologizes and swears that he just wants to get to know Derek. Derek agrees to have dinner together and Michael warns Rafael to stay in a public place at all times and never go alone with Derek.

At Casa Villanueva, Jane and Xiomara are preparing for Pablo’s arrival but Alba insists on hiding in the bedroom. The women confront Alba on what exactly Pablo’s curse is supposed to be. Alba reveals that she and Pablo first made love in her parent’s beautiful garden. And the next day, all of the crops died and nothing ever grew in her parent’s garden again.

Okay, now I understand why Alba was so gung-ho about the virginity thing. Not only did her village think she was a slut, but she kind of destroyed your parent’s livelihood too.

However, Jane and Xiomara dismiss Alba’s worries and go to greet Pablo at the door when he arrives. They are taken aback by his glorious mustache and huge turquoise bolero tie.

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Wonder if something else is that huge….

The pleasantries are interrupted when the power goes in Casa Villanueva. Jane and Xiomara try to pretend it was just a coincidence.

Meanwhile, Michael goes to check on Rogelio and sees he is being held hostage. He heroically takes Paola by surprise and tackles her to the ground, saving Rogelio!

Not to complain, but that was an awfully quick resolution for a three episode long arc.

The Villanueva women get the news and rush to Rogelio’s apartment. You can totally tell Alba wants to blame Pablo but in his defense, Rogelio’s kidnapping happened way before he showed up. Xiomara and Rogelio have some awkwardness since their relationship is still a little undefined. However, Rogelio’s agent Soledad sweeps in and gleefully announces that Rogelio has never been so popular and all the networks are clamoring for an exclusive interview with him.  “But you can still talk to family, right?” asks Jane. However, Rogelio is too excited about the prospect of interviewing with his favorite anchor that he ignores family questions about his kidnapping.

Meanwhile, Dr. Feminist Killjoy tells Jane that her work is “barf”. Those were her exact words. Also, Michael’s parents still hate Jane. They didn’t use the word “barf” though so that’s a plus in her favor. However, they decide not come to to the engagement party so Jane, the same woman who befriended her baby daddy’s crazy ex-wife, hunts down Ms. Cordero to beg for another chance and swears she’s not a crazy person who will break Michael’s heart.

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“Yes, I realize stalking you to your home doesn’t exactly prove that.”

Nevertheless, Ms. Cordero agrees to come to the engagement party.

Rafael finally has dinner with Derek, but the two are mistrustful of each other. Rafael thinks Derek had to have known Elena was a drug dealer because he disappeared when the police started investigating while Derek thinks Rafael had to have known Elena was a drug dealer because of all the deaths and mystery at the Marbella. “Touche,” says Rafael. Derek invites Rafael to go on his boat and against his any better judgement, Rafael agrees to go. On the boat, the two brothers have a surprisingly touching heart to heart. Derek admits he went underground because he was devastated at the thought of not having a family anymore. Rafael promises to be his family and calls Michael to declare he won’t be helping the police investigate Derek anymore.

Meanwhile, Jane ditches her engagement party to go see Rogelio, who has suddenly developed camera fright. He admits that the whole kidnapping ordeal was traumatic for him and he wanted to avoid talking about it but now that he has to for his interview, he keeps turning into a blubbery mess. Jane offers to listen and not make fun of him for crying so Rogelio can compose himself for the real thing.

However, Michael’s parents are less than thrilled that Jane isn’t at the party despite her promise to be there for Michael.

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“Helping her father cope with his traumatic kidnapping? A likely story! I bet she’s screwing around.”

When Jane finally makes it to the party, the Corderos aren’t impressed with her excuses and declare her unfit for Michael. And surprisingly, Jane lets it go. She tells them that she doesn’t care about their approval, only Michael’s.

Speaking of letting go, Petra finally bonds with Elsa and Ana (sorry, another obligatory Frozen joke whenever their names are mentioned) and Alba forgets her superstitions and agrees to go on a date with Pablo. He charms her with a fiery tango on the dance floor and Alba decides that maybe love is worth all the bad luck, after all.

Well, it’s a good thing she wasn’t home because a pipe burst and ruined Casa Villanueva.

Coincidence or curse? I guess we’ll see next episode.

So let’s review:

  • Rogelio is free from the clutches of crazy Paola. That resolved itself awfully fast.
  • Rafael was suspicious of his half-brother Derek and now wants to be bros with him. That resolved itself awfully fast.
  • Petra was afraid of being a mother but is now okay with it. That resolved itself awfully fast.
  • Michael’s parents hate Jane and she has made her peace with that. This actually resolved itself in a nice, timely manner.
  • Alba has decided to give Pablo a chance but is he really bad luck?

Susan Velazquez

Susan is a recent college grad and writer who enjoys all things from the 1980s, snarking on dumb television, and reveling in celebrity gossip. Oh, and she has serious interests like reading historical fiction, getting involved in social issues, and consuming French fries.

TV Show: Jane the Virgin

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