Jane the Virgin: Post Traumatic Telenovela Disorder

You can see Michael die a little inside.

Previously on Jane the Virgin:

  • Michael survived getting shot by his partner Susanna—I mean, Sin Rostro. Susanna was actually Sin Rostro this whole time.
  • Speaking of Sin Rostro, she’s kidnapped Luisa to a submarine under the sea. No word yet if it’s a yellow one.
  • Xiomara got pregnant by Rogelio’s rival, Esteban, but wants to get an abortion.
  • Anezka has Petra #Petrafied and confined to bed while Anezka assumes her identity to ruin the Solanos’ lives.

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

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Jane is having nightmares about the night Michael got shot, but she’s putting on a brave face and trying to push through it to focus on helping Michael with his physical therapy and handling Mateo, who’s acting out and throwing temper tantrums.

The nurse is skeptical if Jane will be able to balance all of these responsibilities, so she explains that the new Villanueva-Cordero family will be staying at Casa Villanueva until Michael gets back on his feet.

A newlywed couple who have been waiting until marriage to have sex staying with the bride’s mother, grandmother, and toddler? Total perfect honeymoon.

Well, it’s a good thing their environment is such a boner-killer, because the nurse adds that Jane and Michael can’t have sex until Michael is completely recovered.

“You can’t move,” the nurse reminds Michael.

She can!” Michael points out.

“Look, nurse! I can do it with no hands!”

Michael and Jane move back into Casa Villanueva, but the comforting environment isn’t enough to stop Jane’s PTSD-induced nightmares. She’s nervous about Michael rejoining the force, so Michael offers to quit if it’ll make her feel better. Jane decides to take Michael’s six-week recovery period as the time to try to overcome her fears. Although Jane is able to settle in with a routine to handle Michael’s injuries and Mateo’s temper tantrums, she still can’t bear to walk through the halls of the Marbella.

With Jane not around, Anezka has even more free rein than usual to snoop and scheme. She breaks into Rafael’s office to go through his laptop and is caught by Scott, the obnoxious hotel manager. Anezka seduces him to distract him, but finds that she actually enjoys the sex. Magda calls to check in on her progress and is annoyed that Anezka is getting distracted. “Chase two rabbits and you don’t catch either,” Magda warns her.

Meanwhile, Jane and Rafael argue about where to enroll Mateo for preschool. Mateo was all set to enter a Catholic school, but now that Rafael is over Jane, he realizes he doesn’t have to go along with everything she wants in hopes of winning her back from Michael. “I used to think, ‘What would Jane want?'” he says. “And now I’m kind of like, ‘So what if Jane’s upset?'”

“Maybe you, just a little bit?”

Alba invites Xiomara to church twice in one day, and Xiomara worries that Alba knows that Xiomara got an abortion (the Latin Narrator explains that Xiomara went in for a medication-induced abortion off-screen). Jane thinks Xiomara is just being paranoid, but Michael, who can’t resist using his detective skills, suggests that Xiomara casually use the word “abort” in a casual conversation and see how Alba reacts.

This is a dumb plan, but let’s remember that Michael has just been shot and is probably hopped up on a lot of pain pills throughout this episode.

Rafael’s not-declaration of love is proven to be very inconvenient for Mateo’s preschool education. All the best schools have been filled up, and now the two have to rush to tour the remaining ones before those are gone too. Rafael picks out a fancy-pants preschool and tries to assuage Jane’s fears that it’s run by snobs by telling her that a quarter of the students are on need-based scholarships. So what happens if you don’t qualify for a scholarship but still want to go to the school? Take out a loan?

"Sallie-Mae is getting the kids sooner and sooner."

“Sallie-Mae is getting the kids sooner and sooner.”

Xiomara tries Michael’s plan and casually mentions to Alba that she has ABORTED dinner plans, and picked up Chinese food instead because the restaurant is PRO-CHOICE in menu options and REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. Alba does not pick up what Xiomara is trying to put down, and Xiomara admits that she had an abortion. Predictably, the uber Catholic Alba becomes upset, and although Jane tries to defuse the tension, the argument becomes so heated that Xiomara walks out.

Meanwhile, Rogelio is furious that his rival Esteban has been featured in an American celebrity news magazine. He decides that he too needs to break into American markets, and gets an audition for a part on Hawaii Five-O. It’s a perfect plan: if old, white septuagenarians accept Rogelio, he’ll be accepted everywhere! He just needs to smile and nod when they talk about building a wall and how Rogelio is one of the good Mexicans. The problem is that the part requires a perfect American accent, which Rogelio does not have.

At the fancy preschool, a mom accuses Mateo of biting her son and Jane gets defensive, believing the mom is picking on them because they’re relatively poor and brown compared to the other families. She storms out self-righteously, much to Rafael’s embarrassment. However, it turns out Mateo did bite the other kids, so Jane just blew up their chances at a decent preschool.

"Heh heh. Oops?"

“Heh heh. Oops?”

Xiomara crashes at Rogelio’s, and in exchange for room and board, helps with his accent. It is sounding more American. Unfortunately, the American it sounds like is Matthew McConaughey, and this country doesn’t need another one of those. Xiomara asks Rogelio why he wants to break into American television. “My home is not Mexico anymore. Because of Jane, Mateo, and you, it’s here,” he says. “Now that I’ve crossed over to this family, I want to feel the amazing perks of fame in my new country.”

Well, I’m warning you right now, Rogelio, that it may not be so amazing depending on who gets elected this year.

With Rogelio’s help, Michael surprises Jane by turning their bedroom into a romantic beach honeymoon. They relax, drink, and research what causes children to bite. All the parenting websites explain biting is a child’s way of coping with stress, and Jane realizes that she too has been acting aggressively because she’s been worried about Michael. The two talk about their feelings and Jane admits that she’s still scared of something bad happening to Michael.

At a tour of a hippie dippie preschool, Jane gets an email that the snooty school has a spot after all. Rafael nixes it because the school tried to ask for a bribe to “forget” about the biting incident. Jane is annoyed that Rafael made her feel guilty for nothing, and they argue loudly in the middle of the tour. The hippie teacher urges them to talk out their feelings and it’s actually helpful. Rafael reveals that he’s afraid of not having any say in parenting decisions, and Jane promises to let him be more involved. The hippie teacher also offers excellent advice on how to deal with Mateo’s biting phase, and Jane and Rafael decide that as mock-worthy as the mini-Woodstock school is, it is a great place for Mateo.

Although, it’s a little sketchy that the teacher admits that they don’t care if the kids learn their letters or numbers, as long as “they can name all of their feelings”.

"We're probably going to have to get a tutor earlier than we thought."

“We’re probably going to have to get a tutor earlier than we thought.”

Still, the hippie teacher’s emphasis on feelings is useful in resolving the drama at Casa Villanueva. Jane urges Alba to let go of her anger at Xiomara and move on. Alba tells Xiomara that while she disagrees with abortion, she understands it was Xiomara’s decision.

Mateo bites Michael, and Jane loudly comforts Michael as directed by the hippie teacher, and Jane’s soothing apologies finally make Michael realize the gravity of being shot. He seriously considers not going back to the force, but Jane gives him a pep talk, saying that they’ll both get through their fears together.

Meanwhile, Anezka has stolen Rafael’s personal laptop and is trying to go through it when Rafael stops by her suite to confront her for acting strangely the past couple of days. To throw him off her trail, Anezka reveals that she’s been hooking up with Scott, and although Rafael is confused by the romantic pairing, he seems to buy it as the reason she’s been sneaking around.

Rogelio films an episode of his time travel telenovela, which is centered on the poet Emma Lazarus, best known for writing “The New Colossus”. As Rogelio gives a passionate speech about the bravery and courage of immigrants, he realizes that he doesn’t have to immigrate to the U.S… his telenovelas can! He doesn’t get the Hawaii Five-O part, but maybe that’s for the best. I mean, is that show even still on?

Anezka admits to Scott that she’s been looking for dirt on Rafael, and he offers to help take him down. Unbeknownst to them, the petrified Petra can hear their conversation—and move.

Thanks to some montages and time skips, the six weeks are finally up, and Jane and Michael get the go-ahead to have sex!

So let’s review:

  • Rogelio is planning on taking his telenovelas to American audiences, proving that Mexicans can bring jobs to America instead of just taking them.
  • Anezka and Scott are teaming up to take down Rafael, but Petra is slowly gaining more control.
  • JANE AND MICHAEL ARE GOING TO HAVE SEX!

Get the “Congrats on the Sex” cakes ready from the baker. Or maybe not. This is telenovela land, after all.

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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