Aug 17, 2021
Jane the Virgin RECAP: The First Time is Always Awkward (S1:E1)
Because Hollywood has finally run out of ideas, they are looking to other countries for TV shows to steal adapt for American audiences. And they’ve finally discovered there are other foreign networks to rip off than just the BBC! Jane the Virgin was originally a Venezuelan telenovela known as “Juana la Virgen.” Will the American version have the same drama and ridiculousness as the original?
Let’s hope so!
The Narrator (yep, this show’s got a narrator) explains that everything that is going to happen really started thirteen and a half years ago when a ten-year-old Jane was given “the” talk by her grandmother, Alba.
Alba gives Jane a pristine white flower and orders her to crush it and then try to make it look like new again. Jane’s mother, Xiomara, thinks the whole thing is stupid, but ten-year-old Jane is easily swayed by pro-abstinence messages and tells her mother to shush.
Alba warns Jane that her virginity is like the delicate flower—if she is used up, she can never go back. Ever.
Thirteen and half years later (man, that’s an oddly specific time jump), Jane is making out with her cop boyfriend, Michael, when she remembers the flower from her sex talk. She puts an end to the hanky panky and sends Michael on his way to join her mother and grandmother, who are watching a cheesy telenovela.
So Jane’s life seems kinda dull: she’s a virgin with a hot boyfriend who still eats grilled cheese sandwiches and watches bad TV with her family.
Actually, that’s not a bad life. You go, Jane!
Meanwhile, rich and fabulous hotel owner Rafael is bored with his wife, Petra. Petra can sense this and so can her crazy mother, although Petra tries to downplay her marital problems. Her mother uses tarot cards to predict that tomorrow will change everything.
In what turns out to be a co-inky-dink, Jane and her best friend Lina work at the hotel Rafael just acquired. Lina predicts that Michael will propose to Jane soon, but Jane shoots her down, saying that she and Michael agreed on a timeline for getting engaged. “You’ve been dating for two years and you haven’t boned. He might move up your timeline,” snarks Lina.
Lina speaks the truth here, Jane. I’m surprised Michael hasn’t already built a time machine.
Lina and Jane have to waitress a party for the hotel. Rafael sits on the sidelines with his sister, Luisa, and contemplates divorcing Petra. Unbeknownst to them, Petra is eavesdropping on the other side of the modern, leather furniture.
And she does not look happy.
Jane gets embarrassed by her cheesy mermaid costume when she sees Rafael. As it turns out, she had a huge crush on him when she was younger and they even kissed once! Rafael recognizes Jane but mistakes her for a stripper.
Ha, the irony.
After work, Jane texts Michael to tell him about her night. He asks for phone sex, but Jane turns him down because for some reason her mother is sleeping in her room that night.
So Jane does phone sex? Won’t her precious flower crumble? Or at least her phone?
The next morning, Jane goes to her gynecologist for a pap smear. And whaddaya know, Petra is there to get artificially inseminated with Rafael’s sperm. And yet in another co-inky-dink, Luisa is their gynecologist!
She is still very emotional after finding out her wife cheated on her and accidentally mixes up Jane and Petra’s files so Jane gets inseminated and Petra is checked for cervical cancer.
Luisa quickly realizes her mistake and calls over her ex-lover/potential lawyer Rose for advice. She reminds Luisa that she is already on probation and can have her license taken away. Rose also tells her that there is a small chance the insemination won’t take so maybe this will all blow over.
Ha! Fat chance. Or should I say: fat, nine months pregnant lady chance!
Anyway, Petra has already jumped the gun and announces to Rafael that she has inseminated herself with his sperm sample and they’re going to be parents. Rafael is understandably horrified and I am too—where did Petra even get this sperm sample? Why did Rafael let his sperm sample lie around? What kind of woman artificially inseminates herself as a surprise for her husband?
This is so ridiculous I kinda love it.
About two weeks later, Jane is on the bus with her mother when she faints as she tries to give up her seat on the bus for some nuns. She is taken to a doctor, who tells her that she’s pregnant. The doctor is skeptical of Jane’s claims of virginity so Xiomara comes to her rescue.
“My daughter says she’s a freaking virgin so do another damn test!” orders Xiomara.
Another pregnancy test comes positive so Xiomara jumps to the conclusion that any Latina woman with a strong Catholic upbringing would make: she proclaims Jane is carrying a miracle savior baby and begins praying to her.
Jane insists this is a mistake and they visit Luisa, who has to shamefully admit the mix up to Petra, Rafael, Jane, and Xiomara.
Everyone is pissed. Mostly Xiomara and I don’t blame her. She would have had the ultimate bragging rights over all the mothers at the hair salon. When all the other moms brag about how their daughters are CEOs and lawyers, she can just say, “My daughter will give birth to the Messiah” and win.
Jane hallucinates the star of her favorite telenovela comforting her as she tries to process the news. “Welcome to the world of telenovelas,” he tells her. “You better hope you don’t have an evil twin.”
She tells Michael that she is accidentally pregnant with another man’s baby and no, it is not the second coming of the Messiah. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t get to tell him until Michael already proposed to her.
However, Michael was so confident that Jane would say yes that he went ahead and organized a surprise engagement party so they have to pretend they got engaged and deal with the situation later. Michael’s sketchy brother shows up and hints at Michael’s dark past. The Narrator also reveals that Xiomara has secrets of her own—she saw Jane’s birth father, Rogelio, over a year ago and still hasn’t told anyone.
After the party, Xiomara tries to comfort Jane by telling her that she knows what it’s like to be pregnant and scared. Jane snaps that Xiomara got pregnant because she was an irresponsible teenager, not the main character in a telenovela. She asks her mother if she would have gotten an abortion if Alba hadn’t stopped her. “I’m glad I had you,” is all Xiomara says.
Rafael and Petra decide to persuade Jane to keep the baby because he has a low chance of conceiving again and Petra hopes that a baby will keep them together. Rafael and Jane finally meet, and he reveals that he is the father of her baby.
He remembers their kiss from when she was sixteen and apologizes for never calling. He offers to adopt the baby, but Jane tells him that she can’t live with the idea that her biological child is out there somewhere. “If only I was Juno. Then this pregnancy would be easier to explain,” she says.
Disappointed, Rafael calls Petra to tell her the news, but she is annoyed that Rafael let Jane go. However, Zazo, the guy she is cheating on him with, advises her to take a chill pill so she agrees not to persuade Jane herself.
Alba finds out about Jane’s pregnancy and admits that when Xiomara got pregnant, she tried to convince Xiomara to get an abortion and regrets it because she now loves Jane so much. “And this will be the best part of your life, too,” she tells Jane.
Michael comes over and he admits to Jane that he doesn’t want to be a minor player in a telenovela and can’t support her if she decides to have the baby. Meanwhile, Petra calls Luisa and offers to prevent her from being sued if she helps Petra.
Jane visits her mother at her workplace, and they talk about Xiomara’s pregnancy with Jane. The Narrator reveals that Xiomara lied about Jane’s birth father because she didn’t want him in her life. Jane starts to wonder if maybe she should keep the baby after all but needs her mother to help her decide. “No more secrets, okay?” asks Jane.
Xiomara tugs her collar and sweats nervously.
Jane tells her mother that maybe she will have the baby after all. This would be great news for Petra and Rafael except Rafael announces that he still wants the divorce. Petra slaps him—how deliciously soap opera-y.
The police, including Michael, are watching the hotel for Zazo and decide to investigate Petra for being associated with him. Whoever he is, the police think he’s involved with something big.
Xiomara gets a visit from Jane’s father…who happens to be the star of the telenovela that the whole family watches! He demands to know why Xiomara kept his daughter a secret from him all these years.
Oh my god, we are blurring the lines here. The telenovela within the telenovela is interacting with the main plot. Next thing you know, the audience will find out that all of us are the father of Jane’s baby.
Speaking of which, Jane shows up at the police station where Michael works and proposes to him. However, she tells him that she is going to keep the baby and let Rafael and Petra adopt it. This is awkward for Rafael because five minutes ago he told his wife that she was dumping her and now they have to stay together because Jane wants the baby to grow up in a stable, two-parent household.
Jane tells Michael that she loves him as his police offer buddies hoot and holler and cheer them on.
So to review:
- Jane was accidentally inseminated with Rafael’s sperm by his sister Luisa
- Luisa accidentally inseminated her because she was so distraught after finding out her wife cheated on her
- Rafael’s marriage is also falling apart and he wants to divorce Petra
- Petra wants Jane to let her and Rafael adopt the baby to hopefully prevent a divorce
- But she’s having an affair with this Zazo guy, who is being watched by the police
- Michael is part of the police force watching Zazo and has a shady past
- Xiomara is also hiding secrets of her own—the telenovela star Rogelio is Jane’s father and nobody knows
Get it? Got it? No? Too bad, because we’re going to tune in next week.