In Chapter 8 of Jane the Virgin, Jane dropped a few big things — first the big ‘Virgin’ bomb on new boyfriend Rafael, and then the lawsuit against his sister Luisa.
In Chapter 9, Jane gets exciting news on the professional front and some pretty horrifying news on the personal front.
Putting the Loose in Lucy
From Jane’s intimate admissions to Rafael – and her titillating talent for erotic letters — we know that she’s always dreamt of being a writer. But this episode kicked off with a great flashback, where we got to see adorable mini-Jane compose her first short story. It was a magical experience where the words seemed to fly from her brain with ease, flowing through her fingers onto the computer screen. Her teddy bear came to life and cheered her on from the sidelines, “You’re awesome Jane, you’re doing great,” her printer grew big blue eyes and re-affirmed her talent (yeah that one was a little weird) and even her photo of the Virgin Mary offered words of encouragement.
But when mini-Jane scampered down the hall to share her success with her family, she overheard an emotional conversation between her mother and grandmother about the harsh realities of life. Alba was frustrated with Xiomara for pursuing her passion for singing instead of a getting a practical job that would help pay the rent. Jane snuck back to her room, hid her story in a drawer and began to value practicality over fantasy.
Still, Jane has not completely abandoned her writing. Over the years, she has continued to craft short stories and submit them to online magazines, accepting every rejection letter with grace. But this time, when Jane checks her email, expecting a polite rejection from the Cincinnati Review, she finds an acceptance letter instead. Finally she has the opportunity to publish a short story!
There’s only one problem. The story Jane submitted is a semi-autobiographical tale of a young girl with a promiscuous, scantily-clad single mother named Lucy. Oh Dear. Jane’s worried that Xiomara will be hurt by Jane’s depiction of her and decides not to publish. Unfortunately Xo stumbles upon the short story while borrowing Jane’s computer and reads about herself as a woman who puts the ‘loose’ in Lucy. But hey – is Xiomara not the best mother in the world? Instead of pouting and lashing out, she signs the publishing consent form and sends the story off for the world to enjoy. This woman, despite a few flaws, never ever puts herself before her daughter.
Jane and Xo enjoy yet another heart-to-heart in which Jane urges her mother to stop sacrificing her own happiness and using her daughter as an excuse to keep men at a distance. Jane is grown ass woman and it’s time for Xiomara to live her own life and face her own fear of commitment.
I really hope this show further pursues the ‘Jane as a Writer’ storyline. They’ve dabbled with it in the past, but with Jane’s teaching job at the forefront, it’s easy to forget what her true passion is.
Petra shocks the hell out of Rafael and Jane when she shows up at a doctor’s appointment claiming to have a stake in the baby’s future. She spouts some legal mumbo jumbo about a document that Rafael signed when he froze his sperm and reminds Jane of her initial oral agreement to give the baby up. It all sounds incredibly, ridiculously thin to me. Women are allowed to change their mind about adoption up until the very last second. No judge in his right mind would grant Petra any kind of custody because Jane initially considered giving her baby away. Anyway, I’m clearly heaping too much logical reasoning onto a soap opera and the point is that the new couple is freaked by Petra’s threats.
Rafael wants to pay her off immediately. Petra + money = no more baby demands. But Jane is hung up on the fact that Petra doesn’t deserve money for her bad behaviour. As the two lovebirds approach parenthood, they’re learning that it may be harder than they thought to blend their two backgrounds. Rafael loves private school, Jane prefers the diversity and humble environment of the public education system. Jane is deeply religious, and Rafael … thinks it’s possible there’s a God … maybe? Rafael sees money as solution to a myriad of problems, whereas Jane views it as a crutch.
But if a payout is off the table, they still need a way to get Petra off their backs. Michael offers to help (more on his shady motives later) by providing a listening device so Jane can record Petra offering to drop her custody claim for a fee. Please! Petra is no novice conniving bitch! She’s old school devious and she won’t reveal her hand that easily. Jane gets nothing out of her but concern for the baby and a ‘genuine’ desire to be a part of its life.
However, Petra slips up when she tells a heart-wrenching story of a long-lost father who died just before the Iron Curtain fell. But … according to her passport, Petra was born after the wall came down. Huh. Rafael hires a pricey private investigator to unearth the truth and discovers that the real Petra is dead and his estranged wife is actually Faux Petra (or as we know her, Natalia).
This is Petra’s backstory in a nutshell – as it has been revealed so far: in her former life as Natalia in the Czech Republic, she was dating a bad news bastard named Milos, who her mother had repeatedly warned her about. When she broke it off, he attacked her on the street. Bending over to pick up a coin at the best possible moment, Natalia escaped unscathed while her mother got a half-face full of acid and fell into oncoming traffic. It was then that Ivan approached Natalia and offered to give her the identity of a recently deceased young woman named Petra … for a price. And the rest is history and hostage taking.
Rafael and Jane confront Petra with what they’ve learned (although they only know she’s a Faux Petra, not who she really is). Either she signs the divorce papers or they’ll continue digging. Surprisingly she agrees. Hmmm … not like Petra to give up so quickly.
So … I don’t really get what Petra is so worried about. Yes, she has a crazy ex-boyfriend but that can’t be what’s turned her into a scheming vixen or made her mother a psycho mastermind. You don’t change your identity because of one dude, or allow yourself to be blackmailed for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who is this Milos really and how is he so powerful?
But the upside of the drama with Petra is that Jane and Rafael realize they are a pretty cool team when they compromise. They splurged on an expensive P.I., but they also took the high road by refusing to pay Petra off. And it all worked out! Well … for now. This IS Jane the Virgin, so let’s not be too optimistic.
And the Winner is Not …
At the Palomas (telenovela awards ceremony), Rogelio goes up against his arch nemesis Esteban Santiago and loses. Aaaand he’s crushed. This is not a dude who knows how to accept defeat gracefully. But at least his daughter was betting on him, which is way sweeter in the end.
Xiomara is deflated after a humiliating meeting with a record producer who immediately dismisses her as ‘too old’. In the pop world anyone over 25 is ancient, so a woman in her late 30s is definitely a stretch. For the first time Xo contemplates shelving her singing dream for a more realistic path, like expanding her dance school.
While she’s feeling low, who should she happen upon at after party for the Palomas? Her idol/pop goddess Paulina Rubio. Paulina urges Xo to continue to follow her dreams then vanishes in a cloud of blindingly blonde hair. Later we learn that Paulina actually bumped into Xo on purpose, as a favour to Rogelio, but he doesn’t want any credit for arranging a meet-up. No credit?! He’s certainly growing as a person.
I don’t mean to poo poo on the Paulina party but is ‘follow your dreams’ really the best that she could do? Surely an international success story could offer more concrete advice for breaking into the music business? Just sayin’.
So Michael is going crazy. No Joke. He lost his fiancé, he’s misplaced a Serbian war criminal and he’s clearly losing his mind. In this episode he decides that the notorious Sin Rostro is actually Rafael. Whaaaat?. Just hear him out – Sin Rostro goes underground, Rafael gets cancer, Rafael gets better, Sin Rostro is back in business. Therefore Sin Rostro = Rafael. Yeah I’m not buying it either.
When Nadine refuses to indulge his revenge fantasy, he enlists the help of his shady brother, who now works at the hotel with his girlfriend/Jane’s best friend. They break into Rafael’s hotel room and find passports and piles of cash in a safe. But when Michael returns with a warrant, the safe is empty. Michael throws a hissy fit, trashing the missing Serbian’s hotel room. In the process he discovers a hidden passageway under the bathtub. Well, that explains the disappearing act.
Listen up, Jane the Virgin Writers: I KNOW Rafael is not Sin Rostro. But if he is up to anything shady with the passports and cash … you will be hearing from me #TeamRafael.
A Surprise Stand
The episode ended with a shocking final act twist. Alba, high on confidence after a few too many glasses of champagne, decided to march up to Petra’s room and read her the riot act. Instead she walked in on Magda and Ivan the hostage, who yelled for help. Alba was headed back down the stairs in a hurry when a hand shoved her from behind and she tumbled down violently.
And who should be STANDING there smirking evilly? Mother Magda. That witch! I wonder who else knows about her fake wheelchair act.
I hope Alba is okay!!!
Rafael (taking the bus for the first time): So … we can just sit anywhere?
Photo Courtesy of The CW