Jane the Virgin: Chapter 34 Review

As much as the CW’s Jane the Virgin pokes fun at itself for being over-dramatic and tacky, it is actually an extremely well-written and smart series.  Due to my rekindled obsession with this show, I thought I would try my hand at expressing some of my observations.  Spoilers ahead — I will spare no detail!

The Structure

One of the coolest things about Jane the Virgin is that many episodes are centered around one connecting idea.  Since the show does not shy away from over-the-top special effects,  there’s often a visual motif to support this theme.  In Chapter 34, this took the form of a rosy filter that permeated every scene Jane “romanticized,” thus focusing on Jane’s tendency to sentimentalize.  In Chapter 35, this theme was the idea of “second-class citizenship,” or the insecurity of Petra, Rafael, and Rogelio.  We’ll start with Chapter 34.

Best acting:

GINA!!! OH MY GOD?? HOW DOES ONE ACT SIMULTANEOUSLY DEVASTATED AND EARNESTLY HORNY AT THE SAME TIME??  I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT EMOTION COMBINATION WAS POSSIBLE UNTIL THIS MOMENT.  Just, this had me speechless and worried and touched.  Her acting never ceases to astound me.

Best moment:

Can we just.  Talk about.  How important this moment is to the show?

I’ve always been :/ about how the premise of the show is based on maintaining “”purity”” and hailing virginity as this sacred thing.  Or so it seemed.  Now, the premise that Alba has established is not based on an arbitrary religious construct, but on the fear of judgment and regret.  Now THOSE are valid reasons to wait for sex.  I hope I never have to watch another scene of Jane gawking at a crumpled white flower again.

Best “TELL IT LIKE IT IS” moment:

Note the use of the pink-romanticizing motif.  Note how a crappier show would have led this to a sloppy make-out session that contradicts Jane’s firm feelings and unnecessarily complicates things.

I AM SO APPRECIATIVE because it’s addressing, yes, Jane sees things with a rosy lens BUT ALSO Jane is a logical af adult woman who can differentiate what she should do from what a romance novel protagonist would do.  It’s admitting that, yes, she feels the tug of a telenovela storyline right now, but she’s smarter than that.  She knows life isn’t a telenovela and is ready to tell it like it fuckin’ is.  This is something we should all strive to do.  Also, I always appreciate unapologetic female rejections.

I’m not necessarily averse to Rafael/Jane, but I’m definitely averse to their make-up precipitating in a stupid way.

Best thing I’ve ever seen:

Okay.  Okay okay okay okay okay okay.  I am ready to discuss this coherently.

By this point, you’ve probably figured me out: I’m Jane/Michael trash.  But let me say that even had extremely low hopes for this ship until this exact moment.  I mean, their chances of being endgame seemed absolutely zero after the terrible incident with Mateo.  Now those chances have launched to a robust 55%, I gander.

I think this scene is just brilliant.  Even when I thought a Michael-comeback was impossible, the writers fulfilled it with flying colors.  They 1) redeemed Michael by displaying the purest, most loving intentions possible and 2) made it clear that Jane reciprocates.  Italics because she truly, genuinely loves him back with no misunderstandings or disillusions.  There’s no pink over-glamorizing filter.  There’s no pink over-glamorizing filter.  Her reply at this moment is purely based on her true feelings, not on any telenovela-tug.  All the carefully-placed flashbacks of their former relationship, all of her brief moments of longing, all culminate to this.  That is so beautiful to me.  This is so excellently done.


Misgivings: Though I understand that Jane the Virgin‘s a dramedy, I’m still rather salty towards things written purely for shock value and gasps.  Though the Professor Jonathan storyline is important for Jane’s development of her new attitudes towards sex et. al, I feel like it was also thrown in there to briefly make us forget about Michael for a while and throw off our scent.  This ep quickly made us realize that Jonathan/Jane is more of a casual, physical thing than a romantic one, which wasn’t very clear in the episodes prior.  I think that if the writers made that more obvious earlier on, Jane/Michael’s story would be more believable and logical.

Other quick notes:

  • We’ve now seen two men react to Jane’s declaration of chastity.  Can we compare Michael’s reaction with Rafael’s? (Raises eyebrows.)
  • Rose’s downfall (?) was very well set-up in its suspense and plot-twistyness.  I’m glad Louisa finally had the fucking spine to do the right thing against Rose (maybe a parallel to how Jane also resisted romantic allure in this ep?? Hmmm.).  I would appreciate it if the narrator said “but I’m getting ahead of myself” a bit less, but I understand that it’s the format of the show.
  • I didn’t even react to Rose “dying” that strongly?  I have a feeling it’s not real.
  • I think there’s a parallel between Rogelio, as an actor, inserting himself into a feminist narrative (thus making it un-feminist) and his not-very-decent attitude towards Xiomara’s choice to not have any more kids.  Though I feel sad that Xiomara broke off the marriage in a self-sacrificing move, I do think that it’s a wise decision, since Rogelio is so disillusioned about her aversion to having kids.  You don’t escalate a relationship when there’s such a critical misunderstanding like that.  Perhaps Rogelio can find a surrogate and not lay too much responsibility on Xio?  I’m can’t see how even that would work out, though.
  • Lol Rafael needs to stop talking about Jane so much in front of Petra.  He is so inconsiderate sometimes.

Well, this was meant to include Chapter 35, but it’s clear that this is too long.  I will post my thoughts on Chapter 35 shortly.  Please do not hesitate to comment your thoughts/opinions below!  I am in way too deep for this show.

-M.L.

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