Do you believe in meant to be? That’s the question that Jane the Virgin asks of its viewers tonight, as well as some focused on forgiveness and how to best deal with conflict.
But I know what everyone really wants to talk about: that kiss.
The start of “Chapter Six” – and isn’t it incredible that we’re only six episodes into this show? – runs a little slow. The plot starts out sort of sticky (and not in a good way), with Jane being assigned to a teaching placement at a Catholic school that her new (sort of) stepsisters attend. The first fifteen minutes flit between Jane mulling over what to do about Michael, and dealing with her new stepsisters (Rogelio’s ex-wife’s daughters). They’re acting out for being moved to Miami so Rogelio can stay closer to Jane, and they do so in a way that gets Jane almost-fired.
The twins are perfectly horrid in their antagonistic roles, setting up a website revolving around Jane’s pregnant, virginal status (I checked,the show doesn’t seem to have made an actual one) and blaming her for the breakage of a tablet that had me fuming. Later, the school readmits Jane because of how this website could potentially bring more people to the church (this show finds humor in the most ridiculous circumstances), but before that, Jane has to halt the twins’ actions.
She tries, at first, to take the high road. But Xiomara gives her daughter some advice, reminding Jane that unfortunately the high road doesn’t always work if you’re not playing on an even playing field with your competitors. So, Jane agrees to play dirty. She ends up using Rafael to distract the girls (I understand, that body does things to people), while she grabs their phones and gets dirt on the two of them that rivals what they’ve done to her, using what she’s learned to get her job back.
But it’s when she’s executing the final part of her plan, that Jane realizes why these girls are acting out so much. Their mother, as seen from her interactions with Xiomara, is fairly awful. Rogelio is their only father figure, and he does little for them besides buy them off and show off his new, better daughter to the pair. Jane uses dirty tricks to win, but she only uses them to get so far. She sees, in a moment of clarity, why these girls have acted the way that they have towards her, and she forgives them for it.
And it’s this forgiveness that leads to what happens next. Because at the 20-minute mark of “Chapter Six” something incredible happens. While most shows spend seasons sitting on declarations of feelings, Rafael has literally spent an episode and a half thinking over his feelings for Jane. And maybe that’s the point the show is trying to make here: this is all too much, too soon. But damn if it doesn’t make for excellent television. He tells her that he’s never believed in fate, or destiny, but that doesn’t this just feel meant to be? Something that leaves Jane feeling very, very confused, and faced with something that she didn’t really want to even consider thinking about.
Jane watches a lot of telenovas, just like so many of you readers probably watch many romantic comedies (I know I do). But tonight, Rafael faced her on that park bench, and made that possibility of a previously only fictionalized romance a possibility. Do you go with your heart, and the things that you’re feeling, or do you stay with what your head and your previous experience has taught you? Jane was posed with that question tonight, and she went with her heart.
She tells Michael she wants to talk – a man that we saw her meeting in a precious flashback earlier in the episode – and tells him that their two-year relationship is over. The lie Michael told is only partially the reason. Now, because of her feelings for Rafael, Jane is the one that’s lying. It’s too early for Jane to be having the happy ending, which is precisely why it’s happening now, mid-mid season. Jane tells Rafael that she’s broken up with Michael in the midst of a new job, getting to know her father, a lawsuit with Rafael’s sister, as well as his problems with Petra and his hotels.
This is the worst possible time for Rafael and Jane to begin trying something together, and it was awful watching Michael being dumped, his engagement ring being handed back to him. But if we’ve learned anything from Jane the Virgin so far, it’s that nothing is final on this show.
But, besides that fact, this feels like a pretty huge move. I don’t think Jane made the right decision tonight, kissing Rafael under that cherry tree, but I do know that I loved watching it, and that I want to see more. Now, please. This isn’t the end of Jane’s love triangle, but this development certainly sharpens up some of its edges. And it was also stupendously exciting television, like so much of what happens on this incredible little show.
I think Jane the Virgin may have just made her first bad decision. Let’s see how it all goes down.
- Xiomara, meanwhile, finally has her performance at the hotel, making a good decision to counter Jane’s bad one after it all goes well. She refuses to interact romantically with Rogelio anymore. She’s putting her daughter first, as she always does.
- “I have recorded over seven telenovela theme songs!” “Oh. So eight.” Yes, exactly. Rogelio, meanwhile, wasn’t quite as funny tonight, but you see the reasons behind that car he purchases for Jane by the end of the episode. He thinks he’s missed all of the big moments in her life, and wants to be able to at least make one of them possible for her. I’ll miss those bus scenes of Jane’s though, because besides the subway in New York, there’s not much public transport featured on TV. It was always a quiet and consistent reminder of Jane’s situation, and a nice touch to flesh out her place in the world.
- “I know how to take down sixteen year old bitches.” You certainly do, Xo.
- “So Rafael left Jane with a terrifying thought. A thought she couldn’t even say aloud: ‘What if it was meant to be?’” Destiny is terrifying, but it seems like Jane has bought into it. I guess we’ll see how meant-to-be turns out with all of the obstacles they have to face. Can chemistry and destiny get you through everything?
- I’m sad for Michael, but he got his own sort of destiny from sitting on that boat, alone, when he realizes where the drug deal is going to be made. Something that looks increasingly attached to Petra’s character who goes full on soap opera evil in this episode. Thankfully, Rafael manages to get out of the abuse claims (he’s got a witness, which is enough to convince Petra to drop the claim), before she then seemingly kills a man. I have no idea what’s happening with her character, but unlike my hesitations last week, I enjoyed the embrace of evil doings that Petra had going on tonight. I suspect her and Michael shall be talking soon.
- And finally, that kiss. The petals in the wind, the Christina Perri song, that lift Rafael gave her… I’m absolutely smitten with this scene. And in a cute note, that beating heart sound effect that covered the entire scene was wonderful. I don’t know whose heart it was (both of theirs, I think we can assume), but it was a beautiful touch.