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‘Jane the Virgin’ Season 1 Episode 21 Recap: “Chapter Twenty-One”

jane the virgin chapter twenty one

So, what happened on last week’s Jane the Virgin? I’m sure the narrator caught you up, but just in case he didn’t, Rogelio got his old job back (but didn’t take Xiomara back), Louisa returned with a new, wrestling star girlfriend, and Rafael realized that he made a mistake and wants Jane back. Just as she, in turn, decided to fight for sole custody of their baby.

“Chapter Twenty-One” is a little less frustrating than “Chapter Twenty,” but there are still elements in the episode that I think even Rogelio would find a little farfetched.

And mostly, they’re all to do with Petra. Petra, after a bout of very short PTSD, seems to be back firmly in the role of Jane the Virgin‘s main villain. She is, apparently, back to being in love with Rafael (it’s not like she cheated on him, stole his sperm, and tried to ruin his career and life, but sure… she’s in love) and is willing to do anything to get him back. Something that Jane then uses against her to get her own justice against Petra and her mother.

But first, Jane has to make her own mistake: she goes to her five-year high school reunion. Besides the question of why we even have reunions (doesn’t Jane know that these things never go well?), you’ve got to wonder why Jane agrees to go. But then (flashback time!) we see that it was Jane herself who organized the event. A year ago she had her life right on track. A serious boyfriend, three quarters of a teaching degree, and an optimistic outlook on the life ahead of her. She was going to rock this reunion, and show up all of the mean girls that used to taunt her at high school.

Something that, admittedly, is a little harder to do when you’re a single, unemployed mother. But, Jane being Jane (a.k.a. a better person than all of us), still turns up. She talks to her old teachers, friends, and even her old crush. She makes a speech, and tunes out the voice in her head that tells her to tell the truth about how she’s really feeling (for a moment the show tricks us into thinking that that’s what Jane has done — opened her mouth and blurted out all of her feelings about being pregnant and how nobody tonight even saw her as a person, just a walking baby carrier), but Jane doesn’t let her emotions get the better of her. She’s put-together, even in the most miserable of situations, because Jane is tough. She’s three weeks away from giving birth, has decided to raise this baby alone — and yet, there she is, at her reunion, standing tall and making a speech about the beauty of life.

She doesn’t believe what she’s saying right at that moment, but that’s the thing: sometimes you’ve got to fake it till you make it. Especially when you’re in a room full of people that you went to high school with.

She does get something from the reunion, though, an idea of what will bring Petra down to earth. An old bully apologizes for the way that she treated Jane, saying that, sometimes, you just have to use people’s vulnerabilities against them. And Petra’s vulnerability? Jane’s smart enough to realize that it’s Rafael.

So, she enlists her ex to help her get Magda out of the hotel and into jail, where she belongs. Rafael flirts with Petra, hinting that they could reunite if only Magda was out of the way and Jane didn’t have to worry about her, something that I would have thought Petra was too smart to fall for — but she’s got that PTSD, I guess? So she falls for it, getting her mother to call up Michael and turn herself in. I love Jane, and I even like all of the murky sides of Rafael, but Petra’s character is a mess. Sometimes a hot mess that’s a lot of fun to watch, but in the last two episodes, nothing but a confused mess.

But the plot does what it’s supposed to do, getting Magda out of the way, and ensuring justice for our favorite family. Rafael is back in Jane’s good books, and Jane isn’t filing for sole custody. She is, however, getting closer and closer to Michael again, with the pair talking on the phone for hours after her reunion and his medal ceremony that she attended with him.

Just like I’m sure Rogelio would be, I can’t help but be happy about this. Michael’s a puppy, one who hasn’t messed around with Jane in the same way that Rafael has. By the end of the episode, Rafael, after realizing where his priorities lie and getting out of his funk, decides that he doesn’t want to be like his father. He wants to be a good father and a good boyfriend, and he wants, most of all, for Jane to be in his life.

What he doesn’t realize, though, is how full Jane’s life really is right now. Jane is a pillar of strength no matter what outrageous situation in her life pops up, and people in her life gravitate towards her because of this reason. But it looks like it won’t be Team Michael or Team Rafael having any sort of ‘victory’ in the season finale next week (or even next season, necessarily) because it’s going to be all about Team Jane, as she decides to apply for a graduate writing program.

It’s time to merge sides, and become Team Finish-That-Novel, Jane.

Notes

  • Rogelio and Xiomara, meanwhile, finish up rehearsals for their show. Something that becomes increasingly difficult when she realizes that Rogelio is afraid of heights, and can’t handle the lifting stage that they’re performing on. So, she covers for him, saying that that’s what friends are for. Rogelio’s a good actor, but he was real bad at not looking like he was completely in love with Xiomara after that act.
  • “I’m not afraid of anything! Except acne and leprechauns.” ” Leprechauns aren’t real.” “I know what I saw!”
  • Jane’s heart lit up when she was talking to Michael, which was pretty damn cute.
  • “I think I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have broken up with Jane.” Too little, too late?