Jane the Virgin Review: Is Jane and Rafael’s Spark Still There?

Jane the Virgin

It really does seem like forever since last we saw all the drama on Jane the Virgin. There was a murder in self defense, a shot-down proposal, and that epic kiss. But did it all happen the way we think it did? In hindsight, there is actually quite a lot that we didn’t see, just interpreted. Because of that, there are a few assumptions that could have been jumped to that need to be cleared up. Especially if anybody wants a happy ending, or an ending that doesn’t include jail time, time in the dog house, or being in any trouble of any kind. Then again, this is a telenovela, so perhaps my expectations are too high.

We left off on Jane and Rafael’s romantic moment, but what we as an audience felt was not exactly what was happening. Jane and Rafael had two very different versions of that event, and Jane’s was not good. Because these two have been shipped so hard, it’s hard to remember that it has actually been four years since they were together. That is a long, long time. But, I mean, come on! The guy made a list of reasons he and Jane should be together. Single-spaced, organized into sections, and with counterarguments! Alba is right. #TeamJafael all the way, if they can ever get on the same page chemistry wise.

Now Rogelio is an evolved metrosexual man. Because we expect that of him, it’s difficult to understand why he is so resistant to the idea of therapy. Let’s clear this up right now. A huge part of it is, like many other cultures, no Latino man has ever been encouraged to talk about his feelings (hence Justin Baldoni’s #ManEnough campaign). Xiomara has to practically push her husband through the therapist’s door. But the minute Rogelio opens up about his issues with his “Momager”, he won’t stop. His fountain of truth is nothing compared to Xo’s.

She gets up the courage to confess that she wishes her father hadn’t worked so much when she was little, since she’ll never be able to get that time back with him. Alba is absolutely furious that Xo would “disgrace” her father’s name, but that’s not how Xiomara feels. Even as a child she understood why her father had to work multiple jobs to provide for her, but she just didn’t know that there wouldn’t be time to make up for it. Xo and Alba’s perspectives on Mateo Sr. are different, but that doesn’t make either one wrong. Furthermore, Xo’s realization inspires Rogelio. Mateo Sr. couldn’t be there for Xo, and Rogelio wasn’t there for Jane, but he still has a chance with Baby. So Rogelio makes the decision to take the year off to be a stay-at-home dad.

Is it bad that I’m relieved Anezka is really dead, for real this time? There has to be a limit on how many times a person can rise from the dead. Even though Petra pushed her sister off that balcony in self-defense, the police aren’t going to be so sure of that. That’s where guest star Rosario Dawson comes in. She is…Jane Ramos. Of all the capable lawyers in the city, Petra had to get stuck with a Jane. Petra eventually has to realize that there may be something to the name, since Jane Ramos isn’t just a capable lawyer, she’s the perfect lawyer to get Petra out of this mess. That is, if Ms. Ramos wasn’t working on the side for someone else.

In other news, Mateo is going to kindergarten! I echo the narrator’s sentiment. “I remember when he was just a syringe on a tray waiting to be inserted into the wrong woman.” The problem is that it gets harder and harder for Jane, Rafael, and Mateo to lie about Mateo’s address. Welcome to the state of the public education system, where young children have to lie in order to get an equal chance as another kid who lives across town. Jane and Rafael already have doubts when Mateo says he’s scared he’ll slip up. So Rafael is already doubting himself when he realizes that Petra left Luisa in a mental hospital after discovering Anezka’s plot.

Rafael has changed so much. Even a year ago, he wouldn’t have thought to make a long-term plan for his family that didn’t involve building up his money. Buying a small apartment in Mateo’s school district so his son won’t have to lie about his address is what a true father would do. It also puts a little space between him and Jane so that they can explore whatever they have without pressure. Something else that changed in four years? Mateo’s sense of observation. As soon as Jane and Rafael get their spark back, Mateo gets excited about Mommy and Daddy getting back together. Oh boy.

Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 8 Review: "Chapter Seventy-Two"
4.5

Summary

Jane the Virgin returns from winter hiatus with different perspectives on lying, past truths, and that big kiss.

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