Jane the Virgin Review: Not So Family Togetherness

Jane the Virgin

Every Thanksgiving we say how grateful we are for our families. For some this means being grateful to break bread with them. For others, it means being grateful they decided to save you the trouble of an extra place setting. Jane the Virgin‘s core has always been about families, the ones we’re born into and the ones we create. Newlywed Jane has so many blessings this year it’s overwhelming, but one of them could turn out to be a whole lot of trouble. Jane hasn’t really had the same negative experiences those around her have had with family, but that is going to change now.

Jane and her new long-lost cousin Catalina hit it off immediately. Michael isn’t as big a fan of Catalina’s world traveling, no fear lifestyle as Jane is. For example, Jane gets a job interview to be an assistant for a major publisher, but blows it when she lies about being able to work with a specific software program. Despite the snafu, Catalina gives Jane good pointers about how to strategize her career. Jane’s never felt more instantly connected to a stranger. It’s wonderful, until Catalina meets Rafael and they hit it off too. The whole situation makes Jane uncomfortable, but not for the reason Michael thinks. Jane isn’t jealous of Rafael and Catalina, but she is worried the effect their interaction could have on her family. Any potential tension would put Jane in the middle, which is why she asks Rafael not to date her cousin.

Catalina came to reconnect with her family, but her presence isn’t having the most positive effect on them. Though Alba agrees to meet with Catalina and genuinely gets along with her at first, everything comes to a screeching halt when Catalina mentions that Alba stole Mateo from her own grandmother. The way she phrased it was awful and untrue, but the bottom line is that since Alba didn’t stick around to clarify things, that’s the story everyone in Venezuela swore by. Even after Catalina puts her foot in her mouth Jane still likes her. The truth is Catalina does make Jane wish she had a more colorful life. It’s not that Jane doesn’t love Michael and Mateo, but occasionally a girl likes to imagine ‘What If?’. The dreaming is always just that, a dream. Jane really does love her life, including her silly husband, who publicly serenades her with his rendition of Bruno Mars.

Petra is not feeling a whole lot of love right now. She is on a rampage against everyone who wronged her, mainly Rafael. Getting revenge on your ex is a little tricky when you’re being sued for sexual harassment. Scott’s fling with Anezka has long-reaching repercussions. Though Petra kicked Rafael out of the company and the Marbella in general, she ends up needing his help to take care of Scott. What she didn’t know is that Rafael told Scott the whole truth and schemed with him to get the shares of the hotel back. This ruse is going to cost Rafael at some point in the future.

A story involving old family should also include old friends. Old exes unfortunately sometimes become par for the course. Xiomara is determined to open her dance studio all on her own, but Rogelio negotiates a very good deal for the studio of Xo’s dreams. Rogelio’s actually been a master negotiator lately. He was able to keep his contract with ‘The Passions of Santos’ and prepare for his full-frontal nudity scenes in the movie. All he had to do was subtly endorse the founder of “Honey Bunches of Oats” cereal in a take. Anyways, it really is a palace to Xiomara, until her she finds out that her ex-boyfriend Bruce’s law firm is literally next door to the studio. This is the opportunity Xiomara’s been waiting for, to finally tell Bruce off for the horrible way he jerked her around. Xiomara claims to be happily independent, but making out with Bruce behind everyone’s backs isn’t about happiness, it’s about bad habits. Bruce isn’t the real problem. The problem is that Xiomara is finally in a place in her life where she is (or should be) happily independent, and Rogelio is still in love with her. Now Rogelio has no choice but to stop living in the past if he wants to carve out his future.

Speaking of futures, Catalina might be sticking around for awhile. Seeing that Rafael and Catalina deserve the chance to get to know each other, Jane relents her previous stance on the two. Even Alba is okay with Jane spending time with Catalina, except she doesn’t trust her great-niece. The only reason she thinks it’s a good idea for Jane to spend time with Catalina is to keep an eye on her. Given the look Catalina gives Rafael after spending the afternoon with him, Alba might be onto something.

How dangerous could Catalina be to Jane? Were you surprised that Xiomara backslid into old patterns?

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