Jane the Virgin: S04E01 “Chapter 65”

Episode Grade: B

Hello JtV fans. I’m sure there is some sort of cutesy collective name for us, but I’m new to the club and not really a Twitter user so I am oblivious to whatever that name is. I’m going to try my hand at writing a review for this show, but as I am new to the process, and JtV has so much going on per episode, forgive me if it turns more into a recap with occasionally snappy commentary from yours truly. Every episode seems packed to the gills with developments and all the characters interacting so I’ll do my best to keep it coherent. I know I’m a few weeks behind schedule, but I just noticed no one was doing this and if I’m going to cover the season, I’d like to do it from the start.

The episode picks right back up where we left off in the finale, with Adam (Jane’s ex played by Tyler Posey) showing up at Xo and Ro’s wedding reception to deliver Jane the letter Michael had placed under the floorboards. But there is one dramatic change, instead of hearing our beloved narrator, there is a new woman giving commentary and apparently has his own story but his is told in comic book style rather than novela and we are now on Jane’s Chapter 65 and Adam’s Issue # 428. The idea of introducing dueling narrators is such a fresh approach for the show and one that suits the tone. It’s always a lot of fun to hear any of the regulars on the show describe Jane and Co.’s life nonchalantly and the reaction of outsiders, and such is a case when Lady Narrator is brought into the fold. I’d be lying if I said I was kinda shipping these two faceless entities, but I don’t know if it’s gimmick that could last very long without getting tired or obnoxious. That being said, I really hope this isn’t the last time we’ll hear from Adam’s storyteller. I don’t have much to say on Adam for the time being. I know he’s supposed to be Jane’s first love, but the only thing that really drove home any significance is the reveal that Adam wrote Jane’s musical que for love. This episode seemed to mostly utilize him to push Jane into a direction on where to go with Rafael.

One of the more interesting developments of the series stems from the finale, and that is Rafael and his money have been parted. This not only affects his lifestyle (he’s now taken residency in Alba’s house) but the education and extracurricular activities for Mateo. She’s becoming worried for good reason that her son is spoiled, and Raf’s upset that his son knows anything about financial woes. Raf’s been trying to stay on the straight and narrow ever since becoming a father, hell, he went to prison to become an honest man but I’m curious to see if he can stay on that path. He did seem to fall into line with going along with Petra’s scheme as soon as one presented itself. Sure, it’s not a super-unethical one just considering the tactics Luisa and Aniska are deploying against their siblings, but it seems like a slippery slope.

Of all the stories going on, the one working out best for me it the Rogelio-Darcy-Xiomara baby expectancy plot. It’s got me emotionally all over the place. I’m laughing, I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m happy. It really is delivering across the board. Darcy is pretty awful in virtually every way she can be to Ro, but it fortunately delivers the best laughs of the night so it doesn’t drag the show down. In fact, I laughed so hard at the #Pound Puppies on the screen, I immediately wished I could talk to a writer from the show to find out if there was a pitch for best hashtag and when someone came up with Pound Puppies, everyone else decided to buy that person a round for their genious. The top scene of the episode came after Xo made Rogelio realize that the woman he was spiteing is and will always be the mother of his child. He vows to never insult Darcy again, and of course she puts that to the test. Its both touching and hysterical to watch Rogelio suck back his anger and resentment as Darcy hurls insult after insult at him and return those vollies with words of encouragement.

There’s a struggle for me determining which of the night’s stories I was weakest. The Sin Rostro story should have ended a while ago, so I can’t really bring myself to care. Luisa has been and always will be a mess. Rose will always be evil. I will always be happier when they aren’t on the show. But where I find that story boring, I find the Jane-Rafael-Petra love triangle tedious. Did I hold my breath for a hot minute when I saw Jane going into the bathroom to join Rafael in the shower? You bet your sweet ass I did, but I really don’t care to rehash this relationship at the top of season 4. There’s more than a fair chance that Jane and Rafael are end game, but I have no desire to really drag this out further by watching the show toy with Petra’s heart again. Yael Groblas does just an amazing job going from Petra fierceness to this small moments of vulnerability that it does crush me each time she ends up getting hurt and putting her shields right back up. It be one thing if Petra’s high moments were ever long-lived, but out of all the characters, I think she’s the one who has spent the least amount of time getting to enjoy herself. Here’s where I thought about making a Parker Lewis joke, but then I realized I would be the only one who got it, so here we are instead.

Overall, I’d say it was a healthy start to the season. Based on the casting choice alone, I don’t think Adam is going to be around in the long term, but I’d be pleased to get to discover more about Jane’s first love and watch her put herself back out there. I really look forward to seeing Rogelio become a father again considering Jaime Camil is already endearing as anything and that’s not when he’s toting around a baby. I might just melt when I see him with his new child. I hope I did a sufficient job covering the show and look forward to tackling this season