Jane the Virgin: S04E05 “Chapter 69” Review

Welcome back readers to my JtV reviews, and welcome back Lina to the show. I really love Diane Guerrero on the show and its always nice to give Jane some female bonding time. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that the 69th chapter on the show decided to focus on sex and sexuality but where they decided to take those discussions was in a direction I was not expecting, especially when it tests your fondness for the title character.

The episode starts off on Lina’s return for her bachelorette party which is an uncharacteristically themed murder mystery party. The planning of said (nightmare for me) party is how Adam is introduced to Lina’s fiance Danny, who swears he recognizes Adam. The two bust out their phones and start searching social contacts when Danny figures out that Adam had dated a friend of his, and it just so happens this ex is a guy. There’s not a lot of representation of bi romantic leads in television, much less male bi romantics leads, so I welcomed this reveal.. And while I don’t think Jane’s response was appropriate, considering Adam’s reluctance to tell her in the first place, it’s realistic. It’s also kind of a shocking move for the show bring out some vocal biphobic views in Jane, but it’s also didn’t seem entirely out of character.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget just how conservative/traditional values Jane is, which is odd considering the word Virgin is right there in the title, but I think the lack of a preachy tone throughout the series makes the audience assume Jane is progressive. Afterall, this show has dealt with women’s reproductive rights, immigration issues, racial prejudice, and all of those Jane leans to the liberal side. This isn’t the first time the show has gone to reveal Jane has some ignorant and out-dated views, but it’s probably the longest they spent letting her look like an asshole or an idiot while figuring out she’s wrong. I cringed when she thought kissing Lina was a good idea (a scene that was saved by how awesome Lina was in rejecting her advances saying Jane couldn’t handle her) and again when she asks Adam if being bi was a stop on his way to figuring out he was gay. Part of that cringe was because there was a time I had responded to a love interest in the same dumb way Jane did. The only difference was that I was a dumb insecure 15 year old who was wrong about lots of things, and Jane’s a grown as women in the year 2017 (maybe 2020, with that time jump last season I don’t know when this is set) and having such a strong reaction to Adam’s revelation puts a very unflattering light on her. In the end, talking things through with Adam seems to have smoothed things over for the 2 of them I’m just not sure if the audience of the show will be as forgiving. I can only speak from my own experiences so I won’t judge those who just see her as a bigot because they’ve been on Adam’s side of this situation, but as someone who’s been on Jane’s, whether I was a dumb teenager or not, I’d like to think her openness once she wrapped her head around the idea means that it’s not all is lost on her.

Uncharacteristically, Jane’s involvement in helping Lina plan doesn’t end up with her inserting her judgements or fears, but then Lina goes and asks for Jane’s involvement. Turns out Lina is terrified that she and Danny are too different to make it work and enlists her friend to figure it out. I’m not sure how one determines that in a 30 minute informal impromptu meeting but Jane goes ahead and tells Lina they aren’t right for each other. Luckily before Lina can do anything drastic, Danny talks to Jane and tells her all about his plan to surprise her with a Lina-esque party right after the mystery is solved at the bachelor party. The ladies have one of their trademark bathroom floor heart to hearts and Lina realizes that her relationship does make sense because she’s marrying the male version of Jane. I’m going to do my best to burn out the rest of this scene from my memory. Considering Lina’s enthusiasm for her fiance’s strip tease, I think these crazy kids are going to make it work.

Ro and Xo this week are talking about sex this week, or more specifically contraceptive options. There is no need for any show to use the phrase that many times in under one hour. But Xo wants a much more reasonable option, Rogelio to get a vasectomy. It is somewhat insane how much easier it is physically to undergo voluntary sterilization, but it turns out mentally and emotionally it’s not so simple. For Ro the problem is less a change in virility but a change in perception of his vitality. In the end he decides that Ro’s happiness is more important and agrees to get the snip.

In a not surprising twist, Rafael survived his run in with Catherine’s bumper last week but is left bruised and broken. Petra took him home to the Marabella to tend to him, but once Luisa discovers he’s in the building she swiftly has him removed screaming something along the lines of ‘you changed man’. It’s pretty clear that Raf is hitting bottom, but it’s not bottoms out of his sons bed and thuds onto the floor that Jane goes to try to help him. Just as Raf is beginning to accept that the Marabella and getting his money back might not be in his future, he gets a call informing him of Luisa’s hallucinations of Carl and he confronts his sister, worried she’s having another nervous breakdown. Because he puts Luisa’s needs above his own interests, Luisa tells him that he’s back in the hotel business and she’ll be checking herself into a wellness center. And because again, this is a telenovela and there’s always a twist, it turns out Luisa’s not crazy at all (well maybe a little but Carl was real) and instead Petra and Madga played a long con. That means Luisa can’t give Raf back his part because she wasn’t mentally competent when she made that decision and now the rights to the Marabella go to Petra and Maga.

At many points in this week’s episode it was uncomfortable to watch, but that certainly didn’t make it bad.
I give some respect for to the writers for putting there main character’s flaws right out there and hopefully viewers who might have the same misconceptions or prejudices that Jane learned that bisexuality or heterosexuality are not factors in what it takes to make a successful monogamous relationship, it takes commitment and meeting each others needs.