Jane the Virgin: S05E02, “Chapter83”

Now that the dust has settled on the return of Michael, things on JtV are beginning to look more familiar (for better or for worse).  I was delighted that the Narrator was back to having fun and the on-screen text added the sassiness I’ve come to expect from them. I’m intrigued to find out how Jane’s faith, and more specifically the guilt it has instilled in her, will shape how she proceeds with Rafael and her kinda husband.  I’m dismayed that Rogelio, possibly the most entertaining character on the show, has been saddled with a plot that resembles so many of his previous plots. I’m not sure where I stand on this whole Alba/Jorge thing. But I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.

The episode kicks off with a montage of all the sacraments Jane has received reminding us how important being Catholic is, not just to her identity, but as the rock she has built her whole world view around.  It’s something she wants for her son as well, much to Raf’s reluctance. She may have lost the battle to get Mateo into a Catholic school, but she’s insistent that he participates in Sunday school until he gets his first communication. Having suffered 8 years of CCD, Raf and Mateo should consider themselves lucky she only wants him to go for a couple year.  But the church isn’t the only thing causing friction between these two. There’s still the 800 lbs elephant in the room, or in this case Jane’s possible husband who so rudely interrupts the duo from some quick morning action.  I say rude, cause an open door does not mean you just walk into somebody else’s place, at least not without knocking on the frame or something to give folks a heads up. Unfortunately, watching NCIS episodes with his father did nothing to jog his memory, so he’s begrudgingly spending more time with Jane.

Meanwhile, Rogelio is dealing a problem that seems much more trivia: having his lines reduced on the show.   He pleads his case to the writers for them to return his monologue, but they are too busy nibbling on Ms. Fields cookies to listen to his complaints.  Ro is about as annoyed with River Fields as I am that they are repeating this petty feud storyline for the umptenth time. Rogelio might be the most entertaining character on the show, but its becoming clear that’s more because of Jaime Camil’s charm than show knowing what to do with him.  

You know who’s not charming?  JM. He’s rude to Jane (who just got him hooked up with a room at The Marbella), he eats all the food apparently, and he he hates her beloved romance novel.and he’s demanding compensation for his stuff that Jane sold when she thought he was dead.  On that last one, he kinda has a point, but his attitude about it all leaves a lot to be desired and I can’t help siding with Jane on this one because of it.

Things for her aren’t going much better with Raf now either.  She has to drop the bomb on him that she’s just been informed that her marriage is still in tact.   She wants to wait the 6 months it will take for a judge to dissolve their marriage, while Raf wants her to file for divorce.  Honestly, I don’t understand why neither one of them has brought up trying to get an annulment, because no matter what a judge decides for Jane, marriage is a sacrament that requires the church to nullify. Maybe this would have come up if Raf didn’t have to take off to pick up Luisa to go to the prison.  Oh goody, more Luisa and Rose.

Luisa is meeting with Michael’s former partner, Dennis, to prep for visiting her ex.  She confident that her sobriety and a brief list of Rose’s wrong-doings will keep her from being seduced.  I feel like if you got back together with someone AFTER you found out they killed your dad, a sheet reminding you of that isn’t going to make much of a difference.  But who knows? Maybe she’ll surprise me.

Back at the Passions of Steve and Brenda writer’s room, Ro is taking a page from River’s books and supplies the team each their own personal RoBoat.  As bored as I am by this storyline, I can’t help but love the corny pun or how they duped Ro into practicing his line. It’s not enough to get them to change their minds about the rewrite as they don’t think long monologues would be authentic for someone with no memories.  If he had spent any real time with JM, he might already know this to be true, but since he hasn’t he thinks introducing them to JM would change their minds.

After informing JM about this new work opportunity, the two go back to the box of Michael’s belongings.  There’s a brief moment where it seems like JM might be recovering a memory about a shot glass, but it turns out to just be an NCIS flashback.   She’s visibly shaken from the ordeal, and just abandons JM at Alba’s house and goes to see her mom. She admits that she’s been stalling on a divorce because she’s been waiting to see if Michael will ever recover his memories.

Xo gets her to sit down and work out how she’s feeling and what she should share with Raf about them.  Jane admits that there’s possibility that if JM recovers his memories, there’s a chance her feelings for him would come back.  But more importantly, she feels guilty about giving up so quickly on Michael. Those two weeks may feel like an eternity with her repeatedly getting let down over and over by JM. but it’s still just been two weeks.   Luckily for her relationship with Raf, Xo tells her daughter to sit more time with her feelings before she goes upsetting her boyfriend.

Over at the prison, Raf(with Luisa by his side) is trying to get information on why Rose wiped Michael’s memories.  Instead of just telling him what he wants to hear, she antagonizes him by teasing of the possibility Michael recovers.  His calm demeanor fades and he storms off leaving Luisa to probe for more answers on her own. Rose wishes Luisa was more personal and less business, but that ain’t going to happen (for now).  The evil villain does finally give an answer as to why she erased Michael’s memory, but her excuse that it’s because Michael might have seen her in disguise sounds like a flimsy excuse. I am mildly amused that she tries to play off torturing a man with the result of heavy brain damage is proof of her listening to her ex, but I’d still rather this character be done with all together.  At least while she’s around, I’ll enjoy that someone’s maintaining a sense of humor. Well she did until Luisa shows her a set of numbers from Michael’s case file, in which she says no one will figure out what it means and hangs up. If it turns out to be coordinates, I’m going to be so disappointed but I feel like we aren’t going to get that answer any time soon.

JM goes to work with Ro and only makes his problems worse.  After briefly chatting with the writers, they decide to cut Ro’s line down to a simple “What?”.  He goes to chat up River Fields who reminds him that he is the victim in this whole thing and that she knows Jane must be treating him with patience and compassion. Ro moves his concerns to the more worthy topic of Xo.  He too is feeling guilt, but his is for leaving Xo alone to come to work. I wish he would have admitted that the guilt was the why he was advocating so hard for himself and his monologue because he wants to make his time away from his ailing wife worth it, but I’ll just have to assume that’s why so I can stop rolling my eyes over his jealousy.

Thinking of unsaid things, Jane and Raf are looking more likely to be on a path to disaster as both of them hold back their feelings regarding JM.  Jane is panicking because she doesn’t want Michael to get his memories because it would jeopardize the future she wants with Rafael, and he’s terrified over the same notion.  Unfortunately both are too scared to say what they think and are left to suffer in silence. Well that’s not entirely true. Jane is venting her problem out to her son, cause that’s a totally normal thing to do.  That cutie-patootie’s inability to see the nuance of her predicament leads her to tell him he might be too young and tells him he won’t be going any more. I expected JM’s presence to shake her faith, but I’m surprised at just how quickly she’s retreating from the church.  

Jane’s not the only one giving up though.  Michael shows up at her door to tell her he’s done working with her.  She’s been trying to control what happens with his belongings, and even worse, she’s not hiding how frustrated and disappointed she is with him.  Jane gets some sage advice from Alba (does she give any other kind) about how she needs to get to know JM better in order to help him. Jorge, who is now living with Alba (who I totally forgot was his wife) tells her to not have expectations of him.  The look on Alba’s face makes it clear that her feelings for Jorge are only growing stronger in their fake relationship, and his talking about being a good team isn’t helping matters. But oh, did my heart skip a beat when they showed hers glowing. Please JtV, let this woman get her happy ending.

Ro is no quitter though.  His failed attempts at getting his lines back leads him to the creative idea of stretching out the word “What” to take up the same amount of screen time as his costar.  Its an adorable, albeit petty move, but it’s a lot less charming after the 2nd take. Xo watching from the sides is first confused and then embarrassed by this stunt. When trying to convince him to read the line like a normal human being fails, she pulls out the Cancer Card.  Normally, I’m opposed to using guilt as a weapon, but for the sake of everyone, I’m so glad she did.

Jane’s guilt over not giving JM a fair shake ends up back on his doorstep to apologize and asks for a chance to get to know him.  The only thing that seems to give him any kind of personality is that he’s into line dancing and takes Jane to a good old fashioned honky tonk. Before they hit the dance floor, there’s shots of whiskey and pickle juice consumed and now I’m convinced JM must be a monster cause who in the hell has that as their go-to drink.  After somehow not throwing up, they go to get their groove on (or whatever the hell the line-dancing equalivalent of groove is) and Jane picks the dance in an amount of time I’m actually envious of. Must be nice to have rhythm. The two find themselves having a good time, but when the song turns slow, JM goes in for a kiss and spoils the mood.

Jane is super pissed and JM’s confused since Jane is still his wife.   She goes rushing home to tell Raf and now he’s super pissed too. But he’s not mad at JM, he’s mad at his girlfriend who is refusing to get a divorce.  In the midst of their heated discussion, she blurts out that she wishes Michael had never returned which is just what Raf needed to hear. He’s less enthusiastic when she reveals she’s pulled their son out of CCD and sweetly tells her that her faith has made her into the woman that he loves.  Whether it be concern she’s leading on JM, fear she’ll lose her relationship with Raf, or the erosion of her faith, Jane has made up her mind she’s filing for a divorce.

She’s so serious about that she goes to tell her abuela.  Even the Virgin Mary must have been surprised when Alba said that she understood Jane’s decision.  She’s been having feelings in her fake marriage and needs some space from her husband to protect herself.  She called in a favor to Rogelio, who in turned called in a favor to J.Lo and Jorgge’s travel visa was expedited.  I imagine somewhere offscreen Rogelio is having a fit he didn’t get to be the one who name dropped Ms. Lopez. Alba invites Jane to church to which she enthusiastically agrees and so I guess her faith is not as deeply shaken as previously thought.  

The episode then finishes out with 3 cliffhangers shown in quick succession.  One: River Fields wants Xo to deliver some shocking TBD news to her husband. Two: Luisa has been in her new safe house for maybe 5 minutes before one of Rose’s henchmen dupes her into letting him inside.  And three: Jason stalls on the divorce papers (damn that was fast filing) by lying that the dog ate them *rolls eyes*. After last week’s highly emotional episode, I was expecting a step back. Maybe it’s just me, but that ending left me numb.  I don’t care one bit about JM, and turning him into a manipulative liar isn’t doing him any favors in that department. As promising as I thought the amnesia twist would be last week, I’m now deeply concerned that they are burning through the internal conflict for Jane too quick and this is just going to turn into just another love triangle sooner than later.  However, I am holding out a bit of hope that things are not what they appear. It sure seemed suspect when he was tossing those papers out. With any luck (for us, not Jane) he’s a lot more sinister than he’s let on.