Jane the Virgin jumped right in this week and so there’s a lot to dissect in terms of characters and their development. “Chapter Sixty-Six” pitted the characters against their alter-egos and each person had a moment where they showed another side to them. Situations flipped and adjusted depending on whose skewed point of view we were privy to. Jane learned a few things about herself in regards to money and assuming the worst of Rafael as of late. Meanwhile, she also grappled with Adam’s longevity in her life. The episode maintained its over-the-top sense of humor, but with so many characters and subplots to balance in this episode, some got left by the wayside.
Jane’s relationship with Rafael continued to hit several bumps. Their miscommunication isn’t unrealistic and they both came fairly close to losing their tempers with each other several times. While Jane had a valid argument last week regarding money and not wanting Mateo to grow up spoiled, it was she who feels has been spoiled by money once she realizes she’s largely had Rafael and Rogelio’s funds to help raise Mateo and send him to school, etc. Moreover, one of the most effective moments of the episode is when Alba confronts Jane about how they used someone else’s address in order to send Jane to a better school growing up. She’s stunned that she wasn’t aware of the struggle of her mother and grandmother and how hard it was to grow up without money. It’s a strong moment for Jane and it was well played.
Living life with a lack of funds is a lesson Rafael may be on the way to learning also. He’s acclimating himself with his lack of money situation, but continues to fight back against not having it regardless. His identity has been so tied with money that he doesn’t know who he is without it. He’s let the material define him to the extent that it’s become an extra limb to lean on whenever the need arises. Jane has the opposite problem. She doesn’t realize how much her life has been affected by money, but she doesn’t let it solely define her as a person in the way that Rafael does. They’ve both been shaped by money in various ways, but the way in which their lives have been affected by it is still very different and it’s clear in their outlooks on life. After Jane apologizes for misconstruing Rafael’s intentions about using another address to get Mateo into a better school, there’s a noticeable shift in the way they communicate that’s far gentler and kinder than it has been over the these last couple of episodes.
Continuing this trend of miscommunication, Petra and Rafael are not quite in the land of happy couples. Instead of seeming excited about being back together, they’re working on communicating in a very… “mature” kind of way. Most of the discussion involves hotel business, but Petra is still insecure that Rafael may never be over Jane (and she has a point no matter the romantic distance between them right now). The relationship is something Petra thought she wanted, but it turns out she doesn’t. Dismayed by the turn of events and everything happening all at once, Rafael immediately finds himself in the arms of a potential business partner. Not the wisest of ideas, and surely one that will create more drama and tension as time goes on.
It’s not very surprising that Petra and Rafael didn’t last very long. What is surprising is that it ended the episode after they decided to get back together. This show’s investment in them isn’t very strong, it seems, and I admit they do work better as business partners than as complicated lovers. There’s a lot of baggage between them and it’s understandable that Petra feels less than when it comes to Rafael’s feelings for Jane. She doesn’t feel she can live up to that and seeing their situation, there’ll always be some sense of awkwardness between the three of them. I hope that this doesn’t diminish some of the development and intriguing relationship between Jane and Petra (which we sadly haven’t see as of late).
One of the stranger subplots of the episode is the one between Jane and Adam. They’ve been going strong for a few weeks and it’s easy to see that Jane is smitten with him. They have what feels like a very ideal relationship so far and haven’t gotten past the “fun” part of their new relationship yet. Adam’s narrator is gone, which is bizarre, but the more pressing matter is that Adam landed a VFX job in LA and asks Jane if she thinks he should take it or if he should stay in Miami with her.
On one hand, I found it utterly off-putting that the writers would introduce this plot thread so early on in the couple’s relationship. We’ve only known Adam for two episodes now, so it’s a bit of a reach to be throwing such a big decision into the episode and expect us to really care about his choice. On the other hand, now that his choice is out there, it’s one that’s ill-advised knowing he’s giving up a job for a relationship he’s only been in for a couple of weeks. Jane the Virgin is definitely trying to draw parallels between Adam and Jane: they’re both hopeless romantics and all, but it seems Jane is less so now than she was before and it’s Adam who’s taking that role on the show. Whether this decision is wise for the long run (it won’t be) remains to be seen within the show’s narrative. I have a feeling it’ll come back at some point down the road.
Rogelio and Darci continue to be at each other’s throats, but it’s Xiomara who continues to be caught in the crossfire. Darci and Rogelio finally get to a point of being amicable toward one another and, while that’s all well and good (and quite entertaining), Xiomara’s development is at a standstill because of it. She’s one of the characters who continues to be overlooked. She has gotten her own story in the past, but at the same time, they’ve all been cut short or had no real emotional follow-through. While Rogelio continues to shine in his over-dramatic nature, Xiomara is falling into his shadow and to the side and I don’t want this for her. The writers need to do a better job of showing her at work or catering to her own feelings besides playing babysitter to Darci. She got to express herself a little bit during the premiere and I hope we continue to see her do so. Just because she seems to be alright on the outside, she’s handling a lot for a newlywed and it needs to be better showcased.
Ultimately, “Chapter Sixty-Six” was another humorous episode, but one with a few pitfalls as it tried to balance all of the characters and didn’t always succeed in doing that. The Adam subplot moved quickly and was fairly surprising for such a new relationship to be thrown into the “do you want me to stay?” end of the pool. The end of Petra and Rafael’s relationship also seemed abrupt, albeit unsurprising. The episode ended on a cliffhanger with the narrator announcing that one of six characters will die by season’s end. It’s a way to keep audiences guessing, but it’s also a cheap way to maintain engagement (Arrow did the same thing in season four and it didn’t end well). All in all, the episode was fine, but wasn’t firing on all narrative cylinders.
- I kind of miss Zen Rafael. Is that weird?
- Alba is Team Rafael at the moment. This is both hilarious and incredibly endearing. They’ve come so far!
- Seriously, though, did anyone think Petra and Rafael would actually last?
- Of the six characters, who do you think will bite the dust?
- Magda is back. Poor Petra. She now has to deal with a whole family reunion and it won’t end well.
- When will they show Alba and Jorge together? We haven’t seen him yet this season.
- Will we never see Fabian again? I admit, he was fun and gave the show a different energy.
- Xiomara needs a break from the ever-unfolding drama of Rogelio and Darci. It’s like they’re still on their reality show.