Never has an episode of television given me so much secondhand embarrassment. There was an episode of Degrassi: The Next Class that almost did, but it got nothing close to what “Chapter Thirty-Three” of Jane the Virgin did. On the heels of Jane’s sexy dream about Professor Chavez, Jane tries to gauge his feelings for her, leading us to The Awkward Sweater Kiss of 2016. As a friendly Chavez leans in to open her car door, Jane misreads the situation and plants a kiss on his sweater. I spent the entire episode up to this point dreading the moment where Jane would clumsily reveal her crush and make hers and Chavez’s relationship infinitely more complicated. And then it came and it was terrrrribbbble. Jane the Virgin has a gift for imbuing itself with heart, and there’s plenty of it as Jane adorably tries to be subtle in drawing out Chavez’s feelings. She awkwardly says his name instead of her male romantic hero (which is not as embarrassing as kissing his sweater), and after the Awkward Sweater Kiss of 2016, Jane takes the high road, apologizes and tries to move past it, but that proves difficult so she drops Chavez as her advisor.
I’m not sure what this means for Jane’s writing career. The episode doesn’t really nod to what’s next in that particular department. Instead, it’s all leading up to Chavez, no longer Jane’s advisor, returning her feelings and asking her out on a date. “Chapter Thirty-Three” almost convinces me there’s romantic hope for Jane outside Rafael and Michael (though I still have my doubts), and I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship progresses. And I’m intrigued by Jane’s new reevaluation of her promise to remain a virgin until marriage. There have been questions about the show’s future if Jane is no longer a virgin (perhaps there will be a title change?), but surely she can’t stay one forever? Jane realizes that her sexual urges aren’t being satisfied, and with no marriage in sight, they aren’t going to be anytime soon if she sticks to this promise. That introduces an interesting conundrum for Jane. By nature she’s a relationship type of person so one night stands aren’t her thing. A potential relationship with Chavez could solve this problem, but as promos indicate, she has to jump the hurdle of relaying her inexperience.
Meanwhile Jane’s not the only one with a budding romance forming. Petra and Rafael have been spending a lot of time together, and with the Marbella in need of rescue after news dropping of its involvement with yet another drug queenpin, they unite to try and turn the tide. They find their progress impeded by a successful artist Petra once offended, cueing the creation of a hilarious likeness of Petra titled “The Trophy Wife”. It makes for an adorable and funny storyline for Petra, much lighter than previous fare of her difficult pregnancy and terrible mother, giving us the beginnings of some much needed growth for Petra. This season has been full of change for her. The season began with her impregnating herself with a turkey baster, and when Rafael kisses her now, potentially reigniting their relationship, she turns him down because she knows he isn’t over Jane. It’s a nice moment for Petra, who’s figuring out her worth and also realizing how her machinations haven’t gotten her very far. It’s difficult to figure out if Rafael ever will be over Jane enough to commit to Petra again, but we can hope.
Xiomara and Rogelio are having their own romantic troubles. Rogelio is hit or miss with me (more often miss), but I enjoy him more when he’s leaning more toward a serious character than comic relief. He’s a kook, but he’s often so much of one that I can’t take him or his stories seriously. That changes this week as Jane reluctantly allows him to babysit Mateo, who ends up paying a visit to the hospital after swallowing the diamond Rogelio plans on setting into an engagement ring for Xo. It adds some fine conflict into Jane and Rogelio’s relationship after it’s been mostly solid on their end though I question why no one thinks to be present for Rogelio’s first try at babysitting, especially when they’re all so unsure about it. But that’s not even the point: it’s about Rogelio possibly not being that great with children when he still really wants them.
And therein lies the problem. Rogelio’s proposal is incredibly sweet, but Xo, celebrating her fortieth birthday and struggling to hold onto her fledging music career, hesitates at accepting it. Rogelio wants more children, and Xiomara’s already raised a child. She’s prolonged her music career long enough and doesn’t want to do so again, especially when it would mean giving up on her career all together. Like hers and Rogelio’s romance, Xo’s singing career has also stalled onscreen, and I’m not anymore eager than she is to see it fade away again.
- Petra’s striped dress back in the day was boooomb.
- The flashbacks to Petra and Rafael’s past were pretty unnecessary. They didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about them.
- The mystery of Mudder and Sin Rostro is getting…boring. It’s great to see Bridget Regan again, but I’m ready for this storyline to start picking up or coming to an end. It seemed like it was only going to get better from here after learning about Rafael’s mother, but the past couple episodes haven’t seen a lot of forward momentum in that regard. Rose being Elena’s stepdaughter doesn’t mean anything to me, it’s just another something to pile on. Even Luisa and Susannah (so glad they finally said her name!) had their relationship fizzle out, and we haven’t even had time to really get to know them as a romantic pairing.