Jane the Virgin / Screen

Jane the Virgin: “Chapter Thirty-Eight”

Okay so…how long is 40 minutes really?

Maybe it’s because I have no children and therefore have little reason to consider how to best raise them, but 40 minutes (45 if there’s traffic) doesn’t seem like very far to travel for a kid. Especially if said kid is mine. This debate arises when Jane and Michael start house hunting, and their prospects in Miami are dire indeed. 40 minutes outside of the city, they find their dream home. It is a spectacularly dreamy house, so dreamy I’m wondering how they can afford it, but it’s perfect, and I’d even love to live there. Of course giddiness at finding the perfect house to start this new chapter of her life is dulled by Rafael’s insistence that 40 minutes is just too far. 

After this review I’m going to stop (for my own sake and the sake of not repeating myself every week) hoping Rafael will get a story that isn’t entirely based in him obstructing whatever choices Jane’s trying to make this week. Derek still lingers in the background doing nothing much and popping up only to give Rafael and Michael something to work together on. That at least is refreshing and almost cute, but Rafael’s issue with the house is just another something to use to cause issues between the three of them. Haven’t they had enough arguments? Why is the show’s first instinct to have Rafael get in the way of Jane doing something she wants to do? Especially over 40 minutes? Even when Jane and Michael point out that between the two of them, they’ll be commuting into Miami daily and thereby giving Rafael plenty of time with Mateo (and little time driving him), Rafael still says no. And even once Rafael’s been convinced (by a perfect Petra) that it’s fine, a walking Mateo changes Jane’s mind and they restart the house hunt. This is one thing I just cannot get with Jane on. That house was lovely, and Rafael knows how to drive.

This whole thing got me thinking about what exactly Rafael gets to do as a parent. I can’t recall if we’ve seen him spending nights with Mateo yet. Actually I can’t remember the last time we saw Rafel with Mateo when Jane wasn’t dropping him off or picking him up.  Jane being with him every night made sense when she was breastfeeding, but now? Rafael can surely take care of Mateo some nights, like when he won’t stop crying and Jane is wandering the halls of the Marbella trying to quiet him? Even the drama about the commute could have been easily solved by allowing Rafael to actually be with his son for several days at a time, thereby eliminating said commute somedays. But…no? It’s not a criticism of Rafael whose been more than clear about how much he’s willing to do as Rafael’s father, it’s more a criticism of the show which hasn’t yet given Rafael the same parenting journey it’s given Jane or Petra. It’s frustrating in many ways to see Rafael passed over so often when it comes to valuable storylines. Rafael may mention Mateo all the time, but we don’t see him with his son the same way we do with Jane. Especially when we watched Jane worry about Rafael’s availability and know that Rafael’s totally in love with fatherhood and would probably love to have Mateo with him.

Then there’s Petra. She’s so lovely, and she gets lovelier every minute. Really. Every minute. Unknown to Jane and Michael, she’s the owner of their new dream home, and even though Jane doesn’t know it, this surely cements their friendship. Jane and Petra have a really lovely episode together as accompanies Petra to her new mommy class. Though Petra seems to perk up upon hearing about the moms and their difficulties, the group wonders if she’s dealing with postpartum depression when she confesses to not connecting with Anna and Elsa. That certainly explains Petra’s difficulty with motherhood thus far, which is more severe than just being unsure of what to do with twin girls. Petra’s initial irritation at this suggestion is smoothed over by Jane’s support, but Petra’s plans to go to a doctor are derailed when she visits Magda to ask her about her own postpartum experience. Just as awful as expected, Magda tells Petra what a worthless mother she’ll be, telling her to just give her daughters away. I despise Magda and everything about her, and I despise the show for putting Petra back in her crosshairs when things have been going relatively well for her. It’s painful and infuriating to watch Magda tell Petra she’s unfit for motherhood and even more painful to watch Petra pack her bags.

Stray Observations

  • Pablo ends up being a cheating ass which is bad but also good. He’s gone now so no more bad luck for the displaced Villanuevas, but sad for Alba. Also, no sex for Alba.
  • Rogelio unveiling the soundstage of the Villanueva house was super super sweet. And I may have cried a little. Then I may have really cried when Petra was revealed to be the owner of Jane and Michael’s new house, which was a much better twist than it being Rafael as Jane and Michael first suspected.

One thought on “Jane the Virgin: “Chapter Thirty-Eight”

  1. Pingback: Why Aren’t Jane the Virgin’s Men Taking Care of Children? | The Chelsea Review

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