(S)Heeeee’s baaaack! After an impromptu and accidental hiatus, I have returned to bring you my take on the season three premiere of CW’s Jane the Virgin. We reunite with Jane after her own agonizing and cliffhangerrific hiatus that left her heroic hubby Michael with a GSW to the chest and STILL no sex with his one true love to speak of. Let’s turn the page on “Chapter Forty-Five” and try to resist the urge to scroll to the bottom of my post. I’m hoping the journey will be worth it.
The End is the Beginning is the End
Every episode that begins with a flashback to Young Jane makes me giddy about the possibility of a prequel series. Xiomara The Virgin? Alba, Xo, and Jane Take Miami? Eh, we can think of a title later.
Anyway… Just when you think there can’t be anything more adorable and earnest than Gina Rodriguez in the role, Jenna Ortega perfectly pulls off all the characteristics and mannerisms that have made us fall in love with Adult Jane right alongside Michael and Rafael. Tonight, she takes on a romance novel author while attending her very first book reading. Baby Jane accuses the writer of breaking the sacred rules of the genre by not allowing her characters to live happily at the end of the story. Her impassioned speech and impressive use of acronyms (HEA= Happily Ever After) don’t register too much with the author or her fellow fans, but Jane refuses to back down.
On the bus ride home, Jane vows to forever begin books by reading their endings first. But, once again, our intrepid, Emmy-nominated (and robbed) narrator informs us that life is not a romance novel and it’s impossible to skip the end, which really sucks for everyone in the show and everyone reading this blog dying to know Michael’s fate.
Baby’s First Love Triangle
Jane the Virgin is also not a romance novel, but it is a nighttime soap opera so there were flashbacks aplenty. Our second trip to the past drops us right in the middle of the morning after Jane’s 21st birthday rager turned meet cute with Michael. Hungover from tequila and her “magical” kiss with the cop, Jane texts him setting up a romantic date for that evening. Just then, the doorbell rings revealing Jane’s 17-month crush, some cute nerd named Sam. He comes bearing a spoiler to Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (which I will not repeat, don’t worry) and Jane’s second proposition in 17 minutes.
Without thinking of Michael, she agrees to the night out with Sam. Xiomara suggests calling in sick to Michael’s date to keep him on the hook. Jane doesn’t see the flaw in her mother’s plan until she sees red and blue lights flashing in Sam’s rear view mirror. Because Michael is an angel, he came to bring Jane chicken soup and only then spied her sneaking out with Sam. Jane feels like garbage for lying to Michael (who she’s begun to Facebook stalk) so she visits him at the police station to smooth things over. Love appears further still from these two when Jane is honest about the fact that she would like to explore relationships with both men.
Michael storms off at the mere suggestion of a love triangle, but later marches right up to Jane’s doorstep willing to fight for a fair chance with her. Jane can’t resist for long, and they share their second of many kisses. The rest is history, but is Michael?
The Waiting Game
Absolutely everybody was #TeamMichael this week. It was great to see Rafael express genuine concern for the husband of the mother of his medical malpractice miracle baby. You’ll recall that we last saw him shtupping his maniacal ex-sister-in-law Anezka masquerading as his sporadically maniacal ex-wife Petra. You’ll also recall that Anezka has done away with real Petra by injecting her with a powerful paralytic mimicking the effects of a stroke and dumping her in the hospital. It turns out that this drug requires periodic injections to remain active. The police nearly thwart Anezka by keeping her at the Marbella to view surveillance tapes from the time of the shooting. She successfully weasles her way out of their surveillance just in time to freeze Petra a little longer.
Michael’s best friend and father-in-law Rogelio also does the best he can to support Michael. Doing his best of course involves him selling his clean urine to a pair of addicts who threaten to tweet about the tragedy currently crippling his family. Xo offers up her own urine instead before remembering that her pee currently stands for pregnant. Rather than keeping the secret all season like a lesser show would do, Xo reveals her pregnancy and the fact that the baby is by Rogelio’s telenovela heartthrob rival, Esteban. She also assures him that she has decided not to have the baby.
Meanwhile, Xo’s first baby, Jane, is really going through it. She is terrified for Michael, but is forced to swallow that fear and make several life and death decisions for her new husband. Things only grow more tense when Michael’s mother Patricia rides in on her high horse riding a broom and questions, belittles, and snipes at Jane every chance she gets. Finally, we learn that Michael has two options for treatment: high risk surgery that could cure his paralysis or playing a waiting game that could result in his paralysis. For the first time, Mama Cordero supports Jane’s decision to allow the doctors to operate on Michael’s spine. Before Michael goes into surgery, Jane paints a picture of the full, gorgeous life they will live once he comes out of the operation alive. It includes three kids, Sunday dinners, and tons and tons of age makeup.
And, probably because Jane doesn’t have the 11 seasons Grey’s had to put in before killing off its resident McDreamy (Raf is obvi McSteamy), Michael LIVES! He teases Jane about the promise she made to his comatose body about one day having a pet cat, and you start crying all over again because watching tween Mateo help his half siblings with their homework in Jane’s fantasy wasn’t sweet enough.
We leave Michael and Jane in a romantic tableau to end them all as Rafael helps lead the cops (by way of powdered donut residue) to the shooter, the diabolical mistress of disguise Sin Rostro! Where is she? Just in a freaking SUBMARINE sailing with a confused Luisa to their own HEA 20,000 leagues under the sea. Yeah. Here’s hoping they run into Aquaman down there and Jane can cross over with the CW’s Arrowverse this year!
This premiere of Jane the Virgin did not disappoint. Not only did it keep Michael alive, but also slipped in a hilarious amnesia bait and switch expertly played by Rodriguez and the divine Brett Dier. Tune in next week with me for what looks like an hour chock full of Rogelio hijinx. Yay!