Jane The Virgin Recap: Chapter 57
By: Angela Russo (@Amaruki99)
Directed by: Zetna Fuentes
Written by: Madeline Hendricks
Jane is tingling with excitement and nerves as she heads to the first meeting with her editor. Jeremy provides feedback for rewriting a section of the novel, saying that it needs more bam-boom! Put off by his vague frat-guy phrasing but bolstered by his enthusiasm, Jane sets her reservations aside and agrees to make edits. She attempts to draw inspiration from those around her but ultimately her ideas feel uninspired. Frustrated, Jane tells Jeremy that she feels their styles just don’t mesh. To her surprise, he responds constructively, explaining that the writer-editor relationship is an ongoing dialogue. Her voice is vital to the process. As they start to collaborate, they find what has been missing – a deeper focus on her romance with Rafael. Jane realizes that she has avoided delving into this subject out of loyalty for Michael. Alba reassures her that her love for Michael was deep and true, and encourages her to give it her all. Comforted, Jane is finally able to make progress on her novel.
Jane’s insecurity over Mateo’s behavioral problems continues. This causes her to be hypersensitive and defensive with Stacy, another parent. She lashes out verbally in front of the school’s director Gwen Conway. Embarrassed, Jane attempts to make amends by volunteering at a fundraising event. Unfortunately, the parents are not impressed by her efforts, prompting Jane to change her strategy. She takes a more direct approach and has frank apologetic conversations that repair her relationships with Stacy and the director.
Although she is initially more comfortable selecting a female aide for Mateo, Jane quickly questions Carly’s suitability as she repeatedly gossips about the other children and parents. When Mateo admits that he preferred the male aide Alexander, Jane realizes she never thought to ask Mateo how he felt, and fires Carly.
Meanwhile, Bruce facilitates reconciliation between Xiomara and Rogelio. Unfortunately, Rogelio’s law-suit is not going as smoothly. Disappointed by his first choice of lawyer, Rogelio passionately entreats Bruce to represent him instead. This request interrupts Bruce’s proposal to Xiomara, who tearfully accepts as Rogelio watches.
Back at the Marbella, Petra walks in on Elvis fumbling with a vent in her suite. After he leaves, Petra examines the vent and discovers Scott’s burn book hidden inside. She quickly hides the book when Abbey comes to her seeking advice about her relationship with Rafael. She has asked him to move in, but his reluctance to commit concerns her. Rafael initially decides to move forward with Abbey, but later realizes he doesn’t really love her, and the two break up. As the episode concludes, Michael’s old police buddy Dennis opens a package containing Scott’s burn book with a card from Abbey advising him to reopen Scott’s case.
This week’s chapter touches on themes of gender bias. Considering Jane grew up in a household of strong independent women devoid of male role models, it’s not a particularly surprising revelation that she would be uncomfortable with male authority figures. However, this lack of self-awareness isn’t exclusive to her relationships with men. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Mateo’s behavioral issues and Jane’s social awkwardness are connected. When Jane encounters conflict she doesn’t stop to think before acting. This is very uncharacteristic of the thoughtful diplomatic Jane of seasons past.
It feels like Jane’s character is going through some growing pains. Her life has been turned upside down multiple times over the course of the series. Nothing is how she planned it. For someone who thrives on checklists, order, and strategic planning, the chaotic events of the past few years have challenged who she is to her core. As life changes, we either learn to adapt and go with the flow, or let it break us. Jane’s experiences have both wounded and toughened her at the same time. It’s rather beautiful that she is beginning to learn from the struggles of her son. Rather than hiding behind parental authority, Jane acknowledges her mistakes, and is slowly beginning to mend. It’s an important message. Wise parents don’t just teach children. They learn from them as well.
Jane and Rafael
The writers continue to perpetuate a vibe of natural synchronicity and harmony between Jane and Rafael. Shady involvement in Scott’s death aside, Rafael has acquired a refreshing new level of insightful wisdom. He sees Jane honestly, knows when she needs a push, and understands her well enough to accurately anticipate her obstacles. I find it very interesting that Jane’s pages about their romance play a role in his decision to break up with Abbey. The scenes between Rafael and Jane bring a sense of familiar stability to an otherwise erratic telenovela storyline.
Although Abbey’s unremarkable relationship with Rafael has come to a predictable close, there are a few details that merit further examination. After overhearing Petra tell Rafael that he doesn’t really want to be with her, it’s only natural that Abbey would be upset with her. Sending Scott’s burn book to the police could be her way of getting revenge on Petra….But that doesn’t explain how she knew Petra was hiding anything of importance. When Abbey goes to Petra for advice about Rafael, she simply sees Petra putting a nondescript journal into a drawer. There is nothing about this that would indicate anything sinister. How did Abbey know that it contained anything potentially incriminating? How did she get back into Petra’s suite to take the burn book? Now that Elvis is working in maintenance he has access to all the suites. Could she secretly be in league with him? If she is somehow involved in the events surrounding Scott’s death, was her relationship with Rafael just a cover from the beginning? No matter how you look at it, something is just not adding up with Abbey Whitman.
Scott’s Burn Book
On that note, what in the world is going on with Rafael? He seemed well aware that Scott’s burn book was hidden in Petra’s hotel suite. As far as I can tell, when Scott first disappeared, Rafael was still in prison. If this is true and Scott has been murdered, then he would appear to have a pretty solid alibi…but then how does he know so much? What about his ex-con friend Elvis? We know that Rafael met him in prison, but he seems to be pretty invested in helping Rafael recover the burn book. What is his role in Scott’s death? As each episode unfolds, the mystery deepens.