Jane the Virgin “Chapter Fifty-Seven” was written by Madeline Hendricks and was directed by Zetna Fuentes. I liked the way the episode really focused on the importance of communication and that theme is woven throughout the episode. One of my favorite things about the show – no secret here! – is the way it constantly surprises us and finds new ways to tell the story. In this case, we get a number of scenes from Florida’s past as Jane (Gina Rodriguez) works through the re-write of her novel.
In the opening flashback we see that 2 years ago Jane lost her voice. In the present, she’s lost her writing “voice.” It’s Rafael (Justin Baldoni) who gets her writing again by telling her to “just write” and “flex the muscle.” And Michael is still there in his picture, encouraging her – “You got this!”
At first, it seems that Jane’s new editor, Jeremy (Evan Todd) is a terrible fit. It doesn’t help that Jane seems to have a bias about male authority figures! Once again, the lesson is not to judge a book by its cover – a fitting analogy for Jane! Jane struggles with Jeremy’s suggestions that she needs more obstacles and a stronger villain to give the story a bigger bang. She says she understands but is really just confused.
Eventually, Jane decides that she just can’t work with Jeremy and goes in to drop him. But she’s really misunderstood what he was trying to say about her work. He assures her that he wants HER voice and then he explains how he wants their relationship to work.
Jane’s novel is actually set in the early 1900s and uses the hotel history of Florida as the backdrop. I loved Rafael appearing as the villain, complete with a Snidely Whiplash mustache! It’s also hilarious that Jane writes Xo (Andrea Navedo) into the plot as the seductress and that Xo freaks out when her character is about to kiss Rafael – gross! And she insists that Jane take it out. Jane gets inspired by the roulette wheel at the Monte Carlo night held by the pre-school, but ultimately can’t write the Rafael and Jane character scenes.
After her meeting with Jeremy, Jane goes to Alba (Ivonne Coll) for advice. Wise, as always, she tells Jane that the love she had with Rafael only deepened the love she had with Michael. She choose Michael over Rafael in the end. She assures her that Michael would want her to write the best book she could.
Jane is still struggling with single motherhood. She does agree to get an aide for Mateo (Joseph Sanders), but chooses Carly (Mackenzie Marsh) when her male authority figure bias raises its head again. Jane likes Carly, and it seems that Carly likes Mateo. However, when Jane is disturbed by Carly’s gossiping about the other mothers and confides as much to Rafael, Mateo finally voices his opinion. He doesn’t like Carly because she’s always on her phone or taking pictures! The theme comes back as Jane assures Mateo that they always want to hear his opinion – his voice is important to her. Mateo tells her that he liked the other aide they interviewed – Alex!
Jane is also struggling with being a bit of a helicopter Mom – and getting along with the other mothers at the pre-school. Naturally, I loved the actual helicopter! I also loved that Rafael completely missed the sub-text of comments from the “mean girls” – because men always miss the sub-text! Jane may get the sub-text, but she does jump in to the conversation between Gwen (Stephanie Nash) and Stacy (Yvonne Orji) without knowing the full context and almost makes a lasting bad impression on Gwen, who turns out to be the Director of the School – though, shouldn’t Jane have known that?
Jane redeems herself at the Monte Carlo night – with Abbey (Minka Kelly) and Rafael’s help washing glasses when they run out. Rafael got really good at it on KP duty in prison! Gwen appreciates Jane’s efforts and confides that she thinks Stacy is a bitch – and that she told her to back off of Jane. Later, Jane learns – through Carly – that Stacy has a terrible marriage and a troubled older child. Stacy believes that Jane tells the whole school about her problems, but Jane is also able to win her over.
Meanwhile, no one’s love life seems to be going well. Chuck (Johnny Messner) accuses Petra (Yael Grobglas) of being ashamed of him. Petra finally admits that she is to him when she’s drunk. She insists that she doesn’t want to be though – and has come to his room dressed only in an overcoat to prove it! Unfortunately, he’s not alone – it’s his poker night!
The two finally make up – and are making out, when Petra tells him that she wants to be completely honest with him. Which would be a first in a relationship for her! However, when she tells Chuck that she moved Scott’s bones, Chuck is pissed and leaves. Poor Petra - she always seems to get the worst of it when she tries to do the right thing!
Rafael is trying to decide whether or not he wants Abbey to move in with him after she asks. Abbey goes to Petra for advice – right after Petra has found Elvis (Craig Lee Thomas) in her room at the ventilation grate. Petra investigates and finds a book… Petra encourages Abbey, saying it’s just a guy thing.
When she’s drunk, Petra also manages to tell Rafael that he’s obviously not in love with Abbey if he’s hesitating to move in together. Abbey, unfortunately, overhears. Up until then, Rafael was going to ask her to move in, but now he tells Abbey that he re-thought things. Abbey seems ok – but then it’s been hilarious watching the narrator (Anthony Mendez) ignore her!
Rogelio (Jaime Camil) has hired Donnie ‘The Jaguar’ Shapiro (Danny Woodburn) – lawyer to the stars – to represent him. When Xo has to be deposed, Bruce (Ricardo Chavira) offers to go with her. Suddenly we see that Jane thinks he’s very sweet and Alba likes him because he helps in the kitchen! He’s a lawyer too after all.
Bruce tells Xo to forgive Rogelio because she’s happier when her whole family is in her life. Bruce mediates between Rogelio and Xo, and I have to admit even I liked him better in this scene!
Bruce has an amazing proposal all set up for Xo at the dance studio – which Rogelio hilariously screws up. Rogelio has realized that ‘The Jaguar’ is actually a terrible lawyer and he “proposes” that Bruce become his lawyer – he even goes down on one knee. Xo actually takes it all in stride – and she knows the proposal was for her and says yes. Both Jane and Alba are thrilled.
Rafael and Jane are on his balcony when he tells her that he loved the new pages that she wrote. He tells her that it brought back all the memories of their time together. He wants that feeling again, and he didn’t have that with Abbey – and that’s why he broke up with her. But as we’ve seen, Abbey is not the wallflower the Narrator had us believing…
What did you think of the episode? Should Rafael and Jane try again? Will Chuck and Petra make a good match? Are you happy Xo is going to marry Bruce? What are Rafael and Elvis up to? What is in that Burn Book?!?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!