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Jane the Virgin - Chapter Thirty-Six - Review

Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Six,” was written by the team of Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin and was directed by Uta Briesewitz. The episode features three new cast members – Petra’s twins and Matt Vairo! I’m happy to see Vairo join the cast as I quite liked him on Revolution, and I’m looking forward to seeing him here – and my fingers are crossed that he turns out not to be a bad guy. I also liked the little brush with copyright law in this episode – though it’s not exactly accurate, it was fun to see two of my passions come together!

The episode begins with its usual flashback. This week, Jane (Montse Hernandez) is 15 and falling in love with romance novels. The only problem is that Alba (Ivonne Coll) has redacted all the juicy bits!

        Flash forward to the rekindling of Jane (Gina Rodriquez) and Michael’s (Brett Dier) real life romance. Jane tells him she is ready to have sex now – what’s the point in waiting for marriage any longer? But Michael knows Jane and knows that she’ll regret not crossing the finish line when it’s so close. I loved the narrator (Anthony Mendes) jumping in to point out that Michael just **** blocked himself! (And the redacted part of Michael!)

We see that while Jane and Michael are back together and aren’t having sex, Rafael (Justin Baldoni) seems to be having lots of it! He seems to have returned to his playboy ways. Meanwhile, Jane daydreams about a reality in which she and Michael had never broken up and they have a terrific relationship with Rafael.

Meanwhile, Jane is annoyed by what she thinks are vacation texts from Rogelio (Jaime Camil), declaring YOLO. Xo (Andrea Navedo) is downright angry about his current tweets. However, the truth is that Rogelio is having the worst possible time as Paola’s (Ana de la Reguera) prisoner! She is obsessed with his first telenovela in which he kept his lover in a cage – and Paola’s simply reversed the roles. Rogelio is shackled during the day and drugged every night. She actually cuts his face to make him give up the passcode to his phone – 007 of course! And naturally, she is the one sending the tweets.

Meanwhile, Jane and Michael celebrate what would have been their one year wedding anniversary. Michael even brings her the new novel by her favorite romance writer, Angelique Harper (Kathleen York). And then he gives her the gift of time to read a chapter. Unfortunately, Jane discovers that the first chapter is amazingly similar to the chapter of Jane’s own work that she gave to Harper last season!

Jane wants to confront Harper at her current book tour, but Michael suggests calling the DA over the prohibitive similarities between the two works. It’s sweet of Michael, but copyright infringement isn’t a criminal offence and Jane would have to sue in civil court… Michael is bang on though when he says that the first thing they need to do is establish that Jane’s work pre-dates Harper’s.

Unfortunately, finding that proof means that Jane has to wade through old emails she exchanged with Rafael at the height of their romance. Michael tells Jane that seeing the emails did bother him – he’s trying to remain honest in their relationship. He tells her they took him right back to the night he rented the boat and when Jane gave back the ring. Jane wishes she could go back and make a different choice – but of course, then she would always wonder about Rafael, and this way she knows. Jane decides that she is going to make a $400 boat rental to recreate the moment and make it better.

In the end, Jane tells Michael that she doesn’t want to go back because they’re better now. She gets it!! Go Jane! She tells Michael that he is absolutely who she wants, and Michael immediately proposes and she accepts!! WOOT! And yes, I am totally flying my #TeamMichael flag here! Which doesn’t mean that I don’t love Rafael too…

Petra (Yael Grobglas) is worried about Rafael because she thinks he’s returned to his playboy ways. It’s clear that while some of her concern is self-interest – she doesn’t want to be raising the twins by herself – it’s also clear that she does still love him. She confronts him when she finds him hung over and tells him she’s scared that he’s going to that dark place he goes to. She admonishes him to stop the self-indulgence and grow up!

Petra enlists Jane’s help to confront Rafael. She tells Jane that Rafael will listen to Jane. Michael then confesses to Jane that Rafael is actually working with him to try to catch Rafael’s mother by tracking down her son, Derek (Matt Vairo). When Michael first approached him about helping, Rafael turned him down, but then when Petra pointed out how much of Rafael’s life was out of his control, he decided to take some control where he could.

Rafael has drinks with Derek’s old girlfriend Avery (Shvona Lavette Chung) and uses the excuse that he’s trying to find his brother. It’s not a good sign when she freaks out and tells him that she wants “all of you to stay away from me!” One of the cliffhangers at the end of the episode is Derek checking in to the Mirabella!

Jane finally has to tell Petra that Rafael is working with Michael after Petra tricks her into meeting her to substitute for Rafael going to birthing class, saying he bailed. While they are driving, Jane tells Petra about Harper. Petra is incensed and insists they go to confront her at the book signing!

As they are standing in line, Petra hilariously gives Jane tips on being tougher. Then Petra’s water breaks just as they get to the front of the line! Naturally, Jane chooses to go to the hospital with Petra. Unfortunately, Petra finds out that she can’t have any drugs during the birth. It’s Petra who tells Jane to let the past go – she herself is currently regretting having inseminated herself!

Jane reads Harper’s novel to Petra to try to distract her from the pain. As she reads, she realizes that the book isn’t as similar to her own as she thought it was. Meanwhile, Michael is once again trying to get people to the hospital in time for the birth – this time it’s Rafael, but this time they don’t make it.

In the final stages, Petra is exhausted – just as Jane was. Jane tries the tender words that Alba used on Xo and then Xo used on her – Five minutes of pain for a lifetime of happiness. But Petra isn’t Jane, so the words don’t motivate her. Instead, Jane uses the techniques Petra just taught her and uses her “quiet” voice to tell Petra, “Suck it up and push those babies out!” And she does! Jane and Petra hug and cry together – I hope the show simply allows them to be friends from here on out!

Jane is bemused to learn that Petra and Rafael have chosen the names Elsa and Anna. It’s hilarious that Petra hasn’t made the connection to Frozen! And she thinks that people living in FLORIDA – the home of Disney World – are going to miss the connection! Rafael rushes in and Jane tells him that Petra was a warrior, which clearly pleases Petra. It’s adorable to watch Justin Baldoni with babies!!!

Meanwhile, Rogelio is trying desperately to get free from Paola, but she has another agenda. Rogelio tries to convince Paola that they have to return to reality – after all, in the telenovela the characters both die! He tries to convince her that he loves her, but she’s not falling for it. Paola admits that she killed her own mother! Rogelio does convince her to let him text Xo and he ends the text with Besos – which refers to his creepy stalkers. Xo misses the point though and thinks that it just means that she is no longer special to him. Jane texts him back.

Rogelio attempts to free himself. Paola has prepared a special “final” meal. Rogelio manages to drug her with medicine of his own that he’s palmed. Unfortunately, just like any horror movie, he doesn’t quite make it. Rogelio is about to shoot Paola, but can’t do it before she hits him and knocks him out.

And the last romantic thread to run through the episode is the story of Alba and her former lover, Pablo. When Xo finds them, she immediately realizes that their relationship was in 1972 and before Alba and her father. She calls Alba a hypocrite. Alba walks in and say what she did was different. It was only one time. She didn’t sleep around. Xo tells her “don’t make me feel like a slut. I’m just a normal woman who enjoys having sex!” Xo is so upset she leaves the room. Jane tells Alba that Xo is right and goes after her to make sure she’s ok. Alba is left alone in the kitchen, looking guilty and upset.

Eventually, Alba does apologize to Xo for making her feel the same shame. Xo thanks her and then tells her how to make it up to her – she wants to know all about Pablo! Alba tells her he was handsome – like a movie star…

Xo thinks she is doing a good thing by inviting Pablo to come visit. After all Alba has been lonely and looking for a relationship and all the Villanueva women seem to be turning to the men in their past. Unfortunately, it looks like Alba’s past is going to be as unsuccessful as Xo’s and Jane’s. Rather than being happy about Xo’s surprise, Alba freaks out and says “that man is bad luck!”

Things get even more complicated in this episode! What will happen with Derek and Pablo? Will we have another plot twist and discover these two are connected somehow?! How will Petra cope with not one but two newborns? Will Rogelio get free? Will Xo be the one to rescue him? Will he have to suffer another scar?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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