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Jane the Virgin - Chapter Fifty-Six - Review

Jane the Virgin “Chapter Fifty-Six” was written by Valentina Garza and was directed by Matthew Diamond. The show continues to move forward with Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) life, though her ending up back at the Mirabella working seems like we’ve not gotten very far. Most of the characters are taking stock, having a reality check, and getting back to who they really are. The episode does feature some flashbacks to Jane dealing with Michael’s (Brett Dier) death and her struggle with panic attacks – something that is pretty common after a severe shock and life-changing event.

The flashback that starts the episode shows Jane going to therapy to deal with Michael’s death. Flash forward 89 sessions and she’s ready to stop. However, when Dennis (Christopher Allen) shows up to investigate Scott’s (Wes Armstrong) death, Jane is suddenly dealing with panic attacks. I did like the scenes in which Dennis really was there to support Jane, and it was sweet as she learned things about Michael that she didn’t know.

In the flashbacks, we see that Jane’s panic attacks about Dennis were caused by her finding him going through Michael’s things looking for evidence. Jane is so upset by what she sees as Dennis’ betrayal of both herself and Michael that it sparks her panic attacks – to the extent that she keeps hitting Dennis! It’s kind of hilarious, but also firmly rooted in a flight/fight response and of course fierce Jane would fight instead of flee.

I loved how Dennis ultimately dealt with Jane’s feelings by inviting her to the boxing club to really hit him. It was a sweet way to let her work out her feelings, and ultimately be able to hear his explanation. He’d been working all along on the investigation into Michael’s connection to Sin Rostro – and he was trying to protect both Jane and Michael. Really, who else would have had Michael’s back? The hilarious thing about the boxing is that in real life Rodriguez is an accomplished boxer! So the boxing in Jane’s mind is really the boxing in reality for Rodriguez! I love how the show brings in everyone’s real life talents – like Dier’s sick dancing skills… *sigh*

Speaking of dancing, it was hilarious when Petra (Yael Grobglas) and Rafael (Justin Baldoni) do their little victory dance when Scott’s body is found to be on Chuck’s (Johnny Messner) property, thus clearing the Mirabella. Petra does try to help Chuck, but he thinks it’s just self interest on her part – at least at first. It would seem that in the end, it’s a guilty conscience because Petra nudged the body over the property line…

Petra’s first instinct is to shut down any press linking the Mirabella to Scott’s death. When that doesn’t work, she dedicates a fountain to Scott and gets great publicity. But it results in bad press for Chuck. This spurs Petra to actually help with the investigation and gather footage from every event at the Mirabella around the time of Scott’s disappearance.

This leads to a brilliantly hysterical scene between Petra and Rogelio (Jaime Camil). And it suddenly occurred to me that we rarely (if ever?) see these two together. It’s comedy gold to see them accuse each other of having difficult to understand accents! The footage from Rogelio’s reality show reveals a very drunk Scott in the background, leading the police to declare the death an accidental drowning.

Chuck believes that Petra did it for him – not realizing her guilty conscience made her do it, and brings her flowers, asking for a real date. Petra admits that she actually likes him and agrees. And after all, even a guilty conscience is progress for Petra, right?

Petra is also having trouble with her new lounge manager, Elvis (Craig Lee Thomas). We learn that Rafael hired him. Elvis also sucks at being a waiter and eventually gets moved to maintenance. However, it turns out that he has a more sinister connection to Rafael. They met in prison, but more sinisterly in the final scene the two meet clandestinely in the parking lot and agree that it would have been bad for them if Scott’s death had been ruled a murder! WHAT?!?!? Oh, Rafael, what have you gotten into now?

Jane quits her job with Chloe (Maya Kazan) when she thinks her contract is going to provide her with an instant income and then tries to scramble to get it back. The scene in which Jane finds out she’s getting $50,000 is hilarious as Rogelio is at first that’s my episodic rate and then when Jane complains about his reaction, he asks to play the scene again! If only life had such easy do-overs! I loved his Wow reaction!

Chloe was horrible, so I’m glad we’ll get no more of her – and it makes more sense for Jane to work at the Mirabella, which will likely have more sensible and finite hours – and allow her to be close to Mateo even when Rafael has him! I did love poor Jane’s spin class horror show though!

It was a nice throwback to season one and the beginning of Jane and Rafael’s entire story when Rafael convinces Jane to really commit to her dream of being a writer. Jane also seems to be the impetus for Rafael finally being able to recommit to the Mirabella too. I suppose it is now inevitable that these two are the show’s end game. It’s certainly clear that the Narrator (Anthony Mendes) doesn’t like – or at least doesn’t think much of Abbey (Minka Kelly). I love how he keeps cropping her out of the frame! So far she seems supportive in all the right ways… but is she too good to be true or just too boring?

Finally, on the theme of getting back to who you really are, Rogelio is ambushed by Darci (Justina Machado) in his quest to ride out the final season of the reality show as a kinder, gentler show. This cause a re-opening of the rift with Xo (Andrea Navedo) and leads Rogelio to appeal to Alba (Ivonne Coll).

The scene between Alba and Rogelio was another great one. I loved getting to see these two act together – and I also love that the entire scene took place in Spanish. Rogelio sends an apology basket to Alba and of course she’s not impressed. He tells her that he was desperate for success so agreed to a one time sabotage of Xo. I did like the “reality check” gimmick of this episode. And Alba gives it to Rogelio – his reality series has made him lose sight of actual reality.

Rogelio tricks Darci into admitting she sent the tape of Rogelio agreeing to the cut to Xo, but she also reveals that she did it because she’s still angry with Rogelio for having a panic attack when she thawed out her egg. She tells him that she’s miserable but at least famous. Rogelio digs deep and goes to Xo. He tells her that he lost his way, and he wants to get back to the guy he was. He admits that he agreed to the cut because he was jealous that Xo had moved in with Bruce.

Rogelio decides he’s going back to his roots, he’s going back to telenovelas. I loved the scene with him and Mateo (Joseph Sanders). Rogelio receives a call informing him that he’s being sued for $10M for breach of contract though! Sanders has been a really nice addition to the show – though I could do without the behavioral issue storyline. I do like the sweet moments we are getting between Mateo and Jane each episode – clearly when he’s not being a brat, he’s wise beyond his years!

I also liked the final scene with Jane after she’s decided to take the job as Lounge Manager at the Mirabella. She sees a stuffed giraffe who winks at her – and we’re reminded of her connection to Michael through the giraffe. Rafael also arrives to “give her her notice” – she’s only got two years to work at the Mirabella and then he’s firing her to become a full time writer! We get another high 5 and impromptu dance – that nicely bookends with the one between Rafael and Petra at the beginning of the episode.

This episode really saw many of the characters going back to their essentials. Was anyone else wondering about where Lina is? Is Jane now her boss? Has she finally moved on from the Mirabella? I hope that Petra has been able to find a new reality, and I hope that Chuck turns out to be more than he seems – time will tell. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!