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Jane the Virgin - Chapter Sixty-One - Review

Jane the Virgin “Chapter Sixty-One” was written by Paul Sciarrotta and was directed by the always wonderful Melanie Mayron. The episode sees the return of Lina (Diane Guerrero) and also sees the show revisit a few themes – such as waiting until sex for marriage – when Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is hilarious thwarted in her effort to have a fling by Fabian (Francisco San Martin). On a more serious note, however, the show revisits the issue of undocumented immigrants. Such an important topic now – more than ever – and very brave of the show to tackle it. I love that this show has so much heart and is both funny and thought-provoking.

The episode begins with the usual flashback. This time it’s fourteen year old Jane (Jenna Ortega) and Lina (Dayrin Martinez) on a double date to the movies. Lina and her date are hot and heavy, but she takes time to encourage Jane to kiss her date. But this is save the flower Jane – and her date isn’t exactly a hottie! Flash forward to present Jane who is more than ready for her fling with Fabian. She’s planned a night of Netflix and chilllin’ – emphasis on HOT sex.

Jane runs into Lina who she hasn’t seen in two years! Lina is getting married and is in town planning the wedding, but never even bothered to text Jane. Lina is also now living in New York and working for Marchesa – she’s finally gotten her life together. This episode’s title card points out their estrangement: Jane the Virgin Long Lost Friend.

As the episode unfolds, we eventually get the story of what happened to Scott – well, most of it. Petra (Yael Grobglas) ran into Anezka who was jealous of Scott flirting with a waitress. Petra just wanted Anezka to end the relationship and leave. Petra fired Scott and took his phone, and then sent a text to Anezka breaking up with her. Then Petra brought Anezka back to her apartment and drugged her.

Next Petra dressed up like Anezka and accosted Scott, telling him she hated him and wanted to kill him. Unfortunately, Dennis (Christopher Allen) got hold of a tape of the encounter and was using it as evidence against Anezka. I LOVED when the Narrator (Anthony Mendez) says he knew it wasn’t Anezka in the video because he’s had lots of experience with twins – and Anezka and Petra look nothing alike to him! Hilarious – considering that they literally are the same person! Anezka thought Petra killed Scott. Petra was only in Scott’s apartment that night to get his burn book.

Jane is hurt that Lina didn’t call, and tells Xo (Andrea Navedo) and Rogelio (Jaime Camil) at dinner. Rogelio tells a story about how he helped Oprah and Gail make up after an estrangement, but Jane doesn’t want his help. She’s just going to talk to Lina. Meanwhile, Xo worries she’s moving too fast with Rogelio. Really? The back and forth between the two has been almost too much for me! They’ve been on again and off again for over 20 years!!!

Jane invites Lina over and she arrives without her fiancĂ©. Mateo (Joseph Sanders) doesn’t even know who Lina is, and she’s supposed to be his godmother! Lina tells Jane she met Danny (Joshua Chang) through Bumble – and she still has the app on her phone. She tells Jane they haven’t set a date yet, but she’s not having bridesmaids – so that’s why Jane hadn’t heard anything. It all started to add up to something not quite right, and Jane clearly thought the same. Before she could really ask anything, Lina gets a text to meet Danny to look at a venue. She has to leave, and they are going back to New York the next day.

Fabian gets along great with Mateo – who teaches Fabian the right way to ride a giant ant! Fabian is also careful to tell Mateo that he’s Rogelio’s friend, not Jane’s because he’s sensitive to maintaining boundaries with kids! Aw!

Jane and Fabian’s date night doesn’t go the way that Jane expects at all as he tells her that he’s saving himself! I loved the gimmick in this scene as the flowers on Jane’s dress blossom and then freeze! He tells her that he’s had all kinds of sex but that it had become meaningless, so now he’s waiting for marriage – or at least a meaningful commitment. It’s hilarious to watch Jane have to deal with someone who won’t “put out!”

Alba (Ivonne Coll) urges Jane to give Fabian a chance when Jane insists that they have nothing in common. Rafael (Justin Baldoni) advises her to try to find a way to take Fabian’s looks off the table so she isn’t distracted by wanting to have sex all the time. The scene between Jane and Rafael is actually a sweet one – and hilarious when he tells her that he almost got carpel tunnel when they were dating! – but he also tells her that she was worth waiting for because he loved her.

Alba also commiserates with Jane over Lina. Jane is sure that Lina pulled back after Michael, and she’s sad because she thought that they’d be friends forever. Alba tells her that the same thing happened to her when Jane’s grandfather died – friends just seemed to fade away.

The perfect solution would seem to be dining in the dark! Except that we can’t see until the Narrator gets us some night vision goggles! I loved this gimmick. When Jane tries to find common ground, Fabian mentions that he reads – a lot of magazines and scripts. When she references 1984 and George Orwell, he thinks she’s talking about Orville Redenbacher!

In the middle of dinner, Jane gets a text from Lina apologizing for cutting their visit short. Jane gets in trouble for the light from her phone, and it’s on for long enough for Fabian to notice the text made her sad. I loved watching them try to eat in the dark and then watching Fabian getting worked up! He tells her to fight for her friend.

The two of them crash Lina and Danny’s cake testing appointment. Jane has second thoughts but both Fabian and Lina want Jane to stay. When Jane finds out that Lina and Danny had been in town in June too, however, she accuses Lina of not wanting to be her friend anymore. Lina insists they grew apart just because she moved. As per always with these two, they end up taking the fight to the bathroom, where they end up sitting on the floor and hashing it out.

Lina reminds Jane that she saw her every week the first year after Michael. Lina tells Jane that she called her after her first fight with Danny, and Jane told her it was insignificant. Jane is appalled that she said that – and doesn’t remember. Lina tells her that she didn’t know how to be upset – or happy – around Jane. This may be Martinez's best scene in the series to date. And Lina admits that for the first time in her life, she really is happy, and Jane tells her that she’s really glad that she is happy and she wants to share it with Lina – the two hug it out and cry. It’s a really terrific scene.

The two finally catch up, and Lina wants to know why Fabian isn’t an “option” for Jane. Is he too hot or too sweet??! Jane maintains that they have nothing in common, and Lina points out that on paper, she and Jane don’t have anything in common either. She tells Jane – as Alba did too – not to write him off! I loved that both Jane and Lina’s hearts glowed for each other.

In the end, Jane does give Fabian a chance and drops by his place to try to get to know him. She walks in the door and immediately sees a copy of 1984! She mentioned it, so Fabian is going to try to read it. She discovers that he’s a terrible singer – even though he has an album – but he’s really good at checkers! He’s only been in love once and that was before he was famous. Jane discovers that he really is sweet and the two kiss… San Martin is a terrific addition to the cast – and he plays the various nuances of the character to perfection – it’s hard not to love him!

And speaking of love, Rogelio and Xo are having some getting back together problems. Xo thinks they are moving too fast and every time she tries to talk, Rogelio just wants to have sex. Suddenly, they are moving in together again, and Alba points out that it didn’t work out well the last time. In fact, Rogelio has found them a house and calls Xo to come look at it. She tells him she’s in bed sick and can’t, but he’s right outside and sees her through the window – and hears Alba tell her not to do it!

Later in the episode, Alba is having Rogelio take her back to the studio to pick up her wallet which she forgot there. He’s being particularly pissy about it – it’s even his day off! – and finally blows up at her for her “judge-y judgments.” But it’s all a set up! Alba didn’t want Xo to move in before marriage – or at least the promise of it, so Xo has taken the bull by the horns, and set up a surprise proposal. She’s got the beach from the first time they declared their love for each other recreated on the sound stage!

I loved Rogelio acting like the bride – “I’m going to faint!” And then he explains that if he’s not showing enough emotion it’s because he had botox that morning! She then presents him with her grandfather’s ring – and of course, it glows lavender when she opens the box! Xo is determined that they do things differently this time.

Rafael is still having feelings for Petra. The Narrator is the first one to point out his “pining” face. Chuck (Johnny Messner) also notices that Rafael has eyes for Petra, but she refuses to believe him at first. Jane also notices the pine-y look and wants to know what he’s thinking! Rafael admits that he’s feeling something. He tells her that maybe what he’s been looking for has been right in front of him the whole time! Jane says she’s – shocked? Jealous? Both? – surprised. Rafael asks her to drop some judgment on him. She tell that maybe he just thinks he knows what he wants, but he has to be really sure before he tells Petra because it took Petra a long time to get over him.

When she finally does think there might be something to it and asks Rafael point blank about his feelings, he denies it – because, hello, telenovela! But really, it’s because he’s thinking about what Jane said. He’s not 100% sure of his feelings, and it is clear that he doesn’t want to hurt Petra. He does tell her that Elvis (Craig Lee Thomas) is his PI and gets him to help with the investigation. It’s hilarious that Petra has a hard time seeing him as competent at his real job – which he actually is really good at. He discovers an erased note in the Burn book that references a JP, and Elvis is going to track him down in Pensacola.

Chuck suggests that he and Petra go to Pensacola themselves – and that’s where they are going when Rafael calls Petra and leaves her a message, telling her he lied – he does have feelings for her and she shouldn’t be with Chuck. And in the final scene we find out how right Rafael is when Anezka reveals that JP is Chuck!!

The real heart of this episode is actually Alba’s storyline. We discover that she’s only allowed to read the newspaper for 15 minutes a day, and never alone in her room! – because she just gets too upset over the current news.

In a “ripped from the headlines” moment in the gift shop at the Mirabella, a nasty customer (Julie Lancaster) yells at another customer who is speaking Spanish to Jorge (Alfonso DiLuca) that “this is America, speak English!” Alba and everyone else is too shocked to say anything before the nasty customer storms out, but Alba apologizes to the other customer.

Alba is furious as she relates the story to Jane. She quotes her PC – Pocket Constitution. She fumes that she should have quoted the Preamble at the woman – and bets that the woman wouldn’t be able to do the same. Alba is so angry that she wants to do something. Jane suggests that Alba march in solidarity with her, but Alba is afraid that she’ll lose her Green Card.

However, later in the episode, Alba is tucking Mateo in for the night and notices that something is bothering him. He doesn’t want to tell her, but he promises to tell his mommy and daddy. She tells him that talking is always good and that you always feel better when you’re brave. It's a nice touch having those blue stars behind her as she says it! Stars and stripes forever!

Alba decides that she too needs to be brave. She’s going to march, and she tells Jorge and wants him to march too. He is adamant that he doesn’t want to. Alba is taken aback at first, but quickly realizes that he’s undocumented. He tells her that he tried to get a Green Card years ago but never did because his lawyer screwed him, and now he’s terrified. I loved that they made a point of saying undocumented – not illegal. Alba understands his fear and tells him that she’ll march for the both of them!

And finally, Mateo does talk to Jane and Rafael about what’s bothering him, and it’s heartbreaking for a four year old. He wants to know why some people don’t want to have peace in this country. Jane says that it doesn’t make sense given that the country was founded by people who came from all over – but some people don’t seem to see that or remember it. And in the end, adults bullying other adults is one thing. It’s important for adults to stand up and be heard, but it’s quite another when it’s clearly the children who are suffering from a backlash of fear and intolerance.

I love this show. The writers put their own hearts into the writing and stand on their own principles. It’s definitely a brave stand – and yet they don’t sacrifice the fun side of the show either. I love that the show can be dramatic, thoughtful, and playful all in one hour! Great acting in this episode too. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!