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Jane the Virgin - Chapter Seventy-One - Review

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Jane the Virgin returns tonight after a pretty lengthy hiatus, so I thought what better time to take a quick look back at “Chapter Seventy-One?” The episode was written by the team of Valentina Garza and Deidre Shaw and was directed by Micha Schraft. While I liked the episode and there were some really terrific moments, overall, this wasn’t my favorite episode. In many ways, it felt a bit disjointed to me, and not the usual quality from the writing that we’re used to. Having said this, Gina Rodriguez (Jane) was amazing as she ran through an absolute gamut of emotions!

Jane is faced with going on her first book tour – a road trip that she’d planned to take with Adam (Tyler Poesy) before he unexpectedly dumped her. Instead, she’s joined by Xo (Andrea Navedo) who is running away from Rogelio (Jaime Camil), who she’s mad at for not telling her that he had an inkling that she was pregnant with Jane at the time, but never bothered to find out for sure. He does lend Jane his classic – beautiful! – convertible for the road trip. It felt a lot like it was going to be a Thelma and Louise kind of trip… until Alba (Ivonne Coll) runs up and jumps in the car. Turns out she’s running away from Jorge (Alfonso DiLuca) who has proposed!

Jane gets a call from her editor, Jeremy (Evan Todd), telling her that the crowd at her first reading is going to be huge because she will be sharing the stage with self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant (playing herself naturally!). I do love how the show is able to get these real life cameos!

When the three women arrive at their hotel room, it is full of romantic reminders that Adam was supposed to be there – I loved the swan-heart towel sculpture! Jane is clearly still very angry with Adam and loses it a bit. She insists that she’s ok, and they head out for the reading…

Jane gets through the actual reading pretty much unscathed, but when Iyanla asks about the “lusty cover” of the book, Jane utterly loses it, breaking down in tears – she’s moved to the grief stage of loss. When the women arrive back at the hotel, Jane’s mascara is a mess, and she gets another call from Jeremy. #snotbawling was trending on twitter – it’s not good. This bad news is compounded by Jane discovering a bad review online. However, the Narrator (Anthony Mendez) assures us that Jane’s best is yet to come! And I love the show even more for this book not being a runaway success.

Meanwhile, back home, Mateo (Elias Janssen) is sick. Rafael (Justin Baldoni) is dealing with it, but Rogelio is babysitting while Rafael is at work and he panics and texts Xo. Xo and Alba discuss telling Jane, but ultimately decide not to, especially after Xo talks to Rafael – who is really mad that Rogelio called Xo. Rafael tell Rogelio that he knows he doesn’t like him, but Mateo is his son and he should have called him – he leaves work to come home and take Mateo to the doctor.

Jane is wallowing in misery over Adam, her review, and the reading, so Xo insists that they all go out on the town. It’s always nice to see Ivonne Coll transformed to look more like her real-life self! While they are out, Rafael texts Xo to tell her all is well – Mateo’s fever broke. When Alba tell the other two about Jorge’s proposal, they can’t believe she ran away and didn’t say yes. She tells them that she just doesn’t feel the same passion for him that she felt for Mateo. Alba gets furious when they both tell her that it won’t be the same and doesn’t have to be. Jane pulls Alba back in to dance with them and smooth things over. They don’t think that she’s too old for passion!

When Jane goes to take a picture of the three of them dancing, she sees Rafael’s text and is furious with them for not telling her. Alba tells her that she over-reacts when Mateo is sick. Xo tells her that it’s understandable… given Michael. And this is where I really did like the writing in this episode. They really weave this threat throughout the episode.

Jane calls Rafael to tell him how angry she is, and he tells her that he wasn’t protecting Jane from knowing about Mateo being sick – he was protecting Mateo! The gimmick in this episode is the three times that Jane needed a push and got it from Rafael. The first, we already know, was when he told her when they first met to be a writer. The second time ties in to Mateo’s sickness.

The first time Rafael looked after Mateo after Rafael got out of jail was when Jane went to show Patricia (Molly Hagan) her manuscript and ask for permission to write the novel. Patricia was still grieving for Michael and told Jane that she didn’t want her to write the novel – and blamed Jane for not making sure Michael went to the doctor – she blamed Jane for Michael’s death!

While she was away, Mateo (Lincoln Bonilla) got sick and Rafael showed up in the hotel room with him. He also saw the manuscript in the trash and got Priscilla to say it was ok to write the novel – second push! However, after Mateo’s fever broke, Rafael told him that he was ok, but Mateo insisted they needed to ask Jane.

Mateo was scared that he would catch a germ and die like Michael. Rafael assured him that that wouldn’t happen because Mateo was strong like a lion. Jane is consumed with guilt for making Mateo worry, but Rafael makes her feel better. Rafael tells Jane that it’s not her fault that she’s scared and that it’s not her fault that Michael died.

The next event is the Romance Writers Convention. On the way, Jane asks for a pep talk to make her angry at Adam again. Alba assures him that he was all wrong for Jane – but he still might not have been so bad because he made Jane feel young and alive again. And maybe that isn’t what Jorge does for Alba?

Jane nails her reading and the questions and even says that she’s thinking about “opening a window” to love again – which comes in beautifully at the end of the episode when Rafael kisses her in front of the open window and their flower petals cascade in on them! And of course, Rafael, Rogelio and Mateo are watching the livestream of her talk on line and cheering her on.

Jane is shocked during the signing when Patricia shows up. She tells Jane that she did read the book and really felt that Michael was alive again within the pages of the book. She also tells Jane that she loved the book – and that Michael would have too. It’s the only review that really mattered to Jane!

The three ladies return home. Alba says she is going to say yes to Jorge, but when she gets him to get down on one knee and ask again, she shocks the both of them by saying no! This could make work awkward!

Xo tells Rogelio that she is sorry she ran away – that’s not how married couples should act. She tells him she wants to go to counselling. Rogelio naturally thinks she means just herself and scoffs at her when she insists on couples’ counselling. In the end, he agrees to go – can’t wait to see how this turns out!

Jane and Rafael put Mateo to bed – and we see three years ago when they were putting Mateo to bed. They were a good team then and are a good team now. And we finally get to see how Rafael gave Jane the third push, by telling her to be brave on her book tour! And then there’s that kiss!!!!

Meanwhile, Petra (Yael Grobglas) is dealing with Anezka’s funeral – and the ever present coffin! Rafael wonders why Petra is even having a funeral, and Petra tells him that because the death was so public, it would be bad publicity for the hotel if she didn’t seem upset about it.

It’s kind of a nice parallel when Petra finds Anna (Mia Allan) in the coffin pretending to be dead while HER twin, Ellie (Ella Allan) looks on. Petra ends up sprayed in the eyes by perfume which works to her advantage when Petra stumbles on Anezka alive and hiding in the bushes! Anezka thinks that she is crying for her.

Anezka admits that the whole suicide was staged – used actors for the EMTs from the same acting company as Carl naturally! She faked her death because she didn’t know who to trust. Petra plays up her feelings for her sister and then points out how unaffected Magda (Priscilla Barnes) is. Anezka pretends to be Petra and Magda shows her exactly how little she cared for Anezka.

I loved the scene in Petra’s office. The Narrator gives them both nametags so we can tell them apart! And I loved the little touch of Anezka growling when Petra startles her. Grobglas is just spectacular as both these characters. Anezka is eager to learn about running a hotel from Petra, and after a brief hesitation, Petra is on board for it.

However, it can’t be that easy right? And again, I did love them using Game of Thrones as an analogy here. In a #HouseAnezka move Anezka figures out what Petra is doing when the twins give her away. Knowing that Petra doesn’t really love her, Anezka has retained control of the hotel by telling Luisa that it was Rafael and Petra who gaslit her.

And then suddenly, Anezka is landing on the coffin having fallen (?????) off the balcony! She’s really, really dead this time! Ned Stark dead! And I will again mourn the loss of seeing Grobglas play her.

What did you think of the episode? Will Alba reconsider? Will Petra and Rafael ever gain control of the hotel again? Are you on board for Rafael and Jane to be a couple? Can it work? I can’t wait to see Rogelio in counselling! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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