This week, Jane the Virgin went full Like Water For Chocolate as Alba’s former love PABLO ALONSO SEGURA blows into town with his handlebar mustache and his EVIL CURSE and that’s only like the fifth most interesting development in the episode. Jane’s dividing her time between planning an engagement party, winning over her soon-to-be in-laws, providing therapy for her father AND ensuring her novel passes the Bechdel Test. Petra and Rogelio deal with new motherhood and PTSD, respectively, the best way each knows how. And Rafael is up to who knows what with his John Mayer But Even Greasier If That’s Possible long-lost and clearly up to no good brother.
Jane spends the first part of the episode in this That’s So Jane dress with the New Look silhouette and the breezy Florida colors. The whole ensemble is a bit too mumsy for my liking, something about the modest neckline and the way the print sort of masks her waist. She tends to look better further along the sundressy spectrum and less on the Betty Draper season one spectrum. Even the colors aren’t her best. STEP IT UP, SHOW’S PROTAGONIST.
She shoots off a text to Rogelio, who she still thinks is on holiday, letting him know the good news about her re-engagement to Michael. Little does she know, her sweet text is being read aloud by his crazed stalker/kidnapper.
Yes, Ro’s still where he’s been the last few episodes, namely: in a telenovela version of Misery, being prepped for a murder-suicide pact by his obsessed fan.
He was so crushed not to be able to respond to Jane’s exciting news with hashtags and emojis that his heart emitted actual emojis, perhaps hoping they could travel through space and time a la Ghostwriter. Oh, Rogelio, you sweet cinnamon bun, stop breaking my heart.
Jane throws on an uncharacteristically (and oddly inappropes for Florida) blanket cardigan to meet with her new advisor who she Is Definitely Not Hooking Up With RIP Hot Adam Rodriguez.
Why so covered up? Oh, perhaps because this is her new advisor (-slash-the episode’s IRL director!):
Marlene issues her a challenge to ensure her novel passes the Bechdel Test. Between this and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, this was quite the evening for discussions of gender in storytelling (no room to get into that right now but here’s an excellent discussion of WHAT IT ALL MEANS vis-a-vis The CW’s Monday night line-up if you’re so inclined.)
Because Jane can never have less than three plates spinning at once, she’s simultaneously dealing with the arrival of Michael’s parents, Michael Sr. (of course) and Patricia who, because of the whole “leaving Michael for another dude whose baby she was accidentally inseminated with and breaking his heart” situation, are no longer charter members of #TeamJane.
I’m into the way that Michael’s blue shirt ties him visually with his parents BUT his body language indicates that he’s fully committed to Jane. And I’m also into the variety of astonished faces Gina Rodriguez makes as she comes to realize that nothing she does will ever win these two over.
Sidenote: Jane has been doing some extremely interesting braid-related things lately. Here she’s rocking a subtle accent mini-braid in her astonishingly shiny TV hair.
Are Michael’s parents hating on Jane because of their past history and to keep drama on the show? Or could it be… THE CURSE OF PABLO ALONSO SEGURA??? You know which hypothesis Alba’s buying.
She finally finally sits the fam down to outline the whole Pablo Alonso Segura sitch which is basically a Laura Esquivel novel with the magical realism and the epic love story. Jane and Xo are ALL IN for this real life telenovela, while Mateo doesn’t yet realize the importance of Alba opening up like this.
So… remember how Xo invited Pablo Alonso Segura for a visit? So he showed up and the Gilmore Girls were like “Whaaaaaa?”
As was I, when I saw the volume of this mustache. And the bolo tie. And the sleeveless denim vest. He’s serving up old timey caballero realness and making me feel like Dorothy’s ex-husband Stan just showed up on Golden Girls.
At some prodding from Jane and Xo, Alba switches out of her Miami senior citizen uniform sweatsuit and into a pink lacy (!) top and capris. Her stride is suddenly full of way more hip action that ever before and I’m so excited she finally gets a love story other than “low key has the hots for Father Cheech Marin”.
In non-curse-related news, Mateo’s half-sisters’ parents are adjusting to their new family as best they know how, which is to say: dysfunctionally. Snaps to wardrobe for putting Petra, who LITERALLY JUST GAVE BIRTH TO TWINS, in a series of flowy tops because that bump doesn’t go away overnight. She’s embracing the Lady Mary Crawley style of parenting which includes 100% nanny action with Mummy stopping by to say hi every few days. Raf’s craymazing upper body (helllooooo Justin Baldoni) is like: on a show that includes a literal curse, your reaction to motherhood is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.
Because it has to be said: Rafael is wearing SKINNY MAN CARGOS. How did I not know these are a thing? Of COURSE these are a thing, Pablo Alonso Seguero is in town. Nothing is safe.
Oh and then he has a confab with his long-lost brother about whom all I have to say is NOPE: to the scarf, to the blazer, to the John Mayer hair, to the Ben Affleck stubble, to the fact that he’s clearly up to no good and to the way that Rafael is weirdly being won over by him.
Petras back to biz white lewk is classy and her usual Kate Middleton-adjacent but the real reason I’m sharing this screencap is because I forgot about the mural of the woman in leopard-print walking her pet panther on a huge gold fetish chain?? #totesprofesh
Also? Jane and Mateo are my OTP. #RogelioHeartEmojis
This blue dress is also more modest than sometimes but the vibrant color and swingy fit suits her way better than the previous ensemble. Or maybe I’m just hypnotized by her shiny swingy pendulum of a perfect pony.
Because this show knows what it’s doing, they don’t demonize Petra for her awkward first days of motherhood. Jane explains to Raf that every woman has her own journey and one shouldn’t impose expectations on any mother. It took Jane awhile to reach a home/life/school balance too, right? But now she’s a successful grad student/Mom with enough spare time to continue inventing new ways to braid her hair. This one has another microbraid at the crown as well as a swingy pony braid. SUH CUHTE.
Mateo don’t care. This kid, you guys.
She pivots into formal Mz Jane for the big engagement shindig, for which she’s gotten her fav churro truck to cater which: life goals. Again with the Betty Draper inspo – is she doing a meta thing about becoming a housewife and dressing like it’s the 50s? Digging the tropical pattern on this one as well as the Dynasty vibes of this off-the-shoulder wraparound neck.
She skips out of her own party when Rogelio’s assistant enlightens her to her father’s emotional crisis, which allows a look at the H-to-T. Seeing this length and the skirt pouffe I’m now getting 1990 prom dress flashbacks which is honestly? Not a bad thing.
You guys, Jaime Camil was SERVING US THE DRAMA this week. Rogelio is really the heart emoji of this show and seeing him in so much pain was literally heartbreaking. Jane is all of us when she wrapped him in a big ol bear hug. You work through that pain and come out like the diva you are, Ro!
And then you guys it’s time for Alba’s hot date with Pablo Alonso Segura!! She steps out in this Helen Mirren cocktail attire, the pink shrug her last semblance of self-control.
When Jane and Xo peel it off of her, she is suddenly Alba Villanueva: wanton tango goddess and there is no turning back. All the other denizens of this club can do is stand back and gape at the AARP realness.
These two are serving me FACE FOR DAYS. You go out and get it, Alba.
Meanwhile Raf is making continued terrible decisions, such as joining his brother on this boat and not wearing this jacket earlier when it’s so buttery delicious.
He bails on Michael’s plan to use him as an informant on his brother which like: what? How is he possibly siding with this guy? I have to believe it’s all part of a long con because boyfriend has three kids to support and there’s not time for this sort of shenanigans when he could be spending all his days like:
Petra: serving up “I gave birth to full term twins ten seconds ago and woke up like this” flaw free hair and face, along with a flowy column of Grecian fashion glory.
Rafael gets her to spend some time with “no not those ones” Anna and Elsa, to which Petra is like, “Meh, not for me,” but come on: you know she’s going to turn into as fierca a mama bear as her own mother was for her. Hopefully with less murders.
All told, I’m looking forward to what Chapter Thirty-Eight has to bring us, with one sizable exception: