A Very Villanueva Christmas.
Today’s Jane the Virgin opens with six-year-old Jane. She’s kind. She follows the rules. She’s nothing but a sweetheart.
Unless you piss her off.
Our Janie has a temper.
And after finding out it was Rafael that turned Michael in, well, steam’s coming out of her ears.
So she goes back to a technique Alba taught her at six years old: calm. C. A. L. M. Think of things that start with those letters. For Jane?
Alba, the Abuela.
Mister Monkey. And later in life, Michael.
C.A.L.M. isn’t helping, so she shifts the M to Mateo and she’s able to breathe.
So she takes Mateo to go see Santa… and Rafael meets her there. It’s not a good time. She runs into Wesley, aka The Jerk That Exploited Her, and lets him have a piece of her mind. It’s earned, honestly–he’s absolutely unrepentant. Jerk. School, too, isn’t giving her a good time: turns out the scholarship she got was actually Rogelio, and now that he doesn’t have any money, well… no bueno, guys. At least Hunky de la [Wolf Whistle] is willing to help find ways to help Jane.
Also not having a good time? Petra. She’s not exactly feeling sane after Magda killed Ivan.
And Rogelio is feeling the effects of being broke. He misses Michael, too, considering the whole Jane-breaking-up-with-Michael thing. But when he runs into Michael–purposefully–Michael rebuts him against his better judgement. It’s a little sad as is Luisa’s coffee order: a decaf extra wet chai cinnamon latte. It makes no sense, considering lattes are already almost exclusively milk instead of foam and there’s not any espresso unless it’s specified and please accept my apology for the barista in me rearing its head.
At least Michael’s not having the worst time. Finding Mutter is difficult, but he thinks it’s actually Luisa’s real mother Mia, using Luisa as a chip to scare Sin Rostro. Michael talks to her to find out more information about Mutter, and naturally it’s tense because Rafael is there… and it doesn’t help that Luisa’s been communicating with Rose.
Rafael’s mother comes, too, to answer questions about Mia. He’s hurt because of her having left when he was young: he would never leave Mateo. Luisa keeps flirting with Detective Susanna, and they go undercover as wives to try and confront Mutter in the mental institution where she’s been hiding (though Mia escaped and switched identities).
And Jane doesn’t want to deal with Rafael. We get to see the Villanuevas share Christmas, even with the worries that Alba’s green card will never come. Turns out, too, that Jane’s temper runs in the family. Alba tells the story of her and Grandpa Mateo’s first Christmas in the United States, but she rants on and on about her boss… and Grandpa Mateo teaches her C.A.L.M.
Unfortunately, not calm is still Jane. Rafael wants Christmas with Mateo and, oh dear lord, it’s gonna get ugly. Apparently compromise isn’t in either of their dictionaries and, just because Christmas falls on a Rafael day for Mateo, it means he gets to be with him, despite Jane and Rafael’s prior agreement. Jane doesn’t like it, and of course, Rafael threatens to bring in his lawyers.
Am I supposed to feel at all for Rafael? I know I say it nearly every review, but as the series goes on, I continue to lose all sympathy for him. He’s controlling, he’s manipulative, he lies, threatens litigation every time he doesn’t get his way, tries to restrict Jane’s friendship with Michael, and bribes someone to lie to the police about Michael.
At least Hunky de la [Wolf Whistle] is obviously a jerk. At least he’s trying to help Jane become a better writer: she needs to learn to break the rules a bit, to play with time and space. And he tells her Wesley gave up his TA position, so Jane gets some vindication there.
Did he say resigned?
Nah, he turned Wesley in because of the article. Maybe he’s slightly less of a jerk than I thought. Slightly.
Jane’s surrounded by jerks. But Alba’s immigration lawyer makes a good point: Wesley’s awful article could really come in handy. So while Jane lords a confidentiality clause from the student handbook over Wesley, she also asks him for information on Rafael to ensure Mateo’s safety… and he leads her to Petra’s assistant, Scott.
It turns out Rafael’s been donating to a domestic violence shelter.
It’s time for them to get some therapy.
AND IT’S HILARIOUS. Their therapist tries to put them in each other’s shoes by bringing them back to when Rafael overheard that Michael and Jane kissed, and while Jane rambles, we get to see Rafael on the couch, mouthing along with her rambling. Rafael gets the same thing, showing Jane rant as Rafael to Michael.
How did the actors do this without losing it?
And they finally get some understanding: Jane can’t get past the six months of lying, even if she understands why Rafael did what he did. She knows she’s sensitive to the lying because of Xiomara’s having hidden Rogelio for years. She knows she’ll get over it.
Frankly, I don’t want her to. I don’t think Rafael deserves that. Jane knows he was trying to protect his family, but I have a hard time believing that jealousy wasn’t a huge part of it, especially considering the Solanos aren’t exactly the safest family.
It feels great to see Petra finally admit the entirety of the past season and a half to Rafael because it flabbergasts him. The look on his face is worth it. He doesn’t hate Petra after any of this, though–he just finally understands her and agrees to get Magda out of her life.
And we get to end on Christmas miracles:
Rogelio finds an amazing script, written by his intern.
Alba gets her green card.
And the Villanueva Christmas Angel has been fixed and returned. By Michael.
Wait, never mind. Petra’s arrested for Ivan’s murder, because Magda.
Here’s hoping prison is kinder to her.
Image courtesy of The CW