Jane the Virgin, Season 1, Episode 9, “Chapter Nine”
Monday, December 15, 2014, 9:00 PM (EST), CW
Congratulations are in order! Jane the Virgin has been nominated for two Golden Globes – Best TV Comedy and Best Actress Gina Rodriguez. This is very exciting news, especially since the show has struggled with ratings on the small CW network. Thanks to the awards recognition, the series got a ratings bump! The midseason finale seems like it might be an awkward place to jump into a show, but Jane the Virgin always has clever recaps and narration that make catching up painless and enjoyable.
We learned in earlier episodes that Jane has long harbored a secret dream of becoming a writer. The opening flashback is from when she wrote her first short story. Pleased with her work, she immediately wants to get her mother’s opinion. Before she gets the chance, she overhears a conversation between her mother and grandmother that leaves her with the impression that dreams are impractical. When it cuts to the present, she finds out about her first big break! After years of submitting short stories to various magazines, she’s been accepted. The downside is that she submitted a story based on an exaggerated comedic version of her mother. Since it’s hurtful, she decides not to let them publish it. The validation is enough for her at the moment.
AXiomara is now on the cusp of realizing her own dream of becoming a singer. However, the meeting with the record executive Rogelio hooked her up with doesn’t go well. He thinks she’s too old, even though he doesn’t come right out and say it. Just as she’s resigning herself to the idea of giving up, she runs into her idol Paulina Rubio who gives her excellent advice to keep going. It turns out Rogelio set them up. He’s really quite a generous and wonderful person, and his love for Xiomara feels genuine. I hope they get together! It’s one of the few storylines that the writers seem to be content with taking slow for the moment.
Jane and Rafael’s relationship received some fascinating development this week. Rafael may be a former playboy, but his respect for Jane’s opinion is so refreshing and beautiful to watch. During their first sonogram together, they begin to argue over how to raise their child – Sunday school? Private school? But Rafael is convinced that despite their differences, they make a good team. Their physical chemistry has never been a problem, but Jane has had reservations about his character. Rafael hopes that their relationship is going somewhere, and Jane has so far taken him at his word.
Michael and Nadine are getting closer to identifying Sin Rostro, but the detour this week comes in the form of Michael’s crackpot theory that Rafael is the guy they’re looking for. Through less than legal means, they find out that he keeps a bunch of passports, an unlocked phone, and cash in a secret compartment, but that isn’t enough to prove he’s Sin Rostro. A better option is probably Magda, Petra’s wheelchair bound mother. In a shocking twist, Magda pushes Alba down the stairs, proving she can walk. I highly doubt Jane’s grandmother has been killed off, but after her particularly hilarious and sweet moments this week, it’s going to be hard to see the aftermath of this disturbing attack on her life. This is by far the darkest Jane the Virgin has ever gotten, and I sincerely hope this is the worst we ever have to deal with as an audience. That was rough.
Petra caused a lot of trouble this week, but her evil deeds were tempered by revelations about her past. Her first love, Milos, tried to attack her with acid on the street after their break up but it hit her mother instead. In the present, she is working a new angle on how to get money out of Rafael – enforce the pre-planned adoption contract they set up after her miscarriage. Just when you think you can write Petra off as an irredeemable villain, she makes a speech to tug at the heartstrings. Her father was killed before she could know him. However, this admission led Rafael to find out the truth about her past. In order to keep her true identity a secret and remain safe from Milos, she agrees to divorce Rafael and drop the suit for parental rights of Jane’s baby.
My favorite moment of the episode was the conversation that takes place after Xiomara reads Jane’s story about her. Their relationship is full of so much honesty, support, and selflessness. They wouldn’t dream of hurting each other. They also use each other as excuses to hold back on pursuing their dreams or making relationships with regard to their romantic relationships. It stands in stark contrast to Petra and Magda’s unhealthy relationship. It’s the best mother daughter relationship I’ve seen depicted on TV since Gilmore Girls, also a CW show. It’s strange that this dynamic isn’t explored more often, but I’m grateful to Jane the Virgin for knocking it out of the park.
- Esteban Santiago is Rogelio’s younger rival. It was actually really sad to see him lose.
- Rafael’s never ridden a bus before.
- An entire extremely emotional conversation happens over text messages. This show really nails modern communication and seamlessly works texts in without missing crucial emotional beats. This show is a wonder.
- Rogelio: “a hug from Rogelio is like a rabbit’s foot. Lucky, rare, and soft to the touch.”
- I love the meta telenovela. Ivan, Petra’s hostage, gets into Rogelio’s show “The Passions of Santos” when step-by-step, he explains how he escapes his captivity on a deserted island.
- Michael and Nadine uncovered a hidden staircase/room when they were hooking up in Rafael’s apartment.
The midseason finale seems like it might be an awkward place to jump into a show for the first time, but Jane the Virgin always has clever recaps and narration that make catching up painless and enjoyable.