Friday, February 9, 2018

REVIEW: The CW's 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' and 'Jane the Virgin' (February 9)

Various The CW reviews for February 9, 2018:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Episode 3.12 "Trent?!"
Jane the Virgin - Episode 4.10 "Chapter Seventy-Four"

In 2018, it's impossible to watch every scripted show out there. There are over 450 of them. It's even more impossible to even provide adequate coverage of some of them. Great shows slip through the cracks. Some shows take awhile to figure themselves out. So as a way for me to provide more coverage, I'll just be writing some paragraph reviews of the various shows that aired new episodes on The CW from February 9, 2018. Enjoy!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - "Trent?!"
Just as Rebecca tries to be more realistic and practical, Trent throws a wrench into her plans. At the same time, Josh and Valencia reckon with their shared history. Written by Dan Gregor & Doug Mand and directed by Stuart McDonald

The penultimate episode of the season really puts things into perspective about how much Rebecca has matured and how she feels about that. It's all done through the sudden return of Trent. It's easy to describe him as the male Rebecca Bunch without the charm. It's the show once again showing just how twisted this main premise would be with a gender flip. But his presence also disarms Rebecca in an unexpected way. Last week she was struggling with whether or not she wanted happiness with Nathaniel. She opted not to pursue it because she didn't believe she deserved it. And now, she believes that she isn't a good person because she's right back to manipulating people for her own benefit. It still ultimately works out for her in the end. She gets Paula to go back to stalking to get some blackmail on Trent. She does that by falsely saying Trent has blackmail on Paula too that could ruin her legal career. That's not true and Rebecca doesn't confess to it in the end. Even though she is painfully clear to Trent about her feelings for him, she isn't that honest with everyone else in her life. She sees these problems though. She's tortured because she has to make these choices. She still makes them. And ultimately, she ends up all alone in an office far away from her friends at work. So even though Nathaniel reassures her that she's a good person, it's harder for her to believe that. That's so tragic and really leaves the show with the potential to go in any direction for the finale next week. Meanwhile, the Nathaniel and Valencia subplots are basically table-setting stories, with Nathaniel still dating Mona and Valencia learning to be more like Josh. But it's also just a lot of fun seeing Valencia and Josh break into dance once more. A-

Jane the Virgin - "Chapter Seventy-Four"
Jane and Rafael try to be friends which works great until Jane goes on a date. Petra and Jane's new partnership is off to a rocky start, but they both know they have to find a way to work together somehow. Rogelio is convinced he has Male Post-Partum Depression, which puts him at odds with celebrity Post-Partum advocate River Fields. Alba finally tells Jane why she has turned down the marriage proposal, leaving Jane to help Alba in the romance department. Written by Micah Schraft & Paul Sciarrotta and directed by Gina Rodriguez

"Chapter Seventy-Four" marks the directorial debut of Gina Rodriguez. The creative team handed her an episode that was all about the sexual awakening of three characters. It's such a fascinating story told across this hour. Rodriguez proves herself to be a very capable director with full awareness of the qualities that make each of these stories interesting, unique and compelling. For Jane, that is personal for Rodriguez because she's been playing this character for four seasons now. The entire show has been about Jane's sexual awakening - as that opening montage points out. But here, it's empowering to see her have sex with Rafael for the first time. Sure, they hit some familiar obstacles like their dynamic always does. She judges people and he shuts down when things got complicated. These are characteristics that they've long held. But here, they are having an honest conversation about them and if they can make a relationship work this time around. And it's so hot and sexy to watch in that final moment when Jane runs over to Rafael's apartment to have sex with him. It's awkward but really perfect for the two of them as well. Meanwhile, Alba and Petra are exploring different sides of their sexuality. For Alba, it's opening herself up to that side of her personality again. She feels old and broken because it's been 30 years without intimacy in her life. Sure, it's hysterical to see Jane take her abuela to a sex shop. But it's so empowering to see that honest and frank conversation about human sexuality as one ages and that this can still be an awakening for Alba after all these years. And finally, Petra is having sex dreams about her lawyer, J.R. It's such a passionate moment because of the chemistry that Yael Grobglas and Rosario Dawson have. But it also comes after an episode where Petra teaches Jane how she is so effective as a businesswoman while allowing sex to be her release. That's what motivates Jane to stand up for herself and make that move with Rafael. But it's also advice that surprises Petra in an unexpected but completely natural way too. A