Wednesday, May 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jane the Virgin' - Jane's Personal Struggles Clash with Her New Professional Responsibilities in 'Chapter Ninety-One'

The CW's Jane the Virgin - Episode 5.10 "Chapter Ninety-One"

When Rogelio tells Jane that the network wants her to write the script for their telenovela, at first she is excited, but begins to struggle balancing her time between that and her novel. Rafael is furious with Jane after she makes a medical appointment that he doesn't agree with behind his back. Petra tries to be positive about their relationship when JR lands a job interview out of state.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Jane the Virgin.

"Chapter Ninety-One" was written by Joni Lefkowitz and directed by Gina Lamar

Jane had a huge breakthrough regarding the scope and subject of her next novel during the fourth season finale. This season has seen that project fall to the sidelines. First, it was because of Michael returning from the dead and how that drama changed her relationship with Rafael. And then, it was because of the huge opportunity for her to write Rogelio's new telenovela pilot, This Is Mars. And yet, her passion has always been to be a published author. She now has the potential for that with no Rogelio-based strings attached. Her mentor loves the pages that she has seen so far. The audience is already aware that Jane is writing the story of her life as told through the television show so far. She is still constantly being inspired as well. She makes a note to herself that her novel needs more Petra in it because of how important that relationship has become to both of them. Petra leans on Jane after her relationship with JR ends. That is so devastating despite how inevitable it was after JR got a job opportunity in Houston. The two of them have made for a great couple but there is still resentment under the surface that could be too overwhelming for any longterm happiness. JR forgave Petra but also sees the importance of a fresh start elsewhere. That's devastating and proves to Jane just how much she needs Petra in her life and vice versa. It also comes at a time when Jane's life is overwhelmed with professional opportunities and personal crises. She is there for Petra at the end of the hour because she gets clarity on what she needs to do next. At first, she's happy and excited to be writing Rogelio's new telenovela. It presents as a huge and lucrative opportunity for her. But the schedule for turning out pages for the telenovela and her novel is ultimately too grueling. She has to make room in her life for all of the passions that she has. Plus, she has to care for Mateo. Her son continues to struggle with reading. His teacher suggests getting him tested for learning disabilities. That stirs up a huge disagreement between her and Rafael. Jane sees the value in being armed with information while Rafael sees it as an unnecessary hassle. Again, Petra convinces Rafael to do the right thing. And in the end, it's significant that they walk away with confirmation that Mateo probably has ADHD. They can now adjust to that reality while still loving Mateo just as much as they always have. But it also puts things into context about their ongoing struggles as co-parents. They can both act irrationally without considering how the other could view a certain subject. Jane made this appointment long before Rafael was completely on board. She deals with that anger and resent. She knows that she made a mistake. That too is fueling so much of her professional struggles. She wants to continue doing well. However, she's overwhelmed. That can be a very relatable aspect for the life of any working parent. Jane wants to do right by her son while continuing to chase her own dreams. Her leaving This Is Mars helps open up the space for her novel. Plus, it allows Rogelio to mend fences with Dina by bringing out all the other women he has wronged while noting that he has changed. It's only an incremental amount. However, his heart continues to be in the right place. He wants to do the right thing no matter what. Jane understands that impulse as well. She acknowledges when she has made a mistake. Plus, people know when to comfort her in her times of need because she always helps them through theirs. That too is very beautiful and moving to watch. The blending of genres has always been a trademark of the show. But it also informs the audience here that Jane could be getting close to her greatest breakthrough yet in approaching her own story as an actual telenovela. The Narrator seems to be having a lot of fun as he always does when it comes to presenting the various and emotionally complicated lives of the characters at this point.