Wednesday, June 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jane the Virgin' - Jane and Rafael Struggle to Help Mateo After His Latest Outbursts in 'Chapter Ninety-Three'

The CW's Jane the Virgin - Episode 5.12 "Chapter Ninety-Three"

After Rafael witnesses Mateo's behavior at school, he wants to take a different approach to his treatment. Rogelio is paranoid that River is plotting her revenge against him. Jane convinces Petra to go on a single ladies' night out after she learns that Rafael is dating.

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-Three" was written by Carolina Rivera & Madeline Hendricks and directed by Melanie Mayron

It's all about love. That's the central message of this hour. This is the episode in which Jane and Rafael officially get back together. It's easy to see all of the delicate work this hour did overall that threaded that needle perfectly. It made the theme very apparent while featuring several plot beats that never made it too expected. This hour features Sophia Bush being introduced as Rafael's new placeholder girlfriend as well as Jane and Petra going out looking for love at a bar. Those don't immediately come across as the stories relevant to the episode in which Jane and Rafael get back together. And yet, it shows that the creative team has always been aware of just how delicate this has always been. Jane and Rafael do love each other. They could never find that connection again elsewhere. It's because of Mateo that they come to this realization as well. He has always brought them together. And now, they need to stand united in order to help Mateo following his ADHD diagnosis. They were both so reluctant to use medication in order to help his behavior. But it takes several displays of outside stimulants that show just how easy it is for him to get distracted and frustrated. He was so happy to be in the school musical. The family was so happy for him and did everything to help him succeed. The only thing preventing it from being a happy memory is his diagnosis. Jane and Rafael feel like they have reached the point where medication may be the only solution to help their son in the most beneficial way. They can't help him every second of every day. The behavioral therapy hasn't been working. Big decisions have to be made and the relationship between Jane and Rafael is strong enough to make them together. They have such respect for one another. But Jane's search for an apartment also brings them close. It ensures that their connection isn't entirely about Mateo. Instead, it's about them planning for the future and the lives they could have outside of this relationship. That too makes them both realize that this is something they both still actively want. When they act on it by the conclusion of the hour, it's this massive celebration. The show is bursting with so much joy that it has to break out into a big musical number. Sure, it's a little simplistic but it still highlights the celebration of this massive moment while always remembering just how big a deal this is. It will be life-changing but it will also affirm everything that Jane, Rafael and their loved ones are passionate about in their lives. That is worth appreciating for as long as possible. That also stands in contrast with Xo's existential mid-life crisis. She is happy to be cancer free. And yet, nothing fills her up with excitement and joy. She doesn't have that passion that makes her excited to still be alive. She has the support of her family to keep her going as she goes on this journey. She just feels aimless right now even though she is also there for her family when they need it the most. She helps Mateo with the musical routine and helps Rogelio find the perfect solution to the River problem on set. But she also yearns for something more. She just doesn't know what that exactly is yet. That's okay too though. She has the time to discover it now. And finally, everything happening on the telenovela set and the latest attempt to sell off the hotel without Petra's support feel a little too lame and repetitive. But again, this is an incredible strong episode that highlights the absolute joys frequently on display in this world.