Wednesday, July 10, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jane the Virgin' - Jane Forges a Stronger Relationship with the Twins and Finishes Her Novel in 'Chapter Ninety-Six'

The CW's Jane the Virgin - Episode 5.15 "Chapter Ninety-Six"

After Jane is struck with inspiration for her book, she immediately begins to write, but her next challenge is to get an agent. Rogelio has been so focused on being the star, he begins to contemplate taking on a different role instead. Jane thinks it's important to build a different relationship with the twins and turns to Petra for some guidance.

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-Six" was written by Ben O'Hara and directed by Viet Nguyen

Petra is perfectly fine after getting into a car accident with her mother. All she has is a broken arm. Meanwhile, Magda eventually ends up on life support. Now, that character became very disposable a long time ago. As such, it's annoying to see how many shocking returns she has had over the course of the series. That continues here with her coming back to life after Petra is willing to pull the plug on her. That's what Petra wants to do as soon as things start heading in that direction. But all of this is instead used to talk about the central family and what would happen if something tragic were to occur to Petra. She knows that Ellie and Anna would be happy and secure because they have Rafael and Jane. However, Jane wants to step up as their stepmother. She wants to be more engaged in their lives. They have been family for a long time. The bond between Jane and Petra is stronger than ever before. That relationship has been the highlight of this season. It's so special and meaningful. And yet, Petra's parenting is an extension of her fears that her children will turn out to be manipulative monsters like her mother. And yes, they are incredibly smart and cunning for their age. Jane uses that to her advantage here even though she immediately recognizes that as wrong behavior that should be punished. Jane wants to form her own relationship with them because she needs that level of comfort and trust in their lives. She is making a big commitment with this family. Not much may actually change. But now, Jane may be involved as a co-parent. She doesn't want to be seen as lame Jane. She may also be incredibly distracted at the moment because she finishes writing her novel and is sending it out to agents hoping to achieve all of her dreams. And yet, she makes it a priority to be there for the twins. It's a celebration when Mateo starts reading Jane's novel. That's a huge accomplishment for him. Meanwhile, the twins are learning how to be with Jane. At the moment, Jane struggles when it comes to all of the rules and structure that Petra has created for her children. She respects that while also recognizing that this relationship is changing and requires honesty. Jane may not be able to tell Petra everything. She shares all of the big developments. But the bond between Jane and the twins has to grow organically as well. Otherwise, it runs the risk of falling down immediately. The twins help Jane when the time comes for it. They will gladly lie for her. She encourages that in the moment. Like her father, she gets swept up in the drama of a well-executed plan for personal achievement. But she also recognizes how this behavior isn't always healthy. It's just as important to set a good example and be there for all of the major developments that happen in a child's life. That extends to Rogelio as well. He and River have been so obsessed with their pilot. They worry about getting cut out significantly in favor of the younger stars. But Rogelio is ultimately okay with that because it would allow him to spend more time with Baby. He doesn't want to miss out on her first steps like he did with Jane. He has that purpose in his life. He hopes to give that to River as well. All of this is rewarding and grounded emotional material. And then, the show also provides an update as to what's going on in the Rose and Luisa corner of this world. It's more fascinating to talk about Jane's ongoing struggle to be a successful published author. Here, she is concerned that her latest attempt to make a living at it has failed and she has to be practical about her future. That's such an intense and moving moment. It makes the later celebration of her getting a nameless agent so important. But the show also explains how Rose's latest plan revolves around a giant pile of money and numerous women who now happen to look like her. That's insane and will compromise things moving forward. It's just more difficult to truly connect with those developments on a meaningful level.