What happens when Jane the Virgin FINALLY puts its star Gina Rodriguez behind the camera? An absolutely amazing, mind-blowing, and otherwise incredibly sex positive episode for everyone involved. That’s right, the show’s 33-year-old Puerto Rican star became one of the few Latina directors in Hollywood with the premiere of Friday’s “Chapter Seventy-Four”. This milestone puts her into the category of only 17 percent of female television directors in Hollywood and we couldn’t be prouder.
But the bigger thing to celebrate is that the February 9th episode marks the completion of a dream for Rodriguez: Her directorial debut — and one incredible episode that opens up the conversation about sexuality for women of ALL ages.
In case you missed the episode this Friday, watch out for SPOILERS AHEAD.
Well, as you might have expected, the lovebirds that many of us had been rooting for since “Chapter One”, Jane the (no longer) virgin and Rafael finally had the steamy sex the show has been promising us since day one. With Rodriguez stepping behind the camera to direct the scene between herself and her onscreen love interest, played by Justin Baldoni, things went much smoother than you might expect. Rodriguez told TV Guide:
I think that what I get so blessed about is that [creator Jennie Snyder Urman] chose this particular episode for me because of the sex scene. She said that it would be really great for me to be able to direct something that is so intimate and could be very uncomfortable. It could be very scary to not only shoot, but also to be in that environment. … So there were a lot of layers of challenge and then it ended up being so beautiful.
But despite the much anticipated lovemaking scene between Jane and Rafael, what really caught our attention is abuela’s storyline in this episode. In what turned out to be an incredible show of sex positivity for women of all ages, Jane’s grandmother Alba (played by Ivonne Coll) struggles with her own feelings about sex. Earlier in the episode, she admits to Jane that she turned down her sweet boyfriend’s marriage proposal because she is afraid to have sex again after decades of abstinence since her husband’s death.
But soon, Jane takes her to a sex store and buys abuela a vibrator and lube and, although shocked at first, abuela tries it by the end of the episode and happily finds that her body isn’t broken as she previously thought. It’s a touching moment between the women and a heartfelt realization for Alba, our protagonist’s strict Catholic grandmother who finally opens up about her own sexuality.
What’s more, the show revealed another sex positive twist: Petra (played by Yael Grobglas) is having a “sexual awakening” when she dreams of having sex with her lawyer (played by guest star Rosario Dawson). Talk about a huge twist in the character who often plays Jane’s on-again, off-again nemesis. Although the show previously had bisexual female characters, they didn’t amount to much more than a “unstable alcoholic and a murderous crime lord,” as Vox pointed out. And now to see one of the main characters exploring her sexuality? That’s impressive.
Rodriguez’s directorial debut episode was sure one to WOW fans all over. Between Petra’s possible bisexuality, abuela’s hijinks with a vibrator, and Jane and Rafael finally taking their relationship to the next level, Rodriguez showed poise in embracing female sexuality in all of its forms during this episode. And luckily for fans, there’s plenty of more where this came from.
“I just want to direct all the time,” Rodriguez said to TV Guide. “I’m like, oh, I remember this passion. I remember why I wanted to do this. And I get to use so much more creativity and so much more of my brain. It feels great.”