As the intro to this episode states, love has always kind of come easy to Jane. She’s the sort who has always had someone pursuing her, whether it was Michael, or Rafael, or JasonMichael, or even that telenovela actor she briefly dated. The point is, Jane’s always had the advantage of control versus rejection. Chapter Eighty-Nine, however, brings us to a new phase of Jane’s life: that of stalker. Wait, no, that’s not right. What I mean is, she is now having to come to terms with her decision to walk away from Michael as well as accept (or not?) being turned down by Rafael in the last episode.
Xo and Alba both give Jane some solid advice: back the heck off. But Jane doesn’t really seem to know how to do that, as is exemplified by her hanging out outside his apartment and calling him constantly. It’s, well, creepy. One thing is to have a romantic streak, and it’s quite another to disregard how others feel because you want them. It’s an important theme to explore in a show that’s involved a lot of men pursuing women and guilting women and “not taking NO for an answer,” and I’m glad they decided to explore it.
While overall, the men on the show have been mostly respectful in their pursuit of Jane (and in Ro’s pursuit of Xo and Jorge’s previous pursuit of Alba…and now vice versa), this episode explores what it’s like when one crosses the line from romantic to full on creep. One storyline follows Jane and Rafael dealing with Mateo’s struggles with reading, which means a lot of interaction between the two. Rafael, doing his best to be a proper co-parent, makes sure to keep the lines of communication open with Jane (despite perhaps not wanting to). Jane, however, takes this as having an “in” with him, a signal that he might still have interest in her versus just wanting to handle Mateo’s trouble together. She ends up going overboard, essentially breaking into a house he’s about to show to a couple, in order to “surprise” him with a picnic (see: Big Romantic Gesture).
When Raf shows up though, he’s accompanied by his boss and the interested couple, and is swiftly fired from his job for her actions. It is extremely painful to watch for both. It’s only then that Jane begins to realize that Rafael was serious about being done with her, and that perhaps Rafael recognizes Jane’s inability to always live grounded in reality. Life isn’t all big romantic gestures, after all. The point is further driven home when Jane goes to her mother, who explains how she would recognize her actions more as creepy if their genders were reversed. We end up with a pretty hilarious scene of “Super Creep John” (what I’m calling Jane’s drag persona) constantly trying to peep inside of “Rafaela’s” apartment, telling her he’ll never give up no matter what.
“Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you get to have them,” Xo says, further grounding her daughter into reality. It’s then that Jane recognizes she needs to really chill out. Let’s hope for less cringe-worthy behavior in Chapter Ninety.
The Passions Of Steve and Brenda
Over in Rogelioland, Ro is upset to find out that his telenovela is being cancelled. While the execs try to give a number of reasons, like a need for more sci-fi elements and edginess, they eventually admit the main reason: Rogelio and River Fields are simply “too old” to play the main roles. Ro promises to give the execs everything they want if they agree to listen to his new pitch, and they accept.
Rogelio ends up going to Jane for help in fixing the script, which she agrees to do. Due to her preoccupation with Rafael (and to a smaller extent, her preoccupation with Mateo), she ends up dropping the ball and letting Rogelio down when he finds she still has not started work on the project. Fortunately, Ro is a pretty forgiving dad, and when Jane shows up with a home-made “Ro-morse” basket, all is forgiven. Moreover, they end up coming up with some solid plans on how to keep Ro and River on cast while also adding a secondary plot of two actors playing younger versions of the pair.
Petra and JR
In the last episode, some strange man was supposedly lurking outside the girls’ bedroom. In this episode, we have a scene where a a sniper target appears on JR’s head while they’re in Petra’s living room. However, this turns out to be the twins, who are apparently terrified of JR after they inadvertently saw her shoot Milosh. Petra tells JR her children come first, but JR promises to do all she can to win the girls over before throwing in the towel. Petra also suggests to Rafael that the girls go into therapy for this—good parenting, Petra!
Alba Gets Her Happy Ending
For some time now, we’ve been watching as Alba gets more and more hurt while in the presence of her ex, Jorge. She’s been having to keep her feelings at bay while also living together as they waited for Jorge’s immigration interview. During a practice interview, Alba brings up how incredibly stubborn Jorge is, and how she loves him just the same. While Jorge’s poker face is strong, we end up finding out that it is indeed his stubbornness that causes him to continue to reject Alba. Once they finish their immigration interviews, he finally admits that he was just hurt by Alba’s previous rejections. So happy for Alba! And you have to wonder if this is also foreshadowing to find Rafael’s also being stubborn after getting multiple rejections from Jane as well.
- Justin Hartley making a cameo when they talk about him never doing cameos made my This Is Us fan heart sing.
- Someone give Mateo an award for properly showing just how stubborn and annoying kids can be when they don’t feel like doing something. And also highlighting how you can get a young child to do just about anything so long as you involve the word “fart” in it.
- Can someone tell us what that dude is doing spying on Rafael once and for all? What is Rose up to?!