Co-parenting can be complicated, and in Chapter Eighty-Six of Jane the Virgin, we get a glimpse into just how rough it can be. There’s Jane and Rafael on the one hand, and Rogelio and Darci (yes! she’s back!) on the next—with Baby and Mateo caught in between. We also have Petra continuing to be Petra (her heart’s in the right place, but she’s still mainly looking out for herself), and Michael finally acting like Michael. And at one point, Jane walks into her room to find Jorge in his underwear (and then, apparently, accidentally exposing himself to her), but we don’t really need to talk about that.
The episode opens up with a flashback: a memory of just a few weeks ago when Jane decided she would be having a 30th birthday party. Moreover, it would be a unicorn party (Mateo’s suggestion), and would also be seriously over the top (because Rogelio doesn’t believe in going small with anything). But then we come back to present day and find that Jane isn’t really feeling up to her party, especially because Rafael’s kicked her out and Mateo is now upset with her.
Bad Timing and #InDebtDoUsPart
Things get even worse for Jane when Michael comes over to see her about a life insurance issue when she spots Raf and Mateo coming toward the house as well. She asks Michael to go hide, which he does without complaint (because that’s who Michael is), but he accidentally chooses the worst place to hide: Mateo’s room. Of course, our writer’s end up making Rafael go into the room, where we encounters Michael and assumes the worst. Then Mateo also runs into his room to find Michael, and thus begins the transformation from a sweet child to an absolute freaking nightmare.
“I hate you, this is all your fault!” he shouts at Jane, and we could not be more heartbroken for this conflicted mama.
The Solano boys finally leave, Jane seems to want to take out her anger at Michael, but he stays calm and informs her that his life insurance company wants their money back because they think he faked his death. That’s enough to bring some rationale back to Jane, though we see she’s still clearly feeling pretty shaken.
Baby De La Vega Factor Returns
We haven’t heard much from Rogelio’s baby, Baby, or Darci (played by the magnificent Justina Machado who we are SO so happy to see on our screens after the wholly unfair cancellation of One Day At A Time), so it was nice that they brought them back for another storyline. This time around, Rogelio is feeling jealous because Esteban (his telenovela arch nemesis) is bonding more and more with Baby. It gets worse as Baby cries every time Rogelio tries to hold her.
Of course, Rogelio does something not all that unlike himself and decides to get someone to offer Esteban an acting gig…in Mexico. The way he figures it, he leaves and then Baby will automatically love him more. Selfish, much? When Darci tells Rogelio that Esteban has broken up with her for the job though, he recognizes he’s maybe made a huge mistake. That’s definitely not the way to co-parent, Ro.
Esteban comes by Rogelio’s to drop off the last of Baby’s stuff when he flat out tells him that he knows Ro was behind the Mexico job. Guilt really begins to set in when Esteban explains that he’s not leaving because he doesn’t want to be with Darci and Baby, but rather because he doesn’t want Baby to grow up with bickering parents, having grown up in such an environment himself. That’s enough to prompt a major change of heart in Rogelio.
We see this all play out toward the end, at Jane’s not-so-happy birthday party. Rogelio admits his mistakes to Darci, and she eventually forgives them both. Looks like Baby will get to enjoy having more than just two parents around.
Petra and JR
Last episode, we saw JR and Petra finally making amends. But things are slow to progress now, and Petra’s clearly upset when JR says she’s not ready to start spending the night. More conflict is added when Milosh starts meddling in Petra’s affairs, by cancelling some food orders at the Marbella until he agrees to call him up in jail.
Things get further complicated when JR claims to have seen an e-mail to Milosh sent by Petra. …Except, Petra’s being framed! And she’s able to eventually prove it in a totally Petra way: by yelling at her staff, looking over security footage, and then going after Jane for a shred of proof that she was actually firing someone when that e-mail was sent. She’s eventually able to prove it to JR, and the couple more or less makeup (but it still looks like it’s going to take more time before JR can fully trust her sketchy girlfriend).
Mateo Is The Worst
Look, I know Mateo is just a child, but he’s acted like an absolute monster this whole episode. A lot of it seems like him just picking up cues from his dad, who also happens to be unhappy with Jane. When she goes to pick up Mateo from school, he actually runs away from his mother and out into the street. It gets even worse when she grabs him and starts scolding him, prompting the demon spawn to shout, “Stranger danger!” while some white busybody starts recording them on her phone, demanding proof that Jane is, in fact, his mother. It’s enough to make anyone scream, especially the parents in the audience.
It further devolves when Jane asks Rafael to intervene and he instead opts to give Mateo “a pass.” She tries to confront Raf about this because, let’s face it, this is all lousy co-parenting. Jane’s emotional beat down gets even worse when Mateo calls her up to say he’s sick and won’t be coming to her party. The sick part turns out to be true, but him hanging up on his mother? Wholly unacceptable.
But by the end of the episode, Jane’s had it and finally has a mini breakdown in front of her child. Only then does he finally recognize that his mother is human, and that her feelings are hurt. He apologizes, and Jane, of course, forgives. At least we’ve salvaged one strained relationship.
Jane keeps going back and forth on her feelings this whole episode. She’s obviously desperate to not lose her family, especially if being or even thinking of Michael would cause her son to turn (and/or be turned) against her. Because of this, she overcompensates, continuing to tell Rafael she loves him and that maybe she can “get over” her feelings for Michael. Meanwhile, Rafael keeps acting like a spoiled brat—but we can also kind of understand this. He knows he’s second choice, rebound, whatever. And while it’s alright for him to protect himself, we can only hope he stops being a lousy dad and recognizes that the most important thing is for Mateo’s parents to get along…no matter how they may or may not love (or be in love with) each other.
At one point, Marlene (Jane’s writing mentor) advises Jane to write in a more detached manner about her life. But when Jane loses her notes and her mom and abuela find them and read them, they can clearly see what she cannot: Jane is burying her feelings for Michael because she doesn’t want to disrupt her perfect family.
Just as Rafael is finally coming to terms with his feelings (he was going to propose again!), Jane rushes over to let him know he’s right. She needs to see her feelings through, and it isn’t fair to him. Which results in him spending a night alone with what appears to be a glass of scotch and some prescription pills (what pills? Who knows!) Not really liking this self-destructive side of Rafael at all, and we’ve seen him try to mask his pain like this before. Hopefully, and especially for Mateo’s sake, this gets nipped in the bud.
And Finally FINALLY…
What we’ve all been waiting for. Michael’s been ever so patient in this episode, clearly understanding that Jane is going through a lot. But he has to come over at the end of her very long birthday to give her a gift. In true Michael fashion, he’s read her novel, cover to cover, and sprinkled notes throughout so she knows just what he was thinking as her read it all. We finally get the Jane and Michael theme music back, and all our hearts collectively flutter. Plus it finally allows Jane to get inspired to truly write again!
Will Cordueva truly be end game? Or will Rafael win her back? We’ve got a few more months of episodes before that, so who knows.
- Why was Mateo not in a car seat??? As a mom, this caused me some serious distress.
- And also: When will Michael shave?! Did Montana really change him for good? I am deeply convinced that Jane will truly recall all her feels once he gets rid of all that chin fur. But hey, maybe that’s just me.