Change doesn’t come easily for everyone. Some folks regress, others kick and scream, while others just need a moment to come to terms. In Chapter Ninety-Two, the Villanuevas and just about everyone else around them is experiencing some major and minor life shifts. Let’s see how they all took to it.
Petra Deals With Her First Major HeartbreakLast episode, JR finally called it quits on Petra for good (we think). But it’s no surprise Petra’s moved on from being a blubbering mess to going into full-on denial mode. Or at least, that’s what she initially attempts. Not surprisingly, she ends up crying and going back to Jane for support when she finds the engagement ring she meant to give JR. The gals decide to go and return the ring together, and it’s just what Petra needed to truly begin to heal.
Petra also ends up doing something rather surprising when she decides to call up a different ex…her old assistant, Krishna. While Krishna initially hesitates to accept Petra’s pleas for her help, she eventually softens. Bargaining up to three times her initial salary (and adding a lunch hour) certainly sweeten the deal for her.
Jane, Alba, and Jorge Adjust To Their New HouseholdWhen Alba and Jorge got married, it probably didn’t occur to anyone how everyone’s life in the Villanueva household would change. Jane’s still living there, after all, with Mateo coming by a few times a week. Since Alba, Xo, and Jane all grew up together without any male presence, they always lived as they chose. But with Jorge now, Alba seems to be shifting into a bit more of an antiquated, patriarchal view of how things should be. He’s the “man of the house,” as Alba refers to him, meaning he gets his meals first, sits at the head of the table, doesn’t have to pick up after himself…y’all know that machista nonsense. Not only that, but Alba starts allowing him to reorganize and redecorate the home so that he feels more “welcome.”
Jane does her best to accept that she’ll now have to minimize the amount of things she gets to keep in her own bathroom. But when Mateo begins to copy Jorge’s entitled attitude, refusing to clean up after himself after dinner and demanding to watch television instead, Jane gets (understandably) fed up. She ends up confronting Jorge, and he initially acts receptive. Instead, he ends up whining about it to Alba, who ends up raging against Jane for daring to make him feel even remotely unwelcome in his own home. She even forces Jane to apologize to Jorge, and honestly, it’s awful to watch.
What I loved about these scenes (as much as I hated them all) is how relatable it was. Machismo is alive and well within traditional latinx families (my own extended fam, included). Like Alba, I’ve had women in my family tell me how much they enjoy waiting on their husbands, and that their husbands in turn “take care” of them in other ways. And I get some of it, I do. My own father worked round the clock for years in construction just to make sure we never went hungry, and he deserved the big piece of chicken at dinner for his hard work. But the issue I always had, which Jane obviously does, is the effect it has on the next generation. Young boys end up believing that they don’t need to cook or clean or do any of the “female” tasks, except those young boys aren’t working round the clock. Meanwhile, young girls are being raised to cater to all the men in their lives for absolutely zero reason. It’s absolutely infuriating to grow up in this way, and to then be expected to act the same way as our mothers and grandmothers did when most of us work in AND outside the home as Jane does.
By the end, though, Jane comes to a realization (with a little help from Petra). Jane is a grown-ass woman. She has a steady income, and a child to raise. She doesn’t need to live at Alba’s house any longer. This is especially true if she wants the freedom to raise her son the way she wants to, rather than under the shadow of antiquated patriarchy—even if it’s all done with love, as Alba and many of our mamis and abuelas feel, it’s still BS. And so, by the end, she lets Alba know that she’ll be moving on and moving into her own place. Quite frankly, I couldn’t be prouder of our Jane for taking this major step in her life.
Xo and Ro Move Into A New Phase In Their RelationshipFor a season or two now, Xo has been battling cancer. But in Chapter Ninety-Two, we finally get the good news: she’s in full remission! No more cancer! Xo and Rogelio are understandably ecstatic about being able to move forward with their relationship (including finally being able to have sex again), but this is a telenovela, and a wrench has been thrown in. It comes in the form of one River Fields, who, for whatever reason, was under the impression that Rogelio was being faithful solely because Xiomara had cancer.
Now that the cancer was behind them, River felt it was her chance to make a pass at Ro. He, being the wonderfully loyal dude that he is, quickly refuses her advances and informs her he’s happily married. It gets more complicated when he ends up letting Xo know about the situation, and at one point she ends up getting in a fist fight with River while on set. River eventually apologizes, and Ro does what he can to make her grasp that nothing will ever happen between them…but in the final scene, we see she’s not feeling defeated just yet.
Final Notes– The Marbella truly has some of the cutest hotel stationary ever. Look!
– No word about Rose or Luisa in this episode. Can we finally find out how this bizarre storyline is going to end?
– Jane and Rafael coming to terms with the fact that they can’t wear themselves out by rigidly sticking to Mateo’s behavioral treatment plan was a high point of the episode. Over six million kids were diagnosed with ADHD in 2016 alone in the US, and while it’s not the focus of the show, they’re doing an excellent job of showing this challenge from a parent’s perspective.