Jane the Hot Mess Mama Chapter 58
Can we stop and praise the goddess that is Yael Grobglas? More and more, Grobglas’s Petra does the heavy lifting on JTV, breaking our hearts with her vulnerability and blowing our minds with her bad but hella entertaining choices. Even when the Solano-Villanueva clan seems like the most chill extended family ever, Petra and Jane are in a tug-o-war for our affections and Chapter 58 was a win for Petra, imho.
Jane and Rafael drop Mateo off with his new aide, Alex, who doesn’t want to know anything about Mateo’s history lest he have preconceived notions about the causes for Mateo’s behavior. Jane stops by the bulletin board to sign up for Room Mom, because the night before, Mateo stopped being DAMIEN FROM THE OMEN long enough to ask his mom to spend more time with him. Petra (my heart cheers whenever she is on screen!), who has been the BEST ROOM MOTHER IN THE HISTORY OF SCHOOLS for the past two years, assures Jane she doesn’t need any help. The head of the school suggests Jane and Petra be Co-Room Moms. Stevie Wonder can see this is not going to work, but they try.
On her way back to the Marbella, Petra stops at the Fairwick to see if Chuck’s forgiven her for pushing Scott’s bones on his property. He hasn’t.
Alex tells Jane that Mateo craves attention and the key to correcting his behavioral issues is rewarding his positive behaviors and ignoring the negative ones. He also tells Jane there’s a lice outbreak at the school. That night after Jane finishes checking Mateo for nits (ew, is that a thing you have to do when you have kids? I would literally shave my children bald to avoid that) Mateo grabs the scissors and cuts a huge chunk of Jane’s hair, so that Jane’s bob matches the undercut Gina Rodriguez is growing out in real life. (When did Jane cut her long hair? I want to see that story.) Jane screams on the inside, but she doesn’t reward Mateo’s negative behavior.
The next day at school the Seed of Rafael draw pictures of their moms. Mateo draws the lopsided hair cut he gave his mom, while the twins draw a dragon. Petra is stung.
Dennis the Cute Cop and his new partner who interrogates like Pee Wee Herman (Petra: Do I need a lawyer? Detective: I don’t know, do you? Gahhh!) confront Petra with Scott’s Burn Book. Petra manages to not incriminate herself, but the book is a missing page. Petra swears she doesn’t have it.
Xiomara seems to be having second thoughts about her engagement to Bruce and I really don’t care. Ok, Xiomara figures she’s never been in a stable relationship long enough to get to the boring part and that must be the case since she and Bruce are a healthy, boring couple. She invites Bruce out to play drunk pool, and even though they stay in to have drunk sex, Xiomara is still not happy. In fact, she looks like she has a bad case of gas for most of the episode. Remember when Petra’s mother threw Alba down the stairs and Xo promised God she wouldn’t have sex if Alba recovered and then every time Xo was in bed with Rogelio she saw Alba’s face? I want Xo to have that kind of madcap fun again! It’s like they’ve gotten rid of the superfluous characters—Darci, Magda, Anezka and Scott, and, now Bruce—but the ball’s still not rolling.
Rogelio takes Mateo out for matching Thai-silk lined bespoke suits for Ro’s defamation suit testimony. Ro asks Mateo if Xo is happy with Bruce, because, you know, four-year-olds know these things.
Jorge, the previously nameless guy at the Marbella gift shop that Alba has the hots for, is newly single. Xo helps Alba get her milkshake ready to bring all the boys to the yard. Ivonne Coll, who plays Alba, is a former Miss Puerto Rico and has legs for days, and I love that JTV gussied her up and let us see how beautiful she is. Alba pours herself into a skintight blue dress and is giving sultry realness when she walks into the Marbella gift shop to “pick up her check.” She’s slo-mo slinking in the place, but her false eyelash becomes unglued and she slips on spilled coffee and it’s hilarious! Alba’s humiliated and angry at Xo, but it works, Jorge asks her out.
Jane and Petra try Co-Room Momming, but it’s really Petra giving orders and Jane doing the grunt work. They have fundamental differences: Petra wants to hire help (like the Hair Bears to keep lice in check—Hair Bears, get it? hahah) and Jane wants more down to earth solutions. They tell the head of the school the Co-Room Mom idea is a bust, and suggest a run-off to teach the children about the democratic process, only “without Russian interference” Jane says. (I laughed, but, child, that ain’t funny. You know I’m right.)
Xo finds out Ro asked Matelio if she was happy with Bruce and chews Ro out. Oh, but there’s nothing to worry about. When Xo practices her testimony, it’s clear to Bruce and Rogelio she still in love with Ro. Xo and Bruce break up and, boom, reset.
Jane catches Petra plying the moms with chardonnay to win their votes. Petra and Jane begin picking at each other—Jane says if Petra weren’t such a perfectionist her daughters wouldn’t draw her as a dragon and Petra, WHO IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, tells Jane if she disciplined Mateo for five minutes he wouldn’t be such a holy terror. They have a debate fantasy, Jane’s sand vs Petra’s rubber mulch (#teamRubberMulch) and wine-guzzling mothers stare.
Ro assures Jane that Mateo could not care less if she’s room mom and a REALLY THRISTY RAFAEL tells Petra the whole dragon lady thing is a good because she protects everybody she loves. Jane and Petra realize they only wanted to be Room Mom because of their insecurities about parenting. They withdraw from the race and let Rafael be Room Dad. It’s not like he has anything else to do.
Jane works her new haircut (men like lopsided haircuts, trust me) and flirts with a barista. She doesn’t think she’s ready to date though because her grief group says she won’t be done grieving until she can tell the story of Michael’s death without crying. At a parent conference meeting with Alex, when she’s giving Alex the background on Mateo he didn’t want earlier, Jane TELLS THE STORY OF MICHAEL’S DEATH WITHOUT CRYING. How could you Jane? How. Could. You. Raf also tells Alex that he went to jail and Alex assures both of them that Mateo is in no way damaged by trauma, he’s just A BAD-ASS CHILD WHO NEEDS A SPANKING. (Ok, Alex said “normal childhood hyperactivity,” but you know what I mean.) Sooo, I guess Jane is ready to date.
I hope she finds somebody new because RAFAEL IS BUSY BONING PETRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Petra had indeed ripped out the missing page from Scott’s burn book because it had some hurtful things Rafael’s dad said about him. Rafael gets misty-eyed at Petra’s thoughtfulness and then THEY GET NAKED!
I GIVE THIS EPISODE A 6.5. The .5 is for Ivonne Coll in that blue dress and then her eyelash-slapstick-pratfall. That was the zaniness I was looking for. The episode was also above average because PETRA AND RAFAEL BONED. I like how the JTV writers crushed #TeamRafael’s hopes. What kept this eppy from being great is NOTHING HAPPENED. The story didn’t move forward. Yeah, Jane is in a position to date, and Ro and Xo are free and clear to get together, but it still feel s like a set up and not a journey.
How many episodes are left? I take Salsa dancing lessons on Monday nights and I have to leave early to see JTV. Remember when Jane took Salsa lessons? Remember when…I won’t give up on JTV, but I miss the umph and zing I remember. Who is J.P.? WHY IS MATEO SO BAD? And can we have more Rogelio, please?