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Episode Rating Scale: 10 Exceptional 9 Excellent 7-8 Enjoyable 5-6 Forgettable 3-4 slightly Disappointing 1-3 Very Disappointing  

#JaneTheVirgin S3 Ep1 Recap "Is Michael Alive?!"

Jane finds Michael

Jane finds Michael

Chapter 45

Finally, Jane the Virgin’s Season 3 premiere is here!

I’ll be honest; things were not looking good for #TeamMichael when this episode started. The episode began with a “When Jane Gloriana Villanueva was a little girl…” and Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) takes young Jane (Jenny Ortega) to her very first book reading.  Jane’s read the book and prepared notes.  The author reads from her book, and when she finishes, Jane’s hand is the first to shoot up.  Jane is disappointed that the novel doesn’t have a happily ever after (HEA). The author hems and haws about subverting the genre and romances that don’t end up happily. Jane is not having it. She demands the author be true to the genre. If there’s no HEA, Jane says, “Don’t call it a romance novel, call it fiction!”

I love when the writers wink at us and comment on the telenovela as a genre. (Remember when Professor Donaldson kept reminding Jane of about the marriage plot and the constraints of the romance novel?) I should have taken this commentary as a hint of things to come, but I was so freaked out by all the ominous narration—“Michael promised to love her until his dying breath,”—and so on. But that is the future and we are not there yet.

Waiting to find out Michael's fate.

Waiting to find out Michael's fate.

Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and her entire family are at the hospital waiting for news about Michael’s condition. It’s not looking good for Michael. Everyone is sad, very sad. (Although Gina Rodriguez’ hair was looking fly—remember she had an undercut over the summer, so she must have a wig on, because her locks were looking extra-lustrous. I got an undercut and my hair is never growing back. I’m cool with it.)

Flashback to the morning after Jane’s epic 21st birthday party. Really?! I’m, like, all I care about is Michael (Brett Dier) right now, but, okay, let’s go back.  Jane is telling Xo she really likes Michael, a.k.a “The Cop,” when there’s a knock at the door. It’s Sam! Who the hell is Sam? (If you’d read my predictions in the F.Y.I. section, you’d have known) Sam is the guy Jane has been crushing on for two years (“17 months,” Jane says). He couldn’t come to her party because he was working on a paper on Chaucer (yawn) and so Sam brings her a birthday present, a copy of Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple (did anybody else remember that that was the book Michael’s mother was reading with her book club when Jane barged in and begged her to come to the engagement party in Season 2?). Sam invites Jane to a book reading. Jane’s all, “Is it a date?” and Sam is like, “It is. And because I know you like to know how things end, I’m going to try to kiss you.” And Jane is like, “You won’t have to try too hard.” OMG, it was so crazy to see Jane so thirsty! Jane is a romantic for sure, but with Rafael and Michael, she was confident, independent, and, once Mateo was born, she was strong as heck. This pre-Jane was a little needy, laughing too loud, smiling too hard. Good to see she grew out of that.

Meet Sam...

Meet Sam...

Jane tells Xo that Sam asked her out and then remembers she was supposed to go out with Michael. Xo advises Jane to tell a little white lie to Michael and cancel so she can go out with Sam. Abuela (Ivonne Coll) comes back from somewhere and tells Jane not to lie, but Jane listens to her mother.

Back at the Marbella, Rafael (Justin Baldoni) is helping the police investigate Michael’s shooting and watching Baby Mateo (is that the cutest kid on earth, or what?). Meanwhile Fake Petra, er, Anezka (Yael Grobglas) is talking to Magda who is still in prison (thank god for that).  Magda reminds Anezka she has to get back to the hospital to inject Real Petra (Petra) with the paralytic so they can keep this “Locked In Syndrome” jig going.  The drug is time sensitive. They speak in code, calling dosing Petra “basting the chicken.” (The Petra as a chicken graphic was hilarious.)  The two of them have concocted some plan and Anezka, still dewy-eyed from her night of shagging Rafael, doesn’t want to do anything to hurt Rafael. Magda tells her to get over herself. Yael Grobglas as Anezka playing Petra is All My Children Adam/Stuart levels of amazing.

Back at the hospital, Michael’s mom, Patricia, shows up. It’s The Battle of the Mrs. Corderos because Mike’s mother comes in to take over. Jane’s not sure when or how to assert herself. Jane tries to remain strong and Abuela reminds Jane that she is Michael’s esposa and she needs to have faith.

Flashback to Jane’s big date with Sam the Chaucer lover.  Jane’s all dolled up, Sam helps her into the car just as Michael drives up with a bowl of homemade chicken soup (Is he a keeper or what?) Sam and Jane drive off and Michael follows them in his police cruiser and pulls them over for an illegal U-turn. He orders Jane out of the car and hands her the soup and drives away. I would’ve kept my Tupperware.

Policing Jane

Policing Jane

Present-day Jane tries to find some privacy in the hospital. She takes the elevator, finds a visitor’s lounge away from her family, and breaks down. All the way down.  Sobs. Poor Jane.

Petra’s nurse turns on the TV, and she finds out Michael has been shot and is in St. Ignatius, the same hospital she’s in. The idea that Jane might be nearby gives Petra hope just as the paralytic drug is wearing off and her finger inches toward the call button. Anezka is held up at the Marbella when the police ask her to review 10 hours of surveillance tape. Anezka tries to sneak out and gets locked in the stairwell.  The police think this looks pretty suspicious, but Rafael comes in and swings his money and threats of lawyers around, and the police let Anezka go to the hospital.

Rogelio (Jaime Camil)—this eppy needs a little more Rogelio---sees two guys he assumes are fans snapping a picture of him. The last time Ro tweeted something about Jane, the family ended up with crazies on the front lawn, so Ro promises he’ll do anything if they don’t tweet that pic. It turns out the two fans are tweakers who need clean pee to pass a drug test. Rogelio gives them his pee.  I’m going to type that again because it’s funny: Rogelio gives them his pee. Ha!  Xiomara and Ro sit outside to get a breath of fresh air, and Xo tells Ro she’s pregnant. With Estaban’s baby.  Is she sure it’s Estaban’s? Is there no chance that it might be Ro’s? I guess not.

The bullet missed Michael’s heart but caused him to have an aortic dissection, which I’m sure is really, really bad. The doctor says there are two choices: 1) wait and see, which might leave Michael paralyzed from the waist down and 2) surgery, which is really risky because Michael’s in critical condition. I feel so bad that when they said Michael might be paralyzed from the waist down, all I could think of was Jane’s virginity and not Michael’s health. Of course, paralysis doesn’t mean you can’t have sex, but it seemed like a little curveball from the writers to amp up the tension of Jane’s choice.

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Patricia goes to call Mike’s father and Abuela asks Jane, “What would Michael do?”  Jane flashes back to the time she went to apologize to Michael for ditching him for Sam. It doesn’t go well because the two of them are like oil and water and he calls her a jackass and she calls him a dick. Later that night, Michael shows up at Jane’s house to ask for another date. He tells her their kiss was magic and he’s never going to give her up, never gonna let her down, never gonna run around or hurt her.  Michael gets on board the meant-to-be train. Jane is like, “Why are you doing this?” and Michael says, “I’m a fighter.” Yes! Fight, Detective Cordero, fight! Jane decides to consent to the dangerous surgery and Patricia agrees. Jane goes in to see a comatose Michael before the surgery and spins him a beautiful HEA of their life together: the house, three kids, Michael at the grill, family trips to the mountains, everybody in awesome age make-up. Someone was cutting onions in my house.

The worst sister ever!

The worst sister ever!

Anezka injects Petra with the paralytic just in time to stop her from pressing the call button. At the Marbella, Anezka tells Rafael (if Rafael was going to make so few appearances in this episode, he should have at least had his shirt off, ijs) she wants to move Petra to the Marbella so she can care for her (keep her paralyzed). Rafael thinks it’s a good idea.  Then Rafael gives Anezka the let’s-just-be-friends speech. He says the sex was…different (duh!) and it made him sure that they were better off not rekindling their romance.  Anezka is pissed and calls Magda to say she’s ready to take down Rafael, too.

Xo tells Rogelio she’s not keeping the baby and Ro says he’ll stand by her whatever her choice.  Then the police take Ro to the station for swapping his pee. I’m going to type that again because it was funny: for swapping his pee. Ha!

MICHAEL MAKES IT THROUGH SURGERY!!! When he opens his eyes and sees Jane he fakes amnesia for a second—I was so mad! I just knew they were going to do that story line!—but he’s fine and the two of them laugh and kiss. And they're gonna get a cat. Faith M. Whiskers, III.  Aww.

Police find white powder at the crime scene in the hotel that they think is cocaine, but it turns out to be powdered sugar from powdered donuts, Rose and Luisa’s favorite post-coital snack. Rafael realizes Rose is still alive.

Rose is alive alright. She’s got Luisa and they’re IN A SUBMARINE under the sea, under the sea, darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter…

All in all, I thought it was a good episode; I’ll give it a solid B. A telenovela moves along at breakneck speed with one thing after another happening to the heroine and I think they teased us with Michael’s fate for too long. When Mateo was kidnapped in the Season 2 premiere, he was back in Jane’s arms twenty minutes into the episode. Still, I think Jane is on a journey this season and it was necessary to see her go through this harrowing experience to appreciate her growth.

To Be Continued...