For a good cry, think about what this picture would look like with Michael in Adam’s place

Jane The Virgin has a history with time warps, but unlike last season’s three-year jump after the death of Michael, “Chapter Sixty-Seven” doesn’t pair a time warp with the unexpected demise of a major character. Despite last week’s cliffhanger that one of six people will die, everyone makes it through this episode, and the cast actually grows by one as Rogelio and Darci welcome their baby daughter into the world. The time warps are on a much smaller scale this week, instead serving as a device used by the Narrator to fast-forward through chunks of time he doesn’t want to spend time on.

The episode time warps through Jane and Adam making out. It time warps through Jane telling Rafael about Mateo’s unfortunate first interaction with Adam. It time warps through the two weeks Jane gives Rafael to get to know Adam. It time warps through Jane, Rafael, and Adam’s awkward lunch. Most of the time warps involve Adam in some way, and it’s a subtle way of finding common ground between Adam and Michael through how the story is structured. It took me a while to connect this episode’s time warps to the time jump from last season, but by the end of the episode, it’s clear that writers Carolina Rivera and Micah Schraft have that connection in mind.

The cutest scene in “Chapter Sixty-Seven” leads into the episode’s most powerful moment when Adam and Mateo show Jane the dance they made up to The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp.” The dance is absolutely adorable, but it gains unexpected poignancy when we see Jane wipe a tear from her eye. Gina Rodriguez has been remarkable for this entire series, and this small moment is a prime example of how she’s able to convey volumes without saying anything. Those are tears of joy, but there’s also sadness there, and as she watches Adam and Mateo together, she’s thinking about the moments with Mateo that Michael will never have.

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Michael is a lingering presence in this episode because Snow Falling is a subject of discussion, and Adam finally gets a chance to read the book Jane wrote in the aftermath of her husband’s death. She’s nervous when he tells her it’s “really good” with no elaboration, but those nerves dissipate when Adam shows her how truly feels about the book by painting a new cover, one that is far more in line with Jane’s vision for the book than the racy options the publisher provided her. It’s a moment that shows Adam’s respect for Jane’s work as well as Michael’s memory, and even if Adam doesn’t know the connection between Michael and the book, having him paint the cover ties him to that relationship.

Adam doesn’t realize that until Mateo spells it out for him. Jane says earlier in the episode that Mateo is very intuitive, and he knows exactly what his mom is crying about when she watches him and Adam dance. Sitting on the porch swing, Mateo tells Adam about how his mother cried a lot when Michael died and how she still cries about him sometimes. Mateo asks Adam to not hurt her feelings and not die, and the casual, matter-of-fact line delivery of Elias Jannsen underplays the gravity of what he’s asking from Adam. Mateo doesn’t realize how intense this conversation is, but Adam does, and it finally triggers the panic Adam has thus far been able to avoid in his rekindled romance.

This season is really committing to Douche Rafael, and Justin Baldoni is doing strong work playing a character who is oblivious to how much of an asshole he is because he’s blinded by his “good” intentions. He has no problem lying to Katherine Cortes about the status of their relationship because he thinks it’s valiant that he’s going so far to reclaim his wealth. Part of him wants his money and hotel back because he wants to maintain his elevated class status, but there’s also a part that wants to be rich again so he can continue keep his children in a luxurious lifestyle where they get everything they want.

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Rafael takes a concerned parent stance to justify his negativity toward Adam because he thinks he’s a bad influence, and while I understand why Jane breaking her leg would be cause for concern, Jane and Adam skinny dipping definitely is not. Jane is a grown woman with an active sex drive, and she’s allowed to jump into the ocean naked with another person if that’s what she wants. (As long as she’s not busted by the cops for indecent exposure.) It’s not her fault that her babysitters couldn’t keep hold of her kid, but that doesn’t give Rafael the right to shame her. Especially when Rafael is currently in a secret sexual relationship with a woman he is actively lying to for financial gain.

When Katherine asks Rafael if she can meet his kids, Rafael lies again and says that Jane will go into a rage if Mateo meets a new woman before Rafael dates her for months. Katherine, being a headstrong person who does what she wants without regard for others, decides that she’s going to confront Jane about this, which makes Jane all the more furious about the entire situation. This show continues to find ways to expand the wedge between Jane and Rafael, and it makes their relationship all the more compelling because last season spent so much time reinforcing their friendship in the back half. Jane gives Rafael the verbal lashing he deserves when he tries to justify his actions, and she tells him that he needs to start appreciating the life he has now instead of trying to get back what he’s lost. His life isn’t his money; it’s his kids, and he can’t let his desire to regain his wealth distract from that fact.

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This episode is all about fathers trying to assert their paternal power in the face of justified opposition from mothers. Rafael is trying to control Jane’s love life, and Rogelio wants to be in control of Darci’s delivery because he’s threatened by the sudden arrival of Esteban in their already rocky family unit. Rogelio, Esteban, and Darci’s dynamic is hilariously represented by a scene in Los Viajes De Guillermo that has Guillermo in his beloved Lady Scientist’s uterus, fighting to stop the sperm of Esteban’s character from entering her fallopian tubes. Rogelio views Esteban as an invader, and he offers little consideration to what Darci wants because he’s on the defensive. Rogelio panics when he finds out that Darci wants a home birth and he immediately assumes the worst, but Darci is smart and competent and has a full contingency plan if things go south with the home birth.

Like Rafael, Rogelio is using his child as an excuse to lash out against a new man in his family who doesn’t represent a romantic threat, but a paternal one. Rogelio has far less affection for Darci than Rafael does for Jane, and because he’s already been shut out of so much of his unborn daughter’s life already, he doesn’t want that to get even worse with Esteban fulfilling fatherly duties. This fear is driven by Rogelio’s regret for being absent in the first 23 years of Jane’s life, and I always appreciate the reminders of this intense sore spot from Rogelio, whose anguish typically rises from heightened circumstances. This is a pain that is grounded and relatable, and Rogelio’s actions in this episode make a lot of sense because of it. Once again, Xo comes through with the best advice, and if Rogelio’s worrying about being edged out, he needs to make sure that he’s making space for himself in his daughter’s life. He does so by taking off his shirt and jumping into Darci’s birthing pool to motivate her for the final push during her labor, taking a proactive role in his daughter’s very first moments outside the womb.

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Last week I hoped that The Marbella would burn to the ground and save us from the increasingly boring web of deceit surrounding the hotel, so I was delighted when this episode ends with a mysterious stranger telling Luisa they are going to burn down The Marbella to collect the insurance money. Could the show’s writers be so smart that they engineered The Marbella plot this season to be repetitive and dull so viewers would hope for this exact plot twist? Given the intelligence of this series, I think that’s a definite possibility, and I can also easily see Anezka, Magda, or even Luisa dying in that fire. Or being presumed dead, only to return 10 episodes later because that’s something this show would totally do.

Stray observations

  • Earlier today, Mashable announced that Jane’s book, Snow Falling, is actually going to be published in real life, with romance author Caridad Pineiro penning the final product. As a Jane The Virgin superfan, I cannot wait to get my hands on it, and I’m excited to see how its story parallels events on the show.
  • Adam and Jane are having lots of sex and that’s really great!
  • Magda discovers that Katherine and Rafael are together and immediately figures out their plan. She uses this information to blackmail Petra into giving her and Anezka more money to stop working with Luisa, but will they either of them make it out of country alive?
  • Rogelio: “You can’t just introduce a new love interest three-fifths of the way through the series and expect the audience to root for him!” Narrator: “Hey, that reminds me: Where’s Adam?” Is this confirmation that Jane The Virgin has a set end point with season 5? I’ve been thinking that would be the case, and while I’ll be sad to see this show end, knowing the exact duration of the series will keep the plotting tighter. (And five seasons means the show will have enough episodes to run in syndication!)
  • “This is not the intestine I approved!”
  • “When your heart’s been took, throw out the book.” I missed Darci’s rules.
  • “I’m not scared of you, lady. I was dating an international crime lord. You killed two people. She started a war in Ukraine with Paul Manafort.”
  • “It’s not like I think everything your dad does is genius.” Cut to a quick rundown of embarrassing Rogelio roles.
  • “Less like Superman, more like sperm.” #supersperm
  • “I’m like Wonder Woman, daddy!” I love this small moment that presents Wonder Woman as an aspirational hero for boys.

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