Gemma: Well, that made me cry for the first time.
Rasha: You cried! Tell us more.
G: I did! I cried when Xo was confronting Alba and then Jane had to tell Alba Xo was right. I am not usually the biggest Andrea Navedo fan, but she KILLED that scene.
R: She brought it. All three faces of the goddess. Yes, Xo was great in this episode and really got to flourish. I am so grateful (and I know you are too) that this show is dealing with its central premise in a challenging and nuanced way.
G: I have never seen a show do Slutshaming Is Real and This Is Why It Hurts in such a subtle, character-driven, honest way.
R: YES. And between women! Nary a dude in the place!
G: In that I have barely even seen a show do Slutshaming Is Real and This Is Why It Hurts in the first place. And yes! Women! Shared culture of women! The Villanueva dynamics were just stunning in this episode.
R: I think the presence of Alba, Xo, and Jane, and the ways their conversation in this last episode intersect with other conversations this season about rethinking sexuality really reverberated through all the layers of their relationships: Xo and Jane, Xo and Alba, Alba and Jane. It was very satisfying. Very pinch-and-ouch in the tautness. There wasn’t anything that was idiot plotted. Yay for this show doing what it does so well!
Btw, did you hear that the narrator is getting his own comic about his family?
G: Wait, what? No! I did not hear that and I am not sure I want that. Wait, the actor who plays the narrator? if so, I’m fine with that.
R: It sounds great, actually. The short interview with him was nice. We have to talk about Rogelio being held hostage right? I am not a fan. I get it, but I’m not really feeling it. Too tropey.
G: I was and wasn’t. I felt like they were failing the potential of the story, possibly because we’ve just run short on ways for telenovela jokes to be funny. It’s like, telenovela within a telenovela within a telenovela within a telenovela? I get it now.
R: I really wanted Lola to come back in a more interesting way. Like all the Luisa flatness has been transferred to this new female character who is stigmatized for her former incarceration and it’s made into a joke. The only thing I did like: Rogelio’s ridiculous rape-culture telenovela plots being thrown back at him.
G: See, I liked the cliffhanger from last week. I was ready for all the stalkerdom, and I was ready for the J-Lo joke. They just didn’t bring anything else to it. Yes. But even that was something they’ve done better.
R: After #FirstMaleFeminist, it feels like this is a purposeful move, and I don’t mind that. I do love a good JLo joke, though. And I love it that Ro “may be” on the board of GOOP. Of course he is. Which now reminds me of If Gwyneth Paltrow Was Your Girlfriend, which is required reading.
G: Oh lord yes.
R: spoiler: She’s an alien!
G: That’s really the only limit on this show. We can’t go supernatural. Which is a shame, due to it would be awesome if Paola-Lola were an alien.
R: All I can think of now is Mork and Mindy. Or some Latinx Futurism ish that deconstructs illegal/resident “alien” discourse. We have to talk about #TeamMichael, but before we do that, can we talk about Petra-Jane friendshipfic? I enjoyed it in this last ep, so so much. It was the fruition of all I hoped for in their friendship. Which is to say: not actually all that friendly.
G: It was well done in this most recent ep, yes. It really works as family. We’re back to the nontraditional family concept, the less normative notions in this show (which was something else we requested for Christmas and got!).
R: Totally! And Petra is the hard-negotiating wealthy cousin who has a chilly relationship with your mom but still complements her on her fashion. I love, I live. Also, I love love love it that Petra is still holding boundaries with Rafael. She’s making him earn it, if and when it’s ever going to happen for them to get back together, and that makes me more invested as a viewer, and it’s a refreshing model of relationship management given that Relationship Norms in TWAT-TV are strewn with bad decisions.
G: I liked Jane’s revelations during the labor, too.
R: Yes, watching them go through labor together was delightful, and there were enough underplayed but clear moments for Gina R. in which we get to read a lot of shifts happening with the arrival of these children without it being the Moral of the Story. Are you also talking about her writerly revelations?
G: Her writerly revelations, her Michaely revelations … I liked what she was able to realize during the labor and just keep going.
R: Ok, I think we’re due to talk about Michael, then.
G: Wait, one more thing about stalker?
R: Sure! Btws, how much do I love it that Rogelio has a special diy lavender panty pouch? Maybe I need one? For things.
G: Yes, yes you do. We all do. I will say this for the stalker story: it was set up well. The question of boundaries was well aligned in the previous episode, with Xo and Ro and their inability to disengage, and the bits around Rogelio being unable to make his circumstances clear to Jane and Xo were, in fact, funny, especially with the narrator stepping in. The build from last week to this week about boundaries was smart.
R: You’re right that the set up was great. I know that Team Michael is happy about the turn of events these last two weeks.
G: I wouldn’t be so happy if I weren’t feeling so confident right now that the twist would be interesting.
R: I actually want to be supportive–I think Michael is a good match for Jane in many ways. But I’m a little annoyed that the focus is on Michael’s risky job and not his unruly temper which led to Mateo being indirectly injured. That sh!t is #RedFlags. What is the twist that you see coming? Other than that Jane will never get to be happy in love because then this show would lose much of its perpetual motion momentum.
G: It’s really the latter. I don’t see a particular twist coming. I am generally confident in the writing lately, so I think the twist will be interesting. Just as I’m sincerely hoping that once Ro gets out of this Lola situation, it will be more interesting than “Oh Xo, Now I Obviously Want to Be With You Forever.”(that Ro one is really more of a hope.)
R: I’m with you on both. I think Ro is going to have some serious PTSD, and his career may be affected given that she’s taken an knife and a bludgeon to him. We could be in for another coma/amnesia storyline.
G: I could handle that, maybe.
R: I wish I could get more worried about Ro, though I will admit that Lola taking a statuette to his head has me concerned.
G: That won’t actually have happened. I’m not sure why, but it won’t. We’re also facing the Return of Magda, now that the babies got borned.
R: Really? Isn’t she still in jail? I don’t know that the babies are going to spring her.
G: No, remember, Petra was going to Regret What She Said! Magda’s hatching some diabolical plan, and we know nothing of it yet, but it is Diabolical AF.
R: Yeah, I just don’t see it coming yet. Maybe 2-3 eps from the finale. It’ll be part of the season finale cliffhanger.
G: Also, the Elsa and Anna “let it go, Jane” from the narrator was adorable.
R: That was hilarious. I would find it more funny if the Big Mouse didn’t own ABC networks. For cliffhangers: will Jane leave Michael at the altar? Or will he get cold feet? It really feels like they’re rushing it.
G: I think it’s going to have to do with the case. Mutter’s still got her next round coming.
R: ALSO, ANOTHER WEEK DRAWS US CLOSER TO MEETING PABLO ALONSO SEGURA!!!
G: YES, ALSO THAT!!!! #holdingoutforhectorelizondo
R: Is Half-Bro also in on Mutter’s plan?
G: Presumably, else what’s he doing at the Marbella? He’s the Philip of JTV.
R: Gawd, you’re right. I so don’t care.
G: I noticed the conspicuous absence of Luisa and Susanna both this week, after what I thought was some very good stuff last week. I hope they are in a love nest.
R: Luisa fell off the wagon, and I think has been alone. But this ep did promise some future romance for the two lesbirds.
G: Well, last ep Susanna said she wanted Luisa to go through rehab again before they could lesbird together again. So perhaps that is what is happening. It is usually how we get rid of Luisa, unfortunately. That or ashrams.
R: Dude, that must have been where they were hiding Kalinda for all those episodes on The Good Wife.
G: But Kalinda has no need of either rehab or ashrams! But perhaps she was shacking up with Luisa. Anyway.
R: Kalinda would’ve had Luisa getting her life. Yes, anyway!!
G: I liked Luisa falling off the wagon. It was a minefield and I thought they stepped right, although it was a bit device-y that Jane picked up shifts at the Marbella just so that could happen.
R: I like Jane back at the Marbella. It means marginally #moreLina! Dude, I do not need more Vests. Although it was funny to hear Scott insist on being called Mr. Archuleta. I got excited for a minute when Jane said that Alba had been watching an Argentinian priest online, because I was hoping that man of the cloth is Alba’s type and that we could return to the complications of her flirtation with Cheech in S1.
G: I mean, I like Lina a bunch, but I just don’t know what we can get out of Jane at the Marbella that we haven’t already gotten. Maybe Pablo is in fact a Venezuelan priest, and bad luck follows him everywhere.
R: Yes, I hope so! Elizondo could rock it.
G: Also, I think I’m finding every guy with vests expendable. i’m just gonna steal their vests. Goodbye, Scott. Goodbye, Frank.
R: Oh, sadface emoji beard. We are taking your vesticles now.
G: I see what you did there. Did we have any more to say about Michael?
R: I have said all I have to say.
G: And this mysterious new policewoman who has joined our ranks without being introduced?
R: That was the old “girlfriend” who looked 16!
G: wait, was she? I missed that completely.
R: They didn’t say, but she is. I guess she’s on the taskforce. I’m a little bummed that they’re trying to slot in a replacement Nadine without any development, but we’ll see where it goes.
G: Sometimes they develop people later. Sometimes it even works. I am also still expecting Nadine to come back to haunt us as the Mutter storyline develops.
R: I would totally accept the Ghost of Nadine Marley.