Jane the Virgin Recap: Season 3, Episode 3, “Chapter Forty-Seven”
If you read last week’s Jane the Virgin recap, you know I was skeptical that Jane would punch her V-card this week. But in a season that’s definitely kept audiences on their toes with just three episodes — and where an abortion sailed right under the radar — it made sense for Jane to finally give in to her desires. As showrunner Jennie Urman-Snyder detailed in a recent Deadline interview, “We’d mined all the material that stems from that.” So, Jane finally crossed that “Virgin” off the title. Was that all that went down this episode? (Pun unintentionally intended).
“Chapter Forty-Seven” brought in some big names behind, and in front of, the camera with Eva Longoria directing and Gloria and Emilio Estefan as guest stars. More importantly, this was the episode Jane (and the audience) have been waiting for. As Urman-Sndyer said, Jane’s gone through every incarnation of the ironic virgin you can conjure up: pregnant virgin, married virgin, virgin with a toddler, that it was time to use it or lose it. The show did the best it could depicting sex on a primetime slot on the CW and in a way that didn’t exploit Jane and Michael: choosing peppy animation and Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” as its orgasm soundtrack.
I watched this week’s episode with Remezcla Film Editor Vanessa Erazo and her sister Tanya Erazo. We talked about the nature of virginity, how religion can messy it up, what sex on TV usually looks like, and much more. Check out some highlights below.
Kristen: IT HAPPENED!
Tanya: Flower exploded!
Vanessa: IT HAPPENED!
Tanya: I like that they didn’t actually make that big a deal about losing it — even though it’s the whole premise of the show. It’s wasn’t that big of a deal — SURPRISE! Now get over it.
Kristen: And I love how Jane is relieved but questioning how to feel about it.
Vanessa: It was over so quick, kind of like the talk about Xo’s abortion, so casual.
Tanya: It was a ridiculously drawn out story line. So, meh. Happy it’s over with no fanfare over the actual sex.
In a hilarious animated sequence Jane and Michael got down…only for Jane to admit she didn’t have the big O.
Vanessa: She didn’t look excited or impressed afterwards.
Kristen: I knew she faked it. The statistics say most virgins don’t orgasm.
Vanessa: Does that mean Michael is bad in bed?
Interestingly, a stray line from Michael announcing Jane’s experienced sexual gratification (aka an orgasm) while doing “other things” begs the question: was Jane ever truly a virgin to begin with? Alba’s instilled in Jane the concept of sex before marriage, but with virginity having stark distinctions between societal expectations and religious ones, where was Jane’s line?
Kristen: Makes you wonder if there were concessions about what constituted virginity for Jane?
Vanessa: Yeah, a very Catholic definition. Was Jane only technically a virgin? Can you be a virgin if you’ve had an orgasm?
Kristen: I’d say she was! Or at least “half” a virgin, to use Mean Girls logic
Vanessa: She had orgasms and oral sex before this, apparently. How would abuela label her?
Tanya: Probably as sinful, regardless.
Vanessa: Would abuela consider her a virgin?
Kristen: I don’t think she would if she knew that. Alba seems like an all or nothing lady.
Vanessa: So then all this hemming and hawing…is it real?
Kristen: If memory serves, Catholic school said ladies didn’t do anything involving their downtown till marriage.
Vanessa: She was “waiting” to cross this imaginary line she drew herself.
Kristen: It’s why “virginity” irritates me so. It’s all subjective based on religion, society, personal experience. You want it gone, but then you have to grapple with making a big deal out of something that’s intangible and culturally constructed. If anything I enjoyed the episode dealing with sexual issues specifically.
Tanya: I like that Xo called Jane’s issue on the nose: you lost your identity. But I was more impressed that they showed how lackluster Jane’s sex was.
On top of Jane losing her virginity and desperately seeking an orgasm, the Villanueva-Corderos dealt with their fair share of sexual dysfunction this episode, involving a sex tape, uncomfortable burning sensations, and social anxiety. Too often the media details sex as this magical moment, free of any awkward complications, not so with our dear Jane. The show is about looking at the minutia towards getting that happily ever after. And sometimes that involves coming to the painful realization that water doesn’t always help.
Kristen: I do like how despite her not being a virgin, they’re showing that it’s not all perfection and flowers and happiness lol
Vanessa: No orgasms for Jane, just a chemical burn on her vag
Tanya: Although Jane is super cerebral about everything, she’s super emotional/passionate. You’d think she’d be super into having sex with her “true love” and getting her HEA (happily ever after.)
Kristen: Yeah, but she’s realizing her romance novels don’t involve weird lube mishaps.
Tanya: Totally, which was great feedback her advisor gave: “it’s all fantasy” in her writing.
Vanessa: Cue “i wanna sex you up” ?????
Kristen: “It burns” is not what you want to hear during sex!
Tanya: Is this a merged episode with Sex Sent Me to the ER?
Tanya: HAHAHAHA. feelthebern!!! i’m dying.
Kristen: I think pop culture, as delightful a “teaching tool” as it can be for sex, really makes it seem like there aren’t problems, which only ruins self esteem for people who use cinema as an educational method.
All three of us agreed it all goes back to Alba: Jane’s mixed emotions about losing such a big part of her identity that her grandmother’s built up, and knowing her grandmother’s reactions to Xo’s own sexual past. Considering Alba is no saint, having had premarital sex, does this make her a hypocrite? How do the rules of our family, culture, and religious upbringing end up shaping our identity, and force us to reconfigure them when things change? And to think we thought this episode would just focus on chemical burns in uncomfortable places! Jane‘s writers always give us so much more to ponder.