Boob(s On Your) Tube: “Jane the Virgin” Puts Three Lesbians and a Gun in The Same Room

This is Boob(s On Your) Tube, your twice-weekly look at the best queer stuff happening on your teevee. Also known as: Here’s what you’re watching while biding your time until the next episode of The 100.


Jane the Virgin

Mondays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.

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Jane the Virgin‘s lesbian love triangle was bound to meet a comically brutal end, but it happened faster than I thought it would! “Chapter Thirty-Four” is another near-perfect episode of this near-perfect show, even though it ended with the death of a queer lady character. And the reason I feel very okay about that death is that Jane planned and executed it in a way that makes sense in the context of the show (where guest characters die like Goombas), and it doesn’t rob us of quality queer content; in fact, the narrator explicitly tells us in this episode that Susanna isn’t just getting curious with Luisa. When one of Rose’s former clients hits on her, the narrator says, “I think he’s forgetting about his new face. And that she’s a lesbian. And that he’s killed like 32 people.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself!

Michael is ready to take Rose down, once and for all, so he stages an elaborate undercover scheme using Luisa as bait. And, as he predicts, as soon as Luisa’s in the hospital, Rose comes out of hiding to visit her. When she walks into the room, Luisa breathes, “Rose!” and the whole scene turns pink. It’s a theme this week: when a character is romanticizing something, the filter makes everything Valentiney. Rose says she loves Luisa, but also that she doubts Luisa’s commitment to go on the lam with her, at which point Susanna comes busting into Luisa’s hospital room in scrubs. Rose can’t believe Luisa betrayed her (and honestly, neither can Luisa; she just got through telling Rafael that Rose was as much of an addiction as alcohol).

“And now I urge you to pay attention. One of these women is about to die,” the narrator says, and suddenly we’re in the middle of one of Jane‘s most exciting action scenes.

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Susanna’s not backing down, but neither is Rose. Rose presses her hand to an earpiece and starts relaying information about Susanna’s family to her. She’s got a mom and a little brother in Nashville. Blue comforter on his bed. Titans poster on the wall. And if Susanna doesn’t hand over her gun, Rose’s associate is going to kill them both. Susanna does, and Rose immediately turns her into a human shield. She makes her way through the hospital and past the SWAT team. Before they reach the exit, Susanna and Rose get into a scuffle and Susanna gets shot! Rose makes a break for it, down the stairwell, but when Michael rushes in to try to stop her, he finds her dead. Strangled with blue silk cords (which, you’ll remember, were her step-mother’s own personal criminal calling card).

Luisa rushes out and sees her and screams. What in the world is this going to do to her blossoming relationship with my beloved Susanna?

The B-plot of this week’s episode is one of my favorite Rogelio shenanigans ever. His time-traveling telenovela character, Tiago, arrives in mid-1800s to fight alongside a buxom suffragettes. He is the #FirstMaleFeminist: “I think history has really overlooked his point of view.” (Also: “Women deserve the right to vote, and I am just the man to make it happen. Now get over here, Susan B. Anthony, and give me a kiss!”) His ridiculous story is juxtaposed to his real life drama, though. Xo doesn’t want to have another baby, and she wants to keep her last name when they get married. Every time he scoffs at those things, #FirstMaleFeminist flashes up on screen.

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As always, there are 20 other stories happening this week. Abuela finally releases Jane from her commitment to stay a virgin until she gets married. Jane and Petra try to bond over a baby shower but end up arguing about the class issues this show tackles so brilliantly. And Michael finally confesses his love for Jane (again) now that Rose is dead (again). I don’t know where we’re going to zigzag to next, but I sure hope it involves more of Luisa and Susanna canoodling!


Younger

Wednesdays on TV Land at 10:00 p.m.

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Lauren has moved in with Maggie and Liza, and also she is Maggie’s new agent! Kind of, to both of those things. Lauren works for Hector and Dorf (the guys who put Kelsey in that ridiculous dress for her imprint’s debutante ball), so she calls up her bosses and tells them they should buy Maggie’s new warrior sculpture. They love it and they purchase it, but they end up using it as a coat rack. Lauren is livid on behalf of her love, but Maggie honestly just wants the check to clear the bank. She’s already hosted one sex party during this rent cycle; she doesn’t want to have to do it again for at least a few months. (Honestly, I can’t even imagine how much rent would be in a place like Maggie’s. Ten hundred bazillion dollars, is my guess, based on the fact that my place here in NYC is a fraction of the size in a significantly less trendy location and costs one half of a hundred bazillion dollars. If it weren’t for A+, I’d be hosting sex parties every week.)

Maggie and Lauren also spend some time in Williamsburg, drinking and smooching and listening to Josh’s ridiculous band. He plays a metal washboard in this band, have I ever told you that? They bounce on the concert and on Liza to go meet a girl Lauren dated for a hot minute before she decided to be gender monogamous with Maggie.

I feel very good about this season of Younger. I always want more Maggie and recently I always want more Maggie and Lauren, but the show is doing a much better job folding them into the larger narrative than during its freshman season.


Top Chef

Thursdays on Top Chef at 10:00 p.m.

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It’s true that all good thingsmust come to an end on reality TV (except for The Great British Bake Off, long may its glory reign), and so it is that our final queer contestant of Top Chef season 13, Karen “The Pink Dragon” Akunowicz, has bid us adieu. After a double-doozy Restaurant Wars that required teams to serve both lunch and dinner, things were really coming up Karen and Marjorie. Their team dominated the two-episode challenge, and I have never seen the judges wholly loathe a team’s restaurant like they did with The Bros. They hated the macho attitudes, the egos, the fact that they served subpar food and wanted to be praised for it. And most especially they couldn’t deal with Phillip, who fully morphed into the walking, talking embodiment of straight white male entitlement during his time in the front of the house. At one point, he basically ripped open his shirt to show off his tattoos.

This week’s Elimination Challenge — to conceptualize and cook an antiquated dish with only the help of library books — gets the best of Karen, though. She cooks a lot of modern Chinese cuisine, but she chooses Japan for her dish, and then basically makes a Chinese one instead. However, it is a delight to see her in the library. Her mom was a librarian! And also she minored in women’s studies, so she could meet more queer women to hook up with! In the end, though, there were seven really great dishes and they judges felt like Karen missed the mark on creating an authentic Japanese flavor profile, and so she had to pack her knives and go.

“It was an honor to cook with every single one of you,” is how she leaves. And it is classy. Because she is classy. And it is the opposite of how Phillip glomped off.

Marjorie is the only woman left now. All of our hopes and dreams rest on her bread-kneading shoulders.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 852 articles for us.

37 Comments

  1. “And the reason I feel very okay about that death is that Jane planned and executed it in a way that makes sense in the context of the show (where guest characters die like Goombas), and it doesn’t rob us of quality queer content;”

    IA. I’ve seen a lot of grumblings about how this is yet another dead LGBT character and while I get where people are coming from, I wouldn’t classify this as Tierra de Lobos territory. (I, er, might still be bitter over that one.) Sad that Rose had to go so soon because I was anticipating a glorious gay love triangle that was messy in all of the best telenovela ways, but Rose’s eventual death was (for me) a given. She didn’t die because she was gay/bi, she died because she was a sociopathic villain whose favorite pastimes were murdering and institutionalizing and repainting the Sistine Chapel, not necessarily in that order.

    I also got a kick out of getting confirmation that Susanna is a big ol’ lesbian. Figured that maybe she was uncomfortable with Luisa’s advances because she wasn’t gay and/or had never had a same-sex experience before, and Luisa was her first. But I guess it’s just as likely that a) she’s closeted, at least at work, b) she’s concerned with the professional ethics of getting involved with a witness, and/or c) she’s completely awkward.

    (Finally, I’m not convinced that that was really Rose who died…)

      • Yes to all this! I’ve also seen grumblings about how Rose was killed to further the Michael/Jane plot, and I just don’t agree–it completely ignores that Rose’s death is much more about furthering Luisa and her character arc. It means a lot that Luisa worked with the cops to get Rose caught, and now she’s going to have to resolve her feelings about her terrible relationship with Rose as well as a lot of grief.

        I am rooting for Luisa to get a happy ending, and it’s hard to visualize her getting that with a psychopathic murderer who once HAD LUISA PUT INTO A MENTAL INSTITUTION for telling people she loved her. Luisa x Hot Cop Susannah all the way!

        Second, you don’t have your narrator repeatedly remind the audience about face-changing surgery, then have him tell us to pay close attention, then have Rose slip out of the line of sight during an intense fight/chase scene only to reveal her corpse later for nothing.

        In other words, I fully expect to hear that whistle tune and see some powdered donuts again.

  2. In my excitement about the return of Gilmore Girls, I kind-of-accidentally-on-purpose rewatched all 18 episodes of the incredible and gone-too-soon piece of genius that is the first and only season (so far!) of Bunheads. Which means I’m craving more Sutton Foster in my life, so I’m very seriously contemplating catching up on Younger.


  3. Daryl: You like it, right?
    Dr. Denise: No, I don’t drink pop.
    Daryl: What the hell’s pop?
    Dr. Denise: Oh, I’m originally from Ohio.
    Daryl: Why you want it?
    Dr. Denise: Tara was talking about it in her sleep, I think. Either she likes it or she doesn’t, but if she likes it, it’d be a really nice surprise.

    The weirdest confirmation ever, also quite funny, but I’ll take it: Dr. Denise and Tara are totally togheter.

  4. I have a young (very stressed) co-worker from Macedonia who grew up with soap operas and telenovelas.
    I told her about “Jane”.
    Anyways, we watched the first episode on my ipad, sharing head phones, on the train home today, and I kept hearing her chuckling next to me the entire ride.
    I can’t wait for her to meet Rogelio.
    And watching it again, I still can’t believe how flawlessly everything is timed and intertwined.
    Just think of all of these shows that “need to find their rhythm” or their feet or something, but with Jane even the pilot episode that introduces so many crazy plottwists and complex characters is spot on.

  5. I’ve just binge watched Jane The Virgin in like 4 days and oh my god it’s AMAZING! I should have listened to you sooner, Heather. After only 3 episodes it was already one of my favourite shows (and another one on The CW.. what is happening?), I seriously couldn’t stop watching. And now I can’t stop talking about it. I’m in love with everything and everyone (the narrator! Rogelio! EVERYONE!).

    Rose getting information like that about Susanna’s family was very Root-y, and it made me think about how much I miss PoI 🙁 #theworldweeps

  6. I’m delurking to ask a v important question. Does anyone have the latest intel on season 5 of Person of Interest? Is it in the can? Is Sarah Shahi in it? Will the network air it? Do networks sometimes not air a show that has already been filmed? Is that a thing that happens?

    I resisted watching PoI for a long time because it didn’t seem like something I’d enjoy, but finally I caved and it turned out it’s a good show. Great long-term planning! Carter! Zoe! Bear! Even John, Harold and Fusco! And then Shoot happened and now I’m in deep and I really want a happy ending for Root and Shaw.

  7. I know this is not the place for this, but what the hell were you thinking, Chris Carter?

    There’s some rumors about Fox wanting more episodes of The X-Files, if that’s true please, in the name of all that is sacred, bring Vince Gilligan back.

  8. A couple of errors in the JtV section: Luisa tells Rafeal that Rose is like alcohol to her, not Michael. Also, Mutter’s trademark is the silk ropes, not Rose’s.
    Otherwise, great ep for a great but heartbreaking ep.

  9. Not technically part of Autostraddle’s interests, but did anyone else watch last night’s episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend? Darryl’s coming out and kiss with WhiteJosh was handled so perfectly! The the “bi, bye, bi” joke killed me, and made my representation loving heart very happy.

  10. YOUNGER:
    I would’ve watched a thousand Maggie sex parties if it meant I could avoid the episode when Liza and Josh go off to the strange hipster bluegrass festival in Upstate New York. A THOUSAND SEX PARTIES, I TELL YA!!!

    I’m still really vibing the off-best kinetic spark between Maggie and Lauren. Letting those two actresses play off of each other, and better wrapping them into the episode’s plot, has been a smart creative decision for Younger. And I think it’s paying off.

    JANE:

    I got both my mom and my best friend roped into Jane via Netflix over the first months of the new year! Of course, Netflix only has season 1. So now it’s fallen on me to do one-woman shows of character impersonations and plot reveals to catch them up on season 2. So, January and February have been genuinely hilarious so far for me.

    Ubfortunth, j fell behind on the most recent 2 episodes of JtV again!! Too much tv on Mondays- Supergirl, Jane, the Fosters- and I only have 1-2 hours free time. Something gets cut, and it’s not going to be Stef and Lena! But I promise to get back to it soon.

    • I totally respect your limited time v. lady-loving TV conundrum, especially with those three shows. I wound up buying The Fosters on iTunes so I could get the episodes and watch them when I had time…I am incapable of missing a Jane the Virgin episode! And Supergirl is so soothing after a bad day, when you don’t want to think too hard…

  11. I feel silly that it was just lately that I realized Jane the Virgin’s Rose is/was Agent Carter’s Dottie! Anyway, I hope Rose is not really dead yet I guess? I mean Luisa has to move on with Susanna, but, IDK, I’m conflicted now all of a sudden LOL #TVJunkie

  12. Every lesbian knows that tv lesbians and driving don’t mix let alone lesbians + driving and alcohol, luckily it’s JTV and that’s why Luisa is still alive.

    Also even tho a lesbian character dies, and I enjoyed seeing Rosa and Luisa together, I really would like Luisa to be in a more positive relationship so I’m kinda ok with how things went down (still not fully convince Rose is dead because it’s JTV) and hopefully we’ll see more of Luisa and Susanna.

    Talking about #MaleFeminists I really really like Younger this season but I can’t stand the storyline with that male feminist writer I find it way too annoying and I think they were trying to be really subversive or whatever but it just didn’t land, hopefully it’ll be over soon.

  13. I don’t think I’ve had so many emotions watching an episode of Jane the Virgin before. First I was relieved that the super gross and unethical relationship with Professor Hottie was ended. Then I pumped my fist when Susanna is pronounced a bonafied lesbian. THEN Rose comes back and Luisa says she’ll run away with Rose and I get excited, BUT THEN she shoots Susanna and I feel conflicted for Luisa?? And then Rose is dead?? AND THEN MICHAEL COMES BACK FOR JANE???? I can’t. There’s too much happening to my heart but oh I really hope Rose isn’t dead so that she can linger sexily in the background.

  14. I FELT ALL THE FEELS. Jane the Virgin is so good. And the whole public plan versus real plan with this crime lord mystery story line was amazing. And that conversation with Michael at the end– WOW did I have chills. This show has literally everything, UGH.

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