Petra Solano’s Bisexuality Is a Love Letter to “Jane the Virgin” Fans

The wildest thing keeps happening this year on television. Characters I wish were queer keep… being queer. Relationships I thought were wild fantasies I would only see play out in fan fiction just started… happening. To name a few, Sara and Ava on Legends of Tomorrow, Cheryl and Toni on Riverdale, and now, Petra and Jane on Jane the Virgin. As fellow TV writer Kayla said, maybe it’s time for The CW to change their slogan to “dare to be bi.”

Ever since the first time Rosario Dawson’s Jane Ramos walked into Petra Solano’s office, sparks have been flying between them. This week, Petra does the very relatable thing where she low-key panics every time J.R. is touching her, which is, in my opinion, a lot.

J.R. has her hands on Petra's shoulders and is making intense eye contact

Lots of touching, lots of eye contact, lots of fodder for fantasies.

But Petra is having a hard time figuring out if she can trust J.R., because frankly Petra has not had the best luck in putting her faith in people, and J.R. has already admitted to originally being kind of out to get her, because blackmail. Before I tell you what happens next, I feel compelled to tell you that one of my all-time favorite tropes is when people who have feelings for each other have to pretend to be a couple for a sting/undercover/to not be seen/etc. And so, you guessed it, the first time J.R. kisses Petra, it’s to distract the car J.R. said she saw watching them. At first Petra doesn’t know and thinks her wildest fantasies are coming true.

J.R. kisses Petra

As are mine.

But then J.R. clues her in — during NECK KISSES which seems a little more than necessary for a distraction but it’s fine.

J.R. kissed Petra's neck and Petra liked it

“Joke me something awful just like kisses on the neck of ‘best friends'”

The two decide they’re going to tell the mystery blackmailer J.R. had to seduce Petra to try to keep her from getting too suspicious and I dunno I think the blackmailer ships it.

Jane and Petra read a text that says "what is going on? what was that kiss all about?"

Also what most of our tweets looked like Friday night.

Later, Petra very subtly (read: not at all; Petra has nary a subtle bone in her body) tries to invite J.R. to spend the night. J.R. says that as much as she could tell Petra was into that kiss, she’s not interested in being a straight woman’s experiment. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt here, and am going to assume she only said this to try to get Petra to assure her she isn’t straight. But I will say, at that moment, the ghost writer typed “clitourist” which is officially my new favorite word.

J.R. looks at Petra disbelievingly

The Narrator and ghostwriter ALSO ship it, for the record.

Petra then asks the very valid question — Who says she’s is straight? Because she’s Petra, she doesn’t just say, “I know I haven’t been with a woman yet but I do have real feelings for you/this isn’t an experiment for me,” which I think J.R. would have responded well to. No, instead she’s like, “I am obviously an expert at sleeping with women like I am an expert at all things” and goes in for the kiss her own self.

J.R. and Petra kiss FOR REAL

Welcome to the bisexual revolution, Petra Solano.

Petra rips J.R.'s shirt open and J.R. returns the favor

Happy 20gayteen to us all.

Petra had been waffling on what to do with her feelings for a little while (even lying about being twitterpated when Jane Villanueva caught her giggling at her phone when she got a text from J.R.) but as soon as the conversation was out there, she did what Petra does best and went for what she wanted head on. The next morning, Petra tries very hard to look casual as she confesses that she hadn’t actually been with a woman before J.R.

Petra tries to look chill in bed but does not, in fact, look chill

Watching Petra Solano get flustered is DELIGHTFUL.

But the thing is, J.R. knew that. Of course she did. Because though she might be alone in having this skill, J.R. can see through Petra’s bullshit. (With the possible exception of the other Jane.) But obviously J.R. likes Petra enough to a) not call her out on the spot b) not hold it against her for lying about it. She knew the lie meant Petra was serious about being into her, and so she went with it. Petra is called on her second lie, though, when J.R. says she has to go and Petra pretends like she does too, right as a breakfast-for-two shows up from room service. J.R. gives Petra a look that could mean, “You really have to stop lying to me if you want this to go anywhere,” and that is all she wrote.

Even though there’s still the chance that J.R. is evil, because there’s the chance literally everyone on this show is evil except maybe Jane Villanueva, I still love her and am excited to see where this goes next.

And even though I witnessed it with my own eyes and recapped it for you, I kind of can’t believe it’s happening. From the beginning, Petra has always looked at everyone like she wanted to devour them, the line between seduction and destruction being very thin. The writers heard what the audience wanted — Petra and Jane to get together — and this is their way of giving it to us. In the front half of the season, they showed us why it couldn’t have been Jane Villanueva: she isn’t queer. Maybe she’ll realize otherwise later in life, but she did a lot of internal reflection when Adam came out to her as bi, and where she is right now in her story is pretty straight. Even Gina Rodriguez, who loves playing queer so much she basically cast herself as Rosa Diaz’s girlfriend on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has said as much.

Petra on the other hand — why not? Petra has been growing and changing as a character since day one. We’ve seen her grow a little softer around the edges, become a little more self-aware. She’s slowly been learning to open herself up to people, and letting herself admit she’s capable of caring about others, even if sometimes she still has a hard time showing it. Plus, it makes sense that Petra would be attracted to J.R. — she’s smart, strong, and she doesn’t react to Petra the way other people do. Petra has gotten so good at pushing people’s buttons and/or pushing them away. Riling them up or playing them like a fiddle. But J.R. isn’t falling for any of that. She’s calm when Petra’s not, she sees through the boss bitch act. So when J.R. reached out to touch Petra — literally and figuratively — for the first time in a long time, Petra didn’t pull away.

On most other shows, upon hearing the audience reading Petra as queer, specifically reading chemistry between her and Jane, they would have cut back on the screen time they had together, stopped letting them share a frame. Or they would have given them both male love interests and stop developing their characters outside those relationships. Or have them both say the word “friend” so much the word almost becomes meaningless. Or said, “We already have Luisa, Rose and Krishna as queer women on this show; sure Rose is on the lam and Luisa is MIA and Krishna only has a few minutes of screentime per episode but ISN’T THREE ENOUGH?” Or they would have purposefully and strategically played up the chemistry without any payoff, baiting and baiting until we couldn’t take it anymore. We know. We’ve seen these things happen endlessly, relentlessly over the years.

Instead, Jane the Virgin saw the audience reading Petra as queer and gave her a female love interest. Simple as that.


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Just a nerdy, TV-loving, Twitter-addicted Hufflepuff who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 106 articles for us.

24 Comments

  1. Petra’s outfit this episode was also So Good A+ very Hepburn. While I doubt JR is gonna stick around I would be happy to see something good happen to a queer woman on this show in general and to Petra specifically.

  2. Valerie Anne – I love love love your love letter to Jane The Virgin’s love letter! It mirrors my own feelings: we are actually getting good things! We are being heard! TV people are doing a good job! What is H A P P E N I N G??????

    I’m so, so happy about this recent positive change in television. And about the fact that I get to read your recaps as it is happening.

    You’re exceptional at what you do.

  3. I think this was a very natural reveal and flows along what we know of Petra. If we look at the people she has had a romantic history with since the show began, she has a type. People that are strong, in control or have some power, people that can manipulate things or get their hands dirty and most importantly, people that can be emotionally available to her when she’s stressed or in need. J.R fit perfectly into those categories so it was no surprise that Petra started getting drawn to her. But all the same, a huge thanks to the writers because it all depended on them whether to act on it or not and they did. 20gayteen is getting better and better.

  4. I’m not going to lie, I have have rewatched Petra’s voice dip so many freakin times. When she leans in and tells JR she shouldn’t let Petra being a client stop her from doing the do, oh.my.god.
    Considering she was surprised by her attraction and now she’s straight up seducing a woman, I’m a Petra fan now.

    JR isn’t fazed by Petra, she’s often chuckling at her antics and I really like that about them. I don’t know if Rosario is a regular, this is a soap after all, so I’m just savoring every single moment.
    Also, For crying out loud, she had champagne and breakfast brought up! She’s so freakin gay! Lol! Fussing about being nonchalant and then messing that up. Being honest and romantic, Petra is so relatable. What a joy this has been.
    Thanks for the recap!

  5. Valerie!!! I can’t believe that this was a real thing on our television screens and not fanfiction. The pretending to be dating thing?? Also one of my fave tropes and I gasped SO loud when it happened.

    Anyway this is a v good recap, good job.

  6. I am loving Petra’s storyline. From the casual comments on how easy it was to get men to do what she wanted to the way she is completely head over heels after one night of sex. This is how my bisexuality played out too! I was so confused as to how to get a woman to like me, I also went to the biggest womanizer (and ex-boyfriend) I knew to get advice. And the advice was all wrong, kind of like Petra’s private party with roses for JR.

    I love how they never make somebody’s sexuality a big part of a reveal (except maybe this one time when Jane thought the nanny was hitting on her and he was gay). Adam’s bisexuality was used to make Jane reflect on her hang-ups. And in flashbacks Xo casually tells Jane that her first kiss could be with a boy or girl. The parents of Mateo’s playdate are two women and it is not part of a big confusion-plot. The list goes on, it is really quite inclusive. I trust that the writers will not make a big deal out of Petra realizing she is into women.

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