Even in her villainous beginning, Petra Solano was one of those characters that I just couldn’t help but love.
Petra has made a number of poor decisions and her actions have always been questionable, but she has this redeemable quality that makes you continue to root for her.
She’s undeniably grown from the Petra we first met in Season 1 without her character having to go through some huge change – she’s simply evolved thanks to getting rid of the toxic people in her life and learning from those around her. She’s also grown to love, accept and embrace who she is which has helped her develop into the strong, ever unapologetic yet compassionate Petra we know today.
Family has played a big part in Petra’s development. With her malicious mother conspiring by her side, Petra seemed stuck in a never ending circle of bad decisions and situations that only ever lead to something disastrous. But, as she grew closer to Jane, had the twins and realised she didn’t need Rafael’s love, she was able to pull away from what was leading her down a destructive path.
In Season 4, we’ve seen a completely different side to Petra thanks to JR. I think this has been the first time where we’ve seen Petra genuinely happy and it’s evident that no one has made her feel the way that JR does. If we’d never have seen ice queen Petra and had only been introduced to the Petra who giggles over a text message from her crush, you’d never have associated her with the word “villain”.
What I love most about ‘Petramos’ is how natural and organically it happened. It wasn’t made into a big deal that Petra was attracted to a woman, she didn’t need to have some ‘gay awakening’ or coming our arc (which although are important in TV, it’s nice to see it be as normalised as heterosexual romances are), she simply had an attraction to someone and acted on it just like anyone else would.
Watching Petra’s tough exterior fall to pieces around JR has honestly been the highlight of Jane the Virgin.
At this point, Petra could coldly murder several people for no reason other than the fact she was bored and I’d still be standing by her side proclaiming her innocence. Just like any other character she has her flaws, but you love her in spite of them and we all know that she doesn’t do things without good reason. Despite her stern persona, she truly does have a heart of gold and an innocence that you can’t help but fall for.
Petra started off as one of the show’s villains, but as we peeled back her complex layers we gained a better understanding of who she is. Sure, our opinions of Petra may have started to change as we delved into her troublesome past, but that’s not why we suddenly started to root for her. The audience got behind Petra because of Petra herself (and Yael Grobglas’ acting of course). Even when she was conspiring against Jane and Rafael, you couldn’t help but want to see more of her because she was way too brilliant to be taken away.
As she’s grown throughout the show, the greatest thing is that she hasn’t had to change who she is as a person to become more compassionate. She’s still a stern leader, ice cold to those she feels need fear instilling in them and fiercely independent, but she’s also more conscious of those around her and has learnt to let down her walls.
Petra Solano has come a very long way to get to where she is now. Any time she’s come close to happiness, something has gone wrong and it’s harshly been taken away from her.
In Season 4, she finally seems to be in a good place and we can only pray that it’s here to stay.