TV Recaps

Jane By Design Summer Season Premiere Recap: "The Replacement"


Jane By Design kicked off its summer season tonight with, “The Replacement.” The show stayed true to form, alternating between Jane’s life as a high school student and her job as Gray’s (busy) assistant. The episode was fun and adorable while still managing to raise the stakes, shaking up some of the dynamics for the rest of the season.

Jane By Design kicked off its summer season tonight with, “The Replacement.” The show stayed true to form, alternating between Jane’s life as a high school student and her job as Gray’s (busy) assistant. The episode was fun and adorable while still managing to raise the stakes, shaking up some of the dynamics for the rest of the season.

When the episode starts, it has been two months since the fashion show and a lot has changed. Donovan Decker is extremely shorthanded thanks to India’s ousting, Ben and Rita have started dating and Billy has been in a juvenile detention center while Jane has been wondering what he meant when he told her, “it’s you” before he ran off without another word.

When Jane voices her concerns to Ben, he suggests that maybe Billy meant it romantically, but Jane immediately rejects that notion even though it does weigh on her mind. She’s worried things will be different between the two of them, but Ben assures her that they’re best friends and everything is going to be fine. Jane decides he’s right and leaves to pick up Billy from the detention center. The two share a huge hug and admit they missed each other, but things get a little awkward when Jane asks what he meant at the fashion show. Billy changes the subject and assumes she’s dating Jeremy now. Jane tells him that she’s not and she would never date someone she worked with. There’s also that little issue where Jeremy has no idea she’s in high school. Billy seems pacified by that, but there’s still lingering tension between them and it’s so hard to see these two being awkward with each other because their friendship is the best.

Things get even worse when they return to school. Nick and Lulu have become an official item and no one wants anything to do with Billy after what his stint in the detention center. Rita calls Jane into her office and points out that all of her grades are slipping and so is her attendance. She’s worried the internship is too much for her, but Jane assures her that it’s not even as she returns texts from Gray while Rita is talking to her. Rita voices her concerns to Ben and he feels guilty about lying to his girlfriend, but he promises her that the internship is good for Jane and he will do everything he can to make sure she stays focused.

Gray calls a meeting to let everyone know that they have a new contract with Harrods, a luxury British department store, and the style director will be arriving soon. She makes it clear that everyone has to do whatever it takes to impress the style director. After Gray fires the latest designer hired to replace India, she tells Jeremy that she’s looking for someone young and talented. Jeremy thinks she’s talking about Jane and tells Jane, who doesn’t know whether or not she’s ready for that job even though she does want it.

The next morning, Rita comes out of Ben’s bedroom in one of his t-shirts and has an awkward run in with Billy in the kitchen when he arrives to head to school with Jane. Rita tells Ben that she wants to keep things professional at work. The awkward tension between Jane and Billy gets worse and it was one of those things I wanted to watch behind my hands because they’re just too awesome not to be friends. Jane accuses Billy of shutting her out and he tells her that he changed over the past two months and he’s so cold to her and again, I wanted to cry because I just need them to be okay.

Lulu approaches Billy and he’s less than thrilled to see her. She makes it clear that even though she’s with Nick, she’d rather be with Billy. He tells her that she and Nick deserve each other. I thought Billy’s reaction was justified, obviously, but at the same time, I did not like this side of him and I wanted it to go away. Meanwhile, Nick approached Jane and basically had the same conversation about how he missed her and Jane was not interested either. Ben noticed that Billy was off and after talking to Rita, he suggested Billy join a school activity like a sports team. Billy pretty much looked at him like he’d lost his mind and then Jane rushed in, begging them to cover for her with Rita so she could go to work.

Ben and Billy both said no as Jane suggested they tell the guidance counselor she went home sick with cramps or a cold. They both refuse again, but Jane ignores them and heads to the city anyway. She runs into a young guy, who she assumes is a flower delivery person, but he tells her that he has an appointment with Gray. He leads her to believe it’s an interview, but it’s more than that. His name is Eli Chandler and he’s Gray’s nephew. Jane is jealous and tells Jeremy that Gray is obviously going to give the job to her nephew. Jeremy doesn’t agree and gives Jane all the reasons why she’s perfect for the job. It’s actually really sweet and Jane is touched, but she tells him that she’s distracted because she’s worried about her best friend. Jeremy asks if it’s the same best friend who is the reason they’re not together. (Ooh, didn’t see that coming).

Jane explains to Jeremy again that she can’t date him because they work together and he’s her mentor. As she’s talking, she realizes the real reason Billy is upset is because he’s worried about getting left behind. Jane gives Jeremy a kiss on the cheek and tries to get a hold of Billy, but he’s ignoring her texts as he sits alone at school (Ouch). Jane continues to worry about Eli taking the job that she’s still not sure she wants and as she complains that he’s charming, talented and good-looking, Jeremy is quick to point out he’s not that good-looking. (Yes, he is).

Back at school, Ben is hilariously trying to avoid Rita, but she calls him out and wants to know where Jane is. He says she went home sick with cramps. Rita is skeptical and she finds Billy in the hallway and asks him the same question. He says Jane went home with a cold as Ben watches from his office window, cringing. Ben tells Rita he’s going home to check on his sister, but she wants to go as well and says that if Jane isn’t sick in bed, she’s pulling the plug on the internship. Ben asks Billy to go get Jane, but Billy refuses and says he’s done saving her. Ben asks if he’s really willing to see her dream get taken away and thankfully, real Billy returns and he heads to the city. (Aw).

Gray is giving a speech to the firm when Billy shows up to get Jane’s attention. As Gray talks about how wonderful the new designer is, Jane nervously glances back and forth between Gray and Billy and finally interrupts her boss to tell her that while she’s flattered, she’s not ready for the job. Gray tells her that she agrees and that’s why she’s announcing that Eli is the new designer. I had total secondhand embarrassment for Jane at this point and everyone was looking at her weird, but she hurried over to Billy and he explained what was going on with Rita and she’s so touched that Billy came to get her and in that moment, their friendship is back and I might have squealed a little as I watched it.

Ben did his best to stall Rita, but she wasn’t buying it. Of course Billy and Jane pull up next to them at a stop sign. The kids duck and Ben kisses Rita, giving them time to take the lead. This entire sequence was hilarious. Next, Ben stopped the car for an old man with a walker to cross the street as Billy parked their car and he and Jane took a shortcut through a few people’s yards, climbed a fence and then crawled in Jane’s bedroom window as Ben and Rita pulled into the driveway. Jane realized she forgot pajamas and raced into the closet to change. Rita wasn’t waiting anymore so Billy got into the bed, pulling the covers over him as Rita and Ben walked into the room. Rita tried to talk to Jane as Ben noticed Billy’s shoes and distracted her long enough for Jane to rush across the room, get into bed and let Rita know that she had both a cold and cramps.

Rita apologized to Ben, who continued to feel guilty about lying and as soon as they left the room, Billy and Jane had a good laugh at how embarrassing it was for her to think that Gray was about to give her India’s job. She tells Billy again how much she missed him and he tells her that knowing she was waiting was the only thing that got him through. (Again, aw). She asks him to tell her what he meant at the fashion show and he repeats the words, but finishes with, “you’re my best friend and I never want that to change.” Jane gives him a kiss on the cheek and they agree that their best friends, no matter what. But there’s still a hint of underlying confusion for both of them.

Of course, the episode wasn’t over yet. The scene switched back to Donovan Decker where Gray and everyone else were eagerly waiting for the Harrods’ style director to show up. The door opens and the camera slowly (got to love the overdramatic effects) panned up to show that it was…India! She smugly informed them that she was back and she wanted to know where Jane was so they could catch up. Uh-oh…

Did you enjoy the summer premiere? How much trouble is India going to cause at Donovan Decker? Will Billy tell Jane the truth? How long before Eli is in the running for Jane’s heart? Sound off in the comments below!

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Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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