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'Jane the Virgin' recap: 'Chapter 13'

A medical situation forces Jane to let go, Michael identifies Sin Rostro, and Petra’s future takes an unexpected turn.

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Danny Feld/The CW

Jane the Virgin

TV Show
Telenovela, Drama, Comedy
run date:
Gina Rodriguez
The CW
Current Status:
In Season

I’m actually at a complete loss for words when it comes to kicking off this recap, and I blame it on Jane’s writers: they’ve thrown in a huge wrench in the whole matter of Roman Zazo’s murderer. That’s right—though Michael finally discovered Sin Rostro’s identity (more on that in a bit), Nadine’s review of security footage on the evening of Zaz’s death revealed that Rose, Emilio, and Bellboy Tom were all mingling in the crowd, effectively eliminating them as suspects in Zaz’s murder. But no sooner than you could say “backstabbing brother,” Rafael appeared in a shady hallway to greet what I think was Zaz’s twin brother. But it had to have been Zaz’s brother—that is, unless it was Zaz himself. WHAT IS GOING ON?

But, first things first: The evening kicked off to a flashback featuring 10-year-old Jane, asking her nurse to walk her through the process of receiving a medical shot. Even then, Jane had issues with letting go, and that became the major theme of the night as a routine visit to the gynecologist at the 20-week mark took a scary turn with the news that baby Janel (Jane + Rafael = Janel. If you have better suggestions, leave ‘em in the comments!) has an epigenetic focus on the heart, which could be indicative of chromosomal abnormalities. The doctor informs Jane that she can undergo a test to analyze the existence of any abnormalities, but in doing so, she’ll run the risk of a miscarriage. It’s a lot for Jane to handle, who went to the doctor just so she could confirm that she’s having a baby girl and to “get some cute pictures.” I wanted to reach through my TV and give our girl a hug, but I have to say, Rafael actually delivered in this episode and gave her lots of cuddles and emotional assurances.

But no amount of nooky could erase the simple fact that Jane—a type-A, go-getter, planning-type—needed to make a decision. What ensued next was the type of scene that the series tackles best: grounded, emotional, and the slightest bit provocative, as Jane, Xo, and Alba sat around the kitchen table to discuss her options. Xo asks, would Jane ever consider an abortion? “No, I wouldn’t at this point,” says Jane. “But on the other hand, if something is wrong and I have a child with special needs, shouldn’t I know now so I can plan?” The response is just like Jane herself: reasonable, deliberate, and motivated by good intentions. The only wrinkle is that Jane still feels the need to plan and control the future as tightly as she can—and who can blame her? That’s how she’s risen beyond her humble circumstances to achieve many of her goals, among them being earning her college degree.

But if Jane does undergo the exam, she’ll miss her college graduation day since she’ll have to be on bed rest afterward. That whole cap-and-gown ceremony is a big deal and because Jane immediately shrugs it off in order to concentrate on her baby’s health, you can’t help but notice how easily her focus has expanded to think of “us” instead of “me.” She decides not to take the test and settles in for a night of rest. Understandably though, she can’t fall asleep and instead falls down the rabbit hole that is Google, as she researches her baby’s possible condition. The next morning, she shows up at Rafael’s penthouse and is in panic mode: She’s changed her mind and wants to take the test. And surprisingly, Rafael is okay with it. “The odds are in our favor, “ he says. “And then we’ll know.”

Rafael really continues to step it up: he stays by Jane’s side during the procedure while she’s on bed rest. He’s doing it for Jane, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s gaining Xo’s trust in the process. He’s even recruited her to help him plan a big surprise for Jane. And though Jane is worried about the possibility of a miscarriage, the baby finally kicks. Yay! The one advantage of letting go is that you open yourself up to the possibility of unexpected blessing, and that’s exactly what happens the next morning when she’s woken up to a makeshift graduation ceremony with Rafael, Alba, Xo, and Rogelio in attendance. There’s a graduation cap for Jane to wear and Rogelio has even taken over the role of keynote speaker. It’s one of the sweetest moments on the show to date, as Xo and Alba reflect on their precious Jane’s tremendous accomplishment. By graduating from college, Jane has achieved the elusive American dream and has made strides not only for herself, but for her family. It’s a particularly poignant moment for Alba, who sacrificed so much in leaving her country in hopes of better opportunities for her family. “I want to thank God,” she says. “Because it is by his grace we are here.”

That line gave me all the feels, and when combined with the fact that the show blew out this major moment—because really, how often do you see a Latina graduate from college on TV?—I definitely felt like reaching for the tissues.

NEXT: Petra—great taste in clothes, poor taste in men