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'Jane the Virgin' fashion recap: 'Chapter 51'

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Scott Everett White/The CW

Jane the Virgin

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

On this week’s Jane the Virgin, the titular character brings suspense into her writing, and the show — and clothes alike — quickly follow suit, taking a stylistic, Hitchcockian turn. More specifically: Jane, Michael, and Rafael work to uncover the hidden message Rafael’s mother, Elena (a.k.a. the crime lord Mutter), left to him in a Bible as she died. We finally find out the secret, and it’s a BIG one! On a less-suspenseful-but-equally-engaging note, Rogelio starts getting back into the dating game via Darci Factor, the High Dollar Love Dealer. With that, let’s start with said love life, then build to the suspense…

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Before he jumps back into the dating game, Rogelio confronts Xiomara about her secret romance with Bruce, and Xiomara asks him to keep quiet — it’s her news to share with Jane. This secret ends up spoiling Rogelio’s date with Denise Richards — for which he dresses up in a purple button-down — and a mixer with a handful of beautiful women, including Carmen Electra and Brooke Burke-Charvet. The former happens because Rogelio won’t stop talking about whether to tell Jane about Bruce; the latter because Xiomara shows up to confront him about telling Jane, which leads to him announcing he’s not remotely attracted to anyone at the mixer, loud enough for all of them to hear.

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Naturally, matchmaker love dealer Darci — whom we first see in a red, V-neck top that suggests she’s both a serious business woman and lover of love — is pissed. Rogelio broke one of her three rules by talking about his ex; the other two rules are no heavy drinking on dates and no sex until it’s serious. He accepts maybe love isn’t in the cards for him right now, but he does still want to focus on having a baby. This prompts Darci to ask why he’s so intent on to have a kid, and he responds by saying he didn’t get to raise Jane and wants to have that experience. In the end, Darci gives him another chance. She has the perfect woman for him: Herself. She doesn’t want to date; she just wants to have a baby. “Think about it, we’d be very compatible parents,” she says. “Two aging narcissists, we’d only have the kid half of the time, the other half we’d get to have lives.” He’s hurt she called him “aging,” but does agree. Well, this should be interesting…

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Anyway, moving on to the episode’s suspenseful parts. When Jane adds a bit of suspense to her writing, her writers’ group suggests she lean into it. She studies up by watching Rear Window, and that’s when the nod to Hitchcock begins, with her explaining the auteur’s bomb-under-the-table theory and — this fashion recapper’s personal favorite — a Hitchcockian fantasy sequence. That shows Jane, Michael, and Rafael wearing donning ‘50s-style clothing — dapper suits for the men and a black, empire-waist dress for Jane with a pearl necklace, red lips, and curled hair to boot — as they discuss the details of Elena’s hidden message.

About those details: Elena left a code to a bank account number, and that number links to a convent in Orvieto, Italy, where Elena was born. Elena had been paying $10,000 a month to the convent since 1984, which Michael says sounds like a bribe or blackmail. He goes on to say they’ll need to see what the Italian authorities dig up on those “crooked little nuns,” to which Jane responds by saying not all nuns are evil (with a knife in her hand).

NEXT: Jane, Michael, Rafael, and Mateo head to church


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On the subject of religion, Jane tells Rafael she wants to start bringing Mateo to church every Sunday, but that doesn’t go over too well. Rafael thinks he’s too young and doesn’t want him to be too religious. We do see the trio in church, though, dressed in their Sunday finest (Mateo’s even wearing an adorable little suit). Mateo squirms and squeals, so Rafael whisks him out of the service. While walking around, Rafael sees a statue and has a flashback to himself as a child at church, hearing the bells and holding his mother’s hand. Michael encourages Rafael to keep thinking on it; anything he remembers might help with the investigation.

Also helpful? Michael heads to work in an unofficial capacity — he’s waiting to hear if he passed his physical — where he and a colleague discover that several pieces of art have gone missing from the convent since the early 1980s. He shows printouts of those pieces to Rafael; one looks familiar, and they discover the painting in a room where his family kept valuables. Rafael asks Michael not to call the police — he covered up his dad’s financial irregularities when he died to protect his legacy — which, of course, puts Michael in a very tough spot. Jane lashes out at Rafael, who says he doesn’t need a lecture. Jane says if he gets to express his opinions, like about Mateo’s religious upbringing, then she gets to voice hers. She adds, “Maybe if you went to church, you would know right from wrong.” Ouch.

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Jane has some growing to do in that department, too. Catalina was supposed to leave after overstaying her welcome, but ended up moving into the Marbella to help Rafael with the lounge menu. Jane thought it was suspicious Catalina would bail on a gala she was chairing, so she snooped through Catalina’s bag full of cash and jewels (fashion recap honorable mention to Jane’s black burglar outfit). Catalina catches Jane red-handed, explaining the cash is from her travels in Venezuela and the jewels are family heirlooms, so Jane apologizes When Catalina tells Rafael the story, she uses an Italian phrase that translates to “Today in person, tomorrow in the grave.”

The saying leads Rafael to have another flashback to his mother confronting a nun — “You think you’re a good person, but you should be ashamed” — before telling him “I told you mommy would be back.” This memory of a convent featuring a statue of a woman with a veil leads the three to St. Genevieve’s convent in Miami, where they find the statue. The Mother Superior there, Constantine — appearing in her uniform, the real version of Jane’s fantasy-sequence nun we got earlier this season — did her novitiate in the convent in Orvieto. Suspicious, isn’t it?

The trio certainly thinks so, so Jane and Rafael go for a tour at St. Genevieve’s to see if it jogs any memories that might produce some concrete evidence the police could use to get a warrant. Rafael snoops through the Mother Superior’s office, and she finds him there after being tipped off about his visit. “I always knew this day would come,” she says, before confirming she was dealing in stolen art. The orphanage needed money and Rafael’s father approached her with the offer. Eventually, Elena discovered the deal and threatened to expose it unless she did something for her. That’s when Mother Constantine gives Rafael a letter, revealing a secret she kept for 32 years: Rafael…drumroll, please…is not a Solano. He doesn’t tell Jane and Michael straight away, but does say he’s turning in the stolen art (and himself) and doesn’t want Michael to withhold any evidence. He wants to set a good example for his son and stop the corrupt cycle of the Solano family. He later tells Jane the truth, that he was born in Italy around the time Elena lost a baby.

My, that’s a lot to take in! But we’re still not done: Jane thinks she seriously misjudged Catalina after the bag incident and when she calls to tell her Rafael isn’t doing so well following the convent visit, but it turns out Jane might have been onto something. We later see a French man pop up at her hotel room, and they seemingly have a history. Also, Xiomara and Jane finally talk about Bruce, and Xiomara reveals she knew he was married when they got together. AND, Michael doesn’t pass his physical, so can only return to work if he’s on desk duty.

Episode grade: A-