'Jane the Virgin' recap: 'Chapter 15'
Rafael proposes, Jane ponders her options, and Xo considers the possibility of a big life change.
It’s not often a primetime soap gives us two marriage proposals in one season, but Jane writers know what fans love—namely a big, flowery, romantic over-the-top proposal. After all, with things heating up between Jane and Rafael in recent episodes (He asked her to move in with him during “Chapter 14”) and with the big reveal that their baby is healthy, the time seemed right for Rafael to put a ring on it.
The scene was set: Under the pretense of giving an exclusive reading of an upcoming book, Jane’s favorite romance novelist introduced Rafael—looking particularly sexy in a svelte tailored suit—who promptly dropped down on one knee to pop the all-important question.
“I know romance novels are all about fate and destiny, but I don’t think one has ever been written that could come close to our story. If they were ever two people destined to be together, it’s us. Jane, will you marry me?”
Jane, with tears in her eyes, leaned in toward her love… and after a pause that seemed to last an eternity in TV time (really, more like .3 seconds), gave her answer:
“Can we talk in private?”
There’s hardly any fun in exhibiting restraint when it comes to watching soaps, so I hope I’m not the only one who responded with a far-louder-than-appropriate gasp. After all, why would Jane—a self-professed romantic who’s head over heels for her baby daddy—consider saying anything else than an ecstatic YES? (Though to that point, given that Rafael is rollin’ in the dough, that diamond was pretty darn tiny. If I were Jane, I’d hold out for an iceberg like Anika’s on Empire. Yasss honey!).
You see, earlier in the episode—after Rafael asked her to revisit the idea of her moving in with him—Jane shared her life plan with him: Date, get engaged, get married, and have a baby. Moving in together? That just doesn’t figure into her perfectly ordered plan.
“The baby thing happened first, but I don’t want to just throw out the whole order,” she tells Rafael. “Or rather, I want to, but I can’t. Despite the fact it would make life much easier and despite the fact I love you so much.”
That’s the long-winded way of saying “hell no” to co-habitation and Rafael’s ego took a dive north after his lady love rejected the idea of unmarried bliss. He tries to disguise it with a simple “I get it,” but homeboy is crushed, especially because he thought his marriage proposal would remedy Jane’s hesitation about moving in with him. But that’s soooo not the case.
Despite Rafael’s insistence that life is short and they should get married, Jane asks to mull it over and proceeds to do what any girl in her situation should—she goes home to talk it over with abuela and her mom, Xo.
In one of the cutest tongue-in-cheek-scenes to date, abuela and Xo battle back and forth with contrasting arguments about whether Jane should accept Rafael’s proposal. Abuela is Team Go For It—after all, Jane’s grandfather proposed just 41 days after they first met—and Xo is Team No Way, citing the fact that in the not-so distance past, Jane was convinced that she’d have her happily ever after with Michael. These two are acting like the proverbial devil and angel on Jane’s shoulder—and it’s positively delicious to watch. Not even an old-school Vanidades compatibility test can settle this debate, and Jane is left to spin the wheels about her choice. Should she dive head first into marriage with the man she loves, or should she tackle the challenge of motherhood without the added stability of a wedded partner? Decisions, decisions.
Finally, she decides—but not necessarily along the lines of “yes” or “no.” She decides to administer a test of her own. (Remember, she did study to be a teacher!)
Once again, the scene is set: She and Rafael are on the beach, shoes off, toes in the sand. Jane needs to be assured that Rafael knows her “down to the core” and so she suggests that in order to focus on “being a really great mom,” she take a break from writing. To his credit, Rafael doesn’t agree. “I’m really glad you said that,” says Jane. You passed the test!”
This earns an exasperated sigh from Rafael. “I want to marry you, and I don’t need a test to prove it,” he tells her. “I’m sorry, this is not how I saw my proposal going.” And with that, he heads back to work at the Marbella.
Or does he? Jane—dressed in a gauzy peasant skirt and a decidedly Victorian-looking corset—runs after Rafael, her cheeks flushed and bosom a-heaving.
“You’re all I need,” she says breathlessly, as she reaches to caress him lovingly. “Of course I’ll marry you.” With Rafael in a wig that makes Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Nene Leakes’ latest toppers look high fashion, it’s clear that this scenario is a fantasy scenario inspired by the pages of Jane’s favorite romance fiction—it’s not real life at all. It’s safe to say that this episode was one of the best of the season, its use of magic realism reiterating the point that life isn’t as simple as “happily ever after” would suggest.
Nowhere is that more clear than when Xo realizes that she’s missed her period (and a few birth control pills) and may be pregnant. Jane waddles onto the porch—no less confused about where to take things with Rafael—where Xo tells her daughter she’s late. Late for what? Jane waddles onto the swing (the site for so many significant mother-daughter heart-to-hearts). “We got so caught up in the moment… it was an accident,” confesses Xo, a statement that provokes some serious hormone-fueled rage from Jane.
Jane: “No, it wasn’t. Me, standing here pregnant, that’s an accident. You were reckless. I mean, what’s your plan—that we’ll be pregnant together? Did you want to raise these babies like sisters?”
Xo: “No, look—I didn’t have a plan”
Jane: “I know. I’m sorry—I just thought that, I just thought you would be more thoughtful about having another kid. Because, well, me.”
Ouch. Aside from the fact that Jane may have accidentally revealed the gender of her baby—a girl!—it’s clear that she’s upset, and with good reason. Jane’s pregnancy meets the textbook definition of an accident, while Xo acted irresponsible. A former teen mom, she knowingly entertained the idea of a possible pregnancy.
NEXT: Will Xo inherit Jane’s Target-chic maternity clothes?
Jane leaves the porch super upset but soon enough, Xo finds Jane in her bedroom to share the news that she’s not actually pregnant. Our sweet Jane apologizes for her reaction, but Xo says she was right.
“Maybe my missing a pill wasn’t a compete accident. It’s hard you know? Being your mom is the only thing I’ve been successful at. And now it’s almost done.”
This brings tears from Jane, who says their relationship—and Xo’s life—is changing for the better. “Date Rogelio and see where it goes, but go slowly,” she says. “Take it step by step.”
As it turns out, Jane would do well to take her own advice. And there’s just one thing that might help her make up her mind, says Xo. She brings up a memory that Jane had long ago relegated to that part of the brain where one stores all the sweet, painful, and poignant moments shared with an ex—all the pieces buried after a breakup. For Jane, that memory was of a time she found a list Michael kept of how much money he’d have to save on an annual basis for an engagement ring. It’s a reminder of a time when she was sure—of Michael, her emotions, and of her convictions that they were meant to be together. Though Jane isn’t quite sure of whether Rafael knows her to the core, she knows herself better than anyone could—and in her gut, she knows she wants to take things slow.
“I can’t marry you. Not yet,” she tells Rafael. Marriage may be in their future, but she’s “not there yet.” “It’s too fast. You think life is short,” she tells Rafael. “For me, I think its long and that there’s steps you have to take first.”
Rafael’s disappointment is thinly veiled—sometimes I really do think he acts like a 21st-century version of a caveman, with his grunts and four-word responses—and he admits he needs some time to “lick his wounds.” He assures Jane they’ll be okay… but will they?
Elsewhere in “Chapter 15”:
- Rogelio and Xo’s relationship has definitely escalated, and not just in that hot-‘n’-heavy type of way, as evidenced by Xo apparently having given her boo a talking-to about taking his ego down a notch. Case in point? This postcoital exchange:
Xo: “That was incredible.”
Rogelio: “Thank you. But I can’t take all the credit.”
Xo: “Rogelio, we talked about this!”
- Even so, this pair has quite a way to go, as they struggle with honesty. Rogelio professed to be happy about the prospect of having a baby, though he secretly was scared of moving too fast. He also hid his feelings about playing number two to arch-rival Esteban on the set of his new novela (“I’m very easy to dress. Everything looks good on me, except for peach. I don’t pop in peach.”). And Xo wasn’t much better, as she pretended to be pregnant to test Rogelio’s reaction. But it turns out that Rogelio is just like his daughter, Jane, in his preference to take things slow. But for the record, not too slow: when Xo suggests they move in together—words she’s never uttered to a man, ever—he says yes.
- Rogelio’s #SeaweedSoakMondays seem like an excellent idea. And Jane’s cheesy, super-cute pregnant woman shimmy when she learns Angelique is holding a private reading? A-freakin’-dorable!
- This episode was all about sex—the excitement (as exemplified by the romance novel references), the consequences (Xo’s potential pregnancy), and the issue of privacy surrounding it, as Rafael threatened to make Petra’s sex tape public so as to shame her into resigning from the hotel board. Not so fast! Once again, we’re reminded that Petra is almost always one step ahead, as she releases the tape herself (which a hotel staff member says gets “really good around 3:48”). Before too long, Petra’s turned things around and she’s joined forces with Rafael to get Lachlan out of the picture.
- Under the pretense of gaining closure after his brother’s death, Aaron wants to get to know Petra. How about over dinner? Turns out the vegan meal Petra’s ordered doesn’t exactly fit the bill. Aaron: “I don’t eat root vegetables. When tubers are uprooted the whole plant dies, along with countless microorganisms. But please, you enjoy it. No seriously. No judgment—one of Jainism’s tenents.” He sounds like a sweetheart, right? Not so much—he has an ulterior motive and wants the silver necklace that Roman had given Petra earlier in the season. Once Petra returns it, we learn there’s more this necklace that meets the eye—a small, computer chip was hidden inside the charm. What do you think is on it???
- Michael—who’s made no secret of his lingering feelings for Jane—turned the charm way, way up in this episode. Between buying her a Cubano sandwich and bonding over her surprise turn as a masseuse, we got to see how close these two still really are. And Rafael, who spotted them laughing and yakking it up, saw it too. Make no mistake—Michael and Jane very much still have a connection.
- Jane made a reference to her baby growing up as a “sister” to Xo’s potential offspring. In “Chapter 13” we learned that Jane is pretty dead-set on the fact that she’s having a girl, but she hasn’t yet officially found out the gender. Could baby Rane (Rafael + Jane) be a girl, as Jane thinks—or do Jane writers plan on surprising us all with a male gender reveal?
Total sex scenes this episode: 2 (Jane and Rafael sweetly smooch after learning baby Rane is healthy; Xo and Rogelio have “incredible” sex)
Team Rafael, were you disappointed that Jane decided to turn down his marriage proposal? Members of Team Michael—do you see a reconciliation in their future? Do you think Angelique, the romance author, will take an interest in Jane’s work and career? And—ahem—Sin Rostro was noticeably absent from this episode, but the question of Rose’s crimes and her connection to Zaz’s death is still up in the air. Might the answer to the many questions surrounding Sin Rostro be on the microchip in Aaron’s possession? Share your thoughts, theories, and reaction to this week’s episode with me on Twitter or below!
Jane the Virgin