'Jane the Virgin' recap: 'Chapter 18'
Rita Moreno serves up glam realness as Rogelio’s mother, while Jane has doubts about her relationship with Rafael.
I am so, so sorry for the delay in posting this recap—I was looking forward to watching an all-new episode (no media perks here—I watch Jane live at night and write the recaps right after!), when I found out the show was preempted by baseball. Those damn Yankees! Hopefully I won’t have to start keeping tabs of sports game schedules, because my beat as a professional TV watcher doesn’t exactly lend itself to watching sweaty dudes swing big bats. (On second thought, that doesn’t sound all bad.) Anyway, on to the recap!
“Chapter 18” began with a sweet flashback to an Easter during Jane’s childhood when she started questioning the Catholic traditions that abuelita Alba takes so seriously. “That stale cracker from the deli is supposed be the body of Christ?” little Jane asks Alba. Instead of simply shrugging off Jane’s doubts, Alba shares a valuable bit of wisdom about the nature of faith. “It’s the banishment of doubt.”
The Easter holiday figures pretty big in this episode, with as the Villanuevas make a huge deal out of the celebration. That being the case, Jane is so excited to include Rafael in her beloved traditions—especially since he hasn’t exactly been there for her recently. Rafael’s been distracted with business, particularly with his attempts to get the hotel’s liquor license back after last week’s spring break bash debacle.
Though Rafael’s apparent disinterest in the baby really bothers Jane—she literally doesn’t have any one to lean on during the prenatal instructor’s exercises—she doesn’t dare vent to Xo, who’s dealing with her own drama. Liliana, Rogelio’s mother is visiting, and that brings up all kinds of issues, both from the past (Xo accidentally electrocuted her beloved cat) and the present. (Xo needs to get her stamp of approval in order to earn an “I love you” from Rogelio.)
When Liliana (played to perfection by Rita Moreno) appears, one can see why Rogelio’s first love with always be his mother: She’s perfectly put together, witty and absolutely gorgeous. All her charm is on full display when she meets Jane, the granddaughter she never knew about. But she’s not so excited about seeing Xo. Apparently she still holds a grudge against Xo for having caught the pair doing it back in the day. ¡Eso no se hace!
But Jane—who you should remember, is always anxious to smooth things over—invites Liliana to Easter. Who can be angry for long when there are chocolate eggs to be eaten? Even so, Jane is wrestling with some serious doubts about Rafael—will he ever make she and the baby a priority?—and decides to vent to Andie.
The two meet in a coffee shop and Andie—who tells Jane she’s seeing her ex again, though she’s careful not to disclose his identity—advises her not to do anything rash. “It’s the hormones,” she tells Jane. Ahem. You know and I know Andie’s agenda is to keep Jane as far away from Michael as possible, since she’s playing the long game to get him back. But Jane doesn’t know this and to her, the whole hormones argument sounds pretty reasonable. (The irony of what I just wrote isn’t lost on me.) So she rolls with it, even when Rafael cancels a dinner the two had planned.
The frustrations have been piling all day and when she encounters a rude customer during her waitress shift, she absolutely loses it. Normally, that wouldn’t be a huge problem, but that nasty diner happens to be the city commissioner—the person whom Rafael has been trying to sweet talk into earning his liquor license back.
A good telenovela always offers its heroines a chance to redeem themselves, and Jane’s chance arises when Rafael suggests that two go to church and lunch at the club with the commissioner and her husband. That means Jane has to skip her family’s Easter celebration and she gamely goes for it. But the unexpected happens: she finds herself bonding with the ladies who lunch crowd and with the snobby commissioner, whose conceit hides a strained marriage.
Seeing the commissioner in a spat with her husband reminds Jane how important is it for she and Rafael to be on the same page. “That life with the husband always gone and work always comes first, I don’t want that,” she tells Rafael. He insists family is important to him too, but he also needs to work. Jane reminds him the price his father paid for putting work above all else, but “it’s not that simple,” Rafael insists.
As Jane The Virgin often reminds us, love is a tricky thing to navigate. That’s made abundantly clear as Xo confronts Rogelio about having kept her pregnancy a secret from his mother. Everyone apologizes but then Liliana drops a bomb by telling them that they’re both “too head strong and two proud” to make their relationship last. This is enough to send Xo running straight into the arms of her Marcos, her former soccer-playing squeeze. The sexual tension between these two is something else, and they share a passionate kiss. Though Xo ends up making up with Rogelio (He says those three oh-so-important words!), she doesn’t tell him about the smooch. That could definitely come back to bite her later.
Although Xo is pretty terrible at the whole relationship thing, she does have some good advice for Jane when all three generations of the Villanueva family meet on the front porch later that night. “Don’t let doubts get in the way,” she tells Jane. Alba adds her two cents: “It won’t work if you don’t believe it will. You have to have faith.” Jane shakes off her doubt—in the form of a little pesky alter ego dressed in Jesus drapes—and resolves to stop letting her doubts ruin her relationship.
But her new-found resolve isn’t enough to create a future with Rafael, who shares a big fat revelation. “I want to be successful. I want to leave something for my child like my father left for me, and right now I can’t do that without disappointing you,” he tells Jane. “I am all the time …maybe you were right all this time. Maybe we’re just too different and should stop trying to force this relationship.” And with that, he breaks up with Jane.
Elsewhere in “Chapter 18”:
- Petra was hell bent on proving that Aaron was really Roman, and even broke into his hotel room in order to steal proof. She gives Michael a sample of Aaron’s fingerprints, but before Michael can give her the news—she was right!—Aaron kidnaps her.
- Andie wants Michael back, and he’s not exactly opposed to the idea. “It’s probably the most fun I’ve had since us,” he tells Jane, who’s figured out that her new BFF is Michael’s ex. “I know you’ve been worried out me moving on and all, and with Andie, I feel like I am.” Is there a chance that these two will actually get together?
- Remember Edward, Alba’s friend from physical therapy? It turns out disappointment isn’t relegated to young love alone—when Alba finds out he’s a priest, it’s nothing short of traumatic. But does that mean he can’t date? Is he really celibate? As the narrator pointed out, that didn’t stop Father Ralph in the Thornbirds!
- Liliana wasn’t the only mama to make an appearance. Rafael gets in touch with his mother, who tells him that she and his father “were a mistake.” She cheated on him and when he found out, he paid her $10 million to disappear. Rafael is in tears when he receives the news—tangible proof putting money before family can cause real pain.
Total sex scenes this episode: 1 (That kiss between Xo and Marcos? Yeoowww!)
Jane fans, can you believe what went down? How will she pick herself up after having tried so hard to ignore her doubts about Rafael? And now she’s single and due to give birth soon—can she do it alone? What will Michael do when he finds out about the breakup? AND WHAT IS ROMAN GOING TO DO WITH PETRA?