Jane the Virgin “Chapter Eighteen” Review (Season 1 Episode 18)

Easter came late to Jane the Virgin, with the holiday signaling the arrival of several previously unseen family members. With Jane still doubting her relationship with Rafael, there was a bit of déjà vu to this week’s episode, but “Chapter Eighteen” ultimately built up to more than a few unexpected twists.

Hitting the most effective storyline first, Xiomara struggled to mend fences with Rogelio’s mother, a feat easier said than done as Liliana made no secret of the animosity she held for her granddaughter’s mother. As it happened, the biggest reason for all the hate was a lie from Rogelio, which at first played out on the more predictable side of things. However, things picked up when Liliana proved she still didn’t care for Xo, suggesting Rogelio dump her instead of wasting their time. Fortunately, Ro sent his mother packing, but not before a momentary indiscretion on Xiomara’s part that will inevitably come back up down the road.

Still, it was clear that for all the similarities Liliana criticized, it was what they had in common that was holding the two together. This was juxtaposed against the ongoing struggles between Jane and Rafael. The big problem here was that it felt a little bit like the show was spinning its wheels, with Jane’s doubts feeling very similar to last week. The delivery was different enough to stay entertaining, with Doubting Jane serving as a particular highlight, but it still lacked the forward momentum this show almost always has.

This all changed with the surprise arrival of Rafael’s mother, which is a perfect example of the speed this show normally goes at. Instead of dragging out the Rafael’s search another couple of weeks, his mother appeared almost as soon as he started searching, delivering several devastating truths while also shaking his belief in his relationship with Jane. As a result, he breaks up with her, citing a desire to focus on being a good parent instead of spreading himself too thin.

And to a degree, as it always does on this show, his reaction makes sense. Not only is he plagued with fears that he’ll end up like his father, but he now knows that the level to which is his parents were mismatched ultimately led to him having no relationship of any kind with his own mother. He doesn’t want that for his child, and thinks that ending it with Jane now would be better than later. It’s not a fully-formed thought, but instead an emotional knee-jerk reaction, one that’s clearly delivering a gut punch to Jane just as she decided to give the relationship her all.

Hitting the other stories quickly, though it wasn’t a full-on narrative arc, perhaps the funniest scene of the night came from Alba, with her reaction to Edward being a priest making me laugh hard. Alba doesn’t get to play in the more over-the-top scenes often, but I always welcome it when she does. Meanwhile, Jane learned that Andie was in fact seeing Michael while Petra found out that Aaron really was Roman, but neither story arc saw much action this week.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!