Jane the Virgin: “Chapter Seventeen”

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If there are two lessons to take away from “Chapter Seventeen” of Jane the Virgin, they are this:

1) Boys all kind of suck

2) Roman Zazo’s “twin” is so obviously just Roman Zazo in a hemp bracelet.

And if I’m being perfectly honest, Takeaway 2 is awfully linked to Takeaway 1. Roman manages to orchestrate a whole fake death/secret twin operation and his first move after sticking the landing is to mack on Petra? I mean, I get it. Petra’s amazing. We should all be lucky enough to get to kiss Petra. But come on, Roman! You’re better than this. What would Sin Rostro say if she knew her agents were getting so sloppy?

Between Rogelio and Rafael, it’s hard to say who was the worse boyfriend last night. But considering Michael came out looking like the best dude, it’s safe to say that it was a mighty case of male failure all around. Rogelio’s over the top charm and endearing sincerity is usually enough to let us overlook his less attractive qualities, but him telling Xiomara that he only asked her to move in with him to spark a bangfest was harsh to swallow and get past. And has there ever been a worse response to an “I love you” than “I am getting there as well”? It makes Ryan Atwood’s awkward “Thank you” to Marissa in The O.C. look poetic in comparison.

If Rogelio was boneheaded, Rafael was downright mean. I’ve been rooting for Rafael from Day 1, but seeing him as he was in “Chapter Seventeen”–snarling, drunk, mean, and completely unable to wrap his head around the fact that his pregnant girlfriend might be overwhelmed and in need of emotional support–may have changed me. I didn’t like him. It was shades of the selfish party boy we’ve been told Rafael used to be, and I hope it’s not a side of him we see more.

Thankfully, while the men of Jane the Virgin sucked this week, the Villanueva women picked up the slack. Jane’s relationships with her mother and her Abuela (as well as Xo and Alba’s relationship with each other) continues to be the emotional core of the show, and this was laid out clearly in their final scenes together, as they sat together on the porch of their family home. Xiomara and Alba reassure Jane that, of course, raising a baby is scary, but it will be fine, because they’ll all pitch in–a deliberate mirror to Rafael’s earlier dismissiveness. It’s an easy reminder that while the telenovela shenanigans is what makes Jane the Virgin so addictive, it’s the strength of the Villanuevas’ loving home that elevates it to a show with some serious heart.

But damn, the telenovela shenanigans is still addictive as hell! I’m already buzzing for what’s coming up next. Is the Marbella safe? Will Xo be able to handle the drama of–gulp!–a visit from Rogelio’s mother? Is Roman Zazo the good twin or the evil twin after all? Are there even any twins? What’s up with Michael’s offbeat ex stalking Jane via babies and book clubs, and did anybody else get a vibe like she was a little bit in love with Jane? And for the love of God, what happened to Luisa and Rose?!

We only have to wait a week to find out! The season of mini-hiatuses has ended for Jane the Virgin, and “Chapter Eighteen” airs Monday, April 13 at 9 PM ET.

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