Jane the Virgin: “Chapter Eighteen”

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Jane the Virgin can be pretty on the nose when it comes to spoon feeding their themes to their audience, but “Chapter Eighteen” set a new bar for itself. It’s theme was doubt, and everybody was ready to let us know about it. The dashing narrator, wise Alba, Jane’s hallucination (a.k.a. the doubt-ridden angel on her shoulder rolling her eyes)–all of them had something to say on the subject. And hey, guess what? Now it’s my turn! (“You can poke holes in anything,” Alba would say, and perhaps I am twisting her intentions, but I not only can, but emphatically will.)

I doubt that anybody is wondering who won this week’s round of Miami’s Worst Boyfriend. It was Rafael. Rafael sucked. He made Jane awkwardly lean against a wall by herself, he made her ditch Easter dinner with her family, and then he made her cry. Rooting for Rafael is like rooting for Lindsay Lohan at this point. Yeah, you’re sure there’s the making of greatness buried in there somewhere, but who can see it amidst all the tawdry shenanigans?

I also doubt that Rafael is even a little bit aware of what an idiot he is being. Look, dude, I get it. It’s hard having a dead billionaire father and a mysterious, but ultimately terrible mother. But I’ve already seen Gossip Girl, and the world does not need another Chuck Bass. Besides, Chuck’s scarf would never go with all the pastels Rafael rocks on the daily!

I doubt Xo is going to be able to get away with the emotional kiss she shared with her ex-squeeze Marco (who will always be Marissa’s hot landscaper boyfriend from Season 2 of The O.C. in my heart), which is too bad, because Rogelio totally came through in the end. There’s a pretty obvious parallel between Rogelio and Rafael going on here, and I think that the difference is that while they both say stupid, hurtful things, Rafael clings to his nastiness and makes it an indelible part of him, while Rogelio is able to apologize and let things go.

And I do not doubt that it’s a testament to Jane the Virgin‘s storytelling abilities that I even can think nuanced thoughts about Rogelio, considering what a larger-than-life character he can be. Rogelio has always been endearing and hilarious, but recently, we’ve also seen him possess unexpected depths. I admittedly wondered if it would be pulled off effectively, and now Alba’s voice is ringing in my head. You can poke holes in anything. Faith is what matters. Have faith in the CW telenovelas that you love.

(On the other hand, what do you know, Alba? You asked out a priest! I’m just kidding. That was amazing. Get it, girl.)

I never, ever doubted Petra. Not even a little. That woman watched the Berlin Wall fall. She dated a Russian mobster who would go on to throw acid at her mother’s face. She knows how to get a fake passport and throw a killer pool party. What I’m saying is, Petra has seen some pretty wacky shit. If she thinks that the boho twin of her ex-husband’s old college roommate is actually her lover who was recently impaled on a fish-shaped ice sculpture, then dammit, I’m on board.

And as it turns out, she was right, leaving me with fewer doubts than questions. Where is Roman taking Petra? To Sin Rostro? To Palm Springs? Over a cliff, Thelma and Louise style? Will Michael figure things out? He can’t even figure out that the girl he is seeing is three seconds away from buying Jane a rabbit so that she can boil it, so who even knows?

I guess I’ll have to wait a week to find out! “Chapter Nineteen” of Jane the Virgin airs Monday, April 20 at 9 p.m. (Canadians can catch new episodes on Shomi!)

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