Jane the Virgin s1 ep 18

With a couple of shows finishing, we’re moving Jane the Virgin up to weekly reviews for the rest of its season 1 run. This episode is primarily about the differences between the suitors of the younger Villanueva women. (We’ll put Father Edward aside for now, although if that revelation forces Alba to be less moralistic then all to the good.) Rogelio is visited by one of this week’s two manifestations of the mom-who-turns-up, who hates Xo because she thinks that Rogelio didn’t know about her pregnancy. Rogelio both adores and is terrified of his mother, so is torn between her and Xo, although promises to tell his mother the truth “on her deathbed”. Meantime Jane is worried that Rafael isn’t able to commit to being either a father or a partner, and wonders what the future will hold.

And perhaps not surprisingly it’s Rogelio, who underneath the bluster has a heart of gold, who steps up: he tells his mother that he knew about Xo’s baby, then chases her away when she continues to savage Xo. Rafael, on the other hand, is less than supportive when it looks as if Jane might have sabotaged his chances of getting the hotel’s liquor licence back, then spends more and more time on his BlackBerry. It all culminates in him splitting up with Jane, who is grief-stricken. Well, I’m not: I’ve been hashtag Team Michael, to quote Rogelio from a couple of weeks ago, for ages now, and I wish him well with that stalky ex of his.

Rafael’s mom is the other turner-upper of the week, and I’m guessing that the throwaway line about how Raf has a half-brother won’t go to waste, nor would I be amazed – this being Jane the Virgin – were it to be someone we’ve already seen. And Petra has been kidnapped by Aaron, now more or less confirmed to be Roman.

As ever, in an episode which perhaps doesn’t spark quite as well as this show normally does, Rogelio has all the best lines: “Who cares if your eggs are too old!” he bellows enthusiastically to Xo when the topic of parenthood comes up. “We’ll buy fresh ones! Combine my DNA with anyone and the child will be extraordinary!” Not to mention the perm/abortion one. And Jaime Camil’s gift for physical comedy is as acute as his gift for the verbal kind: his walk away from the camera on being told by his mother to straighten up is a wonderful little moment.

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