One of the things that Jane the Virgin does better than any series on television is how it seamlessly integrates the faith of its characters into the fabric of the show in a way that allows them the comfort of their beliefs while still recognizing the realities of life.
“Chapter Eighteen” opens with a flashback to an Easter from Jane’s childhood during which, thanks to her naturally curious nature, she starts to question some of Catholicism’s fundamental beliefs. Alba, always the most devout of the Villanueva women, takes young Jane’s questions in stride, to a point. Eventually, she stops Jane’s questions and tells her that the faith is all about the banishment of doubt, instructing her not to let her head get in the way of her heart. At this point, I was concerned about where the episode was headed, but I needn’t have worried.
Easter, as it turns out, is a big deal in the Villanueva family, and preparations are already being made for this year’s celebration. However, as things unfold, it becomes clear that Rafael is just as distracted by the business as he’s ever been, which doesn’t assuage Jane’s fears that she’ll end up raising their baby all alone. When she expresses her doubts to Alba and Xiomara, they both admonish her to not let her unease ruin her relationship, telling her that viewing her future through a worry-tainted lens will doom her relationship, no matter what her hopes are. As well-meaning as the advice is, it seems to run counter to the reality that you can’t just hope that things will get better and that issues will take care of themselves. In the real world, faith, like love, isn’t always enough.
And that’s exactly what Jane realizes in the final scene, when a moody, drunken Rafael tells her that he suspects that maybe he’s more like his father than he felt comfortable admitting before and doesn’t see what’s wrong with that. Rafael wants to provide a stable foundation for their child through money, and Jane wants to provide a stable foundation for their child through strong family relationships, and for all of the other ways the two are different, this may be what ultimately dooms the pair. When all is said and done, Rafael informs Jane that they have enough on their plates just trying to be good parents, maybe they don’t need to worry about a relationship on top of all that; and the two separate, suggesting that faith may have no place for doubt, but love sure does.
Alba drops hints hoping that her rehabilitation crush will ask her out on a date, to no avail. After an agreement with Xo, she decides to ask him out instead, an offer he accepts, only to find out from Jane afterward that he’s a priest.
Xo and Rogelio deal with a visit from his mother (played by Rita Moreno), who still holds a grudge against Xo from the past. Though everyone thinks it’s because she caught the pair “doing it” back in the early ’90s, it’s actually because she thinks that Xiomara never told Rogelio about her pregnancy. Xo forces Ro to come clean about keeping her pregnancy from his mother, and eventually, all is forgiven. However, she goes on to tell the two that they’re too alike to be in a relationship, and Xo ends up fleeing the house and going to a bar. While there, she runs into the soccer dad she dated earlier in the season, and the two share a fleeting, ill-advised kiss. Upon returning home, Rogelio informs her that he took his mother to the airport for being so rude before declaring his love for Xiomara. She declines to tell him about the kiss.
Rafael is working hard to get the hotel’s liquor license back after last week’s party got busted by the police. To do so, he’s trying to sweet-talk the city commissioner, whose husband is an old family friend. Unfortunately, before he gets a chance to make his case, Jane gets into an inadvertent altercation with the commissioner, ruining the hotel’s chances at a quick resolution to the license issue. To fix it, Jane must skip Easter with her family and smooth things over with the commissioner, something she does once the two bond over the woman’s strained marriage.
At the same time, Rafael gets word from his private investigator that they’ve located an email address for his long lost mother. He writes to her, and she shows up without notice to the hotel. The two talk, and he finds out that his father paid his mother $10 million to leave his life and she took it, leaving him feeling understandably betrayed that she found his childhood disposable.
Meanwhile, Petra is anxious to prove that Aaron is actually Roman, and breaks into his hotel room in an attempt to obtain proof. She’s successful in getting a fingerprint sample to Michael, but gets outside confirmation of her suspicions when Roman kidnaps her for figuring out his deception.
Michael continues seeing Andie, unaware of her manipulations of Jane. He admits to Jane that he feels happy for the first time since they broke up, and she can’t bring herself to tell him the truth about his situation.
Rafael breaks up with Jane!
How great is Rita Moreno as Rogelio’s mom?
How long will it be before we meet Rafael’s half-brother?
Can priests really date?