Hello, friends! Jane is just the best show. Let's talk about that cliff they hung us off last week for the whole long winter break.
THIS WEEK'S MVP(arent)
Figuratively, the Mother Superior did the best parenting this chapter, imo, being so forthright with Rafael about the truth of his past.
Literally, Rafael did the best parenting, taking Mateo's reality into consideration when Jane got too focused on her own relationship with the church and projected them onto Mateo.
Collectively, I could not be more into the easygoing three-way parenting dynamic that is the New Normal for Jane, Michael, and Raf. They have breakfast all together! They go to mass together! Michael and Raf are working in concert, not discord! Ugh, love it.
BEST TELENOVELA TWIST
Rafael being a stolen orphan and fake Solano, for sure, especially in anticipation of the many ways in which it might change his relationship with Luisa.
(I honestly do.not.care about Catalina's sugar daddy in any way, at all.)
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT
I know that all these increasingly blatant product placements aren't in dialogue with me personally, but I am sure happy pretending they are.*
*This message brought to you by POST's Honey Bunches of Oats. Start your day off right!
PREVIOUSLY ON JANE THE VIRGIN
Jane and Michael are married; Raf is over Jane; they are all happily co-parenting together—Raf especially, as he now feels free to parent based on his own gut, without worrying about whether or not his opinions will upset Jane's locomotive-engine plans. Xo opened a dance studio in the same strip mall as the law office of her worst ex, with whom she has resumed a secret affair (though at least now he isn't also married). Rogelio, slated to launch his crossover career with a full frontal Big American Film role in the near future, has decided to pursue having a baby all on his own, Xo or no Xo. Alba and Jane are slowly regaining their close relationship, which cracked under the pressure of Jane reaching out to one of her long lost Venezuelan cousins against Alba's express wishes. Said cousin, Catalina Maria Mora, surprised Jane and Michael on their stoop on an overnight layover…and never left. AND started a fling with Rafael. Rafael and Michael (still technically on medical leave after being SHOT in the CHEST), meanwhile, continued their investigation into Raf's murdered crimelord mother's final secret message, and have gotten as far as deciphering the verses highlighted in her Bible. What are they? A bank account! Dun dun DUNNNNNNN.
…to two weeks ago, when Catalina showed up on Jane and Michael's stoop, bringing one of Jane's lifelong dreams to life. Family! Jane has FAMILY!!
Turns out, family is a real pain in the derriere. Cat is so loud, she is constantly waking Matelio up. She keeps staying longer than she promises. She's eating Matelio's teething biscuits. And she will not shut up about every fabulous person she knows, and every fabulous party or yacht or gala or ball she knows them from.
Jane, back in the present, promises Michael that the end is in sight—as in, she literally SAW Catalina book a plane ticket for four days in the future. But five days later, Cat's still there.
"I don't know how you stand her!" Rogelio exclaims in support. "The other day I was telling Gloria Estefan what a shameless name-dropper Catalina is." Uh huh. Did he also tell Oprah? "No, just Gayle. And by the way, HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS is not only Tiago's new favorite cereal, but MINE AS WELL."
Subtlety is overrated.
Si non tù, quien?
In walks Alba, dressed to the Catholic nines, ready to lay a heavy dose of guilt on Jane's head over a) her recent lack of personal attendance to mass, and b) her shirking of religious responsibility w/r/t Matelio's everlasting soul. NBD, Jane. It's only eternal damnation at stake!
Speaking of eternal damnation, breakfasting with her three men (hi, Raf in Jane's kitchen!) back at home, coffee talk turns to murder…Mutter's murder. And the mysterious bliblical bank account number she left for Raf to find. Turns out it links to a convent in Italy, which has been receiving $10,000 a month from Mutter since 1984. "Why, that sounds like—" Raf starts in a Hitchcockian drawl, the scene suddenly turned black and white and dramatic in Jane's Hitchcock-fueled daydream (she's been bingeing for her writing group). "—a BRA-IBE!" Michael finishes. "Or…BLACKMAIL! We'll just have to see what those, those, those, those…crooked nuns turn up."
"Wait just a minute!" Jane purrs, leaping in, hair in shiny pin rolls, lips bright red, chef's knife brandished in between their faces. "You can't assume ALL nuns are evil!" For real, though: they can't. Which, speaking of NUNS: Jane brings her newly strengthened Catholic guilt up. She wants to take Mateo on Sunday mornings in perpetuity, so he can start going to church with her. Doesn't she think that her teething toddler is maybe a little too young for that? Raf asks, testing out his still-new "I don't care if me disagreeing upsets Jane" sea legs. "And besides, I don't want him to be super religious."
But NOPE. She learned how to handle it when she was a tot; Matelio can do the same. And besides, church is SO important to her.
"Not that important," Michael chuckles from the table. "I mean, we haven't even gone since the wedding."
Anyway, that's a NO on weekly church. "Thank God," Raf deadpans.
Big Screen Worthy
Over in Rogelio-land, Ro is trying his damnedest to get the most beautiful skin-deep beauty he can for his future baby mama, setting himself up with Darci the celeb matchmaker. Well, setting her up to set HIM up (for now). His first date? Denise Richards! Unfortunately it goes terribly, as he can't stop talking about Xo and Jane throughout the entire meal.
His problem: Xo has started a relationship with Awful Bruce, and is keeping it a secret from Jane, due to how much baggage Bruce comes with/how much Jane hates him from forever. Ro is only in on the secret because he spied the two kissing outside her new studio, and while he promised Xo he wouldn't say anything to Jane, he is constitutionally unable to keep things inside. This is not a man repressed! Denise Richards suggests he tell Jane everything, but that's about all the good that comes from their date.
"You're out!" Darci shouts at him from her treadmill desk the next day. "You broke my no exes talk rule!" And Ro really would be out, but for the fact that he happens to learn that the restaurant she'd had reserved for the mixer that night (which she uninvited him to) canceled on her, and wouldn't you know it, Rafael is such a close, personal friend of Raf's now that he's sure he can get the Marbella ("MarBEYa") for the night. He is; he does. Darci invites him back—on the condition he behaves.
Rogleio does not behave. Not one single celebrity lady is good enough for him. He's not feeling it with Carmen Elektra. He's not feeling it with Brooke Burke-Charvet. He's not feeling it with Xo.
Yep! Xo crashed the mixer, because YEP, Rogelio told Jane about Bruce. And YEP, he still is hung up on her, even if he wasn't able to admit it even to himself. It's hard watching her move on, especially when he isn't sure he will ever find for himself someone with whom he'll have the same spark as he did with Xo.
Ultimately, he comes clean with Darci that dating isn't where he genuinely is right now (which is lucky, since she kicked him out of the club): he just wants a baby. Being Jane's dad has been his life's greatest joy, and his only regret is that he didn't get to do it from the beginning. Flash forward a few days and Darci has come to a conclusion of her own: the two of them should be baby parents together. No relationship necessary; they're just a good match.
Sounds weird to almost everyone else in our world and Jane's, but Ro? He's in!
Ultimately, both Rafael and Michael agreed to humor Jane and give ONE Sunday mass with Matelio a shot. Obviously, it goes very poorly—and not just because Matelio is *definitely* too young to be in mass. When Raf takes him out to the narthex to calm his fussing, he (Raf) catches sight of an icon at the end of the hall, and he is sent into a Vertigo-induced trance.
Long-hidden traumatic memories of himself as a small, tearful child being taken by the hand by his young mother in a dark church wash over him, and he is forced to stay with Matelio outside until the service is over. After Jane and Michael find him, they make their next Mutter-related breakthrough, which induces Raf to take them to his secret climate-controlled storage container full of art that totally looks stolen.
It's totally stolen, and Michael's got the receipts. And while Raf hadn't know that was true for certain, he definitely didn't know it was NOT true, and, in fact, moved some money around (or something…I honestly didn't pay attention any of the times I watched this scene) to keep his dad's reputation from possibly being blackened.
This puts Michael in a bind, as Raf asks him not to say anything to his superiors until they know more about what's going on. In the meantime, he has a second baby!Raf memory, and sees a bust of a veilied virgin. That bust is in a convent right in Miami, and Jane volunteers to go with Raf on a "tour" to help him stake the place out and try to get some real answers. The nun who should have them? The Mother Superior, and Raf sneaks into her office to rifle through drawers while Jane keeps her held up asking question after question inside the sanctuary.
At least, Jane thinks she's holding up the Mother Superior. She's not; she's just talking to a regular old aged nun (the real Mother Superior is in the middle of catching Jane in the act), but it turns out to be worth it, as in the middle of her fake questions, Jane hits a real one—how young is too young for church? As the nun engages Jane about her feelings towards the church, Jane comes to a sudden realization: she hasn't been too busy for church. She's been too mad at God. Michael was shot. In the chest. How is that fair or just? How could her God let that happen??
It's a rough realization! But a relationship with God, the nun reminds Jane, is not any different than any other relationship in life: it takes work, and isn't always going to run smoothly. You just have to commit to putting in the work. And so Jane comes to a conclusion, that she will accede to Raf and Michael and give Mateo a few years before starting him on the religious track. For now, she is going to commit to putting in the work on her own relationship with God.
One Bad Mother
So what was it that the Mother Superior had to come clean on with Raf? Oh, just the tiny matter of his DNA belonging to some entirely different Italian family. He's a secret orphan! Adopted under the table from an orphanage in Italy after his "mother" lost her real Solano baby. The Mother Superior tried to wash her hands of her ties with Mutter (I think she had been laundering money with stolen art? or something? MONEY CRIMES MAKE ME GO DEAF), but Raf's mom refused to ever stop the payments.
Anyway, Rafael has his real birth certificate now. And he's done some thinking, and has decided two things: to come clean to the cops about the stolen art he kind of accidentally covered up, and to tell Jane about his new reality.
Finally, Catalina, who is so much more irritating and so much less lovable than Petra, who was sorely missing this week. She promised to get out of Jane's hair by way of a board of directors gala in New York, but then just ended up moving over to a suite Raf set up for her at the Marbella. Jane, high on Hitchcock, thinks this is suspicious, especially when she sees a bag full of cash and jewels. Catalina has a story for both—the board has so many directors that one won't be missed, and American ATMs can't be trusted (the jewels are family heirlooms she's going to auction to bring back funds to help the poor in Venezuela). Jane feels real guilty for being so suspicious, but then woudn't you know it, an old sugar daddy shows up on Catalina's proverbia stoop.
Yawn. Wake me when Petra's back.
Which won't be until January 23! Ah, well. I'll just have to stalk Brett Dier's IG for bts bromance vids with Jaime and Justin until then.