Title: Jane the Virgin S1.E20 “Chapter Twenty”
Released: 2015
Series:  Jane the Virgin

Ughhhh I do NOT have the constitution for traditional finale-build-up drama on shows I love that don’t also have significant failings in execution/logic that can temper my emotional attachment. Which is to say, Jane the Virgin is flawless. And I hate it.


Jane, baby. Jane. 

It ain’t pretty, and she’s not above making mistakes (see the blanket fire that caught Alba’s attention and prompted this minor breakdown), but she she is stepping up the best way she knows how.


El Presidente’s victorious (if amnesiac) return from the dead on The Passions of Santos—i.e., the ACTUAL twist in the telenovela-within-a-telenovela. 

If I could stomach ever standing in line at the MD MVA ever again, I’d go in to get a new license under the name, “The Recapper”


Grilled Cheese sandwiches, the ultimate emotional salve.

Runner-up: Obsessive (and rich) (and criminal) ex-boyfriends. They’ll do ANYTHING to impress you.


Jane was accidentally artificially inseminated with the “sample” of her boss Rafael, by none other than Raf’s sister Luisa, who was secretly sleeping with none other than their stepmother Rose, who was herself secretly none other than the mysterious underground crime lord Sin Rostro, who murdered a billion people at Rafael’s failing Miami hotel (including their father) then went on the run, followed (and maybe joined) soon after by Luisa. The only person on Sin Rostro’s case is none other than Jane’s ex-fiancé, Michael (“only” because his detective partner had to cut and run after turning out to be on none other than Sin Rostro’s blackmail roll). Jane and Rafael at least managed to squeeze the breeziest whirlwind romance from this mess, only all of the turmoil in Raf’s life (his hotel failing, his father being murdered by his stepmother, his sister disappearing, his MIA mom reappearing to explain that she abandoned him at age 4 for a $10mil payout) sent him spiraling into such a dark place that he broke up with Jane to keep from dragging her down with him. Also broken up are the dream diva duo #XoRo, Jane’s parents, who were in their own whirlwind romance until telenovela star Rogelio learned that Xiomara kissed an ex while waiting for Ro to decide to say he loved her.

Meanwhile, Rafael’s ex is still hanging around the Marbella making trouble because a) HER ex bought her a 33% share in the hotel (even after she and her mother, Magda, held his lackey, Ivan, hostage for weeks), b) Luisa left Petra in temporary control of her own 33% share, and c) Petra is still in love with Rafael and waiting for her moment to strike. Also meanwhile, Magda was secretly not as paralyzed as she had been pretending for years, which secret she went to such lengths to keep that she ended up PUSHING ALBA DOWN A BILLION STAIRS. Which fact Alba forgot thanks to a convenient bout of insomnia. But then she saw Magda returning to Petra’s side (after Petra stabbed a man in the gut for trying to keep her out of the Marbella’s AC for more than an hour) and now all the memories are flooding back…


The Passions of Jane Gloriana Villanueva

Baby!Jane was introduced to the wonders of telenovelas in 2000, but no degree of familiarity with the melodramatic twists and tropes of the genre has yet given her the ability to react to the melodramatic twists in her own life with any level of jadedness. Thus, when Alba’s amnesia shatters and the memories of that fateful awards show night lo so many months ago come flooding back, Jane is on the edge of her seat. “You HAVE to go to the police!” she exclaims after Alba recounts every moment of the night in impressive detail. “Absolutely NOT” Alba responds all the way home.

Why? Well, for one, Alba isn’t exactly in the country legally, so she’d rather not get more involved with the police than she has to, muchos mucho sgracias. “But this is a CRIME!” Jane tries insisting. But nope, because for two, Alba is fine now, no real harm done. She just wants to move on. “And do NOT tell your mother,” she enjoins before Jane can protest. “You know how dramatic and impulsive she can be.”

Just then, their argument is interrupted by Xiomara storming dramatically through the back door, looking like Spencer Hastings turned up past diez. “He wants to be a big baby, FINE. TWO can play at that game!” she declares, impulsively.

Who’s the big baby? Rogelio, of course, who broke up with her after she told him about kissing Marco (“Don’t say anything, Ma!!”). Jane doesn’t know if it will make Xo feel better, but, well…Rafael broke up with her, too. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t make Xo feel better. It just makes her cry, which makes Jane cry, which makes ME cry. They at least get Alba’s hot and buttery grilled cheese to assuage their emotions. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with nothing but this gross pile of telenovela tissues. Awesome.

Am I Secretly Eastern European

…because the absolutely REAL thing I have next to me for comfort is a jar of pickles, which I am eating like I’m a regular Petra Solano. 

“I always knew you come back to me,” Magda says smugly, sitting down across from Petra in her suite in the Marbella and trying to feed sliced up Czech pickles to her like she’s a toddler. “A girl needs her matka.”

Welcome back, you wonderful monster

Not so fast, Magda—Petra just didn’t want to be alone after (probably, according to most of you last week, although I still contend that is a WASTE of a character return) killing a man. And she wasn’t about to call Milos, so. Lesser of two evils and all. And if Magda REALLY wants to prove to Petra she has changed and has Petra’s best interests at heart, she will do whatever she can to help Petra keep control of the Marbella AND win back Rafael, with whom Petra is still in love and whose break from Jane has left a sudden opening.

And thank god for all our entertainment’s sake, anything will come to mean so very, very much. 


Speaking of doing anything to remain a household celebrity name, Rogelio has been reduced to nothing but a floating detective’s head on Pasión Intergaláctica. And all for the sake of that no good, lying, kissing-other-men Xiomara! UGH. Only, not so ugh, because who comes knocking at his door but that no good, lying, kissing-his-personal-assistant Passions of Santos head writer, DIna, bearing a tray of Santos cupcakes and the promise of a juicy back-from-the-dead storyline and sexy reappearance from the ocean AND an executive producer’s credit if Rogelio returns to rescue Santos‘ plummeting ratings.

Now, FYA alumna/current Nickelodeon k-drama recapper Alix and I are SUPER BUMMED not to have the prospect of even more absurd Pasión Intergaláctica scenes for future episodes, but we mean, if Rogelio’s space detective career has to go out, at least it is going out in a green-spandex BANG.

Breech, baby

Okay, so Rogelio’s prospects have skyrocketed. Jane’s and Rafael’s…not so much. Not 17 hours after their second and final breakup (you know, the one where Rafael lied and declared that he didn’t love Jane) they have to attend a sonogram together. And, save for Raf still trying to apologize to Jane rather than let her stew in her own silence and anger and hurt for a dang second, things look good. Baby’s measurements are in the 60-70th percentiles, and even though it is currently breech, that’s not necessarily a problem.

“Breech?” Rafael asks in the tone we have all used in one moment of academic unpreparedness or another—trying to sound super present and educated and ready to learn more, not realizing that the question you are asking actually proves how monstrously ill-prepared you actually are.

“He didn’t read the book,” Jane explains to the doctor, her anger rising to the 99th percentile. “I only asked him THREE TIMES.”

Anyway, breech means baby is upside down, so can’t be delivered naturally. Most babies turn themselves, though, the doctor (who btw is not the trusty doc Jane had do the amniocentesis so many months ago) explains, so they will just check in again in two weeks.

And then two weeks pass! The magic of television.

Again, baby is in totally average percentiles for size and weight. Unfortunately, it is still breech, and the bigger it is, the harder it will be to turn around. Jane asks what she can do to help get the baby turned on its own—she wants to avoid a C-section (Lena’s fearmongering about virginity be damned) and aversion, which she turns to explain to Raf. Only, he beats her to it. He knows what it is (anger quotient: 39th percentile) because after she reminded him about breech, he did a lot of reading (anger quotient 33rd percentile). Man, Raf. You’re making things hard for everyone, being better and also worse like this.

So the doc gives Jane some at-home techniques to try. Raf offers any help he can, but Jane shuts that down before even looking at the doctor’s list. She’s only in the 80th percentile for willingness to peaceably co-parent with him, and doesn’t want him anywhere near her while she’s trying to, say, elephant walk. She can do goofy business on her own, with only minimal side-eyeing from Xiomara. And Raf? Well…he can go save his hotel, she doesn’t say in so many words.

Like Santos before her, Luisa is back…and ready to save the Marbella’s asse(t)s

But he DOES need to save his hotel. And with Luisa and her vote MIA and Milos and HIS vote MIA and Lachlan buried under paperwork and Solano, Sr. buried under cement (RIP), it’s just Raf and Petra left to figure out the best step forward out of Spring Break-induced debt. Petra’s vote? A timeshare. Raf’s vote? Another loan. A timeshare would rebrand the hotel, which Raf and his father’s legacy obviously don’t want; a loan is yet one more risky financial move, which Petra obviously doesn’t want. 

And then from stage left, a wild Luisa appears!

And she has SO MUCH to share. Like, for example, that she did not let Rose’s fireworks sex appeal make Luisa forget that Rose is a murderer who killed their father. So NO Luisa did NOT run off with that psycho lady crimelord, thank you very much. She returned to her ashram in Peru, where she got over one woman by (to use Xo’s crude Chapter One parlance) getting under another. That other? Juicy Jordan, a pro wrestler who helped Luisa realize that she needed to jump back in the family business ring, as it were, and come back to help Raf and Petra right the ship.

We’ll have to forgive those two for looking unconvinced. But, as Luisa reminds us, she has an IQ of 152 and basically made it through med school drunk. She’ll figure something out. She is the deciding vote in their timeshare vs. loan debate, after all. And so she sends Raf and Petra off to build their best suck-up pitches, while she comes up with a short-term windfall plan: a spectacle wrestling match between Juicy and her arch rival, Candy Crusher! Right in the Marbella lounge! 

And that brings us to the real highlight of this episode: the amazingly stylized (and perfectly characterized) VS wrestling cards. The night’s first match-up? Petra’s alter ego THE COLD WARRIOR vs. Rafael’s alter ego THE HOT-ELIER. 

Neither wants the Marbella lounge to turn into a cheesy lady’s wrestling ring, but both know that whoever stands up against Luisa will risk losing her support in future votes. This, of course, works in smartypants Luisa’s favor (like she didn’t plan for it to? of course she did), as neither stands up to her and the Melee at the Marbella goes forward unimpeded.

Let the preparations begin!

Magda and Petra and Michael, oh my

Remember how Magda promised Petra she’d do ANYTHING to prove her loyalty? Well, that anything turned out to be working in the Marbella kitchens cleaning glassware, which fact Jane discovers at the start of her next shift. Jane is shocked to see Magda there, but Magda could have cared less about who Jane was back when she was wheelchair-bound, so has no idea why Jane is so aghast until Jane drops the bomb that she knows Magda tried to kill Alba by pushing her down the stairs. At that, Magda’s gaze turns canny. “Well if that were true, I’d be in jail. Now, bring these glasses to the bar. You’re on the clock.”

Jane is not about to let her grandmother’s almost-murderer just walk around what amounts to her hotel, however, and so on her way out the door after her shift confronts Petra. The long and short of it is, Jane wants Magda out. She is an almost-murderer who pushed Alba down the stairs, and she has got to go. This is news to Petra, but while she herself is generally a decent person (decent enough to not want to kill non-murderous grandmas, at least), she’s also down to just her mom as emotional support. And so while Jane races home to tell Alba the news—who in turn comes clean to Xo about her recovered memories, who in turn comes clean to Jane and Alba about how they really can go to the cops, because Michael was the one who secretly helped Magda before—Petra runs off to get her story straight with an absurdly cool-blooded Magda so they can be ready for Michael’s inevitable interrogation (“She saw our hostage—what was I going to do? Let the police take YOU to jail?” Magda offers, complicating the situation all the more).

“Why didn’t anyone tell me that Michael helped abuela before??” Jane demands, back at the Villanueva confab. Well, he didn’t want Jane to think he was doing it just to win her back. But just because he didn’t do it for some grand gesture of thanks, Jane is Jane, and rushes to the station to extend that gesture, in the form of an enormous, tearful, silent hug.

The genuine lack of entitlement and finally sighs on Michael’s part goes a long way in endearing him to me, I hate to admit. As does the doggedness with which he pursues the investigation, even after Petra and Magda prove their genetic link in their cold-blooded performances while in their respective hot seats. 

Unfortunately (or more honestly, fortunately), that warming I was feeling towards him cooled a few degrees after he shows up to the Marbella to update Jane on his progress, and, after a very promising admission to Jane that he IS genuinely sad for her and Raf’s break, as Raf is the father of her baby and Michael knows that things must be hard for Jane, smirks a dumb smirky smirk at a dejected-looking Raf watching them from across the lobby.

That HAT. Giving Aria’s porkpie PLL episode a run for its money, is what it’s doing.

Ugh, Michael. Ugh, Raf. Stop glorying in each other’s losses. It’s gross, no matter who is on the winning side.

Santos is back…and so are his PASSIONS

As Jane discovers when she goes to the Passions of Santos set to talk with Rogelio on Xiomara’s behalf, Dina was absolutely true to her word: Santos has a gloriously sexy wet-shirted, amnesiac beach resurrection scene, as well as a brand new leading man’s dressing room AND corner EP office. Jane isn’t there to gawk at his new digs, however, so just asks him to join her in the corner by the dungeon (sure! of course! why not! THIS SHOW).

“It’s about Mom,” she starts, “she’s just so sad!” What? Like Rogelio ISN’T?? But no, it’s no good. There is no such thing in Rogelio’s world as just a kiss, because just a kiss turns into sneaking out of hotels in the middle of the night to meet up with hip hop star lovers turns into divorce. His first wife (whose face in the tabloids is obscured, the better for future JtV shockers) did just this, it turns out. So Xiomara isn’t just dealing with her transgression, but with baggage. 

No matter how different a situation hers is from Lucia Leon’s, however, Xo allows that she was still in the wrong. But shouldn’t Rogelio at least TALK to her about it? Yes, says Jane, as she fields a breech update text from Rafael. “How did you get over him?” Xo wants to know, thinking that Jane actually has (I’m in denial, even if Jane isn’t). Well, once Jane learned that Rafael didn’t love her, it was easy. And that is Xo’s problem—she hasn’t gotten closure. Jane doesn’t want to be in the middle, but will at least go so far as to get the two in the same room as one another.


So the Marbella lounge is now a wrestling ring, and true to Luisa’s prognostication, the hotel is full and the drinks are flowing. Cash money, baby!

The real spectacle, though, is between our leading players. In one ring are THE COLD WARRIOR Petra and PREGNANT PUNISHER Jane, their many, many differences finally coming to a head as Jane finally breaks after realizing that Petra has not only let Magda keep her position on the Marbella staff, but has colluded with her to lie to the police about Alba’s fall. This is the fight we (and the VoG narrator) have been waiting for, and while it may all be in Jane’s head, it (and all the ATTENDANT puns) is glorious.

If only it had been real. Raf promises Jane that he will handle everything and sends her off to cool down. He tells Petra that Alba wouldn’t lie about a thing like that, especially at the risk of deportation, and Petra allows that that is probably true, but the fact remains that she is elderly. AND she was drunk. AND she sustained a head injury! And as far as Rafael—and the forged hospital records Milos provides for Michael to get his hands on later—is concerned, Magda was still wheelchair-bound back then. So as big a promise as he made to Jane (who isn’t even his girlfriend anymore, he FINALLY after TWO WEEKS reveals to Petra, whose own interest is buoyed at the news) about taking care of getting Magda gone (which he really does convince Petra, for the sake of his future baby’s health, to do), Jane knows she is going to have to figure things out on her own.

And she does, after watching the imaginary match going on in the other ring between MOMMY LONG LEGS Xiomara and DE LA VENGEANCE Rogelio, finally come face to face for the first time in weeks—the latter under the impression he is just there to see Jane/provide star power to the Melee.

Their face-off isn’t nearly as epic as Jane’s and Petra’s imagined one, but is at least just as useless. Xiomara expresses passionately how much she loves Rogelio, and while you can see the same is true for Rogelio in return, hers was an indiscretion he can’t forgive, and he knew seeing her would make it that much harder to say it. What else they might have said to each other is lost to coulda-been, though, as they are interrupted by some fan coming to take his picture. “Apparently I’m back to being quite a ‘get’ for the paparazzi,” he explains through a gritted grin.

And DING DING DING! The bells go off in Jane’s head, and she rushes to the break room to search through paparazzi photos of the Paloma after party in the hopes of finding Petra schmoozing in the lobby when she claimed on police record to have been in her room with Magda. No luck there, but YES luck in getting an exterior shot of Magda’s room, complete with Ivan the hostage’s profile in the window. 

What a break! Only, not so much, as Petra and Magda independently confirm that he was a private plumber they called to take care of the services Rafael turned off in their rooms. And that Ivan himself (!!!) confirms when Michael tracks HIM down later. Accomplished, of course, at the behest of Milos and his hair-trigger temper Ivan has no interest in pulling.

At least Rafael’s gambit (and Petra’s interest in making herself look good to Raf) worked, getting Magda out of the hotel regardless.

Brothers and Sisters

#XoRo may not have reunited, and Jane may not have succeeded in personally beating Petra or in getting Magda thrown in jail for attempted murder, but the Marbella did at least come out of the Melee financially ahead. See, Raf? What did your big sis tell you! And now maybe you can make melees a regular hotel tradition!

“STOP STOP STOP,” Raf explodes, having just left a voicemail for Jane in which he had to stop himself from saying I love you before hanging up, “we are NOT turning the Marbella into some kind of wrestling destination. 

That admission is not enough for Luisa, however, who can tell Rafael has a billion things on his mind, and who is g-d tired of him treating her like some screw-up kid. “I have an IQ of 152, remember?” she cajoles. Before this whole mess (AKA, her impregnating the wrong woman in a fit of emotional blindness and changing the trajectory of all their lives), the two Solano siblings were friends. They used to talk. That’s all she wants. Not to be coddled, not to be handled, but to be talked to. And not about business.

And so, Rafael comes clean to Luisa about EVERYTHING, and it is just so incredibly relieving to see these two talking like equals and being the mutually supporting siblings that we saw in episode 1. Hot Mess Luisa is super fun and all, but she has more than that one dimension. I’m happy to see the others come out. 

I’m also happy to see her come out with such sage advice. Yeah, she allows, maybe Rafael had to give something up to get back his sanity. But as far as Luisa is concerned, Rafael gave up the wrong thing. And she thinks that the greater part of the reason he picked the hotel over Jane was about Raf rejecting Jane before she could reject him. Because, for real, is Raf going to be happy with a successful hotel to hand down as a legacy to his kid, all WITHOUT Jane? His arguments that even if that was the case, he wants to get things settled at the hotel fall on deaf ears, too, because what is Jane going to do? Wait? “In real life, people don’t just wait for you,” Luisa says. And she for real knows.

Single Mom Jane

Which brings us back to Jane trying the final at-home baby turning technique—the first that actually would benefit from two people to effect it. But Jane is clever, and MacGyvers a device to hold the burning moss stick up off the blanket table as she props her feet up above the smoke. 

And promptly falls asleep, completely missing when her MacGyvered device failed and dropped the burning stick onto the very flammable blanket. Alba, thankfully, smells the smoke and comes rushing in from the other room to put out the fire. And to demand what Jane was thinking, not asking her for just a bit of help (Xo, apparently, while kicked out of Rogelio’s house, was not yet home for the night, as she had gone over to said house to tell Rogelio that she was giving up on trying to win him back, and that he should feel free to come back to the Villanueva house and be a part of Jane’s life whenever he wants). And this sets Jane off. She knew she could ask for help, but she also knew she needed to prove to herself that there were things—important things—she could accomplish all on her own, as a single mom, because that is what she is, and she was blindsided by it, and she just needs to get her bearings. And considering that in twenty episodes she has gone from engaged virgin to pregnant virgin with half-supportive fiancé to pregnant with totally supportive baby-daddy boyfriend to pregnant and single, she has every right to a few fumblings. 

(Also, PS? The baby totally turned in the middle of the night. Fist bump to the belly!)

She also has every right to the severe decision she makes the next morning, after being reminded by Michael to be careful around the Marbella—what with Sin Rostro still on the loose and Petra and Magda running around possibly pushing people down stairwells and Luisa back in town with who knows what crazy things accidentally up her sleeve—and being told by Raf that there’s no way he can force Petra out of the hotel as well as Magda: she’s quitting. 

What’s more, she’s never going back to the Marbella.

What’s more, she is filing to sole custody.

HARSH. But also, while this is a telenovela and all the twists are played up for maximum entertainment value and painted with a billion pastels, it’s still murder and drugs and criminals and unstable siblings and who, honestly, can argue that Jane isn’t right to be wary of raising a baby safely in that environment? 

Also, this is a threat that Jane obviously will not accomplish, be it stopped by her own change of heart or some newly dramatic external event. So, enjoy the thrill ride that is the few days between now and Chapter Twenty-One, but don’t lose any sleep over the prospect of Rafael never getting to have partial custody of his child, whatever else happens.

Now, we only have TWO EPISODES left in the season. And Jane is still supposed to be with someone surprising in the finale. Who will it be? (You should be able to re-vote if you already voted last week, so don’t let that stop you from weighing in.)

POLL: Who’s the “surprise” paramour promised to be with Jane in the finale?

  • Nicholas, Rogelio’s former assistant and backstabber 2.94% (3 votes)
  • Lachlan, who has never shared a scene with Jane that I can recall 3.92% (4 votes)
  • The mysterious VoG narrator—we’ve been promised he is real AND surprising! 23.53% (24 votes)
  • Jane’s bartender work pal Luca (the surprise is he’s into ladies, too) 2.94% (3 votes)
  • Scott the perennial Solano assistant (and terrible purveyor of “guy code”) 0.98% (1 votes)
  • Nick the security guard—he’s basically gotten as far with Jane as Raf has, after all 0.98% (1 votes)
  • Michael, I guess? He’s the obvious not-Raf choice, but is he so obvious that he’s actually NOT obvious?? 20.59% (21 votes)
  • Rafael. He really IS so obvious that he’s the not obvious choice. 27.45% (28 votes)
  • MICHAEL’S BROTHER!? 4.9% (5 votes)
  • Petra, declaring to help Jane raise Rafael’s child. 8.82% (9 votes)
  • Andie. 1.96% (2 votes)
  • The lawyer. 0.98% (1 votes)


Jane goes nuts with baby gear, and at her high school reunion.

About the Contributor:

Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. A Wyoming expat, she now lives in Maryland, where she runs the DC chapter of the FYA Book Club. She can be found talking about Teen TV on Twitter, and her longform criticism can be found on Authory.


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.