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Jane the Virgin - Chapter 23 - Review

Jane the Virgin returned with “Chapter Twenty-Three” written by Jennie Snyder Urman and directed by Brad Silberling. The show continues to blend a winning combination of humor and heartwarming characters with magic realism and telenovela style. It was great to see how many elements from the first season returned and to see all of the echoes from the first season. Great acting and terrific, careful writing are really what set this show apart and make it so worthy of awards.

Our narrator, Anthony Mendez is just as adorable – and helpful! – as always. The episode begins with a flashback to young Jane (Jenna Ortega) worrying about all the ups and downs of the telenovela they are about to watch. Xo (Andrea Navedo) tells her not to watch then. Alba (Ivonne Coll) assures her there will be a happy ending. It’s a nice little metaphor for life and relationships. There will be ups and downs, but your only other choice is not to participate. Ortega is wonderful at expressing so much and having it resonate so well with Gina Rodriguez’s Jane.

It seems that Jane is not going to have an easy answer in her relationship dilemma as both Rafael (Justin Baldoni) and Michael (Brett Dier) both remain viable choices. I’m glad I’m not Jane because it would be a terrible choice to have to make!

Jane is just starting to freak out over Mateo’s kidnapping and is wishing for a theme song to tell her everything is going to be ok, when her song plays in the form of Michael’s call. He tells her immediately exactly what she wants to hear – he knows who has Mateo and how to get him back. Of course, Michael risks his entire career to get the baby back. He didn’t have to steal evidence out of the police lock up because Luisa (Yara Martinez) has already done that.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Luisa who can’t ever seem to get anything right. Juicy (Vanessa Vander Pluym) sees her with the pin and freaks out, which leads to Luisa ruining the meeting with the bankers. Then, in trying to make that right, she tells Petra (Yael Grobglas) that Rafael still has feelings for her. That in turn is the thing that convinces Petra to use Rafael’s stolen sperm. So Luisa is going to be responsible for both of Rafael’s ‘unexpected’ children!

I loved that Jane insisted that she was coming with Rafael and Michael to get Mateo. She is fierce! In fact, Rodriguez proves once again in this episode why she deserved that Golden Globe – she runs through almost every possible emotion. By the time the three get to Luisa, the pin has ended up in the pool. And once again, Rafael ends up in the pool too – only this time with Michael! It was one of those nice touches back to the first season. It’s Jane who finds the pin, telling the guys, “Hurry up and get out of the pool!”

It’s a nice moment when we see Alba praying at home and then Jane praying in the car as Michael goes into the church to retrieve Mateo. In fact, there’s a lot of religious significance in this episode – but I’ll get to that. It’s Nadine (Azie Tesfai) waiting to make the trade. As she tells Michael, Sin Rostro makes it so you can’t say no. She taunts him with what’s on the chip inside the dragonfly brooch – all the faces – before and after – of the criminals Sin Rostro changed. Michael still insists on the trade – proving as Sin Rostro told Nadine that Michael still loves Jane. In order to make the trade and keep it secret, Michael had to turn the tracker off of Nadine’s phone, and this is what’s going to come back to bite him with his boss who questions Michael about the tracker going dead the next day.

We next see Mateo at his first doctor’s appointment. Jane tells Dr Garcia (Ana Dela Cruz) that Mateo had been gone for 142 minutes. And then, the best part, the Narrator jumps in to tell us that Jane would remind Mateo of that fact when he was 2 hours late getting home at 16! When Mateo is weighed, he’s lost some weight since being born. This is absolutely normal for babies in my experience. Regardless, the Dr points out that it’s likely that Jane’s milk hasn’t come in yet and that it is normal. Rafael is not a lot of help because he missed lactation class remember.

The Villanueva women finally get to go home. Xo cuddles Jane to comfort her while Alba rocks Mateo. Peace reigns for minutes until…. The paparazzi descend on the house! Rogelio (Jaime Camil) in an effort to be helpful tweeted out the Amber Alert for Mateo and it then when hashtag-crazy, leading everyone to the website about Jane being a pregnant virgin that Rogelio’s twins, Valeria (Vanessa Merrell) and Victoria (Veronica Merrell) created. When they arrive, they’re simply excited that three of Jane’s hashtags are trending.

The people who show up – including Sister Margaret (Leslie Simms) – are holding signs about Holy Jane and Mateo as the second coming! Their evidence, aside from Jane’s virgin pregnancy, is that she arrived on the 1-25 busline (Christmas?) and was accompanied by Gabrielle (Nicole J Butler) – or Gabriel. And I’ll admit, I was just a little slow to pick up on this, but while we’re talking about archangels, Rafael and Michael are archangels too! Finally, one of the couples, who couldn’t get pregnant, that Jane hugged are now expecting!

Meanwhile, Michael tries to help with crowd control. Rafael also asks Michael for advice on how to handle the Villaneuva women! The Narrator hilariously translates what Michael is really thinking as he answers Rafael’s questions. Naturally, Michael, being a good guy, answers with good advice. He tells him to jump in when everyone else is stumped.

Jane continues to struggle with breast-feeding. There’s a very touching scene in which she is clearly exhausted but insists she has to do this one good thing for her baby. She is feeling incredibly guilty for having let Mateo go with the woman disguised as a nurse. Xo comforts her, pointing out she couldn’t have known. Jane is even more stressed that the trauma of losing Mateo is now preventing her milk from coming in. I loved them having to stuff her breast into the baby’s mouth like a hamburger! Hilarious to watch how serious they all were! Jane continues to be more exhausted because the baby wants to nurse every 15 minutes. And this is Rafael’s chance to jump in and explain cluster feeding!

Rogelio is also having problems figuring out where he fits in, and once again, it’s Michael to the rescue! I was thrilled to see the continuation of their bro-mance! Michael gets Rogelio to stop tweeting and doing something more hands on, more grandfath…. Of course, Rogelio would not let himself be called a grandfather! I’m pretty sure I called this last season! He’s settled on Papa, however, which he thinks is more ambiguous.

While Rafael gets the adorable family fist bump, Michael and Rogelio look on crestfallen. However, when the baby needs to be changed, Rogelio – somewhat surprisingly – jumps in to help. Rafael also steps up and thanks Michael for his advice, right in front of Jane. The somewhat awkward moment is broken up by a picture coming in on Rogelio’s phone. One of the women at lactating class has posted a picture of Mateo. That’s it for Jane and she confronts the crowd. She is struck by “divine” inspiration – and a flash of light from Slutty Crystal’s (Kelly King) compact. She tells Sister Margaret that she’s had lots of sex. Most importantly, however, Jane’s milk suddenly comes pouring in!

Meanwhile, Petra has been obsessing over Rafael’s sperm. I loved the use of arrows in the episode. We see one indicating Rafael’s sperm and the other pumping at the lactations coach. I also loved that Petra’s “beer-goggles” had her seeing Rafael morphed with his sperm container! So clever! As was the line, “the girl’s got spunk” as she’s holding the sperm container. What’s even more clever is the way the show humanized Petra through the flashbacks to when she was pregnant. It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for her. Thanks to Luisa’s push, she decides to go for it with a turkey baster… The twist is that Scott (Wes Armstrong) knows she stole the sperm!

Jane invites Rafael to stay at the house with the baby. Meanwhile, Jane texts Michael, and when she asks where he is, he says at home, but she knows better, going outside where he’s watching the house. She thanks him for everything – and look what he’s done in this episode! Saved Mateo, likely at the cost of his career, counselled Rafael and Rogelio, who are both clueless, and managed the crowd! Jane makes sure to tell Michael that Rafael is only staying as the baby’s father. Of course, when Jane heads back in, she’s greeted by a shirtless Rafael who is going to use skin-to-skin contact to bond with his son.

The Narrator almost lets us go…. and then puts in a last scene! I felt like I was watching a Marvel movie! There’s a mysterious woman (Christiane Georgi) who we only see from behind and her bald henchman. She says to him, “Let’s go after her.” Who is that and who is her?!?! Another mystery!

The second season of Jane is off to a great start. I’m still no closer to choosing between Michael and Rafael. Xo does come clean about the wedding to Alba and Jane, but will she go through with the annulment? Is Petra pregnant? What does Scott want? What did you think of the episode? What was your favorite scene or moment? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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