Posted in TV

Unpopular Opinion: Michael Sucks Now

So, we are four episodes into the fifth and final season of Jane the Virgin, and I have to say, Michael is making me so mad. Of course, he did turn out to have amnesia, which was what we predicted, and that wasn’t his fault. But, he is being an ass now that his memory is intact.

Allow me to explain: Jane is in a stable, loving relationship with the father of her son. He has recently taken a job to support them so that they can live together and she can write her novel. They are co-parenting their child effectively and maintaining a close familial connection with both Jane’s family and their extended family of Petra and the twins. Frankly, things are good. Jane has a good life, one that makes her happy. There is a future that she is excited about. She took three years to mourn her husband, and now she has her life back.

Then, Michael returns. First of all, he was kind of a dick when he was Jason, and now he’s back to himself, and still being awful. He’s being so selfish, trying to get Jane to be with him again when she has her life together and is happy. If he loves Jane, he shouldn’t be trying to disrupt her life. He knows Jane really well, and what does she want? Stability. Jane loves lists, and order, and Michael deciding to try to win her back brings her world crashing down in a big way. When he was going to leave without seeing her, he was doing the right thing, the selfless thing. He was going to allow Jane to make peace with their past and move on with the rest of her life. Then, he saw her and they had to talk it out. That’s fine- but he still should have left. It would be one thing if Jane and Raphael were just dating, or had feelings for each other- but they just moved in together! Raphael was about to propose to Jane, and she was going to say yes. They are committed to each other, and in a healthy way. Their relationship is good, and trying to break that up because he still loves her is peak selfish of Michael to do.

Jane is obviously not blameless in all of this- her conflict is understandable but still hard on everyone involved. What she needs is a therapist, and some patience. It is understandable that Rafael needs to take a step back, but heartbreaking. He has to protect himself, for his own emotional health. Asking Jane to move out is a huge step back, and how are they going to proceed? They haven’t technically broken up, but is that coming? If so, it probably won’t stick, but it was truly terrible thing to watch, and it helped Jane realize her new greatest nightmare, hurting her son and losing the man she loves. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for Jane to get her shit together and tell Rafael that he’s the one she wants to be with. It is possible that the middle of the season could see Jane single, because there’s no way she’s going to get back together with Michael. There has just been too much change for their lives to ever fit together again. Is he going to be a detective again? What’s going to happen to Bo?

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you are team Rafael or team Michael, as long as you’re team Jane. Jane will decide what she wants to do, and hopefully with minimal hurt on all sides. Breaking up with Rafael would cause the most structural damage to her relationships and life. This conflict has been set up to mirror the previous times Jane has had the choice between Rafael and Michael. The first time, when she broke her engagement to Michael because she’d fallen in love with Rafael. The second time she’s at a crossroads, she chooses Mateo over them both, in order to focus on herself and her new baby. The third time, she chooses Michael, and then soon after has to break up with him for Mateo’s safety. When Michael comes back into her life, they get back together, and get married. At that point, Rafael was still in love with Jane, but he knew that she was happy and wanted to marry Michael, so he respected her decision. He was tempted to tell her he loved her on her wedding day, fifty feet from the alter, and he kept his mouth shut. Why? Because he cared about her.

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Initially, when the whole story started, Michael and Jane had been together two years, and Jane and Rafael had kissed briefly in the past. Then, the whole artificial insemination thing happened, and everything went bananas. Michael was about to ask Jane to marry him, and she was about to say yes. Then, blast from the past, Rafael shows up.

Now, Jane and Raf are happy, and Michael, blast from the past, returns from the “dead.” They are about to get engaged, but are shocked by Michael resurfacing. In this case, it’s a resurrection, not a pregnancy, that disrupts Jane’s life. I feel certain that Jane and Rafael will end up together, but I understand his distaste for the love triangle. It’s been played out before, and she’s never chosen him. I hope that Raf has grown enough as a character that he can give Jane the time she needs to make her peace with Michael, so that they can start their lives together. Their story has been a convoluted one, but they deserve a happy ending.

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Posted in TV

Jane the Virgin Season 2 Finale Analysis

The season two finale of Jane the Virgin aired more than a month ago, but we’re still not over it. A lot has changed in the last season, and there’s so much to cover, so let’s begin.

Mateo is one, and adorable. Jane becoming a mom and coming to terms with her new life was the central theme of season two, and the show was really successful in conveying its message: every mom is different, no mom is perfect. Seeing Petra become a mother this season was pretty amusing, and the relationships between the Villanueva women are always fascinating. The center of Jane has always been family, and it has remained the core strength of the show.

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The romance in Jane the Virgin has always been flawless, but this season failed to win me over entirely. Jane’s ill-fated attempt at internet dating aside, her failed liaison with her academic advisor derails half of the season. I love her new advisor, but Jane is, above all, practical. No way does she try to get with the guy who has her future in his hands. Jane is a romantic, but she isn’t stupid. It just isn’t believable that her character would throw away a good student-teacher relationship because she thinks he might have a thing for her.

Watching Ro and Xo dance around each other this season, both literally and figuratively, has been entertaining, but the two reached a breaking point this season, resolving their differences pretty satisfactorily in the finale: Ro wants more kids, Xo does not. Every kid dreams of their estranged parents getting back together, but it’s not to be. It makes decent sense, Rogelio is still very much the young man. He has his moments of darkness, and a complicated life, but he has the fresh, childlike excitement of a younger man. Xiomara is just as youthful and lively, but more serious. She sees things as they are, and she and Rogelio want different things. Xo not wanting more kids, even with a man she loves, makes sense too. She was still a kid when she got pregnant, and she hasn’t had the easiest life. Wanting to spend the rest of her life focusing on her goals is something her character would want.

There were approximately  a hundred dramatic reveals in the last few minutes of episode 44, a typical day in Miami with Jane and the Villanueva clan. First of all, Sin Rostro faked her own death, Rose is alive and has been posing as the folksy Susanna, Michael’s partner. As fast as Michael got fired, he was rehired at the department when he had a break in the case. Don’t ask me how that works. Rose shoots Michael when he figures out that she’s a fraud, and we’re left not knowing his fate. Rose asks Luisa to run away with her, citing their true love in spite of their differences, those including that she kidnapped Luisa’s nephew and killed her father. We also see Xiomara staring at a positive pregnancy test in horror, leaving her future in question. Finally, Anezka, Petra’s twin sister finally shows her hand, drugging Petra and putting her in the hospital, taking her place. Posing as Petra, Anezka seduces Raphael, leaving her plan somewhat unclear.

no screaming jane the virgin 2x03 nooo

Now to unpack this whole mess. Jane and Michael just had their fairy-tale wedding, and now his life is in jeopardy. There are two ways this could go, to my mind. Michael could be dead, or he could end up in intensive care, unresponsive, to give Rose and Luisa time to get away. I have no doubt that Luisa will chose to run away with Rose, her decision making is pretty much universally terrible.

Raphael letting Jane go without trying to win her back shows how he has developed as a character, he loves Jane enough to want her to be happy, even with another man. We’ve seen Raphael jealous, petty, selfish, and, at his worst, shady. He still has a ways to go in terms of growing up, but he’s getting closer to being worthy of Jane. It seems obvious to me that Jane and Raphael are end-game for the show. The plot of the show got them together flawlessly, then drew them apart just as well. They need to walk away from each other before they can be happy together. Raphael has become a better man through loving Jane, and Jane has become a better person having been challenged by Raphael’s complexities. Michael is a simple character, lawful good. He is the right choice for Jane to make, but he isn’t her destiny. True love is complicated, and what Jane and Michael had was pure, and sweet, what first love should be. But Jane and Raphael have a future together, Michael only would hold Jane back from her true potential for greatness. However, Jane and Raphael can’t be together until they meet on even footing, as equals. He has always had the upper hand on her, he’s older, he has money, and worldly influence. Jane fundamentally cannot be with him with such a gulf of differences between them, we saw the fissures in their relationship forming due to those differences last season. This next season will hopefully be about Jane becoming the successful, powerful woman she has the potential to be. Once we see that, hopefully Jane and Raphael can begin to detangle the complications in their lives and make their way back to each other, to be a family.

Xiomara’s path seems pretty clear. The pregnancy is something I wasn’t expecting, and it will make things difficult for Xiomara early in the season, but it seems obvious that she’s going to get an abortion. She doesn’t want more kids, and it seems likely that Rogelio’s telenovela rival is the one who got her pregnant. That being said, nothing is certain when it comes to Jane. 

When it comes to Petra, I’ve generally lost interest. Her issues with her mother have been played out over the last two seasons, and having her in jail honestly has been a relief. Anezka being in league with Magda seems out of character, but we really can’t put anything past her. Nothing about Anezka can be trusted, since she’s been a double agent this whole time. She is an unknown commodity. I think it’s safe to say that she’s got it bad for Raphael, but other than that, she seems to have been acting a part for the entirety of her time in the lives of the Solano-Villanueva family. She probably is going to pose as Petra for the foreseeable future, possibly to get the charges against Magda dropped. The twin trope should probably be retired after this season though, because so far we’ve had four sets of identical twins on the show and that’s just a bit much. Any more and they should probably test the water supply, because there’s gotta be something in it.

Wow, that was a lot. Never will the Jane the Virgin team be accused of a dull moment. I’m not making any bets, but I think my theories have some merit. Jane has never been predictable, but in order for the plot to move forward, I think at least some of these things gotta go down. Hopefully, we won’t suffer any more broken hearts, but given Jane’s track record, I think it’s highly unlikely that any of the characters get through the next season unscathed.