This article contains SPOILERS associated with last night’s episode of Jane the Virgin. Read at your own risk.
Jane the Virgin Recap: Season 3, Episode 10
After a rocky season start, the hiatus gave us a weird divergence into Michael’s desire for an alternative career that saw him dabbling with stand-up comedy before settling on being a lawyer. I’ve presented my fair share of criticism against the saintly Michael Cordero, Jr. even discussing his tendency to fall into white privilege tropes just last week. However, like God Himself, creator Jennie Snyder-Urman and the writers had a plan…and we said goodbye to Michael for good in “Chapter Fifty-Four.” I sat down with Culturess writer Isis Melton to talk about Michael’s life and death, the Emmy-worthy performance by Gina Rodriguez, and how this hurts worse in the age of Trump.
Unlike Isis who went in blind, I watched this week’s episode live as it aired on the West Coast after Twitter exploded with talk of a horrible twist during the East Coast feed. (Sorry, I couldn’t wait.) I then saw it again with Isis.
Kristen: What do you know going in to this episode?
Isis: I don’t know anything except people are freaking out. If I had to guess, maybe something with Rafael because his life is in the most turmoil.
Because Snyder-Urman knew Michael’s demise was imminent the preceding episodes have logic, messy as it is. This episode, though, really telegraphed Michael’s demise to the point that he might as well have worn a red shirt with a bull’s-eye on it.
Isis: Oh hell, something is going to happen to Michael. Famous last words: “We have plenty of time.” This [first date flashback] is cute, but I have a feeling this is not going to end well. Is Jane going to be left with no Michael and Rafael? I worry about Jane. If something happens to Rafael and Michael she will lose it. I wouldn’t blame her.
Kristen: I’m not disclosing anything.
Eventually, the moment came and we were all left heartbroken.
Isis: My heart feels like it’s in my throat.
Kristen: Gina deserves a damn Emmy for that scene ALONE!
Isis: I hate the fact that Jane looks so sad in the cut scenes for next week. This gives Alba something to do, though. Moms and grandmothers to the rescue!
Kristen: And though Jennie Synder-Urman said they’re only going to flash back to the aftermath, I think we’ll get more great acting scenes next week. Now, everyone knows I wasn’t #TeamMichael, but I will admit sadness at his passing; however, I think the show did a really bad job of setting it up.
Isis: I am so surprised that Michael died. I’m glad they didn’t make it a murder because I don’t think Jane would’ve handled that well. There’s no one to blame.
Kristen: This was effectively disclosed at the beginning of the series with the whole “dying breath” thing. However the emphasis on his stand-up comedy and law school wasn’t the right setup for me.
Twitter collectively died alongside Michael, with massive declarations of doom and gloom in the wake of the show’s final three minutes.
— Vanessa Erazo (@infoCinelandia) February 7, 2017
— Diana Bosch (@cinemaisswell) February 7, 2017
Called my husband as I was watching #JaneTheVirgin crying telling him not to die, calling him Michael. have a lot to explain when he's home
— Elle S (@ellesongk) February 7, 2017
Isis: I really feel like Michael this season was what we always wanted and what Jane saw. I didn’t like him before because he was scheming and thinking about himself. It felt like his goal in the first few seasons was to be the white knight in Jane’s life. It doesn’t work that way. And I say that as a Hispanic married to a white man.
Kristen: I do want to think Jane is getting a massive settlement because Michael JUST had a physical and no one caught an aortic dissection? Jennie Snyder-Urman wrote a whole letter apologizing for Michael’s death because of the show’s positivity in the wake of Trump. Did this just add to your current depression about our world?
Isis: I do feel like the show is trying to get back to its main story by getting rid of Michael.
Kristen: Well, and Michael is the one main source of white masculinity so removing him pushes the show into an all-Latinx cast.
Isis: I am glad Michael was on the show and they were able to redeem him the season, but I’m not going to miss him. That sounds real ugly.
Most of you know I was never #TeamMichael, and though the show didn’t situate his demise perfectly it was still upsetting watching him drop-dead in the middle of an LSAT classroom. There was a shocking quality that was too authentic. It wasn’t that a vicious murderer took his life – unless you cite the doctors who missed the problem – but the simple facts of life. Life isn’t fair, and sometimes good people die. In the age of Trump, the fact that this is presented with little fanfare is what upsets all the more. With changes happening in our country with all the flippancy of a light switch, Michael’s death situates itself as a painful reminder of human mortality and our need to unify, if only to grieve about a fictional character. The three-year jump opens up a whole new world of storylines, but the Jane we know is gone forever.
Read the rest of our Jane the Virgin recaps here.