Jane the Virgin Recap: Season 5, Episode 14, “Chapter Ninety-Five”
One of my favorite parts of Jane the Virgin’s final bow is how many former cast members and guests they’ve invited back to share in a victory lap. Let’s be honest with each other, I’m just really here to see a ton of Latina actresses on my screen.
Jane the Virgin’s going to have a lot of parts to its legacy, but it shouldn’t be lost that during a time when Latinx actors are still unfairly struggling to find meaningful work as compared to their counterparts, it’s Jane that gave many Latinas in Hollywood a port in the storm. Before she became a critical darling with One Day at a Time, Justina Machado delighted Jane the Virgin fans as Darci Factor, the mother to Rogelio’s youngest daughter. Judy Reyes — who is still not recognized enough for the depth of comedic chops if you ask me — has spent time on set as Dina Milagro, a television writer. Both actresses have found time in their schedules to come back with open arms this year. Now, it’s Diane Guerrero’s turn.
I knew Guerrero as Orange is the New Black’s Maritza Ramos long before I came to love her as Jane’s best friend, Lina Santillan. With Orange the New Black also wrapping up this summer, it’s so good to see Guerrero work for as often and long as I can have her. As Lina she’s always been Jane’s confidante, her rebellious conscience who encouraged her to color just a bit more out of the lines than she usually would. In that way, Lina always reminded me of Xiomara — which means it was easy to love her right from the beginning. She’s been gone, but now she’s back, and she has a major request to ask: Can she borrow some eggs?
Yeah no, not like your neighbor knocking on your apartment door in a panic. Lena’s had a lot of trouble conceiving, and she wants to know if her best friend will consider egg donation. It’s as delicate as it sounds.
To his credit, Rafael supports Jane in whatever her decision will be right from the start (he even pulls a “Your Body, Your Choice” line — can we please talk more about how much I love this man? I mean, I’m gay and all, but when he’s good, he is so freaking good). There is, however, worry among quite a few of Jane’s family members that she’s perhaps not quite the best choice for being a donor. After all, this kind of choice involves giving up a lot of personal control and being able to let go isn’t Jane’s strong suit.
Still, Jane loves Lina as much as she loves anyone. It’s like she explains to Mateo over breakfast, she knows that egg donation is impossibly complicated, but “you were an unexpected gift for me, I want to pass that on [to Lina]. Because you have to go the extra mile for the people you love, even if it’s hard.” In the end, she decides her friendship with Lina is more than worth the sacrifice, but Lina uses the same logic to come to an alternative conclusion. Her friendship with Jane is too precious and valuable to risk. She asks one of her sisters for the donation instead.
It’s the “you go the extra mile for the people you love, even if its hard” that rings in Rafael’s head the loudest. Petra’s given him an opportunity to work back at the Marbella, and in no time he’s fallen back into some bad habits. Day drinking with clients, putting his work in front of his family. Remember when I said I love Rafael because, “when he’s good, he is so freaking good?” Yeah. Well. This is the opposite of that.
His poor work-life balance forces Jane to visit the minister they were hoping could officiate their wedding by herself. When the minister then questions Rafael’s commitment to his family, Jane Villanueva goes off on him! Yes, Jane — our deeply religious Jane — yells at the head of a church! In his office, no less! Though, to be fair, Jane’s Catholicism left her barely believing that Unitarian Universalism was a “real” religion anyway, as she’s more than happy to point out in this poor minister’s face. Still, it’s a big deal! Rafael has turned himself inside out to support his family over the years, she won’t allow for anyone to belittle or question his commitment. Not on her watch.
This means that Jane and Rafael are left without an officiant. That is until Rafael has a thought — what about Alba? She’s the glue that holds their family together. Her faith has carried all of them through their darkest times. She’a rock, unshakable. Jane and Rafael could use some of that as they embark on this new life together.
Jane wipes the tears from her eyes. On this we can all agree, Abuela is the perfect choice.