Jane the Virgin Recap: Season 5, Episode 4, “Chapter Eighty-Five”
Do you ever really stop loving someone? This is the question at the center of this week’s Jane the Virgin and it’s a doozy. Alba believes once enamorados, always enamorados, Petra’s trying to prove love conquers all, and then there’s Jane. You have to feel for her. There she is, finally happy with her little family, even dreaming about having more kids with Rafael. Then Michael’s memories come back and she’s back to where she was seasons ago: picking between two great loves and it’s only gotten more complicated as she’s mourned Michael and built a serious relationship with Rafael.
With Jason gone (bye Felicia!), Jane and Michael slip back into their easy rapport, munching on Cubanos and sitting on their bench, knees perhaps touching, perhaps not. The old Michael has been away for years but he still knows how to tug at Jane’s heart strings – reading her book and texting her that he wants the happy ending she wrote about but never got to have. Who wouldn’t want that?
While Michael pushes for Jane to pick him, Rafael is stuck in his worst nightmare. History could easily repeat itself: Jane always seems to pick Michael when given the choice, no matter what Rafael does, how strong his feelings are, or what a great partner he proves himself to be. I haven’t always rooted for Rafael, generally considering myself neither #TeamMichael nor #TeamRafael more like #TeamJane, but Rafael is in such emotional turmoil it’s too much (or in this case, just the stuff of telenovelas) to not take his side.
As much as Jane is in an emotionally difficult situation, Rafael’s in powerless agony, watching the woman he loves entertain being with another man. She doesn’t file the divorce papers, going so far as to break the law to get them back. It’s the stuff of heartbreak, and I think he handles it well, asking Jane to move out in the final scene while hugging Mateo and telling her, “I got this.” What else is he supposed to do? Raf deserves a partner who will choose him first and no matter how much he wants it to be, that just might not be Jane. As her own nightmares reveal, trying to pick between these two is forcing Jane off a cliff.
But don’t worry, the episode isn’t all heart ache and devastation. Like the best romantic comedies, Jane the Virgin perfectly balances the heartfelt with the hilarious. There’s Jane and Petra getting drunk and sloppy, slurring words, and being adorably silly. There’s Xo’s dance routine with Mateo in a perfectly GIF-able moment. And of course, there’s Gina Rodriguez chasing down the new/old Michael. The close-ups of her heels running, upright like an arrow on a “borrowed” scooter, running in front of (parked) buses and commanding them to stop – they all portray the ridiculous, hilarious physicality we fans of the show love about Gina’s performance.
Slapstick aside, you know it’s a serious episode when even Rogelio spends most of his time making sympathetic faces. He’s worried about Xo, yes, she pushes herself too hard. He gives Alba sober advice in as long of a Spanish scene as I’ve seen on Jane the Virgin, proving once again this show takes care of its Latinx audience. But his best line is when Jane is explaining to her family about the terrible situation she’s in once Michael regains his memories and Rogelio asks if Michael A: asked about him, B: wants to see him, and C: still loves him. What can I say? Michael and Rogelio is a bromance for the ages! Rogelio’s moment of self-obsession only last a few beats though and we’re back to the central question. Who should Jane pick?
She loves them both and Michael and Rafael both love her. They’re both good men, partners, and fathers. So what’s a girl to do? We’re only four chapters into this final 19-episode season so don’t expect it to be a quick or painless decision. How will she choose? Only God and showrunner Jennie Urman know.
Jane the Virgin airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on The CW.