This should go without saying, but SPOILER ALERT ahead- do not continue reading if you have not watched the season 4 finale of Jane the Virgin.
This is me after watching the latest episode…
Jane the Virgin is no stranger to dramatic reveals, jaw dropping plot twists, or the beloved/hated ‘where the hell did that come from?’ moment.
The dramedy, which distinctively takes the piss out of Latin telenovelas, is at its core a telenovela itself. Let’s not forget that Jane the Virgin sprung from a 20-something year old virgin getting accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm from a man she shared a kiss/one-day fling with years earlier (the man in question, Rafael, ghosted her).
This was all revealed in episode one, and what’s transpired in the 4 seasons since has been nothing short of the telenovela staples that guarantee fans tune in for the next episode. Beyond the accidental artificial insemination, I’m talking about your fail-safe/cookie cutter:
. Love triangles
. Multiple character deaths
. A continuously lurking villain
Yet, whilst the overarching topics the writers garner influence from to create suspense and drama aren’t exactly original, Jane the Virgin has achieved it’s own unique formula that is brewed by two recipes: the characters and happiness
Comprised of a diverse set of characters from different backgrounds, the show has managed to develop each character significantly throughout the series run. Albeit Jane being the central character, we have grown to equally love and care for her loved ones, all of whom have equally become central to the show. Despite throwing viewers for a ride with its twists and turns, Jane the Virgin has never shied away from creating real moments for these characters that have clearly been thought about and discussed (unlike telenovelas). We root for Jane as a struggling but passionate writer, we become emotionally invested in Alba’s journey to American citizenship, and our hearts sunk when Xiomara was diagnosed with breast cancer. Beyond the Villanueva women, we have seen Rogelio’s vulnerability and maturity grow, Matteo (the artificially inseminated born child) has grown up before the viewers eyes, Rafael has taken responsibility for his actions, and Petra has gone from queen-of-mean to queen of our hearts (whilst never losing her sharp silver tongue).
And then, of course, there was season 3’s most devastating revelation to the central characters, Michael’s death. Whether you’re team Michael or Rafael (I’m the latter personally), there’s no denying that his death devastated viewers (and Jane’s reaction to the news was painfully raw, and never had we been more invested in Jane’s emotions as a viewer than in that moment).
With all the sadness that can torment JTV characters, the show also provides viewers with a lot of happiness. I classify it as a dramedy because despite the drama, the narrator always manages to take jabs at the telenovela stereotypes. The most comical character of all is Rogelio de la Vega, a telenovela star so in love with himself and who is the definition of a drama king, but we love him for it. For every tear of sadness we have shed as viewers, we have gained it back with a tear of laughter of happy crying thanks to its writers.
The latest season has been a prime example. I’ll admit, there was a time where I gave up hope on Jane the Virgin. The first half of season 3, where Jane married Michael and settled into family life felt too normal and like perhaps the writers ran out of content (all hope seemed lost for Rafael fans and there didn’t seem any pending doom). Then Michael died, and the show got its groove back (I love Michael as a character but I think that was the right move to spruce things up again, this is TV after all!).
Season 4 has had it’s fair share of wonderfully happy moments as we have seen Jane and Rafael fall back into love with each other (I’m biased as a Jafael shipper), Alba gets her US citizenship in the finale, and Petra falls in love with JR (the show’s first female same-sex relationship with has blossomed beautifully and I can’t imagine anyone who’s not rooting for these two!).
Then came the season 4 finale (yesterday, to be precise), and that meant we all knew that all the happiness was going to be rumbled.
In all fairness, the narrator has teased for a while that turbulent waters were ahead. Could we have predicted those turbulent waters? Well, I think we’ve all thought about it, but didn’t/couldn’t believe that the show would actually go there.
But it did. Yup- I’m taking about Michael potentially being alive 😮 😮 😮
I’m talking about the last few seconds of last night’s season 4 finale, where Rafael opens his apartment door to Jane to reveal why he’s been acting so distressed. We see….Michael (?)
I keep adding a question mark because we have yet to be confirmed on whether this is the Michael we all know and love. Considering the whole sin-rostro surgical face replicas, it’s not something we can disregard. The producer has confirmed that we will find out who this person really is during the season 5 premiere…probably in October…sigh.
Whether you saw this coming or not, there’s no denying this was a jaw dropping moment that opens a whole window of possibilities for season 5, which is confirmed to be the last. On the plus side, that does mean JTV writers can’t toy with our emotions for much longer..