Jane the Virgin season 4 has been a genuine triumph from its first episode. “Chapter Eighty-One”, however, just changed the course of its final act in hugely shocking fashion.
Warning: Major spoilers for the Jane the Virgin season 4 finale.
If there’s one thing that we’ve come to expect from Jane the Virgin at this point, it’s that the show will always be full of surprises, whatever shape or form that takes.
The final chapter of the show’s fourth outing looked to wrap up some of the major storylines that had been woven throughout this season. Everything was on course to have a satisfactory and uplifting ending, before moving into what will be Jane’s final season.
Right up until that bombshell moment in the dying seconds of the episode.
We’ll back it up a little and get some of the other threads tied up first, before dealing with that.
Xo’s cancer diagnosis, and the fallout, has been one of the most powerful storylines of this season. Though, admittedly, difficult to watch at times – my own mother was diagnosed with, and had a mastectomy, due to breast cancer six years ago, but has thankfully been in remission for several years now – it approached the subject in a way that highlighted the devastating truth of the disease, as well as the humor you have to find in even the briefest of moments.
While it wasn’t as much of a focus in the finale, having had significant time dedicated to the beginnings of Xo’s chemotherapy in the preceding episode, they didn’t shy away from showing the affects that it has physically on her. It was a minor detail, but one that was a welcome one, and the writers have — at least for me – handled this with a sensitivity and grace that has made it tough to make it through the last couple of episodes, but it is also so, so, so important.
Xo’s odd-couple friendship with River also continues into this episode, after the pot brownie incident last week. River, who has moved in temporarily with the family to prepare to be on-screen married to Rogelio, has several misunderstandings and co-opting of important family moments. Xo, however, sets her straight when Ro has a meltdown of River’s misspelling to Alba’s name on her cake. It opens River’s eyes to the kind of man that Rogelio really is, behind his dramatic nature. It is, we hope, a turning point for the two co-stars as they head into production.
Meanwhile, Alba, who passed her citizenship test last week, has her ceremony in this episode. Jane, and the rest of the family, host a “surprise” party – which is less a surprise, after Jane has to spill the beans when Alba wants to visit a not-actually-sick Jorge. The celebration is beautiful, but more so is Alba’s speech, which brought more than a few tears to my eyes.
It also serves as a catalyst for the surprise wedding that has been teased for this season. Jorge, whose mother is dying back in Mexico, wants to return home to say his final goodbyes. However, he would never be able to return to America, as he’s undocumented. Alba, recently an American citizen, offers to marry him.
That will, undoubtedly, become far more complicated as season 5 unfolds. Jorge, who rejected Alba’s advances in a recent episode, has platonic feelings for her, despite wanting to marry her earlier in the season. Alba, of course, still has romantic feelings for him. She admits, near the close of the episode, that she hopes that Jorge might come to love her once again, but for now their marriage is just one between friends, a platonic arrangement to allow Jorge to travel freely home to say goodbye to his mother.
There were also developments on the Petra and J.R. front. With J.R. getting disbarred to clear Petra’s name, she is at something of a loose end. While Petra attends Alba’s citizenship part, J.R. remains with Petra’s daughters, and they put on a mini-fashion show.
Which is when the other shoe drops. Or, well, snaps.
The shoes that Petra revealed to J.R. were the ones she was wearing the night Anezka died snapped their heel. J.R. discovers that they have been repaired before, quickly unravelling the lie in Petra’s story. J.R. confronts Petra when she returns home, and Petra admits that her mother’s version of events is true. She did charge her sister, and she did fall over the balcony to her death, but that came after Anezka threatened the lives of her daughters.
J.R. leaves, betrayed, as Petra crumples in on herself, devastated at the loss of the one person she feels she has ever truly loved. Of course, this is Jane the Virgin so things don’t end there.
Krishna, Petra’s assistant, who orchestrated the entire blackmailing situation that led to this point, calls J.R. to warn her that the real blackmailer is about to kill Petra. J.R. rushes upstairs, just as the mystery figure – who Petra instantly recognizes – pulls a gun on her. As they’re about to shoot, J.R. wrestles the gun away from them, and it goes off, leaving the mystery person dead.
That cliffhanger will have to wait for a resolution until season 5.
Now for the reason that we’re all going to be screaming into our pillows until Jane the Virgin returns to our screens.
Michael is alive.
Michael. Is. Alive.
That was the information that Rose had whispered into Rafael’s ear at the close of the following episode. Jane, who was supportive though Raf fell into some familiar destructive patterns, refused to allow him to go through whatever it was that Rose had divulged – though she believed it was the identity of Rafael’s parents.
It was not.
Rafael leaves Alba’s celebration early, and asks Jane to join him later. When she does, and Rafael opens the door, it reveals a very-much-alive Michael stood in the middle of the room.
While, undoubtedly, Jane will be glad to see him, this will also complicate things massively heading into the final season. Jane, having had several years to grieve, and move on from the death of her husband, has found happiness and genuine love with Rafael. They were on the cusp of moving in to a family home together, and Rafael was about to propose. Jane wanted him to propose and had decided, right up until the door opened and she laid eyes on Michael, that she would if Raf didn’t.
Michael being back in the picture changes things drastically. There’s no denying that Jane still loves him, but she also loves Rafael. It is a far more complex decision that Jane will need to make in season 5, as it’s not as simple as Michael-or-Rafael. Jane sees her future with Rafael, she’s pictured it, dreamed about it.
Though having Michael return will, undoubtedly, bring her joy, it is also tinged with a sorrow. Michael hasn’t been part of Jane’s life for a long time, she has changed in the time since his death, and there’s also the matter of reconciling the fact that he kept that he was alive from her. That is something that will be difficult for her to accept, no matter what the reasoning could be.
Jane the Virgin has a long, difficult road ahead of itself when it returns. And that return can’t come soon enough.
Source : https://www.hypable.com/jane-the-virgin-season-4-finale-review/