Jane the Virgin Chapter Fifty-Four: Death, Recap, and Theories

SPOILER ALERT (DUH)

 

Monday night’s episode of Jane the Virgin shattered my entire heart, hopes, and dreams. Michael Cordero (Brett Dier), America’s favorite boyfriend ever, was murdered by evil (and brilliant) showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman. Ok, that was dramatic. The fictional character tragically died of a heart failure. (Still artistic murder in my eyes.)

Before I do this review, you mind if I just cuss out the show real quick? Thanks.

 

  1. Ya’ll really gonna kill off one of the most-loved characters without any kind of warning?? No ominous trailer? No countdown promo? Not even a damn hashtag to prepare us??
  2. YA’LL DEADASS GONNA MAKE THIS HAPPEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON?!! Fuck tv show etiquette of giving viewers a proper shocker at the premiere or finale episode. Ya’ll just gonna place this epic tragedy right in the middle of our lives and have the nerve to be like “ok girl, see ya next week! :-)” UM…..WHAT?!
  3. I better not see not a hint of #TeamRafael love going down. I was Team R for a short, millisecond during that era, but I will forever be #TeamMichael
  4. I’m sorry for being so mean, bring back Michael please! 🙁

Ok, I got some of that out of my system. Now for the recap. The episode starts off pretty vanilla. Rogelio (Jaime Camil) is acting like a super diva. Xo (Andrea Navedo) is trying to get her life together (as always). Abuela (Ivonne Coll) is just perfect (as always). And Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and Michael are entering new stages in their lives (one more than the other apparently). Jane was going for a new job and Michael was preparing to take his LSAT; — and maybe get ready to have a baby? Jane’s flow was late, thus she and Michael thought she may be pregnant, something that seemed scary at first due to it being off-script from their life plan, but of course hubby was all for it because he’s perfect. There was this sweet moment of the couple discussing raising a little Michael or a little Jane.  Unfortunately, it turned out Jane wasn’t pregnant after all, but that didn’t stop the Janichael (?) lovefest. The two lovebirds went back to the spot where they had their first date and the scene gave us flashbacks contrasting how Jane and Michael went from an awkward to adorable. The show is chock full of sweet moments, but little did we know that this scene was just revving up our emotions just to be violently gut-punched minutes later.

In their final scene together, Jane sends Michael off with a cute lunchbox and encouraging words for his LSAT. The narrator says something about Jane remembering that moment forever, and I assumed it was a nod to a discussion the couple had earlier in the episode about an author who embellished her memories. Things were going so smooth. Jane got her dream job and Michael finally took that test. But in a surprise (unnecessary, heartless, cruel) twist, just as Michael was about to head home from his test, he collapsed and instantly died. His heart glowed then faded. Someone cried he wasn’t breathing. Then, in the most heartbreaking scene of all time, Jane got the news and screamed a painful cry that will leave me shook for years to come. (Side note: Can we give Gina Rodriguez all of the awards please?)

Michael’s death came as a shocking surprise indeed, but in hindsight, it’s been coming all along. Throughout the entire series, the narrator says “Michael loved Jane until his dying breath.” Here I was thinking this was just romance talk, but no it was foreshadowing his death the whole time! Plus, he did have that near-death experience last season when he got shot on his wedding day.  Urman says Michael was supposed to die episodes ago, but he stayed alive due to Dier’s magic (I totally get it). “It was always just part of the larger arc. I see the show as one whole long story, and this is always what would happen around the midpoint,” the showrunner told The Hollywood Reporter. “We kind of pushed and pulled with when it would happen, and we pushed till later, because Brett is just so magical and he and Gina are just so magical together. So we sort of kept it off as long as we could, but I feel like this is a telenovela. here are always going to be these big, dramatic, life-changing events in the show, and one of them was what launched the series, when Jane was accidentally inseminated when her life was going along as planned and then spun into a totally different direction, and this is the second giant event. When she thought that everything was worked out and as she had all her plans in place, life spins her off again. So much of the show is about how Jane has all of these hopes and dreams and romantic ideals and how life changes and challenges her. So this was just one of the big events that we had to build to for a while.”

I bawled. I rewatched. I wept. I’m now still mourning the loss of such an excellent character. What I love about Jane the Virgin is the clever storytelling and how animated and true the characters are. I’ve watched shows where they killed off my favorite characters, but this one felt too personal. Maybe it’s because Jane feels like our best friend (sometimes we even feel like the character herself) and we truly felt the love the couple had for each other. Or maybe Rodriguez and Dier are just too damn amazing.

Now time for some theories:

  1. Xo gets married. At the end, we see the show make a three year time-jump. Mateo, who is walking and talking, and Jane are seen getting ready for a wedding. I’m assuming it’s Xo’s wedding to Bruce. I can’t think of any other reason they would introduce that new love affair if it wasn’t going to lead to something big. It could also possibly be Rogelio and the matchmaker/baby mama getting married.
  2. #TeamRafael wins. Rafael (Justin Baldoni) and Jane may get back together. Ugh. When Jane found out about Michael’s death, Rafael was there to comfort her. Now that he knows he’s not a real Solano, maybe he’ll be more humble and more fitting for Jane. I don’t want this to happen, but I can see the show writing it as some unconventional love story where two people have a child together and are now finally falling in love.
  3. Jane the Virgin is just a book. This theory is pretty much a given but I have more to add. It’s already understood that this series is really just a visual book. The episodes are even titled as chapters. However, in my own perfect world, Jane is pulling a Roseanne. This is a book written by Jane and everything is just alternative facts. Michael is alive and well and they will live happily ever after.
  4. Mateo is the author and narrator. This last theory isn’t my own (just a viral internet legend) but it would be soooo cool if it were true. Mateo is the narrator of the story and this is a book that he wrote about his mother. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!!?

Anyway, this was a wonderful, sad, and iconic episode. I will miss Michael and Brett Dier. The actor was truly made for the role, but I look forward to seeing him in other projects. Check back next week for another recap.

 

SIDE NOTE: Just realized I’m going to put my emotions under attack once again when I watch This is Us tonight. Why do I do this to myself?!?

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