Jane The Virgin Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: "Chapter Fifty-Four"

Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
I am trying not to cry. I have a job to do. I keep telling myself that’s it’s just TV. But my heart hurts.

On tonight’s Jane the Virgin, the past is prevalent. But so is the future. Jane’s future as a working mom and writer. Rafael’s future as a father, and his financial future. Petra’s future as a mom. The future of Xo and Rogelio’s new relationships. Abuela’s life living alone for the first time, probably ever.

But little do they know that Michael’s death will change their future in a way they could never plan. They’ll hold on to their memories of him, and they’ll all be different.

During the entire episode, I kept thinking to myself how relaxed, light, and refreshing it was. Which is a nice contrast because before Jane comes on, I watch the first hour of The Bachelor.

Yes, every character was confronting something deep and personal, but it was a fast-paced episode with playful turn of events for every character, until its bitter end. I thought this episode was just a light mid-season filler. And then, in the last thirty seconds of an episode where Rogelio shouted the word penis a hundred times (this is an exaggeration, I didn’t have the energy to count but I loved it), Michael dies.

The past is just as unreliable as the future. Our memories fade. Our memories become something different then what actually happens -- sometimes similar, sometimes completely unrecognizable. One person’s memory of the same event is completely different than another’s. Because we remember what we want to, and how we want to.

Until the end of the episode, I didn’t understand the purpose of the flashbacks at all. Baby Michael was cute and seeing Jane and Michael’s date -- their first and their last all rolled into one -- just felt like a little treat to give us all a break from the arcs of the season, and from the pain Rafael feels, and the heat Luisa and Rose are about to bring to Miami.

In the same episode that the Villanueva women chase down a drunk teenager, Michael dies.

The writers played me. I didn’t even notice the blatant references to life and death in the dialogue until the episode ended. Not even when the Narrator said Jane would be replaying the memory of Michael. Not even an angelic glow made me think, “oh my God, Michael is going to die.”

When it happened, I didn’t believe it. In the three year flash-forward, I thought we’d see Michael come around the corner behind Mateo. I thought it was a fake-out.

But no. Michael is dead, and this show just broke the wheel, in a way Daenerys Targaryen never could. But this was expected -- we were just distracted by all the other noise. In the season 3 premiere, Michael’s recovery felt fast. Its family sitcom-like conclusion didn’t make up for the intense cliffhanger we got in the season 2 finale. Essentially, the drama wrapped up in a nicely resolved little bow didn’t feel very Jane the Virgin. I’m all stupid little fool for missing the signs--they were screaming right in my face for months.

Jane is starting a new job that aligns with her career. Her period is late, so she thinks she’s pregnant. Because her period is always on time. Always! But guess what Jane? Life is unreliable. This one time, your period was just late. With that, we see Jane open up to change in a way she’s never before. She’s changing herself, and that’s for the better. Because for the rest of the season, she’ll have to face adjusting after losing the love of her life, and the life and the family she thought she would have forever.

Before I fall start crying so hard that I fall asleep, I’ll move on to some other things that happened in this episode. Because a lot happened outside of those last thirty seconds.

Xo is just as scared of teens as I am. I am warming up to Bruce, despite the fact that there’s not much to him at this point. I hope we get to see him more, and more jokes about how scary Scary Tess is, even after warming up to Xo. Because we’re going to need a lot of jokes.

Just like Xo’s relationship with Bruce, Rogelio’s relationship with Darcy is maturing with some obstacles along the way. But the only scary teen in Rogelio’s relationship is himself. Like Jane, he leaped bounds in this episode. Seeing his viral penis video gave him the same outside perspective everyone else has of him, which he needed to take himself outside of his own head, and make his relationship with Darcy about Darcy, not about his big dick. I’m just guessing, but with a heart as big as Rogelio’s, his penis has to be big, too. Am I allowed to say penis? I don’t even know. But if Rogelio can say it a hundred times on The CW on a Monday, I can, too.

Luisa is back and causing problems. I know I kept wondering where she was, but now that she’s back I realize I didn’t miss her. I have no idea what Luisa and Eileen/Rose are up to. Maybe they want to kick everyone out of Miami and have the entire city to themselves? I can’t think about this because my brain is clouded with emotion from the unexpected death of Michael.

Another moment that made me laugh minutes before the tragedy that I may never get over: when Rogelio said to Luisa, “your last girlfriend had a fake face.” It’s always nice to see the characters sort of comment on the ridiculousness of their own lives.

Poor Jane. She has been through so much. But it’s life: just when things are going great for you, shit hits the fan out of nowhere and shakes your world. I’m excited to see the direction the show takes moving forward. Especially if the three year time jump becomes permanent. Maybe the writers can save us the tears and jump ahead to 2046, when Rogelio will be on Dancing with the Stars.

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