Warning: Spoilers from Jane The Virgin's final season are ahead.
Congratulations — you can finally stop hyperventilating about that huge Jane the Virgin season 4 finale twist. Your anxiety went through almost a year of torture as the wait to finally find out how, exactly, Michael (Brett Dier) came back from the dead dragged on and on, but we’ve officially made it to the season 5 premiere. The final season of Jane the Virgin certainly wasted no time in explaining how Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) dead husband/first love suddenly reappeared in Rafael’s (Justin Baldoni) apartment at the end of last season, but the reason why he’s been gone for four years and shockingly returned now is even more upsetting than you think.
After a shockingly confusing first 30 seconds in which Michael speaks with a southern accent and calls Jane "ma'am" a bunch (not to mention that he apparently goes by the name Jason now?!), everything soon becomes clear. This really is Michael, but he lost his memory as he’s suffering from amnesia, a staple of telenovelas that Jane the Virgin has yet to use so it's only fitting that it appears in the final season!
So, Can Michael Get His Memory Back?
So basically Michael doesn't remember anything about his past, including his relationship with Jane, which is just the cruelest thing that can happen to poor Jane after the all the heartbreak she's already suffered, but here we are. And this is a telenovela, so it certainly seems like something, somewhere will jog Michael's memory... right? And yes, probably. Technically, though, amnesia patients don't always get their memory back the way TV has taught us they can. According to LiveScience, "a person with amnesia may not be able to access their memories, even if they are jogged." That means little mementos and stories might not work to bring Michael's memories of his life with Jane back if the writers decide to go the realistic route here.
For Answers, Let's Look At How Michael Lost His Memory
Jane saw him die, didn’t she? Well, it turns out that four years ago, Sin Rostro (Bridget Regan) actually faked Michael's death by bribing some EMT drivers and then gave Michael amnesia via electroshock therapy focused on the hippocampus and temporal lobe. Once she was sure he didn't remember anything about his old life, she then convinced him that his name is actually Jason (inspired by Jason Bourne, because Sin Rostro loves a good reference). A DNA test from Rafael has already proven that Sin Rostro was telling him the truth, and that’s why he’s brought Jason to Jane now.
So that brings us back to the present, as Jason fills in the rest of the story for Jane at Rafael's apartment. From his perspective, his life essentially began four years ago when he woke up in a field in Montana with no memories. "Some lady" (aka Sin Rostro) was there and told him to start over because he was in "a whole lot of trouble," so he didn't know if he was "a good guy or a bad guy." He just believed what he was told and didn't look back, until Sin Rostro decided to reveal her evil plan and Jason's location to Rafael in exchange for Luisa's (Yara Martinez) address. And that's what brings us back to the present again, as Jane finally understands why Rafael had started pulling back on his relationship with her — he’s been working on this Michael/Jason situation for a while. Talk about a truly selfless act!
Is Michael Stuck As Jason... Forever?
Once the shock settles and the story spreads to Jane's whole family, a trip to the neurologist confirms the whole thing. The trauma from the electroshock therapy to Michael/Jason's brain means that he doesn't even remember his own mother — so Rogelio (Jaime Camil) shouldn't take it personally that Jason doesn't remember him (but of course, in true Rogelio fashion, he does). While there isn't an exact science to what happened to Michael/Jason, the doctor suggests that getting Jason back in Michael's routine and life might help spark some recognition and memories, and so Jane finds herself being Jason's tour guide through Michael's old life… since Michael's mother reminds her that they're actually still married. Yikes.
And after a full day of Jane taking Jason around to Michael's old spots, like his favorite cubano truck and work, he still doesn't remember anything. And he somehow now hates cubanos. But he likes Petra. And is an absolute jerk to Jane. Plus he talks. so. slowly. It’s like bizarro world, but at least now it's clear to Jane (and us, tbh) that Jason is definitely a completely different person that Michael. And everything that had happened so far, plus working through her emotions through writing, helps Jane realize that she can't put her life with Rafael on hold for a memory of someone who no longer exists. The move-in with Raf is back on... but this is a telenovela so there are more twists to come.
So, Michael Shippers Probably Shouldn't Give Up Hope... Yet
That night of watching old Michael and Jane home videos seems to have brought a little spark back to Jason and Jane's dynamic. Could this be a sign of that Michael is still in there, somewhere? On this show, it absolutely must be... right?
Only time will tell and honestly, it makes total sense that Jane the Virgin would tease us with something so amazing as a Jane and Michael reunion only to cruelly rip it away just as fast. At least it makes for seriously good television.