TV

Will ‘Jane’ Get Her Happily Ever After?

Ahh, all is well. Jane The Virgin is back, Gina Rodriquez is still a delight that none of us fully deserve, and (spoiler alert) Michael Cordero is alive. Sure, Petra is still paralyzed and Xo is still carrying the baby of her ex’s enemy. But in spite of the remaining doom, like Jane at it’s best this episode brought out a lot of sweet and optimistic moments: a story framed as a romance novel; heartwarming and hopeful flashes of Jane and Michael’s future; hilarious flashbacks of what happened after their first kiss (Michael had a cat and it died, jackass). While it’s all good for now, there’s the sneaking suspicion that things this good can’t last that long.

The theme and framing that this episode follows begins with an angry young Jane reacting to a new romance novel that ends on a twist rather than giving its romantic leads the expected HEA, or happily ever-after. Little Jane believes this twist fails the genre, since romance novels all follow a similar pattern that make you believe in true love. Jane has always had its soap roots on display, but all its romance novel influences are just as clear. This episode sets us up to think that the HEA past Jane looked for is her future with Michael, but what if this story instead ends with the unfair twist she never wanted?

Last season, I fully believed Michael would die, and the finale pretty much sealed that fate for me. Then Michael survived, and for a minute I forgot all about the narrator’s ominous statement about loving Jane “for as long as Michael lived, until he drew his very last breath.” But don’t worry! There’s still hope! Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman responded to reporter questions about this particular quote saying, “I think you will have to watch… I will say it’s a reliable narrator. And we’re going to be dealing with that.” Urman also said that the love triangle is “not over, but it is over now.” And then my money was back on a funeral for Michael.

Of course, there aren’t always happy endings in real life. And Jane and her family’s struggles have always been relatable enough, but only to a point. Throw in a celebrity dad, a couple of murderers, crime plots, kidnapping, an evil twin… you get it. We relate to Jane, and strive for her optimism, but this isn’t a realistic show. You still hope for the best for her because against all the drama and cliffhangers her happiness is the heart of the show. Ultimately it’s a romantic soap, and how can they keep topping on the drama if Jane has a happy, normal life? I’ve flip flopped on #TeamRafael and #TeamMichael more times than I can count, so something has to come next. If Jane wants a peaceful life with Michael, as an audience member I want that too. And yet it doesn’t seem like that’s on the horizon. I’m in for the ride, and the ups and downs are what makes this show such an impossibly fun thing to recap. But isn’t it time Jane got her own HEA?

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TV

Jane The Virgin Has a Michael Problem

If you’re a Jane The Virgin viewer, there’s only one thing on your mind right now: Michael’s going to die. Oh, no? Just me? I’m the only one watching each new episode like it’s season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, a complete waste of time since the wedding they’ve been planning is just going to end up a tragic plot point to the ultimate resolution of having two other characters get together? What?

Dramatic reactions aside, the impending death of “Jane’s perfect man” Michael Cordero is a sore spot for me. #TeamRafael sucked me in from the beginning, but somewhere along the middle of last season I left Rafael and his perfectly colored pants in the dust and joined Team Michael. And I know the point of the show is #TEAMJANE, but c’mon, the show is 100% at it’s best when it’s revolving around the core love-triangle/square/other many-sided shape. Yeah, there’s a crime mystery going on in there as well, but right now all I really know about Mudder is Rafael’s brother wears a lot of scarves. I was thrilled Jane and Michael got engaged, which right now is a problem.

Michael’s death is a widely debated theory right now. I mean, Google doesn’t lie: Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 4.00.33 PMAnd it’s partially because the sly hints they’ve been dropping are just now too damn obvious to ignore. The kicker was the final shot of last night’s “Chapter Forty,” which gives us the revelation that Michael is being stalked. Truthfully this itself isn’t a huge deal- he’s a cop, and when it comes to the criminal angle nothing could be worse than baby Mateo being kidnapped hours after birth. What is a huge deal is that it seems pretty much confirmed that this will be the storyline to carry Michael to his demise. So right now, it feels like the show has the chance to go in two directions:

A) Michael is safe, Jane and Michael marry, Jane The Virgin becomes Jane Not The Virgin, Rafael and Jane co-parent Mateo, there’s unnecessary drama at the Marbella, Jane moves out and visits her mother and grandma when it’s convenient to the plot

B) Michael dies, Jane falls back to Rafael, another potential love interest comes along and messes with the equation, the audience is treated to Michael v. Rafael 2.0 and Mateo has some other random guy he can call “da-da”

I guess there’s a third option, where Michael breaks it off with Jane for other reasons or he gets amnesia or is put into witness protection or some other crazy soap opera plot. I realize I’m being picky here. TV shows are meant to change and considering the amazing story the writers have given us in the past I have faith that they’ll keep entertaining us. But one thing that’s hard to deny is that JTV does an excellent job of making you side with who they want you to side with- Michael is currently being portrayed as Jane’s soulmate, whereas Rafael is back to making bad decisions and being a subpar dad to Elsa & Anna (lol). There are cycles to their responsibility and attractiveness, and we’re totally in a Michael moment right now. If Michael dies, am I supposed to just fall back into Rafael? Or guy #3? Not to mention the fact that Jane is the least deserving person of a dead fiancee, and that’s something that no one is deserving of. Maybe I’m just sad I chose the wrong side of this debate. Maybe I should just accept the dead-fiancee trope is one that would not only work within Jane The Virgin, but would make for some really interesting development moving forward. Maybe I am just looking way too far into a TV show. Whatever the case, we have 4 episodes to see if Jane makes it down the aisle or not. The Michael problem will be hanging over my head until then.

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