Major spoilers ahead for the season four finale of Jane the Virgin.
Welcome back, friends! After almost four seasons, it seemed like there wasn’t another twist that Jane the Virgin could possibly throw at us, but boy were we wrong! The season four finale had everything we come to expect from spending time with Jane Gloriana Villanueva, with laughter, tears, a last-minute wedding, and yes, a twist! In the final seconds, when Jane is on her way to Rafael’s apartment, ostensibly to propose, Rafael tells her the thing that he’s been keeping from her: Michael is alive! O-M-G! Straight out of a telenovela, right?
Your loyal Jane viewers here at Vulture are here to help you process your emotions: Was that really Michael? (Yes, we think so.) What does this mean for Jane and Rafael? (Well, they’re not getting married!) Why was Michael gone for so long? (Amnesia?) One thing we can say for certain is that for the fifth and potentially final season, the love triangle is back on. So let’s get to it!
E. Alex Jung: I should point out that our fearsome editrix Gazelle Emami DEMANDED that we watch this episode asap. I thought I knew where it was going, but Jane the Virgin has a way of really upending all expectations you could possibly have. I love a twist.
Tara Abell: I AM SHOOK. I gasped. I couldn’t breathe.
Alex: I gagged harder than a bottom at a sex party in Bushwick!
Tara: I legit thought they were going to be related and something in my head was saying, Tara, that’s a red herring. But it didn’t matter!
Alex: I definitely thought the twist would have something to do with Raf’s parentage. I didn’t think that they would actually be siblings because that’s some Greek tragedy shit that I feel like the show generally tends to stay away from. But how savage is it that Jane the Virgin actually led us to believe that we were clever enough to think that we saw Michael’s death coming only to completely flip the tables?
Tara: Yeah, I obviously know nothing.
Alex: So let’s talk about your emotions, Tara. How did you feel when you first saw Michael, Jane’s first true love?
Tara: Okay listen, I had a spectrum of emotions. First DISBELIEF. Truly couldn’t believe this show that I love and cherish could pull such a surprise on me. Then JOY. I love Michael: a scruffy blonde in plaid who saves people! My type of man. But then: ANGER. I’m a little annoyed because I need to know how they pulled this off. I’m Catholic like the Villanuevas, and we LOVE a funeral: a wake, an open casket, a burial. I need to know exactly what they did with his body in the hospital.
Alex: Well, I think we should try to process that first emotion. I mean, that was definitely Michael, right? Do you think he just went away for five years to see if he could grow a beard?
Tara: Definitely Michael. We know he doesn’t have a brother … well I should say, a twin. He does have a brother.
Alex: Right. I don’t think it’s a long-lost twin situation. The show has played that trope too many times. And this is a better twist because now it means that for presumably the final season (!) Jane will actually have to choose between Michael and Rafael (again). Bring back the love triangle!
┃┃╱╲ In this
╱╱╭╮╲╲ we love
▔▏┗┛▕▔ & appreciate
A LOVE TRIANGLE
Alex: So let’s rampantly speculate about why Michael has been missing for so long. Obviously we know a couple of things, namely that he probably faked his death and that Sin Rostro a.k.a. Rose has something to do with it.
Considering we know Michael to be a stand-up guy, I assume he either 1) had amnesia (which has been talked about as a telenovela trope on the show within the show), 2) was imprisoned 3) had to go underground because Sin Rostro was blackmailing him somehow or threatening Jane and the family Villanueva.
Tara: They were definitely leaning on the amnesia the past few episodes so I feel like that has something to do with it. But Michael obviously knew Rafael enough to go back to his place. So I’m not sure???
Alex: Well, in either case, this definitely sets up the final season to get back to the love triangle between Jane, Michael, and Rafael. I know you’re Team Michael, whereas I’m the monster who loves Rafael Solano.
Tara: It’s so funny I didn’t even put those pieces together, because OF COURSE they reestablish the central love triangle for the last season. Even though the CW hasn’t officially said it’s the last season, this just feels so right. Okay, Alex, what were your emotions when you saw Michael?
Alex: I gasped. I screamed. I cried. I was both delighted and infuriated by how perfectly this show executed yet another last-second season finale plot twist that both completely blindsides you, and yet you feel is perfectly within the parameters of the show. That is a feat, and we don’t talk nearly enough about how well this show serves it to you every episode, every season.
Tara: This show crushes. This show looks at Westworld’s “twists” and chuckles. This show is like Damon Linde-who?
Alex: It was almost as epic as The Good Place season-one finale twist.
Tara: I would say more epic! If only because, with The Good Place season one we had only spent 13, 22-minute episodes with those people at that point. I’ve been laughing and crying with Jane for four years! We’re much more emotionally invested here. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Good Place, but that made me smirk at how smart it was. This ripped my heart out.
Alex: What’s striking to me about this twist is that JANE HAS BEEN PLAYING THE LONG GAME THIS ENTIRE TIME.
Tara: Jennie Snyder Urman should get a Pulitzer. Jennie Snyder Urman EGOT. We don’t deserve her.
Alex: PEGOT! What is 10,000% true is that this show doesn’t get the praise and attention that it deserves, because it brings it to you every time, doing far better “meta” TV commentary than some show about sexy robots.
So, am I right to assume that you think Jane should go back to Michael?
Tara: Um yes, it’s her husband. Next question.
Alex: May I suggest a triad then?
Tara: Like a throuple? No. You may not.
Alex: Her feelings for Rafael aren’t about to disappear!
Tara: They did once before! She chose Michael.
Alex: You know what? Fine. I can have muscle zaddy Rafael all to myself.