Wednesday, May 8, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jane the Virgin' - Jane and Michael Take an Emotional Trip to Montana in 'Chapter Eighty-Eight'

The CW's Jane the Virgin - Episode 5.07 "Chapter Eighty-Eight"

Jane is trying to go with the flow, so when Michael makes a suggestion to Jane which takes her out of her comfort zone, Jane decides to go for it. Jane struggles to adjust while Michael slides back into his old life. Jane struggles with her feelings for Rafael.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Jane the Virgin.

"Chapter Eighty-Eight" was written by Deirdre Shaw and directed by Stuart Gillard

This final season reignited the central love triangle by bringing Michael back from the dead. That has been the core source of drama in these opening episodes. Jane has been sorting out her feelings now that she has two men whom she loves. It was easy to say goodbye to Jason because he wasn't Michael. The connection just wasn't there between them. But then, it was huge when he regained his memories and the life they had together. Even that highlighted how the two of them have changed so much since they were married. They are still husband-and-wife. They have had so much to sort out. Jane felt the need to explore these feelings because it would be unfair to both guys if she didn't. That was devastating to Rafael though. It was Jane once again choosing Michael over her. Of course, things were plenty dramatic with Michael as well because everywhere they went in Miami had such big emotions and memories attached. As such, it's freeing to see them go on this adventure in Montana. It provides Jane with the opportunity to get out of her comfort zone. She wants to be free in that way. She doesn't want to plan everything in her life. She enjoys the spontaneity and the quietness of this new landscape. She gets to see the life that Michael had as Jason for the last few years. It's dramatically changed now because he returns with all of his memories intact. He knows exactly who he is. Things are still awkward with Jane. They fight because of all the traveling necessary to arrive on this ranch. Michael gives Jane her privacy when it comes to helping her shower. It's still a lot of fun as they try to bring a bull back onto the ranch. This is an area steeped with its own personal history. Michael has friends and enemies here. He has a tough boss who gives him an ultimatum. Even though Jane has a good time here, she can't just move to Montana to live this kind of life with Michael. Meanwhile, him giving all of this up in order to be with her in Miami would also be a profound sacrifice. He understands that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. They can explore a long distance relationship for now. But that's before they get brutally honest about what they are feeling. Jane can speak passionately about who Michael fundamentally is as a person. She will defend him no matter what. She may not understand the feud between him and Charlie but she still supports him and works for a compromise. That's what she hopes out of this life. She wants Michael to enjoy it. She doesn't want to put any more pressure on the situation. She is forced to live with her thoughts instead of reaching out to her family for comfort and wisdom. That too is startling. The only time things cut back to Miami is when Jane is fantasizing about what her decisions now could mean for the family she has there. She loves Michael and he makes it clear he wants to be with her again. However, she walks away from all of this with the understanding and clarity that she loves Rafael. He is her future. It's tragic and unfortunate that Michael is her past. Him being taken from her was the action that ultimately disrupted all of the feelings they have. They will always hold so much love and affection for each other. But they aren't the same people they used to be. Michael loves the ranch and Jane loves Rafael. It's just even more tragic when Rafael rejects her because she broke his heart yet again. She has to put in the work to win back Rafael and fix her family. She feels inspired and hopeful about doing so as well. It means that Michael's time on the show comes to an end in a much happier way than it did before. Jane makes her choice. So now, the show can explore the consequences without having to focus anymore on the central love triangle.