Wednesday, July 17, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jane the Virgin' - Jane Reflects on How Rose's Actions Have Shaped Her Reactions to Life in 'Chapter Ninety-Seven'

The CW's Jane the Virgin - Episode 5.16 "Chapter Ninety-Seven"

When Jane's editor pitches a dark twist for her book, Jane begins to wonder if the same thing might have actually happened to her. Rogelio helps River bond with her daughter, but River once again makes things difficult for him. To avoid thinking about her career change, Xo instead focuses on trying to smooth things over between Jane and Alba. Alba stands up to someone from her past, which helps Jane realize she should do the same for herself.

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 Ninety-Seven" was written by Deidre Shaw & Chantelle M. Wells and directed by Melanie Mayron

The crime elements of this show had to come to a head at some point during these final episodes. They have always been a presence in every season. Rose has provided many of the shocking twists and turns over the course of the entire series. And yet, it's the element that has gotten the most repetitive and one-note. There is so much greatness in this show. It's devastating to think that it's ending soon. But this hour highlights how there is still so much emotional closure that needs to happen. It's so rewarding to see several of those cathartic moments here that showcase just how far these characters have come since the beginning. Alba being pushed down the stairs by Magda was one of the most explosive and emotional moments from the first season. Their confrontation is long overdue. Magda stopped being an interesting threat a long time ago. But it means something when Alba runs into her at the Marbella. It's unexpected. But it also shows how Alba has power now that she is an American citizen. She lived in fear for a long time. That's why she is also upset with Jane for including so many personal details about her life in her new book. She wants Jane to drastically rewrite everything to ensure that her reputation is protected. Jorge is the one who can articulate that it all stems from how closed off undocumented immigrants can be in this country. They live in perpetual fear. But now, Alba has this amazing life full of so many opportunities. She has Jane and Jorge who help challenge her in ways that are absolutely beneficial. She doesn't mess up the technology of her new phone either when the big confrontation happens with Magda. That's the immediate fear because the show sets it up to make the audience nervous. In the heat of the moment though, everything works out for the Villanueva family. The same is also true of Jane suddenly being paralyzed with the thought that Rose might have swapped Mateo for another baby when she kidnapped him in the first season finale. That too was a very dramatic moment. Its inclusion here further highlights the full circle moments this final season is going for. Jane can reflect on that time in her life with newfound clarity. She gets peace out of knowing that the crime components of her life stopped being important a long time ago. She has still had to deal with those consequences though. She had to explore her relationship with Michael after he was revealed to still be alive. And now, she worries about Mateo actually being her son. He is. The audience never really has to be nervous about that. It just means that Jane also has to confront the woman who has caused her so much pain. It just happens to occur at the same time that Rose stages her massive prison break. Now, it's not all that surprising that Luisa is revealed as a double agent who has been working with the police. She makes a significant change in choosing her family over her passion. But Rose is still out there. Jane can't confront her just yet. That's shocking and a little disappointing because this is the aspect of the show that should really be wrapping up already. It will certainly intensify significantly in the next hour. But it's just as crucial to spend time with Jane and Rafael learning their wedding dance, Xo enjoying her first day at nursing school and Rogelio helping River win back the love of her daughter. The latter is completely silly and outrageous. But it's another one of Rogelio's grand gestures that show just how much he cares about the people in his life. It just comes at the expense of his pilot which has officially been picked up to series. Now, he is faced with the choice between his job and his family. He has to do what's right for the many people that he loves. That should be the focus of the final episodes. There is every sense that it will be. The crime elements just help increase the tension and momentum in this hour.