Thursday, August 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jane the Virgin' - The Villanueva Family Embraces Love as They Prepare for Change in 'Chapter One Hundred'

The CW's Jane the Virgin - Episode 5.19 "Chapter One Hundred"

With Jane and Rafael finally getting ready for their big day, Rafael's desire to help Jane's writing dream lands him in trouble. Xo and Rogelio must tell the family about their decision and not everyone takes it well. Meanwhile, Petra struggles with her emotions.

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 series finale of The CW's Jane the Virgin.

"Chapter One Hundred" was written by Jennie Snyder Urman and directed by Brad Silberling

Jane the Virgin always led from a place of joy in its storytelling. It celebrated all the emotions of life with that as its core mission. It was still fundamentally a telenovela though. Outrageous things happened on a consistent basis. The Villanueva family has experienced so much across these five seasons. It has brought them together and strengthened their bonds. But it has also tested their resolves and their ambitions for this world. It was always stunning and phenomenal to watch as well. No matter how insane some of the story elements became it was always refreshing to see how grounded the show was with its central focus on family. This series finale kicks off with the Narrator noting that it has always been about the three generations of the Villanueva women. This final season has been a celebration of everything they have wanted to achieve. Alba experienced pure love again and is happily married to Jorge. Xo found her passion in nursing and is actively pursuing that as her career. Jane had continual breakthroughs with her writing and is now the author of a lucrative book about her life story. These are all huge moments. That extends to the supporting ensemble as well. Rogelio achieves his dream of becoming a crossover star with American audiences. His passion project has been given a series order with him being very well received in the role. Rafael is marrying the love of his life with the support of the family he has created with Jane. He also finally get answers about his birth parents here. It's depressing and disappointing because they died in a car accident years prior. And yet, it's not a complete upheaval of the life he and Jane have built together. Instead, it highlights the power of normalcy. There wasn't some big dramatic twist that explained why Rafael's parents couldn't take care of him. It wasn't a part of some grand conspiracy. In fact, most of the big, melodramatic moments occurred in the penultimate episode with Rose making her final stand before being killed off. That was the hour that also dealt with any lingering tension anyone in the audience would have felt about Jane choosing Rafael over Michael. It established that everyone was perfectly happy with the new lives that they were building. This is Jane's second wedding. It had to be dramatically different from her first. The same was true of her novel. She was already a published author. That didn't dramatically change her life though. She couldn't afford to have a second book fail to make an impact. That's not the trajectory awaiting her though. Instead, she is a celebrated author who may even provide the hook for a telenovela adaptation of her life story. She understands perfectly well just how insane all of this has been for her and her family. It feels like it comes straight out of the stories she grew up watching and loving with her mother and grandmother. But it was also grounded in reality for her. She is achieving her dreams. She is surrounded by people who always stand by her and are willing to lift her up. That's what makes it so emotional when Xo and Rogelio say they are moving away to New York because of the This Is Mars production. It's powerful seeing the three generations of women sitting on the front porch watching the sun rise knowing just how moving and emotional this day will become and what it will symbolize for the future. Things may be changing for this family. And yet, they will always have each other in their lives. That's not something that can be lost simply because of personal relationships and a change in location. Those may be complications that have to be addressed on a continued basis. And yet, everything extends out of love and compassion. It's so special to see Jane and Rafael show up to their wedding on a bus. It's the most over-the-top aspect of this finale without a whole lot of consideration to the passengers hijacked along the way. But it symbolizes all the personal growth these characters have faced over the course of the series. Now, they are all proud to stand at Jane and Rafael's wedding. They celebrate that love while embracing their own. That is so special. It's heartwarming to see Petra and JR reunite. It's meaningful that the show reveals Mateo to be the Narrator from some point in the future. And yet, the show remains very much in the moment. The future may always be unknown and complicated. But any bond can be strong and conquer anything so long as love informs the actions. Jane was inspired to change the ending of her novel because of the emotions she felt during the rehearsal dinner. Rafael was compelled to run to the presses to get it delivered in time. They are perfect for each other. This show was perfect and it should be celebrated for a long time to come.