Jane the Virgin is normally a show with plenty of characters and storylines happening all at once; but for Chapter Eighty-Eight, we get to slow down for once. This entire stand-alone episode centers around Jane and Michael. Can they rekindle their former romance, or will they both be making some tough choices?
The episode opens up right where we left off: with Jane getting ready for her trip with Michael to Montana (and Jane over-packing and over-stressing as usual). Michael comes by to pick her up and they have a pretty rough start to their 3-day getaway. They miss their bus, they hit a possum, and Jane’s not exactly feeling the tiny digs that Jason/Michael has.
By the next morning, though, everything begins to look a little brighter. Jane and Michael have some coffee on the porch and take in the beauty of the countryside. Just as they’re heading to have a picnic, though, Michael’s “boss” Rick comes around to ruin their fun and put Michael to work. It’s all the stuff of rom-coms, with Jane (in the more glittery cowboy boots possible) mucking the stalls alongside Michael. That is to say, she’s shoveling horse crap and it’s pretty entertaining. Plus they end up having a hay fight that results in Jane needing to take a quick outdoor shower that gets to be *almost* steamy. Let’s just say if I were Jane, I would’ve invited Michael to take a peek.
Later, Jane and Michael end up having some beers with the other ranch hands and they end up telling their whole telenovela-esque story. Things seem to be going alright until Rick comes back around to warn Michael he has 48 hours to decide whether or not he’ll be staying in Montana or not. Jane, too, is having feelings about whether or not she could ever live in Montana, or if she could ever ask Michael to give up his home.
The next morning, Jane runs into Keith (one of Michael’s easy-on-the-eyes friends from the previous night) who ends up spilling the beans about Rick’s ultimatum. Jane and Michael have an awkward horse ride as they both begin to reveal their struggles and their feelings about the situation. She also confesses all the guilt she feels about leaving Rafael. Michael being Michael, though, offers alternative solutions, such as the pair starting things off in a long-distance situation. No man tantrums, here!
Their last task is to mend a fence, but just as they get to work, one of their bulls gets out and wanders into the next ranch’s property. Michael’s freaked out because apparently this is Charlie’s property and they’ve got some bad blood between them. So Jane volunteers to go after the bull. OK, now, seriously? City gal who just learned somewhat how to throw a lasso is supposed to go after a massive bull? But hey, this is telenovela land. What could go wrong?
After a few practice throws around Bo (Michael’s doggo), Jane ends up trying to lasso the bull, only to accidentally lasso Charlie. And, as it turns out, Charlie is actually a stunning blonde rancher. At first, she’s not sure what to make of Jane. Hand it to Jane for being able to talk her way out of anything, though. In fact, she babbles on enough about Michael that Charlie agrees to help her get the bull as long as she makes sure to shut up and leave.
Jane returns triumphant with the bull, and she and Michael end up having a romantic evening under the stars. You may have even heard a collective squeal out of Team Michael fans as the pair finally, finally, FINALLY share an extremely sweet kiss. It was simply the best moment we’ve had for a long while.
Of course, it’s short-lived (because it always is here on Jane the Virgin), as Charlie wakes them up with the sound of her shotgun. She’s angry to find them still on her property. As for the cause of the bad blood? Turns out Bo ate some of Charlie’s prize-winning chickens. Michael agrees to replace them, and the two go on their way.
Then…something shifts. Jane has another vision of what it might be like for Michael to come back to Miami with her. She sees Jane and Michael coming over to Raf’s with Mateo, and they’re all about to have a nice family dinner. Everyone’s calm, happy. It seems that maybe Jane has finally made her decision. But then she goes on to confess that her guilt over Rafael isn’t just guilt, but love.
I’m not gonna lie, y’all. My heart broke watching as both their heart broke, but I get it. Michael was her past, and Rafael’s been there for a while. So they say their tear-streaked goodbyes, and Jane sets for Miami. Jafael fans at this point are probably squealing, waiting to see what happens next. Jane arrives at Raf’s and he looks confused. What is she doing there? he asks.
Jane confesses her love and apologizes for the hell she’s put him through.
Rafael, somewhat stoically, informs Jane that it’s simply too late. The damage has been done. And shuts the door on her.
Y’all, I don’t know about y’all, but I did not see this episode panning out in this way one bit. It was nice to get some pseudo-closure between Jane and Michael (and at least one final kiss where Jane didn’t quickly run away). Did they add the cute next-door-rancher Charlie in to insinuate that maybe Michael will find some romance in Montana after all? And is Jane going to keep pursuing Rafael, even after he’s rejected her? Will she give him the space he needs to heal from the past in order to potentially have a future (together or apart)? Or will Jane finally decide she’s done with both these men for good, and focus her attention on her writing and her child—romance be damned? We’ve got about a dozen episodes left until the series finale, so only time will tell!
Till next time…