That is exactly what you need to do throughout the entire season premiere of Jane the Virgin — and this episode even reminds us to do just that. Last season (and this is as far as you’ll get sans spoilers), we were left with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers: the return of Michael Cordero (Brett Dier). Or at least, that’s what it appeared to be. What would this mean for Jane? For Rafael? It was not easy getting through the last 11 months waiting for some answers, but now we’ve finally made it, and it’s just as over-the-top and heart wrenching as you might imagine. But let’s start from the beginning.
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In two more days…… and within the first 35.7 seconds of the show… you’ll find out who or what this guy is. Be prepared to uncontrollably scream at the TV. Also…. this season has personally been my favorite to shoot!! So I’m super stoked to finally be able to share it with you all IN 2 DAYS 🛵 #janethevirgin
The season premiere begins with Jane reminiscing about observing Dia de los Muertos with her family, including scenes at Michael’s grave after he passed away. Within just a few seconds, we see how far Jane has gotten in her grief process (something that is about to completely unravel). Right after, we’re confronted with this very real ghost —the return of Michael — and in typical telenovela fashion, Jane faints.
When Jane comes to and tries talking to Michael, she discovers he actually has amnesia, and is now going by the name Jason (like Bourne). Michael’s been living in Montana for the last few years and apparently only knows people who own horses. He’s scruffier now, a dog person instead of a cat person, and actually seriously checks out Petra in one very cringe-worthy scene. But one thing’s for sure, he doesn’t seem to have any attraction to or recollection of the former love of his life. The Jane the Virgin writers have brought up the telenovela amnesia trope in past seasons, so really it was only a matter of time before it got introduced here as well.
Then we find out that it was Rose/Sin Rostro who faked Michael’s death and electroshocked him into losing his memories. All we know is that years ago, he woke up in a field not knowing who he was, not knowing if he was a “good guy or a bad guy,” and he’s been hiding out ever since. It’s funny in some ways, and in others, it’s just really hard to watch someone having to relive their grief all over again, especially when they, as Jane eventually puts it, “feel erased.”
Just as things are getting too heavy, we shift over to find out that the person who JR shot was actually Milos — you remember Petra’s ex-husband? His appearance on the scene (and what to do with him next) end up causing some strife between Petra and JR. So much so, in fact, that JR decides then and there that she’s done with Petra. It’s even more tragic as Petra’s been at her most human in recent episode whilst falling in love with JR. As for Milos, he winds up escaping… at least, temporarily.
But back to Michael/Jason, and Jane, and what this all means for everyone. Since season one, Jane’s been stuck between these two men she loves. Some episodes, she’s Team Michael. Others, it’s Team Rafael. And once Michael “died,” there was an obvious default winner. But now season five is taking us right back to the beginning, with Jane having to choose between the father of her child, and her first true love and husband! Or maybe ex-husband? It’s all so unclear!
Much of the rest of this episode involves everyone else processing Michael’s return. Rogelio is heartbroken that Michael didn’t instantly regain his memories at the sight of him (a true Rogelioism). He also struggles to connect with Rafael, and rather than support Rafael, it’s Rafael who ends up supporting him. And speaking of Rafael, while he does his best to play it cool from the get-go, he finally briefly opens up to Xo about his fear of losing Jane again. We have to hand it to Rafael not making any of this about him and even stepping aside as Jane figures it all out.
(Disclosure: This is especially difficult for me to admit as I am Team Michael all the way.)
Before I go any further, I need to mention the scene so many folks are talking about: Jane’s award-worthy monologue. Gina Rodriguez directed this scene herself, which is essentially a roughly seven-minute rant from a woman who is facing all of her demons at once. Jane is confronted with her ex-husband. She’s confronted with the fact that even if he’s back, he may never actually be back. She’s confronted with the fact that who he inherently was might be gone for good. She’s confronted with how she was just about to get engaged, and what will happen next. She’s confronted with all this trauma and fear. And then she simply goes off on this fantastic, scatterbrained soliloquy while making a pot of tea, wandering from one corner to the next, dissecting how she’s supposed to deal with her dead husband’s return. And it all just flows so beautifully.
By the end of the episode, it’s classic Jane the Virgin. Our heroine runs to Rafael to declare her love for him (as she once did with Michael) Some of the dialogue is even reminiscent of that particular scene in season one, which may serve as a bit of foreshadowing. But then, just before the episode ends, we notice a hint of a moment. The potential for a spark between her and Michael/Jason. So it sounds like we’re in for one final season of glowing hearts and magical snow. Who will Jane end up with? we still don’t know.
On a final note: a new plot line was also introduced involving some kind of gang run by Sin Rostro. It seems very over-the-top and no doubt they’ll be doing the telenovela villain trope some justice. Surely we’ll hear more about that later. For now, I’ll be re-watching some of the Best of Team Michael scenes to hold me over till the next episode.