“Until he drew his very last breath.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Fifty-Four

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Jane the Virgin Season 3, Episode 10
“Chapter Fifty-Four”
Posted by Kim

This tweet just about sums it all up:

Yep. They did it. After sparing Michael in the season premiere, they killed him off just after he finished his LSATs, probably from a pulmonary embolism lingering from his gunshot wound. And the thing is, after nearly a week of processing the episode, I still don’t know how I feel about it. The rational side of me can step back and SEE that they had been laying the groundwork for this, going all the way back to season one, where Mateo Our Narrator first utter the phrase “Michael would love her until he drew her very last breath.” The hints that Michael was not as well as he seemed were THERE when he failed his physical (me: WHY didn’t they look into why he failed further? Could this have been prevented?) and they were there ALL THROUGH this episode when it was obvious that something was off with him, even as he wrote it off as catching Mateo’s stomach bug. (Not to mention I had a growing sense of doom all through the episode.) And yet I STILL felt like I was slapped across the face when he keeled over as he was leaving his testing center. Because it felt CRUEL, you know? The emotional side of me can’t help but scream “HOW COULD YOU?” at my television, over and over. Because really. HOW? COULD? YOU?

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I’ve read all the post-mortems with showrunner Jennie Urman, and like I said, when I take a step back, I can respect the sheer GUTS that it took to shake-up the show this way, not only by having Jane go through this unspeakable tragedy, but then fast forwarding the show three years. Grey’s Anatomy made a very similar move when they killed off Derek; they spent ONE episode that took place over the course of a year, which allowed Meredith to go through the process of grieving, but kept the SHOW from being mired down in it. Jane has ALWAYS been a show that’s been a source of LIGHT in the television landscape; it’s spirit has always been one of optimism and hope and pure GOODNESS, so I would hate for it to lose that. All of our principle characters were on the precipice of great change in this episode, from Rafael preparing to go to jail to Petra finding her strength as a mother to Xiomara preparing to move in with Bruce to Rogelio embarking on his reality show and potential fatherhood with Darcy. It will be interesting to see how these three years have changed them all. Did Rogelio get his wish? How was Rafael changed by prison? How did Petra manage on her own? WHO IS GETTING MARRIED? My money is on Xiomara, but the question is…to whom? (It had better be Rogelio, God Dammit.)

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It feels a bit that Jane the Virgin is starting with a completely new slate but I HATE that it comes at the expense of Michael. It ALSO feels a bit like they want to have their cake and eat it too because I can’t help but feel like this is a means to having Jane and Rafael get together in the end. And THAT makes me mad, I have to say. It feels like they are cheating because they can say “Hey we HAD Jane end the love triangle by marrying Michael but guess what? He died and Jane has to move on and there’s always been a deep connection with Rafael so why SHOULDN’T they end up together?” It’s cheap, to be honest. As Sage said when she and I were discussing this, “Just commit to the story.” The Jane and Michael dynamic proved to still be interesting as they embarked on married life; they clashed and argued, they laughed and they LOVED, and they continued to discover new things about each other. There was still so much more for them (as the episode showed with them reconsidering their baby timeline) to do. So while I can appreciate what the show is trying to do by ripping out the rug from underneath Jane JUST when it seemed like everything was falling into place, I still cry foul. It didn’t have to be this way.

Believe me, I want to be proven wrong and see that this is the best choice for Jane. (Ultimately, I found that Grey’s was much stronger after Dempsey left, if only because the show felt lighter after its leading man was phoning in a performance for two seasons.) I want to respect the story that Jennie Urman is choosing to tell, which is that sometimes life fucking SUCKS and people who you love are taken from you way too soon and you have to find the strength to keep on going. I want to be inspired by Jane’s journey and I want to be moved by her resilience. I want so much for her and I want so much for this little show that is so so so special. I want, I want, I want.

It feels really weird to discuss the plot of this episode, when in the grand scheme of things, it means so little. So, I’m gonna devote the rest of this post to Brett Dier. Thank you for Michael. Thank you for making him so wonderfully complex. Michael wasn’t always the best guy, but he was always a GOOD guy. He had a good heart and he loved Jane with ALL of it. I was firmly on #TeamRafael in season one, but Brett’s performance basically yanked me over to the other side as he started filling in all the colors of Michael’s character. I know I use this term a lot (it’s my main description for Sterling K. Brown right now) but Brett just emanates WARMTH and that’s what made Michael so appealing, even when he was at his worst. He was a judgey bitch, he was the BIGGEST dork, and he was devoted to everything he did, from his work to his passion for Jane. The show won’t be the same without him.

On a personal level, I know I speak for Sage when I thank Brett for what he’s done for us personally. I’ll never forget the day when we announced the winners of the Feelies and Brett tweeted us saying that HE wanted a “Feeling Award” after seeing that his castmates had swept the comedy category. We teased him that he would have to make us feel in Season Two, which he PROMISED he would, and ultimately, it led to him getting his very own Feeling Award the next year. (Thank God he won, we would have felt bad.) It’s moments like this, where an actor whose work you love so much reaches out to you and basically says “I see you,” that mean SO MUCH to us and this little corner of the internet we’ve claimed as our own. Thank you for making our days with your tweets, Brett. You’ve earned fans for life in the two of us and we can’t WAIT to see what you do next. Rest assured, we’ll be watching you and tweeting the hell out of it.  All the love.

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Were you as devastated by Michael’s death as we were? Let us know in the comments.

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One thought on ““Until he drew his very last breath.” – Jane the Virgin Recap – Chapter Fifty-Four

  1. Gillian says:

    I haven’t fully processed/thought carefully about how I feel about what happened. All I know is, I spent the episode knowing what was going to happen (because twitter) and so thought I wouldn’t be very emotionally affected by it. And then Jane dropped the phone and DAMN IT, GINA RODRIGUEZ, I lost it too.

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