In the twentieth and final episode of the third season of Jane the Virgin, the wedding has arrived, but so has a hurricane. AND FIVE MILLION OTHER THINGS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
Trigger Warning: For grief, nonconsensual drugging
Holy shit. What an ending. And what a beginning.
Planning the Wedding
Thinking back on this episode, there are so many little and big callbacks to past plots or motifs, which makes sense, given that “Chapter Sixty-Four” closes one of the major arcs of the show. After three seasons of back and forth, Rogelio and Xiomara are finally married! But prior to this happening, LITERALLY EVERYTHING GOES WRONG. I now understand why that is; all of it builds into the theme that destiny and fate can be meaningless. It seemed fated that these two should not be together, but they chose to be.
More on that later, though. There’s an intense energy throughout this episode that was reminiscent of Jane’s struggle to make her own wedding on time, but it wasn’t the only reference to some of the end of season two. Father Gustavo made a reappearance here when Jane sought him out for advice on writing her parents’ ceremony. At one point, Rafael and Jane ride the bus (we hadn’t see the bus in so long!!!), and there’s an important emotional realization on said bus. Natural disasters and freak occurrences nearly derail everything, but everything comes together at the last moment. Here, though, the context is all different. And for a reason! This isn’t Jane’s wedding at all, so some of this was challenging to watch. I felt for Jane for all the obvious reasons: she was single and living out a life she didn’t expect to have. And for very obvious personal reasons, that’s a relatable thing to see! But it was also nice because… she was living. She seemed alive. In many ways, Jane was thriving in this episode. She was planning a wedding, adapting to constant last-second deviations, and then that bus ride reminded her of her future: she is going to be publishing a book. Her dream has come true. Yes, it doesn’t look like she thought it would, but it’s still happening.
This wedding unearthed deeply uncomfortable and difficult emotions in practically everyone, but in the end, I think it moved each of them to a better place, or at least the next step in their journey.
Let’s talk about some of those feelings! There is, of course, the feeling that nearly derails the whole wedding: Darci’s re-appearance (I CAN’T BELIEVE I LITERALLY ASKED WHAT SHE WAS UP TO IN THIS EPISODE’S VIDEO). Darci is… pregnant. It’s definitely Rogelio’s. And even though it’s clear that Darci wants as little to do with Rogelio as possible, it still brings up so much fear and insecurity in Xiomara. I was reminded of Jane’s conflict in the previous episode: suddenly, Xo was caught in the middle! On the surface, this unfolding drama had little to do with her, and yet, it still affected her perception of the relationship and certainly of the wedding. The script itself even refers to the eerie similarities to plots from the first and second season, where Rafael became a sudden father (twice!!!), and no one knew how to deal with the strangeness of these new family structures.
So, this felt less like a repetitive story and more like a chance for the show to build off the past. What I mean is that… well, say the show began right around here, and Xiomara was dealt this plot twist. Without having been through this experience with Jane, Petra, and Rafael, would she have known what to do? What to expect? Would she have embraced the weird chaos of it all because families are work? Xiomara knows this intimately! It’s because of her past that she was able to look at Rogelio and realize that it didn’t matter how fucking weird this all got. She’d already been through weird, and this time? She wasn’t going to do it without Rogelio.
This finale also digs in deep to the love triangle of Rafael/Jane/Petra. And wow, it really is a love triangle! Well, I suppose one side is missing, WHY WON’T YOU GIVE PETRA/JANE A CHANCE, YOU COWARDS. It’s right there! Anyway, I know in the past that I’ve been critical of love triangles, but here’s one (of a number of them!) that I consistently enjoy. Still! I was enjoying it in the first season because it was written convincingly, and it continues to be written that way! What do each of these people offer the other, and is it believable? Is there enough of a different between Jane and Petra that we can understand why those two are so interesting to him and why he can feel such intense emotions towards them? I’d say that the show has more than demonstrated this! All three of these characters are so deeply, deeply complex, and at this point, I understand why Petra is reluctant to stay with Rafael, and I understand why Jane suddenly has feelings (or something like romantic feelings) for Rafael, and I understand why Rafael sees hope and potential in Petra. Why? Because this show has spent so much time developing these layered, challenging stories for them.
So yes, this is all very much a telenovela. But it wouldn’t hit so hard if it didn’t also feel so realistic, would it?
Which is also why I don’t think Chuck is going to last. I just don’t feel it! There’s less of a connection there. That doesn’t mean I think Rafael / Petra is endgame either, but I think we’ll see the last of him next season.
Derailment and Choice
As I’ve talked about in recent reviews, Jane the Virgin plays with fantasy and specifically in the notion of fairy tales. There were fairy tales at work here, but this finale derails many of them. In one case, it is actually for the better, while the other two close up existing plot threads and introduce very surprising new directions for season four. The first one—and easily the biggest story here—is the re-appearance of Darcy. I cannot possibly predict what her story will look like next season, but holy shit, what a chaotic twist here! I already spoke about how this affected Xiomara and Rogelio, but I want to also acknowledge the beautiful ramification of that. Jane’s words at her parents’ ceremony really hit the nail on the head. At almost every step of the way, it has seemed like the universe has been trying to tear Rogelio and Xiomara apart. In a rejection of that, those two chose one another. They didn’t leave their lives up to fate or destiny, and they have worked so hard to be together. And this was also in a season where both of them saw other people!!! Xiomara almost got married to someone else! (I still feel bad for Bruce.)
Ultimately, what I loved about this is that it says a good, strong relationship is work, not chance. After years apart, they found one another, then split again. Now, they’re back, and it’s so clear to me that they are willing to do the work to keep this relationship going.
In a odd and unexpected parallel, I now have to wonder… was Rose actually trying to do work to be better in her relationship? I kinda always assumed she was behind all the mess at the Marbella because… well, it wouldn’t be the first time. It is admittedly very hard for me to feel anything good about Rose because of the awful things she has done to people, which definitely concludes her manipulation of Luisa. Because of their history, I just assumed the worst about her. Now, I don’t say all this to suggest that she has made amends for the awful things she has done, but look. Y’all. I did not expect this episode to reveal that Rose really didn’t have anything to do with Scott’s death. Eileen did it!!! Which then makes me consider whether or not Rose was also telling the truth about trying to change who she is so she could actually be a good person.
Now, I don’t think she succeeded at all, and in the end, I hope this means that Luisa and Rose will remain separate for good. I say that because Luisa makes a very important choice here, one that will create a mess for Rafael but might help her find her own way. I get why she was so furious at her brother that she used that addendum to the will to kick Raf out of the Marbella. But is that the path for healing for her? Fuck, I don’t know! I know she has to do a lot of healing to properly get over Rose and to start believing in herself so that she doesn’t sabotage any growth. But will she do that at the expense of Rafael’s future? She’s lashed out at Rafael and claimed a place in the hotel, but what I’m most interested in seeing next season is how she’ll cope with this. Will she be overwhelmed by running the hotel? What’s gonna happen when Petra finds out? OH GOD, WILL SHE FIND OUT?
Seriously, I hope Petra is okay. The situation she is left in at the very end of this episode is a mess. One the one hand, I understand why Anezka is so furious with Petra, furious enough that she threatens her life. I don’t think she’s going to pull the trigger, for the record. Still, this is just… oh, it’s bad. I don’t think that drugging Anezka was a good solution, nor does it make her and Petra “even.” That eye-for-an-eye stuff is an ethical nightmare, especially here. Like… did Anezka forget that she drugged Petra for weeks on weeks???
Probably, but it’s not really the point. It’s true that Petra is very dismissive of her sister, but that doesn’t justify what might happen. And I don’t know what the end result here is, y’all. I hope that Anezka doesn’t fire on Petra. Right??? I also think Anezka deserves to be treated better in general. THIS IS ALL A MESS.
Destiny and Fate
I don’t think I have heard about Adam before this episode, but maybe he was referenced and I just didn’t catch on to it? Anyway, looping back to the letter… oh shit. I WAS NOT READY TO HEAR IT READ ALIVE. The presence of Michael in this episode broke my heart a little. When I was unpacking my apartment at the end of last month, I found a card Baize wrote to me, and there’s something particularly gutting about reading the words that someone who died wrote long ago. It’s a remarkably easy way to hear their voice again, so I loved the touch of having Brett Dier come back to provide the voiceover of the letter. The whole episode, I thought that was what the show was leading to: Jane coming to understand that fate only led her to one person: Michael. It wasn’t going to do that again. That’s what I thought the letter was for!
Oh, I wasn’t ready. I WAS NOT READY FOR FUCKING TYLER POSEY TO APPEAR ON THE SHOW AS ADAM. Look, Jane’s a romantic, and what’s more romantic than this? She will probably see this as the universe leading her back to Adam, who was apparently her first love. I’m guessing we’re going to see more of that in season four, but holy shit, Tyler Posey??? On Jane the Virgin? I SUPPORT THIS.
The video for “Chapter Sixty-Four” can be downloaded here for $0.99.