Mark Watches ‘Jane the Virgin’: S05E04 – Chapter Eighty-Five

In the fourth episode of the fifth season of Jane the Virgin, I’m back to telling y’all about how much this show hurts. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of abusive parents, grief.

Help me??? This was a lot???


You know, I sympathize with all the parties involved here because… fuck. This really is a nightmare, and I get why the writers used that as a framing device for “Chapter Eighty-Five.” Grief is already an awful thing to go through, and the thing that most people struggle with is the finality of death. How can someone just be gone? It doesn’t made any sense for a long time, and hell, I don’t know that it ever truly makes sense. You adapt. You do your best.

So what the hell do you do when someone you love dies and then you find out they weren’t dead? It’s an unfathomable situation because it just doesn’t happen! And here’s Jane, who grieved for years, who fell in love again, who wrote a book about her loss, who moved on. Michael’s death was finally final in her heart and mind… and then boom! It’s all torn to pieces.

But is it? That’s the conflict we’re given here. It’s a telenovela twist given a deeply realistic treatment. WHICH MEANS IT HURTS. Because I understand everyone here. To the credit of the writers, they’ve built up each of the three characters to a point that their motivations within this love triangle feel legible and believable. Which doesn’t make things easier for LITERALLY ANYONE INVOLVED.

Y’all. Jason remembered being Michael. I appreciated that this didn’t fundamentally change who he was, even if some of Michael’s mannerisms came back. As he put it: he felt like he was two people at once, and it makes sense that he’d feel torn between the two lives! Even worse, it’s completely understandable that he’d still be in love with Jane. Why would that change? So as complicated as it was, I got why he wanted to get back with his true love. Unlike Jane, he hadn’t moved on in the same way. He lost his memories and became a new person, but once those memories snapped back? Lord, I can’t even imagine what that must feel like. Disorienting, frightening, overwhelming. ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

As frustrating as it was at times, I also understood Jane. Michael was the love of her life, and it’s not like she broke up with him, and that was the reason they were no longer together. Again, death is supposed to be final! Even then, Jane hadn’t necessarily fallen out of love with Michael. Her love became something else. She fell in love with Rafael. And now, she’s confused because this person is back in her life, he says he loves her, and she’s unsure. What if she’s “meant” to be with Michael? What if she can’t escape her own sense of guilt over falling in love with someone else? Because I still think that’s the main reason she’s having a hard time letting him go! I really do. Because her life is with Rafael. Who is the one who shows up to help Jane and bring Xo a change of clothes? It’s Rafael. Rafael is the one prepared to love Jane now how she needs to be. Jason loves Jane for who she was four years prior, you know?

I just… god, Rafael, I FEEL SO BAD. And look, it was painful to watch, but I get why he asked Jane to leave. Rafael’s worst nightmare already happened. He lost Jane to Michael years ago, and he had to watch her get married to him!!! So this is just a repeat of that same scenario, only wrapped up in another nightmare. UGH. It didn’t help that Petra got Rafael excited about the divorce, only for Jane to take it back hours later. (And for the record, I agree that life-altering decisions shouldn’t happen when you’re drunk.) From his point of view, he’s got to feel like he’s being jerked around, flung from one extreme emotion to another. Is it unfair that he wants an answer so quickly? Probably. At the same time, I understood why he didn’t want Jane around while she wavered between her two options.

THIS ALL HURTS. I’m personally of the mind that Jane and Rafael should stay together, but clearly WHAT I WANT DOES NOT MATTER. 

Grandparents’ Day

XIOMARA. MY HEART. Oh, lord, this was another gut punch of MANY in this episode. I was overjoyed that Xo had reached her final chemo session! I hope this is the last we’ve seen of her cancer, but the writers are once again sticking to realism with this plot. Because it’s not like a person gets chemo one last time, and then everything is just perfectly fine. I’ve seen the aftereffects of cancer treatment too many times to count, and recovery can often last a long, long, time. And that’s all assuming a person stays in remission. (Which I hope is the case for Xiomara.) 

Xo’s whole life has been interrupted by this diagnosis, so I also assumed that she was trying to return to some sort of “normal.” Which means that I didn’t see her confession coming. Oh, god, she just wanted to give Mateo a good impression of her! She wanted to appear strong and brave, and so she played up everything in order to do so. INCLUDING THAT CUTE DANCE. WHICH WAS TOO MUCH. What I enjoyed about this plot is that Rogelio reframed Xo’s understanding of strength for her. Look, there’s absolutely a stigma against sickness, and Xo was worried about how her grandson would perceive her. But Mateo already looked up to her!!! He already saw her as the toughest woman he knew! THAT VIDEO WAS EVEN CUTER THAN THE DANCE. I just… I really liked that this wasn’t necessarily a big flashy plot, but it was still emotionally powerful. 

JR and Magda

YES. YES. Y E S. All of that is of course only reserved for JR and Petra, because… fuck all the rest. Seriously, I’m so exhausted by Magda’s presence, and I want her gone. Forever! She is so brazen in her abuse and manipulation of Petra, and it’s like… every time I think she might be stricken from Jane the Virgin, she creeps back in. This time: She’s suing her daughter. And constantly trying to make a quick buck rather than just… go off and live her life somewhere else? THERE ARE LITERALLY ENDLESS OTHER PLACES YOU COULD GO. GO AWAY. 

So here’s what I’ll say about Magda: She tries her very hardest to completely ruin Petra’s reconciliation with JR, which includes handcuffing herself to Petra. That’s an actual thing she does. But guess what? It doesn’t fucking work. And if that isn’t a sign of how much these two are willing to give one another a chance, I don’t know what is!!! I actually wonder if that gave JR the nudge she needed. Because here was Petra, handcuffed to her abusive mother, still willing to come to JR’s place and promise to be a better person. I think JR saw that Petra truly meant it. 


Jorge’s Letters

You know, I wanted this to work so badly, too. I admit that my hopes were not as high as Alba’s were, but still. It would have been nice, no? To have Jorge return to Miami and admit that what he wrote in those letters was how he really felt? Alas, that is not the case, and this really does look to be a marriage built on a favor. How is Alba going to deal with that? Apparently, not well at all because she is STILL holding out hope for Jorge! She’s decided that his hug with her revealed his TRUE feelings, which… ugh. Jorge isn’t quite the kind of person to hide how he feels, so why wouldn’t he just admit the truth to her?

Probably because there isn’t a secret truth at all. 

Crushing, I know, but I really hope Alba doesn’t get too invested in this. I don’t want her to break her heart any more than it will be!

The video for “Chapter Eighty-Five” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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