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Jane the Virgin - Chapter Eighty-Seven - Review

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Jane the Virgin “Chapter Eighty-Seven” was written by Rafael Agustin, who has been a staff writer since season 6, and was directed by Eric Lea. This episode is all about change, and how far we’ve all come on this journey so far…

Jane (Gina Rodriguez) learns that her memory may not be as reliable as she thinks it is when she discovers that Michael (Brett Dier) doesn’t remember things exactly the same way – and has evidence to back it up. As the episode opens, however, both Xo (Andrea Navedo) and Alba (Ivonne Coll) urge Jane to explore her feelings for Michael – or at least text him… which leads to an hilarious scene as Jane texts hi and Michael calls her back – and she thinks she puts him on hold while spilling her feelings about him to Alba and Xo – only to discover that he’s actually on speaker… Leading to this week’s title card: Jane the Virgin Smooth Operator. Great play on words!!!

Michael is really calling Jane to enlist her help in trying to jog his memory about what happened with Rose (Bridget Regan) on the day he died. He’s sure that Rose is lying about him seeing her mask slip and thinks it has something to do with a number that came up in Susannah’s log (Rose’s other alias as Michael’s partner). Jane then discovers that Michael was still helping investigate Rose after he left the force – and he lied about it to her at the time. Dennis (Christopher Allen) points out that memories are notoriously unreliable – which is a bit of the theme of the episode… He suggests that Michael and Jane recreate the day he died to jog his memory.

Jane doesn’t want to discuss Rafael with Michael. Michael laughs about Jane giving him a lunch box to take to the LSATs – and Jane insists that it was sweet – no dorky. Michael tells her that the guys he works with at the ranch would ridicule him if he brought a lunch box to work. Jane doesn’t find anything funny about the thing she relates to the last thing she said to him before he died. Michael reminds her that the last thing she said was in response to him telling her to remember to put gas in her car. She then remembers she sent him an email while she was pumping gas – and he insists that he answered it even though Jane insists that if he had, she would have read it over and over.

Jane is called away by a call from Mateo’s (Elias Janssen) karate dojo when Rafael (Justin Baldoni) doesn’t pick him up. Jane arrives at about the same time as a very rumpled looking Rafael. He says he has a lot going on at the office – even though he clearly doesn’t look like he’s come from the office – and he asks Jane to take Mateo and the girls. While she’s got them in the care, they spill the beans that Rafael is on drugs!

Jane tries to talk to Petra (Yael Grobglas), but Petra is obsessing over JR’s (Rosario Dawson) friends, trying to get to know them and fit in. Petra dismisses Jane’s concern as an overreaction. As soon as she shoos Jane out of her office, however, Petra immediately calls Rafael to see how he is… Petra then goes to his house and insists he talk to her about what’s going on.

We get several hilarious instances of unrequited horniness. Alba is obsessing over Jorge (Alfonso DiLuca), and even funnier is when Xo interrupts Rogelio in the midst of … ahem! Rogelio and Xo both miss their sex life and want it back, but Xo just hasn’t felt like it.

JR’s friend Leona (Zelda Williams) helps secure Petra’s computer, and Petra tries desperately to connect with her based on some judicious social media stalking – which backfires. JR tells Petra to be a bit more subtle, but Petra is upset when Leona blatantly doesn’t invite Petra to the Truck Shop – a gay club. JR calls Petra on the fact that clubs aren’t Petra’s thing, but Petra insists that she wants to get to know JR’s life more – and that’s pretty sweet, right?

Jane can’t find the email that Michael insists he wrote, and he can’t get into his email because he can’t remember his password. Jane tells him to try “MLJTM519” – which stands for Michael Loves Jane The Mostest and 519 is their wedding anniversary – so, of course, it works. Michael is bemused at how “sappy” he used to be, and Jane insists that he wasn’t sappy, he was romantic. This episode really drives home how much they’ve changed. Michael discovers the email was never sent – because he bumped into Eileen just before he was about to send it. Jane sees a car out front that she thinks is suspicious, and Michael wants to go to the coffee shop to jog his memory about what he saw.

Petra tells Jane that she saw Rafael and she’s handling it. I loved Jane commenting on Petra wearing jeans – for the first time ever – and Petra trying to act cool about going to a lesbian hotspot. What’s not cool at all, is when Petra tells Jane to mind her own business about Rafael!!

Meanwhile, Rogelio tries to romance Xo, but she’s still not able to relax and enjoy sex. They go off to the doctor, who shocks Xo by telling her that she’s probably experiencing chemo-induced menopause. The doctor isn’t able to tell her when – or if her sex drive will come back. Rogelio is supportive again – and tells Xo that they should just focus on the good part – the early menopause means reduced estrogen which means reduced chances of the cancer coming back.

At the coffee shop, Michael has a breakthrough and remembers seeing the user name Buttercup – like the Princess Bride – as the Narrator (Anthony Mendez) helpfully supplies! – on Eileen’s phone. He really didn’t think anything of it at the time, but the connection to Rose is obvious. The Dread Pirate Robert was the one who created the online Silk Road – all things illegal. Michael was set to meet Eileen that day and then would have put two and two together… It turns out that the car following them is actually a security detail that Dennis arranged for.

As the two hide in the luggage room, Jane tells Michael that she is angry that after all they went through he was still investigating Rose at the time of his “death” – and lying to her about it. Michael tells her that he really gave up his career for her. Jane wonders what they are trying to hold onto. He was lying to her and had given up the career he loved. Michael insists that he was happy, but Jane points out he likely wouldn’t be now because he thinks all their memories are silly and sappy. And Michael points out that they’ve changed. And they have. THIS Michael isn’t the one that I fell in love with either…

Once again, Jane is pulled away to deal with Mateo. This time she has to go to Rafael’s to pick up a forgotten project. She takes the opportunity to check Rafael’s medicine cupboard for drugs – and of course, he catches her. She tells him she’s worried that he’s in a dark place, and he tells her that it’s none of her business. For the record, this isn’t the Rafael who’s been growing on me either! I like the new Michael better than this new Rafael!

We get another hilarious sex talk between Alba and Xo! And how much has Alba changed over the course of the series??? When Alba arrives home shortly after, I was sure she was having the same kind of dream that Rogelio was having earlier. Jorge is waiting at the door to give her a big kiss – but it’s all an act for the Immigration investigators who are at the house.

Meanwhile, Petra is bombing her investigation by JR’s friends. Jane interrupts and pulls her away to talk about Rafael. Petra finally tells Jane what’s going on – Rafael is taking anti-depressants. Jane is a little relieved that he’s taking care of himself and getting help, but of course, she also feel guilty. Petra also finally tells Jane why she’s so angry with her. Petra gave Jane advice – dump Michael – and Jane didn’t take it! Petra is angry that Jane hurt Rafael and created chaos for their whole family – and she doesn’t understand why Jane is doing it. Jane points out that Petra doesn’t have to understand – friends support each other no matter what – no questions asked.

Petra immediately takes Jane’s advice – but insisting that Jane support her in a dance contest to show JR’s friends that she’s not stuck up! This is hilarious – and I love any time the show can show off Rodriguez’s and Grobglas’ talents for physical comedy. I loved Jane teaching Petra how to dance and then grabbing the champagne!

Rogelio ends up walking in on Xo, strumming her lady guitar – but she can’t get out of her head enough to have sex. She asks Rogelio for the space to work it out on her own, and of course, he’s completely supportive.

After the immigration agents leave, Jorge expresses surprise at Alba’s rather passionate greeting. Alba admits to still having feelings. But she also tells him that while she’s committed to helping him get his green card, she realizes that his feelings have not changed and she wants them to go their separate ways once he does get his green card.

Petra thanks Jane for her help and promises to be more supportive regardless of what Jane decides about Michael. Petra finally asks Leona what her problem is, and Leona tells her that it has nothing to do with Petra being stuck up – it has everything to do with Petra breaking her best friend’s heart – seems Leona has the same friend-code as Jane – and Petra can finally appreciate that. JR is going to tell Leona to back off, but Petra defends her for supporting her friend. Petra is sure that Leona will come around when she sees that Petra has changed and how happy she’s going to make JR.

Jane goes to Rafael to apologize, and he asks her to give him space…

And then we get a scene on the swing – with all three Villanuvea women sobbing! Alba is heartbroken over Jorge, Jane is guilty about Rafael and confused about Michael, and Xo doesn’t want to have sex and she loves sex! I loved Alba telling Xo to think of Barak Obama!!! They all remark on how much they’ve changed.

JR and Petra start to get romantic, and JR suggests that she’ll stay over when they are interrupted by the girls screaming – a strange man was in their room! Meanwhile, Dennis and Michael are just about to get into Rose’s network, when Rose’s inside man – Bobby (Tommy Dorfman) – shuts them down. He offers to go after Michael, but Rose tells him that they have bigger problems. Bobby is to leave Michael along because he’s irrelevant now. Dennis asks Michael if he’d consider coming back to the force…

Jane calls and apologizes for over reacting. Michael apologizes for crapping all over their memories. Jane admits it wasn’t perfect – but Michael thinks it was. He remembers thinking how lucky he was to be married to her… then. But they’re different now. But what isn’t different is how he still feels about Jane. Michael suggests that they go to Montana to escape the ghosts of their past – and Jane agrees to go!

This was rather a bitter-sweet episode as we examine how much everyone has changed – and we have to let go of some of that past too. As always, the writing and acting are terrific and we have that truly sweet mix of drama and humor to balance each other. Will Jane fall in love with Michael all over again? Will they discover that they are too different? Is there any way that Jane would ever move to Montana and leave the rest of her family? Who was that man in the girls’ room? Was it Bobby or one of Milosh’s henchmen? What did you think of the episode? Favorite scene? So many good ones this episode!!! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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