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Jane the Virgin - Chapter One Hundred - Review: "A Fond - and Tear Filled - Farewell"

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Jane the Virgin finally reached its 100th episode – the ending for all telenovelas. I’m not going to review “Chapter Ninety-Nine” because it was a retrospective and thus not part of the show proper. It was nice to see all the actors as themselves – and hear about how the show has impacted them, however. While this season hasn’t been my favorite, with many storylines seeming a bit too strained or repetitive – and thus demonstrating why good telenovelas bow out at episode 100 – the show did come to a satisfying ending with “Chapter One Hundred,” and this is definitely one show that I will miss. I’ll miss the comedy, the drama, the acting, the diversity, the writing, and the characters. And the three women at the heart of this story. This show broke so many barriers…How about you? What will you miss the most?

Let’s dive in – and weren’t you thrilled by the twist that the Narrator (Anthony Mendez – who didn’t really look the way I expected!) is a grown up Mateo (Elias Janssen)! “Chapter One Hundred” was written, as expected, by show creator and executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman and was directed by executive producer Brad Silberling.

The episode begins with a series recap – and focuses on the heart of the show – Jane (Gina Rodriguez), Xo (Andrea Navedo), and Alba (Ivonne Coll). In a flashback, Xo and Alba break it to a young Jane (Juliana Gamiz) that all telenovelas end – but it’s a happy ending! It gives Alba a chance to reassure those of us new to the telenovela genre too.

In the present, Jane is having trouble spending any of her massive book advance. Xo and Rogelio (Jaime Camil) show up and finally tell Jane that they are moving to New York to film Rogelio’s new show. Rogelio explains that he didn’t want to miss out on Baby’s childhood – or Jane’s adulthood, but New York is just a short flight away. Jane and Xo naturally dissolve into tears after Xo reveals that they are moving 3 days after Jane and Rafael’s (Justin Baldoni) wedding. It’s not at all hard to see these “I’ll miss yous” on the level of both Xo and Jane – and Gina and Andrea. Jane tries to pull herself together and be supportive, saying it’s good and it’s exciting…. The tag for the episode is Jane the Virgin Goodbye.

They still have a month, so Xo tells Jane that they just have to live their lives. Jane concentrates on editing her book, Rafael takes the lead on wedding planning, and Xo and Rogelio have to pack. Jane finishes and tries to accept that she’ll never be 100% satisfied with the ending – ah, another shout out to us! Endings are hard, my friends! With less than a week to go, Jane is ready to devote herself to all things wedding, and Rafael has a checklist.

Rafael has finished his wedding vows, but Jane hasn’t – because she’s been busy with her book. Did anyone think that Jane – the writer! – would have trouble with this writing assignment? I loved this part of the storyline.

Petra (Yael Grobglas) holds the rehearsal dinner – she’s Rafael’s best woman after all! Rafael asks Petra if she’s bringing a plus one, but she tells him that that’s not what she’s about – she’s happily married to the Marbella. #PetraMarbella #HospitalityEverAfter! Petra goes over the schedule for the evening and tells Rafael that she’s going to be making a speech – and it’s really funny. Rafael calls Jane, who quickly points out that Petra is NOT funny. Rafael tells her to just laugh when Petra pauses. Jane shares that the dress fitting was great – Lina (Diane Guerrero) crushed it – and the dress really is beautiful… though, like everyone else, we have to wait to see it!

Luisa (Yara Martinez) tells Jane that she’s found Rafael’s birthparents – and the Narrator points out that our last secret is about to be revealed… It turns out that both his parents are dead. But I loved that Jane asked telenovela questions – they weren’t crimelords? Rose wasn’t his mother?! But Luisa assures her that they were just regular people. Luisa gives all the information to Jane to tell Rafael.

Jane goes to Xo’s to pick up Mateo, who is working on a big surprise for Xo – which turns out to be unpacking most of her clothes. He doesn’t want her to move and doesn’t understand why she has to go with Rogelio. Jane tries to placate him with the fact that they can facetime every night, but Mateo is upset and points out that it’s not the same. It’s also clear that Xo is also really upset.

I loved the scene when Jane finally gets home with Mateo and Rafael is in bed reading to the twins. All the kids want to sleep in the bed with Jane and Rafael, and when Jane agrees, Rafael declares a family sleepover!

Rogelio tells Xo that they are going to drop the This is Mars pilot online to generate some buzz before the pilot airs in the fall. Rogelio is thrilled to finally see his dream reach American audiences. Rogelio is thrilled when #Thisismars starts trending almost immediately… but it turns out that it’s about a NASA mission. Rogelio is so distracted that he doesn’t notice that Xo isn’t as excited about all the big changes as he is.

Once the kids are asleep, Jane tells Rafael that his parents died in a car crash, lived in Italy, and ran a bakery. Jane says it’s a terrible time to find out – right before the wedding, but Rafael sees it as the perfect time because all he can think about right at that moment is how much he has – and that he’s literally surrounded by family. And then Mateo toots in his sleep…. Love how this show is so in tune with the audience’s emotions – we can’t get too teary eyed yet!

The rehearsal turns into chaos – on the third run through! It was wonderful to see Rita Moreno back as Rogelio’s mother – and hilarious when she goes straight for Mateo and not Rogelio to hug! She has a new protégé… Lina reveals that she is pregnant – after barfing in the flowers! Another happy ending!

Lina and Xo deliver heartfelt tributes to Jane at the rehearsal dinner. Rogelio says that becoming Jane’s father – late in life – was the greatest joy of his life – and his thrilled to be gaining a son and tells Rafael that he can call him Dad… which Rafael isn’t ready for, which is hilarious. Petra tries to bring some levity to the moment – and really, her joke about Jane marrying the ketchups was pretty funny! But Petra then breaks down – and it ends in her wishing them happiness in a group hug between the three of them.

Just as it seems the speeches are wrapping up, Luisa insists that she wants to make a speech too. She reminds them all that she was the one to accidentally inseminate Jane – and “you’re welcome!” Which does get the entire table laughing!

Jane suddenly has to leave the table to go write, and Rafael takes a moment to check in with Petra, who is still very emotional. She excuses it by saying that all Villanueva events are constructed to make people cry! She denies being choked up about love. When Rafael checks in with Jane, he thinks she’s finally writing those vows…. But she tells him that she’s finally got the ending to her book that will get her close to 100%! She’s emailed her editor to get the changes into the galleys going out to reviewers. Rafael is clearly disappointed and hurt that Jane still hasn’t written her vows.

After the dinner, Xo tells Rogelio that she doesn’t think that she can move to New York. She confesses that she just can’t leave her whole family. Rogelio tells her that he has to go because he signed a contract. Xo suggests that they commute for the first year, meeting up on weekends because she’s not going to see him during the week while he’s shooting anyway. Rogelio tells her that he wants her to be happy, and if commuting will make her happy, that’s what they’ll do – but Rogelio doesn’t look very happy about it.

Jane apologizes to Rafael for disappointing him and making him think she was putting the book before him. She tells him that she wasn’t worried about writing her vows because she knew exactly what she was going to say. She’s most excited about their future. It’s not like the telenovelas she grew up watching – their story isn’t ending with the wedding, it’s just beginning – and here the Narrator steps in to voice what we’re all thinking – Stop rubbing it in! (it is the end for us!!!) Justin Baldoni and Gina Rodriguez are fantastic in this scene – but even better is to come.

Jane gets a text – and heads to Alba’s for grilled cheese sandwiches and support. We get a fantastic scene with the three Villanueva women. Alba tells Xo it’s ok to be afraid, but it’s not ok to let the fear get in the way of living their lives. Xo makes Rogelio very happy when she calls to tell him that she is moving to New York with him.

Meanwhile, Rogelio drops in on Rafael to deliver a Mexican wedding lasso that is placed around the bride and groom as a symbol of unity. Rogelio’s father gave it to him, and now he’s passing it on to Rafael. Rogelio also apologizes for putting Rafael on the spot with the “dad” thing. Rafael still can’t say it – and apologizes that it just doesn’t roll off of his tongue, but he does tell Rogelio that he loves him. They are interrupted by Rogelio getting a whole lot of love from his followers – as his Twitter blows up and he goes from 9.5M followers to over 21M! He’s finally making it in America!

As it turns out, Jane doesn’t spend the night before the wedding with Rafael as planned, but in bed at Alba’s with Alba and Xo. When someone forgets to turn out the living room light, Alba gets up to turn it off, and we get a re-cap of all that has happened in that room – from Alba first arriving with Mateo Sr to that very night – summarized by Alba’s speech on getting her citizenship: She’s overwhelmed by the love and support in that room – as are we….

We get a final scene with the three Villaneuva women on the swing, watching the sun come up on their new lives. The moment is broken as Jane gets a text from her editor, which she deems not important – because a call comes in from Rafael – and it’s their wedding day! Rafael checks in to make sure that hair and makeup are arriving – according to his schedule! – and the doorbell rings as they arrive. He asks if Jane’s editor got the new ending in time, and Jane tells him that she didn’t but it doesn’t matter. The only way to get it into the review copies would be to deliver it to the printer on a thumb drive, and Jane assures Rafael that she’s not running off on a crazy adventure on their wedding day…. So of course, Rafael does!

Rafael gets the thumb drive delivered and convinces the only person in the publishing offices to deliver it, but then he can’t get out of the parking lot without running through the parking gate! He calls Jane, who tells him she’s right on schedule, to tell her that he’s been arrested and needs to be bailed out! And it wouldn’t be a real telenovela if there wasn’t some drama getting to the wedding, right?

Jane is actually thrilled by the romantic gesture and won’t let anyone else go and get Rafael – and of course Alba has the car to pick up Jorge (Alfonso DiLuca), so Jane has to get a car – which can’t get to her because of the marathon! Jane runs through the marathon – with many compliments on her hair – only to have her driver take off anyway. But then…. There is the bus – complete with an ad for This is Mars – and Rogelio’s picture which winks at her and tells her to get on! Because we couldn’t have the finale without just a bit of magic realism – and a bus!

Jane finally has something to splurge on. She can’t get the bus driver to just go to the police station, so she pays him $5000 to rent the bus and then has to give the passengers all $200 each! With 13 minutes to go, Xo calls and Jane says she’ll pick the rest of them up on the way to the church. As Xo, Rogelio, Alba, Jorge, and Mateo run across the marathon, Rogelio is knocked to the ground. Marathoners help him to his feet – and immediately recognize him from the show! And then we get a little taste of what’s to come – all the magazine covers he’s about to appear on! I loved the final headline on Vanity Fair being “Crossover” – and then we hear Xo yelling at Rogelio to “crossover” the marathon!

The women help Jane into her dress in the back of the bus, while the passengers all help to keep Rafael from seeing the dress! At the front of the bus, Rogelio helps Rafael by fixing his tie and reassuring him. He tells him that he was once a nervous groom (three times!), but Rafael will get there, and he and Jane will be so happy. Not always, of course, at times things will be difficult, but they will get through the hard times because there will be so much joy. And then Rogelio tells him, “Inhala, exhale” – which is some of the best advice anyone can give you! But of course, this also has a so many ripples back through this terrific show.

As they wait for the bride and groom, Petra tries to entertain the crowd – but no one wants to hear her jokes… and then, suddenly, JR (Rosario Dawson) is at the head of the aisle. Petra runs into her arms, and JR tells her that Rafael called her and made a big speech about how life is too short, and JR confesses that she’s been thinking about Petra and she never stopped loving her – and the two kiss.

Petra says she’s sorry about JR’s mother, and JR says she’s sorry about Petra’s – and Petra tells her that Magda (Priscilla Barnes) is gone… and the Narrator helpfully shows us where. Magda is somewhere in Siberia…. She knocks on a door, which is opened by the triplet! Who is Yael Grobglas made up like a guy! Hilarious! And don’t you wish we got to see how this is going to play out????

But, it’s also time for the wedding as the bus finally arrives. And of course, the wedding is taking place under Jane and Rafael’s tree. The Narrator reminds us that every telenovela ends with a wedding. Rafael walks up the aisle to join Petra, Alba – who is conducting the ceremony remember! And wearing awful shoes – and Lina. Petra thanks him as JR puts her hand over her heart. Rogelio and Xo follow down the aisle. The girls (Mia Allan and Ella Allan) follow throwing flower petals with ringbearer Mateo, and we get a nice shot of Esteban (Keller Wortham), Darci (Justina Machado), and baby in the crowd.

And then, it’s the big moment as we finally see Jane’s dress! I loved how we also got to see all the young actresses who have played Jane (Cali Dicapo and Jenna Ortega) as Xo and Alba remember her growing up as she comes down the aisle.

The ceremony begins with a reading by all three kids. Mateo surprises everyone by belting out his portion, and he tells Jane that he’s been working with Grandma – who says he’ll be great at voiceover work – and the Narrator assures us that he is! So has this been his story all along? I love this little twist.

Alba conducts the ceremony in Spanish and its quintessential Alba. I loved that she also quotes from Jane’s favorite author Isabella Allende. Rogelio and Xo do the Mexican tradition of the lasso. As Rogelio says that the everlasting bond between Jane and Rafael is sealed, Rafael looks up and calls Rogelio Dad. Justin Baldoni is so wonderful in this scene. But when he turns to Xo and says Mom, she says “no thank you!” – which is hilarious and keeps the moment from getting too heavy – because there’s SO much more crying to come!

It’s time for their vows. When Rafael can’t get past, “Jane” – he tells Jane to go first. She gets “the first time we met, you told me to be brave” out before she can’t go on either. Jane finally turns to the crowd – and we get nice shots of Marlene (Melanie Mayron) and Luisa in the crowd – and tells them that they are just going to read them for themselves. They exchange their notes. The read, cry a little more, and then jump into each others’ arms and kiss – but it isn’t time for that yet!!!

They exchange rings and more kisses – with Alba trying to maintain some decorum! She finally pronounces them husband and wife and lets them kiss – and we get the same shot of Rafael picking Jane up and kissing her as we got way, way back in the first season!

Wedding pictures follow – and Esteban proposes to Darci.

The show ends with Rafael and Jane taking a moment together under their tree. Rafael finally asks how the book ends now, and Jane tells him that they make it into a telenovela! Of course! Rafael teases her by wondering who would watch that! As the picture of Jane and Rafael is enclosed by a heart, Jane winks at us – and the show ends as meta as it’s always been! How I will miss this clever, clever show! And then, instead of “to be continued…” we finally see “The End.”

Endings are hard, but Jane the Virgin nailed the landing. I will miss these characters, the wonderful acting, the poignant and socially relevant storylines, and the amazing and creative writing. It’s rare to find all of these things in one small package, yet Jane the Virgin did it. I’m also really disappointed that projected spinoff is not going forward at the CW. After Jane the Virgin gave them so much award show love, it seems doubly hard that the CW would be so short-sighted. With luck a bigger and better network will snap the project up – Netflix anyone?? What are your thoughts on the finale? The series? Let’s get some grilled cheese sandwiches and discuss!

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