Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17 Review: Chapter Eighty-One

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Okay, I'm beginning to have a love/hate relationship with surprises. 

What. A. Finale! 

Who saw that coming? No? Me neither. Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17 started off being all about romance and ended up driving over a cliff with that explosive ending. 

I literally had to pick my jaw up off the ground. 

Forever - Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17

Once it all finally sunk in, I had to ask myself: how didn't any of us see it coming? It's a classic telenovela twist, and the narrator spends most of his time warmly reminding us that even though it may not seem like it, this is 100% a telenovela. 

When Rafael was acting a bit weird, we all thought it had to do with whatever intel Rose had on his parents. I mean, finding out about your birth parents would make anyone's life unbalanced.

Related: Jane the Virgin: Is the Third Time Really the Charm for Jane & Rafael?

The good news is that Raf and Jane aren't long lost siblings as I theorized on Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 16. Hey, even Alba joked about it which means I'm qualified to be a telenovela TV show writer. Rogelio, are you hiring?

Yeah, falling in love with your long lost half-brother would have rocked the Team Rafael ship a bit, but not as much as this bombshell did. 

Raf was very hesitant to tell Jane what he found out from Rose, and it let him down this destructive path, as usual. This time, though, Jane wasn't going to scamper off and let him mope. She was there for him. And he still didn't tell her. 

In hindsight, knowing what came to light in those last few seconds, Raf's actions make sense. 

Back to His Old Ways - Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17

Instead of talking, he chose to make love. And while that felt misguided at first, it might be the last time they ever had the chance before life as we know it completely changed. 

With this new development, he couldn't propose to Jane, and he couldn't move forward with their moving out plan; the future that seemed so sure just mere seconds earlier was now a big, fat question mark.

And you know what, even Jane began dropping hints like when she questioned who else her future was if not Rafael.

I'll tell you... Michael! 

Jane: It's fine, I don't like surprises, remember? This is good, I can get a manicure, be Instagram-ready.
Xo: Wait, does that mean you're saying 'yes'?
Jane: I love him so much. He is my future, who else could it be?

When we refer to Jane the Virgin after this, it will be After Michael's Death (AMD) and After Michael's Resurrection (AMR)!

And up until this episode, we've been in AMD! 


Or at least, we think that's Michael.

It looks like Michael, but does it talk like Michael? Walk like Michael? I'm clearly having way too much fun with this. 

Since I've been hammering the point that this is a telenovela, I don't want any of you to get excited. Much like Petra's situation, this could be some long lost brother, some evil villain, a robot, or some other doppelganger. 

Or, it could be the other popular telenovela trope -- amnesia. 

Jane and Michael - Jane the Virgin

He could really be Michael, but he doesn't know he's Michael, and he's really confused, and Jane will start trying to help him remember, and they'll fall in love all over again. The possibilities are endless! 

I'm kind of beating myself up about it because I've watched enough shows to know that if you never see the body, that character can come back to life at any time. We should have known better. 

I'm going to say Rose is responsible and she held onto this little secret until the perfect moment when she needed leverage to get Luisa back. 

Also, I cannot wait to hear all of Alba's Jesus references. He has risen! 

In English, in honor of today, I am overwhelmed by the love and support in this room. As I studied for my citizenship exam, I learned about 'E pluribus unum," "out of many, one." It is said that it originated by the famous Roman writer Cicero about family and friends. When each person loves the other, as much as herself, it makes one out of many. And as I look around this room, I understand what he meant. Out of many, one. You are all part of my journey. I spent so many years, worrying about being separated from all of you. And I am so grateful that I will never have to worry about that again.


And how did Raf get his hands on him? Does this mean he gave Luisa up to her deranged ex-girlfriend just to break up his own relationship?

Jane and Raf were on the fast-track to marriage-town when the episode started, but now what?

Michael was Jane's greatest love, but since his death, Raf became her great love.

The family accepted him; Alba called him son. No matter what her history with Michael is, she can't just walk away from this either. 

Sadly, Raf's fears of being second best are coming true. 

This love triangle just got uber complicated! 

Keeping Secrets - Jane the Virgin

Admittedly, I was hesitant at the first mention of Rafael proposing because it all felt so rushed. How long have they been dating? But just like any hopeless romantic, I got swept up in the romance of it all and jumped on board the minute he said he wanted to do things right. 

If they brought back Michael simply to mess with the 'ships and pin them against each other, well, that's cruel. 

I dearly hope there is some greater plan behind this than just toying with our emotions and appeasing Michael fans. While I love ships, I don't think shows should ever be written to please them. 

The Michael return isn't the only thing that made me go O-M-G. 

Petra's love story went from “were moving in together” to the most profound betrayal when JR realized her significant other played her and lied about Anezka's murder. 

Surprise!  - Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17

Petra tried to talk herself out of it because it was self-defense but it was too late. If she had just been honest with JR from the beginning, we'd be singing a different tune.

Given Petra's history with opportunistic people, I get why she held back; she's never been able to trust anyone fully, they've always had ulterior motives. 

JR's anger was also understandable since she risked her entire career for a woman she thought was telling the truth. 

Related: Get CBS All Access via Prime Video Channels for Hit Shows, Exclusive Originals & Live TV!

But even after such a betrayal, the writers have created something very genuine with JR and Petra, so she couldn't just walk out and close this chapter. 

As she was leaving the Marbella in a huff, she got a phone call from Krishna who turned herself in because the blackmailer got a hold of her family.  See, I knew Krishna wasn't evil enough to spearhead this whole thing!

As she put it, "she hates Ms. Solano but not enough to kill her." Also, I just realized Petra still carries Raf's last name, and that made me smile a bit thinking of the good ole' times.

Caught Red-Handed - Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17

Anyways, JR rushed back to the room just as Petra realized that window probably should have had some bars on it.

You know it's love when someone fights your blackmailer for you and shoots them dead.

When I saw those leather gloves and Petra's petrified face, I remember all the suspenseful moments with "A" on Pretty Little Liars and briefly suffered from a PTSD attack. 

But onto more pressing matters -- who is this mystery villain? 

Rafael: I was hoping to get your blessing first. All of yours. I want to do it right this time.
Xo: Of course, you have my blessing.
Rogelio: Mine too. I've gotten over my ambivalence for you. I meant, this past month's Jane has really seemed happy, again. What more could a father want?

We'll have to wait till Jane the Virgin Season 5 to find out but we could probably narrow it down to a select few. 

Petra obviously recognized the person because she exclaimed: “it's you.” But girl, who?

My guess? Chuck! He disappeared rather quickly from Petra's life. She did him dirty on numerous occasions so he could have been secretly plotting this revenge. 

My second guess is that Luisa was still looking for blood and running point from her spiritual hideaway. Her new "peaceful persona" was a cover because she knew Raf would come sniffing around. 

Everything She'd Ever Dreamed Of  - Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17

Maybe that's why Rose was so adamant about finding her; maybe she wants to stop her from doing something from which she can't come back! 

On a happier note, Alba celebrated a big day -- her citizenship party turned wedding to Jorge. Seriously, even Abla, er, Alba is pulling off stunts in this finale. 

I found it a bit too convenient that when she became legal, Jorge just so happened to mention his mother's death and the fact that he's an illegal immigrant who might never get to see her again. If he's using Alba for some maniacal plan, ill end him. No one messes with our Abuela!

We'll put the fear of God in him.

But maybe, just maybe, this is the part of the episode that isn't rooted in telenovelas, and Jorge is genuine and will eventually fall back in love with Alba, and they'll live happily ever after. 

One thing is for sure - she has feelings, so it's going to be messy. 

Rogelio's TV show storyline took a backseat to everything. However, River made her presence known. 

Getting to Know Him  - Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17

Xo has been pulling through for her husband. First, she convinced River not to change his vision for the American version of Santos; then, she put River in her place when she misjudged Rogelio and called him extra. 

Defend your man. 

This partnership between Ro and River seems to be moving in the right direction, and they're actually, gasp, friends! 

Kudos to the writers for always keeping us on our toes and finding the perfect balance between reality and a work of fiction. 

We all need a little telenovela magic sprinkled into our lives, even if it comes through a weekly TV show. 

That said, what am I going to do until my favorite family returns again

are your thoughts? Did the finale blow your mind? Is Michael really alive? And if so, who is Jane destined to be with?

Keep up with all of the Villaneuva family's craziness and watch Jane the Virgin online right here at TV Fanatic! 

Chapter Eighty-One Review

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Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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Jane the Virgin Season 4 Episode 17 Quotes

Rafael: I was hoping to get your blessing first. All of yours. I want to do it right this time.
Xo: Of course, you have my blessing.
Rogelio: Mine too. I've gotten over my ambivalence for you. I meant, this past month's Jane has really seemed happy, again. What more could a father want?

Jane: It's fine, I don't like surprises, remember? This is good, I can get a manicure, be Instagram-ready.
Xo: Wait, does that mean you're saying 'yes'?
Jane: I love him so much. He is my future, who else could it be?