Jane The Virgin: 5.07 Chapter Eighty-Eight
As the first but hopefully not the last time, let's start by quoting Boyz II Men; "although we've come to the end of the road." Other than getting that song stuck in your head (you're welcome), this is to commemorate the fact that we have seemingly concluded the Rafael or Michael arc. I wrote previously that it felt like we were going back over a thread that had already been completed. I understand why it was done, however, with this newest episode Jane the Virgin could break away from this and once again carve a new path.
Speaking of paths, Chapter Eighty-Eight leads us to Montana. After around 14 hours of travel, we arrive where Michael had spent the last four years as Jason. Freezeframe and graphics playfully introduce us to the players. This features 'The Grizzled Ranch Foreman' who puts pressure on the no expectations trip away by setting a deadline of 48 hours for Michael to decide whether he wishes to stay or go. Honesty is the name of the game here in one of the few episodes that include no dropping in on other characters.
Chapter Eighty-Eight has the feel of a backdoor pilot that is here to set up a Michael spin-off. It doesn't betray the story, of course, and nor does it feel forced. Jane and Michael return to Montana to explore options of a love once lost. Jane also discovers the life Michael left when he made the move to Miami. Jane imagines what life would be like to either do long distance or for Michael to live in Miami and each time Rafael is always at the forefront of her mind.
The episode includes lasso training, horse mucking and riding. It's a full-on ranch telenovela as is noted throughout the episode to amusing effect. Although fun, this latest episode all culminate's on the decision that awaits Jane at the end. She realises that the reason Rafael is always at the forefront of her mind during these thoughts is that her heart is back in Miami and with him. Jane and Michael's goodbye doesn't sting like it did the first time, however, it's still pretty impactful.
As soon as Jane arrives back in Miami, she visits Rafael and explains in a declaration of love that he's who she is looking to spend her life with. "It's too late" Rafael responds as we close the episode with Jane vowing to fight for him.
I believe that with the triangle now being broken, we're able to move forward and this can only benefit the show. It probably took two more episodes than we thought would be the case but the correct decision, for me was made.