Warning! Do not read this post if you haven't watched Jane the Virgin's Season 3 episode 10, "Chapter Fifty-Four."
As a famous soap opera intro says, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." And thus, so are the episodes of Jane the Virgin, in more ways than one. Change has hit the Villanueva family in a big way, and I can say with a lot of confidence that both the family and their show will never be the same.
In case you missed it (in which case, you should probably stop reading this post and go watch the episode instead--seriously, go now!), Michael Cordero Jr., the light of my life (but more importantly, of Jane's), died on Jane the Virgin two episodes ago. It was not a blaze of glory (like it should have been), and it was entirely unexpected. And it was, to me, entirely not okay.
It's been about two and a half weeks. I've been trying to understand. I've been trying to rationalize it. And I just... can't.
I've put off writing this post, actually, for quite a while. The world has kept turning. The show has moved on--three years, in fact. It's kind of hard to believe it's the same show, actually. The characters are all still there. I see Jane, Petra, and Rafael still, but it feels like when they reinvented the Marbella, they reinvented Jane the Virgin too. (Maybe that was the point.)
I even thought I myself had moved on. I had convinced myself that I was okay with Michael's death until I started writing this article and all these feelings came spilling out. (I should have known, though, that I wasn't okay--I spent a solid 45 minutes scrolling through Brett Dier's Instagram the other day.)
I think, for me, Michael Cordero Jr. was part of what made Jane the Virgin so special. Of course it's still special! We still have Jane herself, the heart of the show. But if Jane was the heart... maybe Michael was the soul. And without him, the show feels empty. It's lost at least some of its spark and light. Without Michael, Jane is a little bit duller.
I'll keep watching, of course. I love everyone--Jane, Rogelio, Xo, Abuela, Petra--too much not to. But there will always, always be a giant gap where Michael used to be. And even more so, there will always be that achingly painful question--the question of: what if?
Oh, yes. And the even more painful question: Why?
How has Michael's death completely wrecked you? Sound off in the comments.
P. S. - Don't talk to me yet about Jane and Rafael getting back together. I am not ready. I will fight you.