“Jane the Virgin” has been a kind of miracle practically since its inception (and conception), a show that mixes comedy and drama, goofy flights of fancy, crazy twists and even a sinister villain that became sort of the female version of James Bond’s Blofeld.
The final season and series finale were completely true to those values, offering a fitting sendoff filled with unabashed emotion and romance that neatly tied up the loose ends with a big bright bow.
That’s no small accomplishment, especially since the ultimate outcome hasn’t seemed in doubt for quite a while. Yet executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman and her team managed to keep erecting clever impediments to the title character’s happiness, teasing out a season that finished with a wedding, and even a delightful little crumb about the show’s unseen narrator (Anthony Mendez).
Poor Jane (Gina Rodriguez) has certainly been through a lot this season, including the little matter of her dead husband, Michael (Brett Dier), turning out to have been alive this whole time, only afflicted by amnesia. His appearance nearly derailed her plans to marry Rafael (Justin Baldoni), the father of her child, albeit via an artificial-insemination mistake in the very first episode.
Putting all the kids to bed, the finale set Michael off on a happy course with his own new love, and gave Jane — an aspiring writer, then a struggling one — a huge victory when a bidding war for her novel yielded an unexpectedly bountiful payday.
Happiness also found Rafael’s ex, Petra (Yael Grobglas), who was reunited with her girlfriend Jane (Rosario Dawson); and an explosion of viral popularity for Jane’s Twitter-obsessed actor dad, Rogelio (Jaime Camil), who loves his social-media following almost as much as his actual family.
The show’s emotional core has always been the three generations of women at its center, and tears were again shed by Jane, her mom (Andrea Navedo) and her grandmother (Ivonne Coll). Yet “Jane” consistently earned those sentimental moments, which explains how the finale could cover so much ground and somehow strike nary a false note, even with the schmaltzy vows and crowd-pleasing sequence that had Jane commandeer a bus to get to her wedding on time.
Although “Jane the Virgin” has won some accolades — including a Golden Globe for Rodriguez and American Film Institute honors its first season — the show never really garnered the recognition that it deserved. That’s in part because of its telenovela underpinnings and the younger audience skew of the CW network, which isn’t a particularly good fit with the award-voter demographic.
The more outlandish trappings perhaps made it easy to overlook the thoughtful streak the program has brought to such issues as faith, immigration, abortion and parenting, which this season included handling a child with educational difficulties. Similarly, its significance as a showcase for Latino culture and talent has, by now, practically been taken for granted.
The CW has said farewell to a pair of top-notch series this spring, first with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and now this. If the writers employed some wacky contortions to bring “Jane” to its happily ever after, that’s only fair given the smiles and tears the series has delivered over the last five years.