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“Jane the Virgin”

The show truly ended with the same heartwarming nature it began with.

Fans said goodbye to a beloved show on this July, after five seasons and 100 episodes. “Jane the Virgin” ended on a high note, and fans couldn’t have asked for a more fitting ending to the series. The finale was a call-back to the past adventures, loves, heartbreaks and family moments of the Villanueva family, but it also showed a glimpse of the beginning of our favorite characters’ futures.

But we can’t discuss the final episode before taking a look at “Chapter Ninety-Nine,” which aired an hour before. Instead of a traditional episode — with all of the “Jane the Virgin” drama, laughter and tears — “Chapter Ninety-Nine” was a series of cast interviews, looking back on the series as a whole.

“Chapter Ninety-Nine” stars the actors behind these beloved characters: Gina Rodriquez (who played Jane Villanueva), Andrea Navedo (Xiomara Villanueva), Yael Grobglas (Petra Solano), Justin Baldoni (Rafael Solano), Brett Dier (Michael Cordero), Ivonne Coll (Alba Villanueva), Jaime Camil (Rogelio de la Vega), Elias Janssen (Mateo Solano Villanueva), Anthony Mendez (the narrator) and executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman.

In a charming goodbye episode, the cast talks about their favorite moments and themes from the show. The interviews are interspersed with memorable and touching scenes, which makes “Chapter Ninety-Nine” a complete nostalgia trip and a reminder of what “Jane the Virgin” is really about. This episode primes the audience for the emotional finale, while giving the show the send-off it needed from the cast. “Chapter Ninety-Nine” focuses on the heart of “Jane the Virgin,” and the end of the series just wouldn’t have been as fulfilling without it.

The final episode, “Chapter One Hundred,” begins with another montage of great moments from the show, as the narrator reminisces about some of the central themes. The intro really tugs at the heartstrings of longtime fans, who are already anticipating the nostalgia and wistfulness of endings. And we get those feelings almost immediately, when Xiomara and Rogelio reveal to Jane and Rafael that they’re moving to New York for Rogelio’s new show.

Emotions are already high as the show’s title appears over Jane, as usual; and like in every episode since Season 3, when the new tradition began, “Virgin” is crossed out, so the title instead reads: “Jane the Good-bye.” If you’re easily moved to tears, the finale will have you crying already.

“Chapter One Hundred” doesn’t lose any of the usual drama and suspense of “Jane the Virgin,” though. The episode is full of potential conflicts — ones that would have taken over an entire episode in the past. Before the episode is even 10 minutes in, Rafael’s adopted sister, Luisa Alver (Yara Martinez), reveals to Jane what she found about Rafael’s birth parents, but in the first uncharacteristic, undramatic moment this episode, his birth parents aren’t crime lords or anything drastic; in a truly strange and extraordinary twist, they’re actually just normal people — deceased, but perfectly normal.

Then the show sets up another possible conflict, this time between Jane and Rafael: Will she tell her fiancé about his birth parents? Before or after the wedding? And how will he take it? The topic of Rafael’s birth parents has caused so much pain and conflict between him and Jane in past episodes, so what’s going to happen now? The answer, in truly abnormal fashion, is … not much. Jane tells him and he’s sad, of course, but mostly just grateful for what he does have instead of what he doesn’t — a concept that Rafael has struggled with in the past.

That’s really what the final episode of “Jane the Virgin” is all about: showing how much these characters have grown and changed over the years, and how they are all the better for it. This show has been witness to some fantastic, complex, well-rounded character arcs, so when the finale shows them off, it reminds the audience why we love “Jane the Virgin.”

Some of these character growth moments are just precious, like when Petra says that she wishes Jane and Rafael “all the happiness in the world,” and how that’s weird, because she “doesn’t usually wish happiness on other people.” Petra has certainly come a long way since she was Rafael’s manipulative, scheming ex-wife; she even gets her own romantic ending, despite previously declaring that she was “married to the Marbella.” When J.R. (Rosario Dawson) dramatically arrives at Jane and Rafael’s wedding and she and Petra get back together, it’s like something out of a fairy tale.

Xiomara and Rogelio get their own character growth moments, too; when Rogelio gets the news that his show’s pilot has aired and he’s actually becoming popular in the United States, which has been his life-long dream, he steps back. Instead of taking the attention for himself, he keeps quiet for Jane’s wedding and keeps the spotlight on her. Rogelio’s maturity and selflessness in this situation are admirable, and a great example of his character journey.

Also, after Xiomara abruptly decides to stay in Miami and commute, instead of moving to New York with Rogelio, the audience gets one last grilled-cheese-and-therapy session with the three Villanueva women. Alba immediately cuts to the core of the issue: Xo’s fear of endings and change.

Alba delivers some of her famous wisdom (one tidbit of which started this entire show) about how it’s okay to be afraid of change, but that we shouldn’t let it affect our lives. The conflict is resolved quickly, and Xo decides to move to New York for real. Her ability to work through her fear, with the help of her family, shows how far she’s come.

This entire episode is filled with heartwarming and loving moments, and it’s such a satisfying ending for “Jane the Virgin.” Instead of massive blow-outs and difficult break-ups, the characters work through their issues and continue to grow, showing off the writers’ fantastic storytelling. At the end, Jane and Rafael get their tear-filled wedding, and the episode ends on a joyful, funny, sweet moment, perfectly encapsulating the show that has been so important to so many people. It’s amazing that it got the ending it deserved.

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