How Jane the Virgin perfected the love triangle

Greg Gayne/The CW
Greg Gayne/The CW

After becoming the unexpected hit of last year’s fall TV season, Jane the Virgin‘s second season has kept that momentum going with its hilariously heartwarming storylines and signature telenovela plot twists. Above all, the show has managed a single feat that many a show, especially a CW show, have tried and ultimately failed at–Jane the Virgin has successfully pulled off a believable and compelling love triangle.

Like the screenwriters’ version of baking a mouth-watering soufflé, one wrong move and a love triangle will turn flat and unappealing to its audience. In most cases, love triangles either last too long or too short, making viewers lose interest. At its worst, a love triangle will get so out of control that it makes the protagonist look worse in the process. Remember Felicity? The only thing more memorable than her tragic haircut was how many times she switched between Ben and Noel, who were beginning to feel more like victims than love interests.

Enter Jane the Virgin: The drama between Jane, Rafael and Michael has been brewing since the first episode, but finally reached the boiling point in Season 2, with Jane finally having to choose between them. In any love triangle scenario, this is the moment that can truly make or break a show, and the writers handled it with a delicate care rarely seen on television. While Jane wanted to go with her heart and choose Michael, his petty jealousy of Rafael made it impossible for her to be with him, and she broke it off. But, instead of opting to default to Rafael, the show took the time to show Jane’s time to heal over the loss of Michael.

Greg Gayne/The CW
Greg Gayne/The CW

Even if it all happened in one single episode, it’s rare that a show will donate the time to show the damaging effects something like a love triangle can actually have on a person’s life. With Mateo to consider, it could have been easy for Jane to push her feelings for Michael aside and start a new life with Rafael, but she took the time to really consider her heart. Then the show took a step further to show how following your heart isn’t always the right decision.

“Chapter Twenty-Eight” was an episode that we usually don’t get to see, especially for shows on The CW, where love triangles and a revolving door of love interests is their bread and butter. Spanning over several months, we saw Jane really take the time to get over Michael, without managing to bog down the fast-paced plot we’ve come to know. Her eventual decision to give it another try with Rafael didn’t feel like she was settling, but rather taking the mature decision to give her family a chance. She even encouraged Rafael to date someone else, but when it didn’t sit right with either of them, it was clear something was still between them.

Even more, with Michael still out there somewhere trying to bring an end to Sin Rostro’s reign of terror, the promise of a continued love triangle remains… and we’re not complaining! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until Michael’s inevitable return to stir the pot and rekindle Jane’s feelings.

That being said, I’m totally Team Rafael.

Are you rooting for Team Michael or Team Rafael? Sound off in the comments below.

Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW with new episodes available to stream on Shomi.

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