'Jane the Virgin' Boss Talks Michael's Future, Xo's Surprise Discovery and Shocking Return

Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman talks about the decisions behind the show's big moves in the finale and what's ahead.
Greg Gayne/The CW

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Jane the Virgin's season finale, "Chapter Forty-Four."]

Jane the Virgin went out with a bang – and a surprise pregnancy, and a shocking character return and a wedding – for its second season. After weeks of speculation about what the future would hold for Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and Michael (Brett Dier), the lovebirds successfully tied the knot after many obstacles on the way to "I do." However, before Jane could lose her virginity, Michael was shot in the final moments, giving credence to increased fan speculation over the last few weeks that Michael would die sooner rather than later. (After all, the narrator did tell the audience way back in season one that he would always hold out hope that he and Jane belonged together, saying, "For long as Michael lived, until he drew his very last breath, he never did.”)

More shocking than Michael getting shot was who pulled the trigger. After watching Rafael's (Justin Baldoni) sister Luisa (Yara Martinez) mourn the death of her longtime love Rose (aka Sin Rostro, aka Bridget Regan), and then finally move on to Michael's cop partner Susanna (Megan Ketch), the finale revealed they were one in the same. After all, Sin Rostro had made a living changing the faces of dangerous individuals so changing her own face was not so far off. And in an even worse case of switched identities, Anezka (Yael Grobglas) took Petra's place when she was hospitalized so that Anezka could be with Rafael.

However, the most shocking reveal of the hour went to Xo (Andrea Navedo). After breaking up with Rogelio (Jaime Camil) because of his desire to have children and her desire to, well, not, she discovered she was pregnant with the baby of his arch nemesis, Esteban (Keller Wortham).

So what will Xo do about the baby? Is Michael really gone? And why was it still not the right time for Jane to lose her V-card? THR went straight to the source, showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, to get answers to those burning questions and more.

Let's start with the obvious question: Is Michael dead?

You'll have to wait until the third season to find out.

How soon after the events of the finale will the premiere pick up? How soon will you tackle that question?

Same day. It will pick up a short amount of time after, much like this year started off. I feel like if we end with something traumatic we have to pick up and get ourselves back on [track] and have our characters respond to that in an authentic and emotional way.

Given that there was all the speculation about Michael dying, knowing that you were heading into this finale, did that worry you at all? Thinking that fans might see this coming?

No, because people are smart and I put that line in episode ten that he will love her for the rest of his life  that's what people are responding to. The question is how long is that life, so it could be now, it could be later, and I think that that tension was kind of built in so it's okay to watch it with that tension and to hope something doesn't happen or hope it does happen. I feel like it's people responding to the threads that we're putting down, I think there's enough huge surprise in the finale that if people expected that to happen, that's okay too. Again, they don't know what will happen from that.

A lot people will be surprised to see that they actually do go through with the wedding. Why was that important for you to include and show?

I wanted them to get married, I wanted Jane to get married. I love their wedding, it's so emotional. Jane has made her decision back in episode twelve, and she hasn't changed her mind and Rafael has had complicated feelings, she has had complicated feelings. But since episode twelve, Jane picked Michael and I wanted her to get married to Michael.

They didn't get to consummate their marriage before everything happened in the final moment, so what went into that part of the decision? Because obviously you've spoken earlier about being open to her virginity…

She will, it's just I never wanted her to lose her virginity in the season premiere or season finale, because to me that makes it ... that's just not what the show's about. It's like Jane losing her virginity is so amazing and shocking ... it just felt wrong to me to put it at the season finale like, 'Holy shit, she's lost her virginity. Send off the fireworks.' I want it to be a more normal moment in our show and certainly an emotional moment, and probably with some comedy and all of that, but I never wanted to kick off or end a season with it so that was part of the calculation that I knew she was going to get married at the end and I knew that he was going to be shot at the end, and that they wouldn't have a chance. But it's not like we're going to be going through the season and that's not going to happen. Her loss of virginity is imminent.

One of the biggest shocks was the other pregnancy. What went into the decision to write that in and how that will impact Xo and everyone next season?

Well, we try to have a few similar elements in our finales in terms of like someone's surprisingly pregnant and people learn secrets. We always knew that we wanted Xo to not want to have a baby and then we were trying to figure out how we were going to be ending her story. If she got pregnant with Rogelio's nemesis, it would be very shocking to her and to the audience and also she doesn't want to have a baby so that's definitely going to be something that we dive into.

You've already had Jane go through a pregnancy and you've had Petra, to some extent, go through a pregnancy. Was there any hesitation at all to kind of go with the story again?

Well I mean, that's assuming she's going to have the baby. … I feel like that's the question and that's something we are excited to get into.   

Moving to the Sin Rostro reveal, how long have you had that planned? What was the decision behind that?

We planned it from the beginning. When we introduced the Susanna character we planned this reveal. We wanted something big, telenovela-esque, and totally unexpected and we really believe in this love story between Rose and Luisa so we wanted this great love story. There's all these different kinds of love stories, and theirs is obviously played in this very heightened telenovela world. Rose is a criminal mastermind but she also really loves Luisa. So we were trying to come at it from the place of how would Rose ever get both what she needed in terms of the plot which was that chip with all the faces that she changed and all of the money  how can she get that, and also create a situation where she could have Luisa fall in love with her again and realize that they're meant to be. We wanted it to hit them on all of those points, so we'd get them trying to make sure that you know that all this stuff works and how we were going to do it and watched a lot of Misson: Impossibles and Face Off and things like that. (Laughs.) Jane has to have a sense of fun, and a good wink and a sense that anything can happen  that's what I like in this world, not in terms of like, yes, people can die but also your faces can change and things that we've set up as a vocabulary which is that she changed faces so why wouldn't she go deep undercover in her attempt to win back Luisa's love.

Looking ahead to season three, what are some of the other storylines that you're excited to explore?

I'm excited for a lot of things. I'm excited to explore what Xo's going to do about this pregnancy. I think Sin Rostra and Luisa will go into a little bit of couple's counseling and maybe there's a talking code like, 'You killed my fish' but I'm interested in that. It's hard to say too much without giving away secrets. We have some bigger storytelling moves structurally into next season that I'm excited about and I love our characters so I'm just excited to see them continue to move and grow and make mistakes and fall in love and fight. I think as long as we keep things moving forward we'll have a lot of stuff to work with. 

Jane the Virgin returns in the fall for season three on The CW. What did you think of the season finale?

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