7:00pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'Jane the Virgin' Reveals Michael's Fate; Showrunner Breaks Down "New Direction" Ahead
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Monday's season three premiere of Jane the Virgin, "Chapter Forty-Five."]
Don't put dirt on Michael Cordero's grave just yet. Although Jane's new husband was shot in the final moments of the season two finale, her dearly beloved managed to make it out of life-threatening surgery alive and on the road to recovery.
"This was what was always going to happen," showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman told reporters Thursday after a screening of the premiere. "I know where we're going and so I made those choices because they're adding up to something."
However, the struggle for Michael (Brett Dier), as well as Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and the rest of the ensemble, is far from over. Urman said she specifically wanted to resolve the cliffhanger in a different way than the season one finale cliffhanger, in which Jane & Co. found Mateo within hours of his being kidnapped from the hospital.
"This event has bigger emotional stakes for everyone," she said. "That's the drama of the episode and then the healing and the recovery form such a traumatic event is something that we continue to play. … It has lasting ramifications for the character which you'll start to see in terms of, when he can return to work, if he can return to work, how his life is changed as a result of this. It takes him into a new direction and there's some ongoing medical issues that we continue to grapple with."
Because of Michael's brush with death, Urman acknowledges that he and Jane won't have "the traditional newlywed take-off," as she put it. "At a certain point, we had to take seriously what happened in the finale. He needed time to heal."
However, for all of the obstacles still ahead for Jane and Michael, there are also bright spots in their future as well. Now that they're married, Jane will soon be leaving the next to move in with Michael, which Urman said will be a "huge event" for the newlyweds as well as a "huge loss" for Xo (Andrea Navedo) and Alba (Ivonne Coll).
"Jane moving out of the house becomes this event lights a fire under the other two women too in terms of what they want because now its Alba and Xo in the house. When Alba and Xo were in the house before Jane, they didn’t get along so great and Jane was like this beautiful buffer that changed their relationship," she continued. "It makes Xo think, 'What am I doing with my life? How long am I going to be here living with my mom now that my daughter has moved out? What does that feel like for her? Now with Alba, well, she makes a good surprising change in her life."
That also means Jane and Michael will (eventually) be having sex, an anxiety-inducing prospect both on and offscreen.
"There's so much pressure on Jane to make the prefect moment. There's so much pressure on us in the writers room to make the perfect moment" Urman said. "So I think that’s all stuff that we felt that anxiety in the writers room. Jane feels that anxiety as a character and we incorporated that into part of the story and storytelling."Now that Jane and Michael are married, look for Rafael (Justin Baldoni) to make some big changes in his life as well. "He's a character that has to move on. I feel like once he moved on, that was going to open us up to a lot more complications and difficulties," Urman said. "[Co-parenting's] a lot easier when you're not hearing from someone with a different opinion. It, to me, opens up a world of possibilities and problems and like real life things that you have to navigate if the father of the baby is not in your household."
That also means Rafael will have a "surprising love interest" introduced later in the season who has connection to Jane. "The series made a choice to have Jane get married and I wanted everybody in our world to understand what that meant and to have it count for something and I was also frankly sick of playing the love triangle," Urman said. "Who would he be if he were just constantly skulking around in the background?"
However, the love triangle isn't dead and gone forever. "Its not over, but it is over now," Urman teased.
Which brings the question back to Michael. After all, the reason viewers were so worried about his fate – besides the fact that, well, he was shot – is because in the first season of the series, the show's narrator ominously assured viewers that Michael would never stop believing he and Jane belonged together. At the time, the narrator said, “And for as long as Michael lived, until he drew his very last breath, he never did.”
Urman was cryptic about it all means in the wake of Michael's shooting. "I think you will have to watch," she said. "I will say it’s a reliable narrator. And we're going to be dealing with that."
Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.