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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the season one finale of Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Two.”]
The blessing of new motherhood was short-lived for Jane (Gina Rodriguez) on the season finale of Jane the Virgin. Shortly after giving birth to Mateo, or should we say Mateo Gloriana Rogelio Solano Villanueva, a nurse came in and unknowingly kidnapped her newborn to give to big, bad Sin Rostro. Meanwhile, new dad Rafael (Justin Baldoni) may already need to start preparing for baby number two after Petra (Yael Grobglas) took his swimmers home from the fertility clinic, and Xo (Andrea Navedo) and Rogelio (Jaime Camil) learned they drunkenly tied the knot in Vegas.
So how long will it take to get the baby back? What kind of a mom will Jane become after these events? And what obstacles will Xo and Rogelio face (hint: someone’s ex returns!) next season? Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman talked to The Hollywood Reporter about all of these burning questions and more.
That is a very dramatic cliffhanger to leave things on. How did you and the writers come up with that story and decide to go in that direction?
Well, you know, it was a lot of discussion at the beginning. But we knew we just wanted to end it with something dramatic and something that gave a nod to its telenovela roots, and we felt that was a very telenovela turn of events. Also, we’re going off the air from May till I think October, so you want something that the audience really, really wants to go back for and has stakes in. Also, the sense of, “Oh my God!” — [in] network TV, you need that. It’s not like binging, where everything is available all at once and you can watch at your leisure. We’ve got to bring people back wanting to know something and we wanted something that would also affect a lot of characters at once.
That’s got to be one of the worst things a mother can go through. How will Jane cope with this?
It was so shocking to me every time I saw it in editing and every time we read it aloud because I’m a mom. It would just make me lose my breath. That’s why I didn’t have anything crazy happen with the narrator telling you that he’d love to tell you where he’s going but you’re going to have to come back. I wanted the audience to know that they are in the hands of the story and the storyteller. This is one of the big turns in the story, but it’s a story. Things are going to be OK. I will say we’re going to come back pretty continuous because you can’t skip this moment. It’s so traumatic. But the missing baby is not the engine of the second season. The missing baby is an early development but they get the baby back. We’re a comedy, so Jane will be able to laugh once she gets the baby back. She gets the baby back pretty quickly, but it sets other things in motion, what happened in that last scene. That is all part of the DNA of the second season.
This happened to her on her first day as a mother. Even when she gets the baby back, how will that scare change her? What kind of mom will this turn her into?
Those are all the things we’re going to explore. There’s going to be practical [issues], like she’s going to be pumping for a baby she doesn’t have. There are going to be a lot of dramatic things that are going to come out of it. Also, it’s obviously going to make her so overprotective and it’s going to make her take some surprising steps because she doesn’t want this to ever, ever happen in her world ever again. The nerves of new motherhood are amplified to the hundredth degree when she gets that baby back. And also, her resolve is going to be strengthened because you want Jane to come out stronger in some way and a little toughened after this has happened. It’s going to make everything as we go along a little more fraught. When does she let Rafael have the baby by himself for the first time? Can she let go? How does she balance wanting to do something on her own with this tremendous guilt about leaving the baby and fear and all of this stuff? That’s all going to play a part in our second season.
Why was it important to bring Sin Rostro back? What can you say about why she wants a baby?
Sin Rostro has something very specific she wants. She’s not taking the baby randomly. I actually read a lot about taken babies in hospitals. The majority of the time, babies are taken by a woman who has told somebody in her life that she’s pregnant, and isn’t, and gets desperate. It’s a horrific thing. I’ve read quite a bit on it. Sin Rostro wants to trade the baby for something, and she wants leverage, and that’s what she’s getting with the baby.
That’s got to have something to do with Rafael.
You’ll have to see.
Will Michael be involved in this investigation? There’s a lot of tension between him and Rafael, so how will he deal with that and being involved?
Yes, Jane, Rafael and Michael have the most direct route to getting the baby back, but it affects everyone, obviously. They have to work together in surprising ways. Then, once the baby is returned, whenever that is, things will have shifted with those three people as a result.
The other big cliffhanger was obviously Petra getting ahold of Rafael’s swimmers. Is she really going to do what we think she’s going to do?
That’s going to be a question for the second season. There’s going to be a great story there. There’s a lot of twists and turns, and we just liked the idea of coming back full circle to this moment when she was trying to get his sperm in the first place, and now she’s got it in her hands.
When the show started, the relationship wasn’t in a great place and she was cheating on him. Why can’t she just let him go and move on?
She just loves him. … I really think she was cheating on him out of a feeling of being rejected by him, and feeling pressure from her mom, and feeling rather desperate. But once this thing happened, once the sperm was taken and Rafael finally turned to her and said, “Let’s give it a try for real,” and was present briefly in the marriage in a way that he hasn’t been in forever – he’s Petra’s kryptonite. He’s her vulnerability. She loves him. They had a very late miscarriage in their marriage and that stayed with her. As Rafael was playing her, she was falling into the game. She just loves him. She now loves him, but is stung, so she has to decide what to do with it. She’s a young woman; she doesn’t need him to get her pregnant. We have to mitigate all that and plot it correctly so what we decide to do will make sense.
Will there be a possible new love interest for her next season? What else will be part of her story going forward?
Yes, and also some people that have been hinted about in the past. Someone from her past who she does not know will come back into her life. We have a lot of fun stuff coming up for Petra.
The other big news was Rogelio and Xo getting married. They obviously have very strong feelings for each other, so is this really a problem? What kind of obstacles will they face?
They have to have obstacles, and I think they both, at different moments, feel different ways about that marriage. Obviously, it’s not what they’re going to be dealing with right away because right away everybody’s dealing with getting the baby back. Its not like she’s thinking, “What am I going to do about my marriage?” Something giant has trumped it. But when the dust settles, they’re going to have to decide what to do. There are different feelings involved on both sides, and then we’re also going to be introducing Rogelio’s first wife into the equation, who… cheated on him and was his first true love. That’s going to complicate things. She’s a beautiful, beautiful hoarder, so she will come and complicate their lives, and Xo has her own complications. The course of the second season will include some definitive moves on their relationship. There will be some finality to it.
Looking ahead to season two, what would you say is the theme for next season?
If the theme of this season was the fantasy versus reality, and the story was this accidental insemination to the birth, next season is going to be about [holding on to] one’s sense of self when you’re a mother. How do you balance that? How do you have both? How can you pursue your dreams and also be a present mom? … Motherhood is going to be something that we’re really going to dive into and unpack and we’re going to do that in ways big and small.
What can you say about Jane’s journey as a writer next season?
That’s going to be a very big part of the second season. We’ve seen her apply to grad school. We’ll see how that plays out. But Jane as a writer — we’re going to continue to explore that and root for her to make her dreams come true and to figure out what story she wants to write, and how to be successful at it. Doing that while also being a mom — especially a mom with a lot of guilt and a lot of anxiety — is going to be a balance we’re going to explore.
Are there any other particular storylines or new pairings you’re excited to explore next season?
I’m definitely looking forward to Rogelio, the grandfather. At a certain point, The Passions of Santos will come to an end and his new show will start. I’m excited to get into that. Rogelio and Michael’s bromance will continue to be explored. I think just the three women and how they react to this baby once the baby comes back to them and what that does to the energy in the house and how three different versions and visions of motherhood are employed will be something that we’ll really dig into.
The anticipation is high to see what Rogelio’s name is going to be instead of “grandpa.”
He’s definitely going to be tweeting about it. He’s open to suggestions. (Laughs)
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