The cliffhanger ending of Jane the Virgin’s fourth season finale really was, just as the show’s Latin Lover Narrator likes to say, straight out of a telenovela: Michael, the supposedly deceased husband of star Gina Rodriguez’s titular Jane, seemed to be back from the dead — albeit in a more bearded and burly form.
All of this will most certainly be addressed when The CW show returns for its fifth and final season on March 27. But there is a question of whether this storyline is too extreme, even for a show whose very premise is about a virgin who gets pregnant through an accidental artificial insemination (by her Baby Daddy’s sister, no less).
Jennie Snyder Urman, the series’ creator, told journalists at the show’s Television Critics Association press day on Jan. 31 that she was encouraged to go for the shocking twist by Carolina Rivera. An experienced telenovela writer who also works on the show, Rivera said that this was exactly the kind of thing that happens in this genre. Those who pay attention may have noticed that the writers have been building to this storyline for quite some time. Urman said she “knew it was a trope that we were going to save up till the end,” but that it was crucial to do it “in a way that is both believable enough and also true to the tone and the spirit of the show.”
Still, this isn’t the first time the Jane writers have toyed with Michael’s fate. In a 2017 episode, Michael “dies” suddenly when he collapses due to undetected side effects from a gunshot wound he sustains earlier in that season. How does all of this impact Brett Dier, who plays the character?
Snyder said after the panel that “he knew it was a telenovela and there was always a possibility, but I also knew that his death had to land and that the show had to exist without him for a certain amount of time.”
Also in on the reveal? Rodriguez herself. She said at the panel that Urman told her the twist way before everyone else knew and then swore her to secrecy.