Jane the Virgin has proved time and time again that it knows how to shock it fans (and its characters). Most recently, the season 4 finale saw the return of — spoiler alert! — Michael (Brett Dier)… or at the very least, someone who looks like him. And of course, his return happened at the exact moment that Jane (Gina Rodriguez), who’d spent years grieving her late husband, was finally ready to move on with Rafael (Justin Baldoni). So what now?
Although we’re not sure whether Michael is back or we’re about to meet his twin, Jane showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman promises some answers (and some big changes) in the season 5 premiere. “You’ll find out within the first minute of the show who this person is and what the effect is going to be on Jane,” Urman tells EW. “I think it’s safe to say that his presence shakes up everything and really impacts everyone in a huge way. Whether it is or isn’t Michael, it sure looks like him and obviously that brings up a lot of feelings, and then when the story is revealed and the truth comes out, it really throws everyone for a loop and affects everyone in our show.”
And that’s precisely the way Urman wanted to launch the final season of a show that’s always been about how ordinary people respond to extraordinary circumstances. “This show works the best when there is some big telenovela event that happens that throws a seismic shift into the whole landscape of the show, but then the characters respond to it and we really ground their responses,” Urman says. “I always need a big earthquake at the beginning that then we can hang all of these bigger emotions onto as we start to construct our season. When you think about the beginning of the show, the accidental insemination, it’s a logline but it’s also a giant trauma that happened to this woman who had her whole life figured out. And then the show was about absorbing that trauma and really exploring it. Same thing with the beginning of the second season when her son was kidnapped. Every year we have something big happening and then watch her react to it as we would, and that’s part of the specific mathematics of the show.”
But Jane won’t be the only one reacting to the big event of this season. “All the characters have big moments and big revelations this year,” Urman says. “Xo and Ro have huge developments this year and end in an unexpected place, which I’m excited about. I love Petra and JR and how Petra has allowed herself to be vulnerable, and I’m excited to continue to explore that and see if they can get over the betrayal in their relationship. Watching Rogelio be a co-parent, watching him try to achieve his dream of American stardom, is something I’m excited about. Each character has big twists and turns and telenovela moments as well as real, grounded, human, emotional moments.”
Jane the Virgin returns Wednesday, March 27, at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.
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