Well, this is a predicament.
Michael (Brett Dier) got his memories back in the final moments of tonight’s Jane the Virgin, and if you were screaming or making some kind of exclamatory noise there at the end of the episode, you were not alone.
Just after Jane spent the whole episode deciding to say goodbye to Jason, knowing he would never be Michael, Jason walked out the door of the Villanueva house, and some dust from the porch ceiling fell on his head, reminding him of his first kiss with Jane, when the ceiling dust fell on their heads (from the bullet hole, because Jane accidentally shot Michael’s gun when she thought he was a stripper).
Suddenly we saw him standing alone on that porch remembering everything, and while we obviously knew that was coming at some point, we now have a whole lot of questions. The next few episodes will answer all of those questions, but for now, here’s what series creator Jennie Snyder Urman could say about the emotional torture to come.
E! News: Why are you torturing Jane and us in this way?
Urman: “Well, you know, it’s a Telenovela and we were looking for the most emotion and the most drama that you can squeeze out of a story. And you know, a write in my room, Charlie Rivera once described Telenovelas to me as a pornography of emotion, and that’s really always stuck with me as like, yes, dive into the depths of human emotion and our capacity for love and pain and heartbreak and redemption. So in and plotting this out, we’re looking for the most dramatic situations and also the one, the ones that will allow the character to explore the most conflict and also figure out the truth for Jane of her heart. So to bring Michael Back and have him not remember anything gives us sort of an arc about the emotion and what that feels like, and then the minute that he gets his memory back, everything changes. So we were interested in having our cake and eating it too and in exploring both scenarios and how that changes.”
You’ve talked a lot about how this final season is bringing the show full circle and harkening back to the first season. We’ve seen Jane make this choice before, back at the beginning of the series, so what’s changed this time around?
“Well, I think it’s how are we different in five years? How was Michael changed from the experience that he had? How is Jane changed? How has Rafael changed? There are different people for us I think at different moments of our life. I’m interested in the difference between the soul and the soulmate and what that means in a Telenovela, the stories that we tell ourselves about our partnerships. I think all of that is worth exploring and that the stories that Jane in particular has told herself. And beyond that, I think it’s full circle in terms of some things, but nothing is like, it was five years ago, so that’s what makes it interesting to me. You know, after everything changes after five years of mourning and grieving and saying goodbye to someone, and then you get your ultimate wish, which is them coming back, but everything has changed, what does that feel like? And that just seemed like a juicy territory for us to explore on the show.”
Is there anything still there that was there five years ago for any of the characters?
“I think it’s just confusing. It’s one of those things where you have to sort out so many layers of it. Is it still love? Is it nostalgia? Is it something that’s undeniable that’s still there and you know, telenovelas are really built on these love stories. So it felt very truthful to the genre and the form to come back to that in our final season.”
So how does everyone react?
“Well, it’s torture I think for everyone because it’s just like, if you think of the reality of it, your husband came back from the dead, but you’re already in love and moving on with someone else. How do you just dismiss them? Or do you have to open yourself up to that again? And I feel like there’s no right answer and I feel like it’s a hard situation and that’s what makes it interesting to write to, you know, because Jane, who is a really good person, doesn’t want to be causing pain to anyone. And also she’s confused. What do you prioritize? Other people, yourself, your heart? Where is her heart? Like she has so many questions to unpack and it’s such an earthquake that has happened to her with the return of her husband who she grieved and mourned and she said goodbye to him and then he got his memory back and now he’s saying, I want to be with you. It’s just, um, you know, it’s a torturous situation. And I think that that gives us good emotion and layers and levels to play with. And also we’ll make her ultimate decision, and it has to be a thoughtful one. It’s not a knee jerk reaction because the situation was too complicated.”
Since it’s the final season and you’re starting with this major relationship bomb, how are you making sure to keep the entire focus of the season from being whether she chooses Michael or Rafael?
“Well you know, she makes a choice in the first, I would say the start of the season, so it’s not the trajectory for the whole season. And, you know, the, the return of Michael was incredibly traumatic, and then she realized that she has to go back to her writing and her writing and her career really play a huge role in this, and parenting. There’s just so much more to her story than a love story. You know, we prioritize it in the first four or five episodes or maybe through seven, because you know, the biggest, craziest thing that could happen to someone just happened to her, so we have to step down and really understand what that means. But pretty quickly, I believe it’s in episode five, she starts to get back into her writing and realizes that life has to continue. And the choices aren’t always hers, you know, it’s not just Jane who’s in between two people. The other people have a say as well. You have to want to be with her, and that’s a big part of what we have for this year.”
Having seen what happens next, all we can say is prepare yourselves for some serious emotional reactions, on your part and on the characters’ part. It’s gonna be a wild ride.
Jane the Virgin airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.