For two dramatic but romantic seasons, Jane the Virgin played tug of war with viewers' hearts as Jane (Gina Rodriguez) struggled to choose between Michael (Brett Dier), her first love, and Rafael (Justin Baldoni), the father of her child. Eventually, in the Season 2 finale, Jane married Michael while Rafael was forced to watch her walk away from him and down the aisle toward another man.
In "Chapter Forty-Six," while Rafael and Jane sought out new daycare for their son Mateo, Rafael declared he was finally over Jane — and he seemed pretty stoked to not be pining over her anymore! Meanwhile, Michael continued to heal from the gunshot wound he sustained in the Season 2 finale. By the end of the episode, he was cleared for strenuous physical activity, meaning Jane wouldn't be a married virgin for much longer. But is this really the end of the show's passionate love triangle?
"It is now," series creator Jennie Snyder Urman told a small group of reporters during a recent screening of the episode. "It is so hard to describe because I know where all these choices go, but it's not over, but it is over now. I would say people should still hold out hope because things get complicated and life gets complicated. It's there underneath. We're not at the end of our series, ideally."
To find out what this means for Rafael going forward and what it means that Jane is finally losing her v-card after two seasons, a baby and a wedding, read on.
Can you talk about Rafael and Jane's relationship and him having finally moved on from Jane? That's a pretty big deal. What's in store for him now?
Jennie Snyder Urman: I was really interested in like — we've had this series where we've had two guys sort of just chasing after her, and so things are a lot easier when everybody is wanting to win your heart, you know? I think I really wanted that to be a nice character moment at the end of [episode] 22 where he watched her walk away and made a real choice and watched her marry someone else. So are we having him pining forever? Like, he can't. He's a character who has to move on. I feel that once he moved on, that was going to open us up to a lot more complications and difficulties because when you have, co-parenting is difficult no matter what, but it hasn't been as difficult as it could be for Jane because he has always wanted to please her, and so the minute we start to think oh, what happens when he's not trying to win her hand all the time? It opened up a lot more storytelling possibilities for us and, I think, made it more interesting because now he's like, "Oh, you're going to be hearing from me." She's like, "Awesome." It's a lot easier when you're not hearing from someone with a different opinion, so I think that it to me opens up a world of possibilities and problems and real-life things that you have to navigate if you're not in, if the father of the baby is not in your household.
What about moving away from the love triangle? It was such a big thing for the first two seasons of this show: You're Team Rafael or Team Michael.
Yeah, I feel like Jane got married. That's a big step, and if all of the people in our world stay stuck and don't acknowledge that she's gotten married, then you're holding your characters back and you're not allowing them to develop and have new, full and interesting relationships, which I think come with comedy and drama and all of that. The series made a choice to have Jane get married, and I wanted everybody in our world to understand what that meant and have it count for something. And I also was frankly sick of playing the love triangle. We got to a point where Jane made a choice, and I wanted both the series and the characters to respect that choice and also, then what happens after?
I feel like there's a tendency to think when you end one thing, that's the end — this has always been a story about a lot of different people who have a lot of different points of view and come at life from a lot of different places. Their upbringings are all different, their backgrounds, their religions and all of those things. I'd like to see the conflict that comes from those people trying to make it work. I feel like it's opened us up to having more drama. I mean, what happens when he dates someone Jane doesn't like? What happens when that person wants to get their hands on Mateo? What happens, like, it just sort of opened us up to a lot of fun and let me have more fun with Rafael because I was kind of sick of seeing him moon. He's a great looking guy and he's going to have ladies in his life. ... And he really did love Jane, but I thought it was an important character step for him to watch Jane get married and to make a — and to have that affect him too because who would he be if he's just constantly skulking around the background?
I just love what Justin [Baldoni] brought to that, that relief of like, he feels a little free. We've all been in those situations. I think when you're in love with someone, you're obsessed and you're really like into them, and then the switch flips, and you're like, "Whoa, okay. I don't have to — things look different." And I think that really happened for him and I thought that would really open up our storytelling possibilities.
Now that the big love triangle has been resolved, what is going to be the next big romance storyline?
Newlywed life is fraught. There is going to be all of that. Rafael is going to get a really great, surprising love interest, which would be the next thing to look for with the surprising relationship to Jane.
Could one of those ladies for Rafael be Petra once it's actually Petra [Yael Grobglas]? Or was that talk with Anezka sort of the ending...
He meant it, and I think that that was probably pretty good for Rafael's character that he doesn't feel the same thing for the impersonator that he does for the person that he was actually married to. Petra's frozen. ... She tried nice and [it] got her f--kin' frozen.
Can you talk about the strange pairing of Anezka and Scott and what we can expect from those two teaming up?
Honestly, it's one of my favorite new dynamics. Anezka has just fallen for him. She's never met such a strong and powerful captivating man. Real Petra would have been mortified because she hates Scott. We hired him for three lines in episode 109. Every time we gave this actor more, he was great. We called him up at the beginning of the season and we told him he has quite a big arc this year. He's really done incredible work. We feel like he and Anezka have this very intense but weird relationship that I'm very into. She really, really likes him and Petra really, really liking Scott might be a little bit of a sign to other people, so they have to be careful.
It's a big thing to have Jane move out of the house and she's going to move in with Michael. How do you find the balance of showing the three generations and all the women together when she's not living there?
That has to be a huge event for all of them — that's one way. First of all, they all have to feel the loss of Jane. They have to go over to that house a lot. There's got to be some, "We need some boundaries." That is, I feel, part of the storytelling. Jane moving out of the house that lights a fire under the other two women too in terms of what they want. Now it's Alba [Ivonne Coll] and Xo [Andrea Navedo] in the house. When Alba and Xo were in the house before Jane, they didn't get along that great. Jane was this beautiful buffer that changed their relationship and made that. With Jane out, there's some anxiety for the two women of like, "Are we going to go back to where we were before Jane was here?" As long as we deal with all those issues we can move the place where it's happening but you still have all the women coming together all the time, talking and unpacking things. They're going to feel the same way as the audience, which is, "Oh my God it's not the three of us in the house anymore." That's their emotional response, too. It makes Xo think, "What am I doing with my life? How long am I going to be here living with my mom now my daughter has moved out?" What does that feel like for her?
How about the family dynamic now that she's married and [Michael is] sort of almost healed? Are we going to see her move out of the house?
Yes, yes that also happens in [episode] 3. We had to bring them back to the house so that — I liked the idea of a newlywed having to move in with her mom and grandma. And he calls her "mom." Their relationship doesn't have the traditional newlywed sort of take-off. And at a certain point we had to take it seriously what happened to him in the finale. He needed time to heal, we had to play through that. Then if they just went over to their own house and pretended like it didn't happen, then you know anything I put on screen you won't think matters. We had to give them time to get through that and then as they get into [episode] 3, they move into their own house and they have sex.
Can you talk about the extreme buildup to Jane finally having sex? Is there pressure to have it be the perfect moment?
There's so much pressure. There's so much pressure on Jane to make the perfect moment, there's so much pressure on us in the writers' room to make the perfect moment. And then that made me start to think about what is this pressure on Jane to make the perfect moment and is anybody's first time perfect? And mine wasn't. So I think that's what we all felt that anxiety in the writers' room, Jane feels that anxiety as a character and so we incorporated that into part of the story and storytelling. I feel like you don't just want to have this perfect, "Oh my God, it was bliss." And yet, that's the expectation and the hope. I feel like we've kind of integrated our own series anxiety and Jane's anxiety into that episode.
So that's the next episode?
Yes, that's the next episode.
When you started the series did you anticipate it would take until Season 3 to lose her virginity?
I kind of thought it'd be somewhere around here. You also want to milk all the comedy. You don't want it too quickly gone, because there is a lot of comedy to be done. I knew I wanted her to be a married virgin. Those kinds of things I wanted to play with as much as possible. We kind of wanted to squeeze all the comedy that we could out of it, because once it's gone — move on. I didn't know how close it would be at the beginning of Season 3, but you don't want to stall just to stall. We wanted to find the place where it felt like it was right.
We talked about the pressure to have this perfect sex scene. On the flip side, do you feel any sort of pressure to keep the momentum once we've, no pun intended, reached that climax?
I feel pressure every single day so it's hard to differentiate what type of pressure I'm feeling. You just want it to be good. You want to tell good stories. You want people to like them. Once we got past the Jane the virgin part, I was happy to let go of that. The next episode is a really, really fun one. It's just different. The narrator says things are different. She has sex but she's still the same person. It's almost like a relief, kind of for her. "Oh we got that over with!"
Are we keeping the title?
We're keeping the title but with changes, a line cross-through and sometimes it'll be like, "Jane the Guilty Catholic." Depending on what the theme of that episode will be, I'll probably adjust it.
So you're changing it every week?
It'll still say Jane the Virgin, but then there will be a line through virgin. Then, depending on what we're putting on top of that might say, "Jane the Guilty Catholic" or "Jane the Person Who Doesn't Like Her Mom's New Boyfriend." It's a way, to me, of identifying people are so much more than sex. So, this is a person with so many different identities and so many things that make her character an interesting person. Once we get rid of the virgin thing, we can just open it up to other things that define here, which I hope the series has done, but we can really focus on it.
For more on Jane the Virgin and Xo's big decision, check out TVGuide.com Tuesday morning.
Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.
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[Editor's Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.]