Jane the Virgin's midseason finale left viewers hanging off of a massive cliff — with Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and Rafael (Justin Baldoni) sharing a passionate kiss. Now, with The CW telenovela's return this Friday, fans will finally learn what comes next for one of the show's most beloved couples.
But according to creator Jennie Snyder Urman, the kiss doesn't exactly mean viewers should expect an immediate happily ever after for the pair. Jane and Rafael are in very different places in their lives than when they last dated, and the fact that Raf is currently broke and living with the Villanuevas — not to mention that Jane is still coping from her breakup with Adam (Tyler Posey) — only further complicates the idea of a romantic reconciliation.
Check out everything Urman revealed about Jane and Rafael's future — plus a whole lot more — below!
The midseason finale ended with Rafael and Jane sharing this utterly romantic kiss. What can you say about how they both proceed from that moment and where their heads are at?
Jennie Snyder Urman: We're going to get into that right in the first episode, right in the beginning. We pick up continuous from that magical kiss and right away you know how Rafael feels and Jane takes some processing, and there are some surprises there in her response to the kiss.
Prior to the kiss, Jane had said that she wasn't ready to jump into anything serious just yet. How will Rafael and Jane grapple with potentially being at different places in their relationship?
Urman: That's a big, big issue for them: where they're both at, where Jane's coming from. She just got out of a relationship with Adam and just had her heart broken and her book didn't get the reviews that she wanted and she's grappling with where her life is at. She can't casually date Rafael. That's something that they realize — that it's not going to be casual, they have a child together, they have such a long history. So are they really in a place to be in a relationship? [Those are] some of the issues that they will grapple with [Friday] night.
I loved how the midseason finale explored how Jane's sensitivity towards illness in the wake of Michael's (Brett Dier) death affected Mateo. Will we start to dig more into how Jane and Rafael's ever shifting relationship affects their son as well?
Urman: Yes. That's a big, big part of the next arc going forward. It's what's going on with them romanticaly, how does that affect Mateo? Every move that they make, there's a third person in their relationship so it's not like they can just have a romantic fling. There's somebody that's deeply, deeply invested in it and that really drives a lot of the decision making.
Now that Mateo is getting older and developing his own opinions and awareness of the world, how will his role within the show shift? Will we see him become more of an active participant in storylines?
Urman: There's definitely some bigger Mateo storylines coming up. Every stage of parenting has its own particular challenges and Mateo is about to go to a new kindergarten, which is a big milestone in his and his parents' lives and also comes with its own challenges because Jane is not in a good school district, so they use Xo and Ro's address to send him to a better public school. That's going to create problems and stress and tension for the family going forward. Mateo is older, they can't make moves without explaining them to him, as they could when he was younger. So how do you explain things to children is an important part of our storytelling going forward and part of what Jane and Rafael grapple with in their choices.
After faking her own death, Anezka (Yael Grobglas) really and truly died in the midseason finale. How quickly will we learn what exactly happened in that hotel room with Petra (Grobglas)?
Urman: That is something that we're going to unravel throughout the back half of the season, what exactly happened. You saw Anezka coming towards Petra and then Anezka ended up falling. Petra offers her explanation as to what happens right away and Rafael tells her she needs a lawyer, because even though Petra says it was self-defense, you can't count on that to get you off in court. So he advises her to get a good attorney and things progress from there.
I am the biggest Petra fan so I have to believe Anezka's death was self-defense. However, people rarely think the best of Petra, so how much trouble will Anezka's death cause for her?
Urman: It definitely causes a lot of problems. It's her primary focus in the back half besides her surprising and evolving romantic life. And Petra's a survivor. We know that about her. You learn that a mysterious person might want her in jail, which is something that she grapples with going forward.
There are so many exciting new guest stars coming up. What can you say about who Rosario Dawson is playing and who she'll be sharing scenes with the most?
Urman: I'm so thrilled to have Rosario Dawson. I'm just the hugest fan of her so it makes me feel so lucky to have her. She comes in as Petra's attorney. And at the end of the episode, there is a twist that you learn about her and her involvement. She's with Petra for the majority of her scenes, but definitely shares scenes with Jane and will, going forward, share scenes with Rafael and the family. But mostly, her storyline is with Petra.
It's been reported that Eva Longoria will play herself this season and she'll have a "surprising connection" to Rogelio. What kind of connection are we talking about?
Urman: Well, he's still on his journey to make an American version of The Passions of Santos, which was the original telenovela that he was in, and he desperately wants Eva to be in it as the character of Blanca and that is where their storyline starts.
Now that Jane's first book is out, what can you say about her next project?
Urman: That's a really big part of our arc in the second half and one that I'm excited to get into, which is that she had all of these dreams and all of these goals and her book was the biggest and brightest of them all. And she got there and then her life didn't change; it didn't set the world on fire, she wasn't suddenly rich and famous, it didn't get great reviews. So it's what happens when you reach your goals and they don't turn out exactly how you want. She struggles with what she's going to write next, if she should keep writing. It's a crisis of confidence for her. She struggles to get the critic who didn't like her book out of her head and to move forward and figure out "what now?" She had this goal point and she got there and at the end of it, when it didn't turn out exactly how she wanted, she ends up feeling a little bit lost and really tries to get her mojo back in the second half of our season.
Gina is also directing this season, and I love seeing all the Time's Up Instagram posts from the Jane set. How are you putting the ideals of this movement into action on the set of Jane the Virgin?
Urman: I think Jane the Virgin, we have our own utopian, female-led bubble, I will say. We've always had 80 percent of our writers [be] women, 80 percent of our directors have always been women. We exist in a very female-led space so we're just trying to [provide] support when we hear of opportunities, and we all try to lift each other up. Hearing that Gina wanted to direct, it was a no-brainer to give her that shot and I definitely want her to direct again for us. And also, we try to keep our ears open to ways that we can help. Jane is a bit of a utopian space and I think we all feel very lucky to be there right now. And we also want to help and change and Gina is so vocal and so active that I think we all just want to support her. And when opportunities come, just keep hiring women and keep telling female-centric stories. That's how we make our mark: by privileging a story about a multi-generational Latina family. I think that, in and of itself, is political, that their stories are primary, that their points of view are primary, that their stories matter, their relationships matter and their lives matter. That's the mission we're on and we'll keep at it.
Definitely! And I love the way you treat Alba's (Ivonne Coll) storyline with the same care and attention as any of the younger characters'. What's coming up for her in the back half of the season?
Urman: It's interesting you say that because we have a very big story that's also a part of the episode that Gina directed, which is about Alba's relationship to her sexuality at this point in her life and what it feels like for an older woman to contemplate having sex again, especially when she hasn't had sex for so long. And that's a storyline that I'm excited to get into, definitely. Alba's going to take her citizenship test this year, and her journey towards becoming a citizen is very important in the back half of our season.
Brooke Shields is joining this season as one of Rogelio's many nemeses. What can you say about her character and the impact this latest feud will have on Ro's life?
Urman: She plays a character named River Fields, the star of a film called The Green Lagoon, and Rogelio starts to struggle a little bit as he becomes a stay-at-home dad to Baby. Ultimately, he decides he thinks he has male postpartum depression. River is not thrilled with his public proclamations about that and their story takes off from there.
Rogelio (Jaime Camil) and Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) go into therapy, but Ro is very reluctant to do so at first. What new things about Xo and Ro will this experience unveil, and how will it affect the way they relate to one another?
Urman: He starts off reluctant and then he finds that therapy is just a chance to talk about yourself and unsurprisingly, he starts to enjoy it. He starts to really reflect on his past and his relationship with his mother and how that informs his decisions and relationships in the present. And he starts to talk a lot more. And ultimately, it does lead to a breakthrough between him and Xo and what they want and how they communicate, and it's something that he continues to do throughout the season.
Jane the Virgin returns on Friday at 8/7c on The CW.
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