After two seasons of breaking up and making up (and babies and murders and relationships with other people), Jane the Virgin's titular heroine (Gina Rodriguez) finally married her true love Michael (Brett Dier) in the show's emotional Season 2 finale. But before the couple's honeymoon could begin, Michael was shot by the formerly presumed-to-be-dead Sin Rostro (Bridget Regan) while wearing the face of Michael's partner, Susanna Barnett.
If that wasn't enough to make your head spin around, the question of whether Michael would survive the gunshot wound or die as a result has plagued fans of The CW telenovela for months. With the show's return now on the horizon (Monday, Oct. 17), we thought it was the perfect time to revisit the case to examine the evidence and decide for ourselves what will happen when Season 3 debuts.
Why Michael will die: The show foreshadowed it
Jane the Virgin started laying the groundwork for what appeared to be Michael's impending death in "Chapter Ten." With Alba (Ivonne Coll) facing deportation, the show's narrator seemed to foreshadow that Michael's death would occur sooner rather than later. After Xo (Andrea Navedo) asked if Michael still loved Jane, he told her, "I'm not just going to give up on us. We belong together, and I'll never stop believing that." The ominous and omniscient Narrator then said, "And for as long as Michael lived, until he drew his very last breath, he never did."
It's possible the Narrator's comment could have been a subtle misdirect, meant to throw Jane the Virgin conspiracy theorists (those exist, right?) off the scent, but the Narrator is all-knowing and he never says anything he doesn't mean to say.
Why Michael will live: Brett Dier is still on set
Jane the Virgin makes healthy use of flashbacks and dream sequences, which is an easy enough explanation for Dier's presence at the show's first table read of the season and in photos posted on several cast member's various social media accounts. But Occam's razor tells us that the simplest explanation is also the right answer. The fact that Dier is still on set points toward Michael surviving his gunshot wound.
Why Michael will die: It's time for Team Rafael to make a comeback
TV shows can live and die by their love triangles, and although Jane the Virgin moved more swiftly through the beats of its romantic entanglements that most series would drag out for multiple seasons — The Vampire Diaries somehow made the Stefan-Elena-Damon triangle last five seasons — the fact remains there is still a healthy contingent of viewers who prefer their leading lady with the father of her child, the tall, dark and handsome Rafael (Justin Baldoni).
Sure, it's a fairly silly piece of evidence — Michael doesn't need to be dead and buried for Jane and Rafael to reunite down the line — but with Jane and Michael now married, the Rafael Resurgence is a bit more complicated. If Michael were dead, it would be one less hurdle to overcome. Of course, the fact that Rafael finally seemed to be willing to let go and move on from Jane, as evidenced by the fact he didn't confess his feelings moments before she was to be married, could signal that storyline may itself be dead and buried.
Wait, just kidding. Never give up hope, Team Rafael!
Why Michael will live: Jane is losing her virginity
In September, Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Jane would finally have sex in Season 3. "She does lose her virginity this year," Urman confirmed to the magazine, noting that the deed would be done during the first half of the season. Given that Jane's virginity is not just a major recurring plotpoint for her character but is also literally part of the show's title, the fact that Jane is finally going to have sex in Season 3 holds a decent amount of storytelling weight.
Initially, Jane wanted to wait until marriage to have sex, a decision Michael supported because he loved Jane. Following the birth of Mateo, however, the question of why Jane was waiting to have sex grew decidedly more complicated both for her and for the show's viewers. In "Chapter Thirty-Four," Jane nearly had sex with her professor (Adam Rodriquez), but eventually decided she didn't want her first time to be meaningless sex with someone she didn't love.
The idea that Jane would have sex with someone so soon after Michael's death is not only absurd, it is disrespectful to Jane, to Michael and to the relationship they built over the last two seasons. After everything they've been through, it's more likely Jane would remain virtuous for a while longer. Of course, that being said, the possibility of a time jump certainly exists and could account for how Jane has moved on enough to sleep with someone new. But the series would still need to allow time for Jane to grieve as well as set up a new (or renewed, in the case of Rafael) romance with someone else in a realistic and believable way.
Bottom line: If Jane's having sex in the first half of the season, it's definitely with Michael.
Why Michael will die: Sin Rostro wouldn't allow him to live
Based on everything we know about Sin Rostro, aka Rose, it seems unlikely that she will just allow Michael to live given everything that has transpired thus far. Even if he survived the gunshot wound, he'd be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life, wondering when Rose would strike again.
Why Michael will live: Jane the Virgin is a romantic comedy
Despite its telenovela roots and a penchant for surprising twists and turns, Jane the Virgin is still, at its heart, a swoon-worthy romantic comedy. It's true the series is no stranger to tugging on viewers' heartstrings, but it's not a tragedy. The dramatic stakes always serve a purpose; killing Michael would ultimately serve little purpose beyond shock value at this point — despite the damning evidence of the show foreshadowing his demise.
If Jane and the women of the Villanueva family are the heart of the show, with Jane's personal struggles as a young woman and new mother its bread and butter, sending the character into a grief spiral could prove to be a problematic direction from which the show might never recover. When Jane and Michael swapped vows in the Season 2 finale, the series came full circle in an emotionally satisfying moment of completion. It just doesn't properly track given what we know.
Conclusion: Michael will... live!
Congrats, Michael! Rogelio (Jaime Camil) will be so happy.
Jane the Virgin's third season premieres Monday, Oct. 17 at 9/8c on The CW.