Warning: The following contains details from the “Jane the Virgin” episode that aired Monday. Read at your own risk.
“Jane the Virgin” has a message for Team Rafael: you’re free. No longer will fans of Justin Baldoni’s character need to get upset when it comes to his love triangle with Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and her husband Michael (Brett Dier). That’s because the show finally killed off the love triangle for good when Rafael realized that he no longer had romantic feelings for Jane.
It’s a bold move for the series, which had relied on the love triangle’s tensions since the pilot. Creator Jennie Snyder Urman spoke to reporters after a screening of the episode to discuss the reasons for killing off this reliable romantic comedy trope.
“Jane got married,” Urman said. “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. 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.
“I feel like it’s opened us up to having more drama,” she continued. “What happens when [Rafael] dates someone Jane doesn’t like? What happens when that person wants to get their hands on Mateo? It… 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 have that affect him too. Because who would he be if he’s just constantly skulking around the background?”
Read on for more of Urman’s thoughts on the episode and what’s coming up next, including Xo’s choice to get an abortion in this week’s episode and the decision to finally have Jane lose her virginity this season.
Tyler Golden/The CW
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, with a surprising relationship to Jane.
Is it someone we’ve met before?
You have not met her yet. You will meet her in Episode 5 and you’ll really get to know her in Episode 6.
Not to harp on the love triangle aspect of it all, but would you say definitively that this is the choice?
No. It is for now. It is so hard to describe because I know where all these choices go. 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.
When you started the series, did you anticipate it would take until Season 3 for Jane to lose her virginity?
I kind of thought it’d be somewhere around here. You 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.
Is there pressure to have it be the perfect moment?
Is anybody’s first time perfect? 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. That’s the next episode.
Michael Desmond/The CW
On the flip side, do you feel any sort of pressure to keep the momentum once we’ve, no pun intended, reached that climax?
Once we got past 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 for her. “Oh we got that over with!”
How about the family dynamic now that she’s married and [Michael is] almost healed? Are we going to see her move out of the house?
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.
How do you find the balance of showing the three generations and all the women together when she’s not living there?
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.” Jane moving out of the house lights a fire under the other two women too in terms of what they want. Now it’s Alba and Xo (Ivonne Coll, 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? Now, with Alba, she makes a good, surprising change in her life in Episode 4.
Michael Desmond/The CW
What was it like to write the dialogue that happened between Xo and Alba about the abortion?
I felt that was something important for the series, which has had some accidental pregnancies. If Xo were to have that baby, to me, that would be a really strong message that I do not want to send, which is that a 40-something woman who has raised a child and doesn’t want a baby should have it anyway.
It’s just looking at it through the microcosm of the family, where people have different points of view and how they can push forward past that. Alba says, “I wish you didn’t do it, but it’s your choice,” and they move on. I didn’t want it be really dramatic. Xo is not tortured. It is not a tortured abortion. It is not an abortion where she is unclear about what she wants or unclear about her choice. She’s very clear and most abortions are that. I feel like that’s an important thing to respect on TV as well. If you’re sure, you’re sure.
Can you talk about the strange pairing of [Anezka] and Scott (Yael Grobglas, Wes Armstrong) 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 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.
Going to Rogelio (Jaime Camil), the speech at the end clearly has a very political message at the end of Episode 2 about accepting immigrants from everywhere.
Isn’t it timely for right now? I feel like our show has a lot of political themes always. This one is particular because he’s against the Statue of Liberty and he’s talking about what America is and what it stands for. So that fit into that specific narrative.
“Jane the Virgin” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW. Additional reporting by Liz Shannon Miller.