For executive producer and showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, it was never a question of whether he would survive the bullet wound, which just missed his heart and was lodged dangerously close to his spine.
“This is what was always going to happen when this happens,” Urman told a handful of reporters following a recent screening of the premiere. “Michael was never going to die in the finale.”
Urman addressed potential fears over Michael’s near-death experience lessening the dramatic stakes, admitting that there “was certainly an anxiety” attached with the decision.
“I know where we’re going, so I made those choices because they’re adding up to something,” she explained. “I didn’t want it to be resolved like [Mateo’s] kidnapping [in season two] where they get him back in the first act and then you’re dealing with the emotional ramifications. This event has bigger emotional stakes for everyone. You can see right away that it wasn’t in the first act [that] ‘Michael lives.’ That’s the drama of the episode.”
“Then the healing and recovery from such a traumatic event is something we continue to play through, and it has lasting ramifications for the character, which you’ll start to see,” Urman continued, referencing the risky surgery he underwent to remove the bullet. “When he can return to work, if he can return to work, how his life is changed as a result of this. It takes him into a new direction and there are some ongoing medical issues that we continue to grapple with.”
That’s not to say Michael’s mortality is in the clear -- far from it, actually. The show’s narrator, whom Urman says is a “reliable” one, has teased Michael’s possible demise since the very start of the series.
“You will have to watch the show,” Urman coyly said of that ongoing mystery. “We’re going to be dealing with that.”
Meanwhile, Rafael (Justin Baldoni) has moved on from Petra (Yael Grobglas) -- or rather, who he thinks is his ex but really her twin sister Anezca (also Grobglas), whom he unknowingly slept with.
“He meant it,” Urman said of Rafael’s speech to fake Petra about being friends. “And I think that was also 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.”
As for real Petra’s reaction to the whole matter, it’s fair to assume that her time will come.
“Petra’s frozen,” Urman noted of the character’s current #Petrafied state, adding that “she’s going to be pretty pissed” once she finds out what’s been going on. “She tried nice. It got her f--king frozen.”
Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.