Post Mortems
Jane the Virgin Recap

Jane the Virgin Boss on 'Devastating' Twist: 'I've Been Dreading It'

Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Monday’s Jane the Virgin. Proceed at your risk!

The day many Jane the Virgin fans — and executive producer Jennie Urman — feared is here.

During Monday night’s game-changing episode, a popular theory came true when the titular heroine’s hubby Michael (played by Brett Dier) died in the middle of his LSAT test. And all those ominous hints from the narrator didn’t do anything to help ease the shock as the former detective’s heart gave out due to complications from his earlier gunshot wound.

“I’ve been dreading it,” Urman says of the twist. “It’s hard ’cause we loved Michael so much in the writers’ room, and Brett as a person is just spectacular.” (The EP confirms that Dier will no longer be a series regular, although he will have a presence going forward.)

But Michael’s fate was sealed a long time ago. “It’s always been something we were going to do; it was just a question of when,” Urman says. “If I didn’t have a really strong sense of where the story was going afterwards and what avenues were opened up, then I wouldn’t have done it. Part of the reason I put that line in Episode 10 [of] Season 1 [about Michael loving Jane until his very last breath] was to hold our feet to the fire on that overall storytelling decision, because I knew it was not going to be an easy thing to do later.”

As if that weren’t enough, the series then dropped another bombshell, skipping three years forward in time to reveal Jane — not wearing any kind of ring — and a four-and-a-half-year-old Mateo getting dressed for a wedding.

Below, Urman tells TVLine why Michael had to die, and how different the show will be going forward.

TVLINE | Will we still see Brett in some capacity?
He’ll definitely be back in flashbacks, but that’s it. It’s devastating.

TVLINE | He’s not going to come back as an evil twin? This is a telenovela…
I mean, I can’t tell you all of my secrets, right? [Laughs] There are definitely different ways that you could and will see him again. Whether it’s in real-time or flashbacks, I can’t say. But [Michael] is dead, I will say that.

Jane the Virgin RecapTVLINE | How did Brett react to the big twist? How far in advance did you warn him this was coming?
I sat down with Brett first, and then all of the other cast members separately, pretty close to after we filmed [the Season 2 finale], so that he and everybody else… had enough time to process it and to talk about the reasons why, and how they were, of course, only story-driven. It’s just a testament to Brett [that] every single actor on our show cried when I told them. Not one did not cry, because we just love Brett so much. And we love Jane and Michael. It was hard. He is incredible. It’s a testament to how wonderful he was that Michael hung on as long as he did.

TVLINE | This is a finale-caliber twist. Why do it in the middle of the season?
For a few reasons. I felt like I gave a bunch of warnings, obviously, about what would happen to Michael. So the surprise, of course, is when. You would expect it more in a season finale. It was an answer to the question we posed in the Season 3 premiere: “How does knowing the end affect the journey? And some of you know how this will end.” I wanted a lot of Michael and Jane firsts to happen. That’s another reason. I felt like there was a bunch of stories I wanted to tell about them as newlyweds before this happened. For us, too, it’s nice to go into the next episode very quickly so you can get your bearings and feel how the show has changed, how we get our lightness back. Also, I wouldn’t want to go into [another] season finale where we’re playing with the same questions.

TVLINE | Did you ever think, “Maybe we can get out of this somehow? I don’t want to kill Michael”?
Definitely. I would ask the writers, “Are we sure? Are we sure? Are we sure?” We examined it, we reexamined it. We talked about all the other possibilities and what we could do to still achieve the things I wanted to achieve subsequent to this event. We would go around and around and then arrive back at the same thing. We definitely [discussed], “But wait, maybe the narrator’s not reliable?! Maybe he meant he’ll love her when he’s 90.” All the ways and the things that could justify it, we thought about. It has so much to do with the long arcs of the series. It’s a telenovela, and it’s built around these sort of cataclysmic events. One was in the pilot, and this is the one that, I hope, is around the midpoint. It felt like the strongest choice for our story and our storytelling and for the journey I want Jane to go on as a character and her evolution.

TVLINE | Why put Jane through such a difficult thing?
Our show is so much about the line between fantasy and reality, and what a fairy tale is, and this romance writer who has all of these romantic ideals. What happens when you had that, and you don’t anymore? How can she get back her light and hope, and what does it mean to her? How did all of the dreams that she originally had change as a result of this? I wanted to tell a big story. … Part of it is for the character, part of it is for the show. Part of it is because this is a soap, and [you] need to keep things fresh and have big events happen and watch how characters spin out from those. Part of it is personal, experiencing loss in life and wanting to mine how one moves on and remains hopeful and optimistic.

Jane the VirginTVLINE | The end of the episode flashed forward three years. What is the timeline of the show going forward?
We’re sort of in a loophole. We’re still in the present, but it’s three years forward. I feel like we took a trip through the Tiago hole, maybe. I want our show to stay in the present because of our relationship to current events and issues that have come up now, and that was not always the intention. But in talking to the room, especially after the election and feeling like our show has a specific point of view on that — and also, because there’s magical realism, and our show is always reality-adjacent — we decided to keep the show three years ahead, yet they’re still in the present [cultural and political environment]. Jane has a four-and-a-half-year-old, Petra has four-year-olds. It’s a full three-year time jump, but we still want to be able to comment on what’s going on in the world, so you have to take a little bit of a leap with that.

TVLINE | What does jumping forward in the characters’ arcs allow you to do? How different are they now?
It’s great, and I will say the next episode is one of my favorites that we’ve done. Three years has allowed Jane to grow and heal, and the pain of Michael’s death is not going to subsume our narrative or our comedy. We can’t live in just how dark that was. But we can visit it a lot, and we do flash back to what happened right after he died, and a month after he died. We’ll be filling in holes about how she recovered, and how she started to push herself forward, as well as everyone else. But what the three-year jump does that I’m most excited about is that every single character is in a different place and has had a lot of experiences that are surprising and a lot of different tensions and relationships. It gives us a refresher and allows us to move the show forward with a lot of surprises and excitement and fun.

Jane the Virgin fans, are you in mourning? Hit the comments with your thoughts on the episode!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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151 Comments
  1. GregJ. says:

    I am literally in SHOCK, never saw that coming!! Last season I wanted Jane and Rafael together, but after tonight’s episode I thought to myself they belong together and I hope I can find love like that one day. Truly devastating.

    By the way, Gina is an amazing actress!!! Not that I didn’t know that before.

  2. Suso says:

    I know people always say they’re going to quit a show and then don’t and just keep complaining and complaining… but I’m done. Jane and Michael were the heart of the series and I have no interest in continuing — that said, I wish the incredibly talented cast all the best.

    • bigdede says:

      Well I don’t complain. I quit the show when Jane chose Michael. So now I actually have a reason to tune in.

      • nicole says:

        I feel ya I wanted her to pick Rafael and maybe Michael would date Petra I think that would be a lit better and then they all get along for kids and then maybe Jane marry Rafael
        I am so glad now maybe Jane and Rafael will maybe think about getting together lol can only hope it will happen (PLEASE LET JANE AND RAFAEL GET TOGETHER

    • Bella says:

      I am out too. A big part of the show for me was Jane and Michael’s relationship, I have no interest in seeing her with anyone else.

    • Ari says:

      I don’t think I’m going to quit watching yet but I have to say I’m not looking forward to the future of this show as much as I once was. I’m so disappointed. I think there are better ways to shake up a show. As always with a twist like this it will depend on how the writers handle it going forward. If they do a decent job then I’ll feel better about it.

    • Susannah says:

      I have to decide if I’m want to stick with the show. I really loved the Jane and Michael relationship. You don’t see a lot of equal partnerships on TV but theirs really was and it was a joy to watch for me.
      Now we have Rose back and the Rose/Luisa relationship has never been a favorite of mine, they need to let Luisa move on. I don’t like the idea of all these four year olds around, I don’t watch JTV for kid actors.
      I love Xo and Ro, so if I stick around it’ll be for them and Jane but this show was such a happy day in the depressing environment we live in now. I wish they hadn’t ruined that with such a sad end to my favorite TV couple.

    • susan buxton says:

      I agree

    • Faith says:

      Yeah I was thinking the same. Its just not gonna be the same

    • Courtney says:

      Since the beginning of the show, the narrator has continuously said, “Micheal will love Jane until the day he dies.” We knew he had to die and clearly had to die before Jane

    • dhyer12 says:

      Clearly they did this for a reason, and it wasn’t just to have a “big twist.” They needed Michael to die to set in motion whatever they have planned for the characters. You owe it to the creators to see WHY Michael had to die. You can clearly tell this was a big decision for them, one they didn’t take lightly.

    • Jane says:

      I am sad that Michael has left the show I did not like him and Jane together it was so fake the chemistry between them too. Now that I know they’re are not together I will be back watching every thrusday.

    • Louise says:

      i agree. I will not watch this show anymore. It would not be the same. How could it be.

    • GL says:

      i understand that not everyone knows the original series or even cared to look it up for the synopsis….but it’s pretty much written in stone that jane will end up with raf. the question is just how to get there. so, when she chose michael, i stopped tuning in live to watch the show because i knew the arc would go nowhere. i just kept up to date with the major story developments but not really into watching it. for those who ship jane and michael, sure, go ahead. but that was never the original story from which this show was adapted from.

  3. Beth says:

    I love Jane the Virgin but the show will never be the same without Michael.

  4. irishrose4583 says:

    throughout the episode i knew it was leading t something with michael but didnt think they would actually kill him off. figured there would be some kind of twist to it…bummer i will really miss his character

  5. Max says:

    So much love for Brett. I was barely starting to warm up to Michael but this is the first time since I started watching the show that I’m excited to see where they’ll take Jane’s character.

  6. diadarling3 says:

    I am in shock. I was always team Raf but in this episode I was loving Michael. I think it will be an interesting change for the show.

    • Courtney says:

      Same! I really wanted Jane and RAF, but Michael was starting to grown on me.

      It’s really awkward now though watching chapter 55 though because Ralf is with someone else. WOMP. We will see where it goes!

      Also, can we just really kill Rose off already. She and Louisa’s relationship is really annoying!

      I can’t wait to see what the writers have up their sleeves!

  7. Laura says:

    Wow! Such a devastating turn of events! Very sad to see Michael go! However somewhat excited to see where the show goes next. I was starting to feel a little bored this season which made me feel bad since I love this show! I trust that they know what they’re doing…

  8. JAH says:

    I just started watching JTV in December and binged all 2 1/2 seasons in about five weeks – this is the first one I saw in real time and holy smokes what a shocker – both the death and the fast-forward. I trust the writers and am willing to go where they take me. The last few episodes felt a bit calm compared to earlier ones, so they must have been lulling us into complacency. I can’t wait to see whose wedding (of course I’m rooting for #Rogelimara!) I only wonder how many times Petra flipflopped from good to evil and back again in the intervening three years!

  9. Matt says:

    Shocking and expected at the same time. I like it but I also didn’t like her and Michael

  10. Yeah not a fan of this. This was accidentally spoiled a few weeks ago and I’ve been dreading this ever seen. I find this to be super manipulative. I think Michael/Jane were such a special couple and now he feels like a plot device. Super disappointing.

  11. Kris says:

    I haven’t seen it yet, but when I saw the headline, I had a feeling it was going to be Michael. Super sad about this since he’s one of my favorite characters, but i’m still gonna watch it. I just hope they don’t make it Rafael/Jane anytime soon.

  12. K.A. says:

    Pure devastation. I was blindsided. I actually shed a tear.

  13. Ronnie says:

    I am GUTTED.

    • Marci says:

      I am too, Ronnie, just as I was when Sleepy Hollow killed off Abbie. I haven’t watched that show since, and I’m done with JTV. I hate being jerked around.

  14. Deborah J Smith says:

    Sadden for Jane and Michael, but hopeful for Raf and Jane.

  15. Kie says:

    I cried like it was my man that died,lol. I wasn’t ready for that, but I am anxious to see whats next for Jane. I absolutely love the show and it’s cast.

  16. Gina says:

    So mad. Don’t know if I’ll still watch.

  17. Rachel Frain says:

    I cried. Im so sad about this howcan I watch the show anymore? It like the best relationship on the show, the dynamic that made you want to keep watching is gone.

  18. Cynthia says:

    So sad to see Michael go. He will definitely be missed. But I’m excited to see where the show goes from here…..

  19. Rachel Frain says:

    I can’t believe you killed him. Jane will move on shes strong, but Michael was such a great character. There definitely could have been other ways for them not to end up together.

  20. Rachel Frain says:

    Jane will move on shes strong, but Michael was such a great character. There definitely could have been other ways for them not to end up together.

    • Daphne says:

      Actually, as a Team Rafael myself, even I didn’t see any other way that Jane wouldn’t have ended up with Michael. Though I wasn’t personally a fan of the Jane/Michael pairing (they were so beige/boring to me and they presented no evolution for the character… Jane basically reverted to the same person she was in the very 1st episode when she was with him). But even I could see that the character of Jane would have never left Michael once she chose and married him. To me, this was the only way to go about it and have her actually evolve/develop as a character.

  21. Dee says:

    Whattttt, whyyyyy, what signs!!!!! I kept thinking it was someone dream or what if moment. I just suffered a loss watching the Super Bowl last night and now this!!!! Well I guess nothing last forever, I really loved Jane &Michael. Be nice to my girl don’t leave her bitter.

  22. Valerie Schlacher says:

    Very sad and such a shocker. The nicest,sweetest guy on the whole show. What’s not to love?This hits home, as I spoke to a dear friend yesterday, who informed me that her husband had passed unexpectedly. Too much hurt.

  23. Cynthia Flores says:

    I’m so sad, very unexpected…

  24. Amy says:

    So, so sad! I was just warming up to Michael and Jane forever too. Sneaky writers. Looking back it an inevitable conclusion to Michael’s story but it still shocked me. Michael (and Brett) will be missed, but I can’t help but be curious where this goes. I knew Jane picking Michael in season 2 was too easy.

  25. Laura says:

    I am very sad by Michael’s death. I was rooting for Michael and Jane all the way. Their love for each other made the show. I am very disappointed in the writers’ decision to kill off Michael. Michael and Jane were like the Ross and Rachel of Friends, the McDreamy and Meredith of Grey’s Anatomy.

  26. Angie says:

    I dont think you guys shouldve killed off Michael because its one of the reasons why i watched i dont know if im going to be watching anymore sad super fan

  27. sandy says:

    I could not believe that you killed Michael. It was such a shocker I couldn’t stop crying. I am so sad. I wish you had not done it. I loved Michael and Jane together.

  28. Karen says:

    Love the show but was never a fan of Michael.

  29. Terithecook says:

    Honestly, I still feel, an hour after it aired, like I was punched. And I wasn’t such a Michael fan, but I grew to like him. I know there’s a story, so maybe keeping a good thought. I do love this show!

  30. CRIS says:

    BRING MICHAEL BACK!

  31. Ella says:

    No. Just, no. I will not watch this show without Michael, him and Jane were the thing I loved most about it. I’m out, and I don’t say that lightly because I really loved the series but this is just too much heartbreak for me to continue. How could they do this?! :'(

  32. Bill says:

    There’s enough sadness and despair all around us thes days. I don’t need to experience more of it when I don’t have to – even when it’s not real. So I’m done with this Jane the Virgin. Very disappointed with this major change in the direction of this show.

    • Josh says:

      That’s my issue. Jane was my happy show! If this was the plan they should have come up with a new role for Michael so his death would be less devastating.

    • breygi says:

      This. I hate to be one of those, “I’ll never watch again,” but it’s not a threat or a tantrum, it’s just the truth. It’s a good show, but I’ve always seen it as a respite. Most of what is depressing in the world right now seems out of my control. This isn’t. I hope the show does well.

  33. May says:

    I’m sadden by Michael death. I’m Jane & Rafael fan but I didn’t want Michael to kill off. He was sweetest character.I knew they are going to write off Michael someday but not anytime soon. I’m shock that it was today episode. I actually starting to cry when he died. Incredible performance by Gina and Brett. I’ll miss Michael very much.

  34. Kepler says:

    Oh wow, it was such a shock to me. I’m Team Rafael myself, but I had accepted a long time ago that Michael and Jane would be the couple of the show. And even though I wondered about the wisdom of putting them together so early, they had been charming and cute enough together for me to think, “Well, maybe they can find a way to do it so that it will still be interesting.” I had no idea that they would kill off Michael, and certainly didn’t see any signs. And that scene with Jane on the phone, I swear I can still hear her screaming. That was just heartbreaking. I’m glad about the fast forward, because who wants to see anyone have to go through that kind of pain, and I’m glad to not have to suffer the middle of these arcs, like Lusia and Rose, and Rafael and his plan to go to jail.

  35. J says:

    Disappointed. Not watching the show anymore. Isn’t this supposed to be a comedy?

  36. Laurie says:

    Gutted by this, and completely unnecessary. That foreshadowed line could have been intrepreted to mean ANY time in his life. Brett Dier brought so much vibrancy to the show, quick and funny. It’s been real fun Jane, but you burned the light out for this girl. Good luck, I’m out.

  37. Tai says:

    This caught me off guard. I accidentally spoiled myself but it still hurt when he collapsed and Jane got the call. It still hurts like an hour and a half later. I’ll miss Michael. I always flipped back and forth between Michael and Rafael being the One for Jane. But after they got married that was it for me. I was in for them. And now… I’m still going to keep watching because I trust the writers but damn that was a hell of a bombshell.

  38. Tracie says:

    Omg, I’m in total shock. I can’t belive they killed Michael. I always wanted Jane and Michael to be together and when they ended up together, I was so happy. I loved them together. They are the show. I’m sorry to say that I will not be watching the show again because of this. I do wish the show success though. Sad tears:(

  39. neha says:

    It did seem like something big needed to happen since you can’t have a show about a happily married couple…but I didn’t think they would just kill him off! In the middle of the season! Michael really did become the moral center and heart of the show. I still love the cast and writers and will continue to watch, but it won’t be the same. This has been a bad TV season for my favorite cast members. Wes on HTGAWM, Greg on Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and now this? Come on!

  40. LB says:

    Whoa — top-notch acting on a crazy, gut-wrenching ep. I cried my eyes out, even though I have never loved the Jane and Michael pairing. I do adore the characters, though, and will miss Michael’s goofy sweetness.

    I am thrilled to see where the show will go now, as it appeared that Jane will be a single, working mother. I love Raf for Jane, but I hope Jane has interesting plot lines other than romantic ones. Girl can do anything, and I hope that is adequately explored!

  41. Kashya Smith says:

    Why is every show I watch killing off the character`s I care about? Vikings, HTGAWM, Vampire Diaries, now Jane! If this was done naturally, I might be behind it from a storytelling POV, but this just feels like a way to get her back with Rafael, or for shock value. Jane and Michael were goals! I`ll still watch, but it probably won`t be the same. :(

  42. Julia says:

    I cried for a solid 15 minutes and then kept rewatching that one clip cause I just could not believe that happened! It’s honestly the worst but also in terms of the show itself, it’s REALLY good writing. Like the people watching don’t want it to happen but it makes the show that much more interesting. Anyway, I was just mainly in shock and I’m REALLY gonna miss Michael and Jane together😍💗💗

  43. Elocin says:

    This completely breaks my heart. I always loved Rafael n Jane together. But I gotten to love Michael so much. Jane the virgin have always been a well written tv show from day one. Acting is always on point. The episode was truly sad but Im willing to see where the writers will take it.

  44. Chloe says:

    I didn’t like Michael. He was annoying, boring & unattractive. Even his voice grated on me. And them being married was a snooze. I haven’t enjoyed the show as much since they got married but hopefully now it will improve. I don’t normally like it when shows jump ahead but I don’t want to watch Jane sob for the rest of the season, so in this case, it’s a good move.

    • Erin B says:

      I agree with you. Before last night, I was considering not watching anymore because it was getting boring. Besides boring newlyweds, I was getting sick of the constant legal stuff for Rafael & the back stabbing with Petra all the time. Rogelio was one of my last reasons to watch. I am very interested to see where they take this & hope they recapture the magic of season one. Also, I appreciate a twist that I didn’t see coming. Maybe at some point but definitely not yet.

  45. Mama says:

    Really don’t mind, I found the pair boring and annoying, I want Petra and Rafael together. Those two make a good pairing. He makes her more sympathetic and human, but still strong.

  46. Ridiculous I’m not watching it anymore. Their relationship is the only thing that kept the whole thing even remotely sane.

  47. This is just plain stupid. Their relationship kept the whole thing going. I can’t watch it anymore.

  48. Amanda says:

    You cut him out way to soon and they should have at lease had a baby before he died to carry the persons name and memeori on better!!! Made me cry ugh!!!

  49. The theory of his death that I kept hearing about a while back was starting to fade from my mind & I was starting to get comfortable with the fact that he may stick around then “Boom!!” I am completely devastated…I loved the “Michael” character so so so much :(

  50. Marci says:

    I am so fed up with favorite characters being killed off on my shows. Jane and Michael’s relationship was my favorite aspect of the show. I put up with her breaking up with him in hopes that they would eventually get back together. It finally happened but they couldn’t leave well enough alone. If it was so painful to kill him off, then why did they? The EP’s rationale is lame and I’m not buying it. I’ve deleted the show from my series recordings. I’m done.