What’s next on “Jane the Virgin”

During the Deadline’s Contenders Emmys Panel Jennie Snyder Urman and Gina discussed what’s next for Jane this season.

Jane the Virgin EP/showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman and star Gina Rodriguez were on hand at the CBS TV Studios panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys on Sunday, along with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator/executive producer/showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna and The Late Late Show with James Corden executive producer Rob Crabbe.

The first panel was for Jane the Virgin, moderated by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva. Rodriguez plays Jane Villanueva, a devout Latina virgin who is artificially inseminated by mistake and left to grapple with the challenges of motherhood at a young age. In Season 3 of the series, Jane endeavors to complete her graduate thesis, while dealing with the unexpected death of her husband, Michael (Brett Dier). The big question of the day was: “Why did Michael have to die?”

“It was always part of the journey that I envisioned at the beginning about a woman who really believed in fantasy and the magic of romance and had big dreams in her life. And things don’t work out like that all the time,” Urman told the audience. “It’s always been about the balance, the shift from leaving her relationship between fantasy and reality. Michael’s death — the show started with such a big earthquake for Jane when she found out she was unexpectedly pregnant, and Michael’s death was always going to be the midpoint of the show where everything changed again in her life and everything changed for everyone around her.”

Adding that in a telenovela you want to build to an ending and have that ending in sight, she continued. “Our show is about how do you go on. … Loss is always something that we all face … and I wanted to explore that and figure out how we could find the comedy and the joy after an event like that.”

Rodriguez, who was heartbroken about losing her onscreen husband, said that Urman had always kept them in the dark about what’s next said it was “a challenge as an actor because usually you know where your character is going. You know your character’s journey but it’s been really incredible to walk through this series and Jane’s story like walking through life, which is necessarily not knowing what’s going to happen next.”

So what’s next for Jane? The titular character will be getting back into the dating scene later in the season, which returns April 24 after being renewed for a fourth season in January. Tyler Posey is also guest-starring in the upcoming episodes as a potential love interest for Jane, though no additional details were revealed about his character.

“There is a lot of light and joy that are coming back. There are love interests, but it’s all, ‘how does she move on from all of this?’” Urman explained. “At this point in the story there is no life without Mateo, Jane is a mom, she can’t imagine her life without him. … For this character who is such a planner, these curveballs are really important to keep her growing and changing and moving and keep the storytelling not stale.”

Definitely also coming back is Rodriguez’s alter-ego Cecilia. “Because Jane, as a novelist – this is a spoiler alert for like five people who care – she will go back to the novel about her grandmother at some point,” Urman teased. “So that character will come back in.” As for finding out who the narrator is? “That you will not find out until probably the last episode.”

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