Jane the Virgin just sobbed on that porch swing one last time, and if you think we’re also sobbing on our own version of the porch swing, you’re fully correct.
That series finale was a perfect, emotional, romantic, and throwback-filled sendoff to the CW series, one that finally saw Jane and Rafael married to each other with Alba officiating, Petra reunited with her love JR, and Rogelio finally becoming an American sensation with nursing student Xiomara at his side as they moved to New York. It all ended with the newly married Jane and Rafael enjoying a moment alone as Jane revealed the new ending to her book: “They turn it into a telenovela.”
Suddenly, we were forced to come to terms with the fact that we weren’t going to find out what married life was like for these two without a love triangle or an evil crime lord or even the occasional delightful interruption by Rogelio, insisting Raf calls him “dad.”
We did, however, have showrunner and executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman to give us answers to all the questions we had after drying our tears.
First, a little recap.
With a month left before her wedding, Jane was still celebrating her massive $500,000 book deal when she learned that her mother and Rogelio were planning to move to New York. She freaked out a bit, but Mateo freaked out the most, helpfully unpacking Xo’s bags for her so she didn’t have to leave, and then Xo herself was freaking out and almost canceled all the plans.
Jane changed her mind about the ending of her book a couple of times, especially after learning that early copies were being sent out to authors to get blurbs, and kept her vows until last minute. That bothered Raf just a little bit, but obviously Jane and her vows were just fine because she’s a writer and very much in love with Rafael.
Then, Raf learned, on the day of the wedding, that Jane didn’t manage to get the ending to the printing press in time, and the only possible way of making it happen was delivering the flash drive to the printer by hand, which he decided he was going to do. Then, on his way out of the parking lot, the parking ticket-taking machine malfunctioned and he made the curious choice to just drive through the gate.
He was then immediately arrested, and needed Jane to bail him out, and since Alba had the car, Jane had to call a car. But there was a marathon, so the car couldn’t get to Jane, so Jane had to run through the marathon (past Urman herself) and get on a bus. The public bus driver for some reason didn’t want to just drive Jane straight to the police station, so she ended up paying him $5000 to rent the bus, and $200 to each passenger to let her rent the bus.
She got Rafael out of jail and picked up her entire family on the way, and they all finally arrived at the wedding together on the bus, after Petra and JR had had a moment to reconnect and get back together. And where was the wedding, you may ask? Under that tree where Rafael and Jane shared several of their most significant kisses.
They were both too teary to read their vows aloud and too excited to stop kissing before they were supposed to actually kiss, but after that, the wedding went off without a hitch.
We also learned there in the middle that Mateo, who had been working on projecting with help from his Great Glam-ma, was going to grow up to become a great at voice acting (“And for the record, I am,” the narrator added, sans accent), so we finally know who our narrator actually is!
Below, you’ll find all the scoop we got from Urman on that reveal and so many others the finale gave us.
(Oh, and we learned Rafael’s birth parents were just regular people who died in a car accident in Italy, which…is irrelevant but nice to know.)
E! News: So what did you see as the ending from early on, and what came up organically as you were actually writing it?
Urman: The fact that it would involved the bus, that Jane’s parents were going to be moving away, [Jane’s] anxiety over finishing something, which of course we’re feeling as writers. I wanted it to lead back to her book and the ending just changed a little bit, so it could lead to Rafael asking at the end what happens at the end of her book. I knew there would be a bus. I originally pitched that they miss the wedding and get married on the bus, and the room said no, we want to see the wedding, but the bus pulls her up to it. And I loved that. So I’ll often give a bunch of ingredients and then we start to cook with them in the kitchen that is the writers’ room, and they make everything better than I would have just on my own. And having the bus get her there…I loved that right away, that she uses her money on the bus.
I mean, that’s the most expensive bus ride ever! But she had to get married under that tree.
Exactly. She had to get married under that tree, had to be outside. We wanted it to feel different than the church wedding she had with Michael, and that tree was so iconic for the two of them.
So just to confirm, that was the narrator going out of the accent to say that the voice actor, not the narrator character, is Mateo, right?
Exactly. It’s our way of like clicking forward and knowing that everything turns out OK and that he’s OK and life is good for him, and then you find out that he’s a voiceover artist and you hear him briefly for a moment.
Has that been the idea from the beginning of who the narrator was?
Yeah, that was early in the first season as well, but we didn’t know how we would reveal it or at what point, or how to do it so it didn’t stop the drama, and that it was just, you know, if you’re listening, you get it, and then you move on. But I didn’t want that to be the event or a big soapy reveal. So figuring out how it would come into play was a lot of the work we did in the room, but Liliana, as the ultimate stage mother, felt like a good way in where we could get what we wanted in a fun way, and again, it’s not the event of the episode. It’s another loose end we’re tying up in bringing the series to the close.
A wedding on a telenovela and particularly on Jane the Virgin can never go perfectly, so how did you decide how wacky things were going to get before you actually got to the sweet stuff?
I knew I wanted Rafael to go on this adventure in order to express to her how much he valued her career, and her as a writer, and that felt so romantic to me. So we knew that we wanted a certain amount of hijinks, but not like, will they or will they not get married? We didn’t want it to be a question of will the wedding go off. We didn’t want existential threats to them getting married, we just wanted fun plot things for the plot that could help us get there with momentum and enjoy the journey. I just didn’t want to have anything that was like, stop the wedding! Because the episode, I wanted it to be about saying goodbye and not about big narrative tricks.
When that final episode was filming, there were paparazzi pictures that also included Rafael in the audience, so there were so many theories about what was actually going to happen in the finale.
It was because they were outside and they took pictures of Jane’s dress and all this stuff, and we talked to them and asked if they would maybe not put them out there, but you know, they were going to, because everyone has to make a living. I understand that. So Justin [Baldoni] came up with, like, let’s do a fake out.
I mean, it worked for a lot of people.
It was brilliantly done, because there are so many like “don’t spoil this,” “don’t spoil that,” and then it was like, well, it’s out. And then he came up with, no let’s just take a picture of me sitting in the audience, and I thought that was brilliant.
Can you share any of your thoughts on the futures of these characters? There was a reference to either Jane or Rafael changing their mind about wanting more kids, and obviously we all want the best for Petra…
Oh, I have so many thoughts and ideas and I can see them all of these ways in the future, but I don’t want to really say them ’cause I like it to live in the imagination and experience of the audience and what they actually did show. So you know that somebody changes their mind about having another kid, you know sort of where Mateo ends up, you get a really warm feeling about Petra and JR that they’re back together and Petra is going to continue with her franchising of the hotel. And I think, you know, I tried to put everything in that I wanted you to be really specific about, and then the rest are all close reads of the episode and a little bit of imagination.
I was really hoping for an epilogue, and I waited, and I was so sad when there wasn’t one.
I know, I know. I have ideas about that, but not just yet.
Jane the Virgin aired on The CW.