Jane the Virgin shocked a lot of people when, at the end of their Feb. 6 episode, they (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) killed off Michael Cordero, months after he was shot.
It left a lot of fans reeling — and with a lot of questions.
After the episode aired, Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman took to Tumblr with an open letter to fans explaining the thought process behind the decision.
As she notes, the death was planned from the beginning — and the writers planted that infamous line about Michael loving Jane until his dying breath as a way of making themselves stick to the plan.
Honestly, I put that line into the script at the last minute to hold our feet to the fire, to make sure we went through with it. Because even back then, the writers could all see the magic of Jane and Michael together. Not to mention Rogelio and Michael!
In fact, they loved Brett Dier (who plays Michael) so much that they let the character live longer than they were planning — so that he and Jane could have at least a little bit of the life they'd dreamed of together.
"But this is a telenovela, as we so frequently remind you," Snyder Urman wrote. "And we are only at our midpoint."
The writers dropped hints throughout the series in an effort to both tease his death and potentially soften the blow. The narrator often foreshadowed that, for Jane and Michael, a happy ending wasn't in the cards.
But his death begs the question: What comes next? As was revealed at the very end of the episode, Michael's death comes with a three-year time jump.
This allows the writers to move forward with the story while using the show's usual flashback elements to still flesh out Jane's grief of Michael's death.
You’ll recall, back in the pilot, Jane was on a path. Things were mapped out. And then she was accidentally artificially inseminated and everything changed. Well now, everything is changing again. How does our romance-loving hero move on, how does she get back the light and the hope…?
Well, it’s certainly not quick. And that’s why we’re now three years later in our story. We’ll be flashing back to those three years and filling in gaps, but mining emotions realistically is something we work hard on and we knew the immediate pain of that loss would overwhelm our storytelling. After talking to grief counselors, this felt like the right time to reenter Jane’s journey. She’ll always feel Michael’s absence (and trust me, we will too), but it opens up our storytelling in new and exciting ways, while allowing for the light and bright Jane world that we love to write.