When Jane the Virgin premiered in October 2014 with the seemingly impossible premise of a young woman being accidentally inseminated with a man's sperm, critics wondered if a television show could ground its story in such an implausible event. But since then, the show's fan base has grown, and the storylines have only gotten stranger. Characters swap identities like it's no big deal, are brought back from the dead, and somehow find the kind of love that makes your heart literally glow. As the series comes to a close with its final episode tonight, Bustle thought it would be fitting to ask the Jane the Virgin cast and the show's creator about their favorite telenovela twists from the series. And surprisingly, not everyone said that Michael's death (and resurrection in Montana, of all places) was the one that really floored them.
Each of their enthusiastic responses is a testament to how deeply the cast treasures their own work on the series and the pitch-perfect homage to the telenovela genre the show maintained throughout its five seasons. Also, did you know that Anezka was inspired by a cat, of all things? That's, as Mendez might say, straight out of a telenovela, right?
Read on to find out what telenovela twist shocked your favorite Jane the Virgin character the most, for better or worse.
Jaime Camil (Rogelio)
Bonafide telenovela star Camil tells Bustle that for him, "Bringing MICHAEL back from death was my favorite, classic telenovela trope.”
Yael Grobglas (Petra)
"My favorite telenovela twist was definitely when Petra’s twin sister Anezka showed up mid-Season 2," Grobglas says. "It surprised me as much as the audience. I thought she would only be in a couple of episodes and she ended up sticking around for three seasons! The Petra/Anezka scenes became some of my favorite to play, and I had an incredible time with that role."
She adds that Anezka was partially based on her cat, which actually makes total sense. "So perhaps that was part of the appeal," she adds.
Jennie Snyder Urman (Showrunner)
For showrunner Snyder Urman, Michael's return hit all the sweet spots of a good telenovela. "My favorite twist was when Michael came back from the dead at the end of Season 4. It's rare to achieve something that is completely shocking, something that upends everything you thought you knew, something that knocks the audiences off balance and leaves them hungry for answers. And I think Michael's return was all of those things," she says. "Plus, I got to work with Brett Dier again!"
Bridget Regan (Rose/Sin Rostro)
For Regan, finding out that her character Rose was more than just a frequent visitor of the Marbella was the most shocking. "[My favorite twist was] when I found out I was Sin Rostro!" Regan exclaims. Being the villain can't be easy, but it is most certainly never boring, either.
Brett Dier (Michael)
Dier's most shocking moment was when he lost his job, he says. "It was obviously when I died! Because one day I had a job and then the next I didn’t! TALK ABOUT A TWIST!"
Anthony Mendez (Narrator)
Mendez, who has been narrating the story all along, took it back it to the old days. "To me, the most telenovela reveal started its setup in the pilot — the magical realism of Rogelio as his El Presidente character advising Jane to "inhala, exhala." At the end of the episode, we find out that Rogelio is Jane’s father. Leaving the audience waiting for three more episodes until Jane is told the truth in Chapter Four was exciting and moving."
He adds, "Furthermore, Jaime Camil’s and Gina Rodriguez’s performance in that scene was just, can I say it? Emmy-worthy! There, I said it. The real-life telenovela of never having either of those brilliant actors never receive a nomination over the course of five years is my least favorite twist."
Justin Baldoni (Rafael)
For Baldoni, it was all about losing his set buddy. He says his favorite twists were both Michael's death and return. "The first broke me and the second put me back together. I love me some Brett Dier. Such an incredible actor."
Ivonne Coll (Alba)
Coll also thinks that the most wild thing to happen was Michael's return. She could hardly contain herself. "OMG! I freaked out big time!" Coll says of learning Michael was still alive.
Andrea Navedo (Xiomara)
Navedo agrees with Coll, and pretty much the entire fanbase. She says, “The most shocking plot twist on Jane the Virgin for me was when Michael died and we lost our dear costar Brett Dier. It was like losing a family member. We started together and became so close over the seasons. And then was pleasantly shocked when he returned the following season.”