When Brett Dier walked into Vulture Festival’s Jane the Virgin panel it was like Michael had returned from the dead, humor intact. When TV editor Gazelle Emami asked about the evolution of everyone’s characters he joked, “Well mine was alive and now he’s dead.” When a questioner gave Gina Rodriguez her résumé and cover letter he quipped, “Are you also hiring?”
But talk of Michael was, of course, very bittersweet. Jaime Camill, who plays Rogelio, told the audience that the table read for the episode where Michael died “was like a lake of tears,” especially since creator Jennie Snyder Urman put together a package of the “Best of Brett Dier” moments to share with the cast. Rodriguez added that, when asked if she had pictures or videos of Dier for the collection, she cried as scrolled through her phone choosing them. “I was so upset when I lost Brett,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, it was the worst experience literally to date as an actor in my life, because this man has given so much joy to me.” Then, she joked that the series’s time-jump into the future, where Jane’s son Mateo is a little older, may have made up for it somewhat: “I lost him for a 4-year-old, which was like getting another version of Brett.”
Rodriguez ultimately believes that Michael’s death worked within the story of Jane’s larger journey, and Dier agreed. If it’s any consolation, Michael fans, even though the character’s not returning from the dead, he will appear in this season’s finale.