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Virgin River Review – Mel Returns Home (2×01)

VIRGIN RIVER - Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe of VIRGIN RIVER - NETFLIX (c) 2020

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The stunning and breathtaking landscape brings you right back home to Virgin River.

It’s not surprising that Mel decided to come back to this Northern California town, even despite all the “drama.” The scenery alone is picture-perfect. But that’s not all that brought her back home!

At the end of Virgin River Season 1, Mel found out from Hope, the town gossip, that Jack was expecting a baby with Charmaine. A baby changed everything between them, especially as she was still dealing with the grief of losing her child and learning she couldn’t have one again. So, she figured the best thing to do was to skip top. 

Personally, I felt like the episode glossed over the importance of Mel disconnecting from Virgin River and heading back to LA. 

The scene where she visits her husband’s grave and informs him that home doesn’t exist anymore because he was her home is heartbreaking. Mel never went to Virgin River to fall in love and move on — she went to find herself and get away from everything that reminded her of a past that was torn away from her. 

In doing so, she stumbled upon Jack, a great man that she could see herself with, but she simply wasn’t 100% ready to commit or start anything new. First, she had to mourn her old life and all that loss that she had been carrying with her before she even thinking of moving on, let alone something as serious as a man who was going to be a father with another woman. 

It was a powerful opening that allowed audiences to get a deeper view into Mel’s mindset, but I wish she would have communicated all of that to Jack when she arrived back in town as he interpreted her silence during those months in a negative way instead of understanding that it was necessary for her to step back and focus on healing.

Regardless, it didn’t take Jack long to forgive Mel and put it all out on the line: he wants to be with her and not Charmaine. It’s a bold statement that’s easier said than done. 

While it’s clear that these two will eventually pursue the attraction between them, it’s going to be a bumpy road for Mel as she doesn’t want to be the one who steals Jack’s opportunity of having a real family.

Mel’s concerns are valid; she doesn’t want to get in the middle of it, especially since Charmaine blames her for losing Jack in the first place. 

No woman who is going through trauma of her own willingly wants to get messed up in a love triangle that’s eventually going to involve a child. 

However, it’s a small town. Not only is Jack a close friend, but Doc requested Mel to be very involved in Charmaine’s pregnancy journey (which could be therapeutic for her as she focuses on bringing life into this world) since she’s the only one in town with experience dealing with hypermesis gravidarum. Mel is a doctor first and foremost, so when a patient needs her, she puts aside any and all personal drama. Even when that person takes digs like “you don’t know what it’s like you’ve never had a child” without knowing that the woman helping her went through the traumatic loss of a child. 

Doc also gave Mel some sound advice about her concerns, which could help Mel reframe her situation: Jack is an adult who was never fully invested in his relationship with Charmaine. If he wanted the familial unit, he would embrace her and this moment, but instead, even as he’s expecting a child with another woman, he willingly chooses Mel.

She’s not the home-wrecker she thinks she is; she didn’t break apart any relationship, marriage, or family.

As Doc put it, for the first time ever, Jack knows what he wants without doubt and that’s a relationship in which he feels fulfilled and content. 

Virgin River may be a scenic small town, but don’t let that scenery fool you — it has its fair share of drama.

The biggest jaw-dropping moment came at the final moment of the episode when Mel was ambushed by a bloodied and strung-out man at the clinic.

It’s unclear if this is the same man that was running behind her in a rather odd scene in the episode. Mel seemingly got spooked as she assumed the jogger was stalking her, but when she took a turn toward the woods, the man kept on going. I shrugged it off as her paranoia, but maybe it was real?

You wouldn’t peg Virgin River as a town where women get attacked, but it’s entirely possible, especially with Calvin’s gang in the shadows. They’ve already had one run-in with Mel and use Doc’s services off-the-books, so maybe this is somehow related?

What do you think it was about?

The second eerie moment was one we expected would eventually happen, but that didn’t make it any easier to watch. Paige’s abusive husband, Wes, returned. While she did her best to get off the grid and disappear with her son, her ex has been closing in on them as we saw on Virgin River Season 1. When she left Christopher with Connie to spend a nice afternoon with Preacher and come clean about the reason behind her fake identity, Wes had the nerve to “stop in” and play with his son.

I think I’m more interested to see how this storyline pans out than I am about Mel and Jack at the moment.  From what Paige said, her ex is a cop that wields not only power but connections. Not to mention he was awarded custody of Christopher before they ran away, which technically means that Paige kidnapped her kid. The fact that he found her is not good since he’s likely going to try to make her life a living hell.

Will Preacher intervene? Will he be her knight in shining armor?

As for Hope and Doc, they’re sneaking around like a pair of teenagers who are keeping their relationship a secret from their parents. 

It’s nice to see Hope finally open up and let Doc in, but I’m not entirely sure I’m interested in seeing her keep their relationship under the radar. It’s one thing not to want to be part of the town’s gossip (funny since Hope is the town’s gossip), but it’s another to encourage another woman to date your man to keep it a secret. 

Hope has punished Doc for his indiscretions for so long, I want her to finally embrace him publicly and be like “this is my man!” They both deserve it! 

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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8 Questions We Need Addressed in Season 2 of ‘My Life With the Walter Boys’

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8 Questions We Need Addressed in Season 2 of My Life With the Walter Boys

My Life With the Walter Boys, starring Nikki Rodriguez, Noah LaLonde, and Ashby Gentry, hit Netflix on Dec 7, 2023, and became an instant hit, as most shows surrounding a teen love triangle (we’re looking at you The Summer I Turned Pretty). Fans loved it so much, in fact, that it received a second season renewal almost instantly, meaning we’ll get plenty more drama from the Walter family + Jackie in the near future.

And that also means we’ll get answers to some of our burning and lingering questions from those jaw-dropping cliffhangers. 

Who Is Morgan?

This is probably the top question I have in mind, but only because it seemed so out of left field. Will and Haley had a pretty solid relationship, with the only trouble in their relationship coming from their inability to see eye to eye on business. Haley wanted to live it up in her mid-20s, while Will wanted to focus on making something of himself. Will possibly took it a bit too far and extreme, but Haley should’ve been a little more supportive of his ambitions and goals to provide for their family and give them a good life. However, at no point did another relationship or romance come into play—they were both certain of their love for one another, even agreeing to get married mere moments after getting back together. Which brings me back to the question of everyone’s mind—who is Morgan and why did Haley lie about the text to Will? Is it a former fling? Is it someone she hooked up with during their break? Is it someone from Will’s past? Whoever it is, my two cents is that not every love story needs to be a love triangle, so I hope they don’t go that route with Will and Haley after they just found their footing. 

 

Will Jackie Come Back? And Who Will She Pick?

It’s pretty clear that Jackie ran off because she was scared—she was scared of hurting Alex, who just told her he loved her, she was scared of the feelings she had for Cole, which she previously repressed but could no longer deny once she saw his romantic gesture with the teapot, and she was scared of coming between them again, just like Paige did before her. Jackie’s reaction was trying not to bite the hand that feeds her, and in this case, the hand was the Walter family opening their doors to welcome her in and giving her a found family. She didn’t want to spit in the face of that by causing friction between two brothers, though it’s clear that her feelings for Cole were much more intense than anything she ever felt for Alex. Leaving was her only solution to keep the peace, but I guess that they won’t let her stay away for long. Will she come back eventually? Are her feelings too strong to stay away? Will someone go to New York to convince her to return? 

 

Piggybacking Off of That—How Did Jackie and Cole End Things?

Obviously, that hookup—initiated by Jackie—was hot and heavy (and a long time coming), but what happened after? Did Jackie just run back to her room and call Uncle Richard to tell him she wanted to go back to New York? Was she feeling guilty for cheating on Alex? Did she immediately regret it? Did they talk about it? Did they just part ways and go to their respective rooms in happy bliss? Cole seemed rather surprised that Jackie left town when Alex barged into his room, which indicates that he thought the night went well. 

 

Will Cole come clean to the kiss to Alex and Will They Continue to Hate Each Other?

Even before Jackie’s arrival, there was a lot of animosity between these two, and it’s something that they have to figure out on their own. Alex holds a lot of resentment toward Cole, mostly for being in his shadow his whole life and for Cole stealing Paige, however, it hasn’t been easy going for Cole either. As he explained, he had no idea about Alex and Paige when he kissed her, plus, he’s dealing with his fair share of inner turmoil that makes him act out and hurt those around him. They have to get over their own stuff before they can drag Jackie into this, but I will say, Alex knew that Cole was into Jackie and pursued her anyway, disregarding how it would make his brother feel, while Cole repeatedly told Jackie that he wouldn’t hurt his brother again and tried, sometimes less than more, to keep his distance and be supportive. Someone is going to walk away hurt, there’s not doubt about it, but I think that Alex’s motivations have simply been to finally win, while Cole’s feelings for Jackie have been real from the start and have only grown in size, all while pushing him to become a better man and stop feeling sorry for himself. Sooner or later, they’ll all have to face reality, and when they do, they will both have to agree not to harbor any ill will moving forward. 

 

Will Kiley Ever Tell Alex How She Feels?

It spoke volumes that the person taking care of Alex in his drunk state and putting him to bed was Kiley. The girl is in love—everyone sees it except for Alex, who is too blind to see what’s right in front of him because he’s focusing on the wrong thing. I think deep down he has those feelings too, he’s just never confronted them because Kiley’s been his BFF forever. I’m hoping season 2 will be the moment she’s been waiting for!

 

Who Will Tara Pick?

Tara may be my favorite character because she’s so unapologetically messy. She’s the school’s counselor, guiding young adults into the next stages of their lives, and yet she has no grasp on her own life. When Nikhil gets a job in London, she’s overly emotional about it, even going as far as to say she would’ve gone with him had he asked. But when she meets Jackie’s uncle Richard at Haley’s wedding, she almost immediately forgets her heartbreak and is smitten. Knowing that she’s drunk and doesn’t want Richard to serve as a rebound, she makes it back to her yurt only to find Nikhil waiting for her, explaining that he turned down the job… except her love seemingly fizzled out already after her fun night with Richard. Tara is proof that not only teenagers go through love triangles—sometimes they catch you right in the middle of your very adult life… and you’re still conflicted. 

 

Will Richard Help Will Save the Walter Farm?

George and Katherine ran into some money troubles with the farm and considered selling, but honestly, thank god Will went to business school and saw the untapped potential. The place is bursting with Instagram-approved beauty, and making it a go-to destination could boost the economy and the Walters’ bank accounts, not to mention there’s also potential to spin out a wedding business! When you have that kind of an opportunity, you better not waste it, and while George was focused on the crops, he wasn’t seeing the full-picture of what the farm had to offer in the age of social media. Maybe Richard’s interest in Tara will convince him to invest and give the Walter farm a second life. 

 

Will Erin and Danny Get Together?

After everything she put up with from Cole, Erin deserves a good guy who’ll treat her right… and that’s Danny! The two are obviously into each other, so I hope that they get their chance at romance once Danny returns from his Julliard program. In general, I hope season 2 allows Erin to be herself and do what makes her happy, not what’s expected of her by those around her. 

 

And finally, this isn’t a question, but more of a personal plea, I’m hoping that the other brothers, Nathan, Isaac, Jordan and Lee (along with sis Parker) get more screentime, and the show finally addresses why Jackie’s estate isn’t contributing some money to help the Walter’s raise her.

Oh, and another thing on my wish list is for Cole to move the hair out of his face! How can he see anything?! I’d also love to see George and Katherine get a storyline aside from being stressed-out parents, both by their children’s misbehaving and financial situations. They’re still young and deserve something else that highlights the beauty of life at that age! 

What did you think? Did you have any questions you want addressed next season? 

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Fans Are All Saying the Same Thing About ‘The Crown’s Casting of Prince Harry

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Fans Are All Saying the Same Thing About 'The Crown's Casting of Prince Harry

Prince Harry may be controversial in real life, but his casting on The Crown is catching even more heat. 

The Crown Season 6 Part 2 (also the final season and episodes) hit Netflix on Dec. 14—and one thing was made abundantly clear by viewers and fans all around the world: the casting of Prince Harry was not ideal, which was rather surprising considering the series has always been very on point with its casting of iconic figures like Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, across multiple decades. 

In fact, viewers were pretty rattled and riled by the portrayal of Prince Harry, and they did not hold back their opinions, taking to social media and Reddit to vent their frustrations.

One Reddit thread asked why the series turned Harry into a “d**k” despite his bad boy image in the media, and while most agreed that the depiction of Harry’s attitude at the time (“he was a mess in his ’20s” someone emphasized), including the drugs, drinking, and feeling like a spare, were on point, most couldn’t get past the casting, with one person calling it “god awful” and “the worst casting in the series.”

“Their Harry looks like an AI rendering from the prompt “British redhead…MORE REDHEAD!!!” He’s unwatchable,” someone noted in the thread. 

The complaints kept pouring in on X as someone explained, “i HATE how they portrayed prince harry in season 6 of the crown. I see NO resemblance and I just felt uncomfortable watching him on scene. The casting choice itself is questionable, since the actor looks NOTHING like harry. But the way he was written just felt inaccurate.”

They nailed the young before-Diana-took-away-the-Spencer-genes Prince William. But for Prince Harry, it seems like they went with the first ginger actor they could find and called it a day,” a third user wrote, whereas someone likened him to a villain in Harry Potter, writing, “I think the Prince Harry they casted is the only person I wouldn’t say didn’t move me in this entire series. He looks like an evil kid in Harry Potter. Great actor, bad casting. #TheCrown

Another fan sent “apologies” to the actor, Luther Ford, but went on saying the casting was all “wrong” and adding “#SupposedToBeAHunk #NoWeirdFringe”

One fan of the series just wanted answers:

https://twitter.com/hisyodaa/status/1736304432034329001?s=20

Someone else found “age up” too jarring: 

Others, however,were impressed by Ford’s depiction, considering he had no prior acting credits and answered a casting call:

Another fan couldn’t understand the hate for Prince Harry’s character, noting that the actor “charmed the pants” off of her.

What did you think? Did you like the casting behind Prince Harry in the final season? Or did it completely throw you off and take you out of the moment whenever he appeared on screen?

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Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 5 Episode 11 and 12 Review – Father Christmas

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Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 6 Episode 10 and 11 Review - Father Christmas

Virgin River is getting into the spirit of the holidays!

While most of Virgin River, including Mel and Jack, were under the impression that this was the “best Christmas ever,” even despite a few hiccups with the “extraordinary” family dinner they planned, if you’ve ever seen an episode of this series, you were likely waiting for the other foot to drop. 

**Warning—spoilers from the episodes ahead!**

Things on Virgin River are typically perfect—until they aren’t, but it’s also a very accurate reflection of real life; it’s made up of a blend of good and bad moments, many of which help you realize just how lucky and thankful you are. 

Virgin River Season 5 Episodes 11 and 12, titled “The More the Merrier” and “Father Christmas,” gave fans the very first Christmas in the quaint and charming town, and, if you’ll believe it, Mel and Jack’s first Christmas together. Is it just me or is the timeline exceptionally slow on this show?

Then again, Charmaine made a pointed joke about the length of her pregnancy, which honestly feels like it has spanned decades at this point, so the birth of her twins, which yes, finally happens during this momentous episode, ends up feeling slightly rushed. 

The fact that she has a quick labor isn’t just great for her—it’s a blessing for Mel and Doc as it allows them to get back to all their Christmas Eve shenanigans without missing a beat. 

Despite all that transpired between Mel, Charmaine, and Jack, Charmaine still finds a source of support within them, especially Mel, who stands up for her when Calvin arrives at the clinic when Charmaine goes into labor. Mel might be the only person in town now who knows the identity of the father of Charmaine’s twins, and she’s all too content with keeping it to herself. Personally, I’d be as bad of a secret keeper as Hope, blabbing the news to Jack at the earliest convenience. But Mel is a trusted source who can keep a secret, especially with the patient confidentiality at play. Though, hopefully, Charmaine decides what she’s going to do about her little Calvin problem sooner than later because he seems adamant about being part of those boys’ lives. It’s true that parenthood changes people, sometimes for the better, but Calvin’s caused so much pain in town that I don’t know if it’s possible for him to turn over a new leaf. 

The good news is that come Virgin River Season 6, Charmaine won’t be pregnant anymore, and we can close the book on the longest TV pregnancy ever. 

Mel’s quest to find her biological father was a huge part of the Christmas episodes. Through love letters unearthed by her sister Joey, Mel found out that her mother had a secret love affair with a man named “Champ” in Virgin River, thus making her connection to the town much more significant. 

Together with Jack and her new bangs (love ’em!), she set out on a merry scavenger hunt to uncover her dad’s identity, eventually learning that he won the 1976 Lumberjack Games in town before finding his name: Everett Reid. If you’re slightly disappointed that this isn’t someone we already know, well, join the club. It feels like a missed opportunity… for now, though I’m waiting to hear Everett out fully before I officially cast my judgment. While he initially denied being Mel’s father when she first approached him, even though it was obvious that he was lying, Mel didn’t question it, simply focusing on the people who chose to be in her life—her chosen family. 

And there are plenty of them, including Doc, who agreed to walk Mel down the aisle during her wedding to Jack. 

However, at the end of the episode, Everett arrived at the cabin and changed his mind about wanting to be in Mel’s life. He explained that the initial shock of seeing her—his daughter who looked just like the woman he loved and lost—threw him for a loop. And it’s understandable considering Mel essentially ambushed him without any warning. He needed time to process and think about what it was that he wanted out of this new relationship.

Everett then says that he has to tell her something, but naturally, the episode ends right before he gets the chance, leaving fans on a cliffhanger till next season. What could it be? Is Everett dying? Has he been following Mel’s whole life from a distance? Did he know she was in Virgin River?

And how is it that there is someone in Virgin River who has managed to keep his identity a secret? Living in a secluded cabin has its benefits, but how has he managed to fly under the radar for so long? The fact that no one knows him is kind of a hard sell for me… at the moment, at least. 

Who Is Mel’s Father in ‘Virgin River’?

Jack and Brie were dealing with family matters head-on as their parents, fresh off of a divorce, came to town and immediately started bickering. Brie was running interference before Jack stepped in and basically used one of their old plays against them—sit in your room and don’t come out until you’ve talked through everything. By the end, they emerged as friends, with dad accepting of mom’s new relationship with Javi, as they both acknowledged that they needed to make an effort to bring the family back together. It was a sweet moment showcasing that things don’t always pan out the way we hope in life, but we have to be open to making things work for the sake of the children, even when they are grown adults.

In the end, the big family dinner that Mel wanted was able to happen—and everyone enjoyed themselves. 

Mel not only got the gift of jewelry this year, but Jack also went out of his way to give her the gift she’s been asking Santa for ever since she was a little girl—a pony! A dog named Pony that is. 

Maybe it was the spirit of Christmas but Jack was so fun, silly, and cheery throughout the episode. He wasn’t carrying the weight of his past and trauma, and it was refreshing to see him almost act like a little boy again around everyone he loved and trusted. I need more of this Jack in the future, please. 

The biggest mistake that the series has ever made was driving Brie and Brady apart. I mean, why? What was it for? No one benefitted from it. Brie and Mike just don’t have the same chemistry, unfortunately. They are cute, but it’s nothing compared to the electricity between Brady and Brie, even when they see each other in passing. 

Brady makes a great family man with Lark and Hazel, but I couldn’t get invested in the relationship either, and it turns out that there was a good reason for it—Lark is playing him completely. 

In the final—and biggest twist—of the episodes, Lark answers a call from Hazel’s dad, Jimmy. Yep, you know it’s bad news when Jimmy, from prison, calls to check in on how things are going and Lark informs him that “Brady doesn’t suspect a thing.” I hate everything about this, solely because of how hard Brady’s been trying to become a better man and distance himself from this life. He thought he was finally coming out on the other side after helping to take down Calvin and Melissa, but all of that is about to blow up in his face because he let his guard down.

Lizzy and Denny are expecting a baby girl, a genuinely uplifting storyline that has warmed the hearts of everyone in town, except Lizzy’s mother, who was initially distraught by the news and assumed her daughter was throwing away her life. Lizzy managed to convince her mother that this is what she wanted—to be a mom and have a fulfilling career, and from where I’m standing, Lizzy has a good head on her shoulders. She’s come a long way from the girl who arrived in town initially. And quite frankly, she cut her mother way too much slack!

Doc figured that the annual tree decorating competition was the perfect time to repropose to Hope—and their love definitely inspires everyone around. There’s so much to celebrate these days! 

Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 6 Episode 10 and 11 Review - Father Christmas

Virgin River. (L to R) Annette OÕToole as Hope, Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Kai Bradbury as Denny, Sarah Dugdale as Lizzie, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan, Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 512 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Muriel and Cameron are going strong, with everyone in town acknowledging their deep connection and chemistry. However, when Cameron’s ex fianceé blew into town as part of her apology tour during her recovery process, it forced Muriel to look at their relationship a little differently. If Cameron stays with Muriel, he’s giving up the possibility of having a family and children in the future. And while he says he’s okay with that, Muriel wants him to be sure as she doesn’t want him to resent her for it in the future. Nothing would break her heart more than taking this opportunity away from him. Cameron promises he’ll think about it, but it definitely seems like he’s made up his mind about what he wants out of life and who he wants to spend it with. The life he imagined with his former fianceé once upon a time is long gone now that he’s met Muriel—but I’m glad that she’s prioritizing his happiness rather than being selfish, proving that she’s a mature adult who just wants to be realistic about their relationship rather than allowing herself to get swept up in the moment. These are real issues that need to be addressed. 

And finally, Wes’ death is about to blow up Preacher’s life now that the body has been identified. In case you need a refresher, he helped bury the body after Paige accidentally pushed her abusive husband down the stairs in self-defense. Had they just reported his death at the time, it would’ve likely been a lot less problematic than what they are facing now, but considering that Wes was a respected cop with a lot of pull on the force at the time, the self-defense claim might’ve not held up at the time either. 

Kaia realizes something is wrong based on the call and questions him about it immediately, though it’s unclear if Preacher will come clean to her. She is the fire chief now, so it’s likely better for him to tell her upfront in the privacy of their home, but will she be receptive? This is a huge bomb dropping on their otherwise idyllic relationship, particularly after she accepted a new job to stay in town and be with him. Do you think she’ll stand by his side or will this be the demise of their relationship? 

What did you think of the holiday episodes? Did you enjoy the festivities? Do you think everything with Mel’s dad will turn out okay? Share your thoughts! 

Who Is Lark on ‘Virgin River’?

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