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!
Will ‘Manifest’ Get a Season 4 After All?
Merely weeks after the devastating cancellation of NBC’s Manifest, TVLine confirms that the network has been in talks with Warner Bros. and Netflix about a possible Season 4. However, reps for NBC, Netflix, and Warner Bros. have refused to comment for now.
Following the news of the supernatural drama’s abrupt ending in mid-June, fans took to social media with the hashtag #SaveManifest in hopes of reversing the decision and getting it picked up by another network.
After the release of the first two seasons on streaming services, the series quickly dominated the charts. It remained on Netflix’s “Top 10” watched shows for 27 consecutive days and Nielsen’s weekly streaming chart during the week of June 14.
Jeff Rake, Manifest’s showrunner, tweeted in late June, “Your support is awe-inspiring…we’re not giving up. You deserve an end to the story.”
While Rake has not confirmed that another season is officially happening, he did note: “Lots of speculation out there. No comment. Other than, if the impossible happens and the dead rise again, it’s because of YOU.”
Lots of speculation out there. No comment. Other than, if the impossible happens and the dead rise again, it’s because of YOU.#SaveManifest
— Jeff Rake (@jeff_rake) July 20, 2021
Whatever it takes, Rake will even choose to produce a two-hour movie to bring closure to Manifest.
So Manifesters, you’ve been heard, and you can only get louder from here! Will the answers you’ve been waiting for resurface in a possible Season 4 pick-up? Will 828 fly again?
‘Feel Good’ Season 2 Packs Quite the Punch
In Season 2, the final adaptation of comedian Mae Martin’s (they/them) semi-autobiographical comedy, Feel Good takes on much more content in its short six episodes, packing quite the punch.
We’re guided deeper through the traumas of the primary character Mae and left wondering how they’re able to stand on their own two feet after years of childhood grooming, drug addiction, and parental toxicity.
The light answer to this is humor. As it’s joked often throughout the episodes, “comics are supposed to be sacks of shit.” Through light-hearted comedy and the power of laughter, Mae’s story is dissected. However, at times, big topics are rushed and viewers are left grasping at strings, wishing there were more episodes in the season.
Following an unfortunate relapse in Season 1, we’re immediately thrown into Mae’s life in Canada, as they’re about to reenter rehab. They’ve only been away from England for a couple of months, but with the fresh wounds of the breakup, both George (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mae aren’t healed and are still stuck in their desire for each other. I mean, Mae still has George’s photo on their nightstand!
While in rehab, Mae reconnects with an old “friend,” Scott. When he’s first introduced we’re left wondering who he is and what his role is in Mae’s life. As an addict and queer comedian, there’s much more behind Mae’s curtain of trauma than initially presented in Season 1. Much more trauma that’s led to rash behavior, and Mae’s conversation with Audrey, easily foreshadows this.
Intertwined with the main storyline, Mae’s also navigating their non-binary identity. Mirroring Martin’s own coming-out as non-binary, Mae’s figuring it out, explaining that they see themselves as more of a Ryan Goslin or Adam Driver.
Again, with only six episodes to squeeze so much storyline into, Mae’s rehab stint only lasts 15 minutes into the first episode before they’re running out the door back into the arms of Scott.
As Mae’s stumbling through life in Canada, George is also trying to keep her mind focused on things like saving the bees. At an event at her school, she meets Elliot, a bisexual, polyamorous man with whom she bonds. He’s the nice guy, maybe too nice for George. He’s one of those men who are self-proclaimed progressive and ultra-feminist, trying to mansplain the harm in porn’s presentation of women and how sex needs to be a safe space for connection.
And as Mae knows, that’s definitely not how George likes to be treated during sex. Thankfully, George and Mae reconnect, and Elliot is quickly out of the picture with Mae and George recreating their first meet-cute, hoping to restart from a fully healed wound.
As Feel Good is written by a queer person, the portrayal of queer sex is finally construed in a realistic and non-hypersexualized manner. Mae and George run through various role-playing scenarios as they are falling into what seems to be a healthy relationship.
Realistically, their timeline is rushed, but Mae needed some stability before they faced the bigger demons hiding under the bed.
The show cleverly depicts Mae’s moments of withdrawal and trauma responses through a high-pitched ringing sound. As if we’re inside Mae’s head. Originally, Mae experienced the ringing sound when they were with George, as George was a replacement drug. But, in this season, the ringing sound appeared whenever the past tried to resurface.
Mae told Audrey that they had a hard time remembering the past, that it was all like a jumbly tumbly mess of Tupperware containers. But, as the episodes progress, each Tupperware slowly found its way to its matching lid.
It becomes clear that Scott isn’t just an old friend, but a man who used to abuse and take advantage of Mae. After Mae’s kicked out of the house at a young age for drug addiction, they move in with Scott who presents himself as a safe haven and gateway to Mae’s comedic success. When, in reality, he’s a pedophile who’s grooming them.
When a woman calls Mae to talk about Scott, presumably about the things he did to both of them in the past, Mae’s reminded of the trauma they had compartmentalized. A doctor suggests Mae might have PTSD, and with George’s help, they begin the journey of confronting the harmful past.
Meanwhile, through all of the personal traumas, Mae’s working through their professional success after being signed with an agent and fulfilling their dream of TV comedy. However, Mae finds it challenging to reinvent their success from the original standup virality that got them the agent in the first place. As mentioned earlier, with comics, the butt of their jokes is their own trauma.
Unfortunately, as Mae hasn’t healed from their trauma, there’s no way they can make light of it yet. As their career goes for a bit of a downhill turn, and they have a hard time performing for an audience, they begin to seclude themselves and withdraw from the world.
In a much-needed getaway, Mae, George, and Phil take a trip to Canada in order for Mae to confront Scott.
The scene in which Mae directly tells Scott they never want to speak to them again, although a bit anticlimactic, was retrospectively a strong scene that finalized Mae’s character arc in the perfect ending to a witty, raw, and endearing show.
The final episode leaves Mae leaps and bounds beyond where they had been before on their road to recovery. And just as Mae’s love for George grew healthily from a need to a want, our need for a Season 3 resolved itself, and we feel good saying our final goodbyes to Mae and George, knowing fully well they are on their way to a fresh start.
‘Elite’ Season 4 Review: New Students, New Mystery, Same Scandalous Drama
The wait is almost over.
On June 18, Elite returns for its fourth season, but aside from a few new faces and a new principal hellbent on making a difference, things at Las Encinas haven’t changed much at all.
In fact, things are more dramatic than ever.
The premiere of Elite evokes the same feelings as the start of the school year — there’s a rush of excitement for what’s to come.
The series indulges in more of what has made it such a success: scandal, parties, threesomes, love triangles, intrigue, crime, and sex. So. Much. Sex.
I always forget just how many vivid sex scenes there are until I get pulled into a new season, but I’m very quickly reminded.
The first day of school for Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau), Samu (Itzan Escamilla), Ander (Arón Piper), Rebeka (Claudia Salas), Cayetana (Georgina Amorós), and Omar (Omar Ayuso) is bittersweet. While they may be getting another shot at repeating their final year, their classmates Carla, Lu, Nadia, and Valerio have moved on to bigger and better things. It’s a bummer to lose such a great group of characters, but you almost don’t feel their absence when the new crop of students takes their place, flips the world upside down for current students, and simultaneously ushers in a brand new mystery.
The new mystery anchors the story, and like in seasons past, it plays out with flashbacks that lead up to the fated moment.
However, unlike in previous seasons, we find out pretty early on who is at the center of the mystery with the how remaining the big question mark.
But there’s no question about whether the Blanco family is involved.
As Ander tells the investigator, the toxic family’s arrival “tainted everything.”
Benjamin (Diego Martin) is the extremely rich new school director. He comes in like a bulldozer with big plans to rehabilitate Las Encinas and its reputation after a tumultuous few years that led to two student deaths. He begins his reign by setting his sights on Samu and Omar, who he doesn’t believe belong at the elite school.
It’s honestly surprising anyone wants to send their children to get an education there at this point.
Benjamin doesn’t waste any time making changes, but with his focus solely on “discipline, excellence, and achievement,” he fails to realize that his family’s arrival brings the bulk of the drama.
Immediately, you begin to wonder how Benjamin plans to fix a whole school if he can’t even control his own children — Ari (Carla Diaz), Patrick (Manu Rios), and Mencia (Martina Cariddi).
Benjamin has a fraught relationship with his youngest, Mencia, who has brought the family pain in the past and continues to rebel and defy her father at every turn.
She has a genuine connection with new girlfriend, Rebeka, but the relationship stirs up even more problems for Mencia as Benjamin disapproves and thinks Rebe is a bad influence considering her mother’s reputation as a drug kingpin.
Little does he know, Mencia has gotten into a world of trouble all on her own.
While Rebe’s relationship with Mencia grows into one of the purest this season, following Samu’s betrayal last season, she’s understandably closed off and cautious with her heart.
Ander and Omar are still going strong but find their relationship is tested in unexpected ways when they invite Patrick, Benjamin’s son, into the fold.
Patrick knows the power he wields over them and intentionally meddles in their lives, but there’s also much more to him than meets the eye.
Ari is Benjamin’s star child who respects and listens to her father, but to her peers, she’s the resident mean girl who is oftentimes uptight and has a chip on her shoulder.
She catches the eye of both Samu and Guzman, which fractures their budding friendship. These two have always fought over women, but last time, Samu was being protective over his best friend, Nadia, who Guzman is still dating when the season commences.
Nadia appears only via video chat from her New York apartment, and their relationship allows the series to explore the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship that’s tested as temptation lurks right around the corner for Guzman.
While Guzman stands a chance with Ari based solely on social class and standing, Ari and Samu connect unexpectedly in an academic setting.
Who will the love triangle favor in the end?
Additionally, the school has attracted the youngest royal heir in Europe, Prince Philippe (Pol Granch). The series flips the classic “princess and the pauper” narrative to “prince and the pauper” as he connects with the school’s janitor Cayetana, making all of her fantasies come true.
But as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for” as this fairytale quickly turns into a nightmare when it’s revealed the prince has a dark secret, and Cayetana’s past secrets with the late Polo and Valerio come back to haunt her.
Overall, you know exactly what you’re getting into when you press play on the fourth season. The writers have managed to deliver yet another incredibly intoxicating season about a group of lost souls looking for a purpose and tapping into the extreme lengths they’ll go to numb their pain.
Elite hits Netflix on Friday, June 18 with eight brand-new episodes.
*This review is based on the first four episodes of season 4 that were available to the press*
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