Let the games begin!
The town of Virgin River celebrated the Lumberjack Games on Virgin River Season 3 Episode 6. Don’t you just love how festive they are?
The Lumberjack Games were described as the Olympics for lumberjacks, and man, the Paul Bunyan-inspired outfits were a gem.
The sporting event was also the backdrop for plenty of important character development.
Jack and Mel revisited the idea of having a family (at the most inconvenient time), and I love that Jack feels secure enough in the relationship to let her know that he needs more time to think it through.
Mel also admitted that her desire to have a child wouldn’t come between their relationship, which is very comforting. Jack is her family, so I would hate for her to abandon him or break up with him simply because he wasn’t ready to have another child.
After all, he might say no at this very moment since he’s still overwhelmed with the idea of welcoming twins, but down the line, he might have a change of heart.
Jack also brought up his ex Mandy, who he explained he married right out of high school. The relationship didn’t last more than 3 weeks as she filed for divorce when he was shipped off to the Marines.
I wonder if there’s going to be more to this story or if it was just a vehicle to touch upon Jack’s possible commitment issues.
However, it definitely seems to mirror the relationship between Ricky and Lizzie. Ricky just graduated high school and entered his first real relationship with Lizzie, who is a bit more experienced in the department.
While she wants to take the first step and move in with him, Ricky isn’t exactly ready and seems to be seriously considering joining the Marines.
If this is what Ricky truly wants, I’m glad that he’s following his heart rather than choosing to stay behind because of Lizzie. Relationships come and go, and while Lizzie may be the one, he’s also not making her his whole world.
However, I do think she deserves to know what his plans are so that she’s not completely blindsided by his decision, especially since she’s only staying in town because of him. She saw him chatting up the Sergeant so my guess is that she already speculates that he plans on joining.
Doc was roped into helping with the Lumberjack games — the perks of living in a small town and being married to the Mayor.
Does anyone else miss Hope’s gossipy nature and sarcasm? I can’t be the only one.
While he was lending a hand, Doc realized that he needed to make a decision about the course of treatment needed for his wet-aged macular degeneration. His eyesight is getting worse as he had trouble counting equipment, but he didn’t seem to have any issues with skeet shooting as he impressively hit 3 out of his 4 targets.
Once a champion always a champion.
Though it’s concerning that Doc would rather shoot a gun with his vision impaired than tell the town of his diagnosis.
Lilly’s cancer also came to light when Tara accidentally confided in Connie, who told all the other ladies. Word sure does travel quickly.
Lilly was taken aback, but she wasn’t mad at Tara as she realized that by asking her to keep her secret, she was doing the exact thing she didn’t want to — burdening her daughter.
The ladies deserve to know. They are best friends and will offer the best support system!
Preacher had quite the scare when Christopher went missing during the sporting event. He ended up running off to play on the playground but considering the dangers that loom, it could’ve ended badly.
I love how Preacher communicates with Christopher like he’s an adult. He doesn’t treat him like a child nor does he punish him, but he makes it clear that rules need to be followed. They have such a good understanding mostly because Christopher isn’t trying to rebel and respects Preacher the way Preacher respects him.
After her terrifying collapse, Brie confided in Mel that she was taking Xanax following a tough breakup with an attorney that she didn’t want to keep seeing in court. There’s obviously much more to this story, and I continue to believe that some kind of abuse was at play, but Brie will obviously talk when she’s ready.
And hopefully, by then, she and Jack will have strengthened their relationship and she’ll be able to trust him again.
For now, she’s fully investing herself into a relationship with Brady, and while they’re cute together, it’s clearly problematic as Brady is the prime suspect in Jack’s shooting.
Jack refuses to believe that his buddy tried to kill him, but Mike is following the facts. Brady even made a comment that Brie was talking to Mike, which felt off. Is he fishing to see if anyone is onto him? Is that why he’s getting close to her? Because I would hate that. Brie is already so vulnerable that the last thing she needs is a man taking advantage of her for the wrong reasons.
I’ve said all along that I thought that Jack’s shooter was Brady, but I truly hope I’m wrong. I don’t want him to let us all down. We were rooting for you!
Jack’s list of problems just keeps getting longer and longer. Charmaine reached out to him and asked him if she could rehome her pup Tucker with him.
She said it was because Todd has allergies, but it turns out, Todd’s just a terrible person. I don’t trust anyone who hates dogs.
Charmaine said giving up Tucker was a “compromise,” but I agree with Jack — she should just give up Todd instead.
The Charmaine that arrived to give up her dog wasn’t the “honeymoon phase” Charmaine… she was more sullen as if she was no longer seeing her relationship through rose-colored glasses or trying to tell herself that it was the perfect relationship.
Is Charmaine so desperate to be with someone that she’s just blatantly avoiding red flags? I don’t believe for a minute that she’s as happy as she claims to be with Todd, and the fact that he’s been showering her with expensive gifts seems to be his way of convincing her that he’s Prince Charming when that’s far from the truth.
I can’t wait to see what happens with this relationship, though I hope she resolves it before the twins are born as that could make things too complicated.
It’s also annoying how Charmaine painted Jack as the villain in her story when he wanted something else out of life, then she tried to cut him out of her life when it was convenient for her, but now that she needs something from him, he’s the hero.
Jack has been unproblematic this whole time, but he was pushed to the side and only consulted when no one else was around.
He’s a good guy who deserves better!
What did you think of the episode?
Who Is Lark on ‘Virgin River’?
Lark (Elise Gatien) made her debut on Virgin River Season 5, specifically, during the episodes that tackled the wildfires that ravaged parts of the picturesque town.
Warning – this post has spoilers from the Virgin River holiday episodes.
After Jack and Brady risked their lives to save Lark’s daughter, Hazel, who went missing from the campsite during the fire evacuation, the single mom began to bond with the latter, extending her gratitude to him for going out of his way to prioritize her daughter’s safety.
When Brady found out that Lark and Hazel were squatting, he offered them up a place in one of the lumber yard trailers, a selfless gesture that speaks to his big heart.
Lark definitely set her sights on Brady, especially on the heels of his generosity, and a connection sparked around the time that Brady’s relationship with Brie crumbled and he was looking for some companionship. Lark also helped Brady see the better parts of himself, as Brie held his lies (even though he couldn’t tell her anything about being an informant) against him and made him feel guilty.
One thing led to another and eventually, Lark and Brady began a relationship after his romance with Brie ended. It was also helpful that Hazel really took to Brady, and thus, he became a bit of a stepfather figure in her life.
Fast forward a few months to the timeline of the holiday episodes, Brady and Lark are going strong, fully embracing their romance and sweet little family together. Lark even invited Brady to meet her mother, though he claims that’s a little too fast-paced for him, which is understandable considering he still harbors strong feelings for Brie, who has currently moved on with Mike.
However, Brady seems to be in a good place in life, particularly as everything with Melissa Montgomery’s money laundering/drug smuggling at Emerald Lumber has finally settled down. He’s finally able to move past the nightmare that started when he was roped in by Calvin when he was young and reckless, or so fans thought. In retrospect, I guess we should’ve been more suspicious of Lark’s attempts at inserting herself into Brady’s life, though she definitely made it seem so natural.
In the final moments of Virgin River Season 6 Episode 12, Lark sneaks off to pick up a call from Hazel’s father, who turns out to be Jimmy, who is serving time in prison. Lark informs him that “Brady doesn’t suspect a thing,” which shows that this is Jimmy’s form of getting close enough to Brady to get revenge.
It’s an awful and disappointing twist considering all the progress Brady has made to turn over a new leaf and hit refresh. He can’t seem to shake this whole Emerald Lumber fiasco, no matter how hard he tries. Bad luck just seems to follow him based on one bad decision he made way back when—and it’s cost him so much, including his friendships and his romance with Brie.
I’m hoping that Lark realizes just how good of a guy Brady is and how much he’s sacrificed for her and Hazel and decides not to go through with whatever she and Jimmy have planned.
Lord knows that Brady deserves some sliver of good news and positivity in his life, along with a storyline far removed from the lumber yard.
Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 5 Episode 11 and 12 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.
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!
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!
What Happens to Mel and Jack’s Baby on ‘Virgin River’ Season 5?
There wasn’t a dull moment on Virgin River Season 5, from the wildfire threatening the picturesque small town to Brady’s team-up with Mike to take down Melissa, the new woman running Calvin’s drug empire, and even Brie’s trial against her predatory ex—and weaved in through the fabric was Mel and Jack’s pregnancy storyline.
Disclaimer — this post includes spoilers from the episode — proceed with caution.
Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack Sheridan’s (Martin Henderson) pregnancy started off as one of the more positive storylines, juxtaposed with the shocking revelation that his ex, Charmaine, spent months lying to him about the paternity of the twins. In the Virgin River Season 4 finale, Charmaine suffered a medical episode during which she came clean that Jack was not the father of the boys as she led him to believe. I won’t spoil who the real father is revealed to be in the final moments of the season (you can read that in more detail here and here).
Mel’s pregnancy was immediately considered high risk because of her previous miscarriages, yet it was filled with hope that this time would be the one. Until it wasn’t.
Sadly, Mel lost the pregnancy about midway through the season at the worst possible time as she was volunteering at Doc’s (after quitting her job to make sure she had a safe pregnancy), so she didn’t even have time to fully process what was happening. As she was gearing up to treat patients affected by the wildfires, she stepped away for a bathroom break, which is when she noticed blood on the toilet paper. She confirmed the heartbreaking news with a quick ultrasound showing that there was no longer a fetal heartbeat present.
Instead of having the fully-deserved breakdown, Mel composed herself and gave the people of Virgin River her all, including baby Chloe, who nearly perished when the fire took hold of Lilly’s farm.
Eventually, when the fires got under control, Mel was able to let the feelings in, and they flooded in all at once as she reunited with Jack and broke down crying as she offered up a heartfelt apology, a clear indication that something tragic happened.
Jack fully supported Mel in the aftermath of her loss, allowing her to grieve the way she needed to, and when she was ready, he asked Hope to convey the news to the rest of the town so that Mel wouldn’t have to tell everyone and re-live it every single time.
When Jack brought up trying again, Mel kept avoiding the topic, seemingly not ready to talk about it. She was being honest with herself, so she couldn’t be honest with Jack, however, in a moment of honesty and clarity during her girls’ night with Brie and Ava, Mel confirmed that she didn’t have it in her to keep going and experiencing hit after hit. Not only was it emotionally taxing, but it was physically and mentally draining. Mel didn’t want to get her hopes up again thinking this time would be different only to feel crushed by the realization that it wasn’t.
It definitely wasn’t what Jack wanted to hear—or expected to hear—and his side of things was also valid as he lost three prospective children in a very short time period, however, he remained committed to finding a solution that pleased them both without being pushy or forceful.
He didn’t want to give up on his dreams of being a father, and he knew that deep down, Mel also wanted a family, despite feeling broken and discouraged at the moment. He suggested trying a different method—and there are so many to explore with adoption and surrogacy at the top of the list—reminding her that it doesn’t matter how you get there, it simply matters that you do.
She was a bit hesitant at first as it wasn’t what she’d always envisioned, but things rarely go as planned. And she, of all people (she ended up in Virgin River spontaneously), should know that.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized that Jack was right. This hiccup, though heartbreaking, didn’t have to be the end of their journey towards having kids. They didn’t come this far (she didn’t come this far), to only come this far.
The final moments of the episode found Mel and Jack agreeing to buy Lilly’s farm to start their dream life and family together, all while planning their future wedding in the most perfect spot.
It’s not the outcome many fans were expecting, but given her history, it’s one that made sense, while also allowing the writers to deepen Mel and Jack’s bond while showcasing their journey toward parenthood in a realistic way.
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