Virgin River may be a dreamy and picturesque town, but there’s a lot of danger lurking in the shadows, and Virgin River Season 5 Episode 2 makes it a point to remind audiences—and residents—exactly how dangerous.
Disclaimer — this review includes spoilers from the episode — proceed with caution.
Brady let his guard down for one evening and it came at quite a great cost. He agreed to let his co-worker, Jeb, who Melissa was bringing into the “operation” take his night shift while he went on a double date with Brie, Mel, and Jack, but unfortunately, upon arriving back at the work site, he found Jeb without a pulse.
It’s unclear what exactly went down, but either Jeb was taken out because he wasn’t ready for the level of responsibility or it was a warning to Brady that they very much control his life now. Either way, it’s a bummer considering Brady tried to warn Jeb that this lifestyle wasn’t something he should be messing with, particularly because he had family, to which Jeb said that the need to provide for that family is exactly why he wanted to get involved.
Utilizing a “throwaway” character also allows the series to underscore the dangers of Brady’s situation, while also establishing that as long as Brady is involved, Brie is in the line of fire. If he doesn’t heed orders from his new boss, they’ll have no qualms about hurting her as it was confirmed that Melissa was behind the rock being thrown through her window that Brie assumed was a threat from Don, the man she’s set to testify against,
Brie finally told Jack what happened to her during an extremely sweet brother-and-sister hangout; they truly have such an incredible bond now compared to when she first arrived in town. Jack understandably blamed his mess with Charmaine for not being there for Brie when she needed it, but Mel assured him that Brie talked to him when she was ready and on her own terms. And while Jack wanted nothing more than to give the guy what he deserved, Brie simply asked for Jack to be supportive from a distance and respect her wishes not to come to court. I can imagine it would be much harder to get up there and recount the event of the night in front of your friends and family.
She also really wanted a dinner date where Jack could see how much Brady was trying to turn his life around. It’s a bummer that she truly believes it while Brady is still involved in something so menacing, though this time, it’s not his fault, nor does he have a choice. Still, it’s not a good look if anyone finds out, however, the fact that Melissa is trying to sink her teeth into Jack’s business might allow them to repair their fractured relationship once and for all. Brady and Jack used to be such good friends, and it would be nice to see them go back to the way things were and work together to bring down someone hellbent on destroying the town.
Mel decided to step away from the clinic, but as Jack pointed out, you can’t the clinic out of the girl as she volunteered to take Tara’s sister Ava to the hospital following her medical episode. While Ava didn’t seem to want to talk things through after leaving the doctor’s office, she eventually confided in Mel about her endometriosis—and can I just say, bless this show for bringing awareness to this disease that so many are forced to suffer in silence and without any proper treatment—and the tough decision about possibly having children in the future. It’s easy to say you want or don’t want kids in the moment, but when the possibility might no longer exist to have a choice in the future, it’s a much more difficult conversation.
There are a lot of heavy and mixed emotions when it comes to Mel’s decision to hang up her stethoscope, but a huge part of is that the job always allowed her to feel connected to her late mother. She pursued the career, in part, to honor her mother so that her death wasn’t in vain, and stepping away feels as though she’s letting that connection go. There’s no reality in which someone prepares for motherhood without acknowledging their own relationship with their mother, so it makes sense that Mel is feeling the weight of the loss so hard this time around. Thankfully, Jack is as supportive as ever—and it’s heartwarming how he always knows just the right thing to say. The use of “Songbird” was such a good decision.
Jack and Mel really do make each other better, as Mel also suggests that the only reason to truly get Charmaine out of their lives is to forgive her, not because she deserves it but because he does. When Jack confronted Charmaine initially, she wasn’t entirely apologetic, asking him to understand her side of the situation, which honestly, was kind of a selfish response. She didn’t really consider how much she just took away from Jack in that moment, constantly putting the attention on herself, as always.
Though, with time, once the initial wave of anger wore off, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Charmaine lost a future with Jack when he chose Mel, which is when she got pregnant by a man who wasn’t ready to become a father, and in the end, was left all alone and scared. Trying to find someone to be there with her on this journey made sense, but at the end of the day, she couldn’t continue the lie; Charmaine needed Jack’s forgiveness to move on.
Jack also took ownership for the role he played in the situation, apologizing for allowing Charmaine to believe they had a future when he never actually meant to commit to one, which caused her to spiral and act out once she was left in the background as he pursued his own love story. Even Mel got an apology, which is more than I expected from Charmaine.
It’s not an easy situation for her to be in, but I’m glad she’s finally stepping up and taking full responsibility—plus, knowing Virgin River, they’re all going to be there for her regardless of the drama she’s stirred up.
As for Hope, she was, unfortunately, voted out of her role as Mayor, which is especially heartbreaking after we learned a little bit more about the town’s history, including that she was the first-ever Mayor. The position meant everything to her as she poured her blood, sweat, and tears into making sure the town was a welcoming place for anyone who decided to call it home.
Not to mention she gave a beautiful speech re-establishing her commitment to the role, but sadly, her accident took the one last thing that she loved away from her. While it doesn’t seem promising now, I’m hoping that with Lizzie and Denny’s help, she’ll find a new way to be there for the town that’s still meaningful.
And finally, Preacher swore off women for the time being in hopes of working on himself, part of which likely include volunteering to help those affected by the fires that have begun in Grace Valley and will eventually spread to Virgin River, as evidenced by the trailer for this season. I just know this will be an intensely emotional and draining episode, but you have to give it up for the writers for finding ways to keep the romantic tone of the series all while tackling real-life issues of drug epidemics, wildfires, pregnancy struggles, and more.
What did you think of the episode? Will Hope and Mel find their new purpose in life now that the careers-that-turned-into-identities are seemingly fading into the background? How will everyone move forward? Are you happy Jack and Charmaine made peace and closed the chapter on this pregnancy storyline? Does he owe her more? Should he stick around and make sure that she’s okay or should they go their separate ways?
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.
When Will the Holiday Episodes of ‘Virgin River’ Premiere? See the Trailer Now
Virgin River is giving a holiday gift of two bonus episodes.
After all 10 episodes of the fifth season arrive on Sept. 7, fans can look forward to two additional holiday-themed episodes streaming a few months down the line as “part 2” on Thursday, Nov. 30. It will be the show’s first-ever Christmas offering, bringing the episode count to 12 in total for season 5.
The 10th episode, the unofficial “season finale,” even included a time-jump four months into the future, setting the scene for the additional episodes as Mel and Jack can be seen gearing up for Christmas by decorating their cabin with wreaths and lights.
Mel is chatting with her sister, Joey, as Jack asks if she and the kids are excited for their first Virgin River Christmas.
A few days after the fifth season premiered, Lauren Hammersley, who plays Charmaine, shared the first look at the holiday episodes, revealing what fans can expect—and yes, Christmas in Virgin River looks just as magical as you’d expect.
As the town goes all-out for the Christmas tree decorating competition (the grand prize is a Yule log and bragging rights), Mel, who is sporting some chic new bangs, explains that she’s looking for her biological father as she wants to know “what happened.”
By the end of the brief trailer, she informs Jack that they’ve located him, with Preacher noting that he’s “still in Virgin River.” There are a handful of possibilities as to who it could be, which we break down in full right here!
Lizzie’s pregnancy is also addressed as she has doubts about whether she’ll be a good mom as Hope (likely) gears up to give her some incredible advice.
And speaking of pregnancies, one of the longest in TV history is finally coming to an end as Charmaine begins experiencing contractions at Doc’s practice and Mel jumps in to help.
As for Brady and Brie shippers, there may still be hope for their reconciliation after all as she approaches her ex and accidentally meets him right under the mistletoe. One fan in the comments suggested that she’s now doing the chasing, though a later scene, which seems to be a holiday dinner with everyone in town, sees her cozying up to Mike, so it seems she’s still very much conflicted on matters of the heart.
The only upsetting storyline includes Preacher, who may have found love with Kaia, but whose life might also blow up now that they’ve located Wes’ body after the fire.
“This thing is about to blow,” Mike tells him over the phone as Kaia inquires if he can clue her in on anything.
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We have to wait till Nov. 30 to see how everything unfolds, but remember, despite the drama and love triangles, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year!
Will There Be a Season 6 of ‘Virgin River’? And If So, When?
Virgin River Season 5 ended with a handful of cliffhangers for all the inhabitants of the picturesque small town, so it’s no surprise that fans are wondering if and when we’ll get more of the popular romantic drama.
In addition to the two bonus holiday episodes coming later this year on Nov. 30, the Netflix series starring Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson has already been renewed for a sixth season.
Virgin River Season 6 was officially confirmed back in May 2023, though for now, no release date has been announced.
And the series will likely experience some delays due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes in Hollywood.
Mark Ghanimé, who portrays Cameron, the clinic’s newest doctor, confirmed the renewal, revealing in his Instagram post that the sixth season has yet to start filming.
“I am hoping our lovely gang of writers can get what they need so they can continue writing this show for 5 more seasons and we can get right into shooting our 6th!!” he wrote.
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The series, based on Virgin River novels by Robyn Carr, has no shortage of source material as there are 24 books in the collection, and considering the early renewal for season 6, the streaming giant clearly believes in it as there’s plenty of fan interest to keep visiting the idyllic small town with its fair share of drama.
“I think we definitely see more longevity and growth with the show,” Netflix’s Head Of Drama, Development Jinny Howe told Deadline, noting, “As long as the audience asks for it and shows up — and I think we see with Season 4 that the fandom is very strong and growing in many places as well — it feels like based on what we’re seeing with Season 4 and the anticipation for Season 5 that there is a lot more storytelling to offer us.“
As of now, the family faces, aka the main cast, which includes Breckenridge, Henderson, Colin Lawrence, Tim Matheson, Annette O’Toole, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Lauren Hammersley, Sarah Dugdale, Zibby Allen, and Marco Grazzini, are all set to return.
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