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Virgin River Review – Heroes Rise (506)

Virgin River. (L to R) Sarah Dugdale as Lizzie, Kai Bradbury as Denny in episode 505 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

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The intensity of episode 5 carried over into Virgin River Season 5 Episode 6 as the wildfires raged on bringing destruction and devastation to the beloved town. 

Disclaimer — this review includes spoilers from the episode — proceed with caution.

But one thing remained true—heroes rise to the occasion, and we saw all of Virgin River’s residents step up and take charge, fighting for their town and their home. 

Instead of running away from danger, they ran straight into the fire, quite literally, as Mel found Ava unconscious on the floor of the barn as Chloe cried out for help. It’s a good thing she made the choice to check on them because if it hadn’t been for her, these two likely wouldn’t have made it out alive. 

Thankfully, Jack also arrived in the knick of time so that Mel could focus on Chloe, who inhaled a lot of smoke, while he carried out Ava as she regained consciousness before going to help the animals before Lilly’s entire farmhouse burned down.

I was worried that something would happen to Jack when he went back to the barn, but he made it out safe and sound, which was a good thing because he played a key role in “Operation Save Virgin River.”

As the fire hopped the river and began to spread near Jack’s bar, everyone was forced to evacuate to another zone to stay out of harm’s way. 

Knowing that if they stood by and did nothing, the bar would be completely destroyed, they began to wet down the bar, as Jack urged Preacher to listen to Brady’s suggestion to build a backfire. 

Preacher might not trust Brady (again, Brady being forced to prove that he’s not the same person he once was), but in a life-or-death situation, personal feelings and opinions don’t carry much weight. They were united in a common goal with the enemy being the fire, not each other, as Jack emphasized. And it was Brady’s quick thinking that proved to be the most effective with Kaia even praising him for the idea as it bought them time and prevented the flames from destroying Jack’s. It would be a huge loss and blow to the community if Jack’s was destroyed, so I’m glad they were able to protect it. 

Hope and Nick decided that working together would yield better results, especially because Nick was in way over his head while Hope had some experience in crisis management, but she also proved to be on top of her game despite the TBI, and even if she might not ever be 100%, she’s very clearly still in control of her life. 

Instead of waiting for emergency services to send help, she took it upon herself to motivate Charlie (who had a massive crush on her!) to lend them their duster plane so they could start putting out the fires. It was an ambitious plan, but one that Jack co-signed, even volunteering as a pilot in order to get the job done. Did it seem like too easy of a solution in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely, especially as we see wildfires burn for weeks on end in certain parts of the country, but for the sake of the series, I’m glad they were able to get a handle on things before things became even worse.

Jack’s hero moment quickly fizzled out when he arrived at the designated fire safe zone and found a distraught Mel, who simply apologized to him before she broke down crying. 

The loss happened during such a busy moment that she wasn’t allowed to sit with her feelings, nor was the audience, but now that everything is settling down, she has to come to terms with it, grieve, and find a way to move on. This is definitely not the outcome I wanted for their storyline, but it’s a reality that happens far too often to women and isn’t talked about as much as it needs to be. I hate that this happened, but the reality is that given Mel’s history, it was a huge possibility.

It wasn’t just Mel who suffered the loss as Jack went from expecting three children to none, and that’s bound to take a toll on a person. He was dreaming up his family’s future, so he’s going to have to mourn that in his own way, and hopefully, it won’t destroy him or cause him to spiral, all while being a source of comfort for Mel. 

And hopefully, they can also take comfort in knowing that their journey to starting a family doesn’t have to end—they can adopt, foster, or even get a surrogate. There are options that can be explored to make them feel complete as a unit, options that benefit from being told and explored on a large-scale TV series. 

As for Mel, the poor girl has been through hell and back during the wildfires, not just because of the miscarriage, but trying to ensure that baby Chloe makes it out alive after all the smoke inhalation and helping out at the clinic. It’s a lot for one person to handle and by the end, you could see the tiredness and exasperation settling in. She needs a hot bath and a good night’s rest. 

Doc and Cameron needed to rely on each other, even though there was plenty of tension there as Cameron was upset that Doc didn’t tell him about his macular degeneration. When Doc decided to stay behind with critical patient Jay and wait for the Medevac team, Cameron did as well, underscoring his distrust of the doctor. It definitely was a fair reaction as he felt blindsided, but it was also judgemental as he didn’t take into account what Doc was going through. Mel proved to be more understanding (which makes sense because she knows him well and built up a great relationship with him), making it clear that the diagnosis did not define Doc nor did it make him less of a skilled doctor. She also reminded him that Virgin River needed him right now, especially—and she wasn’t wrong. Doc dedicated his whole life to this town and this practice, and he didn’t want to let anyone down, including himself.

We’re all flawed humans; Doc was simply doing what he thought was best until he realized he could no longer go on pretending that nothing was wrong.  The moment his vision became impaired, he took a step back, so in his mind, he was never putting anyone in danger, though I can see how a partner would want to be made aware of a situation, especially when he’s the only one at the clinic who seemingly didn’t know anything was amiss. 

Preacher also had quite a day trying to keep everyone at Jack’s fed while worrying about Kaia, the firefighter he clearly developed feelings for who was out there on the front lines. And when he finally asked someone about her, he found out that she was being medevacked with her husband, Jay, the man who was impaled while out in the field. I wish you all could’ve seen the way my jaw dropped in this moment because, Kaia, girl!

Before I pass any judgment, I will give her the benefit of the doubt because she did seem genuine in her feelings for Preacher and because she didn’t seem to want to keep it a secret that she was seeing him. Hope put two and two together pretty quickly, so if Kaia was trying to sneak around, I think she’d be a little more discreet with the flirting in such a tiny town that thrived on gossip, even in the most dire of times. I’m going to assume that she’s either separated or in the process of divorcing her husband and didn’t feel the need (or comfortable enough) to say anything just yet as things with Preacher initially started as nothing more than a hook-up. Maybe she was worried that if he knew she had a complicated past, she’d scare him away? Clearly, she doesn’t know Preacher because his loyalty is unmatched.

So, while finding out that the woman you’re falling for has a husband, it might not be what we think it is… at least, I hope it isn’t. I’ve said this in every review, but Preacher has truly had his heart broken enough and I will not let him get hurt again. 

Not being able to communicate with anyone since the phone lines were down made things difficult to check in on loved ones, and it kept Brie and her mother, Amelia, on the edge of their seats at home, glued to the TV and waiting any news about the fate of Virgin River.

Mike was on hand to give them updates from a friend, which was helpful in curbing anxieties, but while I wanted to believe he was coming from a good place, I can’t help but think he’s using Brady’s absence (and the fact that he knows they are on the outs because of Brady’s situation) to his advantage and to get closer to Brie. 

I know there’s no bro-code at play because he’s no longer friends with Brady, but he cares about Brie, so the decent thing to do would be to be a friend to Brie without trying to pursue something more. 

I’m glad he was there because she needed the support, and also a person to help her navigate her tricky dynamics with her mother, but she doesn’t need someone to replace Brady.

It was slightly frustrating that she didn’t seem more concerned about Brady’s safety because Mike was there. Brady made one mistake, but he came clean about it, and she seems to have crossed him off the list. And that happens a lot to this poor guy—he can’t seem to escape the past and no one gives him enough credit, even when he’s trying to change. 

He turned to Mike for help getting out from under Melissa’s grasp, and I hope that it doesn’t mean Mike will help him while also stealing his girl.

As for Brie and her mother, I genuinely loved their honest heart-to-heart. Jack may be the strong one, as evidenced by his heroics diring the fire, but that’s not always necessarily a good thing, and it’s definitely not an indication that someone is okay. Strong people break, and it’s often a lot worse as they’ve been taught to put up walls and repress emotions in order to keep up the strong appearance, which we’ve seen with Jack. It’s incredibly strong to be vulnerable and be able to let other people in—Brie is just as strong as Jack, just in different ways. 

Finally, Denny, who thought he accepted death because of his diagnosis, was ashamed of how he acted in the face of death during the fires, but honestly, I don’t think anyone who has anything worth living for is every simply content with the idea of dying. And the fear of it is absolutley not a reason to feel humiliated, even if you do freeze up in the moment. He and Lizzie found themselves in a very scary situation, unexpectedly, and if it wasn’t for Bret and his truck, they probably wouldn’t have made it out alive.

The person they went to save saved them, which just goes to show that during an emergency, everyone has to look out for and rely on one another. One moment doesn’t define you, and Denny proved himself by leaping into action later and running to Doc’s to warn them about the evacuation. 

I think both Denny and Lizzie are starting to realize that they’ve fallen harder than they ever expected, with so much falling into place and perspectie for Denny. He now has a reason to stay and live—a woman he loves that he has a future with. If anything good came out of the fire, it’s finding love in a hopeless place. 

What did you think of the episode?

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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.

Virgin River

Who Is Lark on ‘Virgin River’?

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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. 

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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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Virgin River

What Happens to Mel and Jack’s Baby on ‘Virgin River’ Season 5?

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Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3 Review Spare Parts and Broken Hearts

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. 

When Will the Holiday Episodes of ‘Virgin River’ Premiere?

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. 

Will There Be a Season 6 of ‘Virgin River’? And If So, When?

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