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Virgin River Review – From the Ashes (507)

Virgin River. (L to R) Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 507 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

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Virgin River Season 5 Episode 7 dealt with the aftermath of the wildfires that destroyed plenty of homes, but one thing that has remained intact is the town’s spirit. Nothing gets them down as they all rallied to make the best of a terrible situation, hence the episode title suggesting that they “rose from the ashes.”

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

One of the biggest losses was Lilly’s farm, which completely burned down, taking everyone’s last piece of their dear friend along with it. Tara decides to take Chloe and move to San Francisco, which will undoubtedly provide her with more opportunities and a better life, but Ava couldn’t bring herself to just sell such an important piece of the town’s history to a commercial developer. Hope persuaded her into sticking around and finding the right buyer who will preserve the integrity of the original structure, and though it’s unclear who that person will be, I love that everyone is in agreement that Virgin River can’t just be bought.

Arguably the biggest moment in the episode is the final few seconds where Brie breaks up with Brady after he confronts her and Mike. There’s so much happening here, but essentially, Brady momentarily reverted to old habits because of the pain and jealousy he was feeling at the moment. He felt betrayed by Mike (rightfully so), but also completely hurt that Brie was with someone else, and given the mental load he’s been carrying, I don’t blame his outburst one bit.

Sadly, Brie doesn’t even understand the extent of his anger as she has no knowledge of Brady and Mike’s arrangement to bring down Melissa and her drug ring. 

As it stands, Brady looks like the bad guy—the one who can’t be trusted (simply because he’s following Mike’s lead and keeping Brie out of the loop as he works as a CI) and the one who can’t control his emotions. He’s desperately trying to right the situation, but he just can’t win. 

And Mike is shooting his shot and using this opportunity to wedge himself in there. He may not think that’s what he’s doing, but it is, in fact, what’s happening. He knows that Brie and Brady aren’t in a good place, so he’s casually offering himself up as a trusted “friend.” Clearly, these two can’t be friends when there was almost a kiss that happened between them—there are feelings there. 

I want to believe Mike’s intentions are in the right place, but it doesn’t seem like it as the only outcome of this friendship is that it will progress into something more until they can’t deny their feelings for each other. 

The worst part is that Mike is also lying to Brie, but she doesn’t know it yet, and because of the case, he can’t tell her about it. She thinks he’s this dependable and safe guy but his career will always mean that he’s keeping things from her. 

The blowout in front of the whole town wasn’t great, but Brady is hurting right now, and he can’t help but feel like he’s just drowning despite his best efforts to stay afloat. 

Jack’s also involved in this, though he doesn’t know either, and Mike told Brady that he can’t loop him in either. In order to bring down Melissa, they need irrefutable proof that she’s clearing drug money through the glamping business; they need the charges to stick, which means they can’t be rash or jump the gun. 

Jack and Mel dealt with the miscarriage, both working through their feelings of anger, sadness, and disappointment. 

Mel has been down this path before, so she didn’t want to go to the dark place she did back then, and she needed to process everything on her own before she was ready to tell the town. Meanwhile, Jack did what he does best and tried to push it down and remain strong for her before talking it through with Preacher, which I guess is a good start since he’s not completely closing himself off. 

I love how supportive Jack was for Mel throughout this whole process, giving her the space to grieve as she needed. She also had to brace herself for another D&C to make sure there was no infection, making the reality of the loss that much more real. 

One thing they are going to have to get on the same page on—when they are both ready—is what happens next. Jack makes a passive comment at the end of the episode suggesting that the town is so supportive, which is promising for when they try again, but the look on Mel’s face indicates that she’s not really interested in that. And who can blame her? She’s been through a lot—and it’s taxing. Not only are you in a constant loop of trying and wondering if you succeeded but then you have to sustain it and deal with the aftermath of the fallout when it isn’t not successful. It takes such a toll on a woman that I’m in full support of her looking for other options to start a family. Hopefully, she feels safe enough to share her stance with Jack and he’s supportive of the fact that it’s not about how they get there but that they do. 

Preacher and Kaia found common ground as she informed him that she filed for divorce while he apologized for overreacting over the news of her marriage. Preacher was blindsided, so his gut reaction may not have been the best, but it was honest, showing just how deeply he felt about her. As for Kaia, thankfully, we were right in that she was on the path of separation and not looking to get emotionally invested again until she met Preacher and everything changed. 

They may have gotten off to a rocky start, but clearly, that hasn’t damaged their spark and chemistry in the slightest. However, Jay may be a problem as he confronted his “wife’s new boyfriend” and made it clear that he plans to stand in their way with his thinly veiled threat of “I know her, she’ll always choose her job over you, and I am part of her job.” Jay, just accept that it’s over and move on because we don’t need this pettiness in Virgin River, and you better believe Preacher doesn’t need to navigate a scorned ex just as he finally found the one. 

Denny and Lizzie continue to be the cutest, making future plans together as she officially tells her mother she won’t be going to college. Her place is very clearly in Virgin River, with Hope offering her a job as Chief of Staff to the Mayor. Hope has proven that she’s still the best thing to happen o this town—truly bouncing back from that TBI—but if anyone is to take over in the future, it’s definitely going to be Lizzie, a natural leader in the community service space. And I love how much Hope believes in her and supports her. Lizzie and Hope are the unexpected besties of the season.

As for Denny, I hope he can find a decent job that makes him feel fulfilled, though I don’t know how much longer these two actually have together with his condition.

Doc and Cameron also hashed things out following Doc’s initial outburst when Cameron said he needed to “think” about whether or not he’d want to take over the clinic. It came from an emotional place as he’s dealing with the realization that he has to step away from the gig he’s dedicated his whole life to, and it’s very important for him to leave it in the right hands. He took offense to Cameron’s statement without realizing that this journey may not be for the doctor—small-town living isn’t made for everyone, and not everyone shares Dco’s affection for this town. However, there’s no denying that VR is a magical and special place that steals hearts, so after some time, and introspection, Cameron realized he didn’t miss city living and would have no problems sticking around and leading the charge. 

Part of that, I think, has to do with Muriel, who he’s developed feelings for. They’ve been innocently flirting all season, and his offer to have her move into the guest house, while sweet and hospitable, was a lot more complex—he was definitely taking a temperature gauge. It’s not the most conventional relationship in Virgin River, but it somehow works; Muriel is mature enough to appreciate Cameron’s earnest, trustworthy, and friendly persona; she picks up what he’s putting down, and they complement each other well. 

I’m rooting for them because next to Brady and Brie (who truly let me down this season), they’re my new favorite soon-to-be couple.

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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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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