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?
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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