Can Mel and Jack stick to being “just friends?”
It’s a bit more complicated than that especially now that it’s been revealed that Charmaine is having twins. What else is life going to throw at them to keep them apart?
The twin revelation on Virgin River Season 2 Episode 3 came at a pretty lousy time. Mel was just beginning to warm up to the idea of pursuing a relationship with Jack even as he prepares to become a father.
Mel realized that she’s been allowing the fear of getting hurt again keep her from moving on and finding love.
Her sister made a pretty great point: Jack is her second chance, and not many people find love once let alone twice. Should she really allow fear to dictate her emotions?
But the twins present a brand-new complication that I’m not sure Mel and Jack will be able to overcome.
Jack will have his hands full – even more than before – with helping Charmaine take care of two children. Will there be room for romance with Mel?
After their romantic night together, Mel determined it was a mistake and she wasn’t ready to start something new again, which I kind of anticipated in my review of Virgin River Season 2 Episode 2. It was a rushed decision fueled by passion.
However, Jack, being the standup gentleman that he is told her that he would wait as long as she needed. It’s a sweet gesture, but will he really put his life on hold for Mel?
I know she’s conflicted about her past, Jack’s future, and everything in between, but she cannot keep messing with his mind and toying with his emotions.
Charmaine wasn’t making things easier for Mel either and honestly, it was hard to feel bad for her. She’s being catty to the woman who is quite literally helping keep her and her babies alive.
Mel is a saint (her guilt definitely contributed) for going out of her way to accommodate Charmaine and her difficult attitude.
It’s not easy to realize that the man you love is in love with another woman, but it’s the way she attempted to manipulate Mel was disgusting. Her guard may be up and she may be scared to get hurt, but it’s so hard to root for her.
Of course, despite her best efforts at being the absolute worst, she couldn’t deny the inevitable – Mel truly has a heart of gold. Once she realized that Mel wasn’t going to give up on her or be pushed away, she allowed herself to be treated. This side of Charmaine was a refreshing change of pace.
Maybe she finally realized that no matter how much she tries to meddle, Jack and Mel will find a way to be together if that’s what the heart wants? Because at this point, it’s just pathetic.
Mel may have regretted sleeping with Jack, but I couldn’t help but chuckle when Hope said she was “awfully perky.” Giving into your desires will do that to you!
As I mentioned in my previous reviews, Hope is playing with fire by pushing Doc to go out with Muriel. You never want a man to see how great he could have it with another woman, especially a woman who is eager to make him strawberry shortcake on a whim and see his favorite classical band playing in the next town over.
Doc clearly wanted these experiences with Hope, but she’s too stubborn to realize it or change her ways. Will she figure it out when it’s too late and she’s lost her man to another?!
For much of the episode, Hope was preoccupied watching Lizzie, Connie’s bad-t0-the-bone niece, who is going to give everyone in Virgin River a run for their money.
It’s unclear how Lizzie will fit into the small town, but I have a feeling she’s going to get mixed in with Brady, who is now involved knee-deep with Calvin’s gang.
Jack confronted Calvin about the oxy-craving junkie who attacked Mel, which is when he learned about Brady’s problematic new gig.
Calvin denied having anything to do with the druggie, but once Jack was off the premises, he admitted that they needed to take care of Leo. This paired with Jack’s intel from his cop friend Mike means that Calvin is branching his business to entail dangerous drugs, and there’s no way that won’t be problematic for Virgin River.
There’s not much that happens in town that Jack doesn’t pick up on. Even when he’s dealing with Calvin, Charmaine, and Mel, he still realized that something was off with Preacher, who was pretty scatter-brained and blamed it on all the hoops of getting Paige’s bakery truck up and running. Will Jack put two-and-two together? Preacher told him about Paige’s fake identity and now that she skipped town, it may raise some red flags.
It also seems like Connie may become an issue as she saw Wes when he was in town. It would have been better if Preacher didn’t say anything about Wes, but instead, he menacingly told Connie never to bring that man up again.
When people come to town looking for him and start asking questions, she’s obviously going to suspect something. Preacher didn’t seem innocent when he gave her that order.
How do you think this will pan out? What did you think of the episode? Are you over Charmaine?
Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 5 Episode 11 and 12 Review – Father Christmas
Virgin River is getting into the spirit of the holidays!
While most of Virgin River, including Mel and Jack, were under the impression that this was the “best Christmas ever,” even despite a few hiccups with the “extraordinary” family dinner they planned, if you’ve ever seen an episode of this series, you were likely waiting for the other foot to drop.
**Warning—spoilers from the episodes ahead!**
Things on Virgin River are typically perfect—until they aren’t, but it’s also a very accurate reflection of real life; it’s made up of a blend of good and bad moments, many of which help you realize just how lucky and thankful you are.
Virgin River Season 5 Episodes 11 and 12, titled “The More the Merrier” and “Father Christmas,” gave fans the very first Christmas in the quaint and charming town, and, if you’ll believe it, Mel and Jack’s first Christmas together. Is it just me or is the timeline exceptionally slow on this show?
Then again, Charmaine made a pointed joke about the length of her pregnancy, which honestly feels like it has spanned decades at this point, so the birth of her twins, which yes, finally happens during this momentous episode, ends up feeling slightly rushed.
The fact that she has a quick labor isn’t just great for her—it’s a blessing for Mel and Doc as it allows them to get back to all their Christmas Eve shenanigans without missing a beat.
Despite all that transpired between Mel, Charmaine, and Jack, Charmaine still finds a source of support within them, especially Mel, who stands up for her when Calvin arrives at the clinic when Charmaine goes into labor. Mel might be the only person in town now who knows the identity of the father of Charmaine’s twins, and she’s all too content with keeping it to herself. Personally, I’d be as bad of a secret keeper as Hope, blabbing the news to Jack at the earliest convenience. But Mel is a trusted source who can keep a secret, especially with the patient confidentiality at play. Though, hopefully, Charmaine decides what she’s going to do about her little Calvin problem sooner than later because he seems adamant about being part of those boys’ lives. It’s true that parenthood changes people, sometimes for the better, but Calvin’s caused so much pain in town that I don’t know if it’s possible for him to turn over a new leaf.
The good news is that come Virgin River Season 6, Charmaine won’t be pregnant anymore, and we can close the book on the longest TV pregnancy ever.
Mel’s quest to find her biological father was a huge part of the Christmas episodes. Through love letters unearthed by her sister Joey, Mel found out that her mother had a secret love affair with a man named “Champ” in Virgin River, thus making her connection to the town much more significant.
Together with Jack and her new bangs (love ’em!), she set out on a merry scavenger hunt to uncover her dad’s identity, eventually learning that he won the 1976 Lumberjack Games in town before finding his name: Everett Reid. If you’re slightly disappointed that this isn’t someone we already know, well, join the club. It feels like a missed opportunity… for now, though I’m waiting to hear Everett out fully before I officially cast my judgment. While he initially denied being Mel’s father when she first approached him, even though it was obvious that he was lying, Mel didn’t question it, simply focusing on the people who chose to be in her life—her chosen family.
And there are plenty of them, including Doc, who agreed to walk Mel down the aisle during her wedding to Jack.
However, at the end of the episode, Everett arrived at the cabin and changed his mind about wanting to be in Mel’s life. He explained that the initial shock of seeing her—his daughter who looked just like the woman he loved and lost—threw him for a loop. And it’s understandable considering Mel essentially ambushed him without any warning. He needed time to process and think about what it was that he wanted out of this new relationship.
Everett then says that he has to tell her something, but naturally, the episode ends right before he gets the chance, leaving fans on a cliffhanger till next season. What could it be? Is Everett dying? Has he been following Mel’s whole life from a distance? Did he know she was in Virgin River?
And how is it that there is someone in Virgin River who has managed to keep his identity a secret? Living in a secluded cabin has its benefits, but how has he managed to fly under the radar for so long? The fact that no one knows him is kind of a hard sell for me… at the moment, at least.
Jack and Brie were dealing with family matters head-on as their parents, fresh off of a divorce, came to town and immediately started bickering. Brie was running interference before Jack stepped in and basically used one of their old plays against them—sit in your room and don’t come out until you’ve talked through everything. By the end, they emerged as friends, with dad accepting of mom’s new relationship with Javi, as they both acknowledged that they needed to make an effort to bring the family back together. It was a sweet moment showcasing that things don’t always pan out the way we hope in life, but we have to be open to making things work for the sake of the children, even when they are grown adults.
In the end, the big family dinner that Mel wanted was able to happen—and everyone enjoyed themselves.
Mel not only got the gift of jewelry this year, but Jack also went out of his way to give her the gift she’s been asking Santa for ever since she was a little girl—a pony! A dog named Pony that is.
Maybe it was the spirit of Christmas but Jack was so fun, silly, and cheery throughout the episode. He wasn’t carrying the weight of his past and trauma, and it was refreshing to see him almost act like a little boy again around everyone he loved and trusted. I need more of this Jack in the future, please.
The biggest mistake that the series has ever made was driving Brie and Brady apart. I mean, why? What was it for? No one benefitted from it. Brie and Mike just don’t have the same chemistry, unfortunately. They are cute, but it’s nothing compared to the electricity between Brady and Brie, even when they see each other in passing.
Brady makes a great family man with Lark and Hazel, but I couldn’t get invested in the relationship either, and it turns out that there was a good reason for it—Lark is playing him completely.
In the final—and biggest twist—of the episodes, Lark answers a call from Hazel’s dad, Jimmy. Yep, you know it’s bad news when Jimmy, from prison, calls to check in on how things are going and Lark informs him that “Brady doesn’t suspect a thing.” I hate everything about this, solely because of how hard Brady’s been trying to become a better man and distance himself from this life. He thought he was finally coming out on the other side after helping to take down Calvin and Melissa, but all of that is about to blow up in his face because he let his guard down.
Lizzy and Denny are expecting a baby girl, a genuinely uplifting storyline that has warmed the hearts of everyone in town, except Lizzy’s mother, who was initially distraught by the news and assumed her daughter was throwing away her life. Lizzy managed to convince her mother that this is what she wanted—to be a mom and have a fulfilling career, and from where I’m standing, Lizzy has a good head on her shoulders. She’s come a long way from the girl who arrived in town initially. And quite frankly, she cut her mother way too much slack!
Doc figured that the annual tree decorating competition was the perfect time to repropose to Hope—and their love definitely inspires everyone around. There’s so much to celebrate these days!
Muriel and Cameron are going strong, with everyone in town acknowledging their deep connection and chemistry. However, when Cameron’s ex fianceé blew into town as part of her apology tour during her recovery process, it forced Muriel to look at their relationship a little differently. If Cameron stays with Muriel, he’s giving up the possibility of having a family and children in the future. And while he says he’s okay with that, Muriel wants him to be sure as she doesn’t want him to resent her for it in the future. Nothing would break her heart more than taking this opportunity away from him. Cameron promises he’ll think about it, but it definitely seems like he’s made up his mind about what he wants out of life and who he wants to spend it with. The life he imagined with his former fianceé once upon a time is long gone now that he’s met Muriel—but I’m glad that she’s prioritizing his happiness rather than being selfish, proving that she’s a mature adult who just wants to be realistic about their relationship rather than allowing herself to get swept up in the moment. These are real issues that need to be addressed.
And finally, Wes’ death is about to blow up Preacher’s life now that the body has been identified. In case you need a refresher, he helped bury the body after Paige accidentally pushed her abusive husband down the stairs in self-defense. Had they just reported his death at the time, it would’ve likely been a lot less problematic than what they are facing now, but considering that Wes was a respected cop with a lot of pull on the force at the time, the self-defense claim might’ve not held up at the time either.
Kaia realizes something is wrong based on the call and questions him about it immediately, though it’s unclear if Preacher will come clean to her. She is the fire chief now, so it’s likely better for him to tell her upfront in the privacy of their home, but will she be receptive? This is a huge bomb dropping on their otherwise idyllic relationship, particularly after she accepted a new job to stay in town and be with him. Do you think she’ll stand by his side or will this be the demise of their relationship?
What did you think of the holiday episodes? Did you enjoy the festivities? Do you think everything with Mel’s dad will turn out okay? Share your thoughts!
‘Lupin’ Season 4—Everything We Know
Lupin is a high-stakes series about a gentleman thief, Assane Diop (Omar Sy), who is exceptionally crafty at what he does and usually does it in the name of revenge.
For two seasons, he’s managed to evade police while rallying support from the public as a sort of Robin Hood figure, which makes watching his escapades unravel throughout the city of France all the more enticing. Assane/Lupin has never met his match, though police officer Guedira (Soufiane Guerrab) has come the closest to figuring out the tricks of the trade, making Lupin respect him even more.
After a two-year hiatus—yes, they really made fans wait that long—Lupin has finally returned for a seven-episode third season on Oct 5, 2023.
But is the story over? It seems like it’s far from it. And while there’s no word on whether a fourth season is in the works just yet, with Lupin, who masterfully chooses his destiny, there’s no shortage of inspiration or trouble that he can get into. The third season did a good job of weaving Assane’s backstory into the present-day plot, giving audiences a fresh mystery to follow after Assane successfully got revenge on Hubert and Juliette, the people from his past who wronged his late father.
For Assane, family is everything, and everything he’s done has been for family, so it’s safe to say that there’s plenty more story to tell when it comes to France’s most notorious thief.
When the third season concluded, it left the door wedged open for a potential fourth season as it reintroduced Hubert, who may be Lupin’s greatest foe, back into the mix. Turns out, Hubert is Assane’s prison cell neighbor, which is bound to get very messy as the idea of revenge comes back into play.
It was necessary for Assane to accept his fate after all the pain and suffering he caused, with paying for his crimes being the only solution out of this mess not only for himself but for his family, but there’s no reality where viewers will simply accept that the storyline ends with Assane Diop in prison.
We need to see how Assane gets out—because we know that he always has an escape plan, and he’s just waiting to put it in motion.
The decision to renew the series for a fourth season will also hinge on how well the third season is received—but much like the good people of France, the rest of the world can’t get enough of Lupin and we’re eager to see where he goes next.
If Netflix makes any decisions, we’ll update this post accordingly with all the information!
Lupin Season 3 Review – Catch Me If You Can (Episodes 1-7)
The third season of Lupin should be called the many—and ever-changing—looks of Assane Diop, a chameleon in the streets of Paris who’s able to pull off just about any look—from a head-to-toe pink suit to a Chad army uniform to a full Dennis Rodman makeover, and many more in between. There’s a reason why he’s considered the master of disguises.
Warning—this review contains spoilers from Lupin Season 3!
And piggybacking off of that, it’s so easy to become whoever you want to be if you just believe in yourself and have the confidence to sell the story. It’s how the gentleman thief—inspired by the fictional character Arsène Lupin—the most-wanted man in all of France whose face was plastered on every single newspaper, was able to blend in public, stepping out and showing his face to all of the people who were so obsessed with his “voice of the people” persona yet barely bat an eyelash when he was standing in front of them. Lupin doesn’t just talk the talk, he plays the part and sells it. It’s part of the fun that keeps audiences guessing for seven episodes this season, wondering how it will all end for him, if he’ll ever slip up, or if there’s any piece of the puzzle he hasn’t accounted for (spoiler alert—there isn’t. His forethought is absolutely incredible).
The one thing that does catch him off guard, however, is the season’s new villain. At the end of season 2, Assane brings down Hubert (Hervé Pierre) and Juliette Pelligrini (Clotilde Hesme), the father-daughter duo who framed his father—with the former also framing him for murder—before disappearing into the night. However, it turns out it’s not easy being the family of a criminal, and when he saw the public’s obsession with his escape and how the media began to hound Claire (Ludivine Sagnier) and Raoul (Etan Simon), he was inspired by Lupin staging his own death.
He was able to pull it off without a hitch, even digging his way out of a coffin and through a tunnel with Ben (Antoine Gouy) and Jacques’ help, bxut a wrench was thrown in his plans to disappear off the grid when someone kidnapped his mother and forced him to do their dirty bidding, first telling him to hand over the Black Pearl (which he so masterfully stole in the first episode of the season), before making him steal a Monet painting and a very rare and expensive diamond bracelet directly from the wrist of the heiress wearing it.
The fact that someone somehow one-upped Assane is shocking, but it’s far from the only jaw-dropping moment this season. Audiences are equally as stunned when Ben, Assane’s loyal-to-a-fault right-hand man is caught red-handed with the aforementioned bracelet in his hand as it’s revealed that having Assane lose everything and hurt the ones he loves most is the true goal for this season’s villain.
This is a deeply personal vendetta and one that’s intriguing as it connects directly to his past growing up without a father and yearning for the love of his mother. The flashbacks take us to 1998 when Assane finds his people at Keller’s gym alongside his good buddy Bruno. Keller isn’t the good guy he claims to be, quickly making it clear that he uses manipulation tactics to make all the kids dependent on him. With such a focus on how much control Keller had over Assane’s formative years, it’s not exactly a surprise that Keller ends up being the bad guy in the present day, especially when the translated closed captions use his name even before the reveal is made clear on screen. That, however, doesn’t water down the impact of the twist as fans still find themselves wondering what Assane could’ve done to Keller to make him crave revenge of this caliber.
The truth is, if Assane kept better tabs on his enemies—and he has a lot of them—he likely might have been able to get ahead of this one, but the suave criminal doesn’t have time for all of that nonsense.
Because that’s the thing–even when the stakes are as high as Keller threatening to kill Assane’s mother Mariama, it never stops being fun. Assane thoroughly enjoys what he does and he never seems to worry, as Claire happens to point out, even though we know he definitely worries in his own way; he simply doesn’t show it, turning those anxieties into actionable moments where he’s able to control the narrative before it controls him.
He’s also able to use his understanding of human behavior to get people to do what he wants and needs, without them even realizing that they’re being manipulated or tricked, as is the case of Youssef Guédira (Soufiane Guerrab). Despite every bone in his body telling him not to help Assane, he goes through with it because Assane makes a compelling point and promises to give himself up in exchange for his assistance. On a surface level, it seems like Guédira agrees to help Assane because he wants to be the victorious police officer who not only retrieves all the valuable possessions but also brings in the big fish, but on a deeper level, we know it’s because Guédira is actually a huge fan of the Lupin character, and, in turn, Assane, and can’t pass up yet another opportunity to be an accomplice and work alongside him.
There’s a level of loyalty with Assane in that he never breaks a promise. He might put those he loves in questionable situations—like allowing Ben to get arrested with the bracelet—but he always takes care of them in the end, which is one of the reasons why he eventually turned himself in and allowed Guédira to be the arresting officer. He owes him this one favor, and if he’s to allow himself to get caught, he wants the person who gets the credit to be someone who deserves it; someone he sees as somewhat of an equal and who he admires. Aside from Ben, Assane never met his match, until Guédira came along. He’s one of the few people able to keep up with every single hint and clue because he figured out the rules that Assane plays by.
Guédira was the first person to link Assane to the Lupin stories, finding the connection between Assane’s escapades and Lupin’s. It served him well in the second season, so you’d think by now his colleagues would put aside their skepticism and simply acknowledge that Guédira is onto something. It was nice to see Guédira redeem himself when he arrested Assane because of how little faith everyone had in him and his theories, particularly Sofia Belkacem (Shirine Boutella). She constantly bashed Guédira’s suggestions and tips, dismissing and shrugging them off as nothing more than an obsession when she should be utilizing him considering he’s the only person who was ever even remotely close to catching Assane, and he’s definitely gotten closer to him than anyone else has.
Did things look bad for Guédira when he was caught on an unofficial undercover mission as Justin Avisto? Yes. But did Guédira attempt to prove himself many times after, even giving her a lead in the case? Also, yes.
Guerida deserves better—and quite frankly, I was really shipping him with Fleur. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of a development in their relationship.
One of the biggest letdowns of the season was Assane’s decision to transform into Alex, Raoul’s new basketball coach who got all too close to Claire and allowed her to develop feelings for him. It’s one thing to want to keep tabs on your family, especially when their safety is a concern, but it’s another to completely mislead them in such a way. Claire eventually caught on when she got confirmation that Assane was still alive, and I’m surprised she wasn’t more upset. My guess is that she would’ve been had his presence not protected her from a hitman, plus she was overcome with emotion at seeing him alive and well after being led to believe he was really gone.
In a way, he was protecting his family by being “around” even when he couldn’t be, but how did he find all that time to play both roles and never skip a beat as he hunted down the people trying to destroy him and kill his mother? It was one of the more unbelievable storylines, that’s for sure.
Assane’s attempt at stealing the Black Pearl—his first and only ever failure—was the most riveting master plan as it was so exceptionally executed, right down to faking his own death. He had to know that it was going to be a hard sell, even if he was in the casket when Guédira forced them to open it. Anyone familiar with Lupin’s story would expect him to fake his own death.
It was thrilling to see his plan in action, but it’s seven better to see it deconstructed from top to bottom after seeing him succeed.
The Black Pearl robbery came with the highest stakes as he informed the jeweler and the police of the robbery—the exact date and time—in advance. Not only did he require backup from Bruno and Ben, he also needed the police to be on the premises, watching like hawks, and playing along to his cat-and-mouse game, in addition to the chaos of the crowd to aid in his great escape. It was all meticulously calculated into his plan.
Assane somehow manages to always be in the thick of the action and within a cop’s reach, while also vanishing before anyone even figures out what he’s up to.
It was also rewarding to meet Bruno in the present day and see that he was still available whenever Assane needed him considering how much time we spent with him via flashbacks, how vital he was during Assane’s teen, and how they were bonded for life by shared trauma.
As for Keller’s motivation after all these years, he was simply upset that he spent 25 years in prison for killing a cop during a botched robbery that he forced Assane and Bruno to commit on his behalf and against their will. Bruno may have taken the shot at the cop out of fear, but it was really Keller who pulled the trigger as the situation was of his own making; he deserved to pay the ultimate price, and the fact that he thought otherwise was simply his ego and inability to confront the truth—and Assane made sure to underscore that when he set Keller up to get cornered by the police once again for his crimes (the ruthless attempted murder of the hitman he pushed off the roof).
Keller was doing good things but holding it against people—he was a devil in disguise, a dangerous gang leader masked as a safe haven. Bruno eventually opened up his own boxing studio—that did have the youth’s best interest at heart and called it Lupin’s Gym in honor of the friend who always had his back.
One major highlight this season was Diop’s journey to finding his mother. We’ve seen how far he was willing to go for his father, but his mother was largely out of the picture until now when we learned of her story—and that the craftiness of thievery runs in the family.
Mama Diop was forced to steal after being released from prison in Senegal, and she was quick with it, just like Assane. Not only did we see them reconcile their relationship, but we even saw them work a mark together, which was a pure delight. The anxiety may have reached new heights this season, and through it all, I genuinely have no idea how Assane stayed calm, but it’s clear that life is a game to him—and it’s a game he plays well. He’s finally found his perfect partner in crime.
And finally, Assane Diop’s arrest, which wasn’t how anyone wanted his story to conclude, but it was necessary. From the get-go, Assane was ready to risk it all for the “big one,” alluding to the fact that he was ready to put this lifestyle, this chapter of it, to bed.
He’s a man of his word, delivering on his promise to Guédira in a slightly different way, even when he had every chance to escape and make a clean getaway with his whole family finally together. Assane knew that he owed it to his loved ones to do better; he didn’t want them living a life as runaways solely because of the mess he made. Claire once said the only solution was to turn himself in, and she was always right—so he did.
The plan was for Assane to pay his time, repent for what he’s done, and wipe the slate clean, but I’m sure he has an escape plan in his back pocket for a rainy day…like when it’s revealed that his cell neighbor is Hubert, his biggest enemy, for example.
Assane gets the message loud and clear, and the man he put behind bars now has every reason to make his life a living hell.
How will Assane respond? What’s next for the gentleman thief who always keeps us on our toes? He was in his prime this season—one of the strongest seasons to date—but this development sets the scene for more to come.
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