Virgin River Season 5 came back with a vengeance. It may be a small, slow, and quiet town, but it sure does harbor its fair share of drama.
Disclaimer — this review includes spoilers from the episode — proceed with caution.
It was a solid premiere, really capturing the heart of the series, and touching on all of the many storylines affecting the residents, while also getting fans excited for what’s in store.
One of the better parts was that it ended storylines that were long overdue and had run their course. Paige storyline was giving me whiplash, so I’m glad that not only is she free from Vince and Wes’ grasp, but that she’s also solidified that she’s leaving town for good. We can’t have the back-and-forth with her, and neither can Preacher as it’s preventing him from fully moving on and embracing love.
With Paige’s situation still lingering, he was never able to put it behind him, but he will now be able to start over fresh, though it’s a bummer he pulled the plug on his “situationship” with Julia too soon by thinking he and Paige were going to give it another go. Julia was good for him and she came with no baggage, so it was refreshing, not to mention she seemed to really like Preach. However, it’s also good that he did break up with her because it’s not fair for her to be a rebound or to fully invest herself in a relationship where the other party isn’t fully on board. Maybe, in time, when the dust settles, they’ll be able to revisit their feelings for each other, but I do think that Preacher has plenty of healing to do. Focusing on himself and getting in tune with who he is and what he wants is a necessary first step.
It was naive of both him and Paige to think that they could just move on the following day after everything that they’d been through. Paige, in particular, had a lot of trauma to work through before she could be in a committed relationship with anyone. And despite her feelings for Preacher, I’m not surprised that she decided to leave town and start over as everything there was a reminder of what she went through. The thing that’s especially heartbreaking is the fact that Christopher’s life is also getting upended; he’s suffered enough, so hopefully, their next destination is where they settle down for good and he can have a normal life.
Preacher’s friend Mike really came through for him, suggesting that the cops would not investigate Wes’ disappearance any further and seemingly alluding to the fact that he knows they killed him but doesn’t care? The world is better off without Wes in it, but I’m not entirely convinced that this is the last we’ve heard of the situation.
New storylines were also introduced that will likely become the main focus of the season, like Melissa’s shady fentanyl business that she’s forced Brady into operating, and Brie’s decision to pursue charges against her abuser, Don.
I hate that Brady cannot catch a break. His name was just cleared and yet, he’s thrown into this situation that not only forces him to lie to Brie, but also puts her in the line of danger. He’s not a bad guy, he just got mixed in with a lot of bad stuff that he seemingly cannot shake despite his best abilities.
The worst part about Melissa is that she’s inconspicuous—no one is going to assume this sweet older lady is running a whole drug empire! And she’s found what she’s deemed to be the best new way to smuggle in the drugs, though Bert’s run-in with one of her men who had a flat tire definitely put the drug operation on the town’s radar. Poor Bert was just trying to help someone out when he got cut with the potentially deadly drug.
Melissa is trying to extend her reach as she sets her sights on Jack’s new glamping business by offering to provide capital. It’s likely a new way for her to clean money, but it comes off as genuine and sincere, and Jack trusts her because she’s Nick’s sister, but I just want to scream “Don’t do it!” Jack does not need to get enmeshed in this in any way, especially when he’s expecting a child and his income and livelihood are on the line.
My fear is that Melissa will become untouchable as the council meeting’s agenda, much to Hope’s surprise and disappointment, was to consider appointing a new town Mayor to replace her while she deals with the aftermath of her injury. Nick is on the board, and if he becomes Mayor, Melissa will have the ultimate protection? And it doesn’t seem like Nick would ever believe anyone about his sister even if they were to catch onto her. There’s so much potential for this to get so messy for so many residents.
Brie decided to press charges against Don, phoning a lawyer friend only to find out that there is currently a case against him with several women testifying. Unfortunately, it seems that Don got word of it, and since he’s a powerful and connected man, he’s using that pull to try and scare her into silence.
Brie moved out of Jack’s place after feeling unsafe since Don found her there with no issues, but while moving into her new house, someone threw a rock through her window. Is it a sign of danger to come if she doesn’t drop the charges? Or could this be Melissa’s goons reminding Brady to fall in line or else?
Back to Hope, we saw her trying to figure out her new normal with Lizzie as her home health aide, and these two rebellious women might be the must-watch team-up this season. Lizzie also made it very clear that she wasn’t scared off by Denny’s health condition, nor was she willing to risk losing a present with him out of fear that they had no future. And it’s not like she doesn’t understand the realities of his condition as she was reading up on it so that she’s completely informed. Lizzie’s character has come such a long way since first arriving in Virgin River and it’s a joy to watch her simply be a helping hand to whoever may need it, all while maintaining the free spirit that she’s always possessed.
It’s a bummer that we didn’t see Jack’s reaction when Charmaine told him he’s not the father of the twins after lying to him for months and letting him go out of his way to take care of her, though based on the next morning reactions, he was pretty pissed off. Also, Charmaine is still pregnant…. 5 seasons in… let that sink in.
Jack pulled his usual behavior—bottling up all his feelings and repressing them until he exploded. He should know by now that this isn’t a healthy way to cope with things as it’s never worked well before, but Jack’s Jack, and who are we to argue with his process? Thankfully, Mel is the little angel on his shoulder who keeps dropping sound advice like breadcrumbs that he eventually follows.
The more he tried to ignore the truth and pretend it wasn’t a big deal, the more it bugged him, and he eventually confronted Charmaine, which is a healthy first step. It’s unclear how much information Charmaine provided him that night, but since she was in distress, my guess is that no clarity was provided, and Jack needs to know why she lied in order to heal and move on.
While he’s likely not exaggerating when he says it’s a relief that Charmaine will no longer play a role in his and Mel’s life, the fact is that Jack lost a lot with Charmaine’s truth bomb. He’s still going to be a father, but he’s no longer going to be a father of two twin boys; he lost the future he envisioned for himself, and in a way, he lost those children, who he will likely see grow up around town despite never playing a role in their childhood.
It’s completely heartbreaking if you think about it, and the scene of Jack seeing a father walking out of a baseball game with his sons drove that home.
Maybe he’ll eventually get on good terms with Charmaine and stick around as the fun uncle?
Charmaine’s lie also impacted Mel and it was a terrible thing to do to another woman regardless if she was jealous, hurt, or abandoned that Jack got into a new relationship. Mel was a champ that put up with all of Charmaine’s crap, supported her when she was ill, accepted the situation and never tried to turn Jack against his “kids.” Mel took the high road through all of it, even when Charmaine threatened to destroy their relationship.
They both deserve a world of apologies from Charmaine, but sadly, I don’t know if they’ll ever get a proper one. I could see her simply excusing her behavior as something she deemed was “necessary.” Even now, Mel is encouraging Jack to talk to Charmaine and get closure, rather than making it about herself because she’s a good person with a big heart.
Mel is also going through a season of change. She’s engaged and leaving Doc’s practice because of her high-risk pregnancy. On one hand, it’s a smart idea considering her situation, but on the other hand, as Hope pointed out, nursing has never been just a job for Mel. She’s not just a nurse while she’s on the clock, it’s a lifestyle for her and she does it to help people, especially the people in a community she cares about so deeply. All of that was emphasized when we saw her developing a love for the career when one of her mother’s nurses took such great care of her and went out of her way to make a little Mel feel comfortable and supported–and she’s carried that into her own career.
I can’t see Mel just walking away from the practice, and since she’s in a small town where everyone knows everyone—the idea of it takes a village to raise a child is actually feasible here—she can likely still stay on in whatever capacity she sees fit, even a semi-part time schedule.
Even after hanging up her scrubs, Mel’s skills are undeniable, so when Ava suddenly had a medical episode at Jack’s bar, it’s a good thing Mel was around. It’s unclear what happened to Ava, but I hope it’s nothing serious considering Lilly’s recent death. Her family could not deal with that. Plus, she seems like a fun character and a potential friend for Mel, so it would be nice to have her stick around Virgin River for a while considering there aren’t many young people around.
I also love that Mel was inspired to join the sewing circle and learn how to sew in hopes of carrying on her mother’s legacy of making handmade baby clothes. When a mother is not around for the big moments in life, you have to go out of your way to stay connected to those memories. And it goes to show just how deep of an impact our parents have on us, even if we don’t realize it until we have our own children.
What did you think of the Virgin River Season 5 premiere episode? Who is Charmaine’s baby daddy? How will Jack deal with his new reality? Will Mel rethink leaving Docs? Will Brie face off against Don? Will Brady find a way to bring down Melissa? And can Hope find a new place for herself without her role as Mayor (if they vote to replace her)?
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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