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Virgin River

Virgin River Season 5 Premiere – New Dangers Lie Ahead

Virgin River. Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 501 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

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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)?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Virgin River

Who Is Lark on ‘Virgin River’?

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Who Is Lark on 'Virgin River'?

Lark (Elise Gatien) made her debut on Virgin River Season 5, specifically, during the episodes that tackled the wildfires that ravaged parts of the picturesque town. 

Warning – this post has spoilers from the Virgin River holiday episodes. 

After Jack and Brady risked their lives to save Lark’s daughter, Hazel, who went missing from the campsite during the fire evacuation, the single mom began to bond with the latter, extending her gratitude to him for going out of his way to prioritize her daughter’s safety. 

When Brady found out that Lark and Hazel were squatting, he offered them up a place in one of the lumber yard trailers, a selfless gesture that speaks to his big heart. 

Lark definitely set her sights on Brady, especially on the heels of his generosity, and a connection sparked around the time that Brady’s relationship with Brie crumbled and he was looking for some companionship. Lark also helped Brady see the better parts of himself, as Brie held his lies (even though he couldn’t tell her anything about being an informant) against him and made him feel guilty. 

One thing led to another and eventually, Lark and Brady began a relationship after his romance with Brie ended. It was also helpful that Hazel really took to Brady, and thus, he became a bit of a stepfather figure in her life.

Fast forward a few months to the timeline of the holiday episodes, Brady and Lark are going strong, fully embracing their romance and sweet little family together. Lark even invited Brady to meet her mother, though he claims that’s a little too fast-paced for him, which is understandable considering he still harbors strong feelings for Brie, who has currently moved on with Mike. 

However, Brady seems to be in a good place in life, particularly as everything with Melissa Montgomery’s money laundering/drug smuggling at Emerald Lumber has finally settled down. He’s finally able to move past the nightmare that started when he was roped in by Calvin when he was young and reckless, or so fans thought. In retrospect, I guess we should’ve been more suspicious of Lark’s attempts at inserting herself into Brady’s life, though she definitely made it seem so natural. 

In the final moments of Virgin River Season 6 Episode 12, Lark sneaks off to pick up a call from Hazel’s father, who turns out to be Jimmy, who is serving time in prison. Lark informs him that “Brady doesn’t suspect a thing,” which shows that this is Jimmy’s form of getting close enough to Brady to get revenge. 

It’s an awful and disappointing twist considering all the progress Brady has made to turn over a new leaf and hit refresh. He can’t seem to shake this whole Emerald Lumber fiasco, no matter how hard he tries. Bad luck just seems to follow him based on one bad decision he made way back when—and it’s cost him so much, including his friendships and his romance with Brie. 

I’m hoping that Lark realizes just how good of a guy Brady is and how much he’s sacrificed for her and Hazel and decides not to go through with whatever she and Jimmy have planned.

Lord knows that Brady deserves some sliver of good news and positivity in his life, along with a storyline far removed from the lumber yard. 

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Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 5 Episode 11 and 12 Review – Father Christmas

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Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 6 Episode 10 and 11 Review - Father Christmas

Virgin River is getting into the spirit of the holidays!

While most of Virgin River, including Mel and Jack, were under the impression that this was the “best Christmas ever,” even despite a few hiccups with the “extraordinary” family dinner they planned, if you’ve ever seen an episode of this series, you were likely waiting for the other foot to drop. 

**Warning—spoilers from the episodes ahead!**

Things on Virgin River are typically perfect—until they aren’t, but it’s also a very accurate reflection of real life; it’s made up of a blend of good and bad moments, many of which help you realize just how lucky and thankful you are. 

Virgin River Season 5 Episodes 11 and 12, titled “The More the Merrier” and “Father Christmas,” gave fans the very first Christmas in the quaint and charming town, and, if you’ll believe it, Mel and Jack’s first Christmas together. Is it just me or is the timeline exceptionally slow on this show?

Then again, Charmaine made a pointed joke about the length of her pregnancy, which honestly feels like it has spanned decades at this point, so the birth of her twins, which yes, finally happens during this momentous episode, ends up feeling slightly rushed. 

The fact that she has a quick labor isn’t just great for her—it’s a blessing for Mel and Doc as it allows them to get back to all their Christmas Eve shenanigans without missing a beat. 

Despite all that transpired between Mel, Charmaine, and Jack, Charmaine still finds a source of support within them, especially Mel, who stands up for her when Calvin arrives at the clinic when Charmaine goes into labor. Mel might be the only person in town now who knows the identity of the father of Charmaine’s twins, and she’s all too content with keeping it to herself. Personally, I’d be as bad of a secret keeper as Hope, blabbing the news to Jack at the earliest convenience. But Mel is a trusted source who can keep a secret, especially with the patient confidentiality at play. Though, hopefully, Charmaine decides what she’s going to do about her little Calvin problem sooner than later because he seems adamant about being part of those boys’ lives. It’s true that parenthood changes people, sometimes for the better, but Calvin’s caused so much pain in town that I don’t know if it’s possible for him to turn over a new leaf. 

The good news is that come Virgin River Season 6, Charmaine won’t be pregnant anymore, and we can close the book on the longest TV pregnancy ever. 

Mel’s quest to find her biological father was a huge part of the Christmas episodes. Through love letters unearthed by her sister Joey, Mel found out that her mother had a secret love affair with a man named “Champ” in Virgin River, thus making her connection to the town much more significant. 

Together with Jack and her new bangs (love ’em!), she set out on a merry scavenger hunt to uncover her dad’s identity, eventually learning that he won the 1976 Lumberjack Games in town before finding his name: Everett Reid. If you’re slightly disappointed that this isn’t someone we already know, well, join the club. It feels like a missed opportunity… for now, though I’m waiting to hear Everett out fully before I officially cast my judgment. While he initially denied being Mel’s father when she first approached him, even though it was obvious that he was lying, Mel didn’t question it, simply focusing on the people who chose to be in her life—her chosen family. 

And there are plenty of them, including Doc, who agreed to walk Mel down the aisle during her wedding to Jack. 

However, at the end of the episode, Everett arrived at the cabin and changed his mind about wanting to be in Mel’s life. He explained that the initial shock of seeing her—his daughter who looked just like the woman he loved and lost—threw him for a loop. And it’s understandable considering Mel essentially ambushed him without any warning. He needed time to process and think about what it was that he wanted out of this new relationship.

Everett then says that he has to tell her something, but naturally, the episode ends right before he gets the chance, leaving fans on a cliffhanger till next season. What could it be? Is Everett dying? Has he been following Mel’s whole life from a distance? Did he know she was in Virgin River?

And how is it that there is someone in Virgin River who has managed to keep his identity a secret? Living in a secluded cabin has its benefits, but how has he managed to fly under the radar for so long? The fact that no one knows him is kind of a hard sell for me… at the moment, at least. 

Who Is Mel’s Father in ‘Virgin River’?

Jack and Brie were dealing with family matters head-on as their parents, fresh off of a divorce, came to town and immediately started bickering. Brie was running interference before Jack stepped in and basically used one of their old plays against them—sit in your room and don’t come out until you’ve talked through everything. By the end, they emerged as friends, with dad accepting of mom’s new relationship with Javi, as they both acknowledged that they needed to make an effort to bring the family back together. It was a sweet moment showcasing that things don’t always pan out the way we hope in life, but we have to be open to making things work for the sake of the children, even when they are grown adults.

In the end, the big family dinner that Mel wanted was able to happen—and everyone enjoyed themselves. 

Mel not only got the gift of jewelry this year, but Jack also went out of his way to give her the gift she’s been asking Santa for ever since she was a little girl—a pony! A dog named Pony that is. 

Maybe it was the spirit of Christmas but Jack was so fun, silly, and cheery throughout the episode. He wasn’t carrying the weight of his past and trauma, and it was refreshing to see him almost act like a little boy again around everyone he loved and trusted. I need more of this Jack in the future, please. 

The biggest mistake that the series has ever made was driving Brie and Brady apart. I mean, why? What was it for? No one benefitted from it. Brie and Mike just don’t have the same chemistry, unfortunately. They are cute, but it’s nothing compared to the electricity between Brady and Brie, even when they see each other in passing. 

Brady makes a great family man with Lark and Hazel, but I couldn’t get invested in the relationship either, and it turns out that there was a good reason for it—Lark is playing him completely. 

In the final—and biggest twist—of the episodes, Lark answers a call from Hazel’s dad, Jimmy. Yep, you know it’s bad news when Jimmy, from prison, calls to check in on how things are going and Lark informs him that “Brady doesn’t suspect a thing.” I hate everything about this, solely because of how hard Brady’s been trying to become a better man and distance himself from this life. He thought he was finally coming out on the other side after helping to take down Calvin and Melissa, but all of that is about to blow up in his face because he let his guard down.

Lizzy and Denny are expecting a baby girl, a genuinely uplifting storyline that has warmed the hearts of everyone in town, except Lizzy’s mother, who was initially distraught by the news and assumed her daughter was throwing away her life. Lizzy managed to convince her mother that this is what she wanted—to be a mom and have a fulfilling career, and from where I’m standing, Lizzy has a good head on her shoulders. She’s come a long way from the girl who arrived in town initially. And quite frankly, she cut her mother way too much slack!

Doc figured that the annual tree decorating competition was the perfect time to repropose to Hope—and their love definitely inspires everyone around. There’s so much to celebrate these days! 

Virgin River Holiday Episodes Season 6 Episode 10 and 11 Review - Father Christmas

Virgin River. (L to R) Annette OÕToole as Hope, Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Kai Bradbury as Denny, Sarah Dugdale as Lizzie, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan, Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 512 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Muriel and Cameron are going strong, with everyone in town acknowledging their deep connection and chemistry. However, when Cameron’s ex fianceé blew into town as part of her apology tour during her recovery process, it forced Muriel to look at their relationship a little differently. If Cameron stays with Muriel, he’s giving up the possibility of having a family and children in the future. And while he says he’s okay with that, Muriel wants him to be sure as she doesn’t want him to resent her for it in the future. Nothing would break her heart more than taking this opportunity away from him. Cameron promises he’ll think about it, but it definitely seems like he’s made up his mind about what he wants out of life and who he wants to spend it with. The life he imagined with his former fianceé once upon a time is long gone now that he’s met Muriel—but I’m glad that she’s prioritizing his happiness rather than being selfish, proving that she’s a mature adult who just wants to be realistic about their relationship rather than allowing herself to get swept up in the moment. These are real issues that need to be addressed. 

And finally, Wes’ death is about to blow up Preacher’s life now that the body has been identified. In case you need a refresher, he helped bury the body after Paige accidentally pushed her abusive husband down the stairs in self-defense. Had they just reported his death at the time, it would’ve likely been a lot less problematic than what they are facing now, but considering that Wes was a respected cop with a lot of pull on the force at the time, the self-defense claim might’ve not held up at the time either. 

Kaia realizes something is wrong based on the call and questions him about it immediately, though it’s unclear if Preacher will come clean to her. She is the fire chief now, so it’s likely better for him to tell her upfront in the privacy of their home, but will she be receptive? This is a huge bomb dropping on their otherwise idyllic relationship, particularly after she accepted a new job to stay in town and be with him. Do you think she’ll stand by his side or will this be the demise of their relationship? 

What did you think of the holiday episodes? Did you enjoy the festivities? Do you think everything with Mel’s dad will turn out okay? Share your thoughts! 

Who Is Lark on ‘Virgin River’?

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Virgin River

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

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

There wasn’t a dull moment on Virgin River Season 5, from the wildfire threatening the picturesque small town to Brady’s team-up with Mike to take down Melissa, the new woman running Calvin’s drug empire, and even Brie’s trial against her predatory ex—and weaved in through the fabric was Mel and Jack’s pregnancy storyline. 

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

Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack Sheridan’s (Martin Henderson) pregnancy started off as one of the more positive storylines, juxtaposed with the shocking revelation that his ex, Charmaine, spent months lying to him about the paternity of the twins. In the Virgin River Season 4 finale, Charmaine suffered a medical episode during which she came clean that Jack was not the father of the boys as she led him to believe. I won’t spoil who the real father is revealed to be in the final moments of the season (you can read that in more detail here and here).

Mel’s pregnancy was immediately considered high risk because of her previous miscarriages, yet it was filled with hope that this time would be the one. Until it wasn’t. 

Sadly, Mel lost the pregnancy about midway through the season at the worst possible time as she was volunteering at Doc’s (after quitting her job to make sure she had a safe pregnancy), so she didn’t even have time to fully process what was happening. As she was gearing up to treat patients affected by the wildfires, she stepped away for a bathroom break, which is when she noticed blood on the toilet paper. She confirmed the heartbreaking news with a quick ultrasound showing that there was no longer a fetal heartbeat present. 

Instead of having the fully-deserved breakdown, Mel composed herself and gave the people of Virgin River her all, including baby Chloe, who nearly perished when the fire took hold of Lilly’s farm.

Eventually, when the fires got under control, Mel was able to let the feelings in, and they flooded in all at once as she reunited with Jack and broke down crying as she offered up a heartfelt apology, a clear indication that something tragic happened.

Jack fully supported Mel in the aftermath of her loss, allowing her to grieve the way she needed to, and when she was ready, he asked Hope to convey the news to the rest of the town so that Mel wouldn’t have to tell everyone and re-live it every single time.

When Jack brought up trying again, Mel kept avoiding the topic, seemingly not ready to talk about it. She was being honest with herself, so she couldn’t be honest with Jack, however, in a moment of honesty and clarity during her girls’ night with Brie and Ava, Mel confirmed that she didn’t have it in her to keep going and experiencing hit after hit. Not only was it emotionally taxing, but it was physically and mentally draining. Mel didn’t want to get her hopes up again thinking this time would be different only to feel crushed by the realization that it wasn’t. 

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

It definitely wasn’t what Jack wanted to hear—or expected to hear—and his side of things was also valid as he lost three prospective children in a very short time period, however, he remained committed to finding a solution that pleased them both without being pushy or forceful. 

He didn’t want to give up on his dreams of being a father, and he knew that deep down, Mel also wanted a family, despite feeling broken and discouraged at the moment. He suggested trying a different method—and there are so many to explore with adoption and surrogacy at the top of the list—reminding her that it doesn’t matter how you get there, it simply matters that you do.

She was a bit hesitant at first as it wasn’t what she’d always envisioned, but things rarely go as planned. And she, of all people (she ended up in Virgin River spontaneously), should know that. 

The more she thought about it, the more she realized that Jack was right. This hiccup, though heartbreaking, didn’t have to be the end of their journey towards having kids. They didn’t come this far (she didn’t come this far), to only come this far. 

The final moments of the episode found Mel and Jack agreeing to buy Lilly’s farm to start their dream life and family together, all while planning their future wedding in the most perfect spot. 

It’s not the outcome many fans were expecting, but given her history, it’s one that made sense, while also allowing the writers to deepen Mel and Jack’s bond while showcasing their journey toward parenthood in a realistic way. 

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

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