Ready to head back to Virgin River and grab a drink at Jack’s?
We don’t blame ya—and the holidays have just arrived early.
Netflix announced today, July 25, that the upcoming fifth season will be split into two parts, with the first half arriving on Thursday, Sept. 7, and Part 2 dropping on Thursday, Nov. 30. The second half will consist of two holiday episodes, which is a first for the small town drama and gives fans plenty to look forward to.
With the holiday episodes, the upcoming season—arriving in the midst of a writer’s strike where networks are clamoring for fresh content–will total 12 episodes!
As for what to expect, the streamer highlighted: “Surprising new relationships, a shocking break-up, a difficult court trial, a heartbreaking goodbye and a wildfire that threatens the town,” a storyline that seems to be getting inspiration (and bringing attention to) the current wildfires burning through Canada.
The season is also said to address “issues of motherhood [that] push Mel to make a big decision about her future at the clinic while her pregnancy unexpectedly sparks an emotional connection to her past.”
“To further prove himself to Mel, Jack squares off with some long-overdue confrontations — with his own demons, and of course, Charmaine. And as Doc and Hope’s respective impairments throw their identities into question, the doctor and the mayor must find solace in their community, in their young new family and in each other,” the synopsis concludes.
Netflix previously announced the 5th season of the beloved drama would arrive in the fall, knowing that there’s nothing to get you in the fall mood like those scenic mountains, rustling trees, and crisp rivers.
But there’s even more exciting news on the horizon—during the upfront presentation on May 17, Netflix announced that the rom-com starring Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson (that has carved out a rather dedicated following, myself included), has already renewed for a sixth season.
You heard that right, Virgin River Season 6 is happening!
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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