Trigger Warning: this article briefly discusses alcoholism and sexual assault
I love dramas. It’s my guilty pleasure. They could get more outlandish and absurd with every passing season, and I will still watch till the bitter end. And I’m not ashamed of it. No matter how many comments are made by my dad and/or my husband, Moisés, about how “there’s too much drama” or “this plot is ridiculous.” I. Don’t. Care. I still enjoy watching them. And I think the reason is I love being surprised in stories. I love the suspense. Although 4 out of 5 times the storyline is predictable and I saw it coming, I live for the 1 in 5 moments when I’m left shocked, speechless until I find myself saying, “No way!”
Cue Virgin River. I enjoyed this show from the beginning. The will-they-won’t-they between Jack and Mel, the small-town setting, and the dark, traumatic secrets everyone seemed to be carrying pulled me in right away. So, I was beyond excited when I noticed season 4 finally hit Netflix.
Season 3 ended on a massive cliffhanger and I was waiting to find out how Jack reacted to the news Mel is pregnant, and the baby might not be his (couldn’t she have approached that better?!) for a whole year. And let me tell you season 4 did not disappoint.
I enjoyed season 4 because I feel like there were so many lose ends from previous seasons, the writers left hanging. In this season they begin to address many, if not fully solving them.
First, Jack and Mel are officially together. Although it did get a little rocky there for a moment because of Jack’s tendency to drink to numb himself from the past. I appreciated that this point was brought up as a problem, especially because we’ve seen this is Jack’s unhealthy coping mechanism in past episodes. I did find myself mildly frustrated at the time because Jack and Mel were finally together, and things were looking good! Was this going to destroy their romantic bliss? Thankfully no, it was simply a bump in the road, which is to be expected from time to time. All relationships have them. Jack started therapy and it seems to be doing him good. This is further confirmed by the fact that Jack proposed, and Mel said yes. We also now know that Jack is the father of Mel’s baby!
I was both happy and relieved to hear the writers didn’t go too far to add more drama by making the baby Mark’s, Mel’s deceased husband. I could not handle that news. Mel and Jack are still happily together as of the season 4 finale.
Now let’s jump over to Preacher. He likes to talk about Paige and Christopher a whole lot even when they haven’t been around much. I’ve struggled with this storyline since Paige took off, but this “friend” of hers reached out to Preacher. It felt strange and unnatural to me, especially because we have not seen any of Paige since she disappeared. I do feel they resolved this suspicion I had by saying Paige’s friend was helping Vince the entire time and not really a friend to her or Preacher. I’m not sure if that was the writers’ plan the whole time or if they decided to reevaluate when writing season 4. Either way I was happy with this decision. It made more sense to me.
It didn’t look like we were going to hear from Christopher or Paige anytime soon, until Christopher called Preacher in the second half of the season. And we actually got to hear his voice and see his face instead of one of those lame scenes where a character on the show is talking on the phone to a character no longer on the show, so we never see or hear them. This gave me hope there are plans to include Christopher in season 5.
Now, I had lost all hope of ever seeing Paige again in season 3, but she finally resurfaced in the season 4 finale! I was shocked. Especially because Preacher seemed to be moving on this season with a new love interest, Julia. I like Julia and was 100% on board with Preacher getting a new love because I saw no chance of Paige returning, even if Christopher did. This didn’t stop Preacher from talking about Paige and Christopher throughout the season or trying to find Chris, which I believe fit his character well. He’s moving on in his love life, but not forgetting the people he cares about who still need help. But Paige’s unexpected return makes me think the writers are planning for a Paige and Christopher plotline that actually involves the actors’ presence next season. This will create a lot of potential relationship drama for Preacher.
Speaking of relational drama, Brie and Brady had a rough season with Brady being accused of shooting Jack and almost killing him since, you know, that’s her brother. But Brie believed Brady was not guilty and there had to be another shooter. And she spent most of the season trying to prove his innocence with the help of Mark, one of the local detectives. I don’t know about you, but I think Mark has a bit of a crush on Brie. We’ll see if this comes up at all next season.
Jack’s memory came back, and he realized Brady wasn’t his shooter, it was actually Vince, the twin brother of Paige’s ex-husband (Moisés wonders how I keep all this straight. My brain probably deletes other pertinent information in my life to make room. Maybe that’s why I’m always misplacing my phone…). Anyway, Jack told the police his memory returned, and Brady definitely wasn’t the shooter, but that wasn’t enough to get Brady off the hook. Brie wouldn’t quit, at times even putting herself in harms way to prove the man she loves was telling the truth. And she succeeded. She and Brady were reunited, his name was cleared, but this was not the happily ever after they may have been hoping for. A storm is brewing in Virgin River, and I have a feeling it’s going to land next season.
Brady was sucked back into the drug business by a new character, Melissa, the true head of this operation we thought was being run by Calvin (or at least I did). Not only that, she’s also Nick’s sister! Another thing I did not see coming. While Brady was dealing with all of this, we found out Brie’s ex-boyfriend/rapist rolled into town because he wanted her to sign a NDA to cover his butt. I was glad to see they brought this plot line up once again. Something as horrific as this can’t just be forgotten by the survivor and it felt like the writers left so much of this unresolved in Brie’s life in previous seasons. I’m hoping there will be very little relationship drama for Jack and Mel since we have Preacher, Brady, and Brie to look to instead.
But who can know since they dropped that bomb on us when Charmaine told Jack, “I lied. You’re not the twins’ father.” Then the scene faded to black. Excuse me?! I could not believe it. All that crap she was giving Jack about not marrying her, no longer being the twins’ father because Todd would be the twins’ father and she was lying the whole time?!
Charmaine had a much smaller role this season and for that I was grateful. I cannot stand her character. I don’t think we’re supposed to like her character, but man is Lauren Hammersley good at her job! At first, I was angry when I heard those words come out of Charmaine’s mouth, but after the shock subsided I started to think, Actually, maybe this is a good thing. This means Jack will no longer have any ties to Charmaine.
So, in conclusion, I’m okay with this discovery. It means Jack and Mel can have a clean slate, a fresh start just the two of them and their baby girl.
I didn’t even get to what’s going on in Doc and Hope’s life with meeting his grandson, Denny, he didn’t know he had. Or Denny and Lizzie’s budding relationship. Or the fact that Denny is living on borrowed time with Huntington’s disease. Or Mel’s sister, Joey, getting remarried. Or the new doctor, Cameron, who has a major crush on Mel and is super obvious and mildly obnoxious about it. But these story lines didn’t have as big of an impression me as the rest this season.
Here’s to hoping Jack and Mel at least get a happy ending in season 5, with as little drama as possible. We all know they’ve had enough to last a lifetime.
You can watch all four seasons of Virgin River on Netflix.