Virgin River season 5 part 1 introduced brand new bombshells for its characters — but not before answering season 4’s biggest cliffhangers.
Warning: Spoilers below for Virgin River season 5 part 1.
“There were so many cliffhangers at the end of season 4, that we pick up all of them. I didn’t want anything to feel a reset or reboot or any of that because everything was so juicy and so interesting,” the new season 5 showrunner, Patrick Sean Smith, told Entertainment Weekly in July 2022. “It was more how I wanted to pick it up. And then more importantly, where I wanted to go with it and determine where I wanted to go with it first before I knew how to handle the beginning, so it just didn’t feel like we were giving it service and then moving on to something else.”
The Netflix hit, which premiered in 2019, follows nurse practitioner Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) as she seeks a fresh start after the death of her husband. Moving on a whim from Los Angeles to the remote Northern California town of Virgin River, she’s surprised by what — and who — she finds.
Season 4 of the small-town drama aired in July 2022 and dropped endless plot twists on viewers — including the reveal that Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) had been lying to Jack (Martin Hendersen) about him being her babies’ biological father.
“That’s what was so interesting when I watched it, and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe it,’” Smith told EW of the revelation. “And I was like, ‘Well, what do I do with that? What’s the best way to use that big twist?’ But then also do what the show does so well, which is carry mysteries for multiple seasons and questions and keep the audience guessing.”
Elsewhere in season 4, Mel finds out she’s pregnant and confirms the biological father is Jack rather than her late husband, Mark (Daniel Gilles). The twosome end the season on a relatively high note by getting engaged. Jack’s sister Brie (Zibby Allen), meanwhile, finds love with Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth) and Doc (Tim Matheson) prepares to step back from the clinic amid his wet age-related macular degeneration diagnosis.
Season 5 introduces brand new conflicts for the town of Virgin River, including the newest antognist Melissa Montgomery (Barbara Pollard) — Nick’s (Keith MacKechnie) sister and the head of Emerald Lumber. A giant wildfire also threatens to burn down the land, putting everyone’s futures in jeopardy.
Keep scrolling for a breakdown of Virgin River season 5 part 1’s biggest bombshells:
Jack and Mel’s Ups and Downs
After getting engaged — and finding out Jack is the father of Mel’s baby — in season 4, Mel suffers a miscarriage. As the pair work through the loss, they decide to buy Lily’s farm and repair it after the wildfires.
In the season’s final moments, Mel’s sister Joey (Jenny Cooper) calls her about coming to visit Virgin River for Christmas. She also reveals that she uncovered letters that seem to confirm that their mother not only had a love affair with a mystery man from Virgin River — but that he is also Mel’s biological father.
Charmaine’s Big Secret Revealed
After confirming that Jack is not the biological father of Charmaine’s twins, the last episode of season 5 shows Calvin (David Cubitt) — the leader of multiple illegal pot fields surrounding Virgin River — telling Charmaine he wants to “be in my boys’ lives,” seemingly confirming the twins are his.
Brady Becomes a Good Guy
After introducing Melissa as season 5’s antagonist, Brady finally reveals to Jack that he’s been working as a confidential informant with the FBI and Mike (Marco Grazzini) to bring her down. After the cops arrest her, Mike saves Brady’s life by pushing him out of the way and taking a bullet in the chest. Despite being rushed to the hospital, he ultimately survives.
Brie and Brady Are Done for Good — Maybe?
After the drug bust, Brady asks Brie if they’re done for good. She replies by telling him she’ll “love him forever” but that “things have changed” for her amid their split, her blossoming romance with Mike and her trial against her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Brady accepts the news and even makes a date with a different love interest — and her daughter. Whether Brady and Brie will find their way back together remains to be seen, but Brie ends the season by Mike’s side in the hospital.
A New Age Clinic
After Doc reveals his diagnosis of wet age-related macular degeneration to everyone, he sits down with Cameron (Mark Ghanime), Muriel (Teryl Rothery) and Mel to discuss the clinic’s future. The group decides to set up a Telehealth platform for their more rural patients to receive faster care and agree to build a birthing center for expecting moms.
Muriel also becomes the official office manager and confesses that she and Cameron have feelings for each other. While Doc is hesitant, he approves of the relationship as long as the pair continue to put patients first.
Hope and Doc Forever
Hope (Annette O’Toole) and Doc end the season happier and more in love than ever, with Hope vowing to stand by Doc’s side amid his diagnosis. Doc decides to officially start a trial that could either help his eyesight or end with him going entirely blind.
More Surprise Pregnancies …?
After Lizzie (Sarah Dugdale) and Denny (Kai Bradbury) reignite their romance, Denny tells Lizzie he wants to go back to med school despite his Huntington’s disease. Lizzie, however, reveals that she might be pregnant with their child.
Preacher’s Past Finally Catches Up With Him
Preacher (Colin Lawrence) sparks a romance with a firefighter, and the duo agree to do long distance. His happiness is short-lived, however, when he finds out in the episode’s final moments — from his unknowing girlfriend — that Wes’ body, which he buried for Paige in season 1, has seemingly been found.