Virgin River Boss Defends Season 5’s Polarizing Tragedy: Mel and Jack Came Out ‘Stronger and Closer’ Than Ever

Virgin River Boss Defends Season 5’s Polarizing Tragedy: Mel and Jack Came Out ‘Stronger and Closer’ Than Ever

 

 

Virgin River Boss Defends Season 5’s Polarizing Tragedy: Mel and Jack Came Out ‘Stronger and Closer’ Than Ever
Spoiler alert: We’re about to discuss a major twist from Virgin River‘s fifth season, now streaming on Netflix. Proceed with caution.

Fertility struggles have always been woven into the fabric of Mel Monroe’s story, beginning with her and Mark’s stillborn child before the series even began, but Virgin River fans are finding themselves understandably divided over the latest turn in her reproductive journey.

Following a complicated in vitro fertilization and subsequent paternity mystery, Mel entered the Netflix drama’s fifth season pregnant and engaged — but her happiness was not to last. As a devastating wildfire ravaged the show’s titular community, Alexandra Breckenridge’s character suffered a miscarriage, a twist that many viewers felt was a step too far after everything she had already endured.
In a new interview with Glamour, showrunner Patrick Sean Smith explains that the tragic turn of events provided “an opportunity to not blow past something that has defined Mel’s character,” adding that it “felt like an important topic to explore even further. So it felt like an organic way for it to come up.”

 

Previous seasons have found Mel and Jack struggling with their separate traumas (her fertility struggles, his PTSD/drinking problem, etc.), but the loss of their unborn child created an opportunity for a shared trauma from which they could grow together.

“We now see this couple struggle their way through this loss together because it was the one thing that literally killed her last marriage,” Smith says. “Mel and Mark could not survive the trauma of the reproductive issues that she experienced, so to see Mel and Jack in that same situation, but actually persevere and come out stronger and closer, that felt [like the most logical] reason for me to do it because I feel like that gave them so much more depth, and so much more love.”

Addressing the actual portrayal of Mel’s miscarriage on screen, Smith says, “I think you’re always wondering if there’s a softer way to dramatize something that’s traumatic, but at the same time, we couldn’t come up with something that felt as important to show. We also wanted to be clear what was happening with her in that moment. This was an opportunity to show a woman go through a very specific experience, and if you’re going to do it, do it.”
Virgin River returns with a pair of holiday episodes (aka Season 5 Part 2) on Thursday, Nov. 30. How do you feel about the way Mel’s miscarriage was handled? And what are your hopes for her and Jack moving forward? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.

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