‘Virgin River’ Has Me Squealing Over Cameron And Muriel’s Romance

‘Virgin River’ Has Me Squealing Over Cameron And Muriel’s Romance
Senior citizen love stories are having a major moment on TV and Netflix‘s Virgin River definitely got the memo.

Season 5 of the charming small town drama, based on Robyn Carr’s book series, introduced several spicy new romances in its first 10 episodes. But when it comes to new couples in town, there’s a clear front-runner: Muriel St. Claire (Teryl Rothery) and Dr. Cameron Hayek (Mark Ghanimé).

Cameron, the hot new doctor who joined the clinic in Season 4, nearly fled town after his crush on Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and concern over Jack’s (Martin Henderson) drinking made things awkward at work. And Decider dubbed Muriel Virgin River‘s most underrated character of Season 4 after she finally stopped pining over Doc (Tim Matheson) and invested in her friendship with Hope (Annette O’Toole). The two characters were long overdue for more fleshed-out storylines that, crucially, don’t involve romantically pursuing people in stable relationships, and in Season 5, Virgin River finally gave them each quality love stories — with each other!

 

The relationship between the two starts out innocent enough, with Muriel offering to help Cameron and Doc at the clinic part-time in Mel’s absence. As a former dental biller, she dazzles the men with her skills and initiative, and — quite frankly — saves them from potentially killing each other. As the days pass, Cameron and Muriel’s friendship grows. And when he and Doc continue to clash, she acts as a trusted advisor.

 

Muriel shows Cameron the ropes, teaching him how to navigate the town, Doc’s emotions, and Mel and Jack’s relationship. Then, when the wildfires displace her, Cameron offers Muriel a room at his house. Now, I likely honed in on their potential romance too soon, because I live and breathe for TV crushes. But depending on your powers of perception, there may come a time in Season 5 when you wonder if Virgin River will really go there — and by there, I mean “introduce an unexpected workplace romance between two characters with a noticeable age gap.” I’m thrilled to report that not only does the series go there, but it goes there in style.

As episodes pass, the co-worker rapport, banter, chemistry, and SFW flirting skills steadily develop, and after circumstances change, Muriel takes Cameron up on her offer to move in with him. A moon/candlelit dinner, a glass of red wine, and some deep conversation lead to a passionate kiss, which Cameron swiftly shuts down because of work. But before they say goodnight, they share ANOTHER KISS, because Muriel said it would be so sad if their first kiss ended up being their last. So true, queen.

At work, Muriel tells Cameron she has to move out for obvious reasons. But despite being “Romeo and Juliet with the same dad,” the two agree to find a way to be together. Muriel speaks to Doc, who warns her to watch out for herself but is surprisingly chill about the romance. And Cameron commits to staying in town and helping Doc run the clinic because he has another reason to stick around.

Though Muriel and Cameron’s ages on the show aren’t known, Rothery is 60 and Ghanimé is 45 in real life, so there’s likely at least a 15-year age gap between the characters. Muriel is stunning, cool (way cooler than Cameron), and immensely capable, so it’s no surprise that a hot doctor would be interested, but relationships between senior women and younger men are rarely portrayed on TV. So the fact that Virgin River chose to spotlight a different type of senior love story — especially without making a big deal about it, or having these two consenting adults be judged for their romance — is worthy of celebration.

 

As the classy couple said, real connections can catch you off guard and lift you off your feet when you least expect it. So although fans may be taken by surprise, we really have no choice but to stan.

Muriel and Cameron successfully keep things professional and mature throughout the season, so ending their Season 5, Part 1 storyline with a public debut at the town carnival and a ride on the Tunnel of Love was utter perfection. Here’s hoping Season 5, Part 2 has more romance in store for these two.

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