Virgin River Season 5 Finale: Who’s the Father?

Virgin River Season 5 Finale: Who’s the Father?
The 10th episode ended on several major cliff-hangers. Here’s our theories.
Virgin River fans, how you doing? Is your head completely spinning? Which reveal—or cliff-hanger—shocked you the most? And do we need to start a countdown clock until the final two episodes in season five (a.k.a. “the holiday episodes”) air at the end of November? (Warning: Stop reading now if you aren’t caught up.)

Episode 10, titled “Labor Day,” picked up immediately following the events of episode nine, with Jack accusing Brady of selling drugs out of his trailer. Brady says he needs to trust him because he’s not the bad guy. “Mike and I are working together to take [Melissa] down,” he says, adding that if Jack doesn’t let him go outside and talk to Melissa now, they’ll both be dead. And so Brady goes outside to try and assuage things with Melissa, but she quickly pulls a gun on him, and her men kidnap Brady. Jack calls Mike for backup, and Mike quickly attempts to fill Jack in on all the necessary information in a matter of seconds. Is Virgin River an action series now? A spin-off of SVU? Does it even matter? I’m riveted.

Anyway, Melissa and her men take Brady to the lumberyard, and Jack follows like the honorary cop he thinks he is. Melissa tells Brady that she’s certain he knows a lot more than he’s letting on, and deny as he might, she shows him the video of him snooping around trying to get evidence. Shit. She then tells Brady that his life will end tonight unless he opens up and gives her pertinent information. But Melissa’s messing with the wrong guy, because Brady spits on her (amazing), and says he has no intention of telling her anything. Of course, that only causes Melissa’s men to get more aggressive and beat him. Brady must be quite confident that Jack and Mike are coming for him, because I’m not so sure he’s got the best strategy here.

Sure enough, Jack makes a noise while hiding, which puts Melissa and her henchmen on high alert. They all try to escape—while still holding Brady hostage—but as Melissa tries to leave in her car, Mike and his fellow officers show up to arrest her. Enjoy life in the big house, lady. Meanwhile, Brady escapes, Jack comes to his rescue, and all seems fine (because Mike says so), but of course it’s not. With that, one of Melissa’s men shoots Mike, and his fate doesn’t look good.

All that, and we’re finally at the opening credits. Nobody told me I was going to need to monitor my blood pressure this episode, but here we are.

Fortunately, the writers knew we needed a calmer scene to follow, so we open with Preacher in bed with Kaia as the sun shines through the window. She has to leave for her next assignment but hates goodbyes, so she tells Preacher that every time she has to ship out, they shouldn’t make a big deal out of it. It’ll be “I’ll see you when I see you.” Preacher, who is totally smitten with this woman, seems good with it. Seriously, Preacher? Come on! You hate goodbyes!


But anyway, he’s got bigger issues to worry about because Mel calls to tell him what happened in the dead of night, and how Mike is fighting for his life at the hospital. So much for a calm, sunshiny morning.

Moments later, Brie, Preacher, Mel, and Jack are all gathered at the hospital. Mel was going to start back at the clinic today, but wants to be with Jack. He says she’s of more use at the clinic and doesn’t want her to put off her plans, so off she goes.

In lighter news, it’s the Virgin River Labor Day carnival! Lizzie is running around, making sure everything is in order. This chief of staff role serves her well. But something’s not quite right, because carefree and confident Lizzie is antsy, and she’s never antsy. Denny wants to tell her something, but she doesn’t have the time to sit down with him yet. She also tells him she has something she has to get off her chest, but that’s going to have to wait too. I’m pretty sure I know where this is going, but I don’t want to be right.

At the clinic Doc calls a staff meeting with Mel, Cameron, and Muriel. Doc announces Muriel is the new office manager. They also introduce a new telehealth component, as well as an idea for a birthing center, and I’ve concluded this is the most efficient staff meeting I’ve ever seen. Doc says the future of the clinic is looking brighter than ever.

As for Mike’s future? Well, it’s touch and go. Brady sees Brie keeping vigil at his bedside, and when she spots him outside Mike’s room, she runs to talk to him. In the most efficient and quick breakup scene, Brie tells Brady she will love him forever, but things have changed for her (meaning she has feelings for Mike). He says he gets it and walks away.

Ava (Lilly’s adult daughter, and one of this season’s new characters) tells Mel she made the follow-up appointment with her doctor to talk about a hysterectomy because of her endometriosis. Mel tells Ava she always thought she’d be missing out on something if she didn’t carry her own child, but the more she and Jack talked about it, being a parent is so much more than how you got there. “So if you decide you want to be a mom someday, you’ll find a way,” Mel tells Ava.

Back at the hospital Jack tells Brady that working undercover took a lot of courage. They have a bit of a bonding moment until Brady gets a message from potential new love interest, Lark, who tells him the FBI is at Jack’s glamping site, and off they go.

Meanwhile, at the clinic, Cameron and Muriel discuss disclosing their burgeoning romance with Doc. Muriel says she’ll take care of it. “I’m hard to resist,” she tells him. Cameron’s all, “Yeah, you are,” and gives her a flirty smile. I am so here for these two.


Anyway, Jack and Brady arrive at the glamping site, where they are informed that the site and all assets are now property of the FBI in connection with the Montgomery investigation. To top it off, this whole ordeal could last six months or six years. “These tenants need to be out by end of day,” the FBI officer tells Jack. He explains they aren’t tenants; they are evacuees from the fire with nowhere to go, but the FBI doesn’t seem very empathetic to their situation.


At this moment Nick arrives and tells Jack that the FBI has been questioning him and JoEllen for hours. He says he wouldn’t have let his sister anywhere near Jack if he knew what she was up to. (I certainly hope not, Nick!) Anyway, Nick says if there’s anything he can do, please ask. Jack gets an idea to place some of the families at Nick and JoEllen’s B&B, and Nick is more than happy to make it happen.

Meanwhile, Lark and her daughter share a sweet scene with Brady, and while I think it’s too soon for him to jump into another relationship, I’m also all for the companionship given the heartbreak he’s just gone through with Brie.

Speaking of, Brie is ecstatic when Mike finally wakes up. Readers, I’ll be honest: I wasn’t sure if he was going to survive at first, but I can breathe a sigh of relief now. He’s a much better match for Brie than Brady, and after this season, it’s never been more apparent that Virgin River needs him.

We haven’t gotten a lot of Mel and Jack scenes this episode, so it’s a welcome sign when Mel meets up with a contemplative Jack in the woods. He’s sitting atop the mountain area where he had hoped to raise their family. She says they’ll get the land back eventually, but he says if this breaks the wrong way, they’ll lose everything. She says as long as they’re together, they are home. The scene feels a bit too rushed and too neat given everything that’s just happened to them (Mel’s miscarriage, Jack nearly getting killed and then possibly losing his land and a lot of money), but it’s still a sweet moment.

Back at the clinic Muriel tells Doc that she and Cameron have feelings for each other. Muriel explains that she hasn’t been as lucky in love as some, and that this is more than just a flirtation. I want to hear more heartfelt emotion from Muriel, but a terse Doc cuts her off. He tells her he doesn’t care what she and Cameron do in their private lives as long as they put their patients first. He asks whether she and Cameron can conduct themselves in a professional manner while at work, and Muriel assures him that’s the case. Doc says he respects her too much to tell her what to do in this department, but “just…watch out for yourself, please.” Why does that warning feel so ominous? Anyway, Muriel leaves when Doc gets an important call, which just happens to be about the clinical trial for his eyesight.

Over at the bar Preacher is missing Kaia, but she surprises him by showing up and revealing she’s had a change of heart. She heard another brigade was coming in and worked it out with a colleague so she could stay in Virgin River. Preacher asks how her ex Jay took the news, and Kaia says he went ballistic. (Foreshadowing a bit, eh?) Anyway, Kaia says she made the right decision and tells Preacher this assignment could take months. He’s elated.

Cut to the carnival, and Lizzie thanks Hope for believing in her and helping her grow and find her purpose. And yet it’s obvious that purpose might get put on hold soon if what she is about to tell Denny is what I think it is.

Meanwhile, at the fried-food section of the carnival, Ava tells Mel that she’s decided to have a hysterectomy, but not before freezing her eggs in case she decides to have her own children one day. She then casually mentions she’s going to miss Virgin River since her sisters are ready to sell the farm. Lucky for them, someone wants to turn it into a golf course, so they might have a buyer. This, of course, gives Mel an an idea. Meanwhile, Ava tells Mel the old tree swing survived the fire at t

Back at the hospital a recovering Mike has his first date with Brie in his ICU room. I really like these two together, but poor Brady. Mike says Brady is the real hero here, and risked his life for Brie, so he understands if it changes anything for Brie. She says it doesn’t, and she wants to see where this can go. I’m all in.

At the carnival Cameron and Muriel make out in front of JoEllen at the ticket booth, and her reaction is priceless. Muriel tells Cameron that she talked to Doc, and they can “ride any ride they want.” Good for them. Let the news travel fast!

Then, as if this episode wasn’t jam-packed enough, the next seven or so minutes change everything. Charmaine shows up oh-so-casually and trades pleasantries and small talk with Doc. You just know there’s more coming here; Charmaine doesn’t just pop up in the finale for kicks.

But before we get to that bombshell, Doc tells Hope he’s going to do the clinical trial, because if he doesn’t do it, he’ll go blind eventually, so why not give it a chance? Hope tells him that his life is her life, his heart is her heart, his eyes are her eyes, and for 30 years, he’s stood by her side, so no matter what happens, she’ll stand by his. Doc says the trial is right after the new year, so they have four months until it starts. They start kissing, and he says he wants to do a whole lotta that until then.

Back to Lizzie though, who finally meets up with Denny so they can each tell each other their “news.” He tells her that Grandma Rose told him he’s making a mistake staying in Virgin River. At first he thought she was wrong, but now he’s not so sure and might want to travel and see what else is out there. Oh, and he also wants Lizzie to come with him. She responds by saying what I was thinking all along: She thinks she’s pregnant. Oy.

Meanwhile, Mel tells Jack that their hike at Angel’s Peak got her thinking about a different point of view. She says she wants to take a detour on the way home from the carnival, but wants it to be a surprise for Jack.
As they prepare to head out, they run into Kaia and Preacher. Seconds later, Kaia takes a work call and she’s assigned to a new case, which just so happens to be an investigation into the remains of a dead body found near a service road by Aldergrove. She says the body has been there a while, indicating someone probably buried it there. Oh crap. Flashback to Preacher burying Wes’s body. “So much for a sleepy small town,” Kaia says. Oh honey, you haven’t seen anything.

And then the reveals start coming fast and furious. We see Charmaine walking to the car, holding her pregnant belly when a man holding a cane and walking with a limp approaches. It’s Calvin, who apparently did not die in the explosion in season four. “I thought you were dead!” Charmaine exclaims. “So did the person who tried to kill me,” he says nonchalantly. She asks what he wants, and he says, “You know what I want. I want to be a father to my boys.” Holy $@!*!

Then Mel and Jack pull up to Lilly’s farm, which of course is still in ashes from the fire. Mel shows Jack that the swing is still standing and remarks what a miracle it is. Mel reminds him of the first time she came there with him, and we get a flashback of Mel and Jack in season one, where she says her dream was to have a big farmhouse and fill it with kids. In the present, she says, “What if that time was now? [Because] if your dream is to build us a home, I can’t think of a better place to do it than here. We can fill it with our kids, however they come, whenever they come.” Jack takes a deep breath and says, “I think it’s perfect,” before adding that it would also be the perfect place to get married.

But that’s not all. In the next scene, which, no, is not a preview of the upcoming holiday episodes, but instead still part of the finale, “Jingle Bells” is playing, and it’s wintertime. Mel and Jack are outside decorating the cabin and Mel is on the phone with her sister. Joey and the kids are coming for their first Virgin River Christmas, but when she was looking for old stockings to bring with them, Joey found some other stuff mixed in with their mom’s decorations. ”You’re not going to believe this,” Joey says, “but I found this whole stack of postcards and letters addressed to Mom from Virgin River.”

In the glimpse of the letters, one of them is signed “Champ” and another reads, “All I ever wanted was for you to be happy. And if that means returning to your husband, then I will find a way to make my peace with that.”

Mel—and myself—are confused. “What?” Mel exclaims. “Mom knew someone from Virgin River?” This now has Jack’s attention, who is also immediately intrigued. Joey says she’s been reading these letters all morning and they’re love letters. In fact, “Mom was having an affair with someone in Virgin River, and I think this guy might be your father,” she says. Mel scoffs at first, but that’s all we get before the fade to black.

And, that my friends, is what we have to wrap our heads around before Virgin River returns on November 30. Could Doc be Mel’s father? Or is that too obvious? Is it someone we’ve met before (I say probably), or someone new? (And no, I will not entertain the possibility of Mel and Jack sharing a father, so let’s not even go there.) Also, when in God’s name did Charmaine sleep with Calvin and why? And is Kaia inadvertently going to make Preacher’s life a living hell?

Buckle up. We’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Jessica Radloff is the Glamour senior West Coast editor and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series, coming to paperback with over 40 never-before-seen photos on October 10, 2023. You can preorder here.





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