‘Virgin River’ Showrunner Teases Mel’s Journey to Find Her Father in Holiday Episodes

Who wouldn’t want to spend the holidays in Virgin River? It’s gorgeous, the residents are there for each other, and love is always in the air.

Virgin River returns to Netflix with two more episodes on November 30, set around the holidays, and Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) is now searching for her biological father after learning that he is actually from the very same town she now calls home. Might there be a wedding? Mel and Jack (Martin Henderson) are engaged, but we all know how slowly time moves and they haven’t even started planning. How about a birth (Charmaine’s twins)? Well, that is happening, though you’ll have to wait and see just how that plays out.

Showrunner Patrick Sean Smith previews the holiday episodes.

What came first, the plan to do the holiday episodes or the story you wanted to tell at this point in the series? It’s perfect for the holidays, but it will all work another time, too.
Patrick Sean Smith: Before I came onto the show, actually, it was an idea that I had discussed with Netflix, about having a holiday two-parter, just because obviously the holidays and cozy and Virgin River just kind of go hand-in- hand. And the fact that Robyn Carr had committed a couple of books in the book series to the holidays, it just felt like an opportunity that was just waiting to be taken. So we went into Season 5 and arced out over the 10 episodes knowing that the two would be a bit of a time jump so we could then get into the holidays. There was some back and forth on whether they would be standalone or if they would continue with the serialized storytelling, and we chose for the latter. So in the two holiday episodes, there are definitely a lot of answers to questions that we’ve set up in part one.

 


Speaking of that, what can you preview about Mel’s search for her father and what she learns about herself as a result?

I think one thing that she learned is just how deep of a connection she was wanting to have to her mother, but also who she is and where she comes from, realizing that what she knew before is no longer the truth. She starts and she’s excited about this opportunity to connect with this person who’s an extension of who she is. I think it’s a lot about her identity and then just the way it plays out in the episodes, that Jack is along for the ride of them going through this sort of Virgin River holiday scavenger hunt following these breadcrumbs to ultimately lead her to this man who she knows nothing about but has a very personal connection to her.

How is Mel and Jack’s relationship? And because there’s always the question of the wedding, how close are we actually getting to that with these episodes?

Well, time is a tricky thing in Virgin River. I would say, it’s always on the horizon. In the holiday episodes, I don’t think we get to it as much, but what we do get to introduce is a little of the family dynamics that will eventually someday play out in a wedding context as Mel and Jack are planning their lives together . It also involves bringing their families together, which is always a tricky thing.

The Brie (Zibby Allen), Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth), and Mike (Marco Grazzini) triangle has taken a turn, to say the least, but how does she feel about both men at this point?

We find her, in the holiday episodes, in a happy place with Mike, but I think Brady will always be an important person in her life and somebody she has an undeniable connection with and obvious chemistry with. And I think there’s always going to be that pull whenever he’s in the room for her, even while she and Mike are looking ahead to having a relationship together.

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