Despite being the coziest show on Netflix, “Virgin River” is always abundant with drama and chock-full of soapy storylines. If you need a refresher on where things stand before you watch Season 5, we’ve got you covered with a recap of all the essential romances, plot twists and new characters from Season 4.
Who’s the father of Mel’s baby? Who shot Jack? What’s going on with Denny? Who isn’t coming back for Season 5? We’ve got all the answers you need with a complete — but concise — Season 4 recap.
“Virgin River” Season 5 will have a two-part season, with Episodes 1-10 debuting on Sept. 7, followed by two special holiday episodes on Nov. 30.
Jack and Mel Got Engaged
Happy news for the happy couple, Jack and Mel finally got engaged in the Season 4 finale. It was a big relief for Jack after his last proposal attempt was sidelined by the pregnancy news. This time Mel let him ask and (after a healthy dramatic pause) she said yes.
Jack Is the Father of Mel’s Baby
More good news: Season 4 resolved the big Season 3 cliffhanger – Jack is the father of Mel’s baby! It’s wonderful news for the happy couple, but it also saved them from a custody battle. Before the baby was conceived, Mel returned to Los Angeles and used one of her remaining embryos from her and her deceased husband Mark’s pregnancy attempts. Mark’s mother wanted the embryos and when she found out Mel already used them, she threatened legal action for shared custody rights to the child. But now, Jack and Mel can rest easy – a paternity test confirmed that Jack is the biological father and they’re having a girl.
Charmaine Reached a New Low
One custody battle down, one to go? Not so fast. Season 4’s big cliffhanger resolved around Jack’s devious ex Charmaine, who revealed – after all that drama – that Jack is not the father of her twin boys. To add insult to injury, the reveal came after Jack essentially stepped in for her absentee husband Todd at her baby shower and the two finally seemed on the same page about raising the boys together. However, in the final moments of Season 4, Jack and Mel got a distressed call from Charmaine and when they arrived, she said she believed karma was making her ill and fearing the worst for her babies, she confessed.
Hope’s Battling Through Brain Trauma
Hope sat out Season 3 stuck in a South Carolina hurricane (a COVID story pivot in consideration of Anette O’Toole’s safety), so it was a relief to see her back in “Virgin River” stirring up trouble in Season 4. However, Hope crashed on her way back and Season 4 found her navigating a new brain injury, which caused her to temporarily forget the death of her best friend Lily and challenged her relationship with Doc in new ways. After a doctor’s appointment at the end Season 4, he gave her a loving ultimatum: get some home care help or move into a home where she’ll be safely monitored. Hope opted for home care and offered the job to Lizzy.
Doc Got a New Grandson
Doc faced his own new unexpected challenges in Season 4 with the arrival of his long-lost grandson, Denny, who also sparked a connection with Lizzy. Though Denny riled up some suspicion after Mel suspected him of messing with the Clinic’s painkiller supply, he turned out to be on the level – he even used his late father’s inheritance to pay off the clinic’s debt. However, Denny was keeping a heartbreaking secret: he’s been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, a terminal degenerative disease. Due to his condition, Denny pushed away Lizzy’s romantic advances, which caused a falling out between the two at the end of the season.
Ricky Left for the Marines
Trusty waiter at Jack’s Bar and Lizzy’s former beau, Ricky left town to join the Marines at the end of Season 4. Before he left, Lizzy arranged for a touching sendoff with the Virgin River townsfolk. And that means you shouldn’t expect to see him in Season 5 “The timeline was set that he would be in basic training until December,” new showrunner Patrick Sean Smith told TVLine. “I won’t say [you’ll have to wait until] Season 10, but he’s a fan favorite. Everybody loves him. We’ll probably see Ricky at some point down the road.”
There’s a New Doctor in Town
From his macular degeneration to Hope’s new injury, Doc has a lot on his plate, so at the start of Season 4, he hired another hand at the Clinic, Dr. Cameron Hayek. The “Virgin River” newcomer quickly struck up a bond with Mel and took his feelings a little too far when he told her he thought Jack wasn’t a reliable partner. After she rebuffed him, he decided to leave the clinic. However, at the same time, Mel is considering leaving the Clinic during her pregnancy, so they’re both considering an exit by Season 4’s end.
Paige Returned – And Preacher’s Love Life Just Got Complicated
Paige Lassiter was a major character in the first season of “Virgin River” and a major love interest for Preacher, but she went on the run after she killed her abusive husband, Wes, in self-defense. At the end of Season 4, she returned to team up with Preacher and rescue her son, Christopher, who was kidnapped by Wes’ brother, Vince. And what timing – Paige returned to town just as Preacher’s bourgeoning romance with Julia was moving to the next level.
Brady Didn’t Shoot Jack, But He’s Still Mixed Up in Bad Business
Who shot Jack? Well, it wasn’t Brady and he’s officially off the hook. Turns out that was also Wes’ brother Vince. However, Brady is still tangled up with Virgin River’s criminal element despite his growing romance with Brie. Specifically, he found himself on the receiving end of more attention from local crime boss Melissa Montgomery – who also seems to have set her sights on Jack – after Calvin was killed.
Brie’s Slimy, Abusive Ex-Boyfriend Came to Town
Brie is set to confront some past trauma in Season 5. In Season 4, we learned that she relocated from her big city life to get away after she was raped by her ex-boyfriend and former colleague, Don. Brie was shocked when Don turned up outside of Jack’s bar in the Season 4 finale, asking her to help clear his name now that rumors of his sexual misconduct are threatening his career. Brie isn’t having it and tells him to lawyer up because she’s about to file a police report.
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