Spoiler alert: We’re about to discuss a major twist from Virgin River‘s fifth season. If you haven’t at least finished Episode 5… well, you’ve been warned.
There’s a dark cloud hanging over Virgin River in its now-streaming fifth season, and we’re not talking about the smoke caused by the wildfire that nearly wipes the idyllic town off the map.
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If you’re at least halfway through bingeing the 10 new episodes on Netflix, you know exactly to what we’re referring: Sensing that something is wrong with her pregnancy, Mel performs an ultrasound on herself in Episode 5, only to discover that there is, in fact, no fetal heartbeat. It’s absolutely devastating, the kind of moment that makes you question whether it’s even really happening. The show spent more than a season getting viewers hyped for this baby, so to even consider that Mel would suffer a miscarriage is frankly unimaginable.
Unfortunately, this tragic event isn’t entirely without precedent. Mel has struggled with fertility issues for as long as we’ve known her, and viewers were fully aware that this pregnancy was considered high-risk. But after everything the show put Mel and Jack through — including making us wait an entire season just to find out whether Jack was really the father — we never expected things to take such a dark turn.
When Charmaine revealed to Jack that she lied about him being the father of her twins, we were honestly thrilled. We never liked the idea of him having a baby with Mel and two more with Charmaine — it felt needlessly complicated. Now he has essentially lost three children in one season, which feels needlessly cruel.
This being Virgin River, however, we feel compelled to find a silver lining in all of this: Mel’s miscarriage opens the door to several important discussions about women’s reproductive issues, including a conversation about dilation and curettage (referred to simply as D&C), which is a common procedure after miscarriages in which a doctor scrapes a woman’s uterus to avoid infection. It’s something Mel is incredibly familiar with as a nurse practitioner, but applying it to her own situation opens a floodgate of complicated emotions.
To her credit, Alexandra Breckenridge is more than up to the challenge of bringing the drama in Mel’s darkest hour. Her performance is simply heartbreaking, as is Martin Henderson’s in some of Jack’s more vulnerable moments. This is a loss that will be felt for quite some time.
The unexpected detour on the couple’s road to parenthood also forces Mel and Jack to consider alternative routes to starting a family, ultimately ending the season on a hopeful note for their future as a potential mother and father. The best part? We only have to wait until Part 2 premieres on Nov. 30 to find out what that future holds.
Virgin River fans, how are you holding up? Did Mel’s miscarriage take you completely by surprise? And what are your hopes for the show’s key couple?
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