In Netflix’s ‘Virgin River,’ we follow Melinda “Mel” Monroe, a nurse practitioner who finds herself in a scenic small town with more to offer than just new beginnings. Over the course of the following months, which turn into seasons for the audience, Mel embarks on numerous journeys, good and bad, until she’s finally brought to a stable place in her life. Thus, as the end of season 5 nears, Mel and the love of her life, Jack Sheridan, settle in for the former’s first Christmas since her life-changing move.
However, Mel makes a staggering discovery as the engaged couple prepares to bring their families together during the holiday season. The nurse’s sister, Joey, informs the other woman about some love letters she found belonging to their mother. The letters seemed to be addressed to a man in Virgin River whom Joey strongly suspects to be Mel’s biological father. Consequently, the reveal must have piqued the viewers’ curiosity, compelling them to wonder about Mel’s true lineage. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Mel’s Father, A Virgin River Resident
Just in time for Christmas, Mel learns about her biological father’s roots in Virgin River through her older sister, Joey. The revelation is as exhilarating as it is unnerving. For one, the fact that Mel happened to end up in the same town her biological father is from seems extraordinary. However, it is likely that Mel decided to move to the town in the first place because of some faint memory of a postcard or off-hand comment from her mother.
Still, more pressingly, the man’s connections to the town mean Mel can begin searching for him right away should she feel compelled to. Yet, it isn’t every day that one gets a clue about unlocking the mystery behind their parentage. Thus, the decision weighs on Mel accordingly. Since Mel has already planned out a perfect Christmas full of familial joy between her and Jack’s families, soon to be combined after their wedding, she doesn’t wish to jeopardize the same with a quest that may prove futile.
Nonetheless, Mel also realizes she desperately wants some answers about the past that only her biological father would be able to give her. Her mother’s loss has always been a troubling subject for the woman. Although she had hoped to find a connection to the other woman through her own journey into motherhood, the past few weeks have robbed her of the same. Therefore, it’s hard to turn down the opportunity to meet her biological father, who seems to have had a loving relationship with her mother.
Therefore, Mel decides to seek out her biological father and receives unconditional help and support from Jack. Since the letters contain a PO address for the man who wrote the letters, referred only to as Champ, Mel can track it down to the original owner through her friend-of-a-friend connections with the postmaster. Yet, the man seems to remember only a few trivial details about Champ instead of useable information like a legal name or home address.
Still, with the help of one specific detail, Mel and Jack are able to look Champ up online and learn his true identity: Chip Cooper. From there, a small favor from Preacher and his Private Investigator contact lands the couple outside a homey cabin belonging to one Chip Cooper, Mel’s biological father. Nevertheless, their first meeting ends up going south when the man lies about his identity after learning about Mel’s relation to him. The woman catches on to his lie and realizes the man doesn’t want to be a part of her life. As such, she takes her leave, closing that chapter of her life.
Although Mel has a hard time reconciling with her father’s rejection, she has found a loving and supporting family for herself outside of blood relations with Jack and all the other town residents. For the same reason, even though she may not have a chance to bond with her biological father, she knows she can rely on multiple people, like Doc Mullins, whom she asks to walk her down the aisle on her wedding.
Thus, Mel gets her perfect Christmas despite the many roadblocks, surrounded by her loved ones over dinner. However, something else is still in store for her. After a lovely Christmas family dinner, Mel finds Chip Cooper at her cabin, looking to make amends. Chip had known Mel’s mother when she and her husband were facing marriage problems following the loss of their baby.
As such, even though Mel’s mother had a loving relationship with Chip, which resulted in Mel’s birth, she decided to give her husband another chance for the sake of their family, including their older daughter, Joey. As a result, Chip was left heartbroken by the woman’s decision, and seeing their daughter at his front door without a notice took him off-guard. For the same reason, the man reacted poorly, not knowing what to make of Mel’s unforeseen appearance.
Chip returns to Mel’s home in the end, hoping to reconcile with his biological daughter and become a part of her life. He also brings a stack of letters her mother wrote him as a peace offer for his previous actions. In doing so, he brings Mel an invaluable gift and marks the start of a promising relationship.