After losing her husband in a tragic car crash, a nurse practitioner from LA, Melinda “Mel” Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), moves to the very quaint Virgin River for a fresh start. The eponymous series follows the many ups and downs she faces in the small and tight-knit community. At the forefront are her new friend and subsequent love interest, Jack (Martin Henderson), her employer, Vernon “Doc” Mullins (Tim Matheson), and the mayor of the town, Hope McCrea (Annette O’Toole).
By the end of season 1, Mel has mostly established herself as an important part of the community and is slowly finding her footing in life as well. But there are a few incidents that turn her life upside down, and she must decide what it is she wants for herself. Season 2 delves into these nuances, and you can find out more about it here. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Virgin River Season 2 Recap
Season 2 opens with Mel, at Mark’s grave, affirming her love for him. But she does head back to Virgin River to complete the remainder of her contract with Doc. Jack and Charmaine, both run into her at the office. Although Jack is mad at Mel for ghosting him initially, she apologizes, and they decide to stay friends. Mel is still coping with her husband’s death and does not have the strength to take a chance on Jack just yet. It turns out that Charmaine’s pregnancy is complicated as she is diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) due to her severe morning sickness.
Obviously, she does not want the nurse practitioner treating her. However, given that Mel is the only person in town who has experience with such pregnancies, Charmaine agrees. Moreover, they later find out that she is actually carrying twins. Although Jack is going to support her, no matter what, this news does shake him up a bit. In other romantic news, Hope and Doc get back together and make their relationship public only a few episodes into the season.
Apart from this, Ricky starts falling for Lizzie, Connie’s niece. However, this sometimes leads to him shirking his responsibilities at work, something that Jack and Preacher take notice of. Back at the bar, Jack and Brady get into a heated argument, following which the latter quits and eventually joins forces with Calvin, who runs the local drug operation. Paige’s abusive ex-husband has tracked Christopher and her down and wants to take them back to Florida. When the victim rejects this “offer,” they get into an altercation, and she pushes him down the stairs, accidentally killing him.
Preacher tells Paige to leave town and remain completely off the grid; he can handle the rest. Apart from this, George is hired to work as a waiter at the bar. But unbeknownst to Jack, he is actually one of Calvin’s men and ends up giving food poisoning to the many customers. Furthermore, given that Mel is attacked by one of Calvin’s men in the season’s pilot, Jack takes it upon himself to bring the entire operation down. Long story short, Brady and Jimmy basically abduct Jack from Spencer’s trailer and bring him in front of Calvin.
Jack asks where Spencer is, to which Brady responds by saying that “he did what he had to do.” Calvin lets the protagonist go, but only after telling him to stay away from the operation or pay for it with his life. Charmaine is contemplating moving to Portland with her family and the twins, but Jack doesn’t know this yet. In fact, he is planning on buying a house for his kids as well. Mel asks Charmaine to talk to him once so that his feelings are not hurt. Jamie offers Preacher a chance to work at a high-end restaurant.
Virgin River Season 2 Ending
Doc proposes to Hope all over again, but she questions his loyalty since there is a voicemail on his phone from Muriel asking him to meet her at a hotel. On the other side of town, Mel professes her love for Jack, and the two get back together. In the series finale, love is definitely in the air as Doc tells Hope that he had their engagement ring reset, which is why he was in talks with Muriel. He had simply taken their acquaintance to lunch as a thank you. She agrees to marry him again, and Doc suggests making the wedding festivities big, even though they never got divorced in the first place.
At the bar, Preacher suggests investing in the business so that he can become a partner, but Jack doesn’t want to ruin their friendship because of work. Post this, Preacher calls up Jamie and accepts the job offer up in San Francisco. Connie talks to Preacher about the “Wes situation.” He tells her that the former cop was dirty and that there’s a warrant out for his arrest; he should be in the clear. When Jack shows up at Charmaine’s, she finds out that he is buying a house for the twins.
She kisses Jack, but they fight about their romantic predicament, and he states that they were never going to live together anyway. Charmaine claims that the man she eventually marries will be the twins’ father, leaving him shocked. To help Jack out, Mel decides to investigate the Spencer case on her own. Brady meets her in a remote location and points her to the grave. A man with a striking resemblance to Wes walks into the bar but introduces himself as Vince, Wes’ twin brother.
He asks Preacher about Michelle/Paige, and he feigns ignorance about the entire situation. But Vince tells Preacher to knock off the act and let Michelle know that he is coming for her. Jack shows up at Mel’s, and she shows him Spencer’s proof-of-life video. It turns out that Brady did not go through with the murder; he drove Spencer and his family to the bus station so that they could go to LA. Ricky shows up at Connie’s to give a chocolate cake to Lizzie; she establishes that their love story is like ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
Mike calls Jack and lets him know that Spencer has divulged the truth. Calvin was transporting cash in hollow logs to Mexico in exchange for half a million dollars worth of Fentanyl every week. The cartel would move the drugs in animal feed supply trucks, which is why Calvin was after Lily’s farm. Moreover, Brady is also arrested.
Sally, a friend of Paige’s, shows up at Preacher’s residence and tells him that Vince found out the victim’s mobile number and left her a harrowing message. Christopher comes out and hugs Preacher, asking him to stay with him. Preacher agrees. On the other side of town, Doc is about to reveal some pertinent information about his health but is interrupted by a surprise party. Mel shows up at the bar only to find that Jack has been shot.
It is most likely that Calvin has made good on his threat and sent one of his men to injure Jack. After all, the veteran is the main reason why the entire drug operation gets busted in the first place, especially since Spencer is helping him. Calvin goes from making millions because of his Fentanyl enterprise to now being arrested. Why wouldn’t the drug lord want some retribution? Mel finds Jack, lying on the floor of the bar, covered in blood.
He has been shot in his abdomen, and she calls for help immediately. Since she is a proficient nurse and has worked in an ER in LA for a couple of years, she will most likely be able to save Jack’s life. (Plus, there’s the obvious plot convenience of not letting a protagonist die). So no, we don’t think that Jack will perish. However, it also doesn’t mean that Jack will be up and running as soon as his treatment ends.
Firstly, he is already battling PTSD from the war, and the shooting is more than likely to screw with his psyche even more. Although a physical handicap does not seem befitting, the emotional repercussions of the event will be deeply ingrained in him. Due to this, Jack may feel as though he won’t be able to protect his twins. But we also think that Mel will hold his hand through all this and literally nurse him back to health.
The silver lining of this fatal shooting could be that Jack finally deals with his alcoholism. Owing to his PTSD and the guilt he feels for the death of his comrades, Jack is often seen rendezvousing with alcohol. However, since Mel will most likely be in charge of his healing, she may just get him to cope with stress in a healthier way.
Will Charmaine Go to Portland?
Throughout the season, there is this weird tension between Charmaine and Mel, especially since the former blames the nurse for her breakup with Jack. But when it comes to more severe issues, such as the various complications of pregnancy, the two women have rather honest and heartfelt conversations. If Jack weren’t in the picture, they might have been great friends. It is why we can’t help but feel that Charmaine will eventually pack her bags and relocate.
Now, you may be hesitant to accept this argument, but do let us justify the rationale. When Charmaine tells Jack that she will marry the father of her twins, she is obviously angry about the mixed signals that she is getting from him. It just seems to be an exaggeration of her emotions. However, Jack does affirm that he has never lead her on, which is true. While Charmaine’s feelings are not invalid, she does have a penchant for reading into a moment. Jack doesn’t give her false hope about getting back together. Even when he gifts her the puppy, he mentions that the animal could help her emotionally.
Lastly, he iterates that the house is for the twins since there really isn’t any space for them to live comfortably at the bar. In season 1, Charmaine tells Jack that she is still in love with him. While he promises to support her and the twins, he never says it back. So she relies on a lot of “could be’s” to justify her situation with Jack. She is the one who assumes that they will live together in the house. Charmaine is the one who gets upset every time Mel’s name is taken, even if she initiates the conversation. Moreover, she is fully aware that Jack loves the nurse.
Now, with season 2 having ended the way it did, there is a high probability that Mel will be Jack’s primary caregiver. It isn’t that Charmaine wouldn’t want to help out, but she is pregnant and has her own set of health issues. Since there have been civil and quite deep conversations between the women in the past, the only problem that Charmaine essentially has with Mel is that the nurse renders her own fantasies incomplete.
But we think that when Charmaine sees Mel rise to the occasion, she will no longer harbor any resentment. In fact, if the hairdresser truly loves Jack, she will see that Mel is the best thing for him. This, in our opinion, will prompt her to let the happy couple be. After giving birth and allowing Jack to meet his children, Charmaine could very well move to Portland. After all, they can always work out an arrangement that would not separate the twins from their father. Plus, Charmaine, too, could finally move on.
What About Preacher?
Things are definitely getting serious if Paige (or Michelle, however you want to refer to her) has sent Christopher to live with Preacher. Time and again, the mother’s love and concern for her son have been made extremely clear. She is even a fugitive in the eyes of the law because she ran away with Christopher, who was under the custody of the abusive ex-partner. (On one occasion, Wes had even hit his son). Preacher is looking forward to a new chapter in his life by accepting Jamie’s offer.
We think that the safest bet for him will be to move to San Francisco with Christopher. Fresh starts are quintessential in ‘Virgin River,’ and what could be better for both of them? The child will get to meet new people and grow up in a fantastic city where his abusive father’s shadow is not lingering. At the same time, Preacher will get the opportunity to further his career and be a great parental figure for Christopher. Plus, if someday, Paige were to return, she could assume a new identity in the big city.
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