Virgin River just released season 4 on Netflix. Season 5 is on the way. As I watched season 4, I pondered the question, “Why is this show so popular?” I decided it was because it’s about real people living real lives with drama coming from situations that feel real.
The characters fall in love, argue, care for each other, mess up, get in trouble, and do kind things without the aid of superheroes, car chases, or machine gun fights.
You can see yourself in Virgin River. You can see yourself in a loving relationship, or facing trouble, or having health problems, or being a friend. It’s not all sweetness and light. There’s plenty of drama with love stories, hot sex, serious health issues, kidnapped children, drug smugglers making threats, and secrets and lies that cause friction.
I’ll run through a few of the plotlines for the season.
The main character Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) is pregnant but doesn’t know if the child is from her ex husband’s stored embryo or her current love Jack (Martin Henderson). Jack is having issues with PTSD and unresolved grief.
Doc (Tim Matheson) and Hope (Annette O’Toole) are dealing with the traumatic brain injury she received in a car wreck. Doc adds a new doctor named Cameron (Mark Ghanimé) to the team in the clinic. Doc and Hope get a big surprise in the form of Denny (Kai Bradbury), I won’t spoil who he is, I’ll just say he arrives.
Mel’s sister Joey (Jenny Cooper) shows up engaged. Jack’s sister Brie (Zibby Allen) spends her time trying to find proof that her boyfriend Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth) didn’t shoot Jack in season 3 (or was it 2?).
Preacher (Colin Lawrence) is working with a detective to find the kidnapped Christopher, the young son of his former girlfriend Paige. He meets a new woman (Lucia Walters), an Aikido instructor.
Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) is having twins and Jack is the father. But she’s married to someone else.
The youngest couple in Virgin River, Lizzie (Sarah Dugdale) and Ricky (Grayson Maxwell Gurnsey) were broken up because he didn’t tell her he joined the Marines. But there was the new kid, Denny, hanging around Doc. He was definitely attractive.
Other secondary characters were involved in the story. The season had 12 episodes. The spectacular scenery shots of rivers, forests, and mountains made you want to leave home and go there immediately.
This season didn’t involve much passage of time in the lives of the characters. Days and weeks at the most. But there were a couple of twists at the end that mean big arcs for Mel and Jack in season 5.
Women directors in season 4 included Monika Mitchell, Siobhan Devine, and Nimisha Mukerji. The series was developed by Sue Tenney based on novels by Robyn Carr. If you’ve been watching this series from the beginning, you don’t need me to remind you that one of your favorite shows is ready to binge watch. Enjoy.