Virgin River season 4: Is Hope returning to Virgin River?

VIRGIN RIVER - Annette O’Toole as Hope McCrea of VIRGIN RIVER - NETFLIX (c) 2020
VIRGIN RIVER - Annette O’Toole as Hope McCrea of VIRGIN RIVER - NETFLIX (c) 2020 /

Virgin River season 3 finally arrived on July 9 and fans have been quick to binge the latest 10-episode season of the romantic Netflix Original. The season 3 finale left fans with a lot of cliffhangers to theorize over, but perhaps the biggest mystery on the minds of fans looking ahead to Virgin River season 4 is whether Annette O’Toole’s Hope will be returning to the show.

Across the first two seasons of the show, Hope was a crucial part of the show and the Virgin River community. As the town major, Hope often had a hand in many of the town’s biggest events and also had strong relationships with nearly everyone in town.

Because of this, fans have become accustomed to Hope popping up frequently throughout each season’s many storylines as one of the show’s biggest supporting characters. However, season 3 was an entirely different story for the character which has many wondering what’s next for Hope.

Is Hope in season 3 of Virgin River?

While the character of Hope does appear in Virgin River season 3, the character’s involvement in the season was quite limited with Annette O’Toole only appearing via FaceTime calls with Doc. The FaceTime calls were the result of Hope leaving town to visit family in South Carolina via a trip that would keep her off-screen and out of town for the majority of the season.

What happens to Hope in Virgin River season 3?

During season 3, Hope leaves town to help take care of her aunt and ends up missing quite a lot while away on her visit to South Carolina. Among the many events that Hope misses, is the chance to say goodbye to her long-time best friend Lilly before she passes away as the result of her stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Upon hearing of Lilly’s death, Hope makes her way back to Virgin River but on her way back for the funeral she is involved in a car accident which puts her in the hospital with life-threatening injuries as the season comes to an end.

Is Hope coming back to Virgin River?

Given the limited role Annette O’Toole had in season 3 and where we left Hope when the season came to an end, the biggest question on the minds of fans is whether Hope will be coming back for Virgin River season 4.

Although Hope’s fate remains uncertain, Virgin River showrunner Sue Tenney is optimistic that Annette O’Toole will be back for season 4 after missing most of this season due to her inability to travel to film on-location due to the pandemic.

As Tenney told Entertainment Weekly“We’ve worked very hard to make sure she was still very much in the show. If we have a fourth season, everyone is now vaccinated and the pandemic is not what it was. So, I would hope that we would have Annette back.”

The fact that the creative team is planning for O’Toole’s return in season 4 seems to suggest Hope will survive her accident and be back in action next season — which is something definitely worth celebrating!

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