Virgin River season 5 recap guide: All 12 episodes explained

Virgin River. (L to R) Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Virgin River. (L to R) Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /
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Mel and Jack in Virgin River season 5 - Virgin River season 6
Virgin River. (L to R) Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan, Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

We’re officially back to the world of Virgin River, where everyone in town knows each other, there’s no such thing as secrets, and there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a great meal cooked by Preacher over at Jack’s bar. The wholesome Netflix series has been capturing hearts around the world since its premiere in 2019, and the highly anticipated fifth season arrived on Thursday, Sept. 7. The two holiday episodes premiered on Nov. 30 as an extension of season 5 as well.

After that explosive season 4 cliffhanger, in which Charmaine breaks the news that Jack is actually not the father of her twins after all, fans have been on the edge of their seats waiting for more episodes. Charmaine doesn’t reveal who the dad is before season 4 comes to a close, but fans hoping to figure out the truth are in for a wild ride with Virgin River season 5. Mel, too, will have a paternity crisis in the Christmas episodes as she searches for her real father.

So let’s break down every episode of Virgin River season 5 and recap the most important (and most shocking) moments that go down! For a quiet small town, a lot of dramatic events occur.

Jump to a specific episode:

Season 5 episode 1 recap: A Second Chance

Virgin River season 5 picks up immediately after the events of season 4, showing the fallout of Preacher and Paige’s confrontation with Vince. Mike shows up and arrests Vince (who turns out not to be dead) for kidnapping and attempted murder. Paige and Preacher are left trying to process what’s just happened, with Paige, understandably, crying, and Preacher comforting her. As always, he is her biggest fan and protector.

An ambulance shows up at the house to tend to any injuries and Preacher talks to Mike in confidence about Vince and Wes. Mike says that no one is investigating the claims Vince is making so there’s nothing they have to worry about. Finally, at last, Paige is free. She doesn’t have to keep running.

The next morning, Mel finds Jack chopping wood outside the airstream, and he tells her that he couldn’t sleep. She questions if he’s upset about Charmaine, but he denies it. Mel wants to talk about what happened the night prior but he doesn’t. He claims he accepts the fact that he’s not the father to Charmaine’s twins but Mel is not convinced. For Mel’s part, she’s angry that Charmaine lied to them for months, but Jack says he doesn’t want to dwell on it.

Out on the road, Bert is driving his truck when he notices another truck on the side of the road. He pulls over and talks to the man, who claims he has a flat tire but doesn’t have a spare. When the suspicious man walks away to make a phone call, Bert takes a look and realizes he does have a spare tire. While looking under the truck, he ends up cutting his hand, but when offering his help, the man sends Bert on his way. This guy is definitely sketchy, and we’ll find out why soon enough.

Meanwhile, Brie has decided to press charges against her ex-boyfriend Don, and Brady is there to comfort her. Brady wants her to move in, but Brie doesn’t want to rush things because they’re perfect how they are. They definitely seem happy together, but Brady’s still got secrets. He gets repeated calls from someone but doesn’t answer when Brie is around.

Over at Doc and Hope’s, Hope is super protective over Denny because of his Huntington’s Disease, and Doc urges him to go to a clinic to get checked out. Denny assures them that he’s okay and he doesn’t want to go see a doctor. He opens up about Lizzie, explaining that he thinks he overwhelmed her by telling her about his diagnosis. But at the best timing, Lizzie shows up and offers to be Hope’s aide.

While on the phone with her friend from the District Attorney’s office, Brie finds out that there’s a case being built up against Don, with multiple sexual assault charges against him. The woman tells Brie it would really help if she could testify against him in court.

Brie decides she’s moving out of Jack’s bar, while Preacher shows up and tells them what happened with Vince’s arrest. Jack is shocked the cops finally got the guy who shot him, which is, needless to say, a huge deal for him. Jack then opens up and tells Brie and Preacher about Charmaine, and when Charmaine sends Jack a text, Brie agrees that he shouldn’t talk to her.

Mel goes to Doc’s clinic to pick up her things, and Doc very clearly still doesn’t want her to quit. Cameron also takes the blame for her decision, but Mel is set in her choice. Eventually, Doc comes around and tells her that he’ll miss her, but Mel assures him she’ll still be around. Suddenly, Bert comes into the clinic needing immediate help.

Bert is feeling very woozy but he claims he hasn’t taken any medication. Cameron suspects he’s having a drug reaction, and though Doc disagrees, they decide to administer a urine test just in case.

At the lumber yard, Brady faces trouble. He’s been delivering fentanyl for Melissa, and she’s mad at him for not picking up his phone. She tells him that she can give him a better life through her business, as she wants to keep expanding. She needs him, but Brady is conflicted.

After catching up with Connie, Preacher and Paige talk about their new reality. Preacher has been seeing Julia, but he’s open to starting over with Paige if she wants to. There are definitely still lingering feelings between the two, but also some awkwardness in navigating their new normal.

Melissa and Nick show up at Jack’s airstream and Melissa says he should dream bigger with his business plan. Jack just wants to make some extra cash, so he turns her down, but he’s grateful for her offer and the two baby gift baskets they give him. One is for his baby with Mel, and one is for the twins. Of course, this hits a soft spot for Jack.

Preacher goes to see Julia to let her know that he still has feelings for Paige, apologizing for thinking that everything with her was in the past when it’s not. Julia is upset by this but seems understanding and wishes him the best with Paige.

Mel pays a visit to Jack’s bar and meets Tara’s sister Ava who is visiting. She breaks the news that she’s quit the clinic and needs some downtime during her pregnancy, and the ladies agree to teach her how to sew. When Mel gets home she tells Jack that she’s the newest member of the sewing circle and is surprised to see the two gift baskets. They discuss the Charmaine situation again and it’s apparent Jack isn’t over it, understandably.

Paige and Preacher have dinner together but Paige isn’t being herself. When Preacher says something about the two of them being a good team, that sets her off, and she tells him that she doesn’t feel comfortable being in Virgin River anymore. Because of her toxic relationship with Wes, the town was taken from her once he arrived. She knows she doesn’t have to run anymore, but Virgin River no longer feels like home and she has to leave. And though she invites Preacher to go with him, Preacher tells her that Virgin River is still his home, so he can’t.

Paige and Christopher say goodbye to Preacher, and Paige says that Preacher showed them what a good man looks like. They share a kiss before parting ways, leaving Preacher to wonder if he’ll ever see Paige again.

At the clinic, Bert is starting to feel a lot better, and Doc has to tell him what they discovered. According to the test, Bert has fentanyl in his system, which is an extreme shock to him. Doc explains that fentanyl exposure is a thing, but the drug isn’t typically just lying around. That’s when Bert realizes what might have happened and tells Doc about the truck driver he tried to help on the side of the road, showing him the cut on his hand.

Denny gets home and opens up to Lizzie, apologizing for keeping his diagnosis from her and admitting that he likes her a lot and doesn’t want to hurt her. Lizzie kisses him and tells him she wants to be with him despite the fact that he might not have a lot of time left.

As she gets further into her pregnancy, Mel starts to have flashbacks of being a child visiting her mom at the hospital. She remembers spending time with a nurse, suggesting this might be when she started feeling the desire to become one.

At work at the lumber yard, Brady is surprised when Jeb joins the team, saying he doesn’t understand the extent of what this job is. But Jeb explains that he and his family really need the money, so he’s doing it. Angry, Brady storms off.

Mike shows up at Jack’s bar and tells Jack and Preacher that they look far too sad considering they just caught the guy who shot Jack. The three of them decide they’ll hang out that night at Preacher’s to watch the game together. But when Jack is driving there, he spots two little boys with their dad and grows sad. He decides to make a change of plans and drives to Charmaine’s instead.

Hope had been preparing to return to the town council meetings for the first time since her injury, but when she shows up she’s surprised to see they’ve pretty much moved on without her. And to make matters worse, they seem to want to replace her as the mayor of Virgin River.

Mel spends more time at Jack’s bar sewing, and when she spots Ava, they sit together and talk. But there’s something wrong with Ava. As she’s talking, she experiences some type of extreme pain and drops her wine glass to the floor. The scene cuts before we can find out what’s happened, but of course, Mel is very concerned.

Just before Jack shows up at Charmaine’s house, we watch as someone throws a rock through the window of Brie’s new place. Is it Don? Is it someone from Melissa’s operation? We’ll find out soon enough.

Written by Natalie Zamora