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 /
3 of 12
Virgin River season 5 episode 3
Virgin River. Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 503 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Season 5 episode 3 recap: Calculated Risk

The third episode of Virgin River season 3 opens on an unexpected note as we see a party unfold. Whether it’s an engagement party for Mel and Jack or their actual wedding, we’re not entirely sure, but all we know is Jack drinks more than he should. As fans will remember, Jack has dealt with substance abuse in previous seasons and is now sober. So this scene is incredibly surprising as we see him continue to chug champagne and beer and dance around.

But just as things escalate and he falls to the floor, he wakes up in bed, indicating that this is just a dream. Or a nightmare, as Jack calls it. He also has a vision of his brother Adam who died.

As it turns out, Jeb unfortunately died after overdosing on fentanyl, and Brady attends his funeral. But the thing is, he lies to Brie and acts like he doesn’t know the guy, and definitely doesn’t tell her how he died. This will come back to bite him.

Mel and Cameron run into each other while Mel is on a run and it’s, unsurprisingly, awkward. Cameron starts asking Mel a bunch of questions about her personal life, which weirds her out given their history.

As seen on the news, there are wildfires starting to spread nearby, and Lizzie suggests she and Hope pack meals for the first responders. Not only will they be doing a good deed, but this will also show the community that Hope cares about their people and those around them. Doc is concerned and doesn’t want Hope to overdo it, but Hope thinks it’s a great idea. They head out to ask Connie to use the food truck and Preacher to help prepare the food.

Jack goes to therapy and talks about his drinking nightmare, to which the therapist says he might be feeling uncomfortable whenever he’s not in control. He suggests that he should find a calculated risk to take, like doing something in nature.

Over at the clinic, Doc starts to feel concerned about his eyes and calls his doctor to tell them that there’s been a change in his vision. Muriel is doing well at her new job, and when she notices something’s wrong with Doc she suggests he takes the day off. Surprisingly, he agrees and goes to Jack’s bar to find Hope. When he shows up, he helps Hope, Lizzie, and Preacher form an assembly line to make sandwiches faster.

At the bar, Jack confides in Preacher and tells him about the therapy session, to which Preacher suggests he should go rock climbing with Denny. At first, Jack doesn’t want to, but he agrees after Preacher talks him into it.

Cameron talks to Muriel about his awkward run-in with Mel, and Muriel advises him he that shouldn’t get involved in other people’s relationships. A call comes into the clinic from a firefighter named Kaia saying she saw a woman pulled over on the side of the road and when she went over to her, she discovered she was in labor. She can’t get to the hospital because a road is blocked off, and the pregnant woman, named Fiona, is asking for Mel. Cameron tells them to come to the clinic and he’ll try to find Mel to get her to come in.

Mel comes to the clinic, but Kaia says they won’t be able to make it there in time. Instead, Mel and Cameron have to deliver Fiona’s baby over FaceTime. Though they’re doing okay at first, Fiona starts feeling woozy and passes out while doing contractions. Mel and Cameron try to figure out what’s happening and come to the conclusion with Kaia’s help that her glucose is low. Mel instructs Kaia to rub glucose gel on Fiona’s lips, which works and she comes to. She’s able to start pushing and successfully delivers the baby, but he looks blue and isn’t crying. Kaia has to give the baby CPR, and fortunately, he starts crying and is alive and well.

Cameron tries to bring up their earlier conversation, but Mel brushes it off and tells him they did well today.

Connie loans the food truck to Lizzie and Hope, but in a major surprise, Lizzie’s mom Deirdre comes with her. Lizzie is confused when seeing her, and is even more shocked when her mom says that her dad pulled some strings to get her accepted into a college for the fall. Lizzie hits back, saying her mom only sent her to Virgin River so she didn’t have to take care of her. She says it’s not fair for her to come and tell her what to do when they haven’t spoken in months. Lizzie’s mom is very clearly not proud of her daughter and doesn’t have a problem making that known.

Brie opens up to Brady about the case against Don, and she tells him about her Xanax use. Her lawyer friend says that Don’s lawyer might spin the incident and claim that Brie must not have remembered what happened that night because she was mixing Xanax and wine. As a result, Brie could have her license revoked. But despite the risk, she’s still going to testify.

Jack and Denny bond while they go on their hike, and during a rock climb, Jack has a moment of calculated risk when he starts to fall. He thinks of his brother and gets emotional, but Denny’s got him on the rope and tells him not to panic. Jack is eventually able to climb up to Denny and assures him that he’s okay.

Denny opens up about having Huntington’s and explains that he’s coming to terms with it. He says being able to rock climb feels like he’s on top of the world, and he’s trying to live in the moment. He explains that being depressed over his diagnosis takes away from all the good he can experience right now. This definitely inspires Jack as he tries to work through his own trauma.

The ladies arrive at the site to start helping the first responders, and Connie accidentally lets it slip that Jo Ellen told Nick about Hope’s car accident. Hope is extremely angry, assuming this is why she was overthrown as mayor. A local news station shows up and wants to interview Hope for organizing the food delivery, but she gives the credit to Lizzie, who needs it. Lizzie needs her mom to see that she’s been doing good things around Virgin River, and she should be proud of her.

Kaia shows up to the food tent a little late and is given the last sandwich by Preacher, and the two flirt a little bit. Preacher seems happy to start getting back in the game.

While Brie is shopping at a farmer’s market, she runs into a woman named Pauline, who was Jeb’s wife. Pauline tells Brie that Brady’s speech at the funeral was so emotional, which surprises Brie considering he acted like he didn’t know him. To make matters worse, Pauline tells Brie that the two men had been working on a bike together for months. And when Pauline references Jeb’s overdose, Brie is truly in shock. Brady is obviously lying to her.

Lizzie and her mom talk about college again, and she says she just needs time to decide. While her mom agrees to that, she says that if she doesn’t go to school she’ll have to figure out how to be financially independent. Lizzie takes offense to this, but her mom says she just wants to make sure she can survive on her own.

Later on, Kaia shows up at Jack’s bar after hours to talk to Preacher. They clearly have chemistry, and it doesn’t take long for Kaia to make the first move and kiss Preacher.

At home, Mel tells Jack about delivering Fiona’s baby over FaceTime, and he tells her about her rock climbing experience. He agrees with his therapist that he needs to take more calculated risks, and decides he’ll take Melissa up on her offer to expand his airstream business. Jack proposes he and Mel go away for a few days, wanting to go camping.

The episode concludes with a scene of Brady and Brie. While Brady is ready for a cute date night, Brie comes over and has a bone to pick with him. She tells him all about what Pauline told her, and his response is that it’s complicated. That’s not good enough for Brie, understandably, and she says that while she can handle complicated things, she won’t stand lying.

Brady finally comes clean about the fentanyl being delivered through the lumber yard, explaining that if he doesn’t follow orders, she’ll get hurt. He’s been trying to keep her safe until he can find a way out. But Brie doesn’t want to be kept safe, though; she wants the truth. She tells Brady to leave so she can have time to think.

Written by Natalie Zamora