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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Virgin River season 5 episode 5
Virgin River. (L to R) Annette O’Toole as Hope, Colin Lawrence as Preacher in episode 505 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Season 5 episode 5 recap: Trial by Fire

Trigger Warning: Pregnancy Loss, Sexual Assault

Buckle up, Virgin River fans, because the fifth episode of season 5 is very eventful. So much goes happens in this episode, so let’s start our recap with the wildfire. The morning after spending the night at Preacher’s, Kaia is called into work because of the fire and Preacher gets an alarming alert to his phone. Kaia says it looks like the fire is just on the outskirts of town so they should be okay.

People affected by the smoke start coming into the clinic needing assistance, and Mel agrees to help out. Apparently, the smoke is especially bad up at the camps, but the people residing there are afraid they’ll face charges or even be deported if they leave. Doc asks Jack to convince them to evacuate, and he recruits Brady to go with him.

Hope, realizing Nick has ignored her fire-readiness plan for the town, heads to Jack’s bar with Lizzie and Denny to figure out what’s going on. She also convinces Lydie to come to her side of town to be as far away from the fire as possible.

When they arrive, Nick says he’s just following orders from the professionals, but Hope tells him he can’t just sit around and do nothing. Denny and Lizzie agree to go check on the elderly people of Virgin River to try and evacuate them, while a chief from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection gets a call that a firefighter is down. Preacher overhears and his mind immediately goes to Kaia.

At the clinic, Mel goes to the bathroom and realizes she’s bleeding, but before she can check herself out in one of the examination rooms, Doc comes in and asks her if she can stay and look after the clinic while he goes to help the hurt firefighter. Clearly, a lot is being asked of her right now and she understands that she has a responsibility to help, but she’s also potentially going through something extremely traumatic. More and more patients start to pile in and Mel asks Muriel to do their intake so she can have a moment alone.

Eventually, Mel is able to give herself an ultrasound, and sadly, there’s no heartbeat. She realizes she’s lost her baby, but amid everything going on, she hardly has time to react. It’s a heartbreaking moment.

Jack and Brady show up at the camps and convince people to start evacuating, but one woman says she can’t find her six-year-old daughter. The two men run into the woods to try and find her.

As the fires continue in and around Virgin River, it’s time for Brie to testify against Don. And as expected, it’s not easy. She recalls what happened the night she was sexually assaulted (though, fortunately, the show does not show her recounting all the details) and she explains that she feels that if she brings Don to justice she can finally move on. Don’s lawyer is extremely hard on her, however, and she asks Brie if she mixed alcohol and Xanax the night in question. Brie admits that she did, but she remembers everything that happened.

Don’s lawyer claims that Don wanted to marry Brie until he realized she had a substance problem, and suggests that Brie is testifying against him only because he broke up with her and she wants revenge. Of course, this is a ridiculous suggestion and Brie is taken aback by it. She maintains that everything she’s said is true.

Doc and Cameron go help the firefighter who got injured, named Jay, and realize they need to take him to the clinic because he’s got a piece of wood sticking out of his leg. Kaia is also there, unharmed.

Hope and Preacher bond and Preacher calls Hope a “warrior” for Virgin River, which makes her feel better about everything. They find out that Kaia is safe, and Preacher opens up to Hope about her. Hope gives him advice, saying he should just tell her how he feels, and he decides to text her and tell her he’s thinking about her.

Lizzie and Denny drive by Lydie’s house and see her still there packing up her car. She seems to be packing up everything in her house, and when they ask her what’s going on, she explains that she wants to take all of Herb’s and Ricky’s stuff because it’s all she has left of them. Lizzie assures her that Ricky is coming home, and convinces her to leave before the fire spreads.

Doc, Cameron, and Mel all start working on Jay at the clinic, and Cameron gives Doc all the credit for making the right call.

Lydie shows up at Jack’s bar and Hope is relieved, though everyone begins to worry when they get a new phone alert that says there’s an evacuation order for Lydie’s part of town. Lizzie and Denny are still out there, and according to Nick, the cell towers are down so they won’t have any idea they’re in danger. Nick blames Hope for sending them out there and says that her decision proves she’s not fit to be the mayor.

Brie runs into Mike at the courthouse and they seem to have a moment, but Brie’s lawyer interrupts her and she has to go. After a break, Brie continues to testify against Don and is asked why she waited so long to report the incident. Brie explains that she knows how cases like these usually go, and that lawyers will destroy women on the stand just to defend their clients.

Brie’s lawyer then asks her questions, and Brie gives a great response about doing the right thing. Her speech plays over a montage of the other characters in Virgin River, as she talks about sexual assault and how much it affects women across the country. As her voiceover plays, we watch Jack and Brady find the little girl, and Lizzie and Denny as they try to flee the fires surrounding them.

Mel hasn’t heard from Ava so she drives out to see if she’s okay, meanwhile, Jay’s heart rate begins spiking. Doc and Cameron have to start doing chest compressions to try and save him.

Mike waits at the courtroom for Brie to make sure she’s okay and he tells her that he’s here for her if she ever needs someone to talk to. Their conversation is interrupted when Brie’s mom calls to tell her about the fire.

As they’re getting ready to evacuate everyone, Jack checks his phone and sees a text from Mel, who tells him she’s going to check on Ava. But he also sees a wildfire alert saying a mandatory evacuation has been issued, and he immediately is worried about Mel driving in town. He tells Brady he’s got to go find her, and Brady assures him he’ll drive everyone out of the camps.

Denny and Lizzie are completely cornered by the fires and don’t know what to do, as Mel shows up at Ava’s house to find it surrounded by smoke. She hears Lilly’s baby Chloe crying and she runs in to save her as the credits begin to roll.

Written by Natalie Zamora