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. (L to R) Sarah Dugdale as Lizzie, Kai Bradbury as Denny in episode 505 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Virgin River. (L to R) Sarah Dugdale as Lizzie, Kai Bradbury as Denny in episode 505 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Season 5 episode 6 recap: Heroes Rise

The pacing doesn’t slow down a bit in episode 6, which opens with Mel saving Chloe from the fire and attempting to wake up a passed-out Ava. Back at the clinic, Doc and Cameron work together to help keep Jay alive. Unfortunately, during a needle decompression procedure, Doc’s eyesight prevents him from seeing clearly, leading him to have Cameron place the needle in Jay’s chest instead.

While they’re still trapped in the car surrounded by fire, Denny freezes up and Lizzie suggests they “make a run for it.” Right in the nick of time, Bert drives up in his tow truck and moves the car that was blocking their path. Thankfully, Denny comes to and drives them off to safety.

Jack arrives as Lilly’s house and saves Ava as Mel runs out of the house with Chloe. Mel takes Chloe and Ava to the clinic to check on Chloe’s lungs due to smoke inhalation while Jack stays back and saves the animals from the farm. (It’s later revealed that he successfully saves the animals, but it happens offscreen and it’s not explained where he took them to safety.)

As Hope spirals in concern at the bar over Lizzie and Denny, they arrive unscathed to hugs from their family and friends, though Denny seems to be carrying the guilt of freezing up. Following a compliment from a firefighter, Hope and Nick seemingly make a pact to work together as a team to help get the community through this disaster.

In Sacramento, Brie and Mike watch the news at Mrs. Sheridan’s house as they worry about Mel and Jack. Brie’s mom, Amelia, makes a not-so subtle dig at Brady not being present to support her during the trial, and it’s clear there’s some unresolved tension between Brie and her mother. Although Brie tells him he can leave, Mike stays by her side.

When confronted by Cameron about what happened during the procedure, Doc finally comes clean about his macular degeneration. Naturally, he’s none to pleased to have found out about the status of Doc’s eyesight while they were trying to save a patient’s life. Before the conflict reaches a fever pitch, Muriel interrupts to summon them to help Mel with Ava and Chloe. Cameron takes charge, and Mel senses the steely vibe shift between him and Doc. Unfairly, Cameron confronts Muriel about Doc’s eyesight, and she later tells him it wasn’t her place to share that information.

Having a moment to let the dust settle, Lizzie asks Denny what’s going on with him and apologizes about yelling at him in the car. He still doesn’t open up to her about how he’s feeling. Across the bar, Lark thanks Brady for saving her and Hazel’s lives, but there’s weirdness from Preacher toward Brady. When the fire chief makes an announcement about the fire’s devastation and its wider reach, Hope springs to action to lock down water planes.

Even though he’s feeling insecure about his ability to help patients, Mel snaps Doc out of his guilt and self-pity, and they continue to monitor Chloe together. Mel and Jack reunite, and he brings the unfortunate news that Lilly’s house burned down. It’s not the moment for Mel to tell Jack that she lost the baby, but you can tell it’s weighing her to not be able to share this with him.

Over lunch, Mike informs Brie and Amelia that the evacuation zones have been expanded in Virgin River, and he ensures her that Jack has been able to pull through lots of dangerous situations. When Amelia calls Jack “the strong one,” Mike steps in to defend Brie as strong, too, but all she says is “Yeah.” Brie bites back about her mother not showing her the same support as her siblings, prompting Amelia to call Brie selfish. Obviously, Brie leaves the table. The mother and daughter later have a heart to heart and get to a much better place.

Tensions are rising in Virgin River as well. Preacher snaps at Brady for acting like a “war hero” for saving Lark and Hazel, and Brady snaps back about Preacher believing he’s better than him and not letting go of what happened between them in Iraq. In the midst of their argument, Jack interrupts and brings them outside to show them that the fire has crossed the river and nears the bar. Mass hysteria erupts among the evacuees at the bar, but it’s Hope who steps in to calm them down and get them evacuated to the Kid’s Camp field.

Just when they need the water planes most, their time has run out… until Hope realizes she knows someone with a plane who can assist in a time crunch. Jack, Brady, and Preacher lead a group by the river to fight the fire. Preacher pushes back against Brady’s instruction to start a backfire because it will turn the fire away from the bar. Although Preacher doesn’t trust Brady, Jack backs Brady’s idea because it’s the only one they have.

As the situation worsens, there’s decisions to be made at the clinic. Jay can’t be moved because they won’t have the supplies necessary to keep him alive. They decide Doc and Cameron will stay with Jay while the rest transport Chloe to the safety zone. Meanwhile, Hope and Jack convince a man named Charlie to allow them to use their plane to drop water on the fire. Despite his reservations, he lets them use the plane, but Jack must fly the plane. Hope calls other farmers to get more planes in the air.

In the field, Denny finally opens up to Lizzie, telling her that he thought he was prepared for death because of his condition, but when faced with death in the middle of the fire, he realized he hadn’t. He tells her he’s in love with her, and she reciprocates. Speaking of more conflict resolution, Kaia and the firefighters arrive on the scene and commend the backfire plan, leaving Preacher to eat his earlier words of doubt for Brady.

The town celebrates the arrival of the water planes as they fly overhead across the river to the fire. Nick admits that Hope has acted as a better mayor than him throughout the disaster and announces that he’s giving her back her mayorship at the next town council meeting. With a little bit of hope and faith restored, Muriel takes Hope aside to inform her about Doc’s episode earlier that day.

The next morning, the wildfires have been stopped, though a lot of the town has been burned. Preacher thanks Brady for his work that saved the bar, but Brady rebuffs his gratitude and tells him he needs to believe that he’s changed. Right after, Preacher speaks with a firefighter and learns that Kaia is married, and her husband is the injured firefighter Jay.

Mike reveals the good news that there were no casualties in the Virgin River fire, giving Brie and Amelia relief and peace of mind. While leaving Amelia’s house to return to his hotel, Mike and Brie have a moment of romantic tension by the door. The episode ends with Hope reassuring Doc, and Jack reuniting again with Mel. This time, her grief can’t be hidden. All she can do is breakdown in tears and say “I’m so sorry.”

Written by Reed Gaudens