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. Annette O’Toole as Hope in episode 507 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Virgin River. Annette O’Toole as Hope in episode 507 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

Season 5 episode 7 recap: From the Ashes

Picking up in the ashes of the fire (literally), episode 7 opens with a montage of the devastation around town as Brie drives back home. Mel’s cabin has ash coming in through the windows, and Brady’s place has been destroyed. As Preacher declines a call from Kaia, Brady arrives at the bar to stay in the apartment above, a symbol of his truce with Preacher. Brie goes straight to Mel and Jack’s place, which allows Jack to finally fall apart while Mel sleeps.

Hope’s first day back as mayor finds her dealing with a disgruntled community with an unending list of concerns. It’s nothing compared to what Mel’s going through with her grief and talks of aftercare. She and Jack discuss her undergoing a D&C (dilatation and curettage) procedure, but she doesn’t want to go through with another one. Even though Jack suggests being around people who care about her, Mel can’t bear to be around anyone just yet.

Cameron visits Doc and they have an honest conversation about Doc’s eyesight. Doc admits that he should have told Cameron sooner and apologizes for not having done so. In addition to his apology, Doc tells Cameron he wants him to take over the clinic in the event that his eyesight worsens. However, Cameron has reservations, which doesn’t sit well with Doc.

Brady and Brie meet for coffee, and though their banter seems to indicate they’re back on better footing, talk of the trial brings Brie back to the central concern surrounding their relationship: She can’t trust him and she doesn’t feel safe with him after that rock went sailing through her window. When she asks what he’s doing to remove himself from the situation, he says he can’t tell her (obviously because it’s a classified situation), and she walks away from him disappointed. Ironically, he receives a text message from Melissa with a meeting time later that night.

Throwing herself into her community work with Hope, Lizzie informs Denny that she’s no longer thinking about going to college in the fall. She hasn’t told her mother yet, but she knows it’s not the right path for her and she loves being in Virgin River. Denny also tells her that in the wake of the fire, he realized that she’s most important to him and he doesn’t want to go back to Stanford.

Kaia visits Preacher, and he acts cold toward her. When she presses, he reveals that he knows she’s married to Jay and he’s mad she didn’t tell him. In response, Kaia explains that their marriage is over, that they’re separated and fire season prevented a divorce from happening sooner. He’s still mad that she didn’t tell him, which seems reasonable but also slightly unfair.

While Brie’s Brady drama helps distract Mel, Cameron teases Muriel about wearing a random combination of Connie and Lizzie’s hand-me-down clothes. She expresses her frustration about living with a rule-oriented Connie after her house burned in the fire, and Cameron offers that she can stay in his guest room. (She later takes him up on that when Connie continues to give her grief about blow drying her hair and the scent of her perfume.)

Since the fire demolished Lilly’s house and farm, Ava has been staying above the clinic. She reveals to Hope that her sister Tara received a great job offer in San Francisco and will be taking the job and Chloe with her. Because she lives in Portland, Ava plans to sell the farmland before returning to her own home. Developers called with interest in the land, but Hope asks her to hold off from accepting the offer to allow her to find someone else to buy Lilly’s land.

Even though Preacher keeps giving Jack a hard time about giving Brady chances, Jack opens up about losing the baby. Jack insists that he doesn’t want the situation to be about him, but Preacher reminds him that he’s going through the loss, too. He confesses that he didn’t even know he wanted to be a father, but when faced with a family of his own on the way, it became a dream he could picture and wanted.

Brady has his secret meeting with Melissa in the back of her black SUV with tinted windows and she reveals to him that their operation will now be running money through Jack’s glamping business. She wants Brady to manage the daily operations to keep Jack in the dark. He asks about the drugs, and she simply tells him to do as he’s told. Little does she know, he recorded their entire conversation.

Before she leaves for San Francisco, Tara visits Mel for a tearful goodbye with Chloe. The next morning, Jack takes Mel to her D&C procedure, but they’re early so they stay in the car for a moment. Mel tells him about the last time she had a D&C and how she felt in the waiting room among the expectant mothers.

Brady plays the recording of Melissa for Mike, and he connects the dots with previous pictures he had of Mel and Jack having dinner with Melissa and Nick. Suddenly, it all clicks. Brady wants to tell Jack about what Melissa has planned, but Mike talks him down and explains that they only have one opportunity to bring Melissa down, and they can’t do anything or tell anyone yet. Mike wants Brady to wear a wire, and he agrees.

Mike drops by Brie’s place for a beer, and she informs him that Don’s guilty verdict came in earlier that day. While it’s what she wanted, it’s still not making her feel completely better. He apologizes to her for nearly crossing a line and kissing her in Sacramento, but she doesn’t seem too sorry that their connection almost went to a different place.

After her procedure, Mel rests with Jack on the couch and they talk about opening up to others about what they’re going through, so they have more loved ones to lean on. During the community clothing and food drive, Denny shares with Lizzie that he’s lined up job opportunities, and she announces that she told her mother about not going to college. Luckily, Hope offers her a promotion from personal aide to chief of staff to the mayor, which she accepts.

Cameron explains to Doc that he initially was tepid to Doc’s offer because he hadn’t planned on staying in Virgin River long-term. He thought he would miss San Diego and his old life, but he doesn’t and he finds being a small-town doctor and working with Doc personally fulfilling. They shake on giving a new partnership a try. Hope gives a moving and inspiring speech to the community about rebuilding the town that tugs on everyone’s heartstings.

Circling back on Melissa making Brady work for Jack, he comes to Brady with the construction job on the construction site. Brady accepts, as if he even has a choice. Meanwhile, Preacher and Kaia clear the air and start fresh. Unfortunately, her ex-husband Jay ruffles Preacher’s feathers and tries to come off as a threat to make him insecure.

Ava plans to stay in town until she finds the right buyer for the farm, which brings joy to Mel since she will have another friend sticking around. Her relief about Ava deflates when Jack abruptly brings up trying again for another baby. While Brie and Mike playfully talk to each other, Brady approaches them full of jealousy and almost gets physical with Mike, prompting Brie to officially break up with him.

Written by Reed Gaudens