It’s been a long time coming, but the holidays finally came to Virgin River in the two-episode Christmas event that double as the season 5 finale. In the last two episodes of Virgin River season 5, Mel searches for her biological father, while others in town grapple with their own personal relationships, major reveals, and a moment we’ve been waiting for since season 1.
All of the holiday festivities tee up a handful Virgin River season 6 teases, including the cliffhanger moment that finds a certain someone having news for Mel and a pair of bombshells that will surely send shockwaves through town. It’s all leading up to the highly anticipated sixth season, which has been said to begin filming in early 2024.
Before fans can dig into season 6 and learn the answers to all of our lingering burning questions, the show’s new showunner Patrick Sean Smith dropped some huge spoilers about the upcoming season, and we’re sharing six of the biggest tidbits about what’s coming next. Warning: Spoilers ahead from the Virgin River season 5 Christmas episodes!
Doc’s clinical trial will be successful
In the final episode of season 5 part 1, Doc comes to Hope with the news that he’s decided to take part in the risky clinical trial for his macular degeneration. He made the choice because either way, whether the trial is successful or not, he will likely lose his eyesight. Hope supports his decision, and he’s set to take part in the trial after the holidays, possibly after their vow renewal.
When speaking to both Deadline and TV Line, Smith confirmed that Doc’s procedure will be successful. The show’s new showrunner has promised that season 6 will find both Doc and Hope in a better place health-wise, considering both have spent much of the series struggling with different health battles, whether it’s heart problems, a brain injury, or declining eyesight.
Here’s what Smith shared with TV Line:
"“We will find out early on [in Season 6] that Doc’s clinical trial was successful. We’ll actually have a season where they’re both in good health, as opposed to coping with TB and a possible loss of eyesight. We’re giving them a new lease on life as we head into the new season.”"
Brady and Brie could be getting back together
Even though Brady and Brie officially broke up in the first part of season 5 and they each moved on — Brie with Mike and Brady with Lark — the Christmas episodes had an almost kiss under the mistletoe between the former couple and some awkward run-ins. There appears to be unfinished business between them now that the drug storyline dust has settled.
Going into season 6, Brady and Brie very much remain in their new relationships, though it seems Brady’s relationship with Lark could implode at any second. She takes a phone call from Jimmy in jail, and he’s revealed to be her daughter Hazel’s father. Smith teased that Jimmy will play a role in season 6 on a personal level and hinted that it might not be over for Brady and Brie. When asked if there’s a possibility of Brady and Brie getting back together, Smith flat-out said “Yes.”
Here’s more what the showrunner told Deadline about the fan-favorite couple:
"“For me, I love them as a couple, and I think that spark will always be there. It’s just a question of given how, in ways, Brady is broken and what Brie has to work through on a personal level that it’s more of seeing them both grow as people to hopefully get to the place where they can be together as a couple.”"
There will be another time jump
It’s been a long-running joke about how slowly paced the show has been for its first five seasons. I mean, Charmaine has been pregnant for the entirety of the series and just gave birth in the season 5 finale. But Smith says there will be another time jump, though it’s currently unconfirmed how far into the future the time jump will take us. Between the first and second parts of the fifth season, there was a minor time jump that brought the timeline into the holiday season.
Smith told Deadline:
"“[We] do intend to do another time jump from the holidays to when season 6 starts so we can anticipate a bit of a time jump. I don’t know exactly how many months but it won’t be a direct pickup from the holidays.”"
But don’t worry, the show won’t be ignoring the season-ending cliffhanger, in which Everett arrives at Mel’s cabin admitting that he’s her father and that he has something to tell her. As Smith promises, we’ll find out what Everett needs to share with Mel before the time jump takes place. He also joked that the time jump will move Lizzie’s pregnancy along so she won’t be pregnant as long as Charmaine.
Doc and Everett will have some issues to sort out
Now that Mel has an active, biological paternal figure in her life with the discovery of her real father, her surrogate father Doc will likely feel some type of way. As Smith shared with Entertainment Weekly, “Having another father figure move into Mel’s life will be a new challenge for Doc and their relationship.” There seems to be some jealousy brewing in Virgin River when it comes to looking out for Mel. Surely, Doc just wants to protect her.
Some hurt feelings or comical battles could be in the cards for Mel as she prepares to be walked down the aisle by Doc. Since her arrival in Virgin River, Mel’s relationship with Doc has been a long time coming, and they have finally gotten to a good place of mutual respect. Another father figure, especially one with an unknown secret for Mel, could rock the boat. Here’s additional teases Smith gave to TV Line about their storyline in season 6:
"“What we’re exploring in season 6 is a sort of a paternal love triangle. Doc has always been a surrogate father to Mel, so we’ll see what happens when her actual biological father comes into her life and how that affects their relationship.”"
Paige isn’t coming back
Smith shot down rumors of Paige returning in season 6 in the wake of Wes’ body being discovered. He said to Deadline, “There are no plans to bring Paige back as we get into the aftermath; the intention is really to be a big test of Preacher and Kaia’s relationship.” The move away from Paige makes sense, as there’s no real need to rehash any personal feelings between Preacher and Paige now that he’s moved on with Kaia.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Smith called Kaia’s discovery of Preacher’s secret a “bombshell” that’s coming up in season 6, and it’s a bombshell that will test the strength of their relationship. Preacher has already told Kaia he loves her, and Kaia made the decision to start a new life in Virgin River with him. It will be interesting to see how they move past this significant and unexpected hurtle with wide-ranging ramifications.
Mel and Jack will be an even bigger focus
The series has an amazing ensemble cast full of characters with captivating storylines of their own, but Mel and Jack continue to be the biggest draw for viewers. And that’s never been more true than in season 5, when the couple weathered the trauma of pregnancy loss together and planned the future of their family.
As Smith came into the fold in season 5 as the new showrunner of a well-oiled machine, there were clear changes that he implemented to the storytelling, and it seems he’s not finished yet. He’s realized that “everybody wants more Mel and Jack,” as he told Deadline. That’s not to say the other characters will have a noticeably reduced presence, but the showrunner has promised that there will be much more Mel and Jack goodness to come in season 6:
"“We have 12 series regulars, and there’s a large ensemble to service but I think, and I told Martin and Alex as much, I was like, ‘You guys got more coming up.’ They’re always game, they’re incredible. So much of the focus is Mel and Jack, they are the heart of the show, so it’s not losing that and readjusting the real estate that’s given for all the characters and trying to hit it a little bit differently than I think season 5 was where we were hitting everybody consistently all the way through.”"
Watch Virgin River only on Netflix. Stay tune for more season 6 updates from Netflix Life!