Episode 1 of Virgin River Season 2 begins with Mel sitting by Mark’s gravestone, having made a big decision. It’s been several weeks since the end of season 1 and teary-eyed, Mel decides to head back to Virgin River.
Meanwhile, Doc and Hope continue to enjoy their romantic fling but worry about their relationship breaking out to the town – especially with Connie around. They also haven’t told Gary either but Doc agrees to keep it a secret a little longer for Hope’s sake.
Charmaine experiences issues with her pregnancy and it’s obvious right from the off that Jack’s heart is not in this relationship at all. When she brings up Mel, Jack quickly changes subject and walks away… straight into Mel who shows up at the clinic.
He and Charmaine give her a pretty frosty reception, especially with her going AWOL for several weeks, but Doc is surprisingly nonchalant with her. After hearing Mel vent, he breaks the news that she’s going to have to deal with Charmaine as a patient. Her pregnancy is bringing up more complications than expected. Mel however, refuses.
Charmaine is not happy that Mel’s back and knows this spells trouble with her prospects of settling down with Jack. Preacher is still at the bar though so at least some things don’t change. When Mel turns up later on, she catches up with Preacher and Hope.
Given Jack is busy and not in the mood to talk, Mel leaves empty-handed just as Muriel shows wearing far too much perfume. She asks Hope about Doc, mentioning how he’s “fair game” now that the pair aren’t dating anymore. Because of that, she’s going to ask him out.
Later that evening, Jack catches up with Mel properly and admits – in no uncertain terms – that he’s in love with her. She’s unwilling to listen though and tells him she’s going to finish out her contract before leaving Virgin River for good. Jack promises to change her mind though and leaves.
In the morning, Doc and Mel hypothesize over what may be wrong with Charmaine. As they go over her symptoms, they settle on hyperemesis; an extreme form of morning sickness that could last all pregnancy. It also unfortunately brings some complications that force Charmaine to stay in town.
When Mel breaks this news to her, she bites back and tells her she’s never had kids (oof, what a low blow). Eventually Charmaine walks away, with Jack catching up and telling her he’s there for support- but that also means keeping Mel on as her doctor.
That evening, Hope speaks to Doc and tells him he needs to go out with Muriel to make it seem like they’re not together. It’s pretty strange logic but something he agrees to do for her.
With Charmaine moving back in town, the only place left for her to move in to is Hope’s place. She’s not exactly thrilled with this arrangement but eventually agrees to give it a shot.
Preacher and Paige meanwhile discuss the latter’s past. Specifically, her time with Wes and more of what happened in her abusive relationship. With Christopher shielded from the worst of what happened, Preacher eventually decides to open his doors and let the pair stay with him.
When Preacher leaves for Jack’s bar, Paige walks home and finds Wes there playing football with Christopher. Uh oh.
Back at the bar, Brady shows up but Jack tells him to leave and admits there’s no way he’s able to look after the bar. Despite Brady’s weak attempt at calling them “blood brothers”, Jack shuts the boy out of his life. For good? I wouldn’t count on it in this show!
Meanwhile, a conflicted Mel speaks to Doc. She’s worried that her arrival could break up Jack and Charmaine. He gives her sound sound advice though over lunch and it keeps Mel feeling positive about this arrangement.
That evening, a strange man shows up at the clinic and corners Mel.
The Episode Review
Already we’ve got the foundations set for some contrived drama ahead. Wes showing back up spells bad trouble for Preacher and Paige (Michelle) while Hope, Muriel and Doc’s weird love triangle is only going to get more complicated by Charmaine staying with them too.
That’s before mentioning Brady who’s undoubtedly not going to stay gone given he just popped back up again this season. Of course, if you enjoyed the drama in season 1 then undoubtedly this will be familiar ground for many people.
The one big positive here though comes from the establishing shots which are absolutely breathtaking. Virgin River looks gorgeous and those moments where the scenery is shown really helps ease up on some of the melodrama this one unashamedly revels in.