Where There’s Smoke…
Episode 1 of Virgin River Season 3 begins with Jack rushed into hospital. Oh no, is he going to be okay? Of course he will be, it’s a brand new season!
We then fast forward three weeks to Ricky’s graduation. Jack is absolutely fine, all patched up from his gunshot wound.
Mel is determined to make the most of this though, kissing Jack repeatedly and discussing birthdays. Specifically Mel’s, as she pleads with Jack not to tell anyone else about this.
Speaking of keeping things quiet, Jack can’t actually remember what happened to him, admitting that he woke up a few days later in hospital with no knowledge of the shooting incident.
Meanwhile, Hope is stuck away with bad weather looking to delay her flight back. This bad weather however, looks like it could turn into a hurricane. The girls inevitably gossip, with Muriel clearly eyeing an opportunity to make a move with Doc. She even actively tells him that if he needs anything to call.
Speaking of calls, Doc meets a woman named Julia who’s looking to help him hire a replacement. It needs to be confidential, and with no digital footprint either that’s going to be aa tough gig. Doc is convinced the place “sells on its own” but Julia’s smile tells a very different story.
At the bar, Jack meets Todd, a man who Charmaine met “by fate” when he arrived at the salon for a haircut. They’ve known each other for three weeks and they *checks notes* are now engaged?! Wow.
Anyway, while Mel enjoys a subdued birthday, Preacher takes Christopher up to camp. When he arrives to pick him up later on, Chis isn’t happy. He doesn’t know how to play Fortnite so the pair decide to grab a games console and have some meaningful time together.
Up at the logging firm, Calvin threatens Dan and promises he’ll be waiting for an opportune time to strike. Dan’s a marked man after what happened to Spencer and things don’t look good.
What does look good however, is the cupcake Jack gets Mel for her birthday. The pair share a bath together as their subdued day takes a somber tone when Mel reflects on her past. Specifically what happened with her parents on her birthday.
As the pair start romantically kissing, the cabin suddenly burns down forcing them both to grab their gear and hurry outside. What’s most miraculous here though is how dry their hair is and how quickly Jack managed to put his jeans on!
The Episode Review
Virgin River is back and renders the season 2 cliffhanger completely pointless. Like literally, what was the point of that? I get that it entices people to watch this one but there could have at least been some drama at the hospital beyond a little montage. It just completely cheapens the near-death experience Jack was perceived to have and diminishes any of the stakes for this season ahead.
Instead, Virgin River gives Jack the amnesia trope while picking up with all our subplots from the past season. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does take until the end of this episode to see that there’s trouble brewing. Was this an arson attack on Jack’s cabin?
What is clear however, is that Virgin River doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. The surrounding area around town is absolutely gorgeous and the establishing shots of the area are by far the best parts of this series