Spare Parts & Broken Hearts
Episode 3 of Virgin River Season 3 begins with Lily confirming she has stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. It’s a crushing blow for the town but she wants to list Mel as an emergency contact. She hasn’t even told her kids either.
Jack and Mel continue to grow closer together this episode, shacked up together as a letter arrives from Mark’s sister, Stacie. This includes a baby scan photo and an accompanying note, “surprise!”
This obviously comes as a shock for Mel, reminding her of painful memories from the past regarding her own scan photos. Thanks to the ring fiasco last season, she believes this is Stacie’s way of getting back at her.
Speaking of surprises, the hurricane has moved on but Port Royal island has been flooded. As the girls gossip and discuss this in the bar, Preacher deliberates over the message from Paige. He’s worried that Vince is closing in.
Doc inevitably learns about the flooding too and decides to do everything he can to help. This includes packing his things up and leaving.
Everything between Lizzie and Ricky is going well, so naturally a road-bump arrives. This comes in the form of a boy called Parker. Lizzie knows him too, and he’s back to try and patch things up between them. She decides they can hang out after her shift, setting up a very obvious love triangle.
Well, dinner at the bar sees Ricky meet Parker for the first time. Parker is not impressed and remains determined to try and make things up to Lizzie, touching her hand – which Ricky sees. He has a big proposition for her, which includes helping to run a club in LA that he’s about to open. She seriously considers it too, but for now decides to think about it.
Meanwhile, Mel confronts Doc about his plan to galivant off to find Hope. He decides to do his best to save her rather than living in regret, leaving the clinic and the town. With him preparing to leave, Lilly meets Mel again, this time more rational than before. She brings up the subject of chemo before turning the attention to Mel and the prospects of her getting pregnant with Jack.
Elsewhere, Charmaine decides to move her birthing plan across to a hospital. While this is exactly what Jack wanted in the first place, it still comes as a shock that she didn’t consult him. Instead, she brings up the bombshell of her given the opportunity to move to Portland. Given Mel knew about this, it definitely comes as a shock for Jack.
Just before leaving to save Hope, she ends up ringing Lilly with little cell reception. She hurries up and hands the phone over. At the same time though, Jack heads back home and confronts Mel about the Portland non-issue. Thankfully they talk it out (honestly, how refreshing is it to see characters actually talk about their problems?) which sees them patch up their issues and come out stronger.
Mike rings Jack though, breaking up this happy reunion. It turns out Jimmy is in custody. They’ve caught him.
The Episode Review
Along with the amnesia trope, Virgin River also pulls out another love triangle in the form of Parker interfering with Lizzie and Ricky’s relationship. While this sort of things has been played out time and again, it’s a little less obvious over what she’s going to do given how much disdain she originally had for Virgin River.
Meanwhile, Lilly’s cancer reveal comes as a shock to Mel who finds herself worried and imploring her friend to tell everyone so she can to get the best support possible.
While this story is good, the Doc/Hope issue is finally resolved with a phone call – that we don’t even hear! It would have been nice too actually hear this take place rather than just cutting across to Jack and Mel which was pretty disappointing.
Despite that though, fans of the previous two seasons should be happy with what’s here, and the show does manage to entice with the prospect of Mel and Jack potentially getting pregnant too. However it’s hard not to be disappointed with the lackluster subplots and rehashing of love triangles again.