Virgin River Season 3 Review – What a complete mess!

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Episode Guide

Where There’s Smoke… -| Review Score – 3/5
Sticky Feet -| Review Score – 3/5
Spare Parts and Broken Hearts -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Take My Breath Away -| Review Score – 3/5
Kindling -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Jack and Jill -| Review Score – 2/5
Split -| Review Score – 3/5
Life and Death -| Review Score – 2/5
The Sun Also Rises -| Review Score – 2.5/5
A Wedding, No Funeral and a Baby -| Review Score – 2/5


This 10 episode soapy melodrama returns for a third round, with arguably its worst dose of drama yet – and boy is this season a mess. Virgin River has always been a show that’s lived and died by its characters but unfortunately that saving grace can’t save this year’s tepid effort. The plot lines are contrived and the main romance lacks the same energy that we’ve seen before. By season’s end we’re no closer to discovering the fate of our characters, and if anything the cliffhanger is worse this time around. But let’s backtrack a second.

The end of season 2 closed things out in dramatic fashion. Jack was shot in his bar, fatally wounded and bleeding out on the floor. Calvin was still on the loose while Paige head off on the run while Preacher looked over Christopher.

Well, this season picks up right where we left off and it’s no secret that Jack survives his ordeal. In fact, the show brushes straight past this and jumps forward three weeks.

It’s Ricky’s graduation and he’s ready to move onto bigger and better things. So too is Char it seems, who’s engaged to newcomer Todd after three weeks. Doc finds himself struggling without Hope around, who’s off visiting her Aunt in Port Royal. She’s also stuck there as bad weather rolls in. Her absence is sorely missed this year though, as Doc tries to find a replacement for when he retires. If you’ll remember, he’s going blind so this really is a ticking time bomb.

Speaking of time, Mel finds herself shacked up with Jack this year but conflicted over what she really wants. The idea of having a baby inevitably gets brought up late on while most of the show sees her thrown between different residents, helping their episodic issues.

One of the more important characters this year though is Brie, who’s romantically involved with Brady. She’s also got a nasty addiction too, which explodes into a messy bit of drama late on.

Unfortunately, all of these plot points are dragged out across 10 episodes of contrivances that are resolved as quickly as they’re brought up. Season 3 has a really nasty habit of emotionally manipulating its audience with this hook too, to the point that it becomes more laborious than it should.

Many episodes here end on a shocking cliffhanger, only for the next chapter to resolve said drama in 10 minutes or less. Once or twice would be forgivable, but there’s even moments within the same episode that use this hook. The result is a contrived mess that superficially adds more drama than needed, to terrible effect.

What’s particularly frustrating here is just how much potential this third season has. The idea of Jack suffering from PTSD and slowly uncovering what happened at the bar is really enticing. And on that same subject, this plot line isn’t resolved this season either. Instead, the series pushes that to the backburner until late on. Likewise, the situation with Doc is never fully resolved either, baiting for a fourth season.

Regardless of how you feel about season 3, the fact that 10 episodes of fluff pass without any resolution to the big plot points is a tough pill to swallow. Even the characters look strained this year, with many acting in irrational ways. One of the worst culprits of that is Ricky, while faint whiffs of a love triangle eventually fizzling out into forgettable mediocrity.

When the dust settles, Virgin River Season 3 is not one to remember. This show has always been propped up by its characters but this year it’s hard to forgive the lacklustre writing. Sure the setting is visually appealing but that’s not enough to look past the poor plotting. The contrived, superficial drama is clearer to see this year too, while it feels like Virgin River is running on empty. If this is renewed for season 4 let’s hope it’s an improvement on this. What a disappointing mess.

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  • 3/10
    Verdict - 3/10

38 thoughts on “Virgin River Season 3 Review – What a complete mess!”

  1. I was looking so forward to Season 3. I can hardly believe the nothingness that was Season 3 . Absolutely nothing….zero, zip, nada was answered or resolved from Season 2. Jack’s shooter? Nope. Charmaine meets a new man and marries him within a month and STILL doesn’t look pregnant. But yet, Jack breaks up with Mel because of a looming custody battle for “the twins”. As slow as the timeline of the show is moving, it’ll probably be cancelled before Charmaine givers birth, let alone the birth of Mel’s baby. And don’t even get me started on the “who’s the daddy of Mel’s baby”. There is absolutely NO believable scenario in which Mel could just drop in and get a frozen embryo transfer on a days notice. None. I can suspend a lot of disbelief in shows I watch but this was just too much. I can’t believe that sitting around the writers table they were all “Yeah, this storyline is a winner”🙄

  2. I couldn’t even finish episode 2 of season 3. So disappointed!! It was boring and seemed like all the writers and directors were new. Didn’t like how they just skipped over Jack’s shooting, suddenly the drug ring is busted, Charmein has a boyfriend, and new characters pop in without introduction. Desperate writing.

  3. Sooo disappointed in this season. The storyline moved like a snail. How many times can the same material be played over and over? Jack never made it to the lawyer, Charmaine never had the babies to see if Jacks name went on the BC, no jumping forward even in a weeks or months time. House was never rebuilt, never found the culprit who shot Jack. Whose babies is Mel carrying, Paige never came back, what happened with Connie in the house? I mean NOTHING! A bunch of “I love yous” and “no we can’t be together”…”oooo and ahhh”… Give me a break. These people are in their late 30s early 40s not teens. What a waste of a full year. Now it’ll be a year before another season comes out to see an ending to everything left open. Need better writers!

  4. I kept waiting for them to FIX things in Season 3 and they just made it worse! The books were SO much better and the series has gone off the deep end. Bring it back folks! Much better the way it was originally written. Lots of complicated contrived mess in season 3 that was unnecessary and unwanted.

  5. I’ve watched 2 episodes of season 3. I’m done. Jack recovers in half an episode fro being shot really?House burns down…everything is fine the next day. Really? Doc going blind…no consequence. Sad lady had cancer. Sister blindy going off Brady. Ricky naive as the day is long. Hope is gone…endless, endless calls by Doc.. Mel and Jack are inconsistent and, honestly, boring. What am I supposed to “like.?”. And I really enjoyed 1 and 2 and was looking forward to 3.

  6. Mel and Jack got on my nerves this season. Found myself not rooting for them.
    I hope next season is better.

  7. I agree with much of the above and I have so many questions. I though Jack lived above the bar. What house burned? Did he buy the new house? Did the deal go through for the house between the bar and Charmane’s salon? The bar didn’t burn, so where was this house? And why didn’t we see him move or how did we go from them being at Mel’s to now we are in some big bathroom lit with candles but the entire house burned but you two escaped with no smoke damage?

    How long does it take for a GSW to heal? There was noting to deal why PTSD from that combined with his military trauma?

    How pregnant is Charmaine? It’s season three and she never looks pregnant. She never progresses. Who is pregnant for three seasons? Why is birth control never discussed about the folks actually getting pregnant?

    Anyone whose done fertility treatments knows you can’t pop by an office and get inseminated in a random afternoon. Egg transfers take lots of preparation and hormones. So if she used dead husband eggs, something is all wrong.

    I don’t comprehend how any rape victim would go so casually into a one night stand as the first person you sleep with after the rape. Whose writing this?

    We all kept saying, did we skip some episodes because it feels like we missed months and months with no explanation between season 2 and 3.

  8. Viewers are uniform in major areas of complaint. The whole thing adds up to a failed series. Producers ought to attend to these complaints as viewing of future series is a stake.
    Unless you want that kind of reputation?

  9. I almost saved watching Virgin River for a future trip but decided I have loved it enough to rewatch in the future. What a mistake! I finished season 3 last night. I will not be rewatching. NOT worth it the first time , why watch again? I am an avid reader but never read the books when they were best sellers. I decided to read the series after watching Season one. The books were outstanding!!! I can’t believe the writers could ruin such a perfect story. I was wary at some “story changes” in season two but they have now jumped off a cliff!
    READ the BOOKS people!!!! Authors and writers be cautious when you sell away the rights to your body of work.

  10. I got through 1 – 1/2 episodes and I couldn’t watch anymore.
    It was like a three ring circus/horror movie, written by The Clampett family.
    Alex/Mel was a pretty lady, needs a new hairdo also. At least she might be able to get another role somewhere.
    Too many people. The teenagers should be sent to the Bronx and nobody should talk!!

  11. I can’t agree more with all of the above comments on the worst ever season I have wasted my time watching… we suffered through it thinking surely it would get a little better at the end… WRONG!! I hope the get a new writing staff and the actors haven’t ruined their careers in the process!

  12. Agree with all the above. What got me sooooo much was the possibility of the baby being Mark’s baby. LIKE WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FK??? You don’t walk into a fertility clinic and say “Doc, defrost my eggs on high – put em in my in the next hour and I’ll get a positive pregnancy test in 10 days.” And Mel is a nurse midwife. I know this isn’t a medical drama. But I’m not a medical professional nor have I experienced infertility or fertility treatments (but I know enough and enough people who have). Are the writers that dumb? Do they think the viewers are that dumb? I could almost forgive the terrible plot twists and writing all season, but this was just too much.

  13. Oh my god I don’t know what to say. What trash. Messy, unbelievable, boring, silly, soapy, ridiculous. Everyone is just slotted into scenes without any proper relevance to anything else. Time is all distorted and weird – some of the plot points move at the speed of light and we have to pretend that they’re all resolved. Yet others move at a snails pace…charmaine spent all last season throwing up with morning sickness and when she turns up this season, I’m like “wait, what? The twins are still inside her!?!” The poor things don’t seem to have grown at all if her flat stomach is anything to go by. Meanwhile she’s managed to find and fall in love and get engaged to some rich dude in the space of five minutes. Everyone else has either moved on or not. Jack and Mel have ramped up their nauseating “I love you” “no I love you more” routine to the extent that their scenes are barely watchable without a bit of vomit entering your mouth. Knitted blankets, quilts, paintings and five-course meals regularly materialise like magic. New people suddenly arrive and vanish again, and I’ve completely forgotten if Paige is meant to be alive or dead. I hope season 4 is a bit more sensible !!

  14. Loved series 1 and 2 and couldn’t wait for series 3. What a let down.
    Everyone seemingly apologising for something, every other sentence. Various relationships, including Ricky and Lizzie are toe-curling and I skipped whole sections. This used to be my tv equivalent of comfort food. Sadly, not anymore.

  15. Dialogue between Mel and Jack: I just want you to be happy…no, I just want YOU to be happy…no really, I just want YOU to be happy…no no, you don’t understand, I just want YOU to be happy…FOR TEN EPISODES!!! What kind of childish writing is this?!

  16. Writing was awful. So sick of Mel whining about having a baby and what a farcical ending. Were Hope and Paige MIA due to contractual problems? Strange way to deal with it. Very disappointed!

  17. Season Three of Virgin River just made me feel bad. Since I am not a masochist, I decided to take Virgin River out of my life. It is a Greek Tragedy and seven ring circus all in one. The current writers are very shallow people who are smug about their trickiness and it no longer has anything to do with real life or real people. Very disappointed.

  18. In the bin

    Oh my god season 3 is absolutely the worst drama I have ever6 had the misfortune to watch.

    So bad, so so bad
    I utterly regret the wasted minutes if my life ever watching this total muck.

  19. So thinly written… the characters were so downright annoying that I could hardly manage watching. How about no one telling Hope about Lilly and allowing her enough time to return home to say goodbye to her best friend let alone attend the funeral.

  20. I agree with most of the comments above – what irks me is the way Mel is always blubbering about one thing or another – an insurance letter addressed to Mark; being all broken up on the first anniversary of Mark’s death; a sonogram from her sister, etc. etc. Get over it all woman and live your life – it’s short enough without wasting it all; living in the past and crying about it.
    Also, do we really need the music with words at the bottom of the screen – the music’s no hell and the words distracting.

  21. If Mel can afford a trust for Tara and Chloe and Jack can afford an engagement ring, why is he worried about paying a custody lawyer, rebuilding his house and going in a partnership with Preach? What medical professional gets inseminated with her dead husband’s embryo on a whim during a quick trip to the city? Why doesn’t Brie hang up a lawyer shingle because between Jack and Brady she is gonna get a lot of business. And a lawyer gets date raped and doesn’t litigate? Hope survives a hurricane, her senile aunt, her best friend dying, and a check engine light only to get a TBI from a truck? I am having a hard time with my suspension of disbelief…

  22. I agree with the writing it’s terrible,but what I find is the worse is how many times they say Hey or Hey there.They need new writers pronto.

  23. I could not finish episode 2. The writing is the standard of a 4th grader, the plots were confusing and how can a pregnant woman with twins have a flat stomach being supposedly 4-5 months pregnant!

  24. Sooo disappointing!! How many days was her trip to LA to have the time to have the implant??? you have to use medication, wait for the exact time… I really liked the books and they butchered them

  25. Agree completely that season 3 was a total train wreck. The production seemed lost, the writing was horrible, the characters totally lost their way, and the story lines barely moved all season. With Hope missing in action, Doc’s character was pretty much stuck in the mud. Jack and Mel have lost their passion. I didn’t even care for the new characters. Lizzie was basically three totally different characters, depending on the scene. Why in the world would Brie, drug addicted as she is, fall for such a clearly manipulative Brady? And, with the exception of Doc’s grandson’s appearance, the final episode “cliffhangers” were totally manipulative and predictable. If they renew for a season 4 the first things they need to do is replace the entire production and writing staff. This show needs a renewed vision.

  26. I was so surprised to see season 3 was on Netflix, only to be so disappointed! That was the most uneventful, passionless, boring season!! I predicted every episode after the first 5 minutes! There was NO spark with Jack and Mel… all! Mel really needs to perk up her personality a bit and Jack…well I’m just not sure. Way too much Ricky and chicky! Nobody cares about Paige, I do like Preacher a lot, but, he needs a new role! They left the last episode so predictable! Why would they have Mel say…..I don’t know if you are the father??? C’mon! Why would she not have told him she was inseminated when they got back together? We all know she did not sleep with anyone else! Anyway, very very disappointed and not sure if I will waste time watching season 4 only to be let down again!

  27. What happened?!?! I was so excited for season 3 and it has got to be the worst anti-climatic first episode ever! Did all their writers quit? We barely got through the first episode before calling it quits. So sad.

  28. Season 3 very disappointing but I think it is better than season 2. At least we didn’t have to watch Mel take care of Jack’s pregnant ex girlfriend, which took up most of season 2. And there wasn’t anything in season 3 as stupid as Hope’s “Doc and Murial dating scheme” in Season 2.
    I actually got tired of Mel and Jack saying I love you in season 3. I want to see the love! Remember in season one when they were playing pin ball? Mel was staring at Jack with a giggly smile on her face? You could feel the attraction they had for each other. Now it is just a bunch of relationship problems and confessions of love.
    The chemistry between them seems to have fizzled.
    It seems like I am the only one who enjoyed Jack’s sister Brie coming onto the show. I hope she decides to believe Brady and becomes his biggest supporter.
    I like the intrigue of Brady asking Jack how much he remembered from that night. Hmmm, why would he want to know that?
    Preacher character seemed a little flat in season 3. I have to admit I am curious about Page and why her “friend” is working with the bad guy now. Unlike comments from others, I am enjoying the Preacher/Page subplot.
    Ricky and Lizzie romance lacks something? Lizzie is still an interesting character. Ricky added something to the show when he was the shy, innocent, nice boy but he has has outgrown that character. I actually thought the graduation party was a good way to transition him out of that character and the bar.
    Unlike other reviewers, I am glad they sped up time and we didn’t have to go through the Jack shooting recovery. We knew what the outcome was going to be so I am with the writers, lets just move on.
    Mel is so stiff, and even though she is such a caring person, she is so unwarm and unfuzzy, like a cold fish. I am tired of that fake, sweetie-sweet smile she gives Jack when they are close. I actually like her better when she is crying! She is more animated and emotional. Her character is becoming boring. Why not get her dancing more. She was close to being loose last season dancing in the cabin by herself. Why doesn’t she ever surprise us or do something different, like walk into Jack’s bar in sexy high heels, tight dress with a super low cut back, order a drink from Jack, flirt with him, and maybe even have some guys hitting on her while Jack becomes super jealous. She is good at pin ball. Guess what? She is a good pool player. That would be fun. While Jack is working the bar, she is playing pool with a handsome bar customer. She can still be the sweet do-gooder and have a little wild streak in her can’t she? Breckenridge is such a good actor, she could expand the character, no problem. She was really funny, I thought, when Jack told her she looked stunning, and she said “oh” with a straight face. It was such an unexpected reaction. And you could feel Jack’s attraction to her when he stared at her. This was much more exciting than the “I love you” scenes.
    How long will we have to wait to find out who the baby daddy is? I have a feeling they will drag that out way too long. If they don’t tell us in the first or second episode of season 4, sadly it will be the end of the show for me. I have no desire to see Jack doting on a pregnant Mel who is carrying the baby of a man she loved dearly. No thank you.

  29. We finished watching this last night and good grief, all I could say is who wrote this crap? Way too much going on, the majority of actors phoning in their lines and really you could sum up the whole 10 episodes with a few phrases…Hey, hey, I’m here for you if you need me, I don’t want to hurt you, you lied to me. And there you have it. Oh, and I’ll have a blueberry muffin.

  30. I agree, that the season 3 is really bad. The script is terrible, the characters appear to be lacking any depth, just going through the motions. It does not touch the soul. Would not care for season 4.

  31. Totally disappointed with season 3! Extremely cheesy ! The writing was horrible! Could have been better! I was so excited about season 3 complete disaster!
    Should have left Hope out of it her character is annoying and the way they put her in it is even more annoying !!

  32. Yep – it’s always hung on the actors and the setting but i watched hoping it would get better. The fact that Hope was missing , I thought would be a plus but the referencing to her was as irritating as the character . The writing it truly awful on all sorts of levels – I feel like my 12 year old has been let loose in a production sweet shop. Surely there is talented writers who can put the umph into this before it fizzles out. Very frustrating after an initial great first season .

  33. The books were bestsellers for a reason. I’m not sure why they strayed so far from the books. Now there are uninteresting plot lines that never develop and don’t lead anywhere. The actors are spot on but don’t have anything to deliver.

  34. I could not agree more with the above comments, pretty lack luster. Writing was awful this season and the way over the top sweetness of I love you more’s is too much.

  35. IT’s a big mess…the script is spastic and contrived, and the acting STILL is on par with what’s offered on General Hospital. A missed opportunity; I really don’t care if it’s renewed for Season 4.

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