The Long Goodbye
Is Jack the father to Mel’s baby?
Episode 12 of Virgin River Season 4 starts with Mel accepting Jack’s proposal. Of course she does, was that ever in doubt? In front of the flickering flames of the fire, under the moonlit sky, dancing off the water like diamonds, the pair kiss and prepare for the next chapter of their life.
Two days then pass and we catch up with the pair in a suite together. Their morning is interrupted by Dr Lorton. They have the test results for the paternity test. Jack is a little reluctant about finding out the truth but when they open up the laptop, it’s confirmed. Jack is the father and they’re having a baby girl. Hoorah!
Is Brady found guilty?
Elsewhere, Brady decides to make Brie breakfast. She hasn’t looked over the pamphlet, but Brie urges him to stop walking on eggshells around her and to go back to how he was before.
Mike visits Brady and reveals that he’s a free man. It turns out Deputy Howard was helping Calvin launder money all this time. Brie’s digging has uncovered this link. She ended up getting a lead from a DEA friend and after following the money, it’s lead back to this crooked cop. When Mike arrived, Howard pulled a gun on him but Mike got the jump first and handcuffed the guy. Howard is also the one who planted the gun in Brady’s truck. Mike apologizes for wrongly arresting him and leaves Brady with telling Brie the good news.
Who does Hope choose to be her home aide?
Meanwhile, Doc continues to broach the subject of a home aide for Hope. Conceding, the stubborn woman has decided that Lizzie should be the one assisting, which Doc admits is a good idea. Denny receives a call from the doctor; apparently he passed out because he was dehydrated. Vernon tries to father the boy, telling Denny he needs to take better care of himself in the future.
Hope heads out and speaks to Lizzie, giving her the option of being her home help aide for $20 an hour. Given her falling out with Denny last episode, she decides to think about it.
What happens with Cameron?
When Mel heads back to the clinic, she finds out that Cameron has handed in his two week notice. Of course he has. Anyway, Mel blames herself and apologizes to Cameron for her reaction. Cam has decided to leave and go back to San Diego all the same, wasting this one-note, pointless character. However, this puts the clinic in a precarious position.
With Doc getting too old and Mel out of commission because of her pregnancy, they’re going to have to repeat season 3’s storyline and get another doctor. And later on, that’s made all the more difficult when Mel decides to outright resign.
Does Ricky leave?
Jack drives Ricky to the bus station but on the way, takes a detour where everyone has organized a surprise goodbye party for him. Charmaine rings Jack in the wake of all this, freaked out, as she’s found a hotel bar charge on Todd’s credit card. Although this doesn’t mean he’s cheated, it’s still a precarious situation.
We’ll return to that drama in a bit but for now, the attention turns to Ricky who leaves after a brief goodbye, staring longingly at Lizzie who watches him go.
What’s going on with Denny?
Denny eventually takes Lizzie aside and decides they need to talk and clear the air. Denny does really like her but the reason he’s been standoffish with her all season long is because of his condition. He has Huntington’s disease and it’s terminal. This explains why he’s reluctant to get with Lizzie.
As the episode gears up for its dramatic crescendo, a big twist is unveiled. Mel and Jack head out for dinner with Nick and Jo Ellen. They’re celebrating their engagement and the upcoming glamping gig. However, Nick unveils his sister… Melissa Montgomery. As the camera pans to outside, it’s shown that someone is snapping photos of her outside. Anyway, while at dinner the news of Mel’s pregnancy breaks.
However, a family emergency with Charmaine causes them to cut this whole ordeal short. Charmaine is struggling to breathe and having a panic attack when Mel and Jack show up. She blurts out that this is karma and that Todd is going to leave her. It turns out the twins aren’t actually Jack’s after all. Charmaine lied. Jack is shell-shocked.
How does Virgin River Season 4 end?
Meanwhile, Brie is approached by her ex, Don, with a non-disclosure agreement. He doesn’t want the truth over him raping her get out. So as a result, she’s going to press charges and file a lawsuit, setting up a story for season 5.
Preacher has Connie look after Christopher and to keep his return a secret while he heads off to get Paige back. With a gun, he drives to the lodge. A big stand-off occurs at the cabin. Vince holds Paige up at gunpoint and decides to make Preacher pay. A scuffle ensues, eventually leading to Preacher clocking the crook in the back of the head with a block of wood. Paige is safe at last.
The Episode Review
So season 4 bows out with a late spike in drama and a reflective glance at everything we’ve learned this year. And it’s not a lot. This is the sort of show designed to be thrown on in the background while you’re scrolling through facebook and twitter, checking out memes. There’s just not a whole lot of substance to this series and the plotlines that are here, have pretty poor resolutions.
The drama involving Preacher, Christopher and Paige is one of the more consistent threads through the whole season and despite some good build-up, eventually peters out into nothing, with a really quick resolution that’s not all that satisfying.
We also don’t get much closure to the Emerald Lumber situation beyond the fact that Brady is “a free man”, despite Melissa being in the middle of her operation. That has clearly been dragged out for season 5. However, there’s also the situation involving babies, which is the main drama this year and we get two revelations in the finale after a long line of episodes.
It turns out Charmaine lied about Jack being the father while Mel’s baby is definitely Jack’s. Although one of the stronger parts of this series, it’s quickly squashed by so much mediocrity and mundane plotlines dragged out unnecessarily.
Cameron, for example, has been wasted here. What looked to be a potential love interest for Mel or at least a good friend for her to bounce off, ends up being wasted as a one-note, love-sick, jealous guy who leaves at the end of the season anyway. And with Mel now deciding to quit the clinic, the repeated storyline of bringing another doctor in looks to be repeated.
Look, I understand that this is a soap opera but the quick resolution to cliffhangers (within 10 minutes of the next episode starting) and a distinct lack of character development, makes this a rather tepid watch. In the end, Virgin River’s fourth season is an improvement over last year – but only just. This is still a soap wracked with issues. But will we be there to watch season 5? Of course we will!