Virgin River – Season 5 Episode 3 “Calculated Risk” Recap & Review

Calculated Risk

Episode 3 of Virgin River season 5 starts with Jack having a nightmare about being at a party, getting drunk and passing out. If that wasn’t enough, he also has a vision of his brother Adam.

After last episode, news filters in that Jeb has died after overdosing on fentanyl. Brady attends his funeral but lies to Brie and acts like he doesn’t know his colleague. He also doesn’t reveal how he died either.

Mel and Cameron run into each other while out exercising together and it’s super awkward. At the same time, Lizzie suggests she and Hope pack meals for the first responders off tackling wildfires. This will be a good way of showing the community that Hope still cares. Hope thinks it’s a great idea but Doc is concerned about her exerting herself too much.

Jack goes to therapy and talks about his nightmare, and his therapist suggests he go out into nature and take a calculated risk. This comes in the form of rock climbing with Denny.

Over at the clinic, Doc starts to feel concerned about his eyes and rings his doctor, telling them his vision has changed. Muriel suggests he have a day off and he does just that.

Cameron talks to Muriel about his earlier awkwardness with Mel, and she tells him to stop getting involved in other people’s relationships. The irony of course, is not lost on the fact this is the town gossip saying this!

Just then, the clinic receives a call from a firefighter called Kaia. They’ve got a woman by the side of the road in labour. The road is blocked off and she’s asking for Mel. Cameron heads off and brings Mel in. Together, the pair deliver the woman’s baby through a video call.

Mid-labour, Fiona starts feeling woozy and passes out through contractions. Mel and Cameron scramble for a solution and after she regains consciousness, the pair successfully deliver the baby.

Elsewhere, Lizzie and Hope head off in Connie’s food-truck but Lizzie’s mum Deirdre tags along. Lizzie lashes out at her mum, who has organized for her daughter to go to college. Lizzie refuses but just as things escalate, they take a turn for the worst when Connie lets slip that Jo Ellen told Nick about Hope’s car accident. The latter is livid and believes this is the reason she’s no longer Mayor. When a news crew shows up outside, Hope does the selfless thing and steps aside so Lizzie can take the credit for her sandwich idea.

Elsewhere, Brie confides in Brady about her testifying in the case against Don, along with her Xanax use. She’s concerned because Don’s lawyer might spin the incident and paint Brie in a negative light. Despite all of this though, she’s courageous and decides to continue testifying.

Jack and Denny’s rock climb goes ahead, and the pair bond as they eventually head up. Mid-climb, Jack slips and almost falls but Denny holds the rope and he’s able to climb back up.

Back on solid ground, Denny discusses having Huntington’s and explains that he’s coming to terms with it. Denny admits that being able to rock climb makes him feel alive and he’s trying to live in the moment. Being depressed over his diagnosis takes away from those positive emotions; this chat inspires Jack to try and work through his own issues, something that’s a nice way of tying season 4 into this one.

While Brie is at the farmer’s market, she runs into a woman named Pauline, who happens to be Jeb’s wife. Pauline reveals that Brady’s speech at the funeral was so emotional, and goes on to reveal that the pair worked together and had been close for months. Even worse, Pauline mentions the overdose, which throws Brie through the ringer. She now knows Brady has been lying to her.

That first responder from earlier, Kaia, starts flirting with Preacher and eventually shows up at Jack’s bar after-hours to talk to Preacher. It doesn’t take long for her to kiss Preacher.

At home, Mel and Jack recap the day’s events to one another. Jack has decided to take Mel up on her offer of expanding his business after all. Before that, he suggests they go away for a bit and go camping.

As the episode closes out, Brie confronts Brady about his lies. Eventually Brady comes clean and admits that he’s caught in a precarious position by Melissa and he’s trying to follow orders while also keeping her safe. Brie has heard enough and tells him to leave.

The Episode Review

Oh dear, Brady’s lies finally come tumbling out and it’s too much for Brie to handle. That chat at the farmer’s market with Pauline was especially cringy and you have to feel bad for Brie.

Beyond that, we get a recurrence of Jack’s mental health issues, while Mel is simultaneously thrown back into this awkward encounter with Cameron again. I’m not sure what the show is trying to do with these two characters but it’s clear the story is a bit directionless this year, especially if we’re digging up the non-existent drama around Cameron and Mel.

The most egregious part of all this comes from the number of times characters recap events that have happened earlier in the episode to one another. This, coupled with the spikes of drama like the random woman giving birth by the side of the road, feel like manufactured bites of drama rather than genuine ways to enhance and grow the characters. Hopefully the episodes ahead are an improvement.

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