Virgin River – Season 5 Episode 5 “Trial By Fire” Recap & Review

Trial By Fire

Episode 5 of Virgin River season 5 starts to actually add some drama into the story. Finally! Before we see the extent of the wildfire though, we cut back a little as Kaia prepares to head into work. Preacher receives an alert on his phone about the wildfires, but Kaia waves it away, claiming they’ll be fine as it’s only on the outer rim of town.

Naturally, people start to arrive at the clinic needing help from smoke inhalation and Mel agrees to help, even though she’s supposed to not be working there anymore. Doc tasks Jack with convincing those at the camps to evacuate, who are afraid if they do they may be deported. Jack doesn’t go alone though, as he takes Brady along too.

Hope heads to Jack’s Bar with Lizzie and Denny, convincing Lydie to come back on her side of town to try and get away from the rapidly spreading fire. As for Hope, she’s not happy with Nick, given he’s ignored her fire safety plan for the town.

Hope urges Nick to do something and not sit around and do nothing, despite getting his orders from the professions. Either way, Denny and Lizzie decide to try and evacuate the elderly, while we learn that a firefighter is down out in the forest. Preacher overhears and naturally thinks this is Kaia.

Back at the clinic, Mel takes a break and heads to the bathroom. Unfortunately, she realizes she’s bleeding. Before she can check herself properly, Doc asks her to stay and look after the clinic while he rushes down to help the hurt firefighter. Mel is conflicted, given more patients keep piling in and she’s supposed to have left the clinic. In the end, with Doc having rushed off, she turns to Muriel to help her out so she can have a bit of time alone.

Mel gives herself an ultrasound and is shocked as there’s no heartbeat. She suspects the worst that she may have lost her baby, but given the chaos around her, she doesn’t have time to digest that news properly.

Elsewhere, Jack and Brady start evacuating the camps but one of the women has lost her daughter. The pair agree to help try and find her and rush into the woods. As they do, the wildfire starts to spread around Virgin River.

Elsewhere in all this chaos, Brie testifies against Don. She recounts what happened with her sexual assault and goes on to urge the justice system to do their job so she can move on with her life. Don’s lawyer is tough on her, as we knew he would be, but Brie owns up to her mixing substances and is adamant she remembered everything that took place.

Don’s lawyer continues and suggests that she’s testifying out of some sort of revenge plan after their break-up. Brie is incredulous to the suggestion and stands by her statement without wavering.

Brie runs into Mike at court, but Brie’s lawyer interrupts and she has to go. After a break, Brie continues to testify and is asked why she waited so long to report the incident. Brie explains that lawyers will destroy women on the stand just to defend their clients.

Brie’s lawyer then asks lowball questions to get her spirits and confidence back up, and Brie gives a great response about doing the right thing. Her speech resonates, as she talks about sexual assault and its affect on women across the country. A little montage plays here too as we see Jack and Brady find the lost daughter, and Lizzie and Denny rushing away from fires surrounding them.

After the trial, Mike waits at the courtroom for Brie to make sure she’s okay. He admits that he’s there for her if she needs someone to talk to and the pair get quite close together. Their conversation is interrupted when Brie’s mom calls to tell her about the fire.

Back in Virgin River, Doc and Cameron help the injured firefighter. It’s not Kaia but a guy called Jay. He has a chunk of wood nastily impaled in his leg so they need to take him to the clinic. There, Doc, Cameron and Mel work on him, as Cameron gives Doc praise for doing the right thing here.

Lizzie and Denny drive to Lydie’s house and see her packing up her car. She seems to be taking everything from her house, and they question her about it. It turns out she wants to take all of Herb and Ricky’s stuff because it’s all she has left of them. Lizzie reassures her that Ricky is coming home, and manages to convince her to leave before the fire spreads.

Lydie shows up at Jack’s bar, just as a new phone alert comes in for everyone issuing an evacuation order for the other side of town. Lizzie and Denny are still out there, and with the cell towers down they won’t have received the evacuation message. Nick blames Hope for sending them out in the first place, reinforcing that this is why she’s not the right person for the Mayor role.

Mel hasn’t heard from Ava either so she decides to drive out and make sure she’s okay. In her absence, Jay’s heart rate begins spiking in the clinic. Doc and Cameron are forced to think fast, and do chest compressions in a bid to save his life.

Elsewhere, the evacuation order comes in and Jack checks his phone and sees a text from Mel. She’s at least told him she’s off checking on Ava, but he’s worried and decides to go and find her. Brady promises to drive everyone out of the camp and lets him go.

As the episode closes out, Denny and Lizzie are trapped by the fire in their car and don’t know what to do. While they’re stuck, we cut to Mel who shows up at Ava’s house and finds is surrounded by smoke. She hears Lilly’s baby, Chloe, crying and she rushes in to save her.

The Episode Review

This fire was just what the show needed to spice things up. It’s a dramatic turn of events that thankfully keeps the pacing urgent and lots of characters in peril and danger. This, interwoven with Brie’s court case, are great touches and help make for a thrilling watch.

This is arguably the better episode of the past two seasons and there’s lots to digest here too. The ending certainly hints that things are about to step up a gear but damn, poor Mel though. Mel didn’t even get time to ponder over her potential miscarriage before she’s thrust into helping more people again. It’s a tough one to watch and ultimately ends with her off playing the hero again. Hopefully Ava is okay, while I’m sure Lizzie and Denny will be saved by some deus ex machina development before it’s too late as well.

We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for us next though!

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