The last few minutes of Virgin River‘s third season are, frankly, insane.
After a brief yet too long separation, Mel and Jack celebrate their newfound romance with an invigorating mountain hike, unaware that they are both hiding explosive secrets from each other. Jack throws his grenade first, gets on one knee and asks Mel to marry him, prompting her to take revenge in kind: “I’m pregnant,” she tells him. “And I don’t know if you’re the father.” Tree. No survivors.
“I’m trying to think about how Jack would feel about this – it’s obviously such a massive bomb,” Martin Henderson tells TVLine, admitting “Dude!” was his first reaction after reading the twist. “Because it was at the end of the episode and season, we didn’t really get a chance for the characters to figure out what that information will do to them,” he adds. “We’re saving that for a possible season 4, but it’s a very effective cliffhanger. It’s nice and juicy, but it’s a big pill to swallow. She was leaving town for a day or two, so it was quite unexpected to say the least. But just as Jack gets shot, there’s still a big question mark hanging over these characters.
Yeah, about Mel’s trip to Los Angeles… It turns out Henderson wasn’t the only cast member who was taken aback by the seemingly sudden turn of events.
“When we were filming and I was reading the scripts, I was skeptical about that storyline at first,” Alexandra Breckenridge told TVLine about Mel’s secret insemination. “If Mel wants to go through with that, she really has to believe there’s no hope for her and Jack right now. It’s a huge thing for a person to do, and it shows how much she wants to be a mother. When you’re under emotional pressure, you act in ways you normally wouldn’t.”
However, when the season ended, Breckenridge gained a new perspective on the matter. “It connects itself and it makes more sense to me in the end,” she says. “While going through it, I thought, ‘What is Mel doing? This is a crazy thing to do!’ That shows that as an actor you have to rely on the process and the writers to take you on a journey, that’s what I’ve learned.”
As for the fatherhood of Mel’s cliffhanger baby, Virgin River showrunner Sue Tenney tells TVLine that we’ll know by the end of season 4, should Netflix bless us with an extension. (Another season, another mystery!)
OK, let’s talk: Are you invested in this unexpected fatherhood twist? If you had to put down money, would you bet Jack is the father, or Mark’s baby? Weigh your thoughts on Season 3 in our polls below, then leave a comment with more of your thoughts.
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