When Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckinridge) moved to the small California town of Virgin River in the start of the Netflix series, her intention was to escape drama. Coming off of the loss of her husband and a miscarriage, Mel needed to recuperate somewhere quiet.
But, as this recap for the events of Season Three show, she got more drama — lots of it.
The characters in "Virgin River" face the losses, disappointments, and challenges of life — plus some soap opera-worthy twists: Surprise twins! Paternity questions! Drug lords! And, in Season Four, a mishap with a helicopter!
Here's what to remember from last season ahead of Season Four's return on Wednesday, July 20.
So, uh, whose baby is Mel having? Is it Jack's?
This is the burning question on everyone's mind — especially Mel and Jack's (Martin Henderson). After three seasons of "will they or won't they," Mel, a nurse practitioner, finally found stable ground with her bar owner, Marine vet boyfriend, Jack.
Though during one of their "off" phases, she decided to visit the fertility clinic in Los Angeles where she was undergoing IVF treatment with her husband, Mark, before he died. She decided to try and get pregnant using her and Mark's remaining two embryos. When she returned to Virgin River, she and Jack got back together.
Just as Jack was about to propose, Mel revealed she was pregnant — but isn't sure if it's with Jack's baby or Mark's. Ah, modern medicine!
We're only a few episodes away from an answer. Showrunner Sue Tenney, in an interview with TVLine, said the father's identity would be revealed in Season Four.
Is Hope coming back? Actually, make that: Is Hope OK?
Actor Annette O'Toole wasn't in Season Three of "Virgin River," due to reasons that had everything to do with the drama of the real world. "Virgin River" showrunner Sue Tenney told TVLine that Hope's absence came down to the pandemic: "(O’Toole) was not able to travel, so we had to pivot."
According to Tenney, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hope and Doc (Tim Matheson) were supposed to have a vow renewal ceremony. Instead, they got their most trying season yet.
While Hope was gone, something major changed for her: Her best friend Lilly (Lynda Boyd) died suddenly of cancer. Doc kept this a secret.
Then, on her way home, she gets in a car accident. Her recovery from a traumatic brain injury will be a central plot line for Season Four, per Tenney's EW interview.
Frankly, we're worried about Charmaine and the twins
We have nothing personal against Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) — she makes great TV. But her actions certainly lead to complications for our beloved Mel and Jack, and potentially put her in danger.
Charmaine, Jack's ex, is pregnant with Jack's twin sons (and has been, as fans pointed out on Twitter, for some time).
Last season, she got married three weeks after meeting a man named Todd (Patrick Sabongui), who exudes a certain smugness (it's true!).
Based on his controlling behavior, Todd may not be the most supportive partner — and he's taking Jack away from his sons. As Charmaine told Jack, Todd made the executive decision to move the family to Eureka without consulting her. "I love him, but everything always needs to be his way," she said.
Let's see whether Charmaine goes forward with the move, or can withstand the Todd.
Preacher is in danger
Preacher served in the Marines with Jack and now works with him at the bar. Like Jack, he can't resist doing the right thing, even if it gets him into complicated situations.
He intervened when Paige (Lexa Doig), a newcomer in town, was in danger after her ex-husband, Wes (Steve Bacic), tracked her down. Defending herself, Paige killed Wes, and Preacher helped dispose of the body. When she fled town, he cared for her son, Christopher.
Trouble arose when Wes' twin brother Vince (also played by Bacic), came to Virgin River seeking answers. The last time we see him, he's tied up in the woods as part of a scheme to kidnap Christopher.
What's up, Doc? We hear you have a grandson
In the final moments of Season Three, a stranger appears at Doc's medical office claiming to be his grandson. The twist? Doc didn't even know he had children.
So, who shot Jack in Season 2?
A whole season passed between Jack's near-fatal shooting in his bar, we still don't know the answer to this one.
Right now, Dan Brady (Ben Hollingsworth) is serving time for attempted murder. Dan served in the Marines with Jack and ended up getting involved with Calvin, the town's local mafia leader, who could be behind Jack's hit.
But did Brady really do it? Jack's sister Brie (Zibby Allen), who has a romantic connection with him, thinks not. We told you things were dramatic in this town.