Netflix’s Virgin River entertained romantic drama-lovers throughout December when season two arrived on the platform, with the show even beating The Crown in the streaming rankings at one point.
While season two’s finale left viewers on a rather dramatic cliffhanger, the show is returning for a third season – so Mel and Jack fans can finally exhale.
Stars Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson are expected to reprise their roles in the Netflix series while two new additions will be joining the series – Grey’s Anatomy’s Zibby Allen is set to play Jack’s sister while Saving Hope’s Stacey Farber will play Lilly’s daughter.
Based on Robyn Carr’s novels, season three is expected to follow the direction of the author’s books – although there will be a few changes to the storyline.
Here’s everything we know so far about Virgin River season three.
Virgin River season 3 release date
While there’s no specific release date just yet, Netflix has confirmed that Virgin River will return for a third season next year.
Given that both previous seasons of Virgin River arrived on Netflix towards the end of the year, we predict that season three, which is expected to consist of 10 episodes, will be released in either November or December 2021.
However, this all depends on whether filming has been able to go ahead in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more about where Virgin River is filmed.
What will happen in Virgin River season 3?
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON TWO**
Season two’s finale left us with a lot to unpack so there’ll be plenty of material to cover in the third season.
Let’s start with the biggest cliffhanger of the series which saw Mel find a wounded Jack, bleeding out on the floor of his bar after being shot. The opening episode of the next season is bound to reveal whether Jack’s injuries are fatal or not, while Mel and the others look into who shot him.
Virgin River star Martin Henderson, who plays Jack in the Netflix series, said in December that the finale was “a nice, dramatic end to a season that leaves a lot of unanswered questions” and even had a theory as to who shot his character.
“Who on Earth would have done that?” Henderson said to TVLine when asked who might be responsible for the potentially fatal injury. He added: “I always joke that it’s most likely Charmaine. It does pop into your mind!”
The end of season two also saw the romantic reconciliation of Jack and Mel, with the pair declaring their love for one another and kissing in the penultimate episode – but will they officially begin a relationship? And how will Jack’s injuries affect their romance?
Speaking to Oprahmag.com, Alexandra Breckenridge said that her character Mel Monroe “can’t catch a break” and that she hopes season two isn’t the end of Jack’s story.
“I hope there’s a Jack, if they bring [Virgin River] back for season three. ‘Cause if not, I think Mel would probably fall apart. I think would just cease to exist. Spontaneously combust and float away into little pieces,” she said.
Showrunner Sue Tenney recently told TVLine that the third season will see “a larger time jump than we had between seasons one and two”, while the mystery as to who shot Jack will span “over several seasons” – so it’s likely we don’t be getting an answer straight away.
Season three will also provide some answers for Hope and Doc, who were about to discuss some difficult medical news before they were interrupted by a surprise re-engagement party in the final episode.
Tenney added that Doc’s diagnosis will be a key plot point in the next series, adding that his new situation will be “a complication that will challenge him and will challenge his relationship with Hope”.
“He’s going to rise to the challenge, but it is a real complication for him, especially for him practicing medicine going forward. Will he be able to continue to do that? The clinic and town are his life, so we will seriously explore that.”
The finale of season two also left us wondering whether Preacher will be accepting a job as a chef in San Francisco or whether he’ll be staying in Virgin River after the arrival of Wes’ twin brother and Christopher – Paige/Michelle’s son. The show’s third outing is sure to answer all these questions while following the plot of Robyn Carr’s novels on which the series is based.
Virgin River season 3 cast
Alexandra Breckendrige (Mel Monroe) will be returning to star in season three, however there’s no word yet as to whether Martin Henderson (Jack Sheridan) will be back after series two’s cliffhanger – but we’d be surprised if he didn’t reprise his role along Colin Lawrence (John ‘Preacher’ Middleton).
In addition to the arrival of two newcomers, Zibby Allen and Stacey Farber, we’d expect Lauren Hammersely (Charmaine Roberts), Tim Matheson (Vernon ‘Doc’ Mullins), Annette O’Toole (Hope McCrea), Jenny Cooper (Joey Barnes), Grayson Gurnsey (Ricky) and Benjamin Hollingsworth (Dan Brady) to return for season three.