It’s been four months since Virgin River hit us with season two’s cliffhanger ending and we’re still just as desperate to find out what happened to Jack (Martin Henderson) – the local barkeep and romantic interest of fairly new resident Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge).
The series made its Netflix debut back in December 2019, with This is Us star Breckenridge bringing Mel – the midwife with a painful past – to life on our screens from the pages of Robyn Carr’s novels.
Since then, fans have binged their way through 20 episodes of the charming romantic drama and are now waiting for the arrival of season three, which showrunner Sue Tenney has teased will see “a larger time jump than we had between seasons one and two”, according to TVLine.
More recently, Sarah Dugdale – who plays party girl Lizzie on the show – has revealed that the upcoming series will see her character sneak around with sweet local boy Ricky whilst avoiding her disapproving aunt Connie.
“Connie is such a part of their relationship, not by Lizzie’s choice,” she told TVLine. “In season three, we’ll hopefully get to explore her presence, even when she isn’t there; the complications that brings up for them; and their ability to stay present together when there’s all this other stuff going on.”
Here’s everything we know so far about Virgin River season three.
When will Virgin River season 3 be released?
Back in December, Netflix confirmed Mel, Jack and the rest of the Virgin River crew would be back for a third series, based on Robyn Carr’s novels of the same name.
While Netflix has not yet announced a release date, shooting for season three began back in August 2020, according to What’s On Netflix, with production finishing in December.
Meanwhile, in March, the show responded to a fan on Instagram who asked whether season three was being filmed with: “We are not in production right now.”
Hopefully this means that production did finish last year and that the series is in post-production – and not that shooting hasn’t started whatsoever…
Both previous seasons of Virgin River arrived on Netflix towards the end of the year and we did think season three, which is expected to consist of 10 episodes, would 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!”
Lauren Hammersley, who plays Charmaine in the romantic drama, has also hinted that her character could be the one who shot Jack, telling TVLine: “It’s possible!”
As for what’s in store for Charmaine – Jack’s former friend-with-benefits who is now pregnant with his twins – in the upcoming season, Hammersley said that while viewers tend to hate Charmaine, there are “two sides to the story”.
“Charmaine really wanted Jack to be her person, but his heart belongs to Mel. It’s been a tough go for Charmaine, but I can see why people just want her out of the way, because of the chemistry between Jack and Mel,” she said. “I just hope that Charmaine ends up happy.”
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.
Another romance we’re all keen to learn more about is that between Ricky (Grayson Gumsey) and Lizzie (Sarah Dugdale) – the teenage lovers who were caught by Lizzie’s aunt Connie (Nicola Cavendish) in series two’s final episode. Speaking to TVLine ahead of season three, Dugdale said she’s excited to see how Lizzie and Ricky navigate their relationship whilst hiding it from Connie.
“In Season 3, we’ll hopefully get to explore [Connie’s] presence, even when she isn’t there; the complications that brings up for them; and their ability to stay present together when there’s all this other stuff going on.”
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: Who stars in the show?
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 with Colin Lawrence (John ‘Preacher’ Middleton).
We’d expect Lauren Hammersley (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 too.
Are there any news characters?
Season three will see two brand new characters arrive on the show: Jack’s sister Brie (played by Grey’s Anatomy star Zibby Allen) and Lilly’s daughter Tara (Schitt’s Creek’s Stacey Farber).