Why Virgin River season 5 will be different from the others and what to expect from the unmissable new series of the hit Netflix drama

Virgin River season 5 is switching things up and some fans might not have seen this coming as they await the Netflix drama's return

Virgin River season 5 will see the return of Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe. Here is Mel in episode 401 of Virgin River
(Image credit: Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

Virgin River season 5 is only a few months away now and fans might not have been expecting an exciting recent announcement about the show’s next instalment.

From where Virgin River is filmed to whether Brady dies in Virgin River, the Netflix drama inspired by Robyn Carr’s book series knows how to spark questions amongst fans and is packed full of intrigue, romance and a sense of community. It’s now been a year since Virgin River season 4 landed and many people might be eagerly counting down the days until season 5 arrives on Netflix. When it does, there’s going to be a rather big difference between Virgin River season 5 and seasons 1-4.

Here we reveal why Virgin River season 5 will be different from the others and all we know about what it will be about and which cast members will be returning…

*Warning: Spoilers for Virgin River season 4 ahead*

Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan, Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 404 of Virgin River

(Image credit: Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

Why will Virgin River season 5 be different to all the others?

Virgin River season 5 hasn’t even landed yet but already long-time fans are having to prepare themselves as the show has confirmed a major switch-up from what we’ve seen with past series. It's been announced that the upcoming season will be released in two parts. This means that fans can enjoy the first ten episodes on 7th September with a further two holiday episodes to come on 30th November. The split of Virgin River season 5 into two parts is a departure from what we’ve seen before, with seasons 1-4 all released in one go on a single date.

However, it is something Netflix have done often before and anyone who's still anxiously waiting to learn if Lisa killed Mitchell Bondurant in The Lincoln Lawyer or had an agonising wait before the Firefly Lane season 2 ending landed will be very familiar with this type of release. Whilst some fans might be eager to watch all of Virgin River season 5 in one go, others are likely already looking forward to the holiday episodes.

The decision to have two Virgin River season 5 release dates might perhaps make final two episodes all the more exciting if fans are still waiting for specific storylines to be wrapped up after the first ten instalments. And the release of holiday episodes is certainly a fabulous way to get into the festive spirit!

What will Virgin River season 5 be about?

If the Virgin River season 4 ending taught us anything it’s that season 5 needs to give fans some serious answers because we were left with more than a few intriguing questions. According to RadioTimes.com, the official logline for Virgin River season 5 teases that Mel will be pushed by “issues of motherhood” to “make a big decision about her future at the clinic”. Her pregnancy will also apparently “unexpectedly” spark an “emotional connection to her past”.

“To further prove himself to Mel, Jack squares off with some long-overdue confrontations–with his own demons, and of course, Charmaine,” the logline continued. "And as Doc and Hope’s respective impairments throw their identities into question, the doctor and the mayor must find solace in their community, in their young new family, and in each other."

Lauren Hammersley as Charmaine Roberts in episode 410 of Virgin River

(Image credit: Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

The last time we saw Mel and Jack they had learned that Jack definitely was the father of Mel’s baby and that he wasn’t the father of his former partner Charmaine’s unborn twins. This of course raises the rather huge question over who the twins’ father is and, just as importantly, why Charmaine chose not to reveal their identity. 

It seems that one of the “long-overdue confrontations” Jack might have with Charmaine will almost certainly be about this matter. However, who knows if we might have to wait until the already-confirmed Virgin River season 6 to learn the identity of Charmaine’s babies’ father as showrunner Patrick Sean Smith previously told EW that he wouldn’t want to “waste” this huge reveal by revealing it at the wrong moment. 

Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 409 of Virgin River

(Image credit: Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

“I was like, 'Well, what do I do with that? What's the best way to use that big twist?'" he explained. "But then also do what the show does so well, which is carry mysteries for multiple seasons and questions and keep the audience guessing. So, I can't say it will be in 5, and I can't say it won't. But it's definitely something that I would rather hold off on and not waste. Because it's that good."

Meanwhile, many fans will be pleased to learn that she’s set to “find solace” in the Virgin River community after they were left wondering what happened to Hope in Virgin River after she wasn’t in season 3. Thankfully, Hope was back in season 4 though she spent a large part of the season going through recovery and rehabilitation after experiencing a brain injury in the season 3 finale.

Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Annette O'Toole as Hope in episode 404 of Virgin River

(Image credit: Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

Annette O’Toole who plays Hope in Virgin River previously told Screen Rant a little bit about what she knew was coming up for her character in season 5.  

“I know that Hope is on the road to recovery and she's going to get better, and I'm hoping that there's going to be more of her doing her mayoral duties than we've seen her do,” she said. “Politics on a local level like that is really interesting and we haven't really seen that side of her.”

Vernon ‘Doc’ Mullins and his grandson Denny could also possibly have some heartfelt moments in Virgin River season 5. Having only just come into Doc’s life in season 4, Denny ended up revealing to Lizzie that he had been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease.

Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Kai Bradbury as Denny in episode 408 of Virgin River

(Image credit: Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022)

He explained that he was pulling away from their romance because of his fear of committing to her when he felt he didn’t have a future. Fans will no doubt be eager to see how things are between Denny and Lizzie in Virgin River season 5 and whether he might confide in anyone else in the community. 

Who's returning to the Virgin River season 5 cast?

The Virgin River season 5 cast list features plenty of familiar faces and viewers can expect to see the return of Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan, Tim Matheson as Doc and Annette O'Toole as Hope. 

Sarah Dugdale will be back as Lizzie, as will Colin Lawrence as John "Preacher" Middleton, Lauren Hammersley as Charmaine Roberts, Benjamin Hollingsworth as Dan Brady, Kai Bradbury as Denny, Zibby Allen as Brie, Marco Grazzini as Mike, Mark Ghanimé as Cameron and Lexa Doig as Paige. Kandyse McClure is also joining the Virgin River season 5 cast as a new character.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!