Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Kindling

What?!

Goodness, Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5 dropped some bombshells and brought the drama and all of the emotions.

From Todd’s despicable offer, those devastating Lilly scenes, and Brie dropping a massive bomb on Mel before collapsing to the ground, there’s so much we have to discuss.

Doc Comforts Lilly-tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Lynda Boyd has this likeness to Susan Sarandon, so one of the hardest parts about her storyline is the reminder of the film Stepmom. We know the film ends in tragedy, and it’s likely that there’s no going up from here for Lilly.

She’s such a wonderful, strong, dedicated woman, and she’s been through hell and back. She’s lost so much, and she’s endured more than most in her lifetime. One never would’ve envisioned that she’d end up terminally ill, especially when it seemed she had made some progress and found her footing again.

She focuses so much on the other people around her, but now, she needs love and support, and she’s depriving herself of it by keeping her prognosis under wraps.

Doc was overdue for that visit to check on Lilly, and he didn’t waste any time making his intentions known. Unfortunately, it made Lilly assume Mel violated her confidence, but I’m glad that Doc cleared that up a bit. It would’ve been difficult to continue providing support and aid to Lilly if she felt the person she trusted most violated that.

Lilly at the Cafe -tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 2

Lilly needed that discussion with Doc, though. It’s moments like that where he proves why he’s beloved by the town.

Doc’s job isn’t something that he does to collect a paycheck. He genuinely cares about and takes care of the people of Virgin River.

Doc was able to help Lilly see how important it was that she shares what’s happening to her with her family and loved ones. Lilly was so busy thinking about how she didn’t want to burden anyone that she didn’t consider how she could be robbing them of a chance to accept her illness and say goodbye with no regrets.

Can you imagine how devastating it would’ve been if she passed away and her death blindsided the others?

Lilly Tells Tara  - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Getting through a terminal illness includes having a strong support network to make the process as best as possible and make transitioning easier. And a person’s loved ones need this too.

But Lilly was scared, and she wanted to put it off because of her issues processing the news. She’s terrified of what her future looks like and what will happen in the upcoming months.

Lilly: Did Mel tell you?
Doc: Tell me what.
Lilly: That I have cancer?
Doc: You have cancer?

It seems as though she hadn’t allowed herself the time to process the news herself until she broke down with Doc in one of the most gut-wrenching moments of the series. How could you not want to reach through the screen and hold and console her during those moments?

She wouldn’t agree to tell Hope yet, but she did rely on Doc’s support to tell Tara, and that scene was brutal. Tara was speechless over the news, and they broke down sobbing.

Tara - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Sweet Tara, without hesitation, is willing to put everything on hold to be there for her mother, and you wouldn’t expect anything else from her. She handled everything better than one imagined — as well as one can manage with something that tragic.

Lilly has her mind made up about chemo and other things. Doc made it clear that with inoperable terminal cancer, her options are limited. But can we live in a naive headspace where maybe some vaccine therapy or clinical trial comes up, and Lilly’s health will improve or at least not worsen?

If we have to watch Lilly’s health decline over the season, or worse yet, her pass away by the end of it or something, it’ll be too much to bear.

It does make you wonder if this is causing Doc to reconsider his retirement. Finally, he got around to telling Mel more information about the interviews. He informed her that he intends to retire, but he’s still withholding the reason.

Expecting a Patient- tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 4

At least he conceded that it would affect Mel, and she deserved to be part of the process. The interview with Dr. Hansen was the best one Doc had thus far.

If Doc is retiring, then Dr. Hansen is their best shot at having a capable, world-class doctor who wants the small-town practice experience. Doc likes her, too, and while her holistic approaches are something that he would turn his nose up at, he seems acceptant of Hansen.

But the second Julia told him that he only has a day to make his decision, it’s as if it got too real for Doc, and his mood spiraled.

I understood why Mel confided in Jack about the situation with Doc, but it was too much for Jack to mention it to Doc. He should’ve kept his mouth shut, especially when he was the one to point out how private Doc is.

Wants and Needs - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 4

Despite his tantrum at the bar, Doc will get over sooner rather than later, but it makes you wonder how long he can manage this limbo state at the practice. It sounds like he’ll immediately step down and let whoever take over, and he doesn’t seem to be thinking all of this through.

Lizzie isn’t thinking things through either regarding the living situation. It’s not surprising that Lydia isn’t pleased with the arrangement or that Lizzie is an acquired taste as a house guest.

I think we should get our own place!

Lizzie

But Lizzie and Ricky living together isn’t the best idea here. The thought of it terrified Ricky, that much you could tell. It feels like everything is leading up to these two breaking up and going their separate ways, with Lizzie returning to Los Angeles and Ricky enlisting.

Meanwhile, Preacher didn’t get to leave as he planned, but it’s starting to look up for him. Although, he’s learning the difficulties of appeasing Christopher and working.

Preach Side Eye - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 4

I’m glad and proud of Jack for bringing the partnership back up as a point of discussion for them. You can tell that Jack realized how much he takes Preacher for granted and how the bar wouldn’t be anything without him.

The big party they were all giddy about was thanks to Preacher. It’s a surprise that this is the first time Jack considered sharing half of the profits with Preach. It’s a good thing Jack is making up for it now, but boy, we are getting all of these reminders of how shitty of a friend and boss Jack has been to Preach.

Preach is doing his best with Christopher, and thankfully, Connie is such a help and support to him, but this situation with Christopher feels as if it’ll inevitably come to a head soon.

They’re trying their best to take care of him and succeeding, but Christopher isn’t the happiest, and there’s a lot he needs to know and process.

Pinky Promises - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 1

His mother’s absence is wreaking havoc on him. But their reasoning and well-intentions aside, this thing where Christopher can’t maintain friendships the same as other kids because of extra precautions, and his entire world revolving around Preach these days isn’t the healthiest. I feel for the kid.

The same applies to the twins whenever they arrive. Will Charmaine EVER start showing?

Those twins will have a flighty, fickle, airhead, vindictive mother and possibly a controlling, conniving stepfather who thinks money can solve everything.

For their peace of mind, and their shot at not becoming insufferable, spoiled brats, and kind humans, they need Jack in their lives.

Sweet Treats - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Charmaine is floating on air with her love for Todd and all of the things he can provide her, but it still feels like she’s not looking at red flags.

He keeps distracting her with shiny things, and she’s excited about that without seeing the strings attached to it all and what all she could be losing along the way.

Todd: Listen, I know Charmaine pushed you to come.
Jack: Well, it’s important to her that we get along.
Todd: Actually, there’s something I want to offer you face to face.
Jack: Alright.
Todd: I want you to understand that I love Charmaine and I would do anything to make her happy.
Jack: And I’m sincerely happy for the both of you.
Todd: That’s good to hear. And if I were you I would be relieved that she found someone who could take care of her so you know you don’t have to.
Jack: I’m perfectly capable of supporting her and the twins.
Todd: Yeah, I’m sure you are. But I’m offering you a free pass. Look, Charmaine and I talked about it and we both think it’s best for everyone if I would legally adopt the twins.
Jack: I’m sorry, did you just say you want to adopt my kids?
Todd: Just hear me out. It’s the cleanest way for all involved. That way there’s on dragging them back and forth, there’s no real dad versus stepdad, and I’d foot the bill. Think of the cash you’ll save for not having to pay for college. Come on, man, it’s a win-win.
Jack: And you don’t think it’ll be psychologically damaging for them to grow up wondering why I abandoned them?
Todd; They don’t have to know.
Jack: The fact that you would even consider starting a relationship with my children by lying to them. Oh, and don’t think for one second that I would ever give them up for a little extra cash. They’re not for sale.

It made no sense for Charmaine to come to Jack and tell him about the lunch date with Todd. He could’ve reached out to Jack without Charmaine running some interference.

And if Jack’s swamped with work, why should he give a single f*ck about Todd’s feelings and how insulted he would feel? Why should Todd feel slighted if Jack couldn’t make it to lunch, and why is the immediate repercussion of that “more trouble?” Who TF is Todd?

Jack Faces Off Against Todd  - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Todd has been on some bullshit this whole time. It wasn’t surprising when he brought Jack to some fancy country club and tried to make Jack feel inferior with his snobby act as if a worldly Marine with extensive knowledge in spirits didn’t know what the hell Todd was discussing.

Ugh, he’s such a smarmy douche.

The Marines are nothing like fraternities, and no one cares about Mr. Moneybags’ expensive scotch collection. Todd is so full of himself that’s it’s sickening.

It’s absurd that Todd and Charmaine, who should know better, would ever think that money fazes Jack in any way. The man doesn’t give a damn about money. He’s honorable.

Proud Marine -tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 4

The urge to punch Todd in the face was strong from the second he sat down at the table, but his proposal that Jack gives up rights to his children and allow Todd to take care of them as his own for the aesthetic, oops, to prevent confusion, was appalling.

It took restraint for Jack not to punch Todd out, and again, it’s a relief that he’ll have access to a family attorney of his own. Todd thinks his money, power, and his name — all of it means he can steamroll over Jack, and it’s disgusting.

Also, how did Charmaine go from claiming she and Todd decided that Jack could visit the kids whenever he wanted to Jack getting cut out of their lives completely?

And why would she think it’s acceptable that she has Todd pay off Jack for their children. It’s literally selling and buying kids. Why is all of this even happening to this degree when Charmaine is barely even showing?

Charmaine and Jack's Heated Exchange - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3

It’s still insane that all of this kid drama is cropping up, and Charmaine hasn’t even reached her second trimester, let alone is rocking a baby bump.

Sometimes it seems as though Todd is speaking for Charmaine without her knowledge, so she may not know about this recent maneuver, but if she does, shame on her!

It’s unfair that anyone would take Jack’s rightful sense of overwhelm over having two kids he didn’t plan for as a reason to imply he’s unworthy of fatherhood or doesn’t want them. It’s only been a couple of months. Sheesh, let the man process as he deems fit.

And that’s why Mel dropping that bomb on him was probably ill-timed. She should share anything and everything with him, but Joey helped her realize that it was a bit much considering everything else Jack is dealing with right now.

Mel's Happy Smile - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3

Mind you, Mel doesn’t even know about the Charmodd saga and Todd the Terrible’s quest to squash Jack like a bug.

Jack is currently homeless thanks to a fire, has two babies on the way that he now has to fight for, is still looking for who shot him, and much more happening. Also, their relationship is so new.

Jack wasn’t even sure he wanted the twins, and now Mel is talking about a kid of her own, and it does sound like she’d want that to happen with him.

Jack handled the news better than expected at the time, but he didn’t hold back discussing how the notion gives him chest palpitations when he spoke to Mike about it later.

Mike's News - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 2

So far, nothing has derailed Mel and Jack’s love, and they’ve endured some doozies throughout the season. But this is a tough one with no clear solution at the moment.

Jack isn’t ready for another child when he’s barely wrapping his head around the ones he’s having, and it seems like it’ll cause him more issues if he ends up trying to have a baby with Mel amid possible custody drama with Charmodd.

You know Charmaine would be eager to accuse him of replacing their babies with one with Mel. Jack has a lot going on, and he probably isn’t ready for it and may never be.

Their relationship is already going super fast for him, now that they’re living together. Mel is talking about babies without even mentioning marriage. It’s a lot.

Conversation in the Woods - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3

But there’s a time limit on this sort of thing, too. Mel would likely want this to happen sooner rather than later, and it’s something she wants. She shouldn’t have to sacrifice that in any way either.

Right now, Mel has to feel as if it’ll come down to choosing between her relationship with Jack and her dream of having a child of her own. And how can either of them continue with this if they’ll be beating themselves up?

Jack: When did you start thinking about having a baby?
Mel: Um, after the accident, I didn’t think that I could get pregnant, so I just kept telling myself that I didn’t need to be a mom. But every time I see Lilly with Chloe, my heart beats.
Jack: Then how come you didn’t say anything until now?
Mel: Because we just started dating and you have twins on the way. I know this feeling isn’t going to go away. I feel like I owe it to myself to try.
Jack: It’s hard to argue with your feelings.

Jack will feel awful, as if he can’t give Mel something that she wants, and he’ll be afraid that Mel will grow to resent him. And Mel will miss out on something she craves. It’s not a winning situation.

The situation with Lilly is devastating but also gives me the impression that there’s a possibility that Mel ends up with baby Chloe.

Tara and Lilly - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 2

At the top of the hour, Mel dropped a bomb on Jack, and by the end of it, Brie returned the favor on her brother’s behalf.

Bless Brie’s heart. Around the time that she said the name “Mandy,” and Mel didn’t have any recognition, she should’ve played it off or stopped there, but nope.

Instead, Brie carried on, revealing to Mel that Jack was married before, and he has an ex-wife somewhere. Beg pardon?!

In hindsight, for all of the talk Jack spouts about the two of them opening up to each other and sharing things, he’s guilty of never exactly doing what he preaches.

Jack and Mel Stare Lovingly  - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 1

You would think in all of the time Mel spent talking to him about Mark — Jack would’ve mentioned that he was married before, too.

As it stands, Jack hasn’t shared with Mel his quest to find out who shot him, any of the developments in the case, or that he’s having flashbacks of that night. He also hasn’t told her about the potential parental rights battle he may have with Charmaine and Todd, and there’s an ex he never mentioned before.

His sister spends a lot of time with Mel, so you’d think Jack would prepare for all types of things from his past coming up in conversation.

What is this conversation going to look like? Will we ever meet this Mandy woman? We need all the details!

Bad Girl Brie -tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3

Unfortunately, Brie passing out distracted Mel from that revelation.

Ugh, poor Brie. Sheridans’ suffering in silence and using alcohol to mask their troubles must be familial traits.

Brie is having a hard time, but she won’t confide in anyone, which is disheartening.

Mel: What?
Brie: Oh, nothing. I just haven’t seen a waterfall braid since Mandy.
Mel: Oh, who’s Mandy?
Brie: Jack’s ex-wife. Oh, you didn’t know about her?
Mel: No. No, I didn’t.

Her prescriptive Xanax is another piece of the puzzle to whatever awful thing happened to her, which prompted her to come to Virgin River. She seemed desperate for them when she called in the prescription again.

Bumping into Stella threw her for a loop and probably prompted a panic attack. But it seems that she uses Brady for some stress relief and escapism, too.

Brie Feels Ill - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Nevertheless, whatever their relationship is, which is mostly sexytimes, it seems to work for them. Both of them have probably caught feelings, but neither wants to be the first to acknowledge that.

Sadly, if Brady mentions it, he’ll probably scare Brie off. He knew enough not to pry about her abrupt departure. He gives her space not to divulge details about her personal life of which she’s uncomfortable.

They have a happy bubble around them when they’re alone, but when is it going to burst?

I feel for Brady a lot. His business is going under, and the bank denied him a loan without a co-signer.

Brady Bathed in Sunlight - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 2

We all know that when Brady is hard up for money, he does stupid things. One would like to believe that he’s grown since then, but you can never be certain with him as he’s such a wild card.

Brie said she would’ve co-signed for him if she could, and there’s a lot to unpack there, but he’s going to need someone. The question is: who does he turn to for that?

Is it something that will drive him back to Jack? I’m curious to know how Brady intends to resolve these issues.

If Jack is his plan, then it’ll be one more thing on Jack’s plate to stress him out and build up to a breaking point.

Brie and Brady Bliss - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 5

Brie passing out is the perfect way for her relationship with Brady to come out into the open, so that’ll be interesting. But it’s a reason for concern that she must’ve mixed her Xanax with alcohol.

It probably wasn’t a deliberate attempt made, but it was a reckless choice that requires attention. No way Brie can keep slipping under the radar now.

Lilly: I have cancer.
Tara: OK, uh. Well, how bad is it?
Lilly: Pancreatic. Stage 4.

It’s Brie’s crash and burn, then at least she has a support system around her in Jack, Mel, and Brady.

Over to you, Virgin River Fanatics. What should Jack do about Charmaine and Todd? Is this Brie’s rock bottom? How emotional was Lilly telling her daughter about her diagnosis?

Hit the comments below, and let’s discuss everything!

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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