Breaking Down The Biggest Moments from Virgin River‘s Christmas Episodes

7 minute read

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Netflix's Virgin River.

It’s finally Christmastime in Virgin River, where the weather may be chilly but the gossip always runs hot. Netflix just dropped the final two episodes of Virgin River’s fifth season, and while they focus on fun holiday fare, there’s plenty of drama swirling among the residents of the cozy fictional North California town.

When we last saw Virgin River’s nurse Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), she’d just learned some shocking information about her family. Having lost both her parents years ago, Mel long thought of herself as somewhat of an orphan. But at the end of the first part of season 5, Mel found out that her mother had an affair with a man—who might be her biological father. Determined to uncover the truth, Mel and her fiancée Jack (Martin Henderson) set off on an eye-opening adventure. As they follow the clues that lead them to the man who may be her father, the rest of the town is getting ready to celebrate the holidays, with several characters gearing up to make huge life changes. Here are the biggest moments from the Virgin River holiday episodes.

Lizzie tells her mom she’s pregnant

Virgin River. Deb Podowski as Deidre in episode 512 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ? 2023
Deb Podowski as Lizzie's mom Deidre in episode 512 of Virgin River.Courtesy of Netflix

While Lizzie (Sarah Dugdale) and Denny (Kai Bradbury) are excited to become parents, the former is not excited to tell her mother that she’s having a baby. When she initially sees her mother, who is visiting from out of town, Lizzie avoids the topic altogether. Hope (Annette O’Toole) asks Lizzie if she is resistant to talking to her mother because she is having second thoughts about her pregnancy, but Lizzie tells her that she’s not having any doubts, and is more concerned that her mother will think she can’t handle raising a child. Unfortunately, as Hope and Lizzie are having that conversation, Lizzie’s mother is in earshot and overhears them. 

Eventually, Lizzie finds her mother, and asks for support in her decision to have the baby. Her mother explains that she’s worried that Lizzie will be taking on too much by caring for Denny, who has Huntington’s disease, and their baby. But Lizzie reaffirms her deep desire to be a parent, and how much she wants the baby, which leads her mother to come around. Later, Lizzie and Denny announce to Lizzie’s mother and Hope that they are expecting a girl. 

Cameron and Muriel reconsider their future

Virgin River. (L to R) Mark Ghanim? as Dr Cameron Hayek, Teryl Rothery as Muriel, Trevor Lerner as Bert, Ava Anton as Hazel, Kai Bradbury as Denny in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ? 2023
Mark Ghanime as Dr Cameron Hayek, Teryl Rothery as Muriel, Trevor Lerner as Bert, Ava Anton as Hazel, Kai Bradbury as Denny in episode 511 of Virgin River. Courtesy of Netflix

After the town play, Cameron (Mark Ghanime) gets a surprise: his ex-wife is there. Now sober, she wants to give them another chance and start a family together. But Cameron tells her that he has a life in Virgin River, with Muriel (Teryl Rothery). When he tells Muriel about the conversation, she is relieved, but she lets him know that she’s not interested in having children. Cameron says he is fine with their family as it is, which Muriel later doubts. She expresses to him that she doesn’t want him to resent her down the road, and asks him to really think about what it would mean for both their futures if they stayed together.

Charmaine finally gives birth

Virgin River. (L to R) Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Lauren Hammersley as Charmaine in episode 502 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ? 2023
Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Lauren Hammersley as Charmaine in episode 502 of Virgin River.Courtesy of Netflix

Finally, after being pregnant with twins for almost the entire length of the series, Jack’s ex-girlfriend Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) gives birth. Despite lying to Jack and Mel about the paternity of the babies for several months, the couple have forgiven Charmaine and now all is amicable between the three. Mel even assists with the delivery at Doc’s clinic. Charmaine also has a confrontation with the babies’ actual father, the local drug lord Calvin, which might have induced her labor. Though he arrives with her at the clinic, Mel tells him to leave because Charmaine doesn’t want him there. Calvin is resistant, but walks away. While the situation with Calvin might be difficult, Charmine is happy to have given birth to two healthy babies.

Brady’s new girlfriend seems shady

Virgin River. Benjamin Hollingsworth as Brady in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ? 2023
Benjamin Hollingsworth as Brady in episode 511 of Virgin River.Courtesy of Netflix

After finally getting out of the drug ring that caused his personal life to implode, Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth) is finally on the path to a simpler, safer life. He’s been seeing a single mother named Lark (Elise Gatien) who has a young daughter. The trio seems happy together, and Brady might actually be moving on from Brie (Zibby Allen). But while the three are playing in Brady’s bedroom, Lark takes a call outside. It’s Jimmy—the drug dealer in jail played by Ian Tracey—who appears to be the father of Lark’s daughter, and is asking her about Brady. Lark tells him that Brady “doesn’t suspect a thing.” It seems like Brady’s attempt to stay out of the drug circle’s drama has just gotten a lot more complicated.

Wes’ body is identified

Virgin River. Colin Lawrence as Preacher in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ? 2023
Colin Lawrence as Preacher in episode 511 of Virgin River.Courtesy of Netflix

Preacher (Colin Lawrence) and Kaia (Kandyse McClure) are basically in their own rom-com during these episodes, until it all falls apart in the final minutes for ol’ Preach. They’ve spent a lot of time snuggling up together, he even tells her that he loves her, and she tells him that she’s taking a job in Virgin River, so their future is looking bright. But looming over their lovefest is something quite troubling: Preacher knows that Wes’ body was found in the woods where he buried him. And it comes back around by the end of the last episode: Preacher gets a call that Wes’ body has been identified.

Mel tracks down her father

Virgin River. (L to R) Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Jenny Cooper as Joey Barnes in episode 511 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ? 2023
Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Jenny Cooper as Joey Barnes in episode 511 of Virgin River.Courtesy of Netflix

As teased in the end of the first part of the fifth season, Mel’s sister Joey (Jenny Cooper) discovers love letters written to their mother from before Mel was born. They are postmarked from Virgin River, which is curious because neither sister was aware that their mother knew anyone from the small town. Based on the content and timeline of the letters, Joey believes that the person writing them is Mel’s biological father. So, Mel decides to figure out the identity of the mysterious man with Jack. They begin by looking into the return address—a P.O. Box—and finding the old postmaster from that time. It turns out the postmaster is the Santa Claus in Clear River, which is where Mel and Jack go to ask him about the address. While the old man doesn’t remember the exact name of the man behind the P.O. Box, he does give Mel and Jack a very helpful clue: that the man used to brag about winning the 1976 Lumberjack Games.

With that detail, the couple is able to trace the winner and discover that his name is Everett Reid. They then reach out to Preacher who asks his private investigator to look into Everett’s address, which they are able to find. When Mel knocks on the door, the man (John Allen Nelson) who opens it says he’s not the person she’s looking for, and can’t help her. But Mel looks into his house and sees the trophy for the Lumberjack Games, confirming, to her disappointment, that he is indeed Everett, and he clearly isn’t interested in building a relationship with her.

In a twist, Everett shows up at Mel and Jack’s cabin at the end of the second episode to explain himself. He says that he was taken aback when Mel showed up because she looks so much like her mother. Everett confirms that he’s Mel’s father, gives her all the letters that her mother wrote to him, and announces that he has something very important he needs to tell her. While we won't find out exactly what that is until next season, Mel is also left with a big update involving another father figure in her life: Earlier in the episode, she asked Doc to walk her down the aisle at her wedding—and he agreed.

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Write to Annabel Gutterman at annabel.gutterman@time.com