Virgin River 3×05 “Kindling” does this thing where, instead of dealing with the cliffhanger head-on, they sort of bypass it, even though you can see, by the look on both character’s faces, it’s not solved, not even close. On the one hand, that’s sort of annoying, but on the other hand, I’ll take this issue that – on a romance – has a pretty straightforward resolution, over any other issues they might throw Mel and Jack’s way.
Like, trust me, if Mel ends up pregnant tomorrow, Jack’s gonna be thrilled. Sure, thinking about it is overwhelming, he already has two kids on the way, and kids he doesn’t even know how much he’ll be able to see, considering Todd wants to adopt the babies and is ready to offer Jack an out he absolutely does not want, because that’s not the type of guy he is.
But we all know Jack. Just as he couldn’t give up his kids with Charmaine, even though he has no love lost for Charmaine, he’d be super happy if Mel ended up pregnant. He really would. Even if it would be a mess, and he feels like he couldn’t possibly provide for all his kids. We all worry about the bottom line beforehand, because that’s human nature. But Jack …he’s incapable of not loving his future kid.
So as much as this is an issue, it’s the kind of issue that, deep down, it’s a non-issue. Which, to me means that, if we’re sticking with that for the rest of the season, we’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to obstacles. And then, for next season, we might have to be ready for something way worse. That’s just how these things go. And with a Mel cliffhanger to end season 1 and a Jack cliffhanger to end season 2, we’re due for a relationship one.
This is a good episode for many relationships, and we’ll leave Jack and Mel for the end, even if we started with them, because it’s worth focusing on a few of the other important relationships on Virgin River. Starting with Doc and Mel, because as hard as it is to imagine this show without Hope, it’s impossible to imagine it without Doc. And with a new Doctor? Whatever shall we do!
Mel is, of course, shocked that Doc is thinking of “adding someone” to the practice, and the situation, of course, deteriorates because Mel knows Doc too well to think this is normal behavior, Mel confides in Jack, and Jack cannot help himself and confronts Doc, in that order. It’s all a mess, compounded by the fact that Doc’s decision seems to be out of his hands, and he’s not very good at communicating. Plus, the added stress of Hope not being around is clearly weighing on him.
Which is why I hope this storyline isn’t really leading to Doc’s retirement, at least not in a way that takes him out of the show for good. I’ve said many times before that I’m sad that Hope seems to be on the way out, but I will not accept this show without Doc. No. I refuse.
If you need an example of why Doc is essential, we just have to look at his conversation with Lily, and the way that he handles not just the issue, but the conversation Lily needs to have with Tara. Yes, Mel was just what this town, and Doc needed, in many ways, but that doesn’t mean Doc isn’t good at what he does, or that he doesn’t care. I wanted to strangle him for ¾ of the first season, and there are still times where he pulls a Doc move and I roll my eyes, but in general, Doc is the kind of character a show like this one needs.
Plus, I cannot just invest in Mel and Jack, can I? I need some platonic/familial relationships to keep me going, as well.
Another important relationship to highlight in Virgin River 3×05 “Kindling” is the relationship between Jack and Preacher. These two love each other, that’s easy to see. And they work well together, they know each other well. But they’re in stuck in a place where, honestly, they take each other for granted. This is particularly true when it comes to Jack in regard to Preacher, so it was especially important for Jack to pause, notice, and then take steps to correct it. Jack would do anything for the people he cares about, and it’s clear that list includes Preacher.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Lizzie and Ricky are certainly in two different wavelengths when it comes to their relationship, and yes, that’s sure to crash and burn, as I pretty much expected. But I give these two kids much more of a chance at finally figuring it out than Brady and Brie, no matter how good that seems to be going right now – cliffhanger aside, because I’m sure Brie is going to be just fine.
Back to Jack and Mel, there’s no resolution to their issues in this episode, and I didn’t expect it to be. This is all about the two of them handling the uncomfortable moments, about learning what the other needs, how to comfort, when to provide space, when to push. All couples go through things like this, and they’re usually a really good thing. If the two of them are ever going to truly move forward together, and yes, start that family Mel dreams about, they need to go from two people finding their footing around each other, to true partners in life.
That’s a journey. But that’s okay, this part of the journey is fun. We’re glad to be along for this ride.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Virgin River 3×05 “Kindling”? Share with us in the comments below!