Virgin River 3×10 “A Wedding, No Funeral and a Baby” does exactly what the last few episodes promised, with a cliffhanger ending that’s both frustrating, and telegraphed. It’s frustrating less because of what happened and more because of the way the show handled it, of course, and it’s very important that we spend this review not just discussing the way everyone’s storylines were kind of left in limbo, but also how the show got these storylines there – and how effective it was at doing what it attempted to do this season.
My verdict? Not very effective. Hope and Doc’s storyline didn’t move forward one iota, for understandable reasons. Hope’s survival was even left in the balance, and they spent the entire season teasing a closeness between Doc and Muriel that both seemed to be going somewhere and nowhere, at the same time. Storytelling-wise, that’s a decision, though, and one that, ultimately, no matter what they decide – or are able to do – with Hope going forward, feelings like the wrong one.
There are some good moments in this episode, of course, quiet moments of support – Lizzie making Doc a playlist, Mel and Jack being there for him, Preacher and Jack agreeing to the partnership, Brie opening up to Mel, but in the end, those moments are few and far between because Virgin River 3×10 “A Wedding, No Funeral and a Baby” spends so much time leaving absolutely everyone in the worst possible place they could be. Is Preacher alive? We assume so, but he got hit pretty hard. What in the world happened to Paige? What’s going to happen to Christopher?
Then there’s Brady, and the Mike vibes, and where that’s going. Plus, we still haven’t even gotten an answer to last season’s cliffhanger! An entire season to just never tell us who shot Jack? Come on, show. Some answers wouldn’t have been bad. Particularly in an episode where everything took a turn from the worse, from Lizzie possibly giving cheating ex another chance, Charmaine getting married to Todd because yay things could always be more complicated, Doc’s grandson that we didn’t know he had showing up and oh yes, did I mention Mel’s pregnant and now she doesn’t know who the father is.
Who could have seen that one coming?
Oh yes, everyone and their mother. This move was totally telegraphed by the show, and I’m not saying that in a good way. The only good thing about the way they telegraphed it is that we know Mel didn’t just get pregnant because she decided to sleep with a random guy on her trip to LA, but her impulsiveness is still as much of an issue either way. Not to mention, logistically, I don’t even know how that all works. Is IVF something you do via drive-thru these days? Because boy, that was quick.
Drama meant to lead up to the cliffhanger in Virgin River 3×10 “A Wedding, No Funeral and a Baby” – where Mel absolutely words the announcement the worst way possible, and gives absolutely no explanation, because they have to leave us with pain – the thing we have to remember is that yes, Mel made an impulsive decision. The framing of this is …questionable, at best. The way the storyline has been written has been, iffy, and that’s putting it kindly. But in no way or form are we, or should we be shaming Mel for making impulsive decisions regarding her own body, particularly when she felt she had no other choice. She didn’t want anyone else. She wanted Jack. And she wanted a baby. If she couldn’t have both, at least she was going to have one.
In a normal world she would have taken more than 24 hours to make that decision, but that’s not dramatic enough, of course. But let us remember that she got to the point where that decision was even something to be considered because Jack got scared and broke up with her. And yes, the entire season was built on assumption on top of assumption, and if the two of them had ever had a good, long conversation not just about their feelings, but about their expectations for the future, we wouldn’t be here.
But sometimes people don’t communicate well. That’s not even my issue. Jack made many mistakes this season, and I can shake my head at him, understand where some of his issues are coming from and feel bad for the fact that, when it seems like he finally figured out some of it, the universe is throwing a curveball at him. Just as I can accept Mel was impulsive, understand that sometimes fear and pain make it hard to see clearly and feel for her that she ended up in the situation she’s in. People are not one thing; relationships are not one thing. We can feel all of those things at once.
However, all of this doesn’t mean that the storyline was written the best way it could have been. There’s drama that feels natural, and then there’s drama that feels manufactured. This one feels manufactured, mostly because of how rushed it was, because of how little time we got to sit with people’s motivations. And maybe season 4 can fix all of this, or at least make us feel a bit better about it. Maybe the people behind Virgin River already knew a season 4 was coming when they decided to end this season where they did. But looking at this season as a whole, and Virgin River 3×10 “A Wedding, No Funeral and a Baby” as part of season 3, I gotta admit I’m more than a little disappointed.
I expected more. I think fans deserved more. And no matter what happens next, there’s very little that can be done to fix the sour taste the end of season 3 left in my mouth.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Virgin River 3×10 “A Wedding, No Funeral and a Baby”? Share with us in the comments below!
Virgin River season 3 is available to stream on Netflix.