Virgin River season 2, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: November 27, 2020 (Last updated: December 5, 2023)
View all
Netflix series Virgin River season 2, episode 1 - New Beginnings


“New Beginnings” feels like we never left as it brings a warm, dramatic continuation to the series with deepening scenarios to chew on.

This recap of Netflix’s Virgin River season 2, episode 1, “New Beginnings” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped every episode — check out the archive. 

The opening 

Virgin River returns with Mel visiting Mark Monroe’s grave. She talks about the idea of home not existing anymore because he was her home. She’s lost and in despair. Mel has not processed the loss yet. “New Beginnings” gives a reason for Mel to return; fleeing was not the answer.

Let’s not rush things, the big gossiper says 

Doc and Hope are enjoying their renewed, exciting relationship. Hope does not want anyone to know about their rekindling experience. Ironically, the biggest gossiper in town wants to keep things hush. Doc agrees to the “hush, hush” but notes that they cannot hide their relationship forever. 

That dang morning sickness 

As for Jack, he’s taking care of Charmaine who is experiencing intolerable morning sickness. He wants her to see Doc for a check-up. The conversation of Mel comes up, but Jack talks about needing a replacement for Dan Brady at the bar; he has no idea where Mel is, and he seems irritable talking about her, which is no surprise as the “love of his life” did decide to flee when things were heating up. He’s also about to be a father; stress levels through the roof. 

And Mel returns

Mel returns, and Jack is upset that she didn’t return his calls. Before they can get into it, Doc appears, and he’s advising Charmaine on her pregnancy. It looks like “New Beginnings” is going to drag the Mel and Jack reunion as long as it can. Mel talks about how awkward it is between Jack and Charmaine to Doc — the problem is, Doc highlights that Charmaine is suffering from something more than morning sickness, so with her experience, Mel will have to be involved. Episode 1 is concocting a scenario where Jack, Charmaine and Mel have to be in the same vicinity as much as possible. 

A protective Preacher 

Preacher asks Paige why she went all the way to Clear River to help out her son’s wound. She explains how she panicked. Preacher brings up her runaway situation, and they arrange lunch together; he still wants to protect her despite the complicated nature of the scenario.

Charmaine is not pleased with the return of Mel 

With Mel back, Charmaine is irked and asks Jack if he knew she was back. She doesn’t believe that Jack didn’t know and thinks he is happy that she is back. Charmaine was hoping for a fresh start with Mel gone. Well, that’s not how life works, sister! 

Muriel is hungry for Doc 

Muriel speaks to Hope about her divorce with Doc and asks if she can have a date with him now that they are finally over. Hope holds out and explains that Doc is “Fair game”. This jeopardises her secret entirely. It’s strange how Hope wants to keep everything private — is it pride that’s stopping her from telling everyone? She did feel enamoured by taking a strong approach with Doc in front of everyone. 

Mel lays down her reasons for the radio silence 

Jack and Mel finally get the chance to speak; Mel explains herself and states that Charmaine wants to be with him and that he has the chance to have a real family. Jack marks that he doesn’t love Charmaine, but Mel feels it will be complicated once the baby comes. To make the conversation harder, Mel claims she will leave once her contract is up. How many times have we heard that? 

Mel’s consultation 

Mel is asked to check up on Charmaine and her pregnancy; she notes how she could have severe morning sickness, which pushes her into the high-risk category; they need to get her symptoms under control. Charmaine flips out when Mel tries to comfort her. Mel responds with her professional opinion rather than lowballing back in the conversation. Jack tells Charmaine that he’s taking over and he tells her to allow Doc and Mel to advise and treat her. Later on, Mel jogs to Jack’s house, and Jack apologises for Charmaine’s behaviour; he then asks Mel to take on Charmaine as a patient with no strings attached. At this point, the audience is shouting at the screen, “This isn’t going to work!”

Accept Muriel’s date, Doc 

In the evening, Hope brings up to Doc that Muriel wants to date him; she insists that he must go out with her, so she doesn’t become suspicious. This feels like a ludicrous situation, and it might backfire emotionally for Hope.

Looking for space for Charmaine 

The next day, Mel asks Hope for space in her home so Charmaine can be treated in a comfortable environment. Hope is not sold on the idea, but Mel is persuasive; Hope says if Jack agrees that Charmaine can be near her, then she can stay at her house. But of course, what does this mean for her secret relationship with Doc? Oh, the drama!

Preacher offers to help Paige 

While on a walk, Preacher asks Paige how she ended up with a man like Wes. She talks about how the abuse escalated over time. Preacher offers her some rooms to help her out. She agrees to move in with him, and they both seem happy about it, but as “New Beginnings” draws nearer to the end, that dark cloud hanging over them becomes a reality — as Paige walks into her garden, Wes is kicking the ball with Christopher.

Dan wants to be the bar manager 

Dan Brady returns to the bar and speaks to Jack in the kitchen. He wants to make things right and manage the bar. Jack tells him to take the other job offer as he doesn’t think he can handle the bar — Jack is sick of making excuses for him and is not in the mood to cater for Jack’s behaviour. What he doesn’t know is that Dan is mingling with the drug empire down in the woods. But the audacity of Dan to ask for a management position. We admire his courage, but really?

The ending of “New Beginnings”

Mel asks Doc for advice; she wants to know if she’s the reason Jack and Charmaine broke up. Doc explains he never got the sense that Jack was serious with Charmaine — he believes Mel fulfils Jack. 

As Preacher tries… preaching to Jack about letting go of Mel, Jack tells him he’s in love with her. As “New Beginnings” ends, a man enters Mel’s house that catches her off-guard.

Virgin River season 2, episode 1 feels like we never left as it brings a warm, dramatic continuation to the series with deepening scenarios to chew on.

Netflix, TV Recaps
View all