Virgin River season 4, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

By Adam Lock
Published: July 20, 2022
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The wholesome series returns with an emotive and action-packed opening episode.

This recap of Netflix’s Virgin River season 4, episode 1, contains spoilers.

Access the recaps, news, and reviews for Virgin River.

Virgin River is back with a fourth drama-filled season to binge watch on Netflix this summer. The soap opera returns with twelve new episodes, following the day-to-day lives of the Californian townsfolk. The series continues the many subplots from previous installments with new characters thrown into the fray and old favorites returning. Fans of the series will be desperate to find out all the answers to the many burning questions they had from season three’s cliff-hanger finale, so let’s dive straight in.

Virgin River season 4, episode 1 recap

The premiere opens with Mel Monroe and Jack Sheridan discussing baby names against a scenic backdrop. Dead daddy Mark turns up on the scene and kisses Mel. This is of course a nightmare, told from Jack’s perspective. But it perfectly sets up one of the major storylines of the season. Who is the father of Mel’s unborn baby? Is it deceased husband Mark or bar owner Jack? Mel wants to know the verdict and is happy for Jack to take a paternity test to find out the real father. Her doctor informs her that she is at high-risk due to a previous stillborn and Jack is clearly stressed by this news.

Mel desperately wants to tell her sister Joey the life-changing secret, but Jack asks her to wait a week. The possible father doesn’t really want people knowing until he knows himself if he is the actual father. Obviously Mel goes back on her word and tells her sister anyway. Jack’s many worries all start to eat away at the former Marine and his main coping mechanism is to over prepare. Jack buys Mel medicine and books, whilst researching state-of-the-art clinics for the couple to attend as well. Mel thinks he’s thoughtful and sweet, but admits that she prepared for the last pregnancy and things still went terribly wrong. She appreciates his support, but secretly wants Jack to just relax a little.

Other major subplots involve Hope’s recovery from her car accident and Brady’s imprisonment. Hope is frustrated by her delayed recovery, noticing that her food doesn’t taste the same and that she’s always tired. The town are on hand to help out though, with Lizzie baking treats and gardening for her. In addition, Hope’s memory is a little unreliable too and she asks husband Vernon ‘Doc’ Mullins if Lilly is mad with her, acting as if she’s still alive. Doc doesn’t know how to handle this precarious situation and ponders lying to her instead of telling her the horrible truth. Mel advises that he is honest with her, but Lizzie accidentally lets it slip anyhow. Hope finally accepts that Lilly is dead and in an emotional scene, Doc recounts her friend’s final days.

There’s a new doctor in town, called Cameron Hayek. It doesn’t take long for the females of Virgin River to hear of his dashing good looks and soon the doctor has a long queue of women outside his door. It’s a funny little throwaway scene, but one that allows for Mel to admit to Cameron that he is attractive. He won’t let this comment slide though and tells her it was the highlight of his first day here. Mel is a little confused by this exchange, nearly blushing at Cameron’s confidence and flirtatious advances. Is this another love interest to throw into the mix?

The ending

At Jack’s Bar, Preacher and Jack discuss the investigation into Christopher’s disappearance. They’ve hired a private investigator to try and track down Christopher, a child who Preacher was caring for. Preacher believes he has been abducted by the villainous Vince, who happens to also be Christopher’s uncle. Preacher is visibly distressed by the lack of new information on the case and worries about Christopher being with the criminal Vince. Preacher eventually finds some recent footage of the thug caught on camera, and when he shows it Jack, the video has a profound effect on the bar owner. This triggers flashes of Vince shooting him and Jack realizes that Vince is the proposed killer.

The man who has been accused of this shooting is Brady. He’s struggling to adjust to prison life and the opening episode ends with the poor man being stabbed by rival inmates. It’s quite the finale, an innocent man being attacked and possibly killed due to these unfortunate circumstances. There’s further revelations when a man turns up on Doc’s door claiming to be his grandson. What an emotive and packed return to Virgin River. I am hooked.

What do you think of Netflix’s Virgin River season 4, episode 1? Comment below. 

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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