The 12 Best ‘Virgin River’ Episodes of All Time

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

We’ve seen every episode of Netflix’s Virgin River…multiple times. Although each installment contributes a small piece to the feel-good storyline, it’s no secret that some episodes are more binge-worthy than others.

So, in honor of the fourth season (which is now streaming on Netflix), we're taking a quick walk down memory lane with the ten best Virgin River episodes of all time, from that wild season one finale to the major twist in season four’s “The Long Goodbye.”

Keep reading to relive some of the biggest highlights from seasons one through four.

best virgin river episodes alexandra breckenridge1
Courtesy of Netflix

1. ...and Found (season 1, Episode 3)

What happens? Lilly (Lynda Boyd) is forced into admitting that she’s Chloe’s mother. (You know, the laundry basket baby who was found in the series premiere.) This prompts Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) to open up about losing her own baby. Right when Mel starts to develop feelings for Jack (Martin Henderson), she meets his girlfriend, Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley), for the very first time.

Why is it important? It’s the first episode that proves Virgin River has some potential. While the previous two episodes are entertaining, this installment is likely what hooked many viewers. Not only does it introduce a love triangle, but it also presents a mystery element as Mel begins to explore her past.

best virgin river episodes cast1
Courtesy of Netflix

2. Into The Light (season 1, Episode 8)

What happens? A power outage forces the town to gather at Jack’s bar while they ride out a powerful storm. The intimate get-together leads the characters to address their inner demons—like Mel, who’s now having nightmares about her late husband, Mark (Daniel Gillies).

Why is it important? Well, it’s one of the first times that Mel reveals what really happened to Mark and their marriage. Although most of the story is told through flashbacks, the power outage helps Mel accept that she’s moving on. Not to mention, John “Preacher” Middleton (Colin Lawrence) also dives into Paige’s (Lexa Doig) past and learns that she’s wanted for kidnapping. Dun dun dunnn.

best virgin river episodes brady1
Courtesy of Netflix

3. Everybody Has A Secret (season 1, Episode 9)

What happens? Charmaine enlists Hope to deliver a letter to Jack. After a date with Mel, Jack offers a glimpse of his past when he’s startled by fireworks. Meanwhile, Brady (Ben Hollingsworth) gets into some shady business with Calvin (David Cubitt).

Why is it important? It’s directed by Tim Matheson (who plays Vernon “Doc” Mullins). Need we say more?

best virgin river episodes hope1
Courtesy of Netflix

4. Unexpected Endings (season 1, Episode 10)

What happens? Hope (Annette O’Toole) accidentally tells Mel that Jack and Charmaine are having a baby before Jack has a chance to do it himself. Mel threatens to end their relationship and contemplates returning to Los Angeles. After Paige comes clean about her abusive ex-husband, Preacher becomes worried and does a surprise check-in. When he arrives, he finds an empty house with blood splatter in the kitchen.

Why is it important? It’s the season one finale, and it sets the stage for many cliffhanger endings to come. (You’ve been warned.)

best virgin river episodes preacher
Courtesy of Netflix

5. Taken By Surprise (season 2, Episode 2)

What happens? There are a few key takeaways: First, Mel is held at knifepoint by a patient demanding Oxycodone. Next, Paige reveals that she got into an altercation with her ex, Wes (Steve Bacic), and accidentally killed him in self-defense. Preacher helps Paige cover up the murder, but he encourages her to go on the run.

Why is it important? That Wes twist seals the deal. Although it was a longtime coming, his death sets off a major chain of events that ultimately affects Paige, Preacher and Christopher (Chase Petriw).

best virgin river episodes jack
Courtesy of Netflix

6. Out Of The Past (season 2, Episode 6)

What happens? With the anniversary of Mark’s death approaching, Mel is struggling to focus on her relationship with Jack. Speaking of, Jack takes a walk down memory lane when a group of Marines visit Virgin River. However, the reunion also sparks some unpleasant memories.

Why is it important? If you want to learn more about Jack’s backstory, this is the episode to watch.

best virgin river episodes jack finale
Courtesy of Netflix

7. Blown Away (season 2, Episode 10)

What happens? Hope and Doc agree to get married again and renew their vows. Wes’s twin brother, Vince, arrives in Virgin River in search of his brother (and nephew). Oh, and Jack gets shot in the final seconds of the episodes. NBD.

Why is it important? The season two finale doesn’t disappoint. In addition to Jack’s questionable future (spoiler alert: he’s fine), it also details the aftermath of Paige’s departure.

best virgin river episodes lilly
Courtesy of Netflix

8. Life And Death (season 3, Episode 8)

What happens? Trouble starts brewing when Jack expresses hesitation about starting a family with Mel, who travels to L.A. to support her sister. During a timely dinner with Doc, Tara (Stacey Farber) is stunned to find her mom, Lilly, passed away in her sleep.

Why is it important? This episode marks the end for Lilly, who had cancer. Although we knew her death was coming, it doesn’t make it any easier. That being said, Lilly’s final scenes are an absolute must-watch. (Looking at you, Boyd.)

best virgin river episodes funeral
Courtesy of Netflix

9. The Sun Also Rises (season 3, Episode 9)

What happens? Join the town as it mourns a beloved resident: Lilly. Elsewhere, Charmaine contemplates the idea of moving away from Virgin River, while Brie (Zibby Allen) copes with the loss of a surprise pregnancy.

Why is it important? In addition to the emotional funeral, the episode is jampacked with clues and details that lead up to the finale, so watch closely. Disclaimer: Tissues are a must.

best virgin river episodes finale
Courtesy of Netflix

10. A Wedding, No Funeral And A Baby (season 3, Episode 10)

What happens? Preacher is drugged and kidnapped, leaving Christopher unprotected. Brady claims he’s being set up for shooting Jack. Mel explores the possibility of using frozen embryos from her previous relationship. The episode concludes with Mel telling Jack that she’s pregnant…and it might not be his baby.

Why is it important? We’ve been thinking about this episode ever since Virgin River season three premiered on Netflix earlier this year. And since the fourth installment is already being filmed in Vancouver, it’s only a matter of time before the countless cliffhangers get addressed. For example, who is the father of Mel’s baby?

virgin river best episodes
Courtesy of Netflix

11. Fire And Rain (season 4, Episode 10)

What happens? Charmaine is preparing for the twins’ baby shower, and Todd (Patrick Sabongui) isn’t helping her at all. So, she turns to Jack in his absence. Meanwhile, Preacher receives a mysterious call from Christopher, who was kidnapped by Vince. Right when Preacher develops feelings for Julia (Lucia Walters), he’s confronted by an unexpected guest: Paige.

Why is it important? Paige has been MIA for quite some time, and now she’s finally returning to settle her business. Can she save her son without sacrificing herself?

virgin river best episodes season 4 finale
Courtesy of Netflix

12. The Long Goodbye (season 4, Episode 12)

What happens? Mel and Jack get engaged and receive the results of their paternity test. (Yes, Jack is the father.) Lizzie (Sarah Dugdale) arranges a surprise going away party for Ricky (Grayson Gurnsey), who’s joining the Marines. Meanwhile, Denny (Kai Bradbury) confides in Lizzie about a deeply personal secret.

Why is it important? Well, it finally answers the question that’s been haunting fans since the season 3 finale: Who is the father of Mel’s baby? Plus, it also sets the stage for the upcoming fifth season with multiple cliffhangers.

Get the latest entertainment news sent to your inbox by subscribing here.

Check out our new weekly podcast, Stream On, featuring reviews and debates about the best shows, movies and more!


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...