‘Virgin River’ Season 5 Review: New Characters, New Love Triangles & New Heartbreak

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Fans have been patiently anxiously waiting for the premiere of Virgin River season five on Netflix, and it’s finally here. Not only is there a lot of change happening in the small town, but there’s also a heavy focus on sensitive subjects—like Mel’s pregnancy complications. Keep scrolling for an honest review of Virgin River season five.

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Courtesy of Netflix

The first episode picks up right where the finale ends, with the town reacting to Mel’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) pregnancy news. Plus, Jack (Martin Henderson) is trying to figure out how to deal with Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley), who revealed in the season four finale that Jack isn’t the father of her twins after all.

If there’s one thing that feels different than previous seasons, it’s that change is afoot. Mel is leaving the clinic to focus on her pregnancy. Doc’s (Tim Matheson) condition is forcing him to step back from his role, leaving Cameron (Mark Ghanimé) as the only remaining physician.

Brady (Ben Hollingsworth) is trying—and failing—to get out of the drug trade. Preacher (Colin Lawrence) is navigating a love triangle. And some characters—like Lizzie (Sarah Dugdale) and Denny (Kai Bradbury)—are questioning whether they want to stay in Virgin River altogether. What. Is. Happening.

virgin river season 5 review preacher brie
Courtesy of Netflix

To top it off, there are loads of new faces joining the cast for Virgin River season five. First, there’s Melissa (Barbara Pollard), who’s the mastermind behind the town’s drug trade. While the character was introduced in season four, the new installment further explores her story line.

There’s also Ava (Libby Osler), who’s the daughter of the late Lilly (Lynda Boyd) and the sister of Tara (Stacey Farber). Although she grew up in Virgin River, she doesn’t visit very often. But in season five, she returns to the small town to confront personal issues and spend more time with her baby sister.

There are other new characters—like Kaia (Kandyse McClure)—but we’ll let you watch the new episodes to meet them for yourself.

virgin river season 5 review fire
Courtesy of Netflix

While past seasons have pulled at our heartstrings, these changes make the new episodes feel more dramatic and—dare we say—emotional than previous installments. Although everything seems OK in the beginning, the trailer confirms that chaos will ensue in the coming episodes, so prepare for the worst.

Despite the difficult subject matter, the cast does a superb job of getting our attention with their spot-on performances. Each relationship gets ample screen time with dialogue that tugs at our heartstrings, though the plot does move a tad slower than past seasons. Perhaps Netflix is slowly setting the stage for what’s to come at the end of part one, so it can end with a cliffhanger ahead of the second half. (Surprise, surprise.)

PureWow Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

We’ve been waiting more than a year for Virgin River season five to premiere on Netflix, and—to no surprise—it didn’t disappoint. Although we hoped for more feel-good moments, the entertainment value is at an all-time high. And that’s all we ask.

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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...