Warning: We’re about to spoil Season 2, Episode 2 of Netflix’s Virgin River. Need to catch up? You know what to do.
Well, folks, it finally happened. After 12 episodes of Virgin River — plus nearly a full year of waiting between seasons — Mel Monroe and Jack Sheridan finally went to the bone zone. So as far as that relationship is concerned, the show is just called River now.
The big moment follows a blow-up argument between Mel and Jack at the end of Episode 2. Mel wants to get everything out in the open so that she and Jack can go back to the way things were, apologizing for leaving and returning without telling him. He accepts her apology, but the conflict lingers.
Mel storms out, but wouldn’t you know it, her car battery is dead. (Fate is clearly ‘shipping these two.) So Jack drives her back to her cabin, where they make out on the porch before proceeding to the not-suitable-for-younger-viewers portion of the evening. So, why didn’t this long-awaited romantic milestone come sooner?
“If you’ve read the books, you know that sex is a big part of the books,” showrunner Sue Tenney tells TVLine. “But I just didn’t feel that the first season was about that. I wanted to hold off.”
As for the scene itself, star Alexandra Breckenridge (aka Mel) appreciates that the moment remained “nice and tasteful” while still feeling romantic and satisfying. “Our show, I believe, is PG-14,” she says with a laugh, “so there aren’t a lot of body parts that are allowed to be shown. We also have a huge age range that watches, from younger viewers to older viewers, and I don’t think everybody wants to see a full True Blood-level sex scene. And I fully did a True Blood scene back in the day.”
In addition to turning Mel and Jack’s courtship into a considerably slower burn, Tenney says she also resisted the urge to jump forward in time between seasons. “We’re sticking to a shorter time frame here, which I haven’t done in other series I’ve worked on. But we were afraid we would miss some really great stuff between these characters.”
Tenney credits Netflix for being a “fantastic partner” in storytelling. “They weren’t trying to hurry us up, or to rush us to where we were going,” she says. “They let us tell the story, and as a storyteller, that’s like catnip.”
And before you even suggest that Virgin River author Robyn Carr might object to any of the show’s page-to-screen changes, Tenney assures TVLine that she and Carr have nothing but respect for one another.
“[Carr] watched Season 1 when everybody else got it, and she was the first phone call I got,” Tenney recalls. “She said she couldn’t be happier, she thought it was amazing and that she wishes she’d thought of some of those twists. It’s very important to honor the books and the book fans. We talk about that often.”
Were you satisfied by Mel and Jack’s long-awaited first night together? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the episode, as well as Virgin River‘s second season in general, below.