The last few minutes of Virgin River‘s third season are, quite frankly, insane.
Following a brief-yet-still-too-long separation, Mel and Jack celebrate their rekindled romance with an invigorating mountain hike, unaware that they’re both concealing explosive secrets from one another. Jack throws his grenade first, getting down on one knee and asking Mel to marry him, which prompts her to retaliate in kind: “I’m pregnant,” she tells him. “And I don’t know if you’re the father.” Boom. No survivors.
“I’m trying to think about how Jack would feel about this — it’s obviously such a giant bombshell,” Martin Henderson tells TVLine, admitting that “Dude!” was his initial response after reading the twist. “Because it was at the end of the episode and the season, we didn’t really get a chance for the characters to explore what that information will do to them,” he adds. “We’ll save that for a potential Season 4, but it’s a very effective cliffhanger. It’s nice and juicy, but it’s a big pill to swallow. She left town for, like, a day or two, so it was rather unexpected to say the least. But just like Jack getting shot, it’s one more big question mark hanging over these characters.”
Yeah, about Mel’s little trip to Los Angeles… It turns out Henderson wasn’t the only cast member surprised by that seemingly sudden turn of events.
“When we were filming and I was reading the scripts, I was skeptical about that storyline at first,” Alexandra Breckenridge tells TVLine of Mel’s secret insemination. “If Mel is willing to go through with that, she must really believe that there’s no hope for her and Jack at this point. It’s a huge thing for a person to do, and it shows just how much she wants to become a mother. When you’re under emotional duress, you act in ways you wouldn’t normally.”
Once the season was finished, however, Breckenridge was able to gain a new perspective on the issue. “It ties itself together, and it makes more sense to me at the end,” she says. “While I was going through it, I was like, ‘What is Mel doing? This is a crazy thing to do!’ That goes to show that, as an actor, you have to trust in the process and in the writers to take you on the journey. That was what I learned.”
As for the paternity of Mel’s cliffhanger baby, Virgin River showrunner Sue Tenney tells TVLine that we’ll know by the end of Season 4, should Netflix bless us with a renewal. (Another season, another mystery!)
OK, let’s talk: Are you invested in this unexpected paternity twist? If you had to put money down, would you bet that Jack is the father, or is the baby Mark’s? Weigh in with your thoughts on Season 3 in our polls below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts.
More Virgin River Season 3 Coverage:
* Martin Henderson on Jack’s Secret Ex-Wife: ‘I Just About Spat My Coffee Out’
* Virgin River Boss Explains Hope’s Reduced Presence in Season 3
* Virgin River Sparks New Mystery in Season 3, EP Rules Out One Suspect