Tragedy strikes Virgin River in the Netflix drama’s third season, and even though viewers are given several episodes to prepare themselves, it’s still not enough to soften the blow.
We’re talking about Lilly, played to heartbreaking perfection by Lynda Boyd, who reveals at the end of Episode 2 that she’s been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. For the next six episodes, we watch as Lilly prepares to leave behind the people she loves, while also learning to accept her own future.
“It was so hard,” Alexandra Breckenridge tells TVLine of getting through Mel’s emotional scenes with Lilly. “I love Lynda Boyd so much. She’s such a sweet person. She’s so funny and fun to work with. I was devastated that her character is leaving this season. She’s such a fantastic part of the show. I think that’s why she was chosen to be that. Your heart goes out to her. You’ve been watching her through the beginning, with her daughter and her husband dying. The audience really feels for her. That’s what makes that storyline so devastating. You love her.”
Breckenridge also recalls Boyd having a “very emotional” time with her character’s storyline. “When we have things in our personal lives that mirror our work, it’s even harder, but it also brings such reality and grounded-ness in the performances,” she says. “Her knowing people who have passed from cancer, it brought back everything and it just poured out of her like a faucet.”
But before you start blaming showrunner Sue Tenney for cursing us with such a depressing storyline, she confirms with TVLine that Lilly also dies in Robyn Carr’s book series.
“It’s a death that affects everybody, and it will continue to affect everybody in [a potential fourth] season,” Tenney tells TVLine. “That’s really special, to have one character that leaves a lasting imprint on the audience and on the characters at large in our show. Her death also to bring Jack and Mel back together. The death of Lilly, as deaths do, helps them hyper focus on the important stuff in life and take away the B.S.”
OK, let’s talk: How crushed were you by Lilly’s death? And what did you think of Virgin River Season 3 overall? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.
More Virgin River Season 3 Coverage:
* Virgin River Stars on That ‘Juicy’ Finale Twist — What It Means for Mel and Jack
* 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