Happy holidays from Virgin River!
Things are getting even cozier in the Northern California small town as Part Two of the Netflix series' fifth season hauls out the holly for their first ever holiday episodes. The final two episodes of season 5 will hit the streaming platform on Nov. 30, and EW has the first photos, as well as plenty of (peppermint) tea on what to expect.
The end of Part One teased a new central mystery. As Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack (Martin Henderson) decorated for the holidays, Mel's sister Joey (Jenny Cooper) called with surprising news: She had uncovered a stack of postcards that seemed to suggest that Mel's mom had an affair with a man in Virgin River and — shocker! — that unknown man might be Mel's father.
Netflix Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson on 'Virgin River'
The holiday episodes will definitely explore this new bombshell. "It does follow through," teases director Gail Harvey, who specifically requested that she get to helm these two episodes. "We know that there are the postcards, and then it goes from there. It's definitely part of the two episodes, and it's actually quite amazing. I'm very proud of the way that it all worked out."
Also to be continued in Part Two? Mel and Jack's talks about trying to get pregnant again or the prospect of surrogacy or adoption. They may look extra romantic in the first photos from the episodes, but they'll still be having those hard conversations.
"It's a big deal," says Harvey. "And they're trying to work it out in my episodes. What will they do and how does she feel and what does she want to do? Any woman can relate to that. Losing a baby is way more common than people think it is."
Jack and Mel aren't the only couple feeling the love in cuffing season — Preacher (Colin Lawrence) and new flame Kaia (Kandyse McClure) are also looking cozy. Will their romance continue to blossom during the most wonderful time of the year? "It's an interesting relationship," hints Harvey. "She's very strong. Preacher always has a complicated relationship status, and that continues on."
Netflix Colin Lawrence and Kandyse McClure on 'Virgin River'
Harvey also says we'll continue to see developments in the new romance between Brie (Zibby Allen) and Mike (Marco Grazzini), while Hope (Annette O'Toole) and Doc (Tim Matheson) will finally get a break from health drama to experience the joy of the season.
But one person who won't be having the easiest holiday is Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley). She approaching her due date, and in the final moments of Part One, we learned that her baby daddy is none other than formally-presumed-dead Calvin (David Cubitt). Not only is Calvin known as a generally bad guy, but things are bound to be even more complex given that Mike and Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth) successfully busted Melissa's (Barbara Pollard) drug empire, of which he was a part.
"It's going to be complicated," agrees Harvey. "That's probably something that we will get into more in season 6, because there wasn't that much time to work it all out in my two episodes. What will that mean for Charmaine's relationship with Jack and Mel and how will Calvin be? And the whole thing with Brady. All of it is very, very complex."
The many happy couples of 'Virgin River'
But more than anything, these last two episodes promise to bring plenty of holiday cheer to audiences and perhaps a tiny break from some of the constant drama plaguing Virgin River.
"There's some very beautiful things and some storylines are tied up in a very emotional way," says Harvey. "There's Christmas trees, there's ice skating, there's lovely Christmas gifts, there's dinners, and there's family dysfunction dynamics that we can all relate to at Christmas. And a lot of moving things. I thought it would be really great to do a Christmas episode because that's really what Virgin River is all about — tradition and family dynamics, good and bad."