After the shocking cliffhanger ending of Virgin River Season 5, the series showrunner has come out confirming fans' worst concerns.
The hit Netflix series just returned to the streamer for two holiday specials to end its fifth season, telling the story of a quaint Northern California town and the overly complicated and dramatic happenings of its residents' lives.
One such narrative thread that has long been present in the series has been the mission of Alexandra Breckenridge's Mel to find her biological father - something that came to a head in the series' Season 5 finale.
Virgin River Showrunner Confirms Cliffhanger Worries
Speaking in a recent interview, Virgin River showrunner Patrick Sean Smith commented on the recent Season 5 cliffhanger ending, seemingly confirming fan suspicions.
As Alexandra Breckenridge's Mel finally closed the case on who her biological father was, eventually discovering he lived in Virgin River as well and is named Everett, the newly introduced character ended the season wanting to tell something to his daughter.
The last fans saw of the two, Everett turned to Mel, saying, "I have to tell you something" before the cameras cut to black.
This led many to believe Everett was hiding some information from the longtime Virgin River character, particularly something with a negative bent.
Smith (via a conversation with Entertainment Weekly) confirmed this, teasing, "[it is] that will make their relationship more complicated," but the series creative would not go any further than that:
"He's hinting at something that will make their relationship more complicated, so we'll say it's negative."
He also mentioned that the introduction of Everett will "be a new challenge for [Mel's other father figure] Doc and their relationship" as well as be the source of plenty of complicated feelings for Mel herself:
"Having another father figure move into Mel's life will be a new challenge for Doc and their relationship."
Mel actress Alexandra Breckenridge commented on the cliffhanger ending as well, remarking she "doesn't know" what it all means quite yet, but surely it will be addressed swiftly in Season 6:
"It's going to be a little strange. Everett says, 'There's something I need to tell you.' I don't know if that has anything to do with any of the people that she's around in the town or Doc or anyone."
On the extended search for Mel's father Patrick Sean Smith told Decider, "When we started to explore the storyline, we thought about the obvious one being Doc," but called that choice "too obvious:"
"In the beginning, when we started to explore the storyline, we thought about the obvious one being Doc. But he was already such an important part of her life as a surrogate father, that the idea of attaching biology to it felt unnecessary."
Instead, the team opted for someone new (Everett) to "create a new dynamic in the character relationships" going forward:
"And then looking at the other characters, they all kind of already came with their own story or their own baggage. So bringing in somebody new, we anticipate for Season 6, would be able to create a new dynamic in the character relationships not just with Mel but with other people in the town."
He joked the secret reveal Everett was cut off from telling her in Season 5 was that her mother was "alive...in her heart," but remained mum on what the actual news is:
"[Laughs] One of the jokes — the one that I kept coming to in the room — was, “I have something important to tell you. Your mother’s alive…in your heart."
Smith did however use the word "bombshell" to describe the reveal, so whatever it is, fans are in for a shock:
"Yes! In these letters that I’m about to give to you. [Laughs] But no, it’s definitely a bit of a bombshell for their relationship and it’s something that informs a lot of what’s happening in Season 6."
When it comes to how involved Everett (played by John Allen Nelson) be in the series beyond this reveal, Smith revealed, "I don’t know as far as in what capacity, but he will [join]," but his storyline is "a big thing that we’re exploring in Season 6" (via Deadline):
"I don’t know as far as in what capacity, but he will [join]. It is a big thing that we’re exploring in Season 6. It just felt like an opportunity for a character who hasn’t had a living parent in her life; getting to see Mel with a living parent has been fun to explore. And also just finding another way that Mel is attached to this town in a bigger, universal, fated sort of way; that she was always meant to come to this place for many reasons."
As for whether this hidden piece of information has anything to do with half-siblings or anything of that nature, the series creator opined, "That felt like we’ve bit off enough to chew, we don’t need more:"
"Just because this was such a new thing in Mel’s life, I don’t know if we’ll get into half-siblings any time soon. That felt like we’ve bit off enough to chew, we don’t need more."
What Is Mel's Dad Hiding in Virgin River Season 5?
Of course - now knowing this news coming from Mel's biological dad will be of the negative variety - the biggest question going forward is what exactly could he be hiding.
What feels like the most likely scenario (despite what Patrick Sean Smith says) is that Everett has another family, and perhaps some of Mel's peers within Virgin River are actually her siblings.
The only caveat with this nugget of information would be that - while shocking - this sort of news is not inherently negative in the way that Smith has hinted at.
Something that would be particularly devastating in the "bombshell" way Smith alluded to would be if Everett - despite knowing Mel was his daughter and was living in the same community as him - did not want to ever meet her.
Perhaps he did not want to meet his biological daughter and - now that her search is complete and the two crossed paths - this has overly complicated things for him, thinking it would never come to this point.
He could also be dying, which would be a particularly dreadful outcome for Mel, as she expended so much effort trying to find her father, that now their time may be cut short.
Whatever it may be, fans will hopefully not have to wait too long to find out. Smith recently revealed that "half of Season 6" has been written. So, production, and an eventual release cannot be too far off.
Virgin River Seasons 1-5 are streaming now on Netflix.