Is this the end for Hope?

Warning: This article contains spoilers about season 3 of Virgin River.

Jack (Martin Henderson) may be in perfect health, but there's another resident of Virgin River we have to worry about now.

In the season 3 finale, which hit Netflix Friday, Hope (Annette O'Toole) is in a car accident that leaves her in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury and the very real possibility that she won't survive. While Doc (Tim Matheson) tries to face up to the prospect of a version of life without the woman he loves. The residents of Virgin River, especially Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack and Muriel (Teryl Rothery), come to offer Doc solace and comfort.

But a big question remains? Will Hope make it to another season (if Netflix renews the show)? Showrunner Sue Tenney is here to put all our fears to rest, hinting that the trajectory of the question will follow a similar path to the course of Jack's fate between seasons 2 and 3 after being shot.

"We do move ahead," she tells EW. "To us, it's the recovery and what she's dealing with — a traumatic brain injury. In a hospital and going through recovery, that's not really where our show lives. But we're very committed to what the truth of something is, so we'll go to the edge of what's the best recovery for this. We always stick with the parameters, medically, but also we know at this point what we like to do, which are complicated emotionally drama-based stories."

So, just as much of season 3 was focused on Jack's emotional recovery from his shooting and his struggle to remember his assailant, much of Hope's journey in season 4 will be focused on her life post-accident and the changes that brings.

Virgin River
Virgin River
| Credit: NETFLIX

But what about Muriel — who, though sympathetic to Doc's grief, seemed to be setting herself up to take Hope's place if the worst happened? Tenney says that Doc is committed to Hope 100 percent and much of the drama will lie in the uneasy relationship between Hope and Muriel.

"Doc, like Jack, is dedicated and is not going to move off of that dedication," she explains. "But the more fun relationship is the one between Muriel and Hope. It starts as very antagonistic. [But] in the slow burn category, you'll see moments coming up that are going to open up that relationship. [It's] fun taking enemies and making them friendly."

If it's not Muriel, we're certain Hope will find someone to butt heads with. She is still Hope, after all.

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