Here's what Mel's big reveal on Virgin River means for her future with Jack
Warning: This article contains spoilers about season 3 of Virgin River.
Virgin River sure knows how to leave us hanging.
While season 2 ended with Jack's unknown fate after being shot (which was quickly resolved), season 3 — out on Netflix now — concluded on the mother of all revelations — with Mel (Alexandra Breckinridge) telling an about-to-propose Jack (Martin Henderson) that she's pregnant. And the baby might not be his.
Because just a few weeks prior, while she and Jack were split, Mel used some of her remaining embryos from late husband Mark (Daniel Gillies) to attempt to get pregnant via IVF. This is all after Mel blurted out to Jack that she wanted to have a baby, causing the temporary split with Jack out of his misguided sense of self-sacrifice.
Breckenridge admits she was surprised the first time she read Mel's confession to Jack about wanting a baby. "When I initially read that scene I thought, 'Wow, that is a big thing to jump into,'" she tells EW. "But when I look at her journey and how much she's wanted to become a mother for so long...that is a driving force with her. She gets to this place where she feels that she has to be open and honest with him at this point in their relationship, because it is something that she really wants. She wants that intimacy, she wants that honesty, and she is willing to dive in."
Still, she also concedes that the decision to go through with the attempt at IVF was one Mel made under perhaps not the best of circumstances. "It's a matter of her being under emotional duress," she says, commenting on the break-up with Jack. "When you lose someone after having lost someone tragically, it will stimulate those feelings of loss in a big way. She's going through this emotional roller-coaster, and she makes this decision out of that place. It feels like now or never to her. When she makes that decision, I don't think it's entirely thought out."
Thought out or not, it potentially led to a pregnancy, which could present yet another roadblock to Mel and Jack's happy ending, after already wrestling with the prospect of Charmaine's twins by Jack. "Jack is very much a man of his word, and very much, very much in love with her," teases showrunner Sue Tenney. "Jack and Mel, their love and their commitment to each other, that doesn't change. How he feels about her does not change. There's circumstances that happen around them — and the reactions and how they deal with those things."
Breckenridge says she thinks Mel would have waited longer (and perhaps even got some clarification on paternity) to tell Jack if he hadn't essentially backed her into a corner by getting down on one knee. "She wasn't really sure how she was going to tell him, and definitely was not expecting to do it in that way," she elaborates. "I think she was going to wait and see if it stuck for her. She's had such a bad history of infertility. Also, Hope's in the hospital and everything is really emotionally charged. She was going to wait. And then, she was like, 'Oh my gosh, he's proposing, I cannot let him propose and not tell him the truth.' Because she's a very honest person."
But what will this big reveal mean for Mel and Jack going forward if the show gets renewed for season 4? Is Jack up for potentially watching his biological children get raised by another man and concurrently raising a child that he potentially didn't father?
Breckenridge says that will be up to Jack. Mel is, and has been, all in on this relationship. "He was the last one to back out," she notes. "It's a dance, it's the drama dance, the TV dance. But , ultimately, of course she wants to still be with him regardless of who the father is. It's really going to be a question of whether or not Jack is going to be able to handle that."
"The idea that he is going to be having three children with two different women so close together is going to be very interesting," she adds. "If we do go forward, I'm very interested as to how Jack is going to handle all of that, and how Mel is going to handle all of that if they do stay together. If it turns out that Mark is the father, how is Jack going to react? That's going to be hard."
But another question remains — will Jack or Mel even want to know who the baby's biological father is? Or will they decide to forgo a paternity test and raise the child as their own regardless?
Breckenridge says if it were her, she'd want to know as soon as possible. "Being a person that got the gender of my children at like nine weeks pregnant because I cannot not know things, I absolutely understand needing to know right now," she quips. "Mel wants it to be Jack, and I think she's hoping that it is, given her fertility issues with Mark."
But Tenney teases that the paternity question would be the basis of a major arc in a potential season 4. "Do you go down that road [of finding out]?" she hints. "And if you do, why do you? There's a lot of complications."
And Virgin River has as many complications as it does friendly neighbors.
Virgin River season 3 is on Netflix now.