Virgin River Season 3 Episode 6 Review: Jack and JillJasmine Blu at .
Are there actual Lumberjack Games somewhere? Because they look like SO much fun!
It's not a season of Virgin River unless they give us one of those fun town events that make you want to pack all of your belongings and hightail it to the nearest scenic small town that can deliver anything close to it.
The Lumberjack Games of Virgin River Season 3 Episode 6 were top-tier small town goodness.
Finally, a girl has an excuse to wear all her finest flannel and best boots. And there are plenty of both around these parts.
It's never a dull moment at one of these events, so naturally, it led to Sheridan sibling tension, Mel and Jack having some more relationship challenges and bickering, Doc worrying about his vision, and Lilly's cancer news spreading around town.
And that's only a handful of things that the hour tackled.
As predicted, Brie made the mistake of mixing her Xanax with alcohol, and that led to the scare she gave Mel and Jack. She was still trying to cover up her medication usage, but Jack found the bottle on the floor while Mel was helping Brie.
Understandably, he was worried, and it led him to beat himself up in true Jack fashion over his not pushing his sister to share more. Oh, Jack, Brie is but another variation of you!
The hour delivered, giving us a much-needed conversation between the siblings. As cool as it is to have Brie dropped into our lives offscreen and seeing this familial connection of Jack's, they haven't interacted as much as you'd like.
Jack: Why are you pushing me away?
Brie: I'm not.
Jack: OK, then talk to me. Come on, hey, whatever is I can handle it okay?
Brie: It's personal.
Jack: So what?
Brie: So, before the shooting, when's the last time you called?
Jack: So, you're keeping me in the dark because I didn't call you enough.
Brie: No, but ever since you got back from Iraq, you've been emotionally and physically MIA not just with me but with the entire family.
Jack: Come on, I love you.
Brie: Yeah, I love you too. Sometimes it feels like we're strangers.
And they definitely haven't talked about a lot of things before this. The lack of closeness between the two was the elephant in the room the series took its time addressing.
It was odd that we never hear about Jack's sister, and Brady (and maybe even Preach) didn't even know he had one. When they talk to each other, you sense that there was some time and distance in their relationship.
Jack was worried about Brie, and in a questionable moment, Mel shared everything that Brie told her with Jack, and he couldn't believe that his sister would quit her job and develop severe anxiety over a man.
But Jack doesn't know as much about his sister as he thought, so it was natural for Brie to push back on his prodding. He's concerned about her now because of her being in his face every day. But according to her, ever since he returned from Iraq, he's been emotionally and physically unavailable to the entire family.
It's believable. Jack accused Brie of pushing him away, but she probably isn't wrong about how he's done the same for years. As Mike mentioned before, they've all battled their demons and changed since Iraq.
Jack has to realize that there's some merit to what his sister told him since it's something that Mel was pointing out to him in a way before.
He's the King of shutting down on people and closing himself off. But he always wants access to everyone else's feelings, expecting them to unload their burdens and feelings on him when he's often incapable of returning the favor.
Brie mentioned that they feel like strangers, but Mel's earlier advice is sound. Brie and Jack are now living in the same town, and they see each other every day. They have this time together, so it's their chance to repair their relationship and building up that closeness.
Brie: I was dating this guy in Sacramento and it ended badly. Really badly. So I quit my job.
Mel: Did you work with him?
Brie: Uh, no. No, I just, I couldn't stand the idea of seeing him in court.
They both have to take steps toward it, though. They love each other and would do whatever it takes for the other, but there's a lot of hurt there. Hopefully, that's something the two can work on over some time.
Brie never got around to telling Jack herself what happened, and while her story to Mel fills in a lot of the blanks, it still feels like much more that she's holding back. She said her relationship with this man got bad, but she didn't elaborate to what degree.
Whatever the case, Brady feels like an escape to her. And the two of them are endearing, but even that will get ripped from her if the news spreads that Brady is the primary suspect in Jack's shooting.
Talk about a break in the case. Brady's original alibi fell through, and while it more so means that it's inconclusive, the fact that they can't rule him out and he and Jack had a turbulent history at the time means he's their new focus.
Mike: Brady's our primary suspect now.
Jack: No, come on. I mean we had our differences but, we were brothers.
Mike: Yeah, but you know as well as I do Iraq changed all of us.
Jack: Yeah, but still, I mean, I just don't see it.
Mike: I can't rule anyone out. I gotta go where the case leads me.
Jack can't believe it, and the more time we spend with Brady, the unlikely it seems. Wouldn't it be too obvious? But while Jack can't wrap his head around the notion of someone he deemed his brother causing him such harm, the fractions of memory coming back to him could change his mind.
He recalled someone of Brady's height, frame, and stature, wearing a hoodie standing outside the bar that night.
I wonder if he'll keep having flashbacks, or will this new information make him fill in the blanks with Brady?
I don't believe Brady shot Jack, and never in a million years did sympathizing with him seem like a possibility, but here we are.
And Charmaine garnered some sympathy this time around, too. Todd the Terrible isn't the perfect guy that Charmaine thinks, and there was a hint of some cracks coming through when she shared that she had to give up Tucker.
Didn't Todd say he would do anything to make Charmaine happy? Well, then why doesn't that include letting her keep her dog?
Jack is a good person because anyone else would've chewed her out over the phone, but especially in person after that stunt that Todd pulled with trying to buy Jack.
But instead, he took Tucker graciously and inquired the same thing we were wondering, why does Todd suck? She shouldn't have to sacrifice her dog to appease him; that's not a compromise.
Jack: You really don't have to do this.
Charmaine: Yes, I do actually. Todd's not allergic, he's, um, he's just not a dog person, I thought I could change his mind, but obviously, I couldn't, so.
Jack: So he's just making you get rid of your dog.
Charmaine: He's not making me, it's a sacrifice.
Jack: It's a pretty crappy sacrifice if you ask me.
Charmaine: I'm not asking you.
But knowing Charmaine, after everything Todd has given her thus far, she probably felt she owed it to him. It's the first time the shiny veneer of her relationship slipped away, and Charmaine showed signs of unhappiness.
Charmaine is an annoying pain in the ass, but regardless of her bitchy behavior and everything else, she does deserve a happy, loving relationship, and Todd the Terrible isn't it.
Ideally, she can dropkick him out of her life and find what she's looking for elsewhere, and she and Jack can co-parent their future children with some semblance of ease.
Since we're on the topic of future children, Brie's scare didn't distract Mel and Jack from addressing the Mandy bomb and Mel's baby feelings.
Jack thought they would have a wonderful day as a couple, playing games together that looked like fun, but almost every time, they got distracted bickering about their relationship.
It's flat out unfair that Mel sprung this baby thing onto Jack, and then she got upset that he didn't have an answer or initiated another conversation about it a couple of days later.
And instead of taking a direct approach about the Mandy thing, she chose to be passive-aggressive, implying that Jack wasn't committed to their relationship or was getting scared because of things getting too serious.
How fast does Mel expect them to go? It's unfair that she gets to set the speed for everything. Jack was right to point out that he was ready for their relationship, and she was the one who was holding back while she worked through all of her stuff.
But Mel is right about how Jack doesn't give all of himself in their relationship. He withholds a lot and often, and therefore it's reasonable for someone to question that.
But the Lumberjack Games wasn't the time for them to have all of these conversations.
While Jack's reasoning that his marriage to Mandy was brief enough where he doesn't think about it much made some sense, it's still odd that he never thought to bring it up at all during all the time he and Mel were getting to know each other.
A three-month, fresh-out-of-high-school marriage is no big deal, but it's a part of Jack's past that anyone involved with him would love to know.
But you can't say that Jack isn't serious about Mel since he casually mentioned them getting married when talking about the twins and Mel being their stepmom.
Mel wants Jack, and she also wants a family. She made it clear that she's intent on having both, but what exactly does that mean for Jack? He wants her to be happy, and a baby is part of that. But it doesn't sound like he has any room to say no on this.
Mel says there aren't any Plan B's, but despite how reassuring she intends it to be for how committed she is to Jack, that also makes it sound as if Mel is putting all of her eggs (pardon the pun) into one basket, and she believes Jack will cave on the baby thing.
Not only is she antsy about Jack not giving her a response as soon as she'd like, but she has only prepared herself for one. Is it because she knows that Jack always gives her what she wants?
Jack: I'm sorry you found out the way you did.
Mel: Yeah, it just makes me wonder what else I don't know about.
Jack: Like what?
Mel: I don't know. I just wanna be prepared for the future.
Jack: Yeah, I get it. But you told me to take some time to think about the baby so ...
Mel: I know. I know, and I'm sorry. I didn't think it would be this hard to wait.
Jack: You know wherever we end up, I just want you to be happy.
Mel: I am happy. I want to be with you, and I want a family.
Jack: What about the twins? You know if we got married, you'd be their stepmother.
Mel: I know, and I know I would love them with all of my heart, but I know myself, and loving them is not going to stop this feeling that I have to have a baby of my own. I just want you to think about it.
Mel made it clear that while she'll love the twins, she knows that it won't be the same for her, and she'd want a child of her own. But is she prepared to do that without Jack?
It's beautiful that Mel has reached this place where she's allowing herself to be happy and reach for all that she desires, but it's a lot to process, too. Doesn't it feel like she wants too much too fast?
And hell, Jack is feeling the pressure from everywhere. Even Bert was on his case about marrying Mel and starting a family with her. Damn, they won't Jack live!
Clear Water Goss:
- Muriel did such a fantastic job taking over the Lumberjack Games. It's such a great season for her, and she's really shining.
- It was so stressful when Doc miscounted the gear and got roped into shooting. But he was so happy and proud of himself when he still managed to shoot most of them. Doc deserved that win.
- Everything about Lilly's storyline is heart-aching. Thankfully, she realized the amount of pressure she was putting on Tara with the secret.
- At first, it was a bit annoying that Tara spilled the beans, but gosh, it was heartrending to see the Sewing Circle sad and lavishing Lilly with love and support.
- I just wanted to hug poor Jo Ellen! Between her, Bert, Molly, Jeb, and others, the minor characters are getting all of these sweet moments to shine this season.
- You can see how pissed off Lizzie is about Ricky showing interest in the Marines. At this rate, Ricky will join and avoid saying anything to her because of his fear of confrontation. The parallel of Rick and Lizzie to Jack and Mandy isn't lost.
- It's good that Preacher and Christopher made a deal, but there's a line between protecting Christopher and smothering him. Also, all of these scares are leading up to something, yes?
What did you think of the Lumberjack games? Do you feel bad for Charmaine? Is Mel expecting too much too fast? Hit the comments below!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.