Virgin River Season 3 Review: A Twist-Filled Season That Trades in the Romance for High Stakes

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From hurricanes to shootings to relationship turmoil, Netflix's romantic drama Virgin River has it all.

TV Fanatic got the chance to watch every episode of Virgin River Season 3 ahead of its July 9 debut, and we're happy to report that it does not disappoint.

The season picks up shortly after the events of Virgin River Season 2 and throws viewers right into the thick of it with the show’s signature heartwarming stories, but they're infused with some of the most shocking twists to date.

Conversation in the Woods - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3

Jack and Mel remain very much at the wheel of this story, and their relationship continues to transform, but don't expect it to be smooth sailing for them.

Many dramas botch romances because they throw in too many hurdles, but part of the allure of Virgin River has always been in the way it handles these relationships at the core of the series.

As expected, one of the biggest mysteries of the season surrounds who shot Jack, and you won't believe some of the wild developments that arise on the back of it.

Preach and Christopher - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 3

The attempt on Jack's life brings his sister, Brie, into the fold, and she is played to perfection by Zibby Allen (Grey's Anatomy).

Another big positive of having someone related to Jack in the mix is that we finally peel back the layers on Jack's past.

If there's one thing we know about Jack, it's that he's been a bit of a closed book about his past, and Brie's arrival helps the show unravel more details about the past in a way that feels natural.

Stacey Farber (Superman & Lois) is another new addition to the cast as Tara, Lilly's daughter, who returns to town to help with Baby Chloe.

Seeking Privacy - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 2

These two characters alone help shift the dynamic of the series in a way that I didn't think was possible, but there's still a lot to unpack for the characters after the wild conclusion of Virgin River Season 2.

Not many shows can juggle the number of cliffhangers Virgin River throws at the audience, but the series takes a notably darker turn in its third season.

Virgin River has flirted with darkness in the past, but there is more darkness than light here as all of the characters navigate big emotional developments in their lives.

In a sense, Virgin River Season 3 feels like a different show. With new characters and an increased reliance on twists, the more romantic plots take a back seat.

Sunset Lilly - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 1

That's not a bad thing. TV shows need to adapt to pull the rug from under the audience, and this different direction may not be for everyone, but it helps breathe new life into the series.

One of my biggest concerns heading into the season was the Charmaine of it all.

Lauren Hammersley's controversial character remains a pivotal part of the series in its third season, but the series finds a way to improve her arc substantially.

Yes, there is still a lot of drama between Charmaine and Jack, but would the show thrive without drama?

Charmaine's New Man - tall - Virgin River Season 3 Episode 1

Something tells me viewers will want to binge the episodes all in one sitting, and thanks to the power of Netflix, that will be possible on July 9.

All 10 episodes will be available, and Jasmine will be on hand to take a deep dive into it all with episodic reviews, so be sure to return to TV Fanatic this weekend as we unpack all of the big reveals.

Will you be checking out Virgin River Season 3?

Check out the latest trailer below.


Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Virgin River Quotes

Doc: I don’t need spice. I want to walk down the street and be able to hold your hand.
Hope: Yeah, I hate all that “coupley” crap.

Whenever things got rough my instinct was to head home because that’s where I felt safe. But I realized that the idea of home doesn’t really exist for me anymore, because you were my home.

Mel [to Mark]