Warning: This article contains spoilers about Virgin River season 4.
There's no shortage of romance on Virgin River, but the steamiest couple is probably Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth) and Brie (Zibby Allen).
But can a love that burns so hot avoid flaming out? In season 4, the pair's connection seems stronger than ever, with Brie opening up to Brady about her assault and Brady seeking advice from Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) on how best to support her. But if the show ultimately follows Robyn Carr's novels, Brie could be looking for that comfort elsewhere.
"Eventually, there's this really handsome detective that's been spending way too much time with Brady's girlfriend," teases Hollingsworth. "In season 4, Brady has to navigate that balance between obligations of people that he needs to protect, and standing up and being a man to Brie in a way that is not what culture really understands as being a man. It's more about supporting. We don't see Brady take vengeance. We don't see Brady actively protect Brie. He does it passively, in regard to a number of threats that arise. I would naturally think that Brady is the kind of character that would go out and take action, but in a way he was taking action by being passive and listening and supporting Brie in the whole process of her dealing with her grief."
Still, Allen questions whether the two can make it for the long-haul. "Brie and Brady are so different and part of what was so steamy about them is that they're so different. They come from such different walks of life, and Brie needs to reclaim her sense of self and sexual power. They have this very steamy thing, but the question is, can it last? Is it sustainable? Does it make sense long term as she starts to come to terms with her own PTSD and what she's running from and as Brady's trying to get out of the bad boy criminal world?"
"I'm rooting for them," she adds. "But they have a lot of work to get there to become a pair that's sustainable. It's hot for a second, but can you, day-to-day, do the thing? I wonder about that."
Brie and Brady also very much have their own drama to deal with apart from their relationship. Brie is still recovering after being raped by her ex-boyfriend, and he is still trying to re-enter her life, sending her messages and eventually showing up in Virgin River to confront her. For Allen, depicting this complicated aspect of Brie's life is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job.
"It's a total honor and it feels really really important because sexual violence of any kind is basically an epidemic," she says. "There's a statistic that's something like every eight seconds a person anywhere in the world is a victim of sexual violence. It's something we're learning a whole new language around right now. I love the fact that Brie's rape wasn't just a stranger entering a window, it was someone she was with in a relationship. It's what used to be considered a grey area, and for the show and for Brie and for the people around her to start actually acknowledging what it is, is really important."
Hollingsworth says he himself has learned a lot from Brie's storyline on the Netflix series about how to best offer support to survivors of sexual assault. "One of the nice things season 4 does is continue on the conversation of how people who are in those relationships continue on with new ones," he reflects. "And how it effects the new ones. And how they support them. And how you don't just move on from it, but you learn to live with it. I myself was questioning things, like, 'Wouldn't he do this?' or whatever I think would be right. The honest answer is there is no right or correct path, it's just opening that dialogue, exploring what that is."
And it's not like Brady can entirely focus his attention on Brie, either. He's still very much viewed with suspicion by much of Virgin River for his involvement with Calvin (David Cubitt) and other criminals. But he's determined to start fresh and get away from that part of his life.
"It's more than just Calvin that threatens not only Brady, but the people he cares about," Hollingsworth says, alluding to the new mysterious figure who comes into his life just as he's trying to set Calvin up. "He's juggling that with a continued strained relationship with Jack and he's really dealing with it alone. Brady has always been an outsider in Virgin River. The way he deals with it is he tries to keep it to himself and tries to handle it himself. Time will tell whether it's a bigger threat than he himself can deal with."
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