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After a successful first season, the second season of Virgin River returned to Netflix on November 27.
Season 2 ended with some major cliffhangers about Jack's fate and Doc's health.
Just three weeks after season 2 premiered, Netflix renewed Virgin River for a third season.
Virgin River's season 2 finale left fans with the ultimate cliffhanger: In the final moments of the show, Jack's fate and Doc's health were put into question.
Leading up to the heart-stopping ending, the second season gave fans a deeper look at Paige and Christopher's complicated past, Hope and Doc's rekindled relationship, and Mel and Jack's future as a couple. Given that the show ended with two major cliffhangers, fans have one question in mind: Will there be a season 3 of Virgin River?
Read on to find out everything we know about Virgin River season 3, including the anticipated release date, cast changes, and storyline details.
When is the Virgin River season 3 release date?
Exciting news: Netflix has officially renewed Virgin River for season 3! Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, who play Mel and Jack on the show, made the announcement on December 18, 2020.
In the weeks leading up to the official announcement, there was a lot of speculation about the show's future. It seemed promising, though: Production Weekly, a trade publication for professionals working in TV and film, noted that Virgin River was expected to start filming season 3 sometime between August 25 and December 11, 2020, as pointed out by Whats-on-Netflix.
There still haven't been any signs of season 3 on the show's Instagram page, but there's a chance that the cast is choosing to be secretive this time around. If all goes to plan, fans can expect all 10 episodes to drop in late 2021, either in November or December like seasons pasts. Of course, there's a chance production in Vancouver could be delayed due to COVID-19.
Is the entire cast coming back?
By the looks of it, it seems like everyone will return to Virgin River. The cast includes Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Colin Lawrence, Lauren Hammersley, Tim Matheson, Annette O'Toole, Jenny Cooper, Grayson Gurnsey, Sarah Dugdale and Benjamin Hollingsworth.
There will also be a few new faces the third time around, according to People. Zibby Allen, who is known for her work on The Flash and Grey's Anatomy, will join the cast as Jack's sister, "a lawyer who is smart, hard-charging, ballsy and a whole lot of fun." Saving Hope and Diggstown actress Stacey Farber will play Lilly's daughter, who is "helping her with baby Chloe while her three other siblings are living away from home." Jasmine Vega, who recently just wrapped Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, will join the cast as Stella, per What's on Netflix.
What has the cast said about season 3?
The actors who play Mel and Jack hope that there are brighter days ahead for their characters. "I hope their relationship continues. I'm sure it would be difficult given Charmaine is having his babies, but yeah — I hope they get married and have babies of their own some day," Breckenridge told OprahMag.com. Of course, this is all dependent on if Jack survives after the being shot in the season 2 finale. Both actors are convinced that Jack will live to see another day because, as Breckenridge puts it, "then you'd have to watch Mel go through basically what she did in season 1 all over again in season 3."
At the start of season 3, we'll likely get answers about who shot Jack. For now, the cast is just as confused as the rest of us. "The writers are certainly leading you to believe that it's the Calvin group of people, but maybe if there's a season 3, there will be a twist in that," Breckenridge explained to Entertainment Tonight. "It was definitely Charmaine. Do the math. I'm convinced," Henderson chimed in.
Any spoilers about the season 3 storyline?
This remains the biggest question! In season 2, fans got a few answers about all of the major relationships in Virgin River, but as we all know, more answers can often lead to more questions, especially when it comes to Doc and Hope's complicated relationship as well as Preacher's involvement with Paige/Michelle's cover-up. It goes without saying that season 3 will also address the two major cliffhangers from the season finale: What is going on with Doc's health? Who shot Jack?
Some of the newer storylines, like Lizzie and Ricky's budding relationship, are just getting started. Showrunner Sue Tenney is particularly interested in exploring Ricky and Lizzie even more in the seasons ahead: "Ricky has a fantastic arc in the books that I plan to explore. We get into a little bit of it in season 2 but we’ll definitely explore it more in [potential] further seasons," she told TVLine.
Dugdale, who plays Lizzie on the show, echoes Tenney's wishes, saying that she hopes Virgin River will give a deeper look at the "triangle with Lizzie, Ricky and Aunt Connie." Lizzie and Connie, in particular, spent most of season 2 at odds with one another, but the coming season is an opportunity to see their relationship in a whole new light. "We’ll hopefully get to explore her presence, even when she isn’t there; the complications that brings up for them; and their ability to stay present together when there’s all this other stuff going on," she continued in an interview with TVLine.
Some fans may be turning to Robyn Carr's books for answers, but Tenney warns that they have steered away from the book series in recent episodes. "Ultimately, the way I look at the show is that we’re going to get as many seasons as we get," she continued. "And when we get to that last season, we want them to be where [author Robyn Carr] has them."
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