While Virgin River returned for season 4 and a new finale, the original plan for the ending of the show would have been even more upsetting. The finale answered a long-running question about the paternity of Mel’s baby, but it also dropped an unexpected bombshell about the paternity of Charmaine’s twins. However, in the initial ending of the season, neither of these events was originally going to happen.
In the Virgin River season 4 ending that aired, Jack and Mel are officially engaged and find out through a paternity test that Jack is the father of Mel’s unborn baby. With Jack officially being the father of Mel’s baby, they no longer need to worry about any custody battle with Mark’s mom and can continue through the pregnancy without worry. However, while Jack discovers he is the father of Mel’s baby, a shocking twist and cliffhanger ending reveals that he is not the father of Charmaine’s twins after all. It turns out that Charmaine has been lying about the paternity of her twins since Virgin River season 1.
As upsetting as the Virgin River season 4 ending was, it could have been much worse. In a recent interview (via TV Line), Alexandra Breckenridge, who plays Mel in Virgin River, revealed that the writers originally planned on Mark being the father of Mel’s baby. Jack was also going to remain the father of Charmaine’s twins, and the shocking ending wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t until the end of the season that the writers chose to pivot the storyline and make Jack the father of Mel’s baby girl and not the father of Charmaine’s twins. This original plan would have made the whole situation much darker for Virgin River‘s main characters moving forwards.
If Mark had been revealed as the father, it would have added a legal battle to Mel and Jack’s stress. Cassandra, Mel’s mother-in-law, claimed that she would try to fight for custody if the baby ended up being Mark’s. Mel retreated to the scenic location of Virgin River to escape her past with Mark and having his baby would only make it more difficult to move on. With the baby being Jack’s, she can now look move on from Mark’s death more easily.
In earlier episodes of Virgin River season 4, Jack admitted that he didn’t want a paternity test in case Mark was the father. He worried that it would change how he felt about the baby. Jack also has a difficult relationship with his own father and unresolved issues from his time as a marine; it would have been too much for Jack to handle if Mark had ended up being the father. While Jack likely would accept the child as his own, it would take time and put stress on Jack and Mel’s relationship.
If Jack ended up being the father of Charmaine’s twins but not with Mel, the love of his life, it would have been a disappointing outcome. But now, it seems all characters in the baby triangle are where they should be and can move forward with their lives and respective children. With the truth of the twin’s paternity out there, season 5 of Virgin River will likely begin with the fallout from Charmaine’s lie.
Next: Virgin River Is Not A Sexy Success Story For Netflix, But Who Cares?