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Virgin River Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Carry On

BY Angela

Published 4 weeks ago

Virgin River Season 1 Episode 1 Recap - Carry On

Mel is driving on a heavily deserted road when an overtaking truck throws her car off, and she lands in a ditch. When she recovers from the crash, her thoughts go to her first day in a clinic, where she gets hurt by a patient needing restraint. The doctor examines her and tells her not to jump into any situation blindly.

Back at the scene of the crash, Mel was startled by an elderly man knocking on her window. He tells her she needs to get out of the car and offers her a ride. She’s also told that she might get her car back in a week if a certain Bert is not too busy.

Mel asks him to drop her off at the McCrea cabin and attempts to give him the address, but he tells her that anyone knows where the cabin is.  She shows him a print-out of the cabin’s photo, which looks great. Mel tries to give him some money to thank him for the ride, but he does not accept it. 


Mel is disappointed to see that the cabin looks nothing like the photo upon arrival. Seeing her disappointment, he tells her that he should never book a vacation online to avoid being scammed.

She then tells him that she’s a nurse practitioner and a midwife there for work. She says that she’ll work with Doctor Mullins, who needs help with his patients since he’s still working full-time at 70. She formally introduces herself as Melinda Monroe, Mel for short, and asks for his name. He then reveals that he is Doctor Mullins and corrects her by saying that he’s 72.

Upon entering the cabin, she sees that it is worse than how it looks from the outside. She’s welcomed by the City Mayor, Hope McCrea. Mel confronts her telling her that the photo was misleading and she cannot live in the cabin, given its current state. She tells her she should grab a bite at a nearby bar called Jack’s while she gets the cabin in order.


Seated at the bar, she meets Jack, the owner, who tells her that it’s not very common to see visitors in their place, not to mention a beautiful one. He introduces himself as Jack Monroe. She tells him that she’s from LA and that she’s the new nurse. The two talk while waiting for Mel’s food. Preacher comes with the food, and Jack introduces him to Mel, saying he’s a man with few words but a good friend and a great cook.

Jack brings Mel back to the cabin, where she’s happy to see that her car is back. She tells Jack she cannot go back to LA because she sold her house and quit her job. The cabin looks better, but she’s still not happy about it.

Alone, Mel reminisces on a time when she and her boyfriend, the doctor from the previous flashback, had just moved into a house. She cries herself to sleep. The following day, she was surprised by a box of breakfast on her porch, and it was from Jack.


At the bar, Preacher asks Jack if Mel made it home last night, and he tells him she had a ring on.

Mel arrives at Doc Mullin’s clinic, and she thanks him for the ride the night before. She apologizes for calling him old. He tells her that he doesn’t need her. He also tells her that trespassers can be shot on sight in their county and that right now, she’s a trespasser because she does not work there and she’s not a patient either. This threatens her and makes her leave. Hope, enraged by what Doc did, confronts him. She tells him that he needs help and cannot be in two places at once, and this seems to insult him.

Mel calls her sister, Joey, and breaks down. She tells her that the doctor doesn’t like her, her cabin is awful, and she feels alone. Joey begs her to come home and that she should not blame herself for what happened.


Mel heads to Jack’s, where Paige Lassiter, who runs the bakery truck, suggests she order the salad for lunch. Mel tries to introduce herself, but Paige already knows her. Paige sees her Celine bag and gushes about it while inviting her to stop by the bakery truck for some muffins.

Back at the clinic, Hope tries to convince Doc once again, and he concedes and gives Mel a 30-day trial period.

Jack sees Mel eating at the bar, where she asks for a latte. He tells her that the nearest Starbucks is 80 miles away. Mel finds this odd because she knows that there is Starbucks in Kuala Lumpur from her time in Nurses Beyond Borders. Hope comes to tell Mel that Doc changed his mind about her and that she can start working immediately. Mel then tells her that she cannot stay in the cabin any longer, and Jack convinces her to let Mel stay at the Fitches’ for now while he and Ricky fix the cabin. After Hope leaves, Jack invites Mel to a tour the next morning.


Back at the clinic, Doc tells Mel that she cannot handle any patient until he knows she’s competent. That afternoon, she goes to the Fitches’, where the owner shows her to her new room.

Early the next morning, Jack was in the bar when it appeared that someone was trying to rob the bar. He gets his gun and corners the guy, only to find out that it is Brady, his friend. He was so happy to see him, but since he had to be with Mel at that instant, he told him to make himself at home until he returned.

Mel meets with Jack by the river, where he helps her put on boots. He tells her that he has cleared her morning with the doctor. Mel doesn’t find this appropriate and tells him that she doesn’t need his assistance. Jack apologizes, and they go on a tour. Jack brings her to a spot where Eagles fly by. Jack tells her that he never went to college, but he loved to read. Hearing a gunshot nearby, Mel shares that she used to work in an ER Level One Trauma Center, so dangerous things are not new to her. She tells him that she’s sure that owning a bar has its challenges, too. He reveals that he had his fair share of challenges while serving as a Marine with Preacher and Brady, whom she hasn’t met yet.


Back at the clinic, Polly Fishburn, a pregnant woman, comes looking for Doc, but he’s not around. Seeing that she might be undergoing premature labor, Mel insists on checking her.

At the bar, Preacher tells Jack that the cash box is light. Jack tells him he must have forgotten to log an advance he gave to Ricky for fixing the cabin, just as Brady appears. Preacher doesn’t seem to be pleased by his presence. Brady leaves to run some errands, and Jack tells Preacher that he isn’t turning back on him. He tells Jack that he needs to change the lock at the bar or he may be facing some consequences.

Meanwhile, Mel is about to finish checking on Polly’s condition when Doc arrives. He isn’t happy with what Mel did and tells her that she shouldn’t check on patients without his permission. He says he treats the patients like family and cannot trust Mel just yet. He insists that Mel tidy the office and take care of files rather than check on patients.


Enraged by this, Mel comes to Hope, saying that she’s giving her resignation notice. She’ll not leave just yet, but she advised Hope to start looking for her replacement soon.

In her room, Mel reminisces once again about the doctor, who now appears to be her husband, and finds herself crying once again.

The following day, while jogging near the clinic, Mel’s attention was called by Jack. He’s looking at a basket with a baby left by the clinic’s door.

Our Thoughts

This episode is a promising pilot. We are slowly easing our way into Virgin River, like Mel. A different town, with different rules and different people. It looks like it is a close-knit community, and I bet everyone knows that there are unspoken rules that you learn by experience, so we’re a bit worried for Mel here. It’s a good thing she has found a friend in Jack, though, and we hope they end up together. However, that might not be easy because she seems to have some emotional baggage that we’re eager to learn about. The ending was explosive and surely got us wanting to watch the next episode.

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