[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Virgin River Season 3. Read at your own risk!]
There's a baby on the way for Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) on Virgin River, but it's not happening under the circumstances she was imagining when she told her boyfriend Jack (Martin Henderson) that she wanted to start a family with him someday at the beginning of the season.
After failing to remember who shot him and an emerging custody battle over his expected children with Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley), Jack was initially very overwhelmed by the idea of having even more kids with Mel. Even though Mel wasn't asking to get pregnant immediately, just the idea of supporting two families sent Jack into a tailspin. He worked himself up so much that he actually broke up with Mel in order to let her go find someone who could provide the family that she was hoping for.
In the midst of her grief, Mel went back to Los Angeles to visit her sister, who suggested she use one of the embryos Mel and her dead husband Mark (Daniel Gillies) froze before the car accident that took his life. The audience didn't find out until the Season 3 finale, after she returned to Virgin River and reunited with Jack, that Mel took her sister's advice. Jack was in the middle of proposing marriage and swearing he was all in when Mel dropped the bombshell that she was pregnant but she wasn't sure if Jack or Mark was the father.
"They really go through it in Season 3, through the breakup and then coming back together again and just everything that's been thrown at Jack," Virgin River executive producer Sue Tenney said of the pair's arc in Season 3. "I think that it's not a question of will they stay together. It's a question of how will they deal with all of the baggage? ... Their commitment to each other is strong."
So the news won't break the couple up, but it is definitely another bump in the road on their journey to happily ever after. TV Guide spoke to Breckenridge about the big news and how it will affect Mel and Jack's relationship in a still-pending Season 4.
I know you can't reveal it to TV Guide, but do you know who the father of Mel's baby is?
Alexandra Breckenridge: So, I know what the original idea was, and I'll just have to leave it at that. I can tell you that I, personally, hope that it is Jack's baby.
I was wondering if Mark and Jack are the only potential fathers, or did Mel perhaps have an airport fling?
Breckenridge: Whoa, no, no, no. That would be a really tight timeframe for her. She'd have to go to the fertility clinic, sleep with someone else, and come back and sleep with Jack. ... It was a bold choice for her to go to the fertility clinic in the first place, but I don't see Mel as somebody that is going to jump somebody else at the airport.
How do the circumstances of this pregnancy affect Mel's perspective about becoming a mom?
Breckenridge: She's always had that voice in the back of her head. She's always wanted to have a child, but she's kind of resigned herself to [the fact] that it's not part of what's happening in my world, and then there are slight reminders of how much she wants to have a child. And unfortunately, he just becomes overwhelmed by the idea of having another kid. … She never imagined him [breaking up with her]. She was blindsided and so she made the decision to go to the fertility clinic under emotional duress and she made a snap decision. Now she doesn't know who the father is. How is [Jack] going to deal with that? How is Mel? I can only imagine.
If she wasn't worried about his reaction to the pregnancy, do you think Mel would have said yes to Jack's proposal?
Breckenridge: Yeah, if there wasn't a baby involved, or at least a baby that she didn't know the father of. She loves [Jack] and wants to marry him. I think a couple of weeks have passed after that breakup. Even though that's not a long time, they have such a magnetism. I think somewhere in the back of her mind she's still questioning, but ultimately she would have said yes, for sure.
How much is the fact that Jack's shooter is still out there stressing Mel out?
Breckenridge: It is interesting that you don't see as much going on with Mel being concerned about that. I think the wanting to become a mother and the breakup have kind of taken over her whole world. [The shooter] is more Jack's focus and arc, so that's why you're following him on that journey because he is pissed off and vengeful. He wants to find out who would do this to him and also he's the protector. He wants to protect the town and protect himself and protect Mel -- it's a huge part of his personality.
How does Mel feel about Charmaine by the end of this season?
Breckenridge: She and Charmaine have had a couple very lovely moments, however sparse they were in the third season. I think that Mel has a big heart and she's able to empathize with people that she maybe would not want to be friends with. She wouldn't want to be friends with Charmaine, but at the same time that doesn't keep her from wanting her to have the best life that she can, and to be happy.
Virgin River Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.