Who is Mel’s father in Virgin River?

Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel in Virgin RiverNetflix

With Virgin River Season 5 Part 2 coming up soon, here’s what we know so far about Mel’s father in the hit Netflix series.

Patrick Sean Smith took over the role of showrunner from Sue Tenney for Season 5 and beyond of the beloved romance drama Virgin River, and to great effect. The first part of the new chapter has nabbed first place in Netflix’s Top 10 chart, with fans busy poring over the many revelations in the new episodes.

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As said in the synopsis, Season 5 Part 1 “features surprising new relationships, a shocking break-up, a difficult court trial, a heart-breaking goodbye, and a wildfire that threatens the town, bringing some people of Virgin River together while tearing others apart.”

With two new episodes set to drop in November and explore the various bombshells of the latest chapter, fans have questions about what direction the show could take, including who Mel’s father is in Virgin River. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Who is Mel’s father in Virgin River?

While Netflix is yet to confirm who Mel’s real father is in Virgin River, there are plenty of theories circulating right now, the obvious choice being Vernon “Doc” Mullins – but he’s not the only name being thrown around. 

For the uninitiated, Season 5 finished on a shocker of a cliffhanger. In the final scene of Episode 10, the story jumps forward to a few months after Labor Day, showing Mel and Jack decorating their cabin for the holidays. 

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Mel and Jack in Virgin RiverNetflix
Mel was stunned when she found out her mom was having an affair

Mel speaks on the phone to her sister Joey, who tells her about a series of love letters she discovered between their mother and a mystery man. “Mom was having an affair with someone in Virgin River,” says Joey. “And I think this guy might be your father.”

Mel is understandably baffled, but before we get to find out more, the show ends. It’s a frustrating yet exciting closer, building anticipation for Season 5 Part 2. “Look for this mystery to continue in the upcoming Christmas episodes,” promises Netflix.  

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For now, fans are busy speculating who this mystery man might be. As said, the obvious choice is Vernon “Doc” Mullins, the town’s local physician, mayor Hope’s husband, and nurse Mel’s employer. 

After all, his age fits the description, and so does their relationship. Initially, Doc wouldn’t accept Mel in his practice and he didn’t take too kindly to her presence, but perhaps this is because he knows the secret?

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Mel and Doc in Virgin RiverNetflix
Doc would be the obvious choice

Even if he doesn’t, he’s warmed to Mel over the seasons, so much so that they’ve been recognized for their father-daughter-like dynamic in the past. Speaking to Intervieweros back in 2021 amid the release of Season 3, Mel star Alexandra Breckenridge said: “I like how their relationship is evolving.

“Doc becomes such a softie in Season 3, and it’s been really fun to watch Tim navigate that arc and that character… I like this sort of father-daughter relationship that they’ve developed. I think it’s really sweet.”

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However, some fans believe Doc would be too obvious a choice – and then there’s the fact that he already has a secret love child: Denny’s father. 

Another theory put forward is Lily’s late husband, Buck. As explained by one Redditor: “Maybe it’s Lilly’s husband that died? Could make sense considering her draw to the farm, Chloe and Tara?”

Another said on X/Twitter: “#VirginRiver Lily’s dead husband is Mel’s father I think. Her oldest daughter shows up now, and Mel buying the farm. So Mel finally gets her baby but it’s Chloe as her sister. Jack hinted that.”

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Now, some have argued that this couldn’t be the case, as at the end of the Season 5 Part 2 trailer, Mel tells Jack that she knows who her father is. When he asks who, Preacher interjects to say: “He’s still right here in Virgin River.” 

This would suggest it couldn’t be Buck, but Mel’s face appears to be confused, perhaps as she knows he’s dead, and Preacher meant he’s there in spirit and that his grave is in Virgin River. 

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Even with this in mind, some fans still aren’t convinced by the idea. Taking to the comments section of ReadySteadyCut, one wrote: “I don’t think it’s Buck because that would be anti-climatic. Buck is dead, Lily is dead, so the drama value in that choice would be minimal. I think Doc is too obvious a choice. I’m betting on Nick.”

And this brings us to another contender for Mel’s real father. Nick, a local businessman involved with Jack’s glamping business, has played a more prominent role in the latest two seasons of Virgin River, and he’s around the right age. 

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Nick and Jack in Virgin RiverNetflix
Some fans think Nick is Mel’s real father

Although it was believed he was involved in the drug plot, he seemingly had no idea what his queenpin sister Melissa was up to. As said by one Redditor, “I think it is Nick. He’s known as ‘handsy’.” Another wrote: “It can be Nick or Doc, they fit the age category.”

Or, we could be reading this whole thing wrong and Mel’s dad is still the person she thought he always was – although the trailer suggests otherwise. All we can do is wait for Part 2 to drop, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated if any developments emerge before then. 

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Virgin River Season 5 Part 1 is available to stream on Netflix now, and you can check out our other coverage below: 

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