Virgin River's Jenny Cooper Sees A Lot Of Joey In Herself

"Virgin River" is about the characters who reside in the titular town, with one exception. Viewers know that Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) left her life in Los Angeles behind after the tragic death of her husband, but she still has a few ties to her old stomping grounds. Whenever Mel needs a fresh perspective, her sister, Joey Barnes (Jenny Cooper), is always there to lend an ear, despite Virgin River's notoriously bad cell phone reception. Joey isn't a main character by any means, although her scenes tend to highlight the ways Mel has changed since moving. During an interview with Survived The Shows, Cooper revealed that it's easy for her to connect with Joey, even though audiences are usually learning about the character from afar.

"I think we're similar in a lot of ways. We both have three kids. We haven't met Joey's kids yet, but I also have three kids, so I know what that's like to try to juggle, you know, being a mom and having other responsibilities and other relationships and work and I also have a long-distance relationship with my sister, who I'm very close to," the actor told the outlet. "And so I really relate to that because that's the relationship I have with my own sister and I love that we're able to do that."

Joey made another in-person visit to Virgin River in Season 4, and there are a few details that could indicate she might be more present in future episodes.

How will Mel and Joey's relationship evolve in Season 5?

No matter what's going on in their lives, Mel and Joey have each other to lean on. Joey helps her sister cope in the wake of Mark's (Daniel Gillies) death, but their relationship goes both ways. Joey is going through a divorce, which has threatened to upend her entire life. When it looks like Joey will have to sell her house, Mel reminds her that home can be anywhere as long as she has her family. This conversation could just be a heart-warming exchange between sisters, or it could signify what will happen with Joey's storyline moving forward.

Towards the end of Season 4, Joey unexpectedly shows up in Virgin River engaged to a man named Nate (Dan Payne), who was her high school sweetheart. Mel initially has a hard time adjusting to the idea of her sister getting married again so quickly, but she decides to support Joey's decision in the end. Joey leaves Virgin River with a new husband and a new lease on life, but where does she go from there? Right now, Joey is mostly a voice at the other end of a phone, but she has the potential to be so much more. 

Now that Joey has embraced change in her love life, perhaps she'll be looking for a new place to call home. It would be great to see Joey in "Virgin River" more, especially now that Mel and Jack are expecting a baby.