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The Virgin River Fan Theory About Mel's Baby That Would Change Everything

Of all the cliffhangers served up in the "Virgin River" Season 3 finale, the biggest one of them all involved Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Jack (Martin Henderson). Season 3 saw their relationship endure a lot of growing pains, which ultimately led to both parties questioning if they were truly meant to be together. While the couple started strong at the beginning of the season, cracks began to form as Jack tried to deal with the pressures of being involved in Charmaine's pregnancy as the father of her kids. Still emerging out of the grief she was processing in Season 2, Mel tried to envision a future with Jack. That vision included having a baby — something that overwhelmed Jack and led to him hastily ending their relationship. The break-up was a devastating blow to Mel, who felt punished for being vulnerable with the man she loved, and immediately retreated to Los Angeles to work through the split with her sister. 

While in Los Angeles, Mel explored the possibility of having a baby on her own. During her brief stay, she made an appointment at the IVF clinic where she had tried to have a baby just a year or two earlier with her late husband Mark. "Virgin River" viewers didn't get a chance to see how that appointment went, but Mel was definitely different upon returning to Virgin River. After an uneasy reunion with Jack, the pair took a sunset hike together and began to tentatively discuss their future. It was at this moment, just seconds before Jack planned to propose, that Mel revealed she was pregnant and didn't know the paternity of the child.

The question of who fathered Mel's baby — Jack or the embryos Mel stored away with Mark — will be addressed in "Virgin River" Season 4, but the fact that it's even a discussion at all is a source of discontent with the show's fans. According to one fan theory, there is only one logical answer "Virgin River" can give viewers and it would actually highlight just how frustrating the cliffhanger is in the process.

One Reddit fan theory says the paternity of Mel's baby is more obvious than you think

After the release of "Virgin River" Season 3 on Netflix, Reddit user u/caitieb123 shared their theory about who the father of Mel's baby is. They first expressed frustration over the assertion that Mel would immediately be pregnant with Mark's embryo, to begin with, because, as they noted, the process of IVF rarely leads to near-instant pregnancy results. Instead, the process of IVF is arduous — which Mel knows all too well since she and Mark went through it earlier — and requires lots of physical preparation. u/caitieb123 concluded their theory-argument combination by reminding us that "[Mel] was in L.A. for, like, three days and had the idea while she was there," adding that they "think she's pregnant with Jack's baby, at least I hope so."

Redditor u/QuietTulip was in agreement with u/Caitieb123's theory, replying, "I certainly hope it's Jack's. One, the in vitro scenario with Mel was unrealistic. Two, I just do not want the complications that would ensue if the baby were not Jack's. Plenty of baby drama going around. No more, please."

u/Low_Razzmatazz_7023 added to the theory but making the very valid point that "[Mel] supposedly couldn't get pregnant doing IVF with Mark. That's what they were arguing about when the fatal accident occurred. Doing another round of IVF. Keyword: 'round.' You don't pop in on a whim and do IVF!" They went on to remind us that "Virgin River" made a point of showing Mel and Jack repeatedly sleeping together in the early part of Season 3.

Will this fan theory turn out to be true on Virgin River Season 4?

Over the course of its three seasons, the writing on "Virgin River" rarely puts a premium on realism. Characters enter into and exit from dramatic, life-altering situations smoothly and quickly, whether it's disposing of a dead body and moving on with one's life or getting engaged after knowing someone for just a few weeks. In the case of Mel and Jack, it makes sense that they would, quite suddenly, find themselves faced with the incredible conundrum around the paternity of Mel's long-hoped-for baby. Having the show set up the problem of the father being Mark (via a frozen embryo) or Jack would add tension to the couple's still-healing relationship and add more weight to Jack's ongoing issues around becoming a father.

That said, as this Reddit fan theory and the additional comments hammer home repeatedly, there is only one logical answer to the cliffhanger. Even if "Virgin River" sticks to being mostly realistic in its depiction of Mel's restarted IVF journey (rather than entirely realistic), there is just no way she could be pregnant one or two weeks after that appointment in Los Angeles. If "Virgin River" doesn't choose the answer to this particular cliffhanger that aligns with this fan theory, it will be a jaw-dropper unlike any the Netflix series has served up to date.