‘Virgin River’: Martin Henderson ‘Very Resistant’ to Season 3 Mel & Jack Storyline
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for all of Virgin River Season 3.]
At the end of Season 3 of Virgin River, things were sort of looking up for Jack (Martin Henderson): He and Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) got back together and the police seemed to have the person who shot him in custody when the gun used was found in Brady’s (Benjamin Hollingsworth) possession.
However, that wasn’t the end of it. Mel revealed she’s pregnant and the baby may not be his. (Unbeknownst to Jack, while they were broken up, she visited a fertility clinic and used the embryos she and her late husband had left.) And Brady insisted he wasn’t the one to try to kill Jack.
TV Insider caught up with Henderson to get his take on those major moments for Jack and more.
I have to say I’m very happy that Jack is alive.
Martin Henderson: Ah, yes. So am I. I still got a job.
Take me inside Jack’s head because he’s proposing, then Mel drops a bombshell that she’s pregnant and then says he may not be the father.
[What would come next] would be about him just trying to get his head around the information and how it could come to be because the audience has seen her go to the fertility clinic. But as far as Jack’s concerned, she went to see her divorcing sister, so it’s so out of left field that the first question would be, “Well, who else have you been sleeping with? And what’s all this nonsense about loving me and having a kid? Why would you want to have a kid with me if you’ve been sleeping with someone else?” [It] would actually be really weird and awkward and uncomfortable and Mel would have to very quickly explain the rather unusual turn of events that happened.
But even that I think would leave Jack in a state of being so perplexed, given that she’s wanting to have a baby with him and then at the drop of a hat, she goes and [uses the embryos she had with] her dead ex-husband. It’s rather a quick reaction to Jack’s rejection. Jack would have felt that perhaps they could talk about it or that she would maybe give it a couple of weeks before deciding to do that. We’ll see, if we’re lucky enough to get more seasons, how he would handle that situation. I don’t know enough details about when you do paternity tests and how accurate that is at the beginning. I guess there would be a very big question mark hanging over all of their heads for a while.
Are Mel and Jack ready to get married considering the timing of it? They did just get back together. Lilly [Lynda Boyd] died. Hope’s [Annette O’Toole] in the hospital. Maybe making such a big decision at such an emotional time isn’t the best idea.
Yeah, I agree. I just think the writers wanted to have as much going on at the end of Season 3 as humanly possible. They’re like, “OK, what is the most dramatic thing we can do? Well, let’s have him propose, and then she’ll drop the baby bombshell and she’ll tell him that it might not be his.”
Probably, yeah, not great timing on Jack’s behalf, but I think also the decision to break up with Mel — and I’ve explored this extensively, given that I had to play those scenes and I was very resistant to the idea. I didn’t personally think that a man who would spend that much time wooing a woman and who was that in love with a woman would be that scared off by these other circumstances. I personally felt that it wouldn’t be easy, but if you love somebody, you show up, you just do what you can, you’ll do anything. But the writers insisted that they wanted to have this moment.
His decision was so excruciating because ultimately he came to it because he didn’t want to be the reason why she would miss out on something as big as having her own [kids] when he realizes that this is something that she wants wholeheartedly and deserves to have. If he were to say “maybe,” and then in nine months the babies come and then six months after that he’s strapped and stressed and he doesn’t want one and then he denies her. If that window closed, because she’s not getting any younger, if he was somehow complicit in her missing out on that, I think he couldn’t live with himself. He already feels that she’s missed out on so much in her life. He thinks he’s taking the high road, but of course, as soon as he makes the decision, he realizes he was wrong.
The decision to propose was probably fueled by a degree of guilt and shame that he took that measure, even though he thought he was doing the right thing. Like Doc [Tim Matheson] says, he almost lost the woman that he loves and that loves him. And it’s not that common to find that in life. Given all of that, I kind of see why he would maybe want to just prove to her that he [is in] because she’s skeptical. When she comes back, she’s wary — “You said you can’t do it. Why am I going to believe you now? You just broke my heart. And now you’re saying that you’re all in. What’s changed? Nothing’s changed.” So I think for him, it’s quite important that he shows her that his commitment is absolute, and what better way to do that than to take those vows and make it forever?
We still don’t know who shot him. Brady was arrested. But does Jack really think Brady could have tried to kill him?
No. In fact, you see Jack grappling with that and there’s a scene at the lumberjack game. Mike [Marco Grazzini] says there’s some evidence that suggests that Brady’s now the number one suspect. And Jack really has a hard time seeing that. As much as their relationship is fractured and filled with animosity and [they have] a complicated history. They were brothers, they fought together, and they defended each other with their lives. I think it feels a bit impossible for Jack to really get his head around that, but then more evidence comes to light and he starts to remember things and maybe he jumps to conclusions? We’ll have to find out if we get a Season 4.
Who do you think shot Jack?
Well, I know who shot Jack. [Laughs] So I can’t fairly answer that. I could lie to you and say, “Ooh, I don’t know, maybe it’s this,” but yeah, I’m not going to tell you.
I love Jack and Brie’s [Zibby Allen] relationship and what that brought to the show for both of the characters because both are dealing with quite a bit of trauma. What has having his sister in his life meant to Jack?
Jack is so grateful for her presence. It was unexpected and obviously at a time when he was in need and she turned up to support him with his recovery at the hospital and then she decides to stay, for her own reasons really. She’s there to outrun her past and heal, not too dissimilar to what Mel was doing in Season 1.
But as she states, Jack has been somewhat estranged from his family ever since he arrived back from Iraq and he doesn’t really defend himself too vehemently. He says, “But I love you.” He doesn’t say, “No, I’m not,” or “Well, there are reasons.” There’s still a lot of unsaid stuff, which is common in families, right? I’m hoping that if we get more seasons then more of that will be revealed. Why is he not as close to his family anymore? Was it the events that took place in Iraq? Is there something else? What’s nice about Jack is he’s this almost stereotypical guy and he’ll always show up and do the right thing, but he doesn’t talk a lot about what’s going on. We don’t really know a lot about him really in a deep way.
What’s exciting is the potential for the show as things go on and the pressures get too much of him, Jack’s going to be forced to confront a lot of his issues, and having someone like his sister there is probably gonna be a catalyst. She’s probably gonna lovingly suggest he might get some help. Certainly Mel as well. It’ll be fun to watch a man who doesn’t really want to go too deep be forced to because of relationships with the women in his life. And I think that’s quite typical, sadly, for a lot of men — they kind of go kicking and screaming to therapy or examining their demons. It’ll be fun to hopefully get to play that if we do.
Where does Jack stand when it comes to the seemingly inevitable Brady-Brie-Mike love triangle? He doesn’t want her with Brady, but Mike seems to have some secrets too…
Exactly. I get a sense Jack’s not privy to Mike’s secrets, that maybe that’s strictly between Brady — Brady’s aware of something and obviously Mike’s extremely defensive about it. There’s something there. I don’t know what the writers have in store for that.
Obviously, the Brady-Brie situation is something that would just rub Jack the wrong way. But I’m also hoping that there’s room for healing around the Brady-Jack relationship at some point. I don’t know when or what the writers intend, but certainly, there’s a brotherly love there and I think the kind of bond that can only exist between people who were in war zones together. It’s such an intense situation and that sense of connectedness [and] loyalty is very, very deep. It’d be nice to maybe see some of that healed.
It’s also made complicated because I think Brady acted selfishly in Iraq — that’s evidenced — and brashly, and he brought about events that then led to the demise of one of their men and Jack still takes that on, but it’s complicated. He knows that Brady did the wrong thing, but he also feels that he was responsible; as a leader, he should’ve had Brady under control, maybe. There’s a lot of unresolved guilt there and survivor’s guilt, so it’ll be a complicated process if they are to heal that friendship.
What do you think it would take for Jack and Charmaine [Lauren Hammersley] to ever work out a custody agreement?
Maybe a major personality change?
And Todd [Patrick Sabongui] out of the picture?
Yeah. Todd is just another force, one more thing piled on Jack’s shoulders that he now has to contend with. And far from being an ally, this guy is going to be another nemesis that just persists to undermine his ability to show up for his children. It’ll be interesting to see how Jack reacts to that. But yeah, I don’t see Charmaine changing her attitude anytime soon, but I think she’s torn. She’s also very much controlled by Todd and Jack starts to get the sense of that — the stuff with the dog — and it’s very evident to Jack that she’s in a situation that’s far less utopian than she lets on at the beginning. She’s like, “Oh, he’s amazing,” but clearly, there’s a darker side to Todd’s personality. Jack feels torn about that because he wants her to be with someone, he wants her to be happy, but obviously, [that] might not be the case. And Jack doesn’t want his children growing up influenced by a man that might not have a lot of integrity.
Virgin River, Season 3, Streaming Now, Netflix