Who is Mel's father from Virgin River? The holiday episodes explained

The Christmas special came with the big reveal

Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in episode 512 of Virgin River
(Image credit: Netflix/Future)

Who is Mel's father from Virgin River? Two bonus holiday episodes answered the question about Mel's parentage, and it's not who viewers expected.

After the intense drama featured in Virgin River season five, viewers were shocked to find two bonus holiday episodes had even more surprises in store. With season five's closing moments finally revealing the father of Charmaine's twins, the trailer for the extra episodes of the season suggested Mel finds out her mother had an affair. Her real father happens to be somebody who lives in none other than Virgin River.

The series might be filmed against the sleepiest and most tranquil of backdrops, but there's definitely no rest from turbulence for the unsuspecting residents. The final instalment definitely brought the festive mood, as the annual tree decorating contest got underway. There's also plenty of romance, and even another pregnancy announcement. But the main question is, who is Mel's real father? Read on to find out, but go with caution - there are spoilers ahead. 

Who is Mel's father from Virgin River?

Mel's real father is a man named Everett Reid (John Allen Nelson). When Mel first began looking for him, she knew he lived in Virgin River when her mother began an affair with him, but began the holiday episodes unsure of his whereabouts.

Armed with letters and postcards indicating her mum's affair, unearthed by Mel's sister, Joey, Mel and Jack are determined to track the mystery man down. It turns out Everett lives a quiet life, on the outskirts of Virgin River. During their first meeting, Everett tells Mel she has the wrong man. Although disappointed to hear this, she isn't entirely shocked.

John Allen Nelson as Everett Reid in episode 512 of Virgin River

(Image credit: Netflix)

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Alexandra Breckenridge discussed how she felt filming scenes where Mel meets her father for the first time. She said "When I played that scene, I remember thinking many things when I went to the door, and the main thought running through Mel's mind was I could meet him and he could turn me away."

She added "He'd never tried to find her in the past. But the fact that he blatantly lied, it was a little bit harder than she thought." Eventually, Everett changes his mind about getting to know his daughter, bringing her a music box that plays her mother's voice as a peace offering.

Viewers were surprised to learn Mel's biological father wasn't a character previously seen on the show, with many assuming he would be somebody hiding in plain sight. Doc was always a favourite to be her dad, despite already having a grandson already turn up from a son he never knew existed either.

"Everyone thought it was Doc," Breckenridge said of the cast speculating who it might've been, before they got the script. However, she added "I was like, 'That's too obvious.' Bert we thought would be fun. Nick was another funny idea."

The series writers told EW they did test the idea the father might be a person known to viewers, eventually deciding to to introduce an entirely new character. Showrunner Patrick Sean Smith told the publication "Doc is already a surrogate father to her. So to make it then about biology felt like it was defeating the purpose of what's so special about their relationship."

Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins, Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in Virgin River

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who plays Mel's father in Virgin River?

Everett Reid is played by John Allen Nelson. He is known for his roles as John D. Cort on Baywatch, Warren Lockridge on Santa Barbara, Walt Cummings in 24 and, more recently, Silas Bunch in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

And he'll be returning to screens in Virgin River season six, which has been confirmed by Patrick Sean Smith. The showrunner told Deadline, "What I think we’re exploring more in Season 6 is who Everett Reid is, what his backstory is, what his connection to Virgin River was when he met her mom and then also what it is today since it’s a small town."

However, he added that he doesn't know in what capacity Everett will become part of Mel's life going forward.

Is Lizzie pregnant in Virgin River?

Yes, the holiday episodes confirmed that Lizzie is pregnant with Denny's baby. This was hinted at in Virgin River season five part one, and confirmed in part two.

The couple are also expecting a baby girl, with Lizzie actress Sarah Dugdale telling Netflix Tudum "I think that Lizzie’s probably happy about that because then she can dress her up and do all things girly." She added "And I’m sure that she’ll be hiking with Denny eventually - rock climbing and whatnot. She’ll be a very well-balanced child."

Tim Matheson also weighed in with Doc's thoughts on the pregnancy, saying "For a man who never really thought he had a family, all of a sudden discovered he had a grandson and now a great-grandchild."

He continued "But I also adore Lizzie, and she was very supportive to Doc when Hope was injured and she took care of him. I’m very hopeful and excited and I’ll do everything I can to support whatever they need."

The couple are still very young at 19-years-old, and there's also Denny's diagnosis of the life-limiting Huntington's disease to factor into becoming parents. The condition is inherited and there's a chance their child could be affected. 


(Image credit: Netflix)

Do Mel and Jack ever have a child?

It appears that Mel and Jack will explore ways of having a family in the future, but this will unlikely be through having biological children of their own.

Alexandra Breckenridge has previously discussed how the series depicts that not all women struggling with fertility will get the happy ending of falling pregnant and having a healthy baby. Mel has suffered a stillbirth and loss of a pregnancy, and doesn't appear to want to put herself through trying to conceive again.

When standing at the site they hope to build their new home, Mel says "We could build our home right here on this plot of land. Fill it with kids – our kids – however they come, whenever they come," in a hint that she is determined a family will one day arrive in some form. 

The actress revealed to Deadline that the original plan was for Mel to keep her baby, but Patrick Sean Smith altered the storyline when he arrived as showrunner for season five.

She said "We felt like we were doing a disservice to the women who have had trouble conceiving and have fertility issues - which are so many women - and this storyline felt very real and very powerful for those women. So we both agreed that it was the right direction to go in for the character and to be able to tell that story."

This is a departure from the Virgin River book series, where Mel and Jack have two biological children together, David and Emma.   

In more from Virgin River, we've looked into whether there will be a season 6 of the show. For a season 4 recap and explanation of the season 4 ending, we've also got you covered.

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.