Show-runner Sue Tenney spills the tea.


Of the many unanswered questions season three of Virgin River left us with, fans are particularly concerned with the fate of the town's meddlesome mayor.

Hope (played by Annette O'Toole) was noticeably absent throughout the season, appearing only in video chats. Though she remained a virtual fixture in Doc's (Tim Matheson) life, her "out of town" storyline proved cause for concern amidst the show's legions of loyal fans.  

As it turns out, O'Toole was faced with a situation many of us know all too well. According to show-runner Sue Tenney, the actress was unable to film in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. So, like the rest of us, the crew had to pivot.  

"We were affected by COVID like every other show, and it was impossible for Annette to come and join us up here in Vancouver," Tenney told Us Weekly. "Personally, I love Hope. I love the character, so we got busy in the writers' room to see how we can keep her alive in the show, with only having limited access."

*Caution, spoilers ahead.*

Furthering our anxiety surrounding Hope's fate, the season ended with her getting into a scary car crash. But, according to Tenney, that was all part of the plan to get her back where she belongs: in Virgin River.

"We came up with that real doozy of a cliffhanger that will bring her back to the town, but also bring complications with it," she explained to Us Weekly.

Netflix hasn't officially picked up Virgin River for season four, but we're confident we'll be seeing Hope, Doc, Mel, and Jack again soon.

Season three of Virgin River is streaming now on Netflix.