‘Virgin River’: Is Hope Jack’s Mom on the Show?

Virgin River is a fan favorite on Netflix. Based on the book series by Robyn Carr, the series chronicles the lives of the residents of the small town of Virgin River, their love lives, hopes, dreams, and drama. Standing at the helm of the town is Hope McCrea (Annette O’Toole), Virgin River’s mayor, who can’t keep her nose out of other people’s business.

In addition to interjecting herself in her estranged husband’s Vernon “Doc” Mullins’ (Tim Matheson) affairs, she also loves to stir the pot with Virgin River newcomer Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), and her boyfriend, Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson). But is Hope actually Jack’s mom?

Annette O'Toole as Hope McCrea smiling and wearing classes
Annette O’Toole as Hope McCrea in ‘Virgin River’ | Netflix

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Why wasn’t Hope in ‘Virgin River’ Season 3?

As much as fans are still talking about the roller coaster that was Virgin River Season 3, there are still a lot of loose ends that need to be tied, including why Hope was missing for the entirety of the season. In the narrative, she was away caring for an aunt and was only seen during video calls. However, fans couldn’t understand this direction for her character since she and Doc (Tim Matheson) had only just rekindled their romance.

Now, Virgin River showrunner, Sue Tenney is explaining why O’Toole was absent on the set. “That was a pandemic pivot,” showrunner Sue Tenney told Entertainment Weekly. “We’ve worked very hard to make sure she was still very much in the show. If we have a fourth season, everyone is now vaccinated and the pandemic is not what it was. So, I would hope that we would have Annette back.”

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Is Hope Jack’s mom in ‘Virgin River’?

In the first two seasons of Virgin River, there was some speculation that Hope was Jack’s mother. After all, she was known to poke her nose in his love life, even reading a private letter that his ex-girlfriend, Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) gave to her to give Jack which revealed her pregnancy.

Angry at Hope and the messiness of his love life, Jack vowed to keep the mayor at arm’s length. Though some Virgin River fans were puzzled up until then, this seemed to indicate the Jack isn’t Hope’s mom. It also should be noted that he never calls her mom.

Jack and Hope’s relationship has never been explored in-depth in the series, but it’s clear that despite Hope’s meddling the pair do have a strong bond.

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Was Hope’s car crash really an accident?

Though we’re almost certain that Jack and Hope aren’t blood-related, we’re not quite convinced that Hope’s car crash at the end of season 3 was really an accident. The mayor was in a terrible crash as she headed home to Virgin River for her friend Lilly’s (Lynda Boyd) funeral. Fans are now speculating Calvin (Peter Cubitt), the town’s notorious criminal was behind the wheel of the truck that crashed into Hope’s car. It has also been assumed that this was done on purpose to get back at Jack.

“I should’ve called her when I found out about Lilly, and she’d have come home,” Doc told Mel and Jack. “She wouldn’t have been on the road when the damn truck crossed.” We’re just hoping that Hope will return full force in Virgin River Season 4.