Virgin River's Hope and Mel Became Friends for a Very Sad Reason

Virgin River's Hope and Mel Became Friends for a Very Sad Reason
Image credit: Netflix

The two characters were able to understand each other's misery.


  • Hope has the most interesting backstory in the show.
  • The mayor of Virgin River is a very lonely person.
  • Two outsiders to the town, Mel and Hope bonded over their similar experiences.

Though Virgin River has primarily focused on Melinda Monroe since its 2019 premiere, following the character as she tries to build a new life in the titular town, the Netflix romantic drama has given viewers a variety of characters to follow. Sure, Mel's on-again, off-again lover Jack is the show's other fan favorite. But the audience has a lot more characters to invest in.

In that sense, Virgin River's long-serving mayor, Hope McCrea, is one of the most interesting characters on the show. While she may not have the most appealing personality – Hope has been constantly criticized for her impulsiveness, childish antics, and stubbornness – the woman has a fascinating origin story. But there's a lot of sadness about her, which may be why she and Mel bonded so well.

Loneliness Is a Key

Considering that Virgin River is a very small town in Northern California, it's no surprise that most of its residents are outsiders like Melinda. Hope McCrea, on the other hand, was one of the first newcomers to see the place grow from an unincorporated community into a town. She was also the one who helped establish most of the local amenities, including the post office and store, as well as the local charter.

While Hope's life seems to have been eventful and meaningful, it also seems to have been quite lonely, as the woman never mentions any family members. She has been married three times, but none of her marriages lasted long. As for friends, Hope doesn't have many, as she has trouble connecting with people whose experiences are very different from her own – no one understands her loneliness. This is where Mel can help.

Hope and Melinda's Similarities

Just like the Virgin River mayor, Mel is an outsider who has come to a foreign place where she doesn't know anyone – although it is revealed that the main character's mother lived in the town and that Monroe's real father is a local. For this reason, Melinda is able to understand Hope's feelings of being a fish out of water in Virgin River.

Also, Mel's complicated background suggests that the show's main character doesn't really have a family to lean on, except for her half-sister Joey. This gives Hope and Melinda a shared experience, which is perhaps why the two women have found a friend in each other, despite the odds.