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How [spoiler] leaves “Virgin River” in season 5

How [spoiler] leaves “Virgin River” in season 5

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Virgin River season 5.

Virgin River is a place where people like to put down roots.

So it's always a bit of a shock when someone decides to leave the small Northern California town — particularly when it's someone who came there looking for refuge.

But that's exactly what happens in season 5, as Paige (Lexa Doig) decides to skip town with her new lease on life. Picking up where season 4 left off, season 5 opens on Preacher (Colin Lawrence) and Paige in the aftermath of their face-off with Vince (Steve Bacic), the twin brother of Paige's abusive ex Wes (also Bacic).

After taking down Vince in self-defense, Paige and Preacher fear reprisal, but cop Mike (Marco Grazzini) assures them that the charges against Paige have been dropped and she's free to go. Vince is arrested and no one is going to bother investigating anything he might have to say. As Preacher tells Paige, "You don't have to run anymore."

Virgin River Season 5
Virgin River Season 5

Netflix Lexa Doig and Colin Lawrence on 'Virgin River'

But instead of taking Preacher's words as an invitation to stay in Virgin River with him and grow their relationship, Paige decides it's time for a fresh start somewhere else. "I know I don't have to run anymore, but I can't stay," she tells Preacher. She invites Preacher to come with her, but Virgin River is his home and he doesn't want to leave.

Paige takes Christopher (Chase Petriw) and strikes out on a new path towards a future that doesn't include Preacher or any of the bad memories they've made in town.

Preacher takes it in stride, being generous about Paige deserving to find a home she loves. Eventually, Preacher sparks a new romance with firefighter Kaia (Kandyse McClure) — but that doesn't come without its own challenges. Kaia is married to her firefighting partner Jay, but they are separated — and Jay warns Preacher that Kaia puts her job above everything. It looks like she's headed out to Alaska on her next assignment, but she ends up staying in Virgin River on the clean-up brigade. Maybe cuffing season will bring her and Preacher closer together?

"It's really an interesting, great relationship," teases director Gail Harvey of what we might see from the couple in the holiday episodes. "She's very strong. Preacher always has a [thing for strong women], and it's complicated."

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