Virgin River's Annette O'Toole hints at major change for Hope in season five

Series four debuted on Netflix earlier this month

Virgin River star Annette O'Toole has hinted at a potential change for her character, Hope McCrea, in season five of the hit Netflix drama. 

MORE: What happened to Hope on Virgin River? Annette O'Toole's character change explained

Speaking to The List, the actress revealed that she'd like to see the show delve into real-life politics within Hope's career as mayor.  

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She said: "I would like to see her — and I believe this is going to happen — be more of a mayor, be more involved in her work. We see her walking around, showing up, and she can go anywhere. 

"That's what she likes best about being mayor. 'Well, I can go here and I get free coffee because I'm your mayor. I'm your mayor, okay?'"

The 70-year-old continued: "I would like to see what she does. What is that like? On a local level, that political scene, especially in our country right now [with] what's going on, we have to start. The mayor, the legislators, the town council meeting — those things are hugely important, and that's where we have to focus a lot of our political energy.

 MORE: Virgin River star teases major character exit in season five

MORE: Virgin River star Martin Henderson pays heartfelt tribute to co-star Alexandra Breckenridge

"That's where she is. We have a good opportunity to go into that with Hope. That's my main hope," she added.

Annette shared her hopes for season five

Hope hasn't had the smoothest of rides since leaving Virgin River to look after her ill aunt in South Carolina in season three. 

Fans will remember that Hope's return to the Californian town was delayed after she was caught up in a hurricane. She was then involved in a catastrophic car accident before being rushed to hospital, where she underwent brain surgery.

Viewers were relieved to learn that she was back at home with her husband Doc in the opening episode of season four. However, it's clear that the accident has left her with memory loss.

Hope suffered from memory loss following her car accident

It was revealed last year that Annette's absence from season three was down to the coronavirus outbreak, which meant that she was unable to fly to Vancouver for filming. 

Chatting to US Weekly last year, Showrunner Sue Tenney explained: "We were affected by COVID like every other show, and it was impossible for Annette to come and join us up here in Vancouver. 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."

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