Warning: This article contains spoilers about Virgin River season 5.
On season 5 of the Netflix series, Doc's macular degeneration rapidly accelerates, forcing him to hand over medical procedures to Cameron (Mark Ghanimé) in the midst of emergencies. Ultimately, he admits his diagnosis to Cameron, who eventually agrees to take over the clinic at Doc's request.
After some moving steps toward embracing his role as a grandfather, Doc accepts a quieter life without his work. He tells Hope (Annette O'Toole) that he's decided to enroll in a macular degeneration clinical trial, even though it comes with the risk of speeding up his blindness.
Netflix Tim Matheson on 'Virgin River'
Losing your eyesight isn't a terminal diagnosis, but we're still concerned about Doc. In Robyn Carr's novels, which inspired the series, Doc does eventually die. The novel Temptation Ridge includes Doc's death and Virgin River's attempts to say goodbye to one of their most beloved residents.
With his clinic safely in Cameron and Mel's (Alexandra Breckenridge) hands and significant steps made toward making peace with his past, it certainly seems like Doc could be headed for the end.
Though we can at least expect it won't happen over the holidays (hopefully). Director Gail Harvey tells EW, "Hope and Doc get some joy in the holiday season. They really do. There's a surprise that I think people will really enjoy."
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.