Hulu's early release of Veronica Mars' fourth season messed up my well-thought-out rewatch plan, which means I didn’t get to the new season until yesterday. Folks, I was excited. After completing my rewatch the day before, one thing was clear to me: as much as I love Kristen Bell and Veronica Mars, I kept coming back to this show for Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). That bad boy made me soft in ways that no fictional character ever has. There’s something about his charm mixed with those pesky inner demons that allowed me to relate to Veronica's inability to quit him. When Logan started dating Parker in season three, I could FEEL that jealousy. That’s my kind of TV drama! Well, I began season four full of excitement, but now I just feel utterly betrayed by creator Rob Thomas.
Warning: Veronica Mars Spoilers Ahead...
Recently, a friend asked me if I was required to like everything or if it was just my brand. In truth, I don’t like EVERYTHING, but I’m pretty good at seeing the positive in whatever I’m watching. I know that it’s impossible to please everyone, a line that I have said over and over since Game of Thrones ended. Even at its worst, it was still one of the best shows ever made, right? People need to chill! I thought the petition to remake season eight was ridiculous because it’s not only insulting to the creators, but it’s also a waste of time. All of that being said, I just signed my name to the petition to bring Logan back to life on Veronica Mars. That's right, my favorite TV sad boy was blown up by a pizza delivery guy played by Patton Oswalt.
Many of my favorite characters have been killed off over the years (usually by various members of the Whedon family), and whenever it happens I typically feel this perfect blend of sadness and respect. Sure, my heart is torn out over the loss of this fictional person, but I also feel it’s been done in the spirit of good, honest writing. In the case of Logan and Veronica Mars, I feel this brand new mixture of sadness and anger.
I’m not reviewing the fourth season (which I very much enjoyed up until those last five minutes), I’m just using the outlet I have to get out the extremely intense emotions I’ve been feeling all day. Even if Logan wasn't my favorite character, I believe I would still feel scorned. Thomas' reasoning for killing Logan, one of the only positive things in Veronica's life, just isn't good enough.
"Kristen and I really wanted to keep doing more of these [limited, self-contained seasons], like the Sherlock and even Fargo templates. Something where, when we both have windows of availability, we can come back and do it,” Thomas explained to TV Line.
"The thinking is that we need to survive as a noir detective show. And if we kept doing a show that was half teenage soap and half mystery show, the fear is it would start feeling like nostalgia. Going full mystery show gives us our best chance to survive. I think there's a reason you don't see many hard-boiled detective shows where the lead detective has a boyfriend or a girlfriend; it kind of limits your options."
First of all, Veronica Mars isn’t just a hard-boiled detective show. The teen drama is part of the show’s essence. If I wanted to watch True Detective, I would. Second, it’s insulting to say Veronica can’t live her gritty detective life and still have Logan. The Logan petition argues that Thomas is sending the message that “women can’t have it all.” Not only do I agree, but being with Logan didn't suddenly make Veronica a perfectly happy person. Before high school was over, her best friend was murdered, she was drugged and raped, her alcoholic mother abandoned her, her first boyfriend had to flee the country with his love child, and she was betrayed time and time again. The woman can't have this one thing? Being in a relationship doesn’t automatically make a woman boring. Veronica's relationship never needed to be the central part of her story. She can solve crimes, get in the thick of it, and still have someone to come home to. It’s not wholly unbelievable.
That being said, a woman doesn't need a relationship to be interesting. Veronica could have been just as gripping without a love interest. She is a smart, capable character with real flaws and she's played by a dynamite actor. However, Thomas decided to give her Logan... and Duncan... and Leo... and Piz. Thomas set us up for LoVe, and it's clear he felt backed into a corner for giving in to "fan service" during the Veronica Mars movie.
The thing that gets to me the most is that there were so many options for Logan's character. If they didn't see him fitting in, they could have sent him off on one of his military exploits. Or had one of his missions find its way to Neptune. The kid who used to skip every college course except wrestling managed to learn Arabic between seasons three and four… There's an infinite amount of places his story could’ve gone. Logan wasn't JUST Veronica's love interest. He was a compelling character that grew more than anyone else on the series.2comments
Not only is the death of Logan a slap in the face to Marshmallows, but blowing him up just one scene after he married Veronica felt like nothing more than shock value. Even if I wasn’t a die-hard Logan Echolls stan, his ending would be a major disappointment.
All four seasons of Veronica Mars are streaming on Hulu.