So Much For Our Happy Ending: Veronica Mars Season 4 Finale

I haven’t written about my favorite TV shows in a while on here, but I started this blog with news of the Veronica Mars movie back in the day so this seems fitting. Let’s talk about that Veronica Mars ending, shall we? Avert your eyes now if you don’t want to be spoiled (and honestly, you should want to be spoiled because it’s too cruel a shock and you should stop watching NOW and pretend this spoiler never happened).

SPOILER ALERT

Veronica and Logan in Season 4

Logan dies in a horrible car bomb explosion minutes from the end of the episode and all is wrong with the world.

My heart still hurts and it’s days later. There are so many things wrong with this decision that I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, as a long time fan of LoVe (the fan name for Logan and Veronica), the idea of Logan’s death would never have gone down well no matter what. However, putting my emotions aside for the beloved couple, it was just lazy writing, which is what makes it even more of a blow (please excuse the pun).

Fans who accept the ending as is seem to think that the rest of us fans can’t handle the death of a favorite character. That’s not it. I’m an avid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan (can you say obsessed?) so I’m positive I can handle gut-wrenching, soul sucking, character deaths just fine. I handled Rita’s death on Dexter too… not well, I suppose, because bathtubs looked terrifying for quite a while after, but as far as character progression goes, it made sense for Dexter and it made sense for the direction of the show.

Putting aside the ludicrous explosion, which I’ll get to my thoughts on a little later, Logan’s death was unnecessary – or to be perfectly honest – 10 steps backwards. There is nothing I hate more than when writers and creators feel they have to remain in the same pattern to continue their characters. Seeing a character develop and grow, and hopefully coming to some sort of resolution by the end of the show is what most viewers want to see. That doesn’t mean that we need to see characters all get their happy endings. I would’ve been fine if Dexter ended with him on death row…it would’ve made so much more sense than a lumberjack.

This is about Veronica Mars, Justine, not Dexter. Stay on track. Don’t get on the lumberjack rant now…

Some fans and bloggers are saying that Veronica was never meant to have a happy ending. It’s noir, she’s supposed to be miserable and waiting for the other shoe to drop forever. However, thats not the show I ever felt I was watching. I love to analyze pilot episodes because I feel like the show’s purpose and ultimate resolution is (or should be) clear from that moment. Like Buffy’s wish was to just be a normal girl and at the end of the show, she finally got the possibility to live her life; or Dawson’s wish was to be a filmmaker and the show also set up whether Dawson and Joey’s friendship could survive the ups and downs of hormonal changes, and yes, their friendship did to an extent survive, and Dawson finally met Spielberg; or Chuck where he was so lost and confused about his life sitting there on the beach and Sarah helped him find his way in the pilot, and then he got to do the same for her at the very end. A show should have synergy from beginning to end.

What felt like the theme from season one of Veronica Mars was that Veronica was hardened and crippled by her best friend Lily Kane’s death, her rape, and also being abandoned by her own mother. She constantly struggled to let people in and could never trust anyone. In my mind, that always meant that she was eventually meant to find her way. Resolve these feelings inside herself and move on to a healthier mindset. By killing Logan, they’ve set Veronica back to the hard shell she minutes before, had finally broken out of. It screams volumes that the writers are scared of letting her grow and become more of a Keith Mars figure. Just to put it out there: I would’ve been happier if Keith died and she had to move into his PI role while mentoring a younger version of herself. She could’ve remained married to Logan and still had a gritty edge to her and solve crimes. Keith’s death or an impending death from health issues wouldn’t cripple her from ever loving again. Her dad loved her, and it would’ve broken her in a different way that hasn’t been done before, but a way she could learn to live with. Or, they both could’ve lived (or Keith still could’ve died), she could’ve joined the FBI and Logan’s military life wouldn’t have pinned her down to living in Neptune. She’s had plenty of tragedy that I’m sure regardless of a healthy relationship, she could’ve kept her edge. But the writers didn’t see it that way. They saw a character that needs to permanently be stuck in the same revolving door of tragedy and misfortune. That is hands down why they ruined the show for me. They didn’t just kill a beloved character, they destroyed any hope of Veronica coming up on the other side of all of the tragedy she’s experienced. I wanted to see a show where someone could experience all this tragedy and still come up the other side. Not a show where the character just goes deeper and deeper into a pit of doom, to the point where they must run away and never look back.

Moving on from the lack of character development, it was also just terribly written. Ripped straight from Beverly Hills, 90210, and I legitimately mean that – Dylan’s father died in a car bomb explosion when moving the car because of the fear of a ticket (season 3 episode “Dead End”) – it was a tacky ploy written just for shock value. The Veronica we had grown to love over the first three seasons and the movie never would’ve missed a bomb being left in her car. After Penn threatened her by saying “If she was still around…”, the smart PI detective she’s always been would’ve searched high and low for any bombs in her house, her office, her car, etc. to ensure her and her loved ones safety. She was dumbed down for the sake of having this ending take place, and it cheapened Logan’s death by a landslide. I’m also still not convinced why the bomb went off when it did. Was it on a timer? Did Penn mysteriously know about the street sweeping? Was it set for when the car turned on, because if that was the case, it should’ve exploded when Veronica used it to get to City Hall to get married, or when she and her dad left the school. It was sloppy writing from so many angles that it only infuriates me more. Had Logan, god forbid, died off on one of his top secret missions, as a viewer, I could’ve handled it more. It would’ve made sense for his line of work and it wouldn’t cripple Veronica. It would hurt just as bad but it wouldn’t lead her down the path of that she could never love again. There would at least be a semblance of comfort knowing that he died doing his job or saving the world in his own way. Not dying, because of Veronica and her world.

Unfortunately, the writers chose to kill Logan in an absurd way that not only kills Veronica’s potential for growth, but kills the entire show, past and present, too.

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