We Used to be Friends…

Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 in Blog, Fancy, Television Reviews | 0 comments

We Used to be Friends…

So, I think it’s been long enough that a spoiler-filled analysis of Veronica Mars Season 4 is fair game, but just in case you haven’t seen it yet and would like to be unspoiled, turn back now!

Last chance.

I mean it.

Okay, if you’re still here, I assume you have either seen all of season 4 or heard about it in advance and noped out of the season because you heard that Logan gets killed. Various parts of the internet were aflame afterwards and I can understand that impulse.

Quite a few of my friends who were big VM fans had heard about the ending in advance and decided that it wasn’t for them. I can respect that. However, I think looking at what happened and the backlash from the fans gives us a really interesting opportunity to analyze some aspects of story that we don’t often get to.

A lot of people responded to Logan’s death, and the explanations from Rob Thomas afterwards, by saying that the writing was lazy and I’m not going to retread that ground here, mostly because I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think the move to kill Logan was particularly inspired, but I don’t think that decision could never have worked out. This was a problem of execution.

I went into season 4 unspoiled, and I hated the ending. I was angry for quite a while without knowing why, but then my spouse and I had an in-depth conversation about what was wrong with the season. We both had different ideas about what was wrong at first, and both ended up changing the answer to the question which I found really fascinating.

The answer, it turned out, has to do with why I was angry rather than sad. Logan was dead. I’d been Team Logan very early and his death should have left me inconsolable. I wasn’t sad though. Honestly I didn’t shed a single tear, and I’m quite a crier normally. (I’m serious. Cute puppy videos sometimes make me cry folks.) But somehow I was not at all sad that one of my favorite characters was dead. There was absolutely no emotional investment in his death.

Logan died. Veronica yelled. Bam, we’re a year in the future.

Excuse me, what?

We are not amused.

Most of us (who hadn’t been spoiled in advance) probably hadn’t even finished processing what had happened before “One Year Later” was printed on the screen. There’s no time to breathe. No time to inhabit the reality where Logan is gone and V’s reaction to that grief. We were robbed of all of that emotion by the rushed way it was presented.

Beyond that lack of emotional punch, there was something else wrong with the way this was handled and this is far more important to the story. Having Logan die in this way removed all agency from Veronica regarding how to proceed going forward. The person who killed him is already in jail. There’s no mystery to solve, no bad guy to hunt, nothing to do except grieve, and she was robbed of even that.

Season 5 could have been hella compelling if it had been all about V tracking down the person who killed Logan. I would have been 100% on board that train. Choo-mother-fucking-choo. Instead, I find that I don’t care if the show even comes back. In fact at this point I hope it doesn’t.

For those interested in Ryan’s analysis as to why the ending didn’t work out (his reasons are quite different from mine, actually), I think I’ll save that for another post, because this one has gone on far too long already.

Love and Puppies,

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