Did ‘Veronica Mars’ Go Too Far?

*** Spoilers ahead***

After three seasons, and a movie, “Veronica Mars” fans wanted more. So, this summer, creator Rob Thomas gave them what they wanted…sort of.

Roasted Marshmallows, Anyone?

Three seasons was just not enough for “marshmallows” (aka ‘Veronica Mars’ fans). The first season aired in 2004 and fans were immediately hooked. Veronica Mars (played by Kristen Bell) was every angst-ridden teenage girl’s dream come true. She was a relatable character who was just snarky enough to be still incredibly lovable. Advertisement

The show took on a noir mystery drama feel with a witty comedy touch. Bell’s character was quippy, adorable, and smart. The other characters added unforeseen elements which continued to evolve—even through this last season.

Life in Neptune for Mars and pals has always been anything but typical. Apart from the murder mysteries, illicit affairs, and other adult issues that these teens seemed to be keen on exploring, there were still plenty of other elements that played into what made the show so great.

The characters were a huge part of what kept things interesting. The relationship between Veronica and her dad (Enrico Colantoni) was completely endearing while oftentimes captivatingly funny. Watching Veronica interact with Wallace (Percy Daggs III), Weevil (Francis Capra), or Mac (Tina Majorino) was always enjoyable. Even the characters Veronica didn’t always get along with, like Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen), made for some good television and classic Rob Thomas-style banter.

Ripped From the Headlines

Unfortunately, after three seasons of shocking plot twists, “Veronica Mars” was pulled from The CW (formerly UPN). In 2007, the show was all of a sudden to be no more. Some attributed the loss to the Writers Strike that was going on at the time. But, the truth was, no one really cared about the why. They just cared about how—how they could get more.

It’s because of the fans that the show has had two different revivals. In 2013, thanks to an aggressive Kickstarter project, “Veronica Mars” took shape in the form of a film. The movie was a smashing success. It raised a considerable amount of money, and more importantly, the fans loved it. Not only did we get to see the reprisal of most of the show’s beloved characters, but it also gave fans what they wanted most—Veronica and Logan together.

Because the film picked up in real-time, it allowed for a natural continuation of the characters and their relationships. The ones everyone had shipped the hardest over, was always Veronica and Logan (Jason Dohring).

Veronica Mars Redux

When the show came back and aired on Hulu in July of 2019, fans were overjoyed. They were finally going to get the Veronica and Logan love story they had always wanted. Of course, it is “Veronica Mars,” so no one expected a traditional relationship; or a traditional storyline. However, what they got was much more than they bargained for.

This season saw the introduction of some new characters like Nicole (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and the return of some old characters. While talent like JK Simmons joined the roster playing a new character named Clyde Pickett, others such as Weevil (Capra) came back only to learn yet another lesson.

Thomas’ characters have always been layered. They are often unpredictable—sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes that’s a bad thing. While we don’t always know where a character is going, or what extreme measures they might take, there is always a lesson to be learned at the end of it. Part of the charm is how Thomas was able to make you hate one character in one scene, and the very next scene, have you falling in love with them.

How Far is Too Far?

The question with the revival is, did Rob Thomas now go past the point of no return? Has the shark officially been jumped? Certainly, “Veronica Mars” was no stranger to loss. Killing off some of the show’s favorite characters is sort of its theme. Even so, no one saw this ending coming.

In the fourth season, marshmallows were met with a return to Veronica’s glory days. Sure, each of the characters had hurdles to jump, but the savvy sleuth was back in action. And fans loved every second of it. This time, she was an adult. Handling adult problems didn’t seem as far-fetched as they did in the first go of things. No, this time around, Veronica was more equipped to handle what was thrown her way. And while we all expected some loss, the literal blow we took at the end of the final episode just might be enough for some fans to walk away for good.

With all the twists and turns in the character development and seeing how some of those who grew up in Neptune turned out, Thomas could have given us most any ending this season, and we’d still be happy. While he claims that this was the right call for his characters, making such a drastic move could end up costing the creator a large part of his fandom.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

As Rob Thomas and the rest of the cast (the ones still standing) are on board for another season, the question remains whether or not viewers will continue to tune in. At the end of the fourth season, Veronica Mars said goodbye to the love of her life—Logan. Yes, fans finally got the wedding they had been waiting 15 years for. And then moments later, in an instance that wasn’t even a heroic exit, Logan was written off—with no chance of ever coming back.

There were lots of things fans had to contend with during this season. Weevil had fallen off of his path of redemption, Keith Mars (Colantoni) was possibly battling dementia, and Leo (Max Greenfield) had returned, which threw a wrench in Veronica’s love life.

While all those things could be worked through, saying goodbye to Logan was by far the worst-case scenario that could have ever happened. Albeit the show was beautifully written (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld joined the writers’ room this season), there is not much that can be done in the future to make up for what the show has lost.

It’s likely that what comes next will look very different than what came before. New town—yes. New characters—sure. New love interest—not so much. Some may want a new season just to see what happens next. Others, they can’t imagine a life for Veronica that doesn’t involve Neptune.

And they certainly can’t imagine a life for Veronica that doesn’t involve Logan.

Published on The Burn-In.