Why would they have wanted to kill you, Veronica?
Honestly! I was awesome, right?
Veronica Mars – 2004-2007
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: Rob Thomas is no whore.
Oh, sure, he self-deprecatingly referred to himself as a whore in the penultimate episode of his teen noir, Veronica Mars, but it felt more like an apology to the fans than an actual acknowledgment of any whoring going on. That’s kind of what I love about him.
These last two episodes, Weevils Wobble But They Don’t Go Down and The Bitch is Back were note perfect. But when the credits rolled Tuesday, Veronica Mars lost its planet status. The show was cancelled, well before its time and with no big, series ending bang. It just winked out of existence. It was, you’ll forgive me one final planet pun, the Plutoing of one of the brightest stars in the TV galaxy.
I waited to post this show because I hadn’t seen the final episode yet. But now I have and I just wanted to say to everyone who is bitching and complaining about how it needed more closure and it didn’t seem like a series ending and oh, boo-hoo, there wasn’t enough LoVe! Gah! Shut up! It was perfect. Not because it wrapped everything up, but because it went out being true to itself.
There was talk of Thomas pitching some 11th hour script to CW head honcho Dawn Ostroff that would see Veronica in the FBI several years down the road. I’m happy that didn’t happen. I think this show did a lot of compromising for the network, much to its detriment. If it was going to end, it needed to END. I don’t know that I would’ve watched some bastardized attempt to keep it on the air. Rob Thomas’ heroine, the tough-talking teenage detective Veronica Mars doesn’t beg and she doesn’t conform. You take her as she is or you don’t take her at all. The same, it seems, goes for the show itself. That’s what I loved about these last two episodes as sort of a return to form. It was great to see Veronica do what she does best: Dole out revenge to those who deserve it, airing their dirty laundry and getting to the bottom of whatever mystery she’s attempting to solve. I’d rather have Rob Thomas say “I know you aren’t going to renew my show, but I’m not going to make it easy for you” than see him scrambling to try and wrap everything up in a neat little bow. Veronica was always difficult to love. She was a bristly loner with an attitude and it feels apt that in her final hour, some questions remained unanswered, some plot lines were left unexplored, and Veronica (the show and the character) was facing off against the world at large.
Besides, closure is SO overrated.
This season, more than any other, the core cast has been adrift, but these last two episodes brought them back together in a way that didn’t feel like we were rebooting the entire season. Weevil re-embraced his thug-lyfe in a way that just seemed so right, Wallace stuck his neck out, literally, to help Veronica (and me by stripping to his skivvies), Mac explaining that her PC kung-fu is better than everyone else’s PC kung-fu, Dick finally mourning Cassidy but still managing to be a giant, well, dick. And Logan striking out in that charmingly lunatic way he has. Does he have a death wish? It seems like that might be so, but you know what? I like him better when he’s in obligatory psychotic jackass mode. That might be tempered a bit by his willingness to apologize and be wrong, but ultimately, beating the shit out of a Russian mobster’s kid is something not even Logan can buy his way out of. Let’s face it, that’s more excitement than he’s seen all year.
That fact of the matter is, Veronica Mars was great. The third season might not have been as cohesive as the second season, which wasn’t nearly as good as its first season but, when you get down to brass tacks, it is STILL better than 90% of the crap TV shows being offered up for the fall season. And if a network like the CW can’t figure out how to promote a cult show about a hot, young detective and her pretty friends, then frankly, they don’t deserve it. Jess_D_Ripper and I were chatting about this very topic recently and she said this might be the only time a show would’ve benefitted from being on a bigger network. I agree. At the very least, there’d be money to promote it properly. It kind of pisses me off, because Buffy the Vampire Slayer made me think if the WB and UPN were good for anything, they were good for championing great TV that wouldn’t have a shot anywhere else. I guess not.
And don’t think this is sour grapes, but . . . what does the CW have that could possibly take the place of Veronica? It’s a new network and they have maybe two shows I’d watch, but Supernatural is merely a pale ripoff of the X-Files, and Smallville seems about ready to pack it in. Truth is, I’m bored with both and neither approach the level of smarts and humour on display in Veronica Mars. I’ve seen what the CW has in store for the fall and I feel pretty confident that the cards they’re holding will cause them to fold. I hope so. It would be tasty, Veronica-flavoured revenge if the network went down in a flaming ball of Pussy Cat Dolls, Top Models and Gossip Girls.
But let us put such unpleasantness behind us. Let us revel in Veronica’s fiesty, fierce, phenomenal final hour.
Highlights included the use of musical cues by Neko Case and Albert Hammond, Veronica’s verbal beat-down of Dick who, once again, doesn’t quite realize he’s being bested. Better than the “giant jackass pinata” line was “After all these years, do you not instinctively fear me? Maybe you should write yourself a note.” I also loved Veronica singing a little Daniel Powter to one of her unfortunate targets, Kyle Secor’s almost Scooby-Doo villain-esque take on broken, beaten, “all I have left is my secret, male society” Jake Kane was a nice way to bring it full circle. Enrico Colantoni’s perfect, perfect, PERFECT reaction when Keith realizes he’s investigating Veronica and the way he puts his love and devotion for his daughter above all else, even his job. Kristen Bell did a great job when returning the hard drive to Jake Kane. The look on her face when Jake tells Veronica it’s too late to protect Keith tells me Bell won’t have a hard time getting gigs in the future.
And now for the romance side of things. Piz, with his solid morals, easy-going personality and great taste in music, is exactly what he appears to be: a nice, normal guy. He is exactly what Veronica wants right now. Oh, don’t get me wrong, she’ll hurt him in the end, but something tells me he’ll enjoy it. And Logan, well, he had his chance and he blew it. Numerous times. But it’s kind of nice to see him resolve to continue blowing it in typical Logan fashion. Maybe he’ll even grow up a little bit in the process. It was always funny to me to see people complaining about Piz being “too emo” and wanting Veronica together with Logan when Logan is the biggest emo baby going! I mean, he shows up at Veronica’s door, battered and bruised (seems Piz landed a few punches) and gives Veronica the broody, righteous puppy eyes of “see how much I still PINE for you?” Give me a break! No, it was his final cafeteria dust up that had me grinning. That’s Logan showing Veronica that he’s essentially just like her: He won’t change and he won’t compromise. He’ll just keep doing the right thing in his own, twisted, fucked up way that she can’t abide. And THAT is a tragic, epic romance.
But this show isn’t really about Logan and Veronica, no matter how much the LoVe fans want it to be. There is a different relationship at the core of the show and it is this one that felt the least settled to me. Keith sacrificed himself for the sake of Veronica. And it’s like she both realized that and didn’t quite know how to deal with it.
Ultimately, Veronica Mars ends the way it began: with our heroine casting a futile vote for her father. And I’m down with that ending because it followed two hours of snappy dialogue, superb acting, satisfying (if slightly unbelievable) plots and character interaction that made me fall in love with this show in the first place. Collars up, we head out to face the rain that surely must fall in a world where there is no Veronica to brighten the day.