- Margaret A. Robbins, Ph.D
A Metaphorical Death and a Metamorphosis: Thoughts on Season 4 of Veronica Mars
Warning: This Review Contains Major Spoilers
Unlike many long time Veronica Mars fans, I wanted Veronica to stay with Piz at the end of the 2014 movie instead of moving back to Neptune to be with Logan.
There, I said it. This is your unpopular opinion of the day.
A lot of people didn’t like Logan during the early seasons of the show, yet many people were glad when they got back together at the end of the film. I wasn’t. I wanted Veronica to stay in New York, pursue a high end legal career, and stay with Piz.
But she didn’t do that. However, most of our best characters in popular culture and literature don’t always do what we want them to do, maybe even what is best with them. Part of why I love Veronica, though, is that she doesn’t always make the most conventionally acceptable decisions. She has an astute brain, but she also follows her instincts and her heart. To me, she embodies a true empowered female protagonist. If I were the Harry Potter sorting hat, I would put her in Gryffindor. I didn’t think Logan was good enough for her, though, and a part of me thought she was selling herself short.
In Season Four, however, I felt like I was getting to know a different Logan. This new Logan, to me, had matured a lot since their teenage years. He was an accomplished and decorated Navy Seal who was better able to manage his emotions. For the first time, I was genuinely happy that the two were together. When Leo came back on the scene, I was definitely team Logan and was glad that Veronica stayed faithful to Logan.
As much as I tried to avoid spoilers when I watched the show this summer, I saw murmurings that there was a death in the show. It made sense, given the detective show genre and the film noir style.
I continued to watch Season Four on Hulu, avoiding the spoiler as to who would die. There were plenty of hints that it would be either Logan or Keith. Logan would perhaps die on a mission, or Keith’s health situations and memory issues would finally get the best of him. I leaned toward thinking Keith would die. As it turns out, I was wrong. Finally, when I had grown to really like Logan, he was gone.
A lot of fans were angry about the death of Logan. I can understand. Rob Thomas pulled a Joss Whedon, killing off one of the characters who many fans love the most. In interviews, Thomas explained that he needed to end Logan’s character to move the show forward. Thinking back on the show, I don’t think there was any other way around it.
I thought of Logan’s death as a metaphorical death in addition to a literal death. This was the part of Veronica that had to die in order to move on with her life. Although she enjoyed her work, she was no longer growing as a person, and she was not moving toward self-actualization. She moved forward by deciding to marry Logan, and ironically enough, her relationship ended soon after, just not the way it could have.
The show could have been written in a way that Veronica chose Leo over Logan and left Neptune that way. But then, many fans, myself included, would have been angry at her for it, as it would have been terribly unfair to Logan. The way the show ended, Veronica was forced to let go of the last major tie that was keeping her in Neptune and keeping her from finding a life that really challenged her. She loved her dad, but once his health was back in order and he found a significant other, she no longer felt guilty for leaving, especially since he would have a new young sidekick. In fact, leaving Neptune was what she needed to do to evolve.
In my early 30s, I got to a point of feeling stuck. I made some changes in my life, including moving to a new city (albeit one that’s fairly close to my home city of Atlanta) and going back to graduate school full time to broaden my career options. Veronica didn’t want to admit it to herself, but she was stuck too and wanted more for herself. The death of Logan was the death of her life in Neptune. And, though it was sad, the bittersweet ending to the season is what Veronica needed to find a new, more self-actualizing life.
Will Veronica find love again with Leo? I think it’s a strong possibility, and I’m open to it happening if it does. More importantly, though, I want Veronica to find her true destiny and the next phase of her life.
Will other physical deaths occur in Season Five? Sadly, that may be. But hopefully, the tragic end of Logan Echolls’s amazing character will lead to a new metamorphosis for our beloved female detective hero.