Veronica Mars: The Bitch is Back

Piz: "I promise you, karma is going to take care of it for you."
Veronica: "I know. I'll run him over with my karma."

I'm the faithful type. When I fall in love with a show, it takes a lot to disenchant me. I tried so hard to stay a faithful fan of Veronica Mars during season three.

But this was it. They finally lost me.

Why on earth did they leave us with this nasty, disturbing cliffhanger? Veronica disgraced. Keith's career literally and figuratively under a cloud. Veronica ending her friendship with Logan, their epic love affair gone forever. Logan on the receiving end of a serious death threat from a guy whose "connected" father is a murderer. I mean, for pity's sake, we didn't even get a resolution of Weevil and the card-making money machine.

Worst of all, Veronica was still with Piz. That's how they're leaving us – with Veronica and Piz. I mean, come on. It was like they beat up the fans, and then kicked us while we were down.

It's not that I mind a good cliffhanger, don't get me wrong. But Rob Thomas must have known that there was a good chance of getting cancelled, that this might be it. We didn't even get a solid finale with one or two cliffhangers, like the first two seasons; instead, we got cliffhanger-paloosa. No season four to resolve all of these plotlines. In fact, the sex video thing was most likely an attempt to return Veronica to her original status as an extreme outcast in college, as she was in high school. It could have worked. But with no chance to ever resolve it, it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

I was so hopeful for a great finale at the beginning of the episode. I liked seeing Veronica tracking down the creator of the video in her own inimitable way, scaring Dick and Chip into telling her the truth, getting some seriously loyal help from Wallace and Weevil. There was also something touching about the way Logan went after the despicable Gory, even though he knew it would alienate Veronica even more.

But then it started going downhill. Why didn't Veronica tell Keith the truth? She owed it to him. The most touching moment of this episode, for me, was Keith deliberately throwing away his career as sheriff by destroying evidence to protect Veronica. Keith is neither naive nor fragile; he knew Veronica was sexually active. He most certainly wouldn't have stopped loving her for being human.


The final scene was an unhappy Veronica, caught in the rain. It illustrated exactly how I felt.

Bits and pieces:

— Not that it matters any more, but Veronica confirmed that she and Piz were fooling around, not actually doing it.

— Not that it matters any more, but Parker broke up with Logan because she realized he still loved Veronica.

— The subject line of the video email was "Emission from Mars." Clever.

— Many blasts from the past. Chip Diller, Nish, Jake Kane, Clarence Wiedman, the fired deputy Gills, Deputy Leo.

— And there were huge, eerie portraits of Duncan and Lilly, too, like a ghost of season one haunting this sub par finale.

— Veronica is usually so careful and clever. She blew it several times when she broke into the Kane mansion. Why?

Quotes:

Dick: "From a guy's perspective, the video just made your stock go up. You looked great, enthusiasm, always a plus..."
Veronica: "It's like you're this giant jackass pinata, begging for someone to beat the candy out of you."

Veronica: "You forwarded it to your whole address book?"
Dick: "It was instinct. I always forward porn when it's good."
Veronica: "You are going to be so popular in Hell."

Piz: "You know, you're adorable when you surveil."

Veronica: "If you ever need a kidney, I've got one with your name on it. No questions asked."

Mac: "You're like Kirk in Wrath of Khan. You refuse to believe in the no-win scenario."

I'm so unhappy that it ended this way. Over and out,

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The part where you said why she would break in to the Kane mansion,
she didn't know that it was the Kane mansion, The next day when Keith went there because of the robbery, Jake says that he's been living here for a month (or maybe two). And since Celeste didn't seem to be there, i'm guessing she and Jake aren't together and she got the old mansion while he got a new one.

Mike said...

God Dammit!!
I have no idea why this happened, but it feels like we're missing the last two episodes.
It totally didn't feel like the finale, nor the season ender.
I truly don't know what to think about it, none other than I really, really hate that that was the end.
I guess it was station politics which killed the show. I still don't know what the hell happened in the studio decision department, but I sure hate them for that.
I won't spill more hatred here, I'll just add this:

I loved this show from the first to the last minute. I think it was one of the best show ever created and I really, really wish that they'll find reason and do the movie this series deserves.
I also wanted to thank you again for insightful and interesting reviews.
Thank you. And goodnight! ;)
PS. Here are some ways in which we could be helpful with the movie project getting the right attention.
Or we could start sending money to the studio.

Billie Doux said...

And I'm right with you there, Mike. I loved this show with a passion. I'd love more. But I'm not counting on it.

Anonymous said...

Please don´t kill me (metaphorically speaking, of course) when I say that I actually like this episode and I´m okay with the last scene of Veronica in the rain. Of course, the episode still has some issues with me, like leaving it with a cliffhanger and everyone against Logan. But in my mind, I imagine that Veronica goes to Logan´s, they start mending their relationship and both Keith and Logan stuck by her.
I actually like how Veronica ended the way it started. Alone and again an outcast with Keith and Wallace as her support.
And let´s face it, Veronica was just mean and a bit cocky, she was pushing people away that it had to end like that.
I don´t end this episode with sadness, because seeing Veronica and Logan exchange those looks after Logan beating the crap out of him is just golden, so it wasn´t shot but I know that Veronica goes to Logan.
I love season one and two, and season three is by far the weakest one with major issues but it´s worthy of being Veronica Mars. And Kirsten Bell is amazing.

P.S. - Sorry if this post is long!

And also, gonna start my Supernatural rewatch, so I´m gonna post my comments on your reviews soon.

Billie Doux said...

If you're the one who has been commenting on every VM episode, thanks so much, Anonymous. I get it, I do, you have a point that it ended like it began. I wish I could see it that way and not be so disappointed with it.

spidd said...

I know I’m a bit late with this but I just finished watching VM for the first time (the show actually came on my radar through this very site) and i loved loved loved it. It made me laugh and cry and happy and sad and excited, and what more can you expect from a television series? :)

As for the third season I might be the only person on this planet who actually liked it slightly better than the second one (Season 1 is out of reach). Maybe the story wasn’t as focussed and some characters were highly underused, but for the first time here Veronica became a real human being with flaws instead of this nearly perfect, infallible being of the earlier seasons. I really appreciated that.

And the finale... perhaps I just got used to shows leaving us unresolved in the past few years but I think it left us on perfect note: Keith sacrificing his career due to his unconditional love for his daugther, Logan - hurt and rejected – nevertheless defending Veronica’s honor and beating up these guys no matter the consequences. And Veronica voting for her dad knowing that he'll lose this election again and then walking away through the rain. It never rains in Southern California... sigh. :)

I’d like to thank you for these reviews. Even though I don’t always share your opinions I enjoyed and appreciated them a lot. They were a big and important part of my viewing experience – as is with all the other shows I watch and you conveniently chose to cover. Your website is awsome and watching TV without it is only half the fun.

Steven said...

Yeah, coming along to comment here now is a bit odd, but . . . while the end was frustrating, it was right. It was not time for the series to end, and the episode leaving so much dangling just drove that home. It was a big loud "NO!" flung at the network execs who unfortunately had been allowed to compromise so much of the third season.

(It was also a golden opportunity for them to license novels, or authorize a movie sooner, or something, but.)

sunbunny said...

Final verdict: no so bad. My opinion of the ep has seriously been colored by everyone's dire warnings of how awful it was. As a series finale, it was terrible, true, and it was stupid of Rob Thomas not to plan for the possibility of the show being canceled, but it could have been so much worse.

Just a thought: normal season have 22 episodes. This season only had 20. Was their order scaled back? That might explain the hurried and incomplete way the various plot lines were concluded.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a good noir ending, taking us back to where it started.
As for Veronica & Piz, it all happens in the faces. Piz sees the looks between Veronica and Logan, and it's clear on his face that he KNOWS he is not the one. It's all in the faces. Rob Thomas confirmed that in interviews.
Also seems obvious that Keith loses the election after taking a dive to keep Veronica out of jail. Not a cliffhanger.
But I do agree that Veronica not telling Keith about the video was overwrought and hard to buy. But then there have been plenty of unrealistic elements in the show before, and I watched anyway. (The portrayal of feminists in S3 was embarrassing to watch.)

Of course, now that we know more about the VM movie,.... well, we'll see.

-d

Lamounier said...

I loved this episode. If I have a complaint, it’s that there was not enough Mac on it, but this is a complaint for the show as a whole. The Veronica Mars movie better have lots and lots of Mac goodness.

Veronica and Piz staying together didn’t bother me, because the writers have portrait their relationship exactly how they should: not the end game. You can totally see it on that scene Logan beats the crap out of the guy who was teasing Veronica, it’s all about the looks they exchange and Veronica finally, FINALLY, being nice to Logan. I’m not a shipper but, man, did he earn it (not that I support him beating the crap out of everyone).

All those blasts from the past were a hoot, but I was surprised Veronica didn’t notice she was at the Kane’s mansion. I knew it right away and she’s smarter than me. Heck, she’s been there before! Having the picture of Lilly appear was inspired and very full circle-y, but it could also serve as a reminder that this show never matched the emotional highs of season one’s arc. More on that later.

What I really loved was Veronica pissing of the riches and powerful (now all of them, apparently) one final time. That was inspired and I wonder how much power she would’ve had and how much danger she would’ve faced with such blackmailing potential on her hands. Damn you, CW!

I do agree that Veronica not telling Keith the truth was forced. I also agree that the Keith cliffhanger was cruel, and the lack of resolution for Weevil was odd, especially considering the show’s danger of being cancelled. But we’re getting a movie now, so closure is ahead of us. But no season four. Not cool, CW.

All in all, even though this didn’t feel like a finale, it was a very powerful albeit premature conclusion to the show. Bring on the movie.

Lamounier said...

Now, some season three commentary.

Like spidd, I liked this season better than season two. The bus crash storyline never caught my attention so much, its development was not very well paced and I thought the resolution was contrived. So having a season of mini-arcs was actually a pretty god idea.

The first arc was a good one. It used the college campus setting well, and the arc’s conclusion was great. That scene where Parker gets to save Veronica is one of the show’s best, for sure. Too bad the writers found no better use for Parker on the rest of the season.

I do have two complaints on the first arc: (1) Veronica was way too cynical and sometimes it was difficult to like her. No wonder Logan broke up. (2) I barely was paying attention to the eventual guilty parties, and that’s either my responsibility or the show’s for not developing them well enough. The experience bond they had was a clever one, though.

As a whole, the first arc was a good start to the season and a solid use of the characters. I feel they rushed Veronica and Logan’s break up so they could have an emotional twist on “Spits & Eggs”, but I’ll comment on Veronica and Logan later.

The second arc was pretty good too. The first three episodes of it were light on arc development, but good to great standalones. The final three were terrific noir stuff. I adored “Papa’s Cabin”, especially how it was different from the other arc finales. It was sort of contrived, though, and much in the same way season’s two arc resolution was contrived: why would Tim Foyle freaking *kill* the Dean to set up Professor Landry and bring him down, when he could’ve just exposed Landry’s affair with the Dean’s wife and bring down his professor as well? No, the fall wouldn’t be as terrible, but still... That stole my enjoyment of the resolution a little bit, but I liked the episode anyway.

The second arc failed as far as characters go, though. It was the Veronica and Keith Show, and it succeeded on that regard only. On the second half of the arc you had this terrific noir show with the Mars and then these weird scenes of teen drama with the rest of the cast. Logan’s arc was awful, putting him and Parker together was so forced, and Wallace was gone, gone, gone. And the killing of Sheriff Lamb was really random. What a mess.

These final episodes made good use of the whole cast once again. I was afraid the standalone format would bury the season, but the writers made a good job of keeping some of the serialized elements through it, especially on the drama side of things. And the last three episodes were as great as VM can be.

Lamounier said...

Now, on Veronica and Logan, I feel the writers made the big mistake of never giving this couple room to breathe and be happy. Veronica and Logan discovered their mutual attraction on the fifth to last episode on season one, if I’m not mistaken, and on those five episodes they broke up twice. Then, they broke up on the second season premiere once more and spent the whole season apart to, predictably, be reunited on the finale. Then season three had barely started and Veronica simply didn’t treat Logan like he deserved. Like I mentioned before, I have the impression that her behavior towards him was exaggerated so the writers could break them up by the first arc’s conclusion and have the emotional trauma the other finales had. If that was the case, what a bad call. Veronica and Logan deserved more time to have their relationship explored.

Then, the writers bring them back only to break them up again. That was a good idea on paper. The epic couple who have this history and try it once more only to see there’s too much damage on their relationship and it can never work. But the idea of Logan sleeping with Madison? Oh, please, save it, show. That was terrible. And parts of Veronica’s reaction were, as usual when regarding Logan, unfair. Then Logan was sent into this moping behavior, and I couldn’t stand it. Move on, already, dude, we’ve seen enough of this from you. And he moves on. Yay! But, boo, it’s because of a little girl and now he’s all-about-happiness Logan. Are you kidding me, show? At least the writers got him back into place before the series ended, but he deserved better on the season.

Again, I’m not a shipper, and I don’t even know if I want the movie to just put Veronica and Logan together after so many years. I don’t root for them, I just think they never got a chance to shine as couple. What we got was mostly good, but it should’ve been more.

Rant over, all in all, the season was good. I was expecting a terrible season because of how much the fans disliked it. Maybe it would’ve been better if there were 22 episodes and the final arc hadn’t been canceled (why, CW, why?), but I’m still glad with what we were given.

Final bits:

- I was vaguely spoiled that when the series ended Keith would be in a complicated situation, and I guessed the Kendall Casablanca’s stuff from the beginning of the season would come back to bite his ass. That would’ve been interesting.

- I realized that this season of VM was like a Whedon season on backwards: it started with arc stories and ended with standalones.

- Both Mac and Wallace deserved far more screen time and character development they ever got.

It’s a shame this show went out so early and you have stuff like Two and a Half Men still on the air. Seriously, that sucks. But I’m glad that, even though VM lived way too little and was always in the shadow of its amazing first season, it gave us three really entertaining years filled with interesting characters, clever stories and the smartest dialogue ever. Thank you, Marshmallow.

Unknown said...

I just finished watching the last episode of season 3, and i couldn't be more disappointed. So many loose ends, and Logan and Veronica weren't back together. It was just terrible... No sort of closure whatsoever. I hope the movie will bring more closure and perhaps get Logan and Veronica back together. Overall season 3 was mediocre at best for me.

ChrisB said...

Well, I finally made it through the third season. After the brilliance of the first and the excellence of the second, the entire third season was a letdown and, frankly, I struggled to get through it. The finale was the cap; it was simply dire.

A couple of weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly devoted its cover to the upcoming movie. I waited until I had finished the series to read the article. The third season and the finale are addressed:

Under pressure to grow the show’s audience, Thomas continually tweaked the storytelling, yielding inconsistent quality and ratings. Not wanting “Veronica’ to end, he wrote a season finale that deliberately left everything unresolved. He wanted fans to clamor for more, and thus make it hard for The CW to cancel the show. The network was unmoved.

I must admit feeling a bit odd about the movie now. From what I understand, it takes place nine years in the future from the end of the series, which means it takes place in 2019 or thereabout. I understand that the writers needed the ten year reunion to get everyone back to Neptune, but I do hope they don’t try to anticipate what our world will look like five years from now. This show, at its best, was about the relationships among the characters. I hope the movie remembers that.

The biggest disappointment in this season for me was the Logan/Veronica friendship/romance/whatever. It seemed to me that the writers were trying too hard to inject drama into a situation that was already interesting to watch. The CW has already had romances that lasted an entire season and that the fan base bought into and loved (I’m thinking especially of the Joey/Pacey romance in season three of Dawson’s Creek), so they must have known that it is a dynamic that can work.

Instead, we had the continual make-up/break-up cycle that, because it happened so often, lost its punch. Every time they forgave each other and fell into bed, I knew it was only a matter of time before they would break-up. Every time they broke up, I knew it was only a matter of time before they would fall into bed again.

The Piz relationship is a perfect example of this. He is a good guy and I like him; he’s just not the guy for Veronica and everyone knows it. In this finale, it is clear that the writers were going to have Logan and Veronica get back together (several of you have commented on the looks exchanged, so I don’t need to) and poor Piz would be out in the cold.

The addition of Piz and Parker was unnecessary and hurt the third season. With Mac, Wallace, Weevil, and even Dick, there were enough secondary characters and enough drama without introducing two others for Logan and Veronica to sleep with. I would much have preferred to see an arc about Dick’s guilt and watch his redemption than the episode where Piz saves a rock star.

But, it is what it is. This show is worth watching for the first season alone which is one of the best seasons of television I have ever had the pleasure to watch. The second was good as well; we can ignore the third as we move forward.

As always, Billie, your reviews are a pleasure and add so much to the experience. Thanks.

May said...

I'm with Spidd and Lamounier; I loved this episode. I am also in the camp of preferring season 3 to season 2. Spidd and Lamounier's posts say how I feel pretty well, so I won't repeat them.

I have just binge watched the entire series this week, having not seen it before, and have happily been almost completely spoiler free. I knew LoVe had an on/off relationship and I knew Logan was abused. Other than that, I knew that Veronica Mars has many fans but I didn't know that season 3 is so poorly thought of. I was expecting great things and the show delivered.

Thanks for the reviews. I enjoyed reading them after watching each episode.