Rob Thomas is a whore.   

Veronica Mars trumps Heroes. I can’t even begin to think about that finale while I’ve got VM on the brain. Ahh, look, the first indication that I do agree that S3 was a far cry from S1 or S2. This is the first time I haven’t been able to think about anything other than VM since “Spit and Eggs” earlier in the season. That isn’t to say that I didn’t like S3 or that I agree with everyone else who thinks it was trash. If so, then every TV show I’ve ever loved might as well have only existed in the one or two seasons that I loved best and that’s just silly. But, back to my point, Heroes finale commentary has been postponed until tomorrow. That way I can talk about both Lost and Heroes at the same time.

Getting back to the topic at hand…

Can anyone confirm that The Castle was the original mystery arc planned for the latter part of the season? The one that was going to involve Wallace and Mac? Before the episode order got cut back, that is. Because that would have been awesome. I’m just as happy with it being condensed into two episodes but the actual idea would have been a nice return to form.

I have a feeling that they already had the MOTWs mapped out when they got the word and all they did was remove the pieces that related to the overall mystery… which pretty much explains why they weren’t as good as I know they could have been. The MOTW in 3×19 was great and exactly how I thought they should have done all of the standalones… but since it actually had the setup of the MOTW for the next week woven into it, it doesn’t really count as a standalone.

3×19

I thought 3×19 was a great episode. I had some issues with it but, overall, it was – as I said – just what I was looking for in a standalone. For one, everyone had a part to play and I loved that. For another, things were nicely woven together. And, well, Weevil actually had a role to play and I loved that. I’ve missed him so it was nice to have him back.

The issues first… you know I actually loved Veronica’s phone call to Piz. It was cute and you could see that Piz couldn’t resist what she was doing even though he didn’t want not accept that she really was leaving for the summer. That said I could have done without the… suggestion fulfillment. I know, I know. It was necessary to set up the next episode but it was the only time I wasn’t quite feeling Piz and Veronica. I’ve re-watched this morning and I didn’t mind it so much the second time but I felt like I had to mention it because it was something that bugged me the first time.

Then there’s Dick and I see RH getting a lot of love everywhere but I actually thought that whole thing was a little too much too fast. And, as much as I love Ryan, I don’t think he hit it out of the park. There were just moments in there that felt forced, like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. That’s not all Ryan’s fault. The writers have spent the last three seasons unrelentingly showing him as a guy without a soul. They gave us a hint that he does actually feel remorse in the first episode of the season but, since he quickly returned to his one-dimensional ways and stayed there for the past sixteen episodes, it’s a little hard to take a suddenly broken Dick. (Heh. God, I’m four.) Don’t get me wrong, I get what the writers were going for… he’s been repressing it all along and his dad was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just don’t think it worked as well as it could have and that’s both because it was too much too soon and because Ryan didn’t quite have the range to pull it off. Man, that makes me feel bad to say because I love Ryan. Just striving for honesty here. (Please note I LOVED Dick asking Logan about that night on the roof and his awkward move on Mac. Heh. The WTF?! aura around Tina totally sold that whole thing.)

And, since I’m at the beach anyway, I didn’t like the look of those scenes. I don’t even really know why. I loved the callback to Wallace on the beach flying his plane but the feel of the whole thing felt off because of the “look.” Maybe because the color filter they are using elsewhere looks ok on fake light but not so great on natural light? I dunno. (And, yeah, the bad FX on the plane crash made me wince.)

Gotta say, the product placement scene (aka Veronica shaving her legs) that led up to the beach had me laughing at loud. You know, if you’re going to go for product placement in a noir show… you might as well do it by making fun of the whole thing. I’m sure people will bitch about that whole thing but, come on, they bitched when the writers tried to play it straight. Guess the writers just can’t win, eh?

While I liked Veronica showing off that she’s a bona fide PI, I felt it was a little odd. I don’t buy that she was hiding her motives before just because she didn’t have the PI badge. So, it seemed weird that she was suddenly so upfront about her investigations. I understand using her badge with the lady in the student ID office because then she could ask questions without looking suspicious herself. But later, in the library? Why tell those students you’re a PI? Seems like you might stand a better chance in getting info out of them if you came up with a different story.

I’m all over the place. The Vinnie-Keith debate was great. Loved the making fun of the crackdown on underage drinking both because it was a nudge and a wink from the writers that they get that Keith went a little overboard there but it also illustrated that it was a real issue as opposed to the buzz-word issues Vinnie was bringing up. Plus, who couldn’t love Veronica whapping Vinnie on the back of the head at his trying to use her as an example of why Keith shouldn’t be Sheriff. Heh.

As for the mystery itself, I loved it. Veronica does some real investigating. She even half-heartedly suspects Weevil is lying to her (hey, it IS a pattern with these two) but gives in when he points out how ridiculous that is. Love that we already know we’re returning to the Noir because of course Weevil can’t win. Not only can’t he get the benefits he’s owed by Hearst but he’s still the one people pin the blame on when they want to get away with stuff. Loved Veronica’s meeting with the Aspen Club even though I was scared for her for a minute. Who willingly walks into a room full of people who are surely not going to like what you can expose about them?! Oh… wait, VERONICA MARS. Silly me. Loved that she tricked them to confessing on their own and loved that Weevil, in the end, can’t resist the temptation of the card machine.

And then there’s the end… ok, I think they went a little overboard with the beating but I suppose that’s Logan’s defining flaw. The boy is dramatic. As soon as he came stalking into the food court, I was shaking my head in despair. Oh, Logan, I hate that I actually loved you in that moment. Which basically means we’re back to where we started.

3×20

I’m reading reactions all over the place and I’m amazed at the number of people who thought this episode wasn’t exactly how this show should end. Was it too soon? Yeah. But, even if the show had gone on for another three years, this is the type of ending I would have wanted. I gotta be honest, I’m kinda glad the FBI thing didn’t happen. I would have watched it and I probably would have loved it but, after this episode, I would have felt cheated. This way I get to end with Veronica so very much still entangled in the mess that is Neptune.

So. Where to start? There was so much going on here. It feels too massive to try and capture in words. (Not that I won’t try!) I’m gonna start with Logan… he started the episode so I might as well follow course.

Logan Echolls, you magnificent bastard. I said it in my last post but it bears repeating. Logan was the one character on this show that grew. Veronica changed, yes, but she cycled right back around to where she began. It was Logan who truly changed. And I’m going to credit Jason Dohring with that. Not only did he manage to convey an arc where there might not have otherwise been one, he brought something to the character of Logan Echolls that the writers didn’t. He forced them to play the hand they dealt and man was it worth the gamble. In the end, Logan took all that he had experienced and learned in the past three years and finally embraced who HE was. Sure, his love for Veronica was the catalyst but what he did he did as much for himself as her. It feels wrong to admit it but I will never love a scene as much as I love Logan making the decision that he wasn’t going to hold himself back for Veronica any longer and attacked Gorey despite her warnings. Let’s face it, Logan will always have a death wish. Much like Veronica will always be someone who puts herself in danger in the pursuit of a case or justice. She was right to demand that Logan accept that about her but he was right to finally realize that she’d just have to accept who he is and what he does. So, in that moment, where he finally makes a choice and he chooses himself over Veronica? That I loved.

GOREY: Who ever you are, you’re going to die.

LOGAN: Yeah [and there's the grin] someday.

Plus, you know, it helps that it falls right at that perfect moment in the episode that the very first beat down on this show fell. Only this time it’s Logan who’s delivering it and he’s the one defending Veronica and demanding an apology for her. I can’t believe I’m actually getting teary just thinking about the beauty in that!! AND THEN… he follows up with an incredibly sincere apology. Not to Veronica, because he’s done apologizing to her for his behavior. No, it’s to the one person she knows he’d rather hit than apologize to. That, my friends, is growth.

And, yeah, Veronica sees it. Piz is a great guy. He is. He’d never tape Veronica having sex with him and she knows it. There’s no question that she knows it. She makes sure but you can tell that she never doubted it. There’s a comparison there to when she found the camera in the pool house and how she really really didn’t know it about Logan. But being a great guy doesn’t mean he’s the guy for her. At the end of the day, Piz doesn’t get Veronica or her life or what drives her. She can be with him but she’s going to have to change to do it and, much like Logan couldn’t change for to meet her expectations, she isn’t going to be able to change either. I don’t imagine they lasted much past that moment in the food court when they both realize how much she really still loves Logan but, if they did, I don’t doubt they won’t last long. (And, really, Piz should thank his lucky stars for that because no one survives Neptune intact.)

No one knows that better than Wallace. I love that boy. Which would explain why I felt sick to my stomach the second I realized he had something to do with that video. Dread is the only way to describe what I was feeling when Veronica confronted him. For a moment there, I truly feared that he did it and holy cow was I scared for Veronica. I know, I know… me of little faith! I was so happy when he showed up at her apartment and it was immediately evident he had no idea there was a camera in the room. I literally let out a huge sigh of relief. The BFF comes through again. And, man, was he willing to do the favor of all favors here. I could have used one last Wallace and Veronica hug after that ordeal but I love that I can go forward knowing these two will be there to back each other up forever.

Which brings me to Mac and Weevil. Loved that everyone was involved here at the end. Weevil up to his old tricks and loving it. Plus, Veronica back to using her friends for their access to keys. Then there’s Mac and her, “Hello lover.” Awww. It was so perfect. Lilly and Mac all rolled into one. Is it sad that was such a moving moment for me? It just represented a lot of how far Veronica’s come for me… in the previous episode she discovers that she’s finally recovered some of her girlyness and here we have a reminder of the last time she truly was a “girl” in the words of an old friend echoed by those of a new friend. I’m a sap but I loved it.

The Return of Kane and, you know, CW. So, so, so, so VERY PERFECT. The perfection makes me a little giddy. One last glimpse of Lilly and Duncan… and a reminder of just how creepy Jake’s love for his children is. I get it. They were his life. Clearly because he’s not looking so hot these days. I love that he was behind The Castle. Not only is it a callback to Duncan joining the Tritons but it fits perfectly. If Duncan had gone to Hearst, he definitely would have been pledging. No question. And, yes, just what we needed to bring our story back to the beginning. Even when he doesn’t mean to be (which is actually pretty much always how it happens), Jake Kane is always at the heart of the downfall of the Mar and CW is always right there by his side (though, it was nice to see him point out that “getting rid” of the Marses was a little excessive).

The parallels are too many to go into without leading right to Keith. Keith has always been willing to do just about anything to protect Veronica. We’ve seen it time and time again but this is the first time that he’s given up everything he’s got for her. That he does it just as easily (and I say that lightly because we all know it wasn’t done “easily”) as Veronica did it in S1. At the end of the day, they’d both choose each other even for an error in judgment. Forget Veronica and Logan, that right there is the true love story in Veronica Mars and that’s what I love about this show.

VERONICA: You know I love you, right? More than anything.

KEITH: Of course, honey. I never doubted.

Of course, at the end of the day, Keith was never going to reform Neptune. He not only doesn’t belong in the Sheriff’s office… he was never going to be welcome in it. I much prefer to think of him as the town’s best PI, taking care of the people who can’t go to the police for help, and getting into hi jinx with the town’s best two for five hundred dollar suit public servant, Cliff.

And, in the end, there’s Veronica. I’m at a loss for words here. I really do love her so much. She was back in full force in this episode. Appropriate given the title. Not that I think the “bitch” was ever gone but certainly the reasons for her bitchiness were starting to fade. Until you get slapped in the face and reminded of exactly where you live and how some things never ever change. Veronica’s never going to be able to escape Neptune. Just when she thinks she’s out, it pulls her back in. But Neptune has also made Veronica who she is… the girl who doesn’t care how powerful the men are, she’s going to stand up to them. The girl who doesn’t let people trod all over her. She had to get tough the last time Neptune turned on her family and, for better or worse, that’s made her who she is today. She tries to fight it but, in the end, her need for vengeance leads her right back into the belly of the beast and she’s dragging her father right along with her (like he did last time). Of course, there’s something so wonderful about that right there. Err, not the belly of the beast part but that, even as Veronica realizes just what she cost her father and realizes that, while it might never rain in Southern California, it certainly does pour, those two will always have each other to get them through.

That last scene… oh, I love it. I don’t want a happy ending. It’s not that I don’t think Veronica deserves one or that any of them deserve one. It’s just that… well, that’s not how things happen in Neptune and, by extension, this world that they live in. Their endings are always going to be walking down the street alone on a rainy day. And, as always, Rob knows exactly the right choice of music on which to fade to black.

Of course, tackling this last chapter by character means I didn’t get to mention how much I loved the coloring of the whole episode. Everything felt noir and perfectly matched our new credits. Credits, I might add, that were shortened for this episode. I dunno why but I loved that. I loved the way they did it and, while I missed the theme song, it started the episode on the perfect note.

Hmmm, I don’t know how it’s possible but I feel like I’m forgetting something. At the end of the day, I know a lot is said about how Rob didn’t write this as a series finale but, you know, I think that ended up being the best thing. First of all, I can’t imagine that there wasn’t some closure intended given the way everything came full circle so perfectly. But, it also meant that he was able to give us the exact ending that would best serve the ethos of this story by not giving us one at all. Maybe I’m just being optimistic but I don’t care. This, for me, was the perfect way to say goodbye to Veronica Mars. Thanks, Rob Thomas, thanks.

And, now that that’s over (I don’t mean to be cavalier here… it’s just that it won’t really hit me until next fall when it’s not VM I’m tuning in to watch on Tuesdays at 9), I can get back to business as usual. Which means… expect a couple of book reviews soon (don’t worry, they’re related to TV) as well as a few press releases I’ve received in the past week. Fun!

On my schedule for tonight: Lost (2-hour finale, starts an hour earlier!)

5 Responses to “Rob Thomas is a whore.”

  1. 1
    anonymous says:

    You so nailed it. I loved this ending…it was just pitch perfect for the series as a whole.

    Don’t have much to add except my kudos for your interesting thoughts!

    Erin

  2. 2
    afrocurl says:

    Lovely post as usual, Rae. I think the part about that grin on Logan’s face after he beats up Gorey worked so well. He’s cavalier and it will cost him in the end–even if not today.

    Jake’s love for his kids is rather creepy, and the nod back to both of them worked because it showed how much those two kids are still such a part of Neptune and the lives of those still around the city.

  3. 3
    cara_leigh9 says:

    Wow, heck of a post Rae-Rae. You are a true fan and……

    …….it’s a little hard to take a suddenly broken dick

    *snickers* I’m 4, too.

  4. 4
    athenacqd says:

    If Duncan had gone to Hearst, he definitely would have been pledging.

    Didn’t they say they other Castle was founded at Stanford? Am I remembering that correctly? Because that’s where Jake wanted Duncan to go. “When you’ve graduated. From Stanford. Law.” So, yes, definitely a pledge either way. But also it explains why Jake is spiraling out of control here. Because he’s confronted with Pledge 03 who he knows is Duncan’s year. So he’s watching the class of pledges that his own son should be a part of, living this life that Duncan doesn’t get to have. It makes it even more difficult.

    As to the rest, you know I totally agree. I even agree on the bits about Ryan. There was something off about all that for me. And it’s that stuff that makes me feel that, no matter what they say, they knew it was over. Otherwise they might’ve played that up more. But they ran out of time so they rushed it together. It’s one of the few points where I think they missed the mark in the finale and it makes sense that it comes because they did the opposite of what they did in the rest of the finale, which is to make finale and explicit what should’ve been the beginning and subtle.

  5. 5
    soundingsea says:

    Logan Echolls, you magnificent bastard.

    So much WORD to your whole post.. and yes. He is a magnificent bastard, isn’t he? And I love him that way.