I'm a writer and a writing coach, and as much as the ending of season 4 disappointed me as a fan and as a person whose favorite character is Logan, what I hated was all the betrayals of established and accepted formula for something other over something I agreed to through three seasons and a movie.
Let me explain. When I started watching, I was given a set of guidelines. Veronica is the main character. Check. Veronica solves crimes. Check. Veronica Mars (show, character, and supporting cast, especially Logan) is funny. Check. Veronica has meaningful relationships with friends and family, season one through the movie. Check. Season four. Check-ish.
Sure, we got Keith and Logan. And I loved watching that, but where the heck were Wallace and Weevil? It got particularly irritating to me when instead of Wallace and Weevil, we got way too much of lots of new and ultimately unimportant characters.
This is part of why I liked the show better as a procedural with one overarching big bad for the season. One case per episode means we get less of these extraneous characters, but still get the big case. But because they decided to deal with one case for all 8 episodes, and not use a lot of Weevil or Wallace, I got bored with them and ended up fast-forwarding those scenes. And you know what, fast-forwarding didn't make the plot hard to follow, which tells me those scenes really weren't necessary anyway.
However, I found myself making allowances for the things that lacked, because I loved the moments where Veronica was with Logan and working on her relationship (although, I didn't like how she treated Logan with regard to his therapy and personal growth-what is she, 12? Even in high school she was more understanding than that.) I also loved seeing V with her dad and watching them deal with his memory loss, and no matter how fleeting, I was totally into the scenes with Wallace and Weevil and even Dick! I watched on tenterhooks, thrilled whenever we got them.
I dealt with the strung out mystery, that at times was so predictable it had me face-palming, because I wanted to see what would happen next with Veronica and the other characters of the universe of the show-but particularly with her relationship with Logan. It was fresh and interesting and felt, for the most part, like a natural progression. "So, this is what adult Veronica and Logan would be like together. Awesome!"
Logan was the character through all seasons and the movie, that pushed Veronica to be better, do better, to come to grips with what she wanted from life. Sometimes because he was being supportive .
The reason his character is so integral to Veronica's character growth is because he's the only character who is not only as smart as Veronica but also willing to call her on her crap. Sure, Keith is wicked smart, but he doesn't really push V. And sure, other characters call her on her crap, but they're not as smart as her, or they don't care about her as much or as deeply (they're not in love with her,) so it's not as interesting.
If a loser tells her to grow up, we roll our eyes. If Logan tells her to grow up, it makes an impact. Even people who don't like Logan are going to have very strong opinions about that. It's either going to hurt like crazy, infuriate us, or make us cheer. What it won't do is cause a blasé reaction. In writing, we'd call Logan Veronica's "impact character." And, frankly, no one else has the chops to pull that off.
I like Leo, but he can be bought with pizza for crying out loud. I like Dick, but there's no real relationship there. I love Wallace and Weevil, but while important to her, they don't have enough at stake with her to do it. And I LOVE Keith, but part of what makes him so fun is watching how he dotes on her. Not the main trait of an impact character.
Logan filled a position that no other character can, and that, after four seasons and a movie, no one else should. It's been established, and we accepted it. Every episode, every season, the Kickstarter movie, and even season 4, which was brought about, in part, by fan pressure again, was like a contract saying: this is the established universe, this is what you'll get. We held up our end of the contract and supported the crap out of the show. (It definitely wasn't fan service. It was self service.)
Perhaps that, Logan being an impact character, was the point of killing him? Rob Thomas did say he wanted it to be more about the mysteries, so adios character development? That's dumb. I'm not here going on about the mysteries. The mystery was fine, I guess, if not predictable. I'm here going on about character building. The true essence of the show.
Are the mysteries fun? Absolutely. Are they what keep me coming back? Nope. I mean, it's not like I'd want to watch a show where Logan and Veronica sit for an hour arguing over their relationship, but it's not the mysteries that really make an impact. I don't quote lines from bad guys. The memorable stuff, the stuff you talk about after the show is over, are the characters and what's happening to them. Point and case, no one is talking about the bomber now, or the case, or any of those several new characters that are never coming back. Everyone is talking about Logan and their very strong feelings about what happened to him. We don't care about the cases. We may like them and think they're interesting, but we don't care about them. What we care about is memorable and "epic."
This show has never been about how the characters can impact the mysteries; it's been about how the mysteries impact the characters. This is a character show. It's not GoT. You can't just kill one of THREE main characters, especially the impact character, and act like it's no big deal, like you can move the show onward and have it be as good or better. It is a big deal. And the show will never be as good if this is allowed to stay canon. It'll never get better. Veronica will never grow. She'll (the show and character) will stagnate. And fans will abandon ship.
Just by sticking through this season, I already agreed to:
1.) Give up the procedural aspect
2.) Watch (or fast-forward) through characters that are overall unimportant to the lives of the main characters or even the mystery, really
3.) Losing screen time with characters that normally had much bigger roles and who were more interesting than the guys in #2
4.) And now, it seems, I've even agreed to lose the place we've been repeatedly told is Veronica's field of battle, Neptune.
5.) And if #4 is for real, then also screen time with any of the characters that made up the world of Veronica Mars except for Veronica Mars. (What is she supposed to do? Have witty conversations with herself in the mirror now?)
But, I agreed to all that, because they kept her relationship with her dad and with Logan intact. But especially Logan, because again, he's her impact character. The one that keeps her doing the things she needs to do to be better; a better person, a better partner, a better investigator, a better friend, a better everything. He's the one that forces her to be introspective.
But now that's gone, too?
And just Logan in general who is an amazing character, that I'm glad to hear they're proud of, but pissed that they thought he was expendable. He, all by himself, is still the most interesting character to watch next to Veronica, and I'd argue sometimes he's more interesting than her. That's how you know he's un-expendable.
But no more Logan and just "deal with it, the show'll be better." Really?
It's like they got an idea for a new mystery show and wanted Kristen Bell to be in it, but because she was already in a mystery show, they just decided to wipe everything that made the real show so great and try something new. (Heck, it even comes with a built in fan base! Maybe not anymore.)
And, I probably would've gone along with it forever, until it turned in to "Murder, She Wrote," even, if they'd left the main trio alone.
Why would I watch a show that betrayed every rule it established as "the world of Veronica Mars" to be just another crime scene show. I wouldn't. If I wanted to watch CSI, I would. This was supposed to be different. Better. And it was.
They manipulated my feelings and then ripped the only really good thing, the only one of two things that stayed the same from the original show, out from under me; the reason I kept watching when if it'd been any other show I would've quit halfway into the 3rd episode. That's why "How I Met Your Mother" fans were so ticked. They were promised one thing and were given the opposite of that.
Also, killing Logan because you feel like you've written yourself into a corner, or because you don't know how to write an interesting story that includes a man who is a Naval Intelligence Officer with a crazy backstory and loads of interesting baggage is lazy writing. It just is. I can think of ten solid ideas off the top of my head. I expect more from one of the most creative and clever shows I've ever seen. They know how to do it.
On a personal note, I hate and reject the idea that the only way V can be interesting to watch is if she's wounded and alone and doesn't have a man waiting for her. It's almost 2020 and we're still pushing the misogynistic idea that a woman can't be successful in her career, be interesting, and be happily married? Really? What the cuss?
Also, the whole idea that they're trying to get rid of the teen drama by killing Logan just sounds like they weren't paying attention to what they wrote this season. The only person acting immature was Veronica.
If you want an adult show, how about you make your MC act like an adult? And there's not much more adult than being married and having to deal with the trials that come with that. We, as the audience, have grown up-we wanted that for Veronica too.
One Cuss of a Frustrated Writer and Fan