Logan Echolls Was Perfect. We Ruined Him.
(Warning: Season 4 Spoilers below. And also a bit for Game of Thrones. So, just, in general, watch out.)
OK, now notice I didn’t say “Logan Echolls Is A Great Boyfriend.” Or “Logan Echolls Has No Problems And Would Be A Great Real-Life Person.” Or “Logan Echolls Is Definitely Someone I Would Feel Comfortable with Dating My Best Friend.” I said none of those things. What I said was, “Logan Echolls Was Perfect.” And guys? He super, super was. We made him terrible.
For starters, we need to get very real about both the nature of Veronica Mars the TV show, and the role that Logan played in it. My dear friend Kate, much like my dear friend Petr, is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Not about Logan Echolls as a real-life person being absolutely terrible and abusive, but about what Logan Echolls the character meant. Remember about how in the last few episodes of Game of Thrones, some b-holes on the internet were trying to argue that Dany was always a bad guy because she’d killed people? And I was all, “Bitch, everyone on this show has killed people. Except for maybe Tommen. Maybe. And don’t try throwing Bran at me because Hodor would like a cussing word”?
I’m not saying that Logan doesn’t do terrible, awful things. I’m saying every person on Veronica Mars does terrible, awful things. I mean, a very, very quick rundown based on best to worst:
- Wallace repeatedly stole confidential information on fellow students for Veronica’s cases
- Mac sold the private purity test results to literally anyone who wanted them so she could buy an ugly car
- Keith repeatedly broke the law while working as a PI on his cases, and tampered with evidence in order to protect Veronica while he was sheriff
- Lilly slept with her ex-boyfriend’s married father
- Leo (yeah, I’m coming for Leo, too) sold evidence about the Aaron Echolls case while he was a sheriff’s deputy
- Weevil was the leader of a criminal, motorcycle gang
- Duncan ghosted his long-term, serious girlfriend; kidnapped a baby and fled to Australia; and LITERALLY HAD A DUDE KILLED
And our heroine? I don’t have even digital ink for all of the supremely shitty things she did, but let’s at least address: broke the law in the same ways Keith did, bugged the private therapy sessions of her friends and classmates, stole her ex-boyfriend’s confidential medical file, falsely accused three different people close to her of murdering Lilly, and inadvertently kicked off the troubles between the 0-Niners and Weevil’s gang at the beginning of season two (Yeah, that’s right. Guess who’s doing a rewatch. It’s a small point of order in Kate’s otherwise balls-on accurate post, but Logan wasn’t actually on the bridge spoiling for a fight. He was there drunkenly contemplating his own suicide (in the same manner his mother had killed herself a few months earlier) when Weevil and Co. showed up planning to kill Logan because ever-cautious Veronica accidentally let slip in front of him that she thought Logan killed Lilly. Weevil’s gang used the fight as cover to kill Felix and framed Logan for it. His eventual acquittal was what set off the entire town, and it’s mostly because Veronica didn’t look around when she was making a private phone call. Where was I?).
Right, Veronica Mars isn’t that great either. Because that’s what the show was. I don’t think Logan’s characterization is unproblematic because this is “only” a TV show. I think it’s intentionally problematic because this is the kind of heightened-reality series where a seventeen-year-old kid could feasibly flee to Cuba because he heard his ex-girlfriend talk about looking for fake passports. It’s not that we should apply a TV show to our reality, it’s that the show is intentionally fantastical. This was some hot, trashy, soapy garbage, and we all need to admit it. It might have been elevated at times because of some snappy writing and charisma, but the show, at its heart, was about Veronica being a badass and wanting to cuss the shit out of Logan Echolls.
Which is how we ruined him. People, Logan was never, ever going to be the person Veronica should have settled down with. And we shouldn’t have tried to make him that. To quote commenter brtrisk, Logan and Veronica were a trash ship. He was the bad idea you didn’t care you knew better than. He was going to be a raging asshole (and he was) with a wildly, overly sincere core juuuuuuuust below the surface. It was jokes about everything until it was immediate intensity about literally everything. He punched people because he got punched. It was the tropeiest trope that every troped, and, by god, it worked. Logan Echolls wasn’t the guy you brought home; he was the guy who texted you at 9 pm. And you? You responded by muttering “this mothercusser” even as you picked out the underwear you were going to his house in. Was Logan bad for Veronica? OF COURSE. THAT WAS HIS WHOLE POINT.
And we ruined him by refusing to let him go. We couldn’t allow him to stay as that super-hot guy from high school or even the super-hot guy from college. We couldn’t just allow him to be that way that we worked in the poor-little-rich, bad-boy fantasy. We had to make him the love of Veronica’s life, and the love of Veronica’s life couldn’t be a crazy asshole. So, we fixed him. At which point, we didn’t want him anymore. I still fully object to casually murdering him in the last few minutes of the show, but I get it. We tried to convert a high school boyfriend, and it failed miserably. He was straight jerk material (see what I did there?), and we wouldn’t let it be. You were too good for us, Logan. Too melodramatically, emo, crazy good for us. I’m sorry we killed you, but I’m even more sorry we tried to make you Piz.
Header Image Source: Warner Bros. TV