By now you’ve finished watching season four of Veronica Mars (now with Kareem Adbul Jabbar in the writers’ room), and if you haven’t, you shouldn’t be in this post, because we’re about to talk about a spoiler. And not just any spoiler, but the spoiler to end all spoilers, and frankly one that might diminish your experience if you know it ahead of time. Your shock, anger, frustration, or happiness should come as a surprise, because that is part of the fun (and what? Why are you happy? What is wrong with you?!).
If you haven’t finished the season, you should leave now.
So, Logan Echolls is dead. And the reason, as creator Rob Thomas explained to TVLine, is because he felt he had to “cut off a limb to save a life.”
“Kristen [Bell] and I really want to keep doing more of these [limited, self-contained seasons], like the Sherlock and even Fargo templates. Something where, when we both have windows of availability, we can come back and do it. The thinking is that we need to survive as a noir detective show. And if we kept doing a show that was half teenage soap and half mystery show, the fear is it would start feeling like nostalgia. Going full mystery show gives us our best chance to survive. I think there’s a reason you don’t see many hard-boiled detective shows where the lead detective has a boyfriend or a girlfriend; it kind of limits your options. It was like we were cutting off a limb to save a life… I love Jason Dohring. And I love the character of Logan. But I feel as though we are going to have a better shot of doing more and more Veronica Mars if our heroine does not have a boyfriend or a husband back home.”
I actually really liked NPR’s Linda Holmes’ reasoning, which is basically that it’s all the fans’ fault, because the fans crowdfunded the Veronica Mars movie, which Thomas conceded 100 percent serviced the fans who paid for it, which meant giving them what they wanted — Logan Echolls as Veronica’s love interest — and in making that realistic, they had to soften his edges, which transformed him into a nice guy, which ultimately gave his character an expiration date.
Personally, I agree with the decision to kill him off. Like Kate, I never liked Logan Echolls — I was more of a Piz guy (shut up) — until season four, which is when they basically turned Logan into Piz, which is to say: A super nice supportive boyfriend. And while super nice supportive boyfriends are great in real life, they do not make for great television, which is why Felicity continued to entertain Ben instead of the obvious choice of Noel (it always goes back to Ben/Noel).
Logan was a Ben, until he became a Noel, at which point the series had to discard him. No one wants to see a season five of Veronica Mars where Veronica and Logan peacefully cohabitate, lovingly attend couples counseling every week, and talk about their feelings while watching Harlots. As Rob Thomas intimates, that’s a great “happily ever after,” but some of us would like a season 5. And season 6. And 7, 8, and 9. Or even a tenth, where Veronica is trying to figure out why people keep mysteriously dying in hospice care.
Does that mean fridging Logan in order to move Veronica’s character along? Sort of, yes. The Logan character had run its course, and a happy marriage would not lend itself well to Veronica’s surly, jaded personality. While Emily would like to see character growth from Veronica, I think that too much character growth would be detrimental to the long-term viability of the series. The only other alternative, I suspect, would have been to re-assassinate Logan’s character and turn him into an abusive husband. In other words: Put him back in the track he was on before the Veronica Mars movie. I think fans would have hated that much more than the martyrization of a well-medicated douchebag prick.