Warning: There are MAJOR spoilers ahead for the finale of season 4 of Veronica Mars.
If you know what happens at the end of the Veronica Mars Hulu revival you’re probably wrecked; if you don’t know what happens and you accidentally come across the spoilers, you’re also probably going to be wrecked. It's honestly a lose-lose situation no matter what way you slice it, but the biggest question it leaves is: Will there be a Veronica Mars season 5 after that massive twist?
For starters, Kristen Bell has already stated that she'll continue making new seasons of Veronica Mars for years to come (pending Hulu pulling that renewal lever, of course). Creator Rob Thomas also told TV Line that the reason for the twist was in service of potentially doing more Veronica Mars seasons.
"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," he said.
Just like the seasons (and movie) that came before it, Veronica Mars season 4 revolves around one central case, but there’s no case-of-the-week format here as Veronica (Bell) is only focusing on figuring out who’s setting off bombs in Neptune. While all of this is going on, Veronica and Logan (Jason Dohring) are working on their relationship. After he returns from deployment, he asks her to marry him, and Veronica says no. The two stay together and work through whatever they’re feeling, and after Veronica is involved in a shootout — and after she has a sex dream about Leo (Max Greenfield) — she decides she’s finally ready to get married.
During the season finale, with around 10 minutes left of the episode, Veronica and Logan have a courthouse wedding (mirroring Bell’s own wedding to Dax Shepard) and the two then decide to set off on their honeymoon. But first, Logan has to move the car for street cleaning. He heads outside to do so, and unbeknownst to Veronica, the Neptune bomber has dropped a bomb in their car. Veronica realizes this a little too late, and Logan is apparently killed in the blast.
I say "apparently" because we don’t see his body, we don’t see his funeral, and the show jumps a year into the future with Veronica leaving Neptune to work a case elsewhere. Logan is referenced as being dead, but come on, is he really? We’re going to save that debate for another time, and for the purposes of sussing out this potential fifth season, just accept that he’s dead.
But without Logan, can there even be more Veronica Mars?
Veronica and Logan’s relationship has been central to the story from the very beginning since Logan was dating Lily Kane (Amanda Seyfried), Veronica’s best friend who was killed. Logan and Veronica's shared trauma brought them together and they helped each other heal and move on from there, even as they dated other people, but they were always the two star-crossed lovers fighting to be there. Logan once told Veronica, “Our story was epic, you know, you and me. Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed. Epic.” The season 4 finale is titled, “Years, Continents, Bloodshed.”
The show is clearly setting up for Veronica to be out on her own going forward, should there be more seasons. At first thought, this sounds great since who doesn’t want to watch Veronica solve more crimes? But thinking about it a little bit more, a Veronica Mars universe without Logan feels... odd. Empty.
Yes, Veronica’s her own person and she doesn’t need a man in her life, but she spent season 4 realizing how much she loved Logan, and that along with her father, he was her family. Do any of us really want to see Veronica dating other people knowing there’s absolutely no possible outcome where she ends up back with Logan, her person?
The fact that Leo pops up repeatedly throughout season 4 seems to hint that maybe he and Veronica will give it another go as the two of them do have a shared history and some chemistry. But do any of us want to see that? It’d sort of be like if Pam (Jenna Fischer) died on The Office and Jim (John Krasinski) went back to Karen (Rashida Jones). Sure, the main character should be happy, but that's not exactly what we're here for.
Logan’s death is also a major disservice to the character who has grown and matured tremendously over the last 15 years. To have him killed off-screen by a rogue car bomb is more shock-value than anything else and now creates even more trauma for Veronica, trauma she'll have to manage on her own now that her person is gone.
If there is a season 5 — and let’s be real, it's pretty clear there will be a season 5 — it'll be tough if it's all about watching Veronica continuing to process her Logan grief. No fan will say "no" to more Veronica Mars, but it stings a little knowing we're never going to see Logan again and the fact that wherever she goes next, it'll be laced with trauma, isn't a thought I relish.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dohring seems to suggest that the reason for killing off Logan was to “reset” the series, explaining that showrunner Rob Thomas, “saw a chance to bring Veronica back to where she started, in a way, and bring her back to being the underdog, because the audience really responds to her in that way. [Logan’s death] does that; it gives her a way to start anew, and obviously in pain, but with a new determination. I think that’s the direction he was looking to go, and I understood that.”
Veronica Mars didn’t necessarily need a reset for the character in this way, because she could return back to where she started, as a scrappy PI with a camera, with Logan. The act of killing him off will never make complete sense to the passionate fanbase and if/when the show continues it’s possible that some major #LoVe shippers won’t return. For a relationship that literally did span years, continents, and bloodshed, it’s a very disappointing ending to an epic television love story. If there was a time and place to really end the series for good, now might be it. Veronica's back where she started at the beginning, and we can leave her journeys from here up to our imagination. We don't need to see her enter into any more epic love stories with anyone else.