Season 4, Episode 8
Date of release: July 19, 2019 (Hulu)
How long will it take for news to come that involves the continuation of the VERONICA MARS franchise, whether it’s with another Kickstarter-funded film, a fifth season on Hulu, or maybe even a few more novels that are canon with the show’s events (that reminds me, maybe I should read the film’s two follow-up novels, I faintly remember the first one but I have never read the second one)? Now that Rob Thomas ended the fourth season with the first death of a central character who was not a villain (except for the first few episodes of the show, when Logan was a dick teenager), he will have to get another season just to depict the emotional minefield the characters (mostly Veronica) will be walking in after that twist ending, and I really want to see that. I want to see Keith solving a case with Matty as his assistant who is being groomed to become the next great private investigator. I want to see Veronica in the world, solving random cases like it’s a 1980s television drama about a traveling nomad helping people in all the rural areas of America. And I would really hate it for VERONICA MARS to end with a shocker like Logan’s death. There needs to be more of a happy end for the characters. It was a great choice to end the episode with a one-year-long time jump though, and not have viewers wonder whether Logan may have survived or not. Putting a stamp on his fate was needed, as a cliffhanger ending would have really been idiotic. If you want to end the season with a downer, you can do that as log as you don’t leave questions unanswered. The practice of season cliffhangers is something every TV writer should immediately get out of their treasure box and trash it into outer space. Bring those cliffhangers when you know you have more stories to tell and are able to do so, but fuck off with those when you haven’t even gotten a renewal yet. So, hats off to Rob Thomas for at least not putting a cliffhanger ending into this episode.
Okay, Penn was the mad bomber after all. I theorized that schizophrenia could have been involved if he really was the bomber, since he was too weird a character to be a mass murderer. Turns out that you only need to be crazy to be a mad bomber, and I guess Penn was genius enough to have contingencies planned, just so he can either get out of the whole mess as a free man by pinning the crimes on another person, or have a backup handy, just in case the Mars investigators were indeed smarter for just a few seconds. Now I have to rewatch the season, just to check if the narrative fits with Penn being the bomber, but at least the story partially worked with him being the mad bomber, including a back story that came pretty close to being the revenge story I would have thought about if a woman had been the bomber and all she wanted was to kill sexual assaulters (Carol being the bomber still would have made sense, maybe even with Penn’s help, making her an accomplice). Besides that, with the back story of the three college frat boys almost drowning Penn three years ago, this could have easily turned into a Neptune, California version of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (or in this season’s case: “I Know What You Did Three Spring Breaks Ago”). I would have loved to see that, too. Having someone like Patton Oswalt play a killer with a hook for a hand? That’s kind of a great premise for a horror film — have a prominent and well-liked comedian be the killer of a horror film.
Of course, the writers couldn’t help themselves throwing a few seeds into the season that functioned as red herrings, beginning with Veronica’s voiceovers from the season premiere about Matty and how her involvement was the kicker that led her to be emotionally distraught during said voiceovers. In retrospect, those don’t make a lot of sense anymore, but at least it’s a sign that the writers went into the season, knowing that someone is going to die at the end of it and it will shake Veronica to her core. That Logan happened to be the victim… Well, that weirdly makes sense. Their relationship has kind of played itself down over the run of this season. They were so madly in love with each other that a separation was pretty much out of the question, so the only story that would have kept that romance busy was whether or not Veronica is going to wear that ring and get married. And when that question was answered and Veronica and Logan were all happy, it was pretty obvious that something is going to happen to break them apart again. Which begs the question, did Parker return for that one scene just to tease how Logan would have followed his ex-girlfriend like Veronica would have almost led Leo into her bed in the previous episode, which means both Logan and Veronica are very much alike? If Logan had cancelled the wedding because of Parker or his insecurities, I would have probably rolled some eye, and if they would have gotten married and no one died, it would have been the perfect happy-end series finale. But here we are now, and Veronica is never allowed to be happy. She gets raped, her bestie Lilly Kane gets murdered, her mom disappears, reappears, gets drunk and disappears again with a $50k cheque, Duncan escapes to Australia with his daughter, ending that happy relationship, she almost gets raped again, she brings her father into a predicament after he destroyed evidence to protect her, her father almost gets killed… No happy end for you, Veronica Mars!
A few more points to close out the season with: Mars Investigations must be rich now. Mr. Linden put out a $250k bounty for his son’s killer (the club roofier who lost his head at the beach), which Keith sacked in, and they also got the reward for catching Penn in the previous episode, and I forgot what that number was. Considering that their P.I. firm has gotten a little famous now, chances are they have been getting solid cases which pay very well. Then there is Veronica who will most likely travel the country a little bit, just to solve cases and make more money. Mars Investigations is set for at least another decade, which almost promises another season during the next ten years.
Also, let’s not forget that Matty was the witness to a cartel murder. She might feel indifferent about it, because Big Dick killed her father, and her father was the only thing worth living for in her life, but she witnessed a pretty gruesome execution, which maybe should haunt her for a little bit, let alone she should be watching over her shoulder, just in case Alonzo and his partner noticed her in the house, or remembered that Big Dick was talking about a hard drive (which the Mexicans could have found, in addition to the surveillance system set up at the house, which may have been recording Matty in the house, being a witness to a cartel execution). The whole thing does make her something of a very dangerous character, if the writers decide to have her stick around: When she doesn’t give a damn about her father’s killer losing his head like that, is there a chance she will be a little more cold and a lot more sarcastic than Veronica has been?
And last, but not least: Neptune is now the destination for rich people. No more rent control, high-end businesses on the boardwalk run by most likely criminal enterprises, a high school named after Jake freaking Kane of all people (it’s the end of Neptune High, isn’t it?)… The whole town might be like the 09er district now, which bodes well for corruption and more criminal activity. That means people like the Mars family are needed more than ever. Hulu, the ball is in your court now: Renew this show!