Sigh. It seems like forever ago that I was excited to watch last night's episode of Veronica Mars, but after learning that my beloved Mars wouldn't be returning next season (thanks again, CW!), I couldn't help but watch the episode feeling more than a little blue.
If next week is to be the end of the smart, stylish series, I do wish that Rob Thomas and Co. had been given the opportunity to go out on their own terms and to potentially wrap up the series in the way that makes sense, both for the story and its characters and the viewers of the series. But in the end, in a twist most at home in its noir setting, Veronica Mars was betrayed by a supposed ally: the CW network. Since the move to the CW at the beginning of the season, the WBTV series has been battered around more than that damn Maltese Falcon. It launched on Tuesday nights for one story arc, then it was pulled for several months, only to return for a handful of episodes (in which V. solved the murder of Dean O'Dell), and then get unceremoniously yanked for a new low in reality television: the literally vomitous Pussycat Dolls: The Search for the Next Doll. When it emerged for a final time, the show's very conceit had changed. Gone were the intricate mysteries of Seasons One and Two; in its place were standalone mysteries, tied together by ongoing shifts in the characters' interpersonal dynamics.
I'm not saying that the standalones were bad. (Because they're not.) But I do miss those immersive, Byzantine mysteries that led to so many theories and discussions. I come back each week for Veronica and her friends but it was the intricacy of the plots that kept me thinking about the series for days after the broadcast.
Which is why I'm glad that last night's episode of Veronica Mars ("I Know What You'll Do Next Summer") was so emotionally satisfying. I won't go into the details of the week's standalone mystery involving a former Ugandan child soldier (though it did make for a Very Special Episode), but I will say that even if next week's Veronica Mars is the series' last, we at least appear to be getting some closure on a few dangling storylines, what with the appearance of Big Dick Casablancas and Liam Fitzpatrick, still wondering just what ever happened to Kendall. Hmmm, I wonder if we'll find out if those two storylines are intertwined next week.
95. It's about time that Veronica applied for a private investigator license of her own and I loved the scene in which she tried to taunt Papa Keith with her 95 score, only to learn that she didn't beat his results, after all. And, Keith, planting that 97 score in the drawer of your desk, just knowing Veronica would call and taunt you whilst sitting at your old desk? Classic.
I'm just happy though know that Rob Thomas decided to make Veronica legit in the end and have her stand on her own two feet a little more by making her a proper PI... and taking that internship with the FBI at Quantico. While it could have set up a potential Season Four with a new direction (I'm desperate to get my hands on that 10-minute FBI presentation to the CW), it does provide some direction for the future of the characters (even if its just in our heads) after the cameras have stopped rolling. Sigh.
Vinnie Van Lowe. Was it just me or was Vinnie's cheesy campaign video absolutely hysterical? I'm so happy that Ken Marino has been sticking around the show these past few weeks as (A) he's so damn funny and (B) it's nice for Keith to have a foil, especially since the death of poor Don Lamb. Loved Veronica's question about whether Vinnie had kids whilst watching.
Summer. Poor Piz. I just knew that he was destined for heartbreak and I was hoping he'd just step up and tell Veronica how he felt rather than playing games with her. Our girl V. is obviously not in tune with his feelings and trying to get her to admit that she'll miss him if he went to New York, or encourage him to stay in Neptune, is probably not the right move at this juncture. Still, it's rather telling that Veronica urged Piz to do what would be best for his long-term happiness (in terms of career, anyway) and that Pitchfork would be lucky to have him. But his face couldn't conceal the shock he felt when Veronica hold him that she was going to Quantico. Ouch.
I'm glad Wallace signed up to volunteer for real-life group Invisible Children and spend the summer in Africa. It's been a long time since Mr. Fennel had any meaningful character growth, so I think it's fitting that he should show some real maturity.
Logan and Parker, meanwhile, seem destined for the trash heap after Parker learned that Logan would be spending the summer on a surf trip with Dick to South America. But after Veronica inadvertently gets involved with the couple's drama, Logan invites Parker to join them... only to have the whole thing blow up in his face when Dick backs out. Oh, Logan, it's clear you're not even a little bit in love with Parker and, after meeting her creepy white flour-hating parents, you should just RUN.
Mac and Max. I'm glad that Max might not be the perfect boyfriend for Mac. Sure, she's existing on a heady diet of sex binges and mediocre pizza, but I was blown away by Max's real nature: that he's counting down the days to his expulsion, hasn't been to class since February, and just plans on continuing his business of selling tests from an off-campus apartment next year. But Mac can't help but be smitten with Max, especially after the crunchy granola goodness of Bronson. I'm just hoping Max doesn't take Mac down with him in the end. Mac deserves better.
Burning questions: where was Deputy Leo this week? And what in the name of all things holy was that god-awful CWhat's Hot wrap they kept showing? Absolutely terrifying that this is the direction the CW is going in.
Dangling mysteries. I was blown away when Big Dick Casablancas showed up at the Neptune Grand, though I am a little confused by what he meant when he said he was paying for Dick's hotel room. (I always thought Logan was paying for it.) It's about time that Dick Senior showed up, after running out on Kendall and the boys at the beginning of Season Two and only fitting that he should make his reappearance at the very scene of son Cassidy's death. But just what does he want? Sure, he claims that he wanted to spend some time with Dick before he's incarcerated for his crimes, but he doesn't really seem to be the turn yourself in and go to jail for a year type. Could there be something else going on here? Maybe related to the mysterious death of Kendall Casablancas? Me, I'm hoping that Kendall is secretly still alive and she and Dick have planned this from the start. Fingers crossed.
Next week on what appears to be the two-hour series finale (sniffle, sniffle) of Veronica Mars ("Weevils Wobble But They Don't Fall Down"), Veronica must clear Weevil's name when he's arrested for selling fake credit cards but he claims that he's being framed, Keith and Vinnie debate, Dick apologizes to Mac, and a sex tape of Veronica and Piz makes its way onto the internet. Man, I'm going to miss this series.
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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.