Warning: BIG ol' spoilers for Veronica Mars below!
Veronica Mars had a tough order to fill for its fourth season on Hulu — managing to capture the vibe of the original three seasons while modernizing Kristen Bell's beloved private investigator, and also believably figuring out what she'd be up to over a decade later. In Veronica's case, she's still working hard investigating crimes with her father, Keith Mars, in Neptune, California and living with her longtime love, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). By the end of the new eight episodes, Logan and Veronica have figured out who the Neptune bomber is and finally tied the knot, only for Logan to tragically and unexpectedly die in one last explosion.
For many fans, the shocking twist felt particularly cruel since season four presents audiences with a more mature, thoughtful, and fully redeemed Logan. The fact he and Veronica are able to move forward with their lives and experience pure joy after years of trauma, only to have it snatched away in explosive fashion, is a bitter pill to swallow. So, why did Veronica Mars showrunner Rob Thomas do it? Apparently he wants to take the potential season five in a different direction.
"What I really want to do, and the intention in these eight episodes was sort of a bridge to that, is to make Veronica Mars more a strictly mystery show," Thomas told Vox. "If Kristen [Bell] and I want to make more of these Veronica Mars mysteries, I think it's going to survive best as a true mystery show with a badass PI at the center of it, and I think that works better if the PI doesn't have a boyfriend."
Even though the white-hot chemistry between Logan and Veronica is what once kept fans flocking to the series in droves, Thomas believes that the characters' story has run its course. Like the iconic TV couplings of Jim and Pam and Ross and Rachel, Thomas isn't sure a show can survive with two happy, stable romantic leads.
"I think there's a reason that shows are over once the two romantic leads get together happily. That's because there's very little to mine there. Fans don't like it if I break apart a marriage, but where's the stuff of drama?" he explained. "And if I'm going to send out Veronica on these cases, what am I doing with Logan in these episodes? . . . I had to work pretty hard to get Logan even tangentially involved in the case. I think if I keep trying to do that in future installments, it would feel phony."
"It gives her a way to start anew, and obviously in pain, but with a new determination."
Dohring, who has played Logan on Veronica Mars since the show's premiere in 2004, seems at peace with Thomas's controversial decision. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he said that he found out about Logan's death "early on," and that "if these two are sort of destined to be together as characters, it wouldn't really make sense for the show to have it end any other way."
"I think Rob really 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," Dohring continued. "[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."
There you have it, Marshmallows: Logan had to die so that Veronica's story could continue. Of course, that's what Thomas believes — a vocal contingent of fans vehemently disagree. Keep reading to see what audiences are saying of the big Logan twist, and then see all the other characters who don't make it out of season four alive (if you dare).