Veronica Mars Season 4 was so polarizing that we had to get some of the team together to discuss it.
Please join Paul Dailly, Meaghan Frey, Tonya Myers, and Carissa Pavlica as they delve into what they did and didn't enjoy about the Hulu revival.
Be sure to share your thoughts to our questions in the comments.
What did you most appreciate about the Veronica Mars Season 4 mystery?
Paul: The mystery was clearly constructed with the eight-episode arc in mind, meaning that it flowed much better than some of the mysteries the show went with during its initial run.
Meaghan: The mystery was captivating. During the third season, the show struggled with developing a mystery that was as intriguing as the ones that we got in the first two seasons.
During this season, the writers found their footing again on the mystery front. It genuinely took me on a roller coaster ride. Just when I thought I had it figured out they would rip the rug out from under me. That type of mystery is not found often on TV anymore.
Tonya: The mystery reminded me of why I was so disappointed when the show ended after season 3. There was never a dull moment! It kept me on my toes and made me think. I had to stop and say wait, Dick Casablancas was responsible for this bomb, so who is responsible for that bomb.
Carissa: I liked that Logan was helping Veronica with the Mars Investigations cases. We all know how that turned out.
What did you dislike about the mystery?
Paul: I was really annoyed with Penn being the bomber. It was so obviously him throughout that I thought there was no way it would be him. It was very similar to Scream 4 with someone attempting to become famous out of killing several people. There were also some points the mystery took a back seat when it should not have.
Meaghan: I wasn't necessarily that happy with Penn being the bomber. While his motive was genuine for him, it didn't feel fully realized. There wasn't a way that we could have figured out it was him based on this motive until the reveal by the frat boy that they thought they drowned a pizza delivery man.
Tonya: I didn’t like the way the mystery ended. Veronica became a target for Penn, and that ultimately led to Logan’s death. The consequences of solving this mystery will follow Veronicafor for the rest of her life. If Logan is really dead (still holding onto hope here), Veronica will never be the same.
Carissa: I pegged Penn as a villain the moment he raised his hand by the car to wave goodbye to Matty seconds before the first bomb exploded. I was wrong about the initial explosion, but right about his character.
The part of the mystery involving Big Dick made sense, but a pizza guy going bomber extraordinaire outwitting law enforcement and Veronica? That didn't fly.
What new character did you most enjoy and why?
Paul: Nicole. She was one of the highlights of Veronica Mars Season 4. She knew how to handle herself against the darkness that was taking over Neptune, and I only wish that she and Veronica patched things up. It's entirely possible that they could have during the time jump.
Meaghan: Nicole. That woman is a badass, and I loved every second of her. I will admit that I thought she was the bomber for the first half of the season, but that didn't minimize my love for her.
Outside of Mac, we never got to see Veronica have any genuine female friendships throughout the early seasons of the show so this was a nice change of pace.
Tonya: Definitely Nicole. She has the same take no bull attitude as Veronica, and I loved it! We can never have enough tough-as-nails female characters on television, so if the show does come back for another season I hope we get to see more of Nicole.
Carissa: I enjoyed the addition of J.K. Simmons as Clyde Pickett. Simmons always plays very complicated characters, and the same was true for Clyde. Even though ultimately, he was one of the bad guys, I desperately wanted Keith to get a friend. He needs a life outside of Mars Investigations, too.
What returning character did you most enjoy and why?
Paul: Logan. Out of every person who returned, his journey felt the most rewarding. He was damaged on Veronica Mars Season 1, and I love that he was shown as seeking help to deal with everything.
I'm still struggling with the fact that he will never be part of the show again. He was so supportive of Veronica that proved why he was the best man for her.
Meaghan: Logan. He deserves an award for Most Improved. To any of the naysayers who hated on LoVe during the show's initial run, this proved that us LoVers weren't crazy in the end. We just saw Logan's potential before the rest of you.
But seriously, this evolved Logan was like a breath of fresh air. I couldn't have asked for more. Honorable mention to Deputy Leo. Leo always got the short end of the stick during Veronica Mars, and I feel like this season did him justice.
Tonya: Logan. I’m always a sucker for a love story. I loved them together way back when and loved them together just as much now.
While I did enjoy seeing the more mature man that Logan has grown into, I’m not gonna lie, I also enjoyed the impulsive punch through the cabinet door as well. It was a moment reminiscent of the badass big-hearted Logan from the past. Maybe I need the number to his therapist, Jane, as well.
Carissa: My favorite returning character was LoVe. The relationship between Veronica and Logan is as much a character as any of the others on the series. It's the death of that relationship that scorched my desire to see more Veronica, even if I did enjoy her illicit thoughts about Leo.
If you could have written any character off of Veronica Mars Season 4, who would it have been?
Paul: Matty. We didn't need a younger iteration of Veronica, and while she was the perfect fodder as a suspect in my eyes, her inclusion in the narrative felt like a plot device to tell Veronica she's flirted with darkness for far too long.
Meaghan: Matty. I know I might get a lot of hate for that one, but I definitely wasn't as big of a fan of her as other people were. Yes I get it she was like a mini Veronica, but it didn't add anything to the storyline for me.
I actually was convinced that she was the bomber after I realized it wasn't Nicole. Now that would have made me a fan of the Matty storyline.
Tonya: I also was not a fan of Matty. At times it felt like they were trying to make her the next Veronica. Like we could expect a spin-off where Matty is the new PI in Neptune. I’m sorry, but for me, there can only be one Veronica Mars.
Carissa: Matty for the superfecta! Unfortunately, she was too much like Veronica of Veronica Mars Season 4 instead of the loveable, impish, sometimes too on-the-nose teen we originally loved. I didn't care for Veronica this season, so adding Matty to the mix was overwhelming.
What did you think about Veronica (the character) during Veronica Mars Season 4?
Paul: Veronica bordered on unlikable, and that's a foreign concept with this show.
I appreciated that we needed to see the ramifications of wallowing in the past, but her sudden change of heart about Logan after having a sex dream about Leo did not work for me. Her comments were rude to some characters and simply unwarranted. I hate to say it, but I hated her for the most part.
Meaghan: Veronica was frustrating, to say the least. While I knew she would always eventually come around about her marriage to Logan, the way she handled their relationship after the proposal was tough to watch.
That is the thing about Veronica, though. She is flawed, but those flaws are what makes her human and are what make us love her.
Tonya: This one is hard for me to answer. I will always enjoy Veronica for the tough, quick-witted girl we’ve all come to know and love, but I would like to have seen more emotional maturity I suppose.
Turning Logan down and then getting angry with him for not being angry, testing the limits of her faithfulness with Leo, and treating Logan like he was a nuisance when he called her after reporting for duty were several instances where I feel like she exhibited immaturity.
Regardless, she came around in the end. It was just a little too late.
Carissa: She bordered on nasty for a lot of the run, from her brutish dismissal of Keith's lapses in memory to her poor understanding of Logan and his progress as an emotional being. I missed Veronica with a heart.
How did you view Veronica's relationship with Logan during Season 4?
Paul: I liked it. It was a different aspect for sure. Logan had exorcised his demons, and he wanted the love of his life to do the same. It's a shame that Veronica had it drummed into her that nothing is forever, so it's best to keep an element of distance from the one you love.
It was unhealthy at times, but it felt like an accurate portrayal of a relationship with one party willing to make changes to better their life.
Meaghan: We were in entirely new territory with LoVe this season. Veronica was always the emotionally mature one in their relationship up until this point. However, Veronica stopped maturing.
All of the trauma of her past has left her emotionally stunted, and it is understandable. Getting to see Logan take the lead was a nice change of pace. We all have been waiting for Logan to grow up and be ready, and now he finally was.
Tonya: It seems like there are not a lot of happy endings in the land of television anymore, so I wish we could have got one with them. Veronica spent the season pushing him away, and it was hard to watch. You could tell that Logan truly loved Veronica.
He supported her and accepted her for who she was. He was patient with her and encouraged her to talk to his therapist because he could see that she needed help. A healthy relationship is not a bad thing and doesn’t take away from a strong female character. Veronica could have still been Veronica with Logan.
Carissa: They had come so far since they reunited. Watching them cook for each other (Veronica even had a signature "I need your help" dish), watching Harlots on Hulu and chillin' on the couch, and even Logan moving V's car, so she didn't get a ticket on street-sweeping day made them feel very relatable.
When you can finally relate in real terms with a couple like LoVe, it feels magical. I never doubted Logan's love for Veronica, and I was disappointed she balked at marriage. That seemed like something they would have addressed in the five years we missed.
What prevailing thoughts did you have while watching the season that did or did not come true by the finale?
Paul: I figured Matty was the bomber, and that Keith was going to die while urging Penn to cut the wires on the bomb. I genuinely thought Keith was going to be revealed to be dying, and sacrifice himself for the greater good.
Meaghan: Matty being the bomber, the bomb being at Mars Investigations, and Keith being the one to die.
Tonya: With a lot of focus on Keith’s forgetfulness and him retiring, I really thought Keith was going to be the one to die.
Carissa: The first was that Penn was going to be a guilty party, and the second was that Logan was going to die.
Veronica saying no to his proposal smelled of an impending crushing blow from his death. Even when they ultimately got married, there were so many red herrings from her refusal to his sudden jaunts overseas that every time they parted, I expected it to be the last time they were together.
What are your thoughts on killing Logan to advance Veronica as a character?
Paul: It ruined the entire fabric of the series for me. The very notion that Veronica needs to lose the only constant in her life to harden her and propel her story forward is way too convenient.
As someone who studied writing for TV, if I turned in a script with that type of development, it would have dragged down the rest of the script. Logan was so improved and was actually a great part of Veronica's journey throughout the fourth season, minus the twist.
Meaghan: To say that I am not pleased would be an understatement. Veronica has always been a strong female character. Her romantic relationships have never been what defined her, but they are part of life.
By killing off Logan, it is if the writers feel like her relationship made her weak when, in reality, it gave her strength and added layers to her. Veronica isn't going to be that marshmallow that we have come to love now that someone else she loved was taken from her.
Well, maybe she will still be a marshmallow, but it is definitely going to be a stale one and who likes stale marshmallows? I'm just hoping that the writers are still pulling one over on us and Logan is alive in a hospital bed somewhere clinging on to life.
Tonya: I’m not going to lie, I’m bitter about it. I don’t understand the constant need for death and despair. I want Veronica to be happy. Losing the love of your life is not going to provide happiness. Sure, Veronica will be tough, but Veronica is already tough. She always has been.
Why did she have to lose Logan to advance as a character? She could have advanced as a wife, maybe a mother in the future, and as a person. She could have done all of those things simultaneously. Veronica is nothing if not capable.
Carissa: I'm heartbroken at the loss of a character who is ingrained into pop culture, but I'm also angry that so few writers can find a way to merge mystery and love. Getting to the point we found LoVe is the battle. They made it. But love doesn't soften too hardened individuals who found their way to each other.
A love like theirs would have allowed for adventure and pushing pulling each other to strengthen their bond even further. We spent years with them at odds. We earned the right to see how they fit together as adults working together in love and their careers.
How would you like the story to progress if the series gets greenlit for another season?
Paul: I want the show to move away from the confines of Neptune. The place has changed so much to the point that I'm tired of it all.
Given that Mars Investigations is getting a lot of job offers, I would love to go to another destination, especially if Rob Thomas wants to leave the secondary characters in the rear-view mirror.
Meaghan: I would love for the writers to explore the class war in Neptune more going into another season. At the end of the movie, they teased that would be a central storyline if we were to revisit Neptune again, but instead it got pushed to the background with the bomber case.
The scenes between Weevil and Veronica were some of my favorites, and I feel like they hinted at what that story could look like through their interactions. I also hope that we get to see Veronica make some progress in therapy to prevent her from becoming even more hardened.
Tonya: Is it bad if I say that I hope Logan is still alive somewhere? I know that’s more in the realm of soap operas, but they didn’t actually say he was dead right? I mean, they heavily insinuated it, but no one actually said it. Maybe that’s just the hopeless romantic in me, but I’m going to hold onto hope until further notice.
Carissa: I no longer have faith that the writing team knows how to handle the material. iZombie is going nowhere in its final season, and Veronica Mars offered a stunted hero who took a chance only to get blown backward again. It's too late to go hard-boiled investigator for me.
Grade Veronica Mars Season 4 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best and support your answer.
Paul: 3. I had a love/hate relationship with it. It started slow, improved somewhat in the middle, and slowed down by the end. There were too many red herrings and character developments that felt thrown in purely for the sake of shocking the audience.
Given the lack of consistency, it's hard not to think that the franchise would have benefited from a two-hour movie.
Meaghan: 4. If Logan hadn't been killed off, this would have been a 5 no question about it. However, his death just put a damper on an otherwise incredible season, so for that, I have to dock it down one point.
Tonya: 4. I enjoyed everything about this long-awaited revival besides the death of Logan. Veronica will always be one of my favorite characters, so I’m just happy that we got another season; even if it didn’t end the way I would have liked.
Carissa: When I intially reviewed the full season, I gave it a 3.75. That score wasn't earned.
It was as high as I was willing to give a season that disappointed me so much in the end. If I had allowed myself to be brutally honest, accepted the wrath of readers, and maybe put too many cards on the table, I would have deduced a point. 2.75
What about all of you?
Weigh in below, especially if you liked the upending of the new normal at the end of the season.
Share your reasoning to see if you can sway others!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.