In the final minutes of the season four finale, ominously titled "Years, Continents, Bloodshed," Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), the once arrogant 09er-turned-responsible military man and Veronica's soulmate, unexpectedly died after a car bomb left in the backseat of Veronica's car detonated, killing the fan-favorite character. There was more salt to the wound because Logan's death took place mere moments after he and Veronica tied the knot and briefly looked ahead to life as husband and wife.
The move to nix one half of the show's main romantic couple prompted fans to react vocally on social media. So much so that an online petition began circulating asking Thomas and the writers to undo Logan's death if the series gets picked up for a fifth season. Executive producer and writer Diane Ruggiero-Wright, who has been with Veronica Mars since the series' second episode, defended the divisive ending but also expressed some understanding behind fans' collective devastation and anger.
"When we first met Veronica, when we first fell in love with Veronica, where was she at? She was f***ing heartbroken. She was a wreck. Her life had been completely upended. She lost her best friend, her father was in hell and there was all this stuff happening with her mom," she said, referring to the first season that aired from 2004 to 2005. "When we fell in love with her at her low point, that gave us a place to watch her rise and it tells you a lot about a person when they're not in a good place. Do you really want to watch a bunch of seasons of happy, blissful domestic Veronica?"
"It's just not Veronica. She's not going to wind up in this happy life, unfortunately," Ruggiero-Wright continued. "That's how the trajectory of her life is and I think it felt true to what [creator Rob Thomas] wants to do, hopefully, in the future with her: break her down and build her back up again. It's also very noir and it's, in respect to Rob, good storytelling."
"A lot of people are afraid to do the scary things," she added. "The first season of Veronica Mars, we had this major mystery [with Lilly Kane's death], and we solved it in the first season. There's a term we use for that: 'balls out.' Rob is a very 'balls out' writer. He takes these risks and that's interesting, exciting to him. He also knows people are going to be unhappy, and I think he's worried that people are going to egg him. That they watched the show and come back the next day to wait outside for him and yell, 'Why Rob, why?'"
While Thomas revealed that the plan was always to have Logan die at the end of season four, Ruggiero-Wright shared that there was actually some considerable back and forth in the writers' room about the beloved character's fate. But "not from Rob, because Rob is very confident in his ideas," she made clear. "He has an idea, he has confidence in it and then he commits to it. He's not going to get talked out of something for bulls**t reasons... If it's just that fans don't like it, there's no way he's going to listen to that."
"He's being true to the character and he's operating from a place of respect for the character. He's coming to the fullest place of integrity and not a place of 'I want to blow something up and be crazy.' You have to respect that, and it's his baby," Ruggiero-Wright noted, sharing that she toyed with several alternate endings that ended up not being up to par. "Did I pitch him a couple things? Yes. Were they as good? No way, they weren't. They were oat milk when you want half and half. But, is oat milk good? Yeah, I like it. But half and half, come on, that's what you want in your beverage."
She conceded that it was "hard" to see Dohring's character go in such a dramatic way.
"Jason is such a lovely guy and friend. One of the exciting things about doing this show again was getting the chance to work with him and create with him, and it's such a bummer," she said. "You find actors you like and actors that you work well with, but when we have that special person that you love writing for and you enjoy working with you don't want to let them go. But I think it's the next evolution of Veronica. It was a brave call."
That being said, Ruggiero-Wright confessed she still hasn't watched the final episode of the season.
"I didn't watch episode eight. I've read episode eight. I know what happens but in my mind, I'm watching Pony and Veronica and Logan making spaghetti in the kitchen," she said with a laugh. "And I'll watch it if we get another season. But I'm a dork like that. If I were you, I'd be thinking about it too and that's the problem. I'd be sitting here trying to get some work done and thinking, 'Why didn't... The ticket's $12! Just leave the car!’"
If there was anything Ruggiero-Wright fought for in season four, it was this crucial LoVe moment: Veronica and Logan's wedding, which took place at the Neptune courthouse with Keith and Wallace as witnesses.
"I wanted to see Veronica and Logan get married. I didn't want to just hear that they got married. I wanted to physically see them do this," Ruggiero-Wright said. "I wanted Veronica to be wearing some form of a dress. It doesn't have to be a puffy, circa 1988 wedding gown. But I wanted to see her have a wedding."
"That was the thing that I got real girly about. Like, 'Please, I want it for my own...' I'm mostly a fangirl, so usually the things that I fight for are out of the fangirl in me being like, 'Please, let me see this. Let me have this. Give us this.'"
And she's well aware of the very temporary moment of wedded bliss Veronica and Logan had before the fatal explosion rocked Veronica's world.
"I know, I know, it's like give her something. Let her get what she wants. Yeah, I hate that, but it is also so good because unfortunately, I feel like in life, that happens. I guess there's a world in which they could've [had] more than just their wedding. And we could've seen a little bit of the honeymoon and what happened there," Ruggiero-Wright conceded. "But, also in a way, it makes [Logan's death] more surprising and it's more heartbreaking. As much as we love Veronica, Veronica with her heart broken is where we met her and where she climbs out of and I want to see her climb again."
As for the potential future of the series, Ruggiero-Wright echoed Thomas' sentiments, saying she has hope that this "isn't the end end." "I think he definitely crafted the story so that it wouldn't be."
All eight episodes of Veronica Marsseason four are now streaming on Hulu.
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