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TV Review: Veronica Mars Finale

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A good season finale does a couple of things: it winds up whatever loose ends have been whipping around all season long, usually with a satisfyingly involving episode that leaves viewers wanting more, and it often leaves one little new nugget at the end to be addressed in the following season. We all know those as cliffhangers, those aggravatingly intense final moments of the episode that leaves one vital clue out and leaves us viewers dangling for months wondering how it will be resolved.

A good series finale, on the other hand, has a slightly different job to fulfill – not only does it need to tie up those loose ends, it also needs to tie everything down with some gravity. That's not to say everything needs to be tied up tight – the best season finales feel like great episodes that happen to answer just the right questions and leave dangling only ones the answers to which are obvious. A series needs to end in such a way that viewers walk away from their favorite series' with a sense that things have finished, that life on that show carries on in some fashion, that nothing new has been introduced that whets their appetites. And this is where the series finale of Veronica Mars failed.

For an otherwise fantastic finale, viewers were left with a tremendous letdown at the end. I won't bother to try to sum up this entire episode because, as anyone who knows the show would know, this is a very complicated show and we simply don't have time for that (try Wikipedia for that). Suffice it to say that things were brought to an exciting head and then the loose ends were very well tied off. The problem is that the end left us viewers hanging – and here's a warning for those who have not seen this finale yet and plan on doing so: I will spoil everything right . . . now — when, on the eve of the elections, Veronica's father, Sheriff Keith, is exposed as having destroyed evidence against her in order to protect her. This is one of those sweetly realistic moments on the show – a father taking the extra step to protect his daughter even when she's done something very wrong, even if her actions ultimately freed an innocent man – and is an example of the kind of writing that will be sadly missed next season. What is upsetting is that we are left knowing that Keith must lose the election to slimy fellow private investigator Vinny Van Lowe, and we instinctively want to know what happens to the town of Neptune under his rule, or lack thereof.

Therein lies the rub. Series creator Rob Thomas knew going into this finale that there was a very good chance that Mars would either not be coming back at all or would be coming back in a drastically different format, one where Veronica's college years were skipped in order to follow her in her FBI training afterward. Yet he went ahead and gave us an ending that left us gasping for a follow-up season watching Sheriff Vinnie destroy Neptune while Keith returned to his duties as a P.I., shamed once again out of the limelight, once again because of his daughter. Now, of course, we'll never know anything else about Veronica and Keith Mars' futures, and for that I'm just plain upset. Shows like this don't come along very often, and now another one has just disappeared.

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About Tom Johnson

  • I don’t think it left people hanging at all. You know exactly what happens, you just don’t get to see it take place.

    Sure, that’s upsetting, but everyone would be even more upset if magically Logan and Veronica got back together and were happy for all-time, Keith won the Sheriff’s race, Kane went to jail, Dickie was okay with everything, and Mac’s boyfriend decided he did want to finish college and get a real job. Imagine what people would say if the show betrayed every episode that had come before it to put out a nice pat, happy ending.

  • Alison

    Although I do agree that the show was not fully wrapped up, I was actually delighted with the outcome. Veronica Mars is a realistic show and real life, things don’t just finish. Sure, it left things open, however, I believe that that is what makes veronica mars different than most other shows. I do not blame Rob Thomas for ending the show the way he did probably because I loved it and i read a long time ago in an interview that he said that things were going to be left open so I was already prepared for it

  • dan

    They left so much hanging that now I am completely devestated. Who was behind the internet porn? Logan and Veronica couldn’t have one glimmer of hope? And after stealing the secrets of the most dangerous and criminally twisted people in the state, she gets off without one crazy action scene where everyone is blood thirsty to make her pay????


  • Jamus

    It actually answered all the questions, it was the Castle who made the video, and the camera was actually there to monitor Wallace. Logan showed Veronica he still loved her, beating up the guy who made the video even though he was well connected. And the point about making her pay? She has all of their secrets, if they go after her they’ll be screwed.

    It was a awesome finale, I’m just devastated this will be the last of Veronica Mars

  • liz

    i didnt really like the ending because i got so hooked or addictd persay, to the show. i bought the series on dvd and have watched it many times n still feel bummed out when i rrelise that im watching the LAST EPISODE even tho it doesnt help finish things off. And no, you never no if keith becoems sherif because we did the first tiem and he didnt.

  • Girl

    I was disappointed with the ending. However, I think it did leave ends open to what we would imagine/want them to be, for example most people wanted Logan and Veronica to end up together…if the show were to continue it is highly possible that they would get back together, if not ‘forever’ then at least for a short while until the relationship comes to an official and satisfying end, because they still have 2 or so years left at Hearst. Keith’s likely to have become Sheriff at some point in the future, he is well liked and characters who hadn’t yet come to appreciate his commitment, would eventually…

  • karen

    i was a bit dissopointed i didnt actually realise i was watching the final one i turned the t.v. one to watch the next episode but it restarted from the very start but i do think it was good as their is room for more i just hope they make more!

  • chubwub

    I can`t beleive Keith Mars dies, or that Macs boyfriend was the real killer behind the bus tragedy. Veronica Mars is a good role model, witty, clever, dosnt give up. I can`t believe the show has finished. I am so sad. Please make another series. PS Logan and Veronica are the Ross and Rachel of the Detective world, they will end up together. R.I.P. Lily

  • bamshalaaam

    Keith Mars didnt die…u find that out at the end of the same episode that he supposedly died in which was the season 2 finale….and theres a whole other season after that!

  • Kate

    It was an unsatisfactory end to a great show. VM should have continued at least for another year. You have to wonder who is making the decisions about pulling the plug when other shows are such pathetic time-wasting garbage. I mean, who would choose to watch “Heroes” over Veronica Mars?

  • Hattersloveme

    I want to kno if Duncan ever comes home! Him and Veronica obiously still have a love connection.

  • Barbara

    Enjoy the show very much: Jason Dohring, and Kristen Bell, are really very very good actors, and so enjoyable to watch! Enrico Colantoni was also a great addition to the cast. I almost never watch this type of TV but this one got me hooked even in the reruns on the soap network. However, every county In the West especially California which I have lived in, (in the past 70 years) The Sheriff was NOT POOR! Not even close to poor! They were not necessarily corrupt, but they are politicians, and they have enough dirt on everyone in the county or even counties, that They do know how to invest their money, wink wink nudge nudge, They only lose when they want too or they die. Then we get a new sheriff who is also in a very short period of time, not poor! I found that part of the story very amusing!