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14 May 2006 @ 02:03 pm
VM 'Not Pictured' LoVe Thoughts  
Here is my last batch of analysis for LoVe scenes for the season as seen in The LoVe Shack Breakdowns.



Scene One: Veronica and Logan Versions 1.0 Sitting in the Quad ... K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Hmm, it feels almost-odd writing up an analysis of the dream-sequence featuring this Logan and Veronica because it's so clearly not them. Many have referred to Veronica 1.0 in regards to this scene, but I chose to title it in reference to Veronica and Logan 1.0 because we saw that Veronica was not the only one who had really changed. Duncan, Dick and Lilly were all still the same (okay, obviously in Lilly's case, duh!), but Logan and Veronica both were clearly different.

For one thing, Logan's comment towards Veronica wasn't schmoopy; it was a tad patronizing ... which is something that Logan is NEVER like with Veronica. Why? Because he respects her, even when he was in the hate portion of their love/hate relationship, it was obvious that he respected her, even if it wasn't acknowledged. This Logan doesn't respect this Veronica ... he just sees her as ditzy, innocent blonde. And this Veronica WAS a ditzy, innocent blonde. Our Veronica wouldn't stand there and be talked down to and accept a kiss after such a comment. But this one not only did, she bought the story, and then took no offense to the teasing and acted as if there were no insult in the commentary on her gullibility.

So, in other words, as horrible as all of the horrible stuff has been, it has, in many ways -- although it's been a longer road for Logan -- made both Logan and Veronica more complete, substantial people. They aren't typical high-schoolers anymore; they understand the heft and weight of the world and it has made them both stronger and wiser (and Logan, despite all of his faults, more respectful of women who deserve respect).

So, if this isn't Logan and this isn't Veronica and these two saccharine versions of the two aren't much fun, what was the point of this dream and why should we, as LoVe fans, be positive about it? Because it wasn't about who they would have been had Lilly not died -- it was about what Veronica wanted in her heart. This was Rob Thomas giving us Veronica's subconscious wish ... to be with the people she loved, the people she realized mattered most to her.

Her parents were number one on that list because she is still a young woman, a teenager. Obviously, she loves Keith and he matters to her, but the inclusion of Lianne? Well, yes. Lianne is a terrible mother, but despite all she's done that is something I can see Veronica always wanting back. Despite her words in Leave it to Beaver (and Lianne's actions), in her heart, Veronica can always blame it on the booze and not Lianne's lack of love for her ... which leaves that door open.

And then, of course, Wallace would hold permanence in her heart. Lilly had been her best friend, but it was clear in this dream that the two of them had drifted apart and in her fantasy, Veronica met Wallace, found him and that connection was made. So maybe Veronica hasn't vocalized (and probably never will) that Lilly wasn't who she thought she was, well this was her subconscious acknowledging that Lilly may have been her childhood BFF, but regardless of what happened with Lilly, Wallace Fennell was the best friend of her heart.

And Logan, finally Logan -- who was shown second in the dream sequence if you want to go by the chronological appearance as a sign of the degree to which each individual mattered the most to Veronica. Duncan was just one of the guys, holding as much presence in her dream as did Dick -- Logan was her boyfriend, and not just her boyfriend, in her fantasy, the boyfriend who told her that he loved her.

So, as a LoVe fan, that's what we take from this. On television, dreams matter and illustrate what is truly in the heart of the dreamer. And this dream of Veronica's illustrated that in her heart what Veronica wanted was Logan.

Scene Two: Looks Like We Made It!

It was a small moment and admittedly it would have been nicer if we had had actual interaction at the graduation, but hey, it was something. Logan's look of pride as he applauded Veronica was sweet and also held a tinge of regret because he hadn't seen the end of the episode yet, so he pretty much thought this was it. They never were going to get that epic. Yet despite what he believed was the probable ending of any 'us' between them, he was still proud of her.

Now the question is ... was Veronica's near-conspiratorial smile directed towards Logan or rather Keith or Wallace? Simply because it was Logan that we saw right before the shot of Veronica, I'll go with my bias and conclude that it was indeed Logan she was looking at with a glint in her eye and a smile on her lips.

And that tinge of conspiracy in the curve? I put down to perhaps a memory of the fab four and that they are the only two that made it. And it's certainly worth noting that Logan is the one person who has been a major factor in ALL aspects of Veronica's life since she was twelve years old. That's not even something that Keith can claim -- as he doesn't know about the rape (or rather *both* rapes) or the true extent of her ostracism at school. Logan -- good and bad -- has been there through it all, sometimes as hero, sometimes as heel ... but he's been right there alongside Veronica every step of the way. And she's been just as much a part of his life. So I do believe her smile is a subtle acknowledgement of that fact.

Scene Three: Where's Beaver?

Not much here except that we saw Veronica showing trust and comfort with Logan and that's always nice to see. First when she singled him out to ask where Beaver was and secondly, when she clearly was going to tell him exactly why she wanted to find Beaver. That's a pretty big thing to share with a guy whom she knows may well have a level of loyalty to the kid. (Remember in Normal is the Watchword, she included Beaver as one of Logan's toadies.) So her choosing to tell him without even making the choice was a subtle way of showing that she does trust him.

Scene Four: Instinct for LoVe

Like so many in this episode, this is another short scene, but it's a good one. Yes, logistically, who else could Veronica have forwarded that call to? Logan was pretty much it, but that wasn't the point. The point was that Veronica, in the midst of all that was going on -- when we'd already seen evidence that her emotions were all over the place and she wasn't thinking clearly -- instinctively sent the call to Logan. In her time of need, without thought, she reached out for Logan.

And for his part -- he came running.

Also, there was a lovely, little aha! moment for the LoVe fan in the irony in that just as Beaver was telling Veronica that she had no one left to live for, she was calling Logan. It was yet another little subtle push about the importance that Logan was in her life and when push came to shove ... Veronica knew it.

Scene Five: Rescue Me

More than a few times this season, characters have been given the opportunity to cause the death of another human being -- Veronica, Weevil and in this episode alone, Beaver (in the past and present), Duncan, Logan and again, Veronica. Of these characters, only Veronica and Logan have chosen to not take that course. Yes, Veronica had some help from Logan on the rooftop. He was there to remind her what we (and she) know is true ... at her core she is not a killer. And neither is Logan -- who had the opportunity to not stop Veronica, take the gun from her and do it himself or keep his mouth shut when Beaver was about to jump. (Yeah, that last one didn't quite work, but the attempt was made and that is the point.) So what does this have to with an analysis of LoVe?

Well, since boy wonder, the great Donut, was one of the characters given this opportunity and chose to take it, it is telling in that it shows quite clearly that at the core, Veronica and Logan are of the same constitution on such a black and white issue. Duncan is not and I honestly believe that while both Veronica and Logan would understand (and even be contented with) the motivation behind Duncan's action, I don't think that either one would be able to live comfortably with him in their lives knowing what he is capable of ... because neither one of them is. By showcasing the non-fatal tendencies of both Logan and Veronica contrasted with the opposite of Duncan, it was another subtle show that Duncan is most definitely NOT the one for Veronica and will simply never be an option again. Unlike Logan -- who is the one.

Which brings us back to the roof. Logan could have had no idea what was awaiting him after he received the message, but still he went and there he was. So for the second and last time this season, we once more saw ...



... in a much more traditional sense (closer to the actions of Ahoy Mateys! as opposed to A Trip to the Dentist). Upon seeing Veronica in danger he didn't cower, he didn't leave her to deal with what was going on, instead he put himself right there in the fray. Calling out, he made himself the target, giving Veronica the opportunity the get away. And a target he did become and one had to be thankful for the moment for Big Dick's sissifying attitude toward the Beav -- who wasn't invited to the shooting range -- because he missed the target that was Logan. In doing so, he gave Veronica the opportunity to take on the hero role herself. And she did! Throwing herself against Beaver with all the force her tiny form could muster, she took him down as he was taking aim at Logan once more. And this time, it was Logan's turn to be grateful for Veronica's heroics.



But Veronica is a tiny, blonde one after all and not much of a match for even the less-than-bulky Beaver, so Logan was back in the mix once more. It was a tag-team effort. Veronica about to be taken out, Logan stepped in -- Logan was shot at, Veronica rushed to the fore. The gun was out of Beaver's grasp, but desperation and the taser kept Beaver in the game and once more Logan was out and then it was Veronica's turn to take charge yet again. Holding onto the gun that had been knocked away during Logan's last altercation with the junior psychopath, Veronica was poised to finish this all and then Logan came into play one final time.

In this moment, he was doing what he does best when playing the hero -- wearing his heart on his sleeve, emotional and sincere, telling Veronica exactly what she needed to hear so that she could win the final round and not descend to Beaver's level and become a murderer too. So as much as physically, Logan was there for Veronica spiritually as well.

And emotionally.

Once Beaver was no longer an equation, Veronica practically melted into Logan's arms, the two merging into each other as if they were one. Veronica clung to Logan and when he stepped away to try and stop Beaver from jumping, there was a flash of anguished terror as she watched him step away. It was gone quickly as she realized what he was doing, her concentration -- a weary, sorrow-drenched apathy -- on Beaver, but before she knew why he'd walked away, it was clear that with her belief in Keith's death, Veronica, in that moment, was looking to Logan for strength. Such a reaction showed the continuing trend we had been seeing in measures throughout the episode -- and one that would become impossible to ignore by the end -- that the words spoken over a year ago in response to his heartfelt plea:
    Logan: I want you to trust me.
    Veronica: I do.
... were, at last, unquestionably true. She did trust him and this night's events proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was worthy of such trust. As Beaver, once more, dropped out of the picture, Veronica found herself moving toward Logan -- seemingly without conscious thought -- until she was all but resting against him and with the same instinct, he turned and pulled her back into his arms ... where she belonged.

Scene Six: There For Her

Another very short scene and the focus was all on Mac and Veronica, but it definitely is worth noting that Logan was there with Veronica. He didn't stop at his suite to talk to Dick or call the police or any of the myriad of things he could have done. He stayed by Veronica's side. He doesn't know Mac so he wasn't there for her. He was sticking with Veronica and clearly that is where Veronica wanted him or he wouldn't have been there. I really do think it's as simple as that. Even in the rush of going to the manager and getting to Mac, there would have been enough time for her to tell him that she wanted to see Mac by herself, but she didn't. Veronica was understandably worried about Mac, but she needed Logan there with her for her.

And so he was.

Scene Seven: The Intimacy of Trust

I believe we have director, John Kretchmer, to thank for the beautiful symmetry of the first shot of Logan and Veronica in the Mars apartment, as seen below ...



... with the similarity to this shot -- with positions reversed -- in Normal is the Watchword ...



... also directed by Kretchmer. Without the artistic reference (of Michelangelo's Pieta), the viewer is still left with an emotional connection despite the brevity of the scene. In Normal is the Watchword, we saw a compassionate Veronica there for Logan in his time of need -- despite the tension between them. In Not Pictured we were given the reverse of that. Here, Veronica was suffering and Logan was the one offering support.

There is an implicit trust in sleeping in someone's arms -- it is at that point that one is at their most vulnerable and whereas Logan wasn't asleep in Normal is the Watchword, Veronica was here. Which, considering Veronica's trust issues, adds a level of intimacy that is more telling than any words could ever be as to how she felt about him now. Whether it was the thought of losing her father, the overall anguish of the evening's events, the fact that Logan was there for her -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- doing everything he possibly could to be there for her, Veronica trusted Logan. Completely and absolutely. And that was conveyed in the simple act of lying in slumber in his arms.

Scene Eight: Pancakes and Joy

Another small scene, but one that again shows the level of comfort that Veronica allowed Logan after the harrowing events they'd experienced. Whether Logan put Veronica to bed the night before or if she awoke and went on her own (personally, I'm leaning towards the former), the fact that Veronica allowed herself to sleep -- either so deeply when he carried her or easily with him in her home -- showed the depth of trust that Veronica had finally placed in him.

And Logan clearly felt that trust -- most likely for the first time -- because he stayed, because he was assuming the role of caretaker, cooking her breakfast, comforting her in her time of need. We'll just ignore the question of why Logan wouldn't know that Keith was alive as it's highly unlikely that Keith wouldn't have at least woken Logan up to find out why he was there sleeping on his couch. No, instead, we'll just concentrate on the fact that Logan was there for Veronica when she needed him. And more than that, she was allowing him to be there ... wholeheartedly. Completely and absolutely.

As was Keith -- which was another nice touch. The last time Logan had been in the apartment, Keith had bodily threatened him to never come back again. Now, a little less than a year later, he came home to find Logan on his couch and he was able to joke about not finding the boy in Veronica's bed. And that comment alone was enough to show that Keith gets how important and clearly entwined in each other's lives these two are .. and probably always will be. In other words, Keith has accepted Logan. Yay!

Another small thing I really liked was Logan leaving while Veronica reunited with her father. I think it showed a depth of maturity and caring on Logan's part. Yes, I don't deny that part of it may have very well stemmed from a dose of self-pity, but I think the overriding factor by far was that he knew her well enough and cared enough to walk out and give her this moment with Keith. That action was a subtle show of Logan's love for Veronica. Beautiful.

Scene Nine: Everything Will Be Fine

To analyze this scene on its own, it would get a thoroughly positive write-up. However, one has to take into consideration what has come before -- or in this case, what hasn't come before. So, a heads-up ... if you don't want to read a less-than-positive take of what we weren't shown addressed before getting into the overall positive of what we were, skip right along to
here. For those who want to read both the good and the bad, carry on.

Some viewers were able to view Logan and Veronica's interactions in this scene as a spontaneous reunion of sorts, done without the 'talking.' Many viewers -- including myself -- were unable to do so. Personally, I simply could not believe that the first kiss shared between these two -- who are so very passionate with one another -- after almost a year apart romantically would be this comfortable, this non-dramatic, this passion-less. It was merely a couple of seconds long and there was no intensity. It was too casual, too non-capitalization-worthy unlike their first which is known throughout the fandom as The Kiss. I expected their reunion kiss to become ... The Kiss 2.0. Well, this first kiss -- we witnessed -- played as just another one and so I can not believe that it was their first post-reunion kiss.

Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I especially loved the spinning as they kissed. I loved how you could hear the smiles and joy in their voices. The comfort level, the schmoopiness, the surety of Veronica's response were all wonderful and adored and I've already watched the scene countless, countless times, but ... Yes, but. It came out of left field. It was a resolution without the fourth stage -- the climax! -- of the literary story arc (beginning, conflict, rising action, climax, resolution).

Of course, it makes sense after the events on the roof and the aftermath that we saw in the apartment that the two would hook up again. Of course, it makes sense that their issues of the past just wouldn't matter compared to all of that. And so it was quite, quite easy to fanwank the discussion they had. In fact, I would hazard to say that the vast, vast majority of viewers have about the same approximation of the kind of discussion they had that put them where they were in that hallway. The thing is that we should have witnessed that discussion -- whether or not we can all easily imagine how it took place.

The bottom-line is that I don't care if I can fill in the gaps, viewers should not ever be expected to fill in the gaps with something like this. It was bad storytelling ... period.

I loved the kissing and spinning, but it was bad storytelling and it simply was not earned. We DESERVED to see that scene and any writer/showrunner who knew what the hell they were doing, actually gave a damn about what their fanbase wanted or knew how to give their fanbase what they wanted, would have known that a scene explaining how they got from A to E NEEDED TO BE SHOWN! (Which scenario fits Rob Thomas is up for each individual viewer to decide.)

This was our climax. When Veronica finally told Logan she didn't care about the past, she realized that she just wanted to be with him, when Logan realized that he could put all of the past behind him and start fresh as the one she wanted to be with, no secrets, no lies between them ... we should have been there. When they shared The Kiss 2.0, with swelling music, with a swooping, majestic camera sweep, with passion and intensity and YES! YES! YES! ... we should have been there.

We were not. Sigh. However ...

What we were there for, the resolution (so to speak) was definitely wonderful. The casual, yet caring way that Keith asked about Logan, Veronica's almost-throwaway comment that Logan was picking her up -- something that surely wouldn't have happened before the events on the roof, were signs that there was a level of comfort now. And that comfort was not just between Logan and Veronica, but also between Keith and the idea of Logan and Veronica. That is something that we simply did not get any prior sense of at any point during their relationship, in flashback or otherwise. All of these things were conveyed subtly through the dialogue and delivery by Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni.

And then we got what was my second favorite part of the whole scene: Veronica's reaction when Logan came to pick her up. We have countless looks from Logan directed toward Veronica that could easily be classified as adoring, schmoopy, sappy and crazy in love. Not so much with Veronica. Her reaction when she saw him standing in the doorway gets added to her list in a big, BIG way. Her eyes were soft and shining, the smile that curved her mouth was one of almost tremulous joy.

She was so happy to see him just standing there and since it wasn't immediately after all of the drama, but a few days past and it had already been made clear through dialogue that they had spoken/almost definitely seen one another, that smile was not based upon gratitude. A smile of such emotion would have already happened in the days between the morning after Keith's 'resurrection' and this airport pick-up. So, the smile, the joy radiant upon her face was reserved for Logan, and not in gratitude, but out of love.

Which overall is what this episode showed us and it was truly wonderful seeing that resolution in this final scene of the season between them. Veronica does love Logan. She may have not said it yet (as far as we know), but yes, Veronica is very much in love with Logan and she knows that he is, indeed, very much in love with her. Despite all that has happened, especially the events of the roof and more importantly, the way he took care of her afterwards, absolutely made that affection between the two crystal clear. Honestly, after that look on Veronica's face as she looked at Logan, the kissing and spinning, the sweetness and schmoopiness of what followed was merely icing on the cake.

Ah, but what sweet, welcome icing!

Logan holding the door open for her, playing the gentleman as he gestured her through and then the dropping of the bags, the pulling her back into his arms and kissing her (so reminiscent in a softer fashion) of The Kiss in Weapons of Class Destruction was just beautiful. And the spinning ... the spinning, the spinning. Who does NOT love the spinning? It just added such a carefree, giddy joy to the moment. And joy was the watchword.

She was happy, Logan was happy and they were clearly happy together. Veronica knew it -- declared it and them so. Hearing Veronica state that "everything would be fine" and following that up with a very confident, "I know" was a wonderful final moment between just the two that put an end to Veronica's doubt about their relationship definitively. And how could any shipper not love that?

Finally, it wasn't as much as anyone was hoping for in terms of the resolution of the Look Who's Stalking cliffhanger, but the inclusion of Kendall in the scene was actually welcome if only because it put to rest the remaining glitch in their relationship this year. Veronica seemed a bit embarrassed to be caught by Kendall, but other than that, there was no reaction that it being Kendall was an issue. Whatever discussion or understanding had passed between Veronica and Logan in a scene we hadn't seen, it was clear that Kendall simply was not a factor in their relationship.

Throughout most of the discussion with Mrs. C, Logan and (presumably) Veronica still had their hands on one another. (We saw Logan drop his hands as Kendall brushed by, but Veronica was out of frame, so it's likely that she dropped hers at the same time.) They were comfortable with one another and comfortable in showing a display of affection even while being mocked by Kendall ... and in fact, both mocked her in return in a show of snarky solidarity.

It was nice ... quite a wonderful way to end this rather rocky season in terms of LoVe. The straws have all been added up and yeah, we got a pretty comfortable haystack.
 
 
 
A Girl Called Shannon: VM - Lg/VM - zimshan on May 15th, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
You make some really great points here!

So, in other words, as horrible as all of the horrible stuff has been, it has, in many ways -- although it's been a longer road for Logan -- made both Logan and Veronica more complete, substantial people. They aren't typical high-schoolers anymore; they understand the heft and weight of the world and it has made them both stronger and wiser (and Logan, despite all of his faults, more respectful of women who deserve respect).


EXACTLY.

Logan -- good and bad -- has been there through it all, sometimes as hero, sometimes as heel ... but he's been right there alongside Veronica every step of the way. And she's been just as much a part of his life.

Very nice.

Scene four? Oh, you didn't talk about the fact that Beaver tells her she has nothing left to live for right as she is struggling to continue living by texting Logan! I'm not even what I would say an extreme shipper, but my mind went straight to the 'SHE STILL HAS LOGAN!!' mode. :)

More than a few times this season, characters have been given the opportunity to cause the death of another human being -- Veronica, Weevil and in this episode alone, Beaver (in the past and present), Duncan, Logan and again, Veronica. Of these characters, only Veronica and Logan have chosen to not take that course.

WOW. I totally didn't realize this. Awesome observation. Especially seeing how the 'you're not a killer' scene in which they both agree on this 'not killing murderers' morality, is in the same ep as when Duncan chooses to kill Aaron.

it was clear that with her belief in Keith's death, Veronica, in that moment, was looking to Logan for strength.

Yes, and in this, I believe it is something they BOTH do. Experiencing traumatic events together, puts them on a level of understanding and THIS is always when they come together. And they seek each other for strength. In a way, they are each other's coping mechanisms. Even more they act as restorative to one another.

This was our climax. When Veronica finally told Logan she didn't care about the past, she realized that she just wanted to be with him, when Logan realized that he could put all of the past behind him and start fresh as the one she wanted to be with, no secrets, no lies between them ... we should have been there

See, I don't believe Rob thinks they are THERE yet. That either of them have come to those big revelations. It will happen one day and when that day comes, I believe they will definitely show it. But right now? I don't think they are that far. We still have a couple years...
Arabian: Newton's 2nd Lawarabian on May 15th, 2006 11:56 am (UTC)
Scene four? Oh, you didn't talk about the fact that Beaver tells her she has nothing left to live for right as she is struggling to continue living by texting Logan! I'm not even what I would say an extreme shipper, but my mind went straight to the 'SHE STILL HAS LOGAN!!' mode. :)

That's a very valid point. I may go back and add a paragraph (or two or three, LOL! knowing how I go on) that includes that. Depends on my state of exhaustion in the next few days, but very good point.

Thanks for the response, it's very much appreciated.
Arabian: Spinningarabian on May 15th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
Done. Thanks for pointing that out, I think my brain was beginning to get fried from all the writing that I missed that, LOL!