First of all let me start by saying that I do believe we have a season-long arc this year, it's not just a mystery ... I think that arc is the love story of Logan and Veronica and I do believe that was Rob Thomas' intentions. He has said from the beginning of this season that the problems between Logan and Veronica are their problems. Obviously, we've been hit over the head with Veronica's issues -- lack of trust, judgmental, making Logan feel less than. And I do say specifically that we have been hit over the head with these because it hasn't been just one or two episodes, it was a recurring theme played out in different episodes, by different writers, in multiple variations. Therefore, it was not just one writer's conceit about their issues, but, again, a recurring theme ... and a specific one at that. In addition, though, we've also seen Logan's issues. He doesn't stand up for himself; he expects the worst and expects HER to expect the worst of him. The easy response is to say that of course he does because that's all he gets from Veronica, but it goes back further.
It was the same thing with Lilly and the one time he stood up and made a move for himself, took a strong stance was when he wrote that goodbye letter to her. However, he was never able to follow through because she was murdered. And so he immediately fell back into the position of supplicant because he never had the opportunity to let his show of self stick. Thus his continued glorifying of Lilly, despite all she'd done to him.
The next relationship we witnessed was with Caitlin Ford, and she too took him for granted, cheated on him and by doing so, no doubt made him feel as if he wasn't enough. And then came Veronica and her issues ... which just reinforced HIS issues. Even Hannah comes into play because by the end, Logan was once again putting himself in the doghouse for his actions and all that he had done wrong. That's the position that Logan always puts himself in ... not Veronica, she's just following a pattern that he helped create and never had rebelled against, but accepted as a fact of life. No wonder he told Veronica that his idea of an epic relationship involved pain. He doesn't understand any other kind in conjunction with himself.
So fast forward to episode 3.09 (Spit & Eggs) where Logan -- after three years! -- finally got the nerve to take another step for himself, asserting his strength and showing that his feelings, his concerns mattered too. We've talked about Veronica's baby steps in regards to her issues, but what we saw throughout the first arc was Logan taking baby steps as well. Both took their first legitimate ones in 3.03 (Wichita Linebacker). Logan stood up to Veronica's paranoia and Veronica backed down from hers and in the following couple of episodes we saw them more healthy and comfortable with each other than we had yet. And then, of course, Veronica fell back into her old pattern in 3.07 (Of Vice and Men), but so did Logan. He didn't stand up for himself; he took her emotional abuse because he expected it because that's what he's received in every relationship of his. And then while Veronica was falling further and further back in regards to her issues in the following episode, Logan was moving forward, standing firm ... until the end of 3.08 (Lord of the Pi's) where he felt that he was the unworthy one again. However, unlike Veronica ... he didn't fall back completely, instead, he gathered up all he had learned and made the break -- not for them, but for his own self. That move in Spit & Eggs was his biggest step forward, and like Veronica's big step forward in WL, at the first big test -- Veronica coming to him without attempting any change -- (hers was, of course, in regards to the Mercer alibi), he failed completely and jumped right back into HIS old pattern.
In order to get him to where he needs to be for a relationship with Veronica (or really anyone ... but Veronica is with whom he most wants to be), he needs to learn that he matters as much as his partner in a relationship. He needs to understand that he CAN and SHOULD be forgiven for past transgressions; he needs to stand up for himself. Which he simply was not doing when they reunited because he just wanted her back. However, by not expecting a change from Veronica he was also not changing at all himself and thus, of course, it was going to fall apart again because ... nothing had changed; neither practiced anything they'd learned. In order to tell the story that I think that Rob Thomas is telling, Logan needed to be kicked in the balls by Veronica again for something he did. He needed it. He needed to see that if he just let things lie, nothing would ever change and they'd wind up exactly where they were ... broken up and miserable again, with Veronica blaming him for the woes of the world and him feeling like a complete disappointment. Instead of letting Veronica continue to interrogate him as she did in 3.11 (Poughkeepsie, Tramps & Thieves), he was allowing the same pattern to continue. He did nothing to correct what was wrong in their relationship the last go-round and her e we go again.
So, we have the most recent episode where Logan, although miserable, made no true attempt to right things with Veronica. And this was even with his words that he screwed up to Heather. But we know he didn't mean them, because if he truly believed he screwed up, he would have handled the situation with Veronica differently. He would have begged her to take him back and apologized prostrate. But he didn't, the words were just said by rote ... because, in his mind, in every past relationship, he always was the screw-up; he was the fuck-up, he was the not-good-enough. Logan never fought for himself with Veronica. Why? Because he never believed that he was good enough for Veronica, so why would she? He's never forgiven himself for all the crap in their past, so he takes all of her accusations and just accepts them as part for the course and that became a pattern.
I honestly think that this would have all been a LOT clearer were it not for Kristen Bell and her performance. Looking at it on paper, it does all read this way. We got the words constantly -- these are HIS issues, these are HER issues -- but because Bell chose to play so much of this over the top, because Veronica has been so smug and self-entitled and damn near unlikable for most of the season, in most scenes (not just with Logan), viewers aren't looking to excuse her and to understand her motivations. We just think she's being a bitch ... because that is how Bell has been playing her. But take out her lackluster, mostly subtext-less performances, and look at what we've actually been handed: A Veronica who DOES love Logan, a Veronica who has this issues and a Logan who DOES love Veronica and one who has all of his issues ... and both simply not able to get through those issues the way they need to even though they aren't surmountable. The thing is that they do need to be dealt with, but neither one truly ever will unless they see the other side.
Which is where Piz and Parker both come in. In order for Logan and Veronica to get past their issues, they NEED to date other people and these two are perfectly the types to do so. Veronica will never truly fall for someone like Piz -- his complete lack of characterization may very well be utterly intentional. He's nothing but a blank slate except for his crush on Veronica; that's how the audience sees him and that is how, no doubt, Veronica is supposed to see him. So when she gets involved him, it's Veronica starting over fresh ... it's her being able to be in a relationship with none of the horrible, awful things that Logan is capable of, none of that messy past, no way to hurt her, etc. Now, if I'm right ... the point is that she'll get all of this and realize that it isn't what she wants. And those issues, her shutting him out, doing her own thing, etc. will cause him to call her on it, which would be a HUGE lesson for her that it wasn't just Logan giving her a hard time. Here's a guy and all we (and she) mostly know about him is that he likes her and yet, HE has a problem with her crap. In other words, Logan was not solely to blame for the problems they had. She played her part.
Well, some might respond ... wasn't that the point of Duncan? Maybe that was original intent, I don't know, but obviously it didn't play out as such, but that makes perfect sense. The reason we could buy a Veronica different with Duncan, so understanding and blind to everything, is because of their history. Veronica has no such history with Piz. The history with Duncan blinded her to the truth of the flat-out wrongness of their second stab at a relationship; no such history exists with Piz. So there's nothing to fall back on when it falls apart ... as I'm convinced it will. Sigh, I'm also convinced that she'll sleep with him, but I HOPE it comes after she sees Logan and Parker looking cozy together and basically does it to prove she's fine with it which of course would prove that she's not and it would be a horribly unfair thing to do to Piz. If we are forced to see the scene, I hope the point is that we see she's not happy and she realizes while it's happening that she's doing EXACTLY what Logan did with Madison ... sleeping with the wrong person for the wrong reason. Remember: Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Again, we have been shown very specifically that Veronica loves Logan. Yes, La Bell should have been playing every moment with that more clearly, but it's been directed enough in the script obviously that we are obviously supposed to very much believe that she does love him. As well, it's been made pretty clear -- yes, mostly through the idiocy of her not picking up on his crush -- that Veronica is NOT interested in Piz like that. Yes, there were a few moments where Veronica reacted a bit more into him than any of us would have liked ... but, how much you wanna bet that was La Bell's take on it and not the intention? I'd be willing to bet a lot because there has been so much practically written in NEON that she wasn't interested in him. And yes, yes, of course, the fear comes that once Piz and Veronica start dating that La Bell will continue to play it as if it's true love. Hopefully if this is Rob's plan, he'll actually let La Bell in on it and while I don't exactly hold her professional standards in the highest regards, I do believe that she is professional enough that if she is flat-out told to play something a certain way ... she will. We would have no scenes of Veronica acting as if she truly loves Logan at all did La Bell not do that.
Which leaves us with Parker ... I, like many, was at first utterly depressed by this because she seems so perfect for Logan and I can see them fitting. But upon this thinking now, I see that she had to be what she is. I believe that Logan will find some happiness with her. And that's necessary and key! Whereas Veronica needs to learn that she has to take share in the relationship game, Logan needs to learn that he isn't responsible for everything wrong in a relationship. Yes, he said the words in 3.08 (LotP), but did he really believe them? Judging by what happened in future episodes, no, he didn't. Simply put, he needs to learn that a relationship DOESN'T have to be disastrous. Because as I outlined above in his relationship history, that's all he's known. I believe that he and Parker need to have a fun, caring relationship that's not about deep, deep feelings, but just affection and about enjoying each other in a short-term fashion.
Logan has to have feelings for her because THAT'S Logan; he cares deeply all the time ... but that won't mean that it's true love. It will simply show him that he's capable of being in a caring, productive relationship. Yes, he can do it. And that's one of the main things he needs to know that he is capable of, instead of just expecting it to all fall apart as it did with Lilly, and then Veronica, and then Hannah, and then Veronica again. Even though he experiences a kind of happiness with Parker, it won't mean that he's destined to be with her; it will just show him that he can have the happiness in a relationship. It is possible. The thing is that no matter how happy he is with Parker, it could never be the kind of happiness he has with Veronica when things are good with them. And I do believe that any happiness found with Parker won't come so much from Parker, but with the self-esteem that being in this type of relationship NOW in the short-term will do for him. Yes, he'll care about her, but Logan LOVES Veronica. Completely. And any happiness he has with Parker or anyone else, would be a thousandfold with Veronica ... once they get their shit together. But first, he needs to realize that he's capable of that kind of relationship. Which, understandably, he doesn't think so now.
He and Veronica are both so, so completely fucked up, that unless they see what they are capable of and not capable of in other relationships beyond their first real attempt at one with the other, they won't ever work. After all, they just rushed into each period with one another. The first was based on secrets, the second, she felt guilty and so they never dealt with their issues and thus it imploded, and of course, the third was because he saved her and again, they didn't deal with their issues ... so again, they imploded. And this last time was because they'd had a true taste of what a long-term relationship with the other could be like if they got their shit together and they missed it and each other so much, that without dealing with the issues, they again rushed into ... and it imploded. As long as they're together, those issues will NEVER be dealt with because together they're too passionate, too consumed with one another together to risk discussing issues on the chance that it will wreck them all that much sooner. And uninvolved with others won't work either because their issues are relationship-centered, so unless they're in one, those issues won't come to the fore. So, they HAVE to date other people in order to get their act together to be with one another.
The bottom-line is that Veronica needs to let go and just allow the relationship to blossom, taking in the ups and the downs. She needs to accept that her partner is equal in the relationship and that compromise and communication is a must and that if you're truly in the relationship, it's not always going to be hearts and flowers. Logan needs to learn that he can and should be himself totally in a relationship and that it's important to be an equal and that he matters as much as his partner in that relationship. This is something that neither is ever going to learn while together or alone. Dating other people -- who don't have the history and the passion and the fear that it will all explode/implode -- is the only way they'll figure this stuff out. And because they are soulmates, opposite sides of the same coin and completely and totally made for each other ... in the end, once they've figured this all out, they will be back together because they don't belong with anyone else.
Sigh, all this isn't to say that I'm looking forward to the next batch of episodes. Double sigh. Episode 18, 19, 20, whenever this is over can't come quickly enough. And of course, this is just the latest theory I've come up with to get me through episode 14-? If this doesn't pan out, I'm sure I'll come up with something else.