Arabian (arabian) wrote,

VM 3.15 'Papa's Cabin' L/V Thoughts

Here's the latest batch of my Logan/Veronica analysis as seen (or will be seen) in The LoVe Shack Breakdowns.

Scene One: Judge Not ...

Believe it or not, I was actually very much looking forward to writing this analysis because the journey that I believe that Rob Thomas might be taking with Logan and Veronica once again made sense when these scenes were added to the course of their arc thus far. And in order to bring that all to bear, I'm including the Logan/Parker scenes in this write-up because they (especially one line in this first scene) really drove home for me where Logan's heart is ... and well, let's just state for the record that it ain't with Parker Lee. Not by a long shot. Also, these scenes clarify (for me) why Logan is rushing into this relationship.

I know that many (if not all?) viewers felt that the only point of Parker asking about his one class -- which he skipped -- was to show Parker realizing that Logan showed up on campus just to see her. However, I think that could have been achieved in a much less convoluted way because absolutely everything that we've been led to believe about both of these two characters is that they don't beat around the bush; they don't employ sly methods to ask for information. They just ask. So why offer this up to the audience in this round-about way? I think it all has to do with exactly why Logan is trying to jump into a relationship with someone who is not Veronica. And that there was deliberate phrasing: Someone who is NOT Veronica.

The little spiel about his class and the bite in his response really stood out to me because of the memory of the exchange we saw in Welcome Wagon, during the first food court date with Veronica we were privy to:
    Veronica: Wallace says you're in his sociology class.
    Logan: Really? I haven't seen him.
    Veronica: Maybe because you haven't showed up for class.
    Logan: Well, that's certainly one possibility.
Now in this scene with Logan and Parker, she calls him to task (or so he might surmise due to his experience with Veronica -- and, no doubt, does based on his comment and the tone of his voice). His response is very clearly one of the 'hands off, do not judge me' variety as he flat-out reminds her they aren't talking about his class attendance. Period. As I wrote about in Post-Game Mortem
... when Veronica latched onto something else "bad" that Logan did and used it as justification to dump all over him and them again -- this time leaving her in the position of power -- maybe there was a part of himself, some measure of self-esteem that kicked in and said: Enough is enough!
And I do believe that this is now extending to a possible future relationship as well. He is not going to be judged; he is not going to be found wanting and if Parker doesn't realize that from the get-go, well, then this getting any going anywhere.

And as for Logan and Parker as a couple? Honestly, I don't see it. And, no, I'm not just saying this because I'm a crazy fangirl. I loved Veronica/Troy, believed that Logan/Hannah {{shudder}} did have chemistry and I bought a genuineness in both of those relationships (to varying degrees and for different reasons). However, this? Nuh uhn. Not buying. Let's ignore the fact that last week's scavenger hunt was ridiculously contrived and made no sense for any of the four characters but Parker. Let's ignore the fact that Jason Dohring and Julie Gonzalo have about a scintilla of chemistry. (I now believe that the 'sparks' that people saw in Hi, Infidelity came from the playful undertone that Dohring projected throughout the entire scene and that it was based solely on a deliberate attempt on Logan's part to affectionately get under Veronica's skin, thus the sparks actually came from the give-and-take of that relationship in retrospect.) Let's even ignore the fact that Logan who takes weeks, nay, months!, nay, forever, to get over Veronica is already cozying up to another girl.

No, let's ignore all of that and simply take into account that Gonzalo's Parker is showing about zero interest in Logan in a romantic sense. Hell, it's barely a friendly interest. There's just nothing there in how she looks at him, speaks to him, the body language is all wrong. Obviously, it makes me uncomfortable as a die-hard Logan/Veronica fan, but more than that it makes me uncomfortable because they just look and feel so wrong together.

Scene Two: Like Water off a Duck

Unless I'm completely crazy in what I saw in Logan's attitude about Parker, I do believe that one of two reasons that we saw this interaction was to set up that Logan is now following Veronica's modus operandi of getting over a relationship. The last couple of weeks whenever Logan's name came up, Veronica brushed it off, but it was clear that she was still upset about the relationship's end and wasn't pretending that all was fine and dandy. We even saw this in the last scene of Mars, Bars when Veronica was literally stopped in her tracks and reacted visibly to the sight of Logan eating with Parker.

Now, we are back to the Veronica-put-on that we're all used to when dealing with sorrow. She's doing the whole, 'I don't care' routine. You know, the one where she acts like everything is okay, so what's the big deal? That wall that Veronica has so carefully built is in her perfect position once more and she's as chipper as can be and concerns, even of the ex-boyfriend kind, are sliding off her back like water off a duck. Now, she's making a show of simply not caring because that might show a weakness. And Veronica Mars has learned to never show a weakness if she can help it.

The second point is that because of this conversation and the later one with Parker, she can no longer deny that there is something going on between the bubbly blonde and Logan. Try as she might to pretend she doesn't care about such a thing. (But she does. See Scene Five.)

Scene Three: I Haven't Got Time for the Pain

We know that Veronica saw Logan and Parker spending time together and looking comfortable doing so. We also know that Veronica was not happy upon witnessing it. Furthermore, we know that she knows it's not a one-time deal because Wallace saw them a second time and got the same vibe. So when Parker walks up to Veronica, looking uncomfortable and flat-out saying that she needs to discuss something 'weird' with her, we know that Veronica knows exactly what Parker wants to talk to her about and she heads her off without giving the girl a chance. Clearly Veronica figures that the best way to avoid an issue she doesn't want to face is to, well, not even let the issue come up.

Scene Four: Eazy, Breezy, Beautiful Parker Lee

Again with the Logan/Parker scene analysis ... what the hell? I know! But the point of including these is because it's how Logan acts with her that I think we get our straws with which to stack. When he showed up and Parker was all moody, Logan didn't ask her what was wrong, he didn't show any concern for her really, he instead appeared slightly peeved that she wasn't her usual ebullient self. Does that sound like the Logan we know when in a relationship? Of course not. And why not? Because he wants the opposite of Veronica, not just the girl, but the relationship. He does not want to be judged; he does not want the moodiness, the funk, the drama. He just wants it light and casual ... no more epic. That's clearly what's he's signing on for here and if she isn't going to deliver, again, the getting is going to get gone.

And once more, we have Gonzalo in this scene just so off. She plays it as if the idea of actually dating Logan is such an odd choice for Parker, and furthermore, she's not really sure it's something she wants to do. And from Logan's end, he was bothered not that Parker was upset, but that Veronica was getting in the way of his move, move, moving on plans. Seriously. There was no connection between these two. At all. Like. AT. ALL.

Scene Five: Move, Move, Moving On ... Damnit!

And here is where I think the first Veronica/Wallace scene truly comes full-circle. Not only do we have Veronica "acting" as if it's all fine and dandy and coolio, but we have the same from Logan. Yes, from Logan. I do very much believe that one Mr. Logan Echolls has decided to take a page out of the 'Veronica Mars Guide to Dealing with Pain' handbook. When life hands you lemons, pretend you just don't care and throw 'em to the side of the road. Seriously. He was trying to act cool and all casual, just as she was. He oh, so casually acknowledged that it was weird -- which was Veronica's ding!ding!ding! word of the week in relation to Logan and Parker, so she knew what was coming -- what he wanted to talk to her about. However, he figured, as he stated oh, so casually, that since they were friends ...

Honestly, if it wasn't so painful, it'd be frickin' hysterical. It was all so over the top with the casual, which made it all so awkward and so, so, soooooooo uncomfortable. Now I know that some have claimed that they read no subtext from Kristen Bell and I'm frankly flummoxed at to how anyone could not see it. She played Veronica trying to hide her discomfort with a breezy air, but underneath you could see Panic! Do not speak! Pain is coming! written behind every word and sign of body language that she spoke and evidenced. Veronica was so trying to hold onto her casual, 'It's over, we're cool,' attitude and yet Bell managed to convey that under the surface it was pure torture for Veronica because, dagnabbitt!, if Logan wasn't playing that very same card and a helluva lot better than she. Not only was there discomfort underlying every bit of her reaction, but confusion as well. Veronica really, really didn't know what the heck to do. She doesn't want him dating Parker or anyone else. She wanted to throw a hissy fit; she wanted to stomp her feet and say 'no! you can't!,' but of course, she couldn't. Because Veronica broke up with him; she ended things; she said it was over for good and, damnit, if they were going to get back together, he had to come crawling on his knees. That's how it reads in the 'Veronica Mars Guidebook to Dating Logan Echolls.'

Ah, ah, ah, but Logan was now playing by a different book. He wasn't prostrate at her feet (as we saw in Post-Game Mortem). He was playing the adult, civil card (as we saw in Mars, Bars); he was playing it casual, calm, and move, move, moving on. And Veronica was flummoxed -- as flummoxed as was I at anyone not seeing the subtext screaming all over the screen. I mean, could her thumbs up, "good luck" have been any more awkward? Inappropriate? Completely un-Veronica Mars-like? Nope, not possible. She was like a whirling dervish thrown out of whirl. Girl was simply flummoxed and she did not know what to do. Which we saw run through into the beginning of the next scene. As she went into Tim's office, Bell's body language was superb in showing how that brief conversation with Logan had just pulled the rug out from under her. Her shoulders were bowed, there was a hesitancy to her walk, a slight dazed quality to her movement, her head downcast. And when she spoke to Tim, it was in barely-there monosyllabic responses until he talked about Landry's arrest surprising everyone. At that point, she finally really looked up, her eyes wide, a tinge of shock overlaying their blue and repeated that "yes, it had taken everyone by surprise," but it was crystal-clear that she was not referencing the professor's arrest, but instead was talking all about that little tete-a-tete with Logan in the hallway.

We know that Veronica had already been given not one, not two, but three heads-up on the likely occurrence of something going on with regards to Logan and Parker, so where was her surprise from? Well, I said it all above. The surprise came from the fact that Logan was no longer playing by the same rulebook. He was moving on (Damnit!), and he was sure as heck acting like he meant it and that completely floored the girl. And I believe that Bell delivered that beautifully. Kudos to her.

Now, on the other side of the door, I noted above how casual Logan played it all, but there were a couple of missteps that Dohring used to masterfully illustrate exactly where Logan's heart lie. And oh, how his final expression once Veronica was gone told so much in just a few seconds. First off, there was the whole last-name usage which was just so very awkward and so clearly Logan trying to be casual, as was Veronica's return volley attempt at banter ... however, that attempt led to the one genuine moment between the two. His comment on the nickname "Chuckles" not sticking was classic-Logan/Veronica dating banter, and even his voice changed just slightly with that added little imp of joy. Then, boom!, right after he said it, he looked away and there was a slight moment of 'ohshit!' on both their faces, echoed in the body language of both, before they slid quickly, if uneasily, out of their past relationship comfort zone and right back into the oh, so casual, 'just friends' vibe that was totally not working ... at all.

And then we get to the kicker, once Veronica gave her thumbs up (snerk!), and was out of sight, Logan's expression just .... dropped. And I've got to give kudos to Jason Dohring now, because he just nailed the moment. You could see so, so much in those couple of seconds that ended on a slight exhalation of breath. His determination to move on, his relief that his task was done, but mostly his pain that she didn't fight for him or them at all ... again, and the realization, yet again (I think we'll be getting a lot of these) that it's really over. (But it's so not.)

So for what it's worth, that's my take on these scenes, and on the Logan/Parker relationship at this point. I'm trying to have hope because I really CAN see a believable arc coming out of this. Even though I would have much preferred a different route, this does all make sense and everything that's happened from Welcome Wagon on does have a logical progression that can only help Logan and Veronica make it work in the long run. Their actions are actually in character for both. This week even gave logic to last week's whiplash-inducing characterization with regards to Logan.

However, we have a two-month break coming up and I presume Logan and Parker will have been dating during that period and it might change. As well, Veronica may get involved with Piz (I know, but they have been hinting at it all season long, grr!), and my fear that Bell's bias against Logan and pro-anyone not Logan will effect whatever the actual point of that potential relationship might be. Again, however, I've been mostly quite thrilled with her portrayal of Veronica and the subtext underlying those arc-related scenes this season (Of Vice and Men and There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill being the key offenders, but the script and/or direction was so bad in both cases, the blame can not even remotely be entirely lain at her feet.)

So who knows? Maybe it will all work out by episode 20. After all, I've long considered the Logan/Veronica arc THE season-long arc this year and it may not be a mystery but the culmination of seasons one and two season-long arcs hit with dizzying speed in the final episode, so there is definite hope. And with the kernels I picked out from these Logan/Veronica arc-related scenes going into the hiatus, I'm happy with the emotional beats. When you really sit down and look at the whole season thus far in terms of their interaction, it does all make sense in terms of them, their relationship and their characters and how the paths taken thus far can (and will) lead to the two finally getting it right down the road. It's not pretty, it's not fun and there are so many other, better, less painful ways I would have gone, but I do see a rhyme and a reason to this method of madness and until that's taken away from me, I'll hold onto it with all I've got and keep building that haystack of LoVe.
Tags: chemistry, logan/veronica, tv, veronica mars

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