Scene One: Marshmallows and Promises
This scene is a lesson in chemistry if ever I saw one. Honestly, Logan and Veronica were discussing an ex-boyfriend of hers and said ex-boyfriend's sex life -- which (unfathomably) included Veronica. There was some gentle, witty insults thrown in both directions. There were lies. And yet, this ranks up there as one of the sweetest, most adorable LoVe scenes ever and no, it's not because we are so starved for LoVe moments. (Although, we are.) It's because of the chemistry and the utterly adorable back-and-forth rhythm delivered by Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell.
Saccharine-filled dialogue, sweet smiles, soft eyes … this is schmoop. This is the stuff that when put on a screen makes most viewers hit the REM cycle … except when it's delivered by two actors with enormous chemistry. Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell have that enormous chemistry. They make even schmoop hot and sexy and combustible. The soft, glowing eyes are wonderful and adorable, the sweet words (even couched in quips and wit and sarcasm) are funny and aww-inspiring.
The hesitant, yet real smiles are enough to make a shipper's heart go pitter-patter. Yet, none of those things induce more than 'They're cute' (or a rolling of the eyes in some cases) unless the two actors involved have supernova chemistry. When they do have such chemistry -- which takes mundane moments, plot-driven conversations and elevates them to a must-watch category – schmoop, as described above, just about makes one swoon, their heart melt, their squeals become high-pitched and puts said schmoop on constant loop for sheer enjoyment value.
This scene was all sexually combustible schmoop because of the supernova chemistry between Dohring and Bell. There really is no one word that can completely convey what happens when these two are given material that allows that chemistry to flow. All anyone can say is that it makes watching them an absolute, giddy joy.
There were so many individual moments in this scene to love and adore. And it all started from the get-go. The camaderie as Veronica came to him, the "reading" of Veronica's face (which continued in a cute, if slightly overused motif throughout the two-and-a-half-minute (!) scene), the back and forth banter between the two that was funny with a gentle groove. And it made sense. Logan has been increasingly falling into the schmoopy role with Veronica the last couple of episodes, so his sweetness flowed perfectly from previous scenes. Veronica's ... not so much. However, when you take into account that she was asking Logan for something and rather unnerved by what (and why) she was asking him, it, again, makes sense that Veronica would approach him with a softer touch. And, of course, we've seen time and time again this season that when she lowers her guard with Logan, the feelings she still has for him become much easier to read.
And such was the case here. Because she started out on an even, joking, almost-flirtatious note, Logan took the opportunity to go even further with it. The soft smiles, puppy-dog eyes, schmoopy voice, continued reminder that he thinks of her were all clear-cut signals that he's still head over heels. And that observation was most obvious in his voice, facial expression and body language, especially (for the schmoop factor) the "marshmallows and promises" line. Intended as a gently, sarcastic quip or not, the reading of it made the subtext so clear that he really felt that way about her, thought that romantically about her.
Starting with "well, there was this one girl ..." he turned completely toward her, leaning against the side of the locker and his voice went into full schmoopy mode. And after Veronica pointed out that Promises was the name of her perfume, you could hear his exhalation alongside his happy smile at her acknowledging that he still remembered that detail about her. It was unfettered and open, the kind of smile that we haven't seen from Logan towards Veronica in a long, long time. Then there was the sweetness in his commentary on her left-field questions, as if it was one of her little quirks that he found endearing.
And then the lying. Who would have ever thought that lying could be so adorable and sexy? But it was. As she gave her reason for asking this left-field question, she was lying, he knew she was lying, she knew that he knew she was lying and through it all, they just stood there half-smiling, looking deeply into one another's eyes, just holding the gaze. And Logan realized that whatever her reason, it was important enough to ask him and so he dropped the quipping and brief, gentle interrogation and just told her simply what she wanted. Because he lurves her! (I can't help it! Hey, give me credit; I waited this long before saying it when it's just screaming throughout the entire scene!!)
Back to the body language, perhaps because of the smiling and soft eyes, and locked gazes, maybe it had more to do with the nature of the conversation, whatever the reason, Veronica was now on a mission to get away, break the mood and vamoose. Thus 'the high school is almost over and I don't have to see these people (read: you) ever again.' And here comes that body language. Before this comment, there was a loose quality to his stillness; without moving, Dohring was able to convey a sudden stiffness to Logan's stance now. (I honestly do not know how he does it, but I am continually amazed at his talent.) Also, for the first time in the conversation, Logan turned away from her and as he spoke in response, you could practically hear his "don't go! I don't wanna lose you!" in his body language, in his vocal intonation.
A lot of commentary has been made of Logan holding onto the invitation to the point where Veronica had to grab it from him and I think the reason that has stuck out so much ties into the above paragraph. As he asked her to the 'alterna-prom,' he was still looking into the locker as if he couldn't begin the question while looking at her. And once he did turn to her, he then had his gaze locked upon her as if willing her to accept. Holding onto the invitation was the doubt that she wouldn't do so. Instead of answering right away, we had some more lovely little banter that highlighted the wonderful rhythm that these two actors have. Like the screwball, romantic comedies of the 40's, these two are able to deliver this dialogue in a fast-paced, quippy style that just takes one's breath away with delight.
Then once again, Logan fell back into serious, schmoopy mode, still wanting an answer to his alterna-prom invite which showed just how very much he wanted her to say 'yes,' how important it was to him. There was a sincerity there that he didn't even try to disguise. But, as always, Veronica was not ready to go there. Whereas Logan reverted to earnestness, Veronica headed back on the jokey-jokey train, pulling the "what face am I wearing?" shtick. His responding laugh was gentle and seemingly more directed at himself in a shade a tad close to self-pity, which was further enforced by his head down, trying-to-not-sound-disappointed-but-cle
Of course, Veronica looking for an excuse that wouldn't hurt Logan's feelings for essentially turning down his request that she be his prom date is a step way, way, way in the right direction on the road to LoVe. And instead of taking his further pushing -- even when he slipped a classist insult her way, and don't think she didn't catch it, because she did and was not happy -- as an invitation to rebuff him coolly, she still left the door open. Why? A couple of reasons, I think. Some of the bigger picture variety and some in the little details. First of all, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Logan seemed to realize mid-classist-insult what he was doing (note the drop of his eyes and slight change in his tone), but he was too far into the comment to derail it and I think that Veronica picked up on that, took into account that she'd been baiting him (albeit sweetly -- for her to him) the entire time and this was his first hit.
As for the bigger picture -- clearly, the feelings are still there. Veronica would truly have to be a moron with less working brain cells than Dick Casablancas to not realize that there is still something very much there. And, while I questioned her mental capability last week (what with the lack of realization that Logan is hot -- which I eventually put down to the fact that Veronica was just a liar, liar, pants on fire), really, it's been proven time and time again that Veronica Mars is one smart cookie. And she may run, run, run from the truth within herself that she doesn't want to face, but she can't run forever and the last couple of weeks have slowed her down immeasurably. She may have been thinking of his words, even without realizing it:
- Logan: So we should savor our remaining moments ...
Because she lurves him.
Scene Two: The Comfort Zone
Considering the scene before this and the following scenes, it's easy enough to forget this one ... even if, prior to episode 17 of this season, this would be one of those scenes we cherished. It was a scene that gave us hope. Of course, amidst the marshmallows and promises, the "epic" love story and shutting elevator doors, the simple pleasure of that hope rather seemed insignificant.
I don't think that is the case. It was a short scene and nothing big happened, but I really enjoyed it for two reasons: The interaction between Logan and Veronica and their responses to one another. Logan was clearly annoyed by the fact that Veronica had invited "whomever," but his annoyance came across as more of the 'oh well' variety. He wasn't really upset, he didn't make any nasty quips and even his "did it ever occur to you that might not have meant it?" seemed more throwaway. It was rather like a, Oh, that Veronica. Figures.
I imagine that if he'd been annoyed with her while they were dating, his attitude would have been similar. And that's what I liked about the scene -- it came across more like a couple having a slight difference of opinion. As Logan was oh so casually expressing his lack of appreciation for the Corny invite, Veronica was half-grinning/half-smirking. She was amused, but not in a malicious way, but rather in a mischievous fashion.
Yes, yes, yes, we got a little clue as to the mystery with Logan recognizing the drawing, but it was their interaction that made this scene so enjoyable as a LoVe fan. And even how that information came about was delivered in the same fashion. Proof that Logan was just mildly annoyed by the Corny invite, he just moved on and the two felt comfortable discussing why the portrait was familiar to him. She asked him about it, he wasn't belligerent in response, just didn't want to go there. She asked again and she wasn't belligerent in pushing, just curious and knowing him well enough to know that a little prod wouldn't upset him. And it didn't. He clearly wasn't happy with the reminiscence, but he wasn't bothered by telling her.
There was simply a comfort level to their interaction that we hadn't seen in a long while. It was nice.
Scene Three: Here's Looking at You, Kid
A small scene, but cute none-the-less. We get to see Logan, looking like Bogey in Casablanca, greeting his guests, one of whom is Veronica in a lovely, strapless black gown. Their interaction is interesting in that Veronica's near-non-sequitur about Mac played almost as if she wasn't sure what to say. The delivery and facial expression actually reminded me of the opening scene in Hot Dogs at the locker when she first turned and saw Logan there.
Much like the reason behind her response towards Logan then, the same can be said here. Veronica knows that there has been another shift in the dynamic of their relationship, but she's not quite how to deal with it. And so she paints an overly bright smile on her face and discusses matters of no relevance to the two of them. It's one of her mechanisms of denial.
As for Logan, he's firmly in the adoration stage. The way his eyes glow when she steps fully into view, the softness of his expression, the sweet adulation of his smile mark Logan as well beyond any form of denial. He's accepted that he is still completely head over heels for Veronica and is pretty much incapable of hiding it, let alone denying it.
And, of course, we mustn't forget the final moments of this scene. Logan giving Veronica's form a once over as she walks away in appreciation. It is a breath of fresh, funny lust that is the what will likely be the last touch of lightness that these two see in connection with one another for a bit 'o time, I'm thinking.
Scene Four: Your Inner Mind So Inexpressible
In the first of two scenes what we are given is undeniable canon that Logan and Veronica are the 'one true pairing' of this show. Honestly, you can't get much more canon than one half of a couple declaring their love story "epic" (unless you get the other half, who happens to be the titular character, insinuate some truth to that claim -- which just happens to take place in the following scene).
The fact that all but one of Logan's definitions of epic has indeed already come to pass confirms that notion. (Their love story has not yet spanned continents ... yet being the key word. Give it time.) After all, lives ruined? Veronica's -- or so she thought -- after Duncan's dumping and Lilly's death. Check. Aaron standing trial for statutory rape, attempted murder and murder. Double check. Keith, Lianne, Jake, Celeste, Lynn all suffering the aftereffects of Lilly's murder -- which in many ways was the turning point in Logan and Veronica's relationship (mere friendship to the much stronger emotion of hate) which inevitably led to the twist of love. Triple check. Bloodshed? Lilly's bloody skull. Check. The sheets in the guestroom at Shelly Pomroy's party. Double check. Logan's beating on the Coronado Bridge. Triple check.
Epic? Check. Check. Check. Definitely epic. And despite the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the more often than not offs of the ons and offs, there is still a tremendous sense of victory in the acknowledgement that, yes, Logan and Veronica are it.
That is, of course, just the big picture of this scene. The particulars, the details are what viewers immediately caught and lingered over. And it all started from the get-go. As Veronica watched Wallace and Jackie depart, Logan was in the background watching her, drinking from his champagne bottle, looking away, fingers mussing up his already-ruffled locks in indecision, in anxiety. Looking away and then looking back at her, it was clear from Jason Dohring's body language and facial expression that Logan had been building up his courage to speak to her. Possibly, he had been storing up such courage since their conversation at his locker. And as he moved in front her, passively blocking her way, it was obvious that he didn't quite have all the courage he needed yet.
Going for a quip that did not glaringly reveal his own state of mind, he stepped closer to the edge after her response, but was still unable to fully face her as he opened up for the first time in a long time to her. Annnddd, Veronica quipped back.
- Logan: Alone again?
Logan: I, Uh -- I know the feeling.
Veronica: You? Host of the greatest private replacement prom ever? I'm sure you could have your pick of bimbos.
But proof that the two were not even remotely on the same page, Veronica was back to the almost-tentativeness nature of their in between interaction -- the mode of eyes flitting back and then away, the non sequitur dangled of a sudden, inconsequential conversation all bespeaking of that place the two inhabit when they aren't hating or loving each other. Logan was not having any of that, though. He's in the 'loving' stage and the combination of the end of senior year, the simple fact of Veronica's presence, the champagne he's been downing for some time (judging by his disheveled appearance) have all at last come together and given him the courage he needed to lay his heart out and firmly upon his sleeve once more.
Which he certainly did. It was not the most heartfelt declaration of love ever -- the word "love" wasn't even used, and it wasn't even as fervently romantic as we've heard Logan with Veronica in the past. Instead, it was a mix of heart, desperation, hope and disappointment all delivered in layer upon magnificent layer by Jason Dohring. Heart because he was fully wearing his heart on his sleeve, even without fully saying the words he told her that she broke his heart, that he loved her, that even after all of this time, he was still longing for her in his life ... in a good way. Desperation because of the large amount of alcohol he'd consumed, the rush of words falling over themselves, throwing everything but the kitchen sink (the nature of their love story, the passage of time, mistakes of the past and apologies directed) at her in an effort to just connect. Hope simply because he was opening up to her, he was laying himself bare ... not to apologize (this is Logan Echolls, he isn't going to apologize unless he thinks there is something he'll get in return), but in the hope that the apology would give him Veronica's affections back in return. And, of course, ultimately disappointment because underlying every word, every look her way, every movement he made was the knowledge that she would most likely reject him.
Which she certainly did. Well, that's how he, no doubt, took it, but I didn't read it as Veronica actually rejecting Logan, but more rejecting her own feelings for him. She has been fighting a losing battle frankly in denying that she is still crazy about him. Even during the bitterest period between these two this past year, she has still felt most strongly about any and everything that has to do with him. Nothing and no one has riled her, provoked her, got her emotions so fully and completely engaged as has Logan Echolls. And she's been ignoring that call to him from the moment she broke his heart, denying that he was even all that heartbroken (and getting it on with uberslut, Kendall, snarking nastily towards her, hooking up with the Pink Pastel certainly helped prove that theory).
However, the last couple of weeks, month or so, has weakened that denial. The snark between them has fallen into a gentle banter more teasing than cantankerous, their eyes have begun to linger and soften and Logan has, of course, surrendered into full-on schmoop mode more than once in her presence of late and we all saw last year how heady a schmoopy Logan was to Veronica's senses. Oh, and then there was the dance. Let us not underestimate that dance. Actually being in his arms in an intimate fashion again, more than anything, no doubt, set those old feelings anew surging through her and she's just been fighting that rising flood ever since.
And now we have Logan sitting here, pouring his heart out, as sincere as she's ever seen him, looking into her eyes, every inch of him verily sobbing with his love for her and oh, she tried to fight the pull. Yes, she succeeded in the end, but it wasn't just as he was moving in to kiss her that she began fighting. From the moment he straddled that bench and informed her of his heartbreak over her, Veronica Mars was fighting that pull, that rush of emotion that Logan always brings forth in her. Note how Kristen Bell played the scene: She looked at him, not believing him and then looked away, now simply not wanting to believe him, because to believe him would put her that much closer to falling into the lovely abyss of Logan Echolls. And she does not want to fall. There was a point where the barest of a smile began to play on her lips, not in joy, but rather in an almost embarrassed disbelief that she was thinking for even a moment that this was real, he meant this, and then the smile faded almost as quickly as it appeared because she did believe. She had no choice to do so.
Oh and once she did believe, the struggle now became -- as evident in Bell's eyes, facial expression and body language -- about keeping herself upright. Her eyes fell, she looked away, gently worried her bottom lip, her body shifting slightly and every time she was drawn back to his voice or to his very presence. She would fight the fight again, looking away and then back, unable to not do so. She tried to interfere, lighten the mood, stop the intensity that was rolling off of him in waves, her words semi-joking, but the tone, despite the attempt, failing to show even a hint of humor. She wanted him to stop, be quiet, and keep this door closed. It was closed, you could see in every fiber of her being crying out that the door was closed. It was closed. She even rolled her eyes, looking away, not able to look at him. She couldn't look at him.
And when he spoke once more, refusing to let his comments lose the strength of his love he was trying to imbue within them:
- Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.
When Logan looked back up at her, his hand reaching out for her, so gently, so tentatively, yet surely caressing her skin, cupping her face, that trepidation took on a whole new level of anxiety, fear, want, not-want. Once more, Veronica looked away, a heavy sigh released from her as if in an attempt to release the tension that coiled tightly around them. As he leaned in closer once more she looked at him one final time, he locked his eyes on her as if trying to hold her, keep her there, and let him in by the power of his gaze. And there were a few seconds where it appeared as if he had succeeded, her eyelids fluttered, but didn't close, her lips parted, but did not touch his and in that moment before sight was lost and they reconnected in a kiss, Veronica the fighter fought back.
It wasn't a rousing victory, but more a desperate retreat. Her voice shook, her entire being was suffused with emotion, but Veronica did retreat. The door may be opened -- wide open in fact -- but she was not ready to cross the threshold and so Logan was left sitting alone again ... naturally.
Scene Five: The Morning After
Wouldn't you know it? Veronica was finally ready to acknowledge the open door and she was actually ready to walk across the threshold and fate stepped in the form of champagne and Kendall Casablancas. The champagne knew naught what it was doing, but Kendall chose to be a slut. Damn her. And damn Logan for allowing the slut into his hotel room and (sigh) presumably his bed. Again. Logan, Logan, Logan. I'd want to slap him if he wasn't so damn hot. Sigh. Check out those hipbones. Ahem. No, he should still be slapped ... but, it's not as if his actions don't make a sad sort of sense.
Let's go back a bit, shall we? The last time we saw Logan, his heart had just been soundly handed back to him once more by Miss Veronica Mars. And the boy looked devastated. And he'd already been drinking; I don't think anyone would consider it even the slightest bit of fanwanking to assume that he continued drinking after her departure. Right? Right. Flash forward to the following morning and Veronica was taking that long walk down the hallway to the Neptune Grand presidential suite.
Her nerves were showing up already even before she got to Logan's door. Fists clenching, her form tense, that anxiety was even more apparent once she stood at her destination, pausing before knocking. She even flat-out started to turn away, but her courage -- which clearly took a much shorter period of time to reach maximum level than did Logan's, but hey, she knew he was in love with her, he was jumping without a net -- propelled her to face the door once more and this time she knocked. Echoing the praise from the scenes above, Kristen Bell once again did a wonderful job with body language. There was no doubt in any viewer's mind how difficult this was for Veronica. How unsure of herself she was, but also how very badly she wanted this. And this would be not losing Logan.
Speak of the devil ... Looking entirely too sexy for words, even with dang messy bed-head, Logan opened the door wearing nothing but his tuxedo pants from the night before and boy, did he look out of it. Overwhelmed by either the fact that she was actually doing this or the utter lusciousness of near-naked Logan (or a combination thereof), Veronica missed the tell-tale signs of a hang-over and instead launched right away into her clearly practiced spiel. Essentially broken down, she wasn't ready to jump wholeheartedly into a relationship with him yet. but she didn't want to lose him either and therefore did want to hang out after graduation to see where their "epic" story -- yes, she used his word, which must have meant that somewhere inside of her, she wanted to believe it was the case as well -- took them.
And the crowd sang hallelujah! With the exception of a few dreamy smiles and lusty words and voiceovers, the shippers have never had undeniable proof positive that Veronica lurves Logan as we have had on countless occasions from Logan regarding Veronica. No, it wasn't a declaration of love, but considering Veronica's state of mind and the state of their relationship the last year, it was tantamount to some pretty heavy feelings she was acknowledging that she had for him. Hallelujah! We sang and all wanted to ignore the sinking feeling in our collective guts as Logan just stood there, looking utterly (deliciously) befuzzled.
And we realized at the same time that Veronica realized that ... he doesn't remember. Handel's chorus died down across the country and that sinking feeling morphed into anguished denial. And it hadn't even gotten to the
What was overloaded in the department of difficulty, however, was getting rid of Kendall ... whose voice suddenly rang out and whose body slid up behind his, possessively placing her arms around his naked waist (as if we didn't hate her enough!) and resting her chin on his shoulder. Logan, Logan, Logan. You dumbass! Yes, I understand where this came from. He'd put his heart out there on numerous occasions for Veronica in the past and for whatever reason, she had run, run, run away. Why would he think for even a moment that this time would be any different? Why not drown his broken heart in booze and bimbos? (We'll just ignore and hope that Veronica eventually does too the fact that Logan claimed he no longer went the bimbo route ... the previous night.) Why not?
Well, the why would be because he's standing there looking at a thoroughly miserable and heartbroken Veronica. Damn. I can't say enough about Kristen Bell's performance in this scene, especially once the full effect of his drunken amnesia and Kendall hanging all over him took hold. She was trying not to cry, trying not to show her hurt, humiliation and desperately wanting to fall apart, only her pride not letting her do so and all of that was conveyed in those few moments before she turned to leave just in Bell's facial expression and body language. All the while, Logan just stood there, shell-shocked, not moving, not saying anything. But honestly, what could he say? He fucked up. Royally.
And as Veronica turned down the hallway, tears beginning to form, her body shaking as she strode away, Logan finally made an attempt. Stepping forward, he followed her, trying to explain, but her anger came out now in the bitterly-bitten "Stop." And he did because, what could he do? He fucked up. Royally. So again, he just stood there watching her walk away from him. Getting onto the elevator, she pushed hard at the button, her figure stiff with pain. And just before the doors slid shut, she gave one silent shake of her head, looking directly at him and all of the devastation and heartbreak that had been on Logan's face the night before was now mirrored on Veronica's.