Arabian (arabian) wrote,

'Wichita Linebacker' L/V Thoughts (LONG!)

Here is my new batch of analysis for the sole Logan/Veronica scenes in the last episode as seen (or will be seen) in The LoVe Shack Breakdowns. This one is very, very long (5,000+ words long) ... but my justification is that there was (yay!) a lot do with Logan/Veronica this episode.

Scene One: The Push-Pull of a Real Relationship

I really have only one issue with this scene so I'll get it out of the way pronto. That issue would be Veronica's sunglasses. And no, this is not me just being shallow. (Shallow would be me bitching that I didn't like her boring pony-tailed hairstyle -- but hey, at least she wasn't wearing a headband with it.) The problem with Veronica wearing those big, fugly-looking sunglasses is that they shaded not only her eyes from the sun (which was, no doubt, lovely for Kristen Bell), but also hid her expression (crappy-ass for us viewers at home). Hello, the windows to a person's soul -- or in this case, Veronica feelin' the love for Logan … yes or no? Sigh.

As has been established, Bell does a wonderful job using her facial expression -- including her eyes -- in telling the viewer exactly where Veronica's emotions lie. I must confess that I originally thought that Bell was playing the scene too cool and it wasn't until rewatching it a few times that my opinion changed. There was a lot going on in terms of dialogue, actual story revolving around Logan and Veronica's relationship, physicality, the expression, both facially and in the eyes of Logan via Jason Dohring, that it took a few viewings to decide that Bell wasn't playing the scene as if Veronica was just killing time with Logan. (I admit this was a concern, due in part to having just read her latest interview. Note to self: Do not read/listen to Kristen Bell interviews before the show starts.)

However, as I wrote above, the rewatch made it clear that the lovely Kristen was not to blame. She did play the scene as I believe it was intended … to show that Veronica does have strong feelings for Logan, although, she's concerned about certain aspects of his character still. On top of that, she was jealous, but didn't want to admit it. And of course, here is where we get to my complaint, with the addition of those fugly-ass sunglasses one of her greatest acting assets was taken away from her: Her eyes. So, not very happy with the director on that count because I do feel that it hindered the emotional weight of the scene.

As I said though, that there is my one complaint. Moving along to the good stuff -– and trust me folks, it's ALL good from here … even if LoVe had some not-so-happy moments in this episode. Everything flowed out of storytelling and character and that is always a good thing. In this scene, we have something that has been missing sorely from the previous episodes ... physicality. As they walked up the stairs, their arms went around each other's waists, as they walked side by side, they moved closer to one another. We had Logan wrapping his arms around her waist, nuzzling her neck, framing her face in his hands, playing with her hair; we had Veronica putting her hand on his chest and leaning up for a kiss. This is the Logan/Veronica that we're used to seeing when the two are together and in a romantic state: Two crazy kids who can't keep their hands off of each other.

One of the loveliest details throughout this scene was the tender intimacy with which Logan touched Veronica. I'm not talking about the mutual arms around the waist -- that came across as more of a couple move with no deeper thought behind it. Of course, that and of itself is wonderful in regards to Logan and Veronica. A sweet naturalism is always welcome. I'm not even thinking of when he wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled her neck. Again, lovely, but that was a teasing motion, adorable and squee-worthy though it may have been. What I'm referring to is the many times that Logan played with her hair, brushed it back and when he framed Veronica's face with his hands. There was a beautiful reverence in the actions as if there were still moments that it struck him that Veronica was his. And that was telegraphed through the gentleness of those gestures and the look in his eyes every time he did so.

Okay, so that was the light and giddiness of the scene. What about the darker side of LoVe? (yes, I just made that pun.) What about the jealousy annoyance? Or that Logan seemingly did not want to spend time with Veronica? I honestly think that those who believe Logan was neglecting Veronica were just looking for the OPJ. And, no, this is not just my Logan love talking. Really think about what they said, the conversation here. Veronica was waiting for Logan to meet him between classes and Logan clearly was going to meet her as well. That's the two of them seeking specifically to spend time with one another. Does he say he's going to the party the two girls ask about? Yes, but his answer seemed just a pat response to have them move on; if he'd said no, they would have probably stopped, asked why, and clearly he wasn't interested in having a discussion with them.

Now, we get to the crux of it. Veronica referenced some time she wanted to spend with Logan, but it was reading old fossils -- which is not something that Logan is interested in. So she suggessted other plans -- an art show, yet something else that Logan is not interested in. But he doesn't shoot it down, just lets her know he has class and then offers an alternative way of spending time after class. Yes, it was sexual, but it most likely would have been more than sex, but also some quality time just together, the two of them.

We also need to take into account the last couple of episodes. I think it's a safe bet that Logan called Veronica to tell her where he would be mid-experiment because her showing up randomly like that is highly unlikely. So, hah! Logan does want to spend time with his girl. The episode before that had them meeting between classes, at his place getting, uhm, political and eating a meal together. Now, let's also take into account that Veronica spent a helluva lot of time with another guy, including going to a club (which easily could have involved Logan), as well as going to the movies with Mac. So, Veronica has been doing things not with Logan. Which is FINE! They are not the same person; they have different interests and hobbies and they aren't going to spend every moment together. So Veronica's little spiel against Logan frankly comes across as a bit self-centered. She wants Logan to spend time with her when she's available and she wants them to do what she wants to do.

Do I think that that is the basis of their relationship and that Veronica is a raging, selfish bitch? Absolutely not. She's human and she's used to being very much in control of as much of her life as possible; she's made sure of that. And I wouldn't be surprised if Logan spent most of the summer catering to her every whim and wish (other than the movie marathons, of course). Knowing their history, we know that Logan spent much of their past relationship trying to catch up, trying to be the guy for Veronica, so it would make sense that she would expect that. And that is Logan's bad -- now that they've been together for almost six months, Logan is likely now branching out and allowing himself to not cater to all of her likes and dislikes and is simply doing his thing too. While there is nothing wrong with that, to Veronica it's a new turn of events probably and thus creates an understandable fear that he doesn't want to spend time with her.

And gosh, do I love this!!! I love believable issues that flow from their history, their quirks and idiosyncrasies and show the wear and tear, push and pull of a real relationship. This is good stuff. People, we are no longer collecting straw. We have gold, baby!

Scene Two: Led Astray by Dick

As soon as Dick walked away with the comment that Logan was nailing other girls, Veronica really should have simply disregarded anything he said. The guy is an idiot and very much not a member of the LoVe fandom. Seriously. Now what I'm curious about is whether Veronica was sniffing out the information once she saw Dick because she didn't trust Logan automatically or was it really truly just a spur of the moment comment. I think it was a combination. Obviously, she didn't search Dick out; he came upon her. However, beyond the first quip, I think the spontaneity went bye-bye. Think of it, the very few times Veronica has been alone with Dick, she's sent an insult his way and then skedaddled. She doesn't converse with Dick Casablancas … and yet that is exactly what she did here. She saw an opportunity to find out if Logan was to be believed or not. And clearly those pesky trust issues are very much in fine working order because she chose to believe Dick -- DICK! -- rather than believe that her boyfriend wasn't ditching her. Silly Veronica. Logan loves you!

Scene Three: Working Out the Kinks

First let us take a moment to mourn the loss of the bee-you-tee-ful X-Terra of jackass!yellow. {{Moment}} Alrighty then, moving on ... as clearly did Logan and everyone involved at Veronica Mars because there wasn't even an onscreen explanation for the loss of the beloved vehicle. Okay, I mean it this time. Really, I'm moving on. Ahem. What's nice about this scene is that there really isn't that much to analyze. It's all out there for viewers to see. What we see is what we get and what we got was a couple of college kids who were crazy about one another, but were adjusting to the relationship and so were still working out the kinks.

Both Veronica and Logan were happy, even with the class attendance exchange. Technically, Veronica was accusing Logan of lying about not being in class, but gone was the accusatory note that was once part and parcel for the course. Instead, it was said with vulnerability and an acknowledgement of what exactly she was doing; she was sorry, but she had to do it anyway. Whether Logan responded as he did because he took it that way or because he's just so used to being accused by Veronica that he took it in stride wasn't obvious. I do tend to think it was a combination. Obviously, he's used to accusations, but I don't think he'd just ignore it casually, so I'm leaning towards the notion that it was a smidgen of the latter and a bigger dose of reading Veronica's tone as conciliatory ... even as she accused.

And I'm glad that after she pushed, he continued to take it in stride and even flat-out refused her request. Unspoken was his contention that she should just trust him (over Dick! I mean, DICK!) and not need the proof to do so. I'm even gladder that after he said that, she stopped pushing and just let it go. Good job, Veronica, because then we got to the schmoop. Lovely, lovely schmoop and my goodness, didn't Veronica look happy? So very happy, smiling up at Logan, her voice doing as decent an approximation of Logan's "political" as she could with her "Maybe you could drop by ..." So sweet, so in love and then ... and then ... the cuteness! The über, über-cuteness. Just the playful pushing, pulling, smiling, and face-scrunching. It was really a world of squee in those final moments of joy. So ...

Scene Four: She Likes Him! She Really Likes Him!!

This scene had some really nice moments. I mean, for possibly the first time -- maybe the second -- in the history of the show (some might count the happy exhalation after Logan left the bathroom in M.A.D. as the first), we saw a Veronica happy about Logan, smiling for Logan, thinking of Logan when Logan wasn't there. I mean, she finished her black/e-mail up and heard someone clearing their throat and her brain went straight to Logan. We got a Veronica Mars Voiceover that happily looked forward to boyfriend time. She referred to Logan as her boyfriend ... even if it was only in her head. That's still something! And she was disappointed when it wasn't him.

But wait, we're not done yet! When she heard the phone beep to let her know she had a message, she smiled when she saw he'd left one and that smile grew broader when she punched it in to listen. It was only after Logan bailed on their maybe date that her joy dissipated. (He had said that he might stop by and, hey, at least he called and left a message … but still, bad call, Logan!) Still … still … still, it was joy over Logan! Seeing Logan, hearing Logan's voice. Gold, I tell ya, folks. It's Rumpelstiltskin time.

Scene Five: On the Hunt for Logan E.

Was Veronica wrong to put a GPS tracker on Logan? Yes. Was she wrong to track him down? Yes and no. Yes, because, hello! It's called trust, Veronica -- look it up. On the other hand, Logan had bailed. Furthermore, he'd called with a party going on in the background and ended his message with the phrase, "Looks like I'm getting lucky." Really, can anyone blame her for being just the tiniest bit suspicious? After two girls asked him to a party? After Dick said he wasn't in class when Logan said he was? After Dick said he was nailing other girls? After Logan refused to show her his notes to prove he was in class? (This is Veronica Mars, she just needs a little proof to make up her mind -- before more proof sends her careening off in a new direction.) No, I think Veronica's actions were understandable.

And again, non-parenthetical, this is Veronica Mars. She tracked her own father down for goodness' sake. We all know how much she loves him. So, hmmm ... yeah, I totally take this as a sign of love. Uh huh.

Scene Six: Veronica Done Him Wrong

Some interesting dynamics were at play here. To start with, it was obvious that Veronica knew she was in the wrong. Take note of the somewhat embarrassed smile on her face when she met Logan's gaze and then her looking away. Once Logan stood up to face her, she was immediately on the defensive, despite his pussy-whipped sarcasm. A Veronica who thought she was justified would have jumped down his throat for that comment or just flat-out left. She did not. I'm thinking -- based on this episode in whole -- she chose not to do so because Veronica does love Logan and does want to be with him. She knew that she was wrong, but she wasn't going to just walk away. She was going to stick around to rationalize her decision -- which is more than we ever saw Veronica do before in regards to Logan.

So was she totally in the wrong? For tracking him? Absolutely, but we've already mentioned that in the world of Veronica Mars to track is to love. For being even a little bit suspicious? No, not really. That voice message, in addition to his not showing up, was far from best boyfriend material. So, what about Logan? Was he wrong? Absolutely. Yes, he did say that he might stop by the library and so it wasn't a "firm" date, and yes, he did call to let her know he wouldn't show up (always good boyfriend etiquette). However, they clearly hadn't spent much time together recently due to conflicting schedules and saying that you might stop by in the midst of being kissy-face, lovey-dovey, reads in girlfriend-speech as "I'm definitely coming by short of being in a car accident." And Logan? Was not in a car accident, or any other remotely justifiable situation that would excuse his lack of showing up for the G-rated booty call.

He was playing cards.

Dude, Logan, bad call! You don't stand up your girlfriend on the technicality of a "might" because you're gambling unless you don't want to get laid for a month! Unfortunately for Veronica, as bad as his bad was ... hers was about thousand times worse. Dude, Veronica, bad call! You don't implant a tracking device into your boyfriend's phone and then track him down as if he were a criminal (especially one who's been arrested for murder three times -- once with your help). Can I get a big, fat HELLO!

So, Logan was gambling, but Veronica was tracking him down and since Logan was just having some harmless fun, and Veronica's action was a time-honored tradition of not trusting him, Logan had the upper-hand. And, shockingly enough for all watching, he used it. No pussy-whipped Logan Echolls here. No indeedy. For the first time in the history of the show, viewers saw Logan stand up for himself ... without using violence or wit that wounds. He was calm, rational and simply pointed out that her lack of trust was becoming an issue. Veronica's response? Not really the best ever. Instead of apologizing for the use of a tracking device or even turning the discussion around to his bad, she insulted his intelligence. Logan is not stupid. Veronica knows that Logan is not stupid, but because he's not college-motivated like she is and instead is as aimless as many a freshmen, she lashed out at his less than scholarly attributes. And it was just mean and it was hurtful. And intentional.

She wanted to hurt him because that's what Veronica does when she feels backed into a corner. She doesn't like being wrong; she doesn't like being called to task. Only Keith can do that and so she retaliated with her brand of wit that wounds. As about time as it was to see Logan call Veronica on her behavior, it was also right that he allowed her to see the pain her words caused him. His sarcasm about 1984 being the only book he'd read was a dig that was meant not to hurt her, but to show her that she'd hurt him unfairly. To her credit, Veronica did seem to get it then, judging by the look on her face after he spoke. And that point was brought home as the scene ended on a long empty hallway where Veronica stood all alone.

She done screwed up, Logan wasn't to blame for their fight ... and she knew it. Folks, this is actually a step in the right direction.

Scene Seven: Proof's in the Music of Emo

This is the one of two similarities to a Duncan situation that this episode brings to mind. I'm referring to when Veronica played the broken-hearted girlfriend because Donut "dumped her" by moping over emo music. In that episode, it was mostly an act to hide the reality of the scheme she'd come up with for Duncan's departure. Here, it was the real deal all the way. She and Logan had just had the first fight they've had where Veronica was on the defensive, where she wasn't accusing Logan of something, where Logan was the injured party, so to speak.

As with most of the episode, these few moments were a wonderful indication that Veronica is in love with Logan. And I want to use this scene to take the opportunity to expound upon that thought. Although, it's evident throughout much of Wichita Linebacker, the other scenes have more depth and weight to them so I'll be discussing the fullness of them as opposed to an overreaching theme. This is what five second scenes are good for!

Ever since Logan and Veronica got involved, the LoVe fandom has spent much time bemoaning Veronica's apparent lack of reciprocal feelings for Logan. We saw more from her in regards to Troy, even Leo to a degree and, of course, the great and pure Donut-head. There was never any doubt that until she found out what a loser Troy was, she really liked him. Once she and Leo starting dating, it was clear that while yes, he was good for information, she liked him and wanted to *really* like him. With Duncan, it was a non-stop gush-fest -- we can be fortunate that the script and direction didn't support it the second-time around which allowed us to happily believe that Veronica was just taking up residence by "De Nile." The point is that viewers got very, very little from Veronica's end in regards to any lovey-dovey feelings about Logan, shown through either a positive or negative slant. More often than not, we've worried that Veronica is just killing time with Logan ... that he's a "right now" boyfriend, waiting for the "right one" to come along.

This episode finally gave us the love from Veronica. Earlier we got the positive slant when expecting Logan at the library ("I'm ready for my official boyfriend visit.") and in this scene we got the negative slant. Yeah, it's not good that Veronica was miserable and mopey and playing emo music because she and Logan had a fight. What is good about it, though, is ... that she was miserable and mopey and playing emo music because she and Logan had a fight! YES! She cares ... she truly does care about him and the fact that he was upset with her and that they were fighting brought out the emo music.

It ain't happy, but it's proof. Woohoo!

Scene Eight: Perfectly Understandable

Whereas the Dick conversation was happenstance which Veronica took advantage of, in this case, she may not have gone to the cafeteria specifically looking for Mercer, but once she saw him, she did deliberately walk up to him and did deliberately bring up the Mexico trip. Testing Logan? I'd like to think not, but yeah, I do. And considering all that had happened recently, it held perfectly understandable motivation. She may love the guy -- and I do believe after this episode that she does love him -- but she doesn't trust him. She already was suspicious because of Dick's assertion there was no class (Dick! Come' on, Veronica, Dick!!), Logan's refusal to show his notes, and they did just have a fight. Still, considering how far she could go, I can't blame her for just talking to one of the guys heading to TJ with Logan. Perfectly understandable.

After Mercer's end of the conversation put Logan's plans into doubt, it was again understandable that Veronica would have a moment of doubt. Perfectly understandable. The next best move to take would probably be talk to Logan, and not just take what a practical stranger says as gospel. That would be an entirely reasonable, perfectly understandable course of action.

Scene Nine: To Track is to Love

Or not. Who needs reasonable and understandable when you have nifty gadgets available? Clearly not Veronica.
    Veronica: Now maybe people would say they'd never install a tracking device in their significant other's car ... but I think that's just because they don't know how.
No, Veronica. Many a person chooses to not install tracking devices anywhere near their significant others because they trust them. As amusing as Veronica's self-justification was (and who didn't laugh at that line?), it was further proof that the girl does not trust her guy ... she really, really doesn't.

Which brings us to something I've heard mentioned out and about on the internets (™Stephen Colbert), the parallel with her actions regarding Duncan and Meg's computer in Green-Eyed Monster. I see the surface correlation, but I must disagree when one looks a little closer at the situations. In regards to Meg's computer, it was sitting right there with the information literally at her fingertips. It required no more effort than her will-power. Yes, it tould prove that Veronica simply trusted Duncan because she was able to control herself. However, in addition, it also shows that the intensity of her feelings for Logan is stronger than they were for Duncan. Much has been commented on how Veronica tracking Logan, installing the bug in his car was just the same as her wanting to look into Meg's computer in terms of trust. Again, yes, clearly she did trust Donut, thus she didn't look at the files. However, what is interesting -- and bears with my comment above about the ease in which she could find out that situation -- is that Veronica made no other effort to find out where Duncan was, what he was doing. Yeah, yeah, she trusted him, but the contention has been that it's the same ole, same ole attitude that is attached to any boyfriend.

We know Veronica. Bugging someone, tracking that person is not only a sign of distrust, for Veronica, it's a sign of love. She never tracked Duncan down; you can say it's because she trusted him. Fine, whatever, it also says clearly that she didn't CARE enough about him. How I came up with that, you may ask. Simple. She tracked Keith. There's no doubt that she loves him and much more often than not trusts him implicitly. Yet, she tracked Keith because of his suspicious behavior. She never tracked Duncan despite his suspicious behavior of which she was aware. She just chose to not pursue it ... because she didn't care enough.

She cares enough about Logan. So yay!

Scene Ten: The Guy I Love

I know that the mystery of the week was humdrum for some (hee! I made a rhyme), but I enjoyed it mostly because it was one of those cases that was presented as a parallel to a situation in Veronica's life. In this case, it was her relationship with Logan. Trish did something that her boyfriend found nearly incomprehensible, even if he understood that it was motivated by her love for him. As she told Veronica that, it was as if a light bulb had gone off in Veronica's head. She too had taken an action that she was able to justify because she loved Logan, but one that he would find, well, not even remotely incomprehensible because he knows Veronica, but an action that would be difficult to easily forgive. Viewers could see that realization on her face as clear as if it were written in neon. Bell did a wonderful job in communicating all of that without a word of dialogue in just a few seconds.

Ooh, and I would be remiss were I not to mention the most significant moment in this teeny scene. Quote:
    Trish: I think I blew it, Veronica. I went momentarily crazy. Now it's gonna cost me the guy I love.
I know, I know, Veronica didn't say the words, but Trish did when talking about her guy and her screw-up and Veronica was TOTALLY empathizing. Therefore, when Trish was talking about Kyle as the guy that she loved, Veronica -- in her head -- was thinking about Logan ... as the guy that she loved. Hee! Veronica loves Logan.

Scene Eleven: The Strength of the Action

What followed right after was Veronica doing what Trish was unable to do: Clean up her mess before she lost her guy. Going back to the previous scene, I had made note of what a wonderful job Kristen Bell did in telegraphing Veronica's frame of mind with regard to the parallel. I'm glad that we got that because it gave us what her voiceover did not. As per usual, her inner thoughts were not utilized to showcase the beating heart of Veronica Mars; the voiceover did not fully explain the depth to which Trish's words affected Veronica. Instead, we were told that she was using the excuse of going "momentarily crazy" and then, of course, a quip. What a shocker!

Still, that's okay, because we were left with two things that truly showed the depth of Veronica's feelings for Logan and both were more than welcome and did a fine, fine job of telegraphing that depth -- something that has been sorely lacking the Logan/Veronica relationship. The afore-mentioned facial expression in the previous scene and here we had the simple force of her action. She chose to trust Logan and not go all pathologically suspicious on his (fine) ass.

Good call, Veronica, and one you'll be very appreciative of in retrospect at the end of the episode.

Scene Twelve: Neptune High Girls' Bathroom Meet the Hearst Library ... You've Been Replaced

Can I just say ...

And let that be the entire sum total of my analysis? Because really it was just so very, very squee-worthy. I don't know if this is my favorite Logan and Veronica scene ever ... no, no I do know. It is. Really. No talk of Duncan. No talk of Lilly. No discussion of any former/future significant others. No murder or rape or lies or sarcasm or quips or hidden pain. It was just on the table with their heart on their sleeves, unabashed open 'I love you' without the words actually spoken. It was as close to perfect a Logan/Veronica scene as we've ever gotten.

From the look on Veronica's face when she saw Logan, to the final moment when she rested her head on his chest, the scene fairly danced with the tender currents of electricity. What was so evident in this scene was not only how much they do love one another, but how much both want to make this relationship work. Both were willing to compromise and Veronica was brutally honest with Logan about her trust issues. She didn't quip; she didn't make a joke or pretend its depth wasn't enormous. Instead, she owned up to it and apologized for how it had led her to hurt him. She nearly cried as she strove to convince him that she was trying to "act unnaturally." And trying to act unnaturally due to the severe betrayals she's dealt with is a colossal step for Veronica Mars to take.

As for Logan, his compromise didn't entail as much heft, but that is merely because throughout their relationship, Logan has done his fair share of compromising and this episode was the first time we actually saw him put his foot down for reasonable treatment. Still, he gave up surfing in Tijuana and offered to take in foreign cinema -- a dreaded aspect for the traditional boy -- sorry, Logan; you're a man and a reformed one at that -- man. Ah the reformation of Logan Echolls. I truly enjoyed this theme that ran though the episode and found its conclusion here. Although, ostensibly the 'reformed bad boy' referred to Weevil, I do think it was meant for Logan. After all, Weevil ain't all that reformed; Logan is. And I liked that we saw action and attitude to support Logan's assertion that he was, indeed, reformed.

Which leaves us with the little touches and the final moments of LoVe (yes, I went there ... you gotta problem?). One of my favorite moments was when the student came looking for help and Veronica did not take her adoring eyes off of Logan even once ... not for a single, solitary second. Another fun moment was Logan's glance of "Hee! I'm gonna go make out!" to the poor, unassisted student who stood watching them walk away, distraught and bewildered. Throughout the scene, there were many of these small moments, a look, a quirk of the mouth, the way Veronica held onto Logan's hand, and then encircled his wrist as she moved into kiss him. And ahh, we're there. Those final moments ...
    Suppose we never fell in love
Veronica pulling Logan to the dark, lonely top floor, lifting her lips to receive his kiss ... The way they paused between kisses, their eyes meeting and the look of complete adoration and peace on Veronica's face that was, no doubt, matched by the look on Logan's.
    Suppose I never ever let you kiss me so sweet and so soft
There was the passion with which he pulled her to him, the fervor with which she pressed herself into him, wrapping her arms so tightly around him, her fingers pressing into his hair. There was the ardor of their kiss and the way she leaned against him, into him, fully putting her weight, her heart, her trust onto him before laying her head upon his chest as we faded to black.

I just have one word:
Tags: chemistry, logan/veronica, tv, veronica mars

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