Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

VM 3.08 'Lord of the Pi's' L/V Thoughts

Here is my new batch of analysis for the Logan/Veronica scenes in the last episode as seen (or will be seen) in The LoVe Shack Breakdowns.

From a cerebral point of view, I very much enjoyed all of the Logan/Veronica scenes for one simple reason. They made sense; I understood exactly why Logan did everything that he did -- as heavy-handed as his actions were, just as I understood exactly where Veronica was coming from -- as seemingly cruel as her actions were. Honestly, I'm in a very good place right now (character-motivation-wise) with both Logan and Veronica. Again, from a non-emotional point of view ... the arc of this episode? I liked. This may come as a surprise and cause quite a few reactions of "yeah, right!", but really, I'm not horribly biased against Veronica and towards Logan like it, no doubt, seems pretty much all of the time. I just need to understand the motivation for stupid things they do. If they do stupid stuff, I can deal, but I need to buy and understand their motivation. And unfortunately, more often than not from season two on, I've been able to buy the motivation behind Logan's actions due to the layers and subtext that Jason Dohring continually adds, which was missing, in my opinion, from a lot of Kristen Bell's performances last season and in a few episodes this season. However, I saw layers, I read subtext and I was happy with the execution of what we got ... if not the results.

Now do I like this arc? No. Do I wish Rob Thomas would take his head out of his ass and write a heroine who is tough, unethical, snotty, sarcastic and yet still likeable as he did in season one? Of course. Do I like that Veronica, no doubt, broke Logan's heart into a million little pieces in that last scene? No. But the fact of the matter is that Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell spent last season giving us a Veronica who -- for the most part -- didn't appear to even care about Logan. Now, by showing hints of that mixed in with genuine -- albeit, confused -- love on her part, paired with the possibility of this actually leading somewhere, it may be the only way that Thomas can come up with to make her season two attitude towards Logan work. I don't know if that is truly possible, but if this all plays out with logical, character motivation intact, then it does give the Veronica/Logan arc of season one to season two to what we're seeing this season a semblance of making sense. And that will make me very, very happy.

On with the analysis....

Scene One: The Girl Who Avoids ... The Boy Who Confronts

In a line that was almost lost in the intensity of the rest of this scene, Veronica sadly proved my analysis from last week when placed in conjunction with her interaction with Keith. I wrote:
Quote:
... nothing sticks with Veronica. It doesn't matter what anybody does, once Veronica makes up her mind about them, her opinion doesn't change. She may be dating Logan -- hell, she's sleeping with him -- but it doesn't change the fact that she doesn't trust him and he's always, *always* guilty until proven innocent. Just like Duncan's actions didn't change her opinion of him and Keith's actions won't change her opinion of him come the next episode. Once she makes up her mind about someone -- that's it. It's all fine and dandy for Keith, because I'm sure she'll just go back to loving and adoring him unabashedly, but for Logan it'll be back to the same 'guilty until proven' innocent treatment.
And that's exactly what we got here. Everything was portrayed as fine and dandy with Veronica and Keith (to an absurd degree -- but that's for a different analysis), while the tension was still there between Logan and Veronica. And here's where we come to that line: Reminding Logan about Mercer and his "Mexican" alibi in a bratty tone of voice. If I put aside how very wrong I believe Veronica handled things last week and just accept that she has her point of view and go with it, then this tone of voice and attitude IS in character and does continue the arc that has been building through the course of the season.

Yes, he rescued her -- but it's not enough. She's still upset with him and very well may have been avoiding his phone calls deliberately. Do I think she was? Yes, I do. Not just because of the last scene, but because she was clearly still upset here -- it was there to read in her body language, facial expression and tone of voice -- and when Veronica is upset and not ready to deal with any given situation, she avoids. That's Veronica. And it is something about her that Logan is well-aware of and seemingly accepts for the most part. So, I felt for where Veronica was coming from. She is still upset, but she doesn't want to fight with him, she's trying to get her bearings and he's not giving her the space she needs. Is she right to not tell him how she's really feeling? No, absolutely not and I have no doubt it will come back and bite her in the ass. However, I understand WHY she's playing the avoidance game. Character motivation I can understand -- if not like -- is a very, very good thing in my book.

As for Logan ... well, his laying down the law edict was out of line and out of place. First of all, it doesn't matter how much he loves her or how scared he is, he had no right to order her to do anything. It shows an unwarranted lack of respect for her. It is her life and she has the right to live it with as much stupidity and risk as she wants. He could have spoken to Keith or Wallace or Mac or all three and have each approach her, together or separately. He could have tried talking to her softly, sincerely, explaining his concerns, offered to bodyguard her himself, but to take that tone with her ... I completely understood and identified with her "okay, now you're pissing me off." He had no right; none whatsoever.

However, that didn't stop me from agreeing with every word he said to her ... because someone had to! And it didn't stop my very 80's "buuuurn" when Logan -- his voice filled with restrained anger -- told Keith that maybe he should start yelling at Veronica. Why? Because he was right; again ... someone has to. Someone needs to keep Veronica in line. The girl has almost been killed twice and was just attacked. Keith is her father -- the one person whom she generally respects and admires -- and he may be the only person who can get her to take a step back and realize she needs to take better care of herself. Logan simply cannot be that person because there is still a wall around her heart where he is concerned. Keith is the only person that Veronica has allowed herself to love completely since Lilly's death; thus he is the only one who might be able to get past that wall. So bad call on how Logan played that. Very bad call. Yet, it's a call I understand him making ... just as I understand why Veronica was not very happy with him. Motivation that makes sense? Yay.

Scene Two: Does She Love Him? ... Yeah.

Veronica had every right to tear into Logan. EVERY RIGHT. If he wanted to hire her a bodyguard, that's groovy, but he needed to tell her! By not telling her, it became about more than just his fear for her safety and desire to protect her ... it was a power play. She told him to piss off, so fine, he pissed off and in response, played his move and it wasn't fair and it wasn't right and it is NOT how you conduct a relationship. The problem, however, is that Veronica has driven him to this point. Instead of talking to him when there is a problem, she avoids him. Instead of dealing head-on with the issues of trust at the heart of their relationship, she's chooses not to deal at all and that doesn't work with Logan like it did with Duncan (and Troy ... and Leo) because Logan does not resemble an ostrich in any way, shape or form. He does not ignore, avoid, or pretend everything is surface wonderful. That is not how he operates and she knows this, but continually refuses to adjust her relationship pattern to acknowledge it. And that is NOT how you conduct a relationship.

Two key points of a healthy relationship are communication and compromise -- both Logan and Veronica show a lack of success in the former, but Logan has been busting his ass on the latter and Veronica? Well, Veronica has been busting his ass despite his attempts and other than choosing to not track his car, has not even tried. This would be another sign that one has difficulty in conducting a relationship.

So then ... here comes the million dollar question: Do they love each other? Absolutely. However, they do not trust each other ... AT ALL. The only difference in their trust issues is that whereas Logan wants to trust Veronica, most of the time it appears as if Veronica doesn't even seem to think that she needs to. And she does. But she doesn't. And that brings us to Logan's question. I have read in so many places from so many different people that Veronica's answer and how she answered made it clear that, no, she does not love him. I have to say that this is one time where I am extremely thrilled to disagree with the majority. My read on that "yeah" was that she does, absolutely, love him. And it scares her senseless.

When Logan asked her, I think she paused because (a) it was the first time the question had been posed to her, period, not just about Logan, but about anyone since Lilly died and (b) I believe it was the first time she had ever even thought of whether she loved him or not. Also, based on her expression, I got the vibe that when Logan told her he loved her, it was the first time that he had done so since the summer before in the infamous X-Terra (sniff) shoot-out. So he opened a door that, I believe, had been closed for quite some time and then on top of that, he pulled her through it. And that is why I think we got the pause. She was thinking about it, not because she doesn't ... but because of their history, because of that wall and because she was asking herself the question for the first time. And her answer? "Yeah." Said with tears shimmering in her eyes, and a tinge of shock because I think she was more surprised by her answer than Logan was (and check out his reaction, he was a little surprised too). I think she's told herself without actually doing so that Logan is her "right now" boyfriend. What she shares with him is so different, so intense from the one relationship in which she believed she loved the guy -- with Logan, it's not easy, it's complicated and messy and passionate and it is work. So in that pause, she wasn't just asking his question of herself, she was doing a split-second reassessment of love itself .. and in that pause Logan was not found wanting.

However, while I completely believed that "yeah," as well as her agreement that they should be nicer to one another, her positive response to his "are we okay?" was a bald-faced lie. That was the avoidance girl we all know and love. She's still mad at him. Veronica is still upset about the alibi, about him keeping it from her ... but she probably feels that she can't call him on that anymore because, oh, yeah, he saved her life. So she still has simmering resentment that can't be appeased from that, in addition, he was yelling at her and ordering her around earlier AND let's not forget the reason she was there ripping him a new one to begin with: He went behind her back and hired a bodyguard without telling her. So, of course, it's not okay between them. She's still pissed off and justifiably so. Just because she realized she loves him, doesn't make everything all of a sudden sunshine and rosebuds.

And I believe that Kristen Bell played all of this beautifully. Upon first viewing, I thought Bell sold this scene, while Jason Dohring undersold it, however a second viewing offered a different point of view -- not regarding Bell, she absolutely shined here, but in how Dohring chose to play the scene. Going back to my write-up in President Evil:
Quote:

[Logan is] walking on eggshells, doing his damndest to not only NOT screw up so badly that he sends her running, but also walking on the eggshells of his heart. He's holding himself back because he knows now, he gets it. If he screws up, the consequences are that he'll get hurt ... again.
Dohring was holding back as a deliberately acting choice because Logan was holding back. Even when telling her he loved her, there was a hesitation to the words and I certainly read an expectation of the negative when he asked her. It was as if Logan grew subconsciously aware during the whole conversation that the moment was coming ... he would have to lay his heart down on the line again and say the words and this time, he would have to ask for her feelings in return or there was nothing to fight for. And he expected a brush-off, a quip or simply a "no." When she answered in the affirmative with tears shining in her eyes and he could tell she meant it, you could see the visible shaking off of a burden as he moved to her, took her in his arms, confident in touching her, holding her, wanting things to be right. Because that's how he operates ... when you love someone, you do it completely and openly.

Right now, however, Veronica Mars is not wired that way.

Scene Three: Ouch!

To be fair to both Logan and Veronica -- who I feel both deserve equality for their actions tonight, I'm going to address this scene from two different points of view: The emotional and cerebral. From a cerebral point of view, this scene made perfect sense. I completely understood exactly why Veronica did not answer that phone. On the other hand, I just as completely understood exactly why Logan thought the absolute worst when she didn't. Going back to the previous scene, as I stated above, I fully believe that Veronica was lying when she agreed that they were okay. She said "yeah," because she didn't want to fight anymore; she wasn't ready to just let go of her resentment and anger. Simply put, she needed more time. And that is why she didn't answer the phone. It wasn't because she doesn't love Logan, didn't mean that "yeah," but because she wasn't ready to be "okay" yet. Of course, Logan won't see that.

He can't see it ... because he doesn't trust her. He believed her (or, at least, he wanted to believe her) when she said she loved him and so he believed (wanted to believe) her when she agreed that they were okay. He doesn't realize that they were two separate things. She DOES love him. They are, however, NOT okay because she's still pissed that he was so heavy-handed and wants her to "change." So she needs space, she needs time to cool off. She can't just blow it off because she realizes she loves him; she's not wired that way. And frankly, she hasn't had to be, because, until now, that hasn't been a problem for her. The fact that she has this wall around her heart has not been an impediment in getting guys falling all over her and Logan has been the worst offender. Because he doesn't trust in Veronica's love, he's always trying to make things work with them because he believes that if he doesn't, the relationship will die.

0Veronica, on the other hand, knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Logan loves her, she knows that whatever crap she pulls, he's gonna be there. Therefore, she feels that she doesn't have to fight for it. She knows that she is in the position of power -- not that I think she even realizes this consciously, but there it is -- and in a healthy relationship, no partner should have more power than the other. So Veronica doesn't have to change, he does; she doesn't have to try to make it work because Logan loves her so much, he'll accept her, flaws and all. No, it's not a good way to have a relationship, but Logan has certainly put himself in that position. Now here they are ... Veronica feeling herself secure enough in the relationship that she can avoid him until she's ready and Logan feeling so insecure that when he sees her avoiding him, he can only see that she doesn't love him after all.

Before I continue, I want to touch upon the acting because it's a reverse of the previous scene. I believe that Dohring played his few seconds here with utter magnificence, while upon first viewing, I thought Bell undersold her moments. However, like the above scene, a second viewing changed my opinion -- not regarding Dohring, he hit it, but in how Bell chose to play the scene. There was enough tension in her frame, pause in her reaction and an almost-stiffness to her movement to suggest that Veronica was struggling, but she just needed time. So I give a hearty bravo to both for their performances throughout the Logan/Veronica arc in this episode.

Okay, that was my cerebral take -- I see Logan's point of view, just as I see Veronica's point of view, but emotionally? I was a mess. I cannot watch, cannot think about that final scene without my heart breaking. Even understanding that Veronica does love Logan; even getting that Logan was taking her action in the worst possible way ... it was still the most painful moment in the history of LoVe. The look on his face, the way he closed the phone, held it to his lips, the devastation in his eyes and then the camera pulling away, it was just absolutely painful and because, yet again, Veronica was the one doing the devastating, it was much easier for many to turn against her.

I'm hoping that something happens in the following episode to even it out because -- from an emotional point of view -- I'm still upset with her because of last week and that does carry over. And yet, this week, if anyone is more to blame for acting like an idiot, it's totally Logan. He was extremely high-handed and disrespectful of her feelings. However, and this is where the character motivation comes in, I get why he was that way, and so I'm less inclined to be pissed at him because I'm still pissed about the crap Veronica pulled last week ... wherein, I could not understand so much of what she did. Even being able to do so this week, it still felt like my heart was breaking right alongside Logan's as he watched her ignore him.

{{Sigh}} and so once again, we end an episode with the oft-repeated refrain ... poor Logan!
Tags: chemistry, logan/veronica, tv, veronica mars
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