Scene One: Where Jumping to Conclusions Leads
Surely the dissolution of a relationship is one of the saddest moments for any couple -- including that of a fictional one. Yet, in the case of this break-up, sadness is not the overriding factor. Instead it is actually one of hope. Despite the events of Wichita Linebacker, there were obviously still problems in Logan and Veronica's relationship. Logan doesn't trust Veronica to trust him and Veronica simply does not trust Logan. I know I've gone back to a particular write-up from episode five (President Evil) quite a bit these last couple of episodes since, but everything that followed truly seemed to bear witness to my supposition. I wrote ...
Quote:This is why Logan has been holding back all season -- to protect his heart from being broken beyond repair. Seeing Veronica as he did last week was yet another lesson for Logan. As long as he's with her, his heart will always be there ready to be broken over and over again as long as he doesn't walk on eggshells the rest of his life. And essentially, that is the reason that he gave Veronica for why he was breaking up with her.
There is no doubt that he loves Veronica, yet, he's not spinning, he's not giddy, he's not wearing his heart on his sleeve for her -- let alone the whole world -- to see. And this is definitely not how we've been led to expect Logan to act when in a relationship with Veronica. So what gives? I honestly think it's very simple and obvious.
Logan doesn't trust Veronica. As much as she doesn't trust him -- and we know she doesn't, he doesn't trust her ... with his heart. For Veronica, it's about the things he could/would do to himself, to others around him, stupid mistakes he could make that would lead to him hurting her. With Logan, it's about how Veronica can hurt him and it's much more direct and immediate. She could just break his heart all over again ... so easily by not trusting him, not loving him. [In the past] he's completely laid himself out there for her, put his heart on the line for her to do with what she will. Sometimes the band-aid was ripped off quickly and other times slowly, but still, she ripped it off and left him with a gaping wound: His heart in tatters. I think that we are finally seeing the consequences of that now.
Many were frustrated with the Hannah arc last season, but many also understood (including myself) that the story it presented had a purpose. That purpose was to show Logan that there are consequences to every action and when those actions are harmful, people get hurt. They get hurt even when those committing the action don't truly mean to hurt someone, or even when the "ends justifies the means." People get hurt, sometimes innocent people, and there are always consequences. We saw a Logan in the first half of last season not acknowledging -- let alone dealing -- with any of the consequences of Lilly's actions, his father's, Veronica's and his own. He just bottled it up and went along his blithe, snarky way ... and people got hurt. Not all his fault, no, but consequences happened and some of the fallout was his fault. Yet, he'd never owned up to it, never had dealt with it. So seeing what he had done, out of a selfish (and certainly self-justifiable) need, to someone who truly was innocent, was perhaps the first real step in opening Logan's eyes. And then there was the night on the roof. Seeing what happened with Beaver, all of the wrong done to him that he just bottled up and then unleashed on innocents, including Veronica, seems to have finally (FINALLY!) firmly woke him up to the consequences of actions and how very much they hurt, not just others, but himself as well.
And so here we are, he and Veronica are together once more and truly making a go at it, but he knows that she doesn't trust him and he doesn't trust her with his heart. He doesn't trust that if he messes up again, she won't walk away, breaking his heart yet one more time. And because he doesn't trust her, he's 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. Those are the consequences. And he feels, perhaps thinks that he knows, that if he puts his heart all out on the line again for her, knowing her, she'll leave him again no matter what he does. And the consequences of that are that this time he may be broken beyond repair. Those are the potential consequences and Logan Echolls finally understands their power.
I wrote in Of Vice and Men ...
Quote:But because she blackmailed him, he had to tell her. And what was her response? She continued to avoid him, she didn't talk to him, she didn't give him the chance, an opportunity to make it right. Even after he saved her life (again), she was still blowing him off. From the time this whole mess started, the only time we saw Veronica go to Logan was to yell at him. And so it is understandable that Logan couldn't take it anymore. Note what we heard, saw in Logan's behavior before he saw Veronica -- she certainly did judging from her voiceover. He was laughing, joking, smiling. He was happy because he was just being ... himself. He wasn't on defense; he wasn't trying to be someone he wasn't. He wasn't spending each moment in a perpetual state of 'When is the ball gonna drop this time?' That's how we've seen him with Veronica for two weeks consistently now, not to mention the lack of free-spirited giddiness on a regular basis from the first episode of this season on. Now, recall what happened as soon as he saw Veronica ... the laughter stopped, the smile died. Obviously, a part of that -- a huge part, no doubt -- had to do with the fact that he was planning on breaking up with her, but the fact of the matter is that seeing Veronica no longer brings a smile to his face. And in this instance, it killed it. Why is that? Flat-out because of what he said to her. He can't live with knowing he's always going to be a disappointment. He lived his whole life feeling that way with Aaron, with Lilly -- why would he continue to keep himself in a relationship where that same feeling of failure shadows his every movement?
He put himself out there again and she stomped all over his heart ... hurting him. Veronica doesn't trust him and he doesn't trust her to be there for him. And she proved him right unequivocally. She avoided him, was bitter towards him and then actually blackmailed him instead of just accepting that this wasn't something he wants to or is ready to share.
Logan wants her to trust him, believe him and have faith in him, but he knows that it isn't the case. He knows that if he screws up (big or small -- and, yes, this was big), he has to start all over again, back at square one because she judges him on a standard that she holds to absolutely no one else. Of course, he doesn't want to tell her. He loves her and doesn't want to lose her.
Ah, but here's where we get to the hope. Veronica, judging from her reaction when she first saw him -- as I theorized regarding her actions in the last scene of episode eight -- just needed more time.
Quote:So indeed, Veronica just needed time. And once she had that time, in her mind, things were back to normal. They admitted their love and agreed to be nicer to each other. Clearly, she was unaware of the witnessed phone avoidance; she had the time she needed and it was back to waiting outside classes for him and coupl-y greetings. The way that Veronica acted with him was an at ease Veronica, one who didn't think there was anything wrong and just wanted to be with her boyfriend. So in that there is some hope, because it showed that even though she was extremely angry and disappointed with him, she did get over it. It took her a bit of time -- but she felt that Logan's actions (both last summer and last week) needed time to get over. She does love him; she does want to be with him. If she didn't, she would have continued avoiding him or been somewhat distant (as she had been when they spoke last week) or simply broken up with him. I love Logan dearly, but he DID jump to conclusions last week. So she didn't answer his phone call; she simply wasn't ready. Instead of breaking up with her, he should have confronted her about it. But he didn't ... like, oh, hmm, Veronica. He jumped to conclusions. He jumped to the conclusion that Veronica didn't love him, things would never be okay and he broke up with her because of this conclusion.
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.
As much as we talk about Veronica not understanding Logan, not taking into account all that he's done for her -- let's give Veronica some credit here. Whether we agree with or understand why she took the attitude that she did last week, it doesn't take away from the fact that -- right or wrong -- Veronica felt justified. She wasn't being bitchy and evasive just to be bitchy and evasive. She truly was upset about Logan's actions in Mexico that summer, just as she was truly bothered by his high-handed attitude at her apartment and his hiring of the bodyguard without telling her. She was upset. And she needed time ... so she took the time and worked through her issues and look at where she wound up? Outside his class, waiting for Logan because she wanted to be with him, because she loves him. Instead of just taking her hurt and her disappointment, she worked through them. Have we EVER seen Veronica do that?
No. A big, fat stinking NO! But she did this time. She did exactly what she said she was going to do in Wichita Linebacker -- try and act unnaturally. It took a few days -- okay, a few weeks, again, she's acting unnaturally -- but she did it. She worked through it, she put her feelings of love first and she worked through that anger, that hurt, that disappointment.
Sigh. Still, we wind up back in the beginning -- lack of trust on both sides. A year and a half ago, Logan wouldn't have broken up with her; he would have confronted her about the phone call. He would have begged her for an explanation ... but a year and a half of being judged and found wanting, of being left with the short end of the stick, of feeling less than takes its toll. So, he did jump to the conclusion that she didn't love him. He did jump to the conclusion that she would never get over her disappointment. He didn't simply ask her why she didn't answer the phone. And he didn't take note of her actions and attitude right before he ended things that proved that she was making the effort and this time, had succeeded. Double sigh. I can't blame him, though. Who can? It's hard to not cheer for Logan standing up for himself ... FINALLY. And I am happy that we are seeing such a growth of maturity in him, I just wish that he'd waited a little longer and had fallen back on his old reliance of asking her what was up instead of breaking up. I think her answer would have saved both of them (and us) a lot of heartache. Sigh.
It is simply a cycle that has got to be broken by one of them. Right now, they aren't at the same place they need to be to figure it out ... to get together and stay together. But -- the hope, it's coming! -- she DOES love him. He DOES love her. They do both want this relationship to work; they are just both completely clueless at this point on how to achieve that goal right now. She's sorta ready -- as evidenced by her actually working through her issues this time, but it's taken so long, that he's no longer ready to just give her chance after chance to break his heart.
Give 'em time (at least eleven episodes more) and they'll get it right. They will get it right.
Scene Two: To Mac and Wallace ... 'I'm Fine.'
We've seen Veronica react to break-ups before, but they were either courtesy of Miss Mars herself or with an added twist beyond the norm. The twists occurred in conjunction with both of her break-ups with Duncan. The first involved not only pain over the end of their relationship, but it also held an element of life as she knew it coming to an end, along with the confusion engendered by the fact that he gave her no clue as to why he broke up with her. And of course, the second wasn't a break-up at all. However, I think we can actually take a very interesting cue from that one. Veronica was attempting to fool everyone into believing that her heart had been broken and that she was falling apart. So we got the emo music, we got lack of hygiene, moping about, all of the stereotypical behavior that a girl indulges in when she's dumped. Once the "twist" was revealed, viewers were given every indication that all of Veronica's heartbreak had been a deception to keep everyone off of Duncan's trail. Therefore, we never actually saw Veronica heartbroken over the end of her relationship with him. Now, I don't doubt that some of her pretending was real, but the fact that it was so very over-the-top and she got over it lickety-split lends credence to the theory that she just wasn't that bummed about it.
In this episode, we see a completely different Veronica. Unlike when she was pretending to be heartbroken, making all of the stereotypical moves, we are now seeing someone who is pretending to not be heartbroken. Unlike during Donut Run, instead of seeing a Veronica Mars wallowing in her pain, we are seeing the girl we are much more used to seeing, the one who holds it all in and because of that, this feels like the real deal. Seeing Veronica stare off into space, lost in thought, a patina of pain etched in every moment, every false smile, and every fake word of cheer was seeing that once and for all, yeah, indeed, Veronica does love Logan. And clearly this is something that Wallace and Mac don't question. Their interaction, shared glances of concern made that perfectly clear as they rallied as best they could for a girl suffering from a broken heart, even as she refused to admit to such, never mind that everything about her screamed that refrain. And that scream is due, in no small part, to Kristen Bell. While I've had issues with her performance on and off throughout the season, I must give credit where it's due. Bell completely sold every moment of Veronica absolutely reeling in devastation all the while walking and talking with a smile. And while it's obviously not fun to see our heroine in such pain, we can take comfort that her reaction is a rather good confirmation that she loves Logan. This is something that some were still questioning even after last week's affirmative response to that question.
What is not good? Hmm, let me think. Oh right, fuckin' Piz. What an idiot. Seriously. It wasn't even the fact that he was unable to take note of Veronica's pain -- further proof (as if it's needed) that he is so beyond NOT the guy for her -- it's his absolute inability to read a room. Someone shoot me now. Better yet, shoot him.
Scene Three: To Keith ... 'I'm Fine.'
And so it goes. All of the above (minus the idiocy of, pfft, Piz) applies here as well. We see a Veronica who is trying to convince those who know and care about her (see again, how this does not apply to Piz?) that no, really, she is fine. And again, Bell does a wonderful job showing just how very fine Veronica is not even while she doth protest too much.
What we have here that differentiates it from the previous scene are two specific things. The first being Keith's reaction to the news and how it was indicative of his changing attitude towards Logan. Last season we saw Keith physically attack him and throw Logan out of his home. This season, we saw a kinder, gentler Keith in regards to him and here he not only said that he was sorry that she and Logan had broken up, he genuinely appeared to mean the words. Furthermore, Veronica's explanation that it was "unexpected" made it perfectly clear that Logan did the breaking up, yet still there was no sign from Keith that he held the young man in any different esteem than he had before Veronica told him the news. Keith not hating Logan? Always a good thing.
The other notable change between this scene and the one before is that while Veronica smiled and all but blew off the break-up to her two friends, with Keith, she allowed that it was something that did throw her a bit. The casual cheer was no longer at play ... at least with Keith she was allowing some of the pain she was feeling to show. Of course, but she is so used to hiding any depth of emotion from anyone, including her father, that she can't allow even him to believe that she is anything but fine. A bit thrown? Yeah, but really, she's fine. And because everyone around her expects her to be always fine, always strong, no one pushed, everyone simply accepted that while she really may not be fine, she is ... okay.
Which, of course, she is not.
Scene Four: In the Shower ... So Not Fine
I talked above about the difference in how Veronica played heartbreak in Donut Run as opposed to how she played the opposite in this episode. Taking in all that we know about Veronica Mars, I think it's a safe bet that what we saw here is the girl suffering real heartbreak ... simply because she tried to not let it show. Veronica tells the world that she is fine; that everything is dandy and she holds in her pain until no one is around to see that there are cracks in the wall after all.
What we witnessed here was that there are cracks indeed. This is actually the first time we have seen Veronica break down over a romantic entanglement and in true Veronica Mars form, she did so in private. There may be cracks in the wall, but the wall is most definitely still there. My hope is that we are seeing this arc play out for a specific reason ... specifically a long-awaited, much-needed character arc for Veronica. The events that happened to her during the last two years of high school were terrible, not just for the actuality of the events themselves, but for the terrible price that Veronica continues to pay to this day.
As painful as this is for Veronica, Logan (and most importantly, us), hopefully there is a method to this madness and out of this heartbreak will arise the acceptance of the love that the two share and one that Veronica can embrace and accept with her whole heart and soul.
Scene Five: An Appetizer of Dick
While it would have been oh so lovely to see some subtext from Kristen Bell during this brief exchange (would a flash of pain in those expressive eyes have killed her?), there is definitely something that is of interesting note here. And that simply is why it's easier to understand Veronica's lack of faith in Logan. Look at the people he spends time with! Wallace knew how broken up Veronica was about the break-up (her claims of being fine to the contrary), yet there was not a sneer, a harsh look, anything resembling blame or negativity directed towards Logan from him at the party. Now, let's take a look-see at Dick here: He sees Veronica and his first response is to taunt her about the break-up.
And this is Logan's best friend? It's not the main course, but it's certainly an appetizer in her home-cooked meal worth of issues with regards to Logan Echolls. Damn, does this boy need a better friend radar? I mean, damn!
Scene Six: My Eyes Fucked You
Ah, so I guess the deal is when Logan and Veronica are together, his eyes adore her, when apart, he fucks her seven ways to Sunday and she gives it right back. Seriously, if her helpers hadn't come upon them with information about a hit, something tells me that given a few more minutes, Logan and Veronica would have reunited ... in the backseat of his car.
Many have complained about the lack of chemistry between Logan and Veronica this season. If you're a regular reader of my analysis, you know I don't feel that way. However, I can certainly understand why these precious moments jumpstarted the attention of quite a viewer ... possibly, heck, most indubitably, because it was only the second time all season that the show allowed the natural, combustive chemistry that Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell have to break through non-intimate direction and less-than-chemical dialogue and interaction. Oh, but my oh my, when it was allowed to break free -- yowza!
The way that her eyes stalled on him and his on hers once they became aware of one another was electrical. How that exchange of glances didn't dissipate once -- even through conversation, limited though it might have been, with another person -- was exquisite. Even their brief conversation bespoke of an intimacy in that words explaining the mindset of either one was not necessary. And all the while, through the stares, through the dialogue, the intensity of an unspoken yearning shivered in the air surrounding them.
What can I say? This section ain't called "Chemistry" for nothin'!
Scene Seven: Smash to the Window and Coming to a Theater Near You ... Smash to Mercer's Face
Oh, how many ways did this rock? Too many to recount. Too, too many. Aside from the sheer awesome Logan-ness of this whole bit -- casually walking up to the car and pausing to make sure the cops were in view, casually battering the rear window to hell and then oh so not casually walking into that jail cell, fists clenched and ready to go, his face alight with a fiery vengeance waiting to be unleashed -- what is also so very awesome about this is that we saw Logan exacting revenge on Veronica's behalf ... two days after he'd broken up with her. If there was a doubt in any viewer that -- dissolution of their relationship or not -- Logan definitely loved her, this action, that look in his eyes as he stared daggers of agonizing punishment to come at Mercer completely erased any such reservation.
Nice way to end the Logan/Veronica arc here by clearly showing us that Logan and Veronica are so completely and utterly NOT over. We witnessed this during their moments at the party and here. The passion and the intensity is so there ... alive and kicking. Logan may have broken up with her, but, in no way, does it mean that his heart doesn't still belong 100% to Veronica Mars.