Underwhelmed by Veronica’s Finale

Let me be the first to risk getting completely flamed by obsessive VERONICA MARS fans by saying I was under-whelmed by last night’s season finale. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but it just wasn’t great – and far from jaw-dropping first season finale. Here are few thoughts on why it didn’t live up to the buzz. (Partial blame falls on TVguide’s Ausiello and Eonline’s Kristin who in my opinion completely over-hyped the finale)

1] The mastermind behind the bus crash became to obvious. The great thing about season one is that I honestly had no idea who was responsible for Lilly’s murder. While I had my speculation, I completely didn’t think of Aaron Echolls. This season, while the writers tried to place the blame on numerous characters – it quickly became apparent who was responsible. Which leads me to Beaver…

2] All season long, Cassidy (Beav) was the student nobody would suspect. He was quiet, behind the scenes and pretty much had nothing to do with any of the major story-lines. While his brother Dick provided comic relief, essentially the only point of having Beaver as a ‘regular’ was to blame the crash on him and kill him off in the end. While his motives were entirely plausible, I just didn’t completely buy his psycho transformation that played out on the roof.

3] The final scene. What the FRACK was that? Now I’m going to have to wait four months to find out what is in a briefcase? While no doubt there will be an interesting explanation, I feel like Rob Thomas just threw that in to provide some sort of cliffhanger to the finale.

4] What was the purpose of the flashback at the beginning of the episode. To see what Veronica’s life would have been like if Lilly was never killed? Lilly’s random appearance, I didn’t get it? (also, shouldn’t she be in Utah!)

5] Beav actually did Rape Veronica? Huh! That sort of puts a whole depression cloud over season one, when we finally learned that Veronica had infact not been raped. I get having to show how screwed up Beav is, but that just seemed a little over-the-top.

Don’t get me wrong, VERONICA MARS is still one of the most enjoyable shows on TV, I just didn’t think this season was nearly as good as last season. As I was watching the episode, with all these random flashbacks, I was thinking to myself that there was no way a random viewer could just pick up the show and appreciated it (or understand it). You definitely needed to be a fan to get what was going on – and in the world of 500 channels, that just doesn’t work anymore. ALIAS had the same problem, Rambaldi, SD6 – while I loved every minute, the uninitiated is completely lost! (no pun intended!). I look forward to next season, as creator Rob Thomas has said that the season will be divided into three different story arch. No doubt making things far easier to follow (and hopefully expand the VERONICA MARS audience).

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  • Tim G.

    Are you kidding? Even though I had a feeling Beaver was PARTIALLY involved, the full extent of what he actually did blew my mind! Also, it seems Veronica had sex TWICE that night at Shelly Pomroy’s party. First Beav raped her, and then Duncan came in and they had “consentual” drugged sex. The whole thing just left me breathless.

    Weevil getting arrested at Graduation just reaffirmed my hatred for Lamb, the man can’t even let this kid graduate HS before arresting him? It was nice to see Jackie’s story get tied up in a nice little bow, I had grown to like her as the season went on and it’s nice to see she’s in a good place back with her mother, son and not living a lie.

    Rob Thomas said that what is in the briefcase will TOTALLY justify Keith ditching Veronica at the Airport, he said it’s big.

    Did you catch the lines that happened after Clarence Wiedman assasinated Aaron Echolls?

    Duncan (picks up phone): CW?
    Clarence: It’s a done deal.

    I thought that was cute and a definite “quote of the week” contender.

  • Tim G.

    Oh, and also you should check out the podcast that I take part in every week. It’s called Dork De Jour (yes, ‘de’ not a ‘du’).

    You can find it on http://dorkdejour.blogspot.com/ or by searching the iTunes podcast directory! It’s two hosts Derek and Megan along with Megan’s husband Joe and me just talking about music, movies, tv and random things we find online. It’s a lot of fun, I think you’d like it. Maybe we can arrange for some cross promotion with each other’s shows?

  • I did enjoy the ‘CW’ gag!
    I do agree about Weevil… I really did feel awful for him. I mean his grandma doesn’t look that great, I’m surprised she didn’t drop dead right there.
    The jackie story annoyed me…. I mean ‘paallleeeaasseeee’.. in one episode we find out that jackie really is from a poor family in Brooklyn and has a kid… didn’t see that coming (that wasn’t sarcasm! really)

  • blissfullyblack

    THANK YOU! i was so excited for it. Even made a point to watch it with equally-as-excited friends. But I just sat there and felt like I was waiting and waiting for all the much-hyped amazing stuff to begin. I think I was expecting SO MUCH that it couldn’t possibly live up to my excitement.

    I also figured it was Beaver, so it wasn’t a shock. The rape thing seemed like a ploy to give Veronica one more reason to kill him (and have Logan talk her down.) Plus I spent too much time trying to figure out how long Beaver has had chlamydia (a good like 7 years at least!) instead of paying attention to the roof scene.

    I never once believed for a second that Keith was dead (it’s like in alias when sidney is always about to die. you know it’s ain’t happening.) And much like the bomb guy who died on Grey’s that was almost never mentioned again, I felt like I wanted to see more emotional fall out from the ACTUAL deaths instead of Veronica’s emotional fall out from her dad’s “death.” Maybe it would have been better if it was a two hour finale?

    I was shocked about Aaron’s death and Jackie’s kid (probably b/c it was so random.) Plus I was happy that Veronica and Logan were together at the end πŸ™‚ And Lamb arresting Weevil at a graduation was a nice touch as well.

  • blissfullyblack….

    great post! Yeah, i don’t know much about chlamydia (which I assume is i a good thing) but how was Veronica just finding out about it now…. hasn’t it been over 2 years!

    Also, never thought for a second Keith as dead.. hello? he’s the only family Veronica has.

    Jackie’s kid story, so random….. she was an awful character and I’m happy she’s gone!

  • I think some of what you said about the finale was valid – Beaver WAS more of a clear suspect than Aaron Echolls ever was, and the retroactive reveal about Veronica’s rape leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I agree with blissfullyblack that a 2 hour finale would have really worked out better. I don’t mind the way things come together so frenetically at the end, but there’s more I would’ve loved to see in terms of denouement. Mac? Logan/Veronica make-up scene? I probably just want more show. πŸ™‚

    What you said about “needing to be a fan”? I don’t see what’s so wrong with that. Clearly it CAN work – look at Lost, for example; the uninitiated would be hopelessly, well, lost, while watching that show. In a world of 500 channels, there should be something out there for everybody. Long, complicated story arcs just happen to be the thing for me. πŸ™‚

  • Joobie. Look, I love the season long arch. I watch every episode, so I appreciate it. The truth of the matter is that we can’t compare LOST to VM. LOST was a huge hit from the start. Their method of storytelling has proven to be a winner. THey get at least 15 milion viewers each week.

    With Veronica, the ratings aren’t adding up. Assuming the show gets a third season (which I think it will), the show has to improve. They’re only getting one more season to try and prove themselves, or else our favourite show, will go the way of Arrested Development.

    great post πŸ™‚

  • I’m with you on the whole flashback issue. What the hell was that? I thought there must have been more telling clues in the flashback but maybe not? I mean her alternate reality included her deadbeat Mom who double crossed her previously and told to blow. She doesn’t know Wallace and Wallace essentially hates everything she stands for “oh, you’re one of those”. It just didn’t make sense to me. There was talk of San Diego State instead of Stanford or Hearst. Logan was “That Boy” – it was just bizarro and I expected clues from it. Oh and the Bacon? What the frak?

  • Common Sense

    Okay, thought I’d better at least check out the much-hyped Season Finale to see what the fuss is all about. And I must say I loved the show (surprise, surprise). Even though I haven’t been a VM viewer ever, I was able to follow quite a bit of the developments…and was blown away by revelation after revelation. And when The Flash blew up that airplane: WOW. This show truly does rock, and I hope it can find a larger audience next season. It far surpassed the Gilmore finale, though I was glad to see Lorelai walk away from Luke the Dud. “April issues?” Gimme a break.

    Emily had the best laugh-out-loud line about Christopher & Jan (from The Office) looking so good, it was like watching a shampoo commercial.

    Ready for the ABC triple-header tonight??

  • I disagree about it being a problem that Beaver was a suspect all along. I had a problem with it being Aaron last year because it seemed to come from left field. I don’t think we ever had enough clues to point to him. I like to try to solve it along with Veronica as the season goes along.

    I think the Beaver having raped her thing was because of the fan backlash about the fact that seemingly she had never been raped. She suffered for a year as a silent victim of rape and then suddenly it was an act of love on Duncan’s part (a twisted one but that’s a Cane for you). This was all her suffering was for a real reason. I really think it was just Rob Thomas responding to the criticism. Whether a show’s creator should change things to appease fans or not I won’t say, but in this case it worked for me.

    As far as how long Beaver and Veronica had chlamydia my understanding of it is that it is a very silent disease. There are few or no symptoms especially in men.

    I thought it rocked.

  • Tim

    “5] Beav actually did Rape Veronica? Huh! That sort of puts a whole depression cloud over season one, when we finally learned that Veronica had infact not been raped. I get having to show how screwed up Beav is, but that just seemed a little over-the-top.”

    Like Rob Thomas said “It’s a noir world”. Not everything is cutest and wrapped up in a pretty bow. Some stuff hits you in the stomach.

    “2] All season long, Cassidy (Beav) was the student nobody would suspect. He was quiet, behind the scenes and pretty much had nothing to do with any of the major story-lines. While his brother Dick provided comic relief, essentially the only point of having Beaver as a β€˜regular’ was to blame the crash on him and kill him off in the end. While his motives were entirely plausible, I just didn’t completely buy his psycho transformation that played out on the roof.”

    I thought they built up his arc perfectly. They have built up all year how much he dislikes his life, you could see the self loathing buried under his pretty boy, kid genius act. Also, Jackie and Mac never really had a ton to do with the main plots, either. You can’t just say because the perp ended up being someone in the credits that that is the reason he was there.

    All in all, I thought the finale rocked. Others disagree, and that is their right.

  • Jenny

    Like Nancy said, chlamydia is a very unrecognizable std. Most people don’t have a clue that they have it:

    From here: http://www.cdc.gov/std/Chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm

    Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur “silently” before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man.

    Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2004, 929,462 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2.8 million Americans are infected with chlamydia each year. Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

    Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.


    So I didn’t find it a BIT strange that Veronica didn’t have a clue that she had it.

    As I’ve said quite a few times now on different sites, this is one of my favorite season finales ever. I’ve got it saved on my computer and it will stay there alongside a few Alias episodes, Ed series finale & Bones Christmas ep. πŸ™‚

  • Ouch, TV Addict! You HAD to bring up Arrested Development, didn’t you…bummer. I really hope VM doesn’t go the way of AD. You have a point about viewership, though, in comparing Lost and VM. It’s not apples to oranges, but probably more like a Braeburn to a Granny Smith. πŸ˜‰

    I remember reading an interview in Entertainment Weekly recently with JJ Abrams, where he talked about how during the third-ish season of Alias he started to simplify the storylines due to pressure from the network. For me, the third season was where Alias started to be no-so-good. I’m really hoping that if VM makes the same effort to simplify things in order to attract and retain viewers, it doesn’t lose the Veronica-esqueness that makes it so awesome.