Major SPOILERS for Veronica Mars season 4 ahead!
Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, explains why Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) had to die in the season 4 finale, but fans are taking issue with his reasons. Thomas created Veronica Mars way back in the early 2000s, with the series premiering in 2004 on UPN where it ran for two seasons before shifting over to The CW for season 3. Veronica Mars was cancelled after season 3, but had amassed a dedicated fan following. Those fans assembled for the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter in 2013, getting the project funded in 10 hours. The Veronica Mars movie premiered in 2014, and the property had since lain dormant - at least in live-action.
Then in August 2018, it was announced that a Veronica Mars revival at Hulu was in the works with Thomas and Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, returning alongside a number of original stars. Those stars include Dohring as Veronica's long-time on-again, off-again love interest Logan Echolls. Veronica Mars season 4 featured the pair living together, with Logan returning from a deployment in the season premiere with an engagement ring and marriage proposal for Veronica. Though initially resistant to the idea of marriage, Veronica eventually says yes to Logan and the two get married in the season 4 finale. However, after returning home from their wedding, Logan is killed by a bomb left by serial bomber Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt) that was intended to kill Veronica. Now, Thomas explains this season finale death.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Thomas was asked why he decided to kill off Logan. Thomas reveals Logan's death was always part of Veronica Mars season 4, all the way back to when he was pitching it to Hulu. And Thomas warned Dohring what he was getting into by reprising his role for season 4. On why Logan dying was so important to Veronica's story going forward, Thomas said:
I tried to imagine writing Veronica Mars mysteries the way we want to tell them going forward and her still having a boyfriend or husband waiting back home. The fan service is that they actually got married. I know that sounds funny, but I feel like the fans would forgive that more than if Logan became such an asshole that they broke up, or if Veronica had cheated on Logan with Leo. The latter would have been more likely than having Logan revert to bum fights. It’s just hard to imagine a detective show with a 35-year-old woman with a boyfriend. I just don’t want to write that. ... I feel like for this show to work as a detective show, it has to be with Veronica as a single woman.
In the days since Veronica Mars season 4 released early on Hulu, a surprise that arrived during the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel on Friday, July 19, fans have watched all eight episodes and offered their reactions on social media. Those reactions range from vehement anger to understanding that Logan's death is what the story needed. But Thomas' explanation here essentially boils down to admitting he'd written himself into a corner and the only way out was to "fridge" Logan. (Fridge here refers to the "women in refrigerators" trope, wherein a female character is killed in order to further the emotional storyline of the male hero.)
There are surely viewers who think it's about time for a reversal of those roles, with the male character dying to further the female hero's story, and appreciate that about the Veronica Mars season 4 finale twist. But the argument against fridging is that it's sexist, lazy writing. In the case of Veronica Mars, it's simply lazy writing. Thomas' explanation then doubles down on the lack of imagination that presumably led to the decision to kill off Logan, stating, "It’s just hard to imagine a detective show with a 35-year-old woman with a boyfriend." Many viewers who appreciate well-developed, well-written female characters have taken issue with this statement, pointing out that a show with a female character like the one Thomas describes could be just as enjoyable as the Veronica Mars he envisions - more so even because it would portray a capable and strong female character in a healthy, loving relationship.
But, of course, it all comes down to the kind of show Thomas wants to write. If his Veronica Mars season 5 doesn't feature Logan, and the show that fans want to watch does include Logan, they'll have to decide whether Thomas' version is one they care to watch. First, though, Veronica Mars would need to be renewed for season 5.
Source: Rolling Stone