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Post Mortems

Veronica Mars Boss Rob Thomas Says Shocking Season 4 Finale Twist Was Necessary to 'Save' the Show

Veronica Mars Logan Dies

The following story contains massive spoilers from the finale of Hulu’s Veronica Mars revival — proceed at your own peril 

Veronica Mars overlord Rob Thomas knows he has a metaphorical target on his back. After all, he’s the guy who murdered Logan Echolls in the final moments of Veronica Mars‘ eight-episode Hulu revival. “I’m not worried about my personal safety,” he says with a nervous laugh, “But I will confess that I am really worried about fan reaction. I’m absolutely prepared for a percentage of fans to have a strong reaction against what we did. That, I’m fine with. But I will have made a really bad bet if, en masse, the fans turn on the show. That would certainly be a tough lesson to learn.”

My advice to the inflamed Marshmallows among us: Take a deep breath and read on as Thomas explains why he did what he did. (I also spoke to Dohring at length; that Q&A can be found here).

TVLINEWhen did you decide to kill off Logan?
We knew long before we pitched [the revival]. Jason Dohring knew going into the season. Calling to tell him that that [we were killing off Logan] was like breaking up with a girlfriend. It was hard for me to get the words out of my mouth. Jason was great. It stung, of course. He got why I wanted to do it. He wasn’t happy it was the direction we were going. But he was lovely about it.

TVLINE | Why’d you do it?
Kristen [Bell] and I really want to keep doing more of these [limited, self-contained seasons], like the Sherlock and even Fargo templates. Something where, when we both have windows of availability, we can come back and do it. The thinking is that we need to survive as a noir detective show. And if we kept doing a show that was half teenage soap and half mystery show, the fear is it would start feeling like nostalgia. Going full mystery show gives us our best chance to survive. I think there’s a reason you don’t see many hard-boiled detective shows where the lead detective has a boyfriend or a girlfriend; it kind of limits your options. It was like we were cutting off a limb to save a life… I love Jason Dohring. And I love the character of Logan. But I feel as though we are going to have a better shot of doing more and more Veronica Mars if our heroine does not have a boyfriend or a husband back home.

TVLINE | Did you get any pushback from Hulu or Warner Bros.?
No. But the Hulu executives [attended] the final mix of the final episode and they looked and me and they said, “Wow, you’re going to get murdered for this.” It was [intended] more as gallows humor than any reconsideration of the plan. People were on board.

TVLINE | You jumped ahead a year immediately following his death. Why?
Veronica’s voiceovers have always been in the present tense. And I hope fans noted pretty early, “Wait, Veronica’s voiceovers in Season 4 are all in past tense… ” We imagined Veronica delivering all of that voiceover a year [after his death] to Logan’s therapist. And one of the reasons for doing this is I wanted to show Neptune a year later. And I also wanted to create a sense of foreboding, because I want the audience to get the sense that something bad [was going to happen]. I wanted maybe a little misdirect that Keith was not going to survive. I wanted fans to maybe think Veronica was going to cheat on Logan with Leo. I wanted them to be waiting for that shoe to drop. But I wanted them to feel like they had gotten through the woods and then drop the shoe.

TVLINE | My colleague Vlada Gelman pointed out to me that in the Season 3 finale, Gory tells Logan than he’s gonna die, and Logan cryptically responds that, yes, he will die “someday.” Unintentional foreshadowing?
No… but this is a crazy story. It’s so funny that you should bring this up. I just went with my family on a European vacation and we’re in a hotel room in Amsterdam and… the Season 3 finale on. And when I sat down to watch it and it got to that line, I went, “Holy shit!” It’s so funny you should bring that up. I had not thought about that when we were writing Season 4. But, yes, I saw it last week, and it did freak me out a little bit.

TVLINE | Last question: Some hopeful fans are pointing out that we never did, in fact, see Logan die. Can you confirm for a fact that he is dead?
Logan is definitely dead.

How did the rest of the cast — Kristen Bell included — react to the news of Logan’s death? You best believe I asked them at Comic-Con — watch the video interview below: