Veronica Mars—about a teenage private investigator by the name of, you guessed it, Veronica Mars—attained cult-classic status in the show’s very first season. By the summer hiatus, fans had launched a campaign to make sure it was renewed for a second season. The following summer, as executives mulled over a decision about a third, fans famously organized to hire a plane with a banner pleading for pickup by the CW (a new network merging the WB and UPN, the show’s original home). Veronica Mars, the little show that could, ended up running from 2004 until 2007. And while a fourth season wasn’t in the cards with the CW, cancellation hardly dampened fans’ enthusiasm. When series creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell launched a Kickstarter to fund a movie in 2013, Marshmallows came out in full force, raising $2.5 million to make it happen.
Why all the fuss over a series that sounds a lot like a modern-day take on Nancy Drew? For starters, the show’s mysteries—both season-long and weekly—were always well plotted. Moreover, they usually involved characters you cared about, whether they were central figures in the show or, sometimes even more fun, secondary characters who popped in every now and then. How could you not be invested in a lionhearted heroine investigating her best friend’s murder, and her own rape, in a town where everyone’s a suspect? Impossible. The show also featured witty dialogue, fantastic pop culture references, noir vibes, and a star-making performance by Bell. The best surprise of all, however, was the white-hot chemistry between Veronica and Logan Echolls (portrayed by Jason Dohring), who was originally intended to be merely the “obligatory psychotic jackass.”
But every fan knows this story by now, and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone new to the show. Suffice to say, the on-again/off-again pairing of Logan and Veronica (dubbed “LoVe” by the fans of the ‘ship) is a huge part of why fans were so very eager to fund the movie. Set 10 years later, Veronica Mars: The Movie, brings them (along with the rest of their Neptune High/Hearst College crowd) back together for a literal reunion. It’s a satisfying place to leave this tempestuous couple.
Fancy a reminder of why their enemies-to-lovers arc is positively legendary? Let’s look back at 14 moments that define the great ship Logan/Veronica.
#1: “She’s a keeper.” (“Ruskie Business,” 1×15)
The well-established antagonism between Logan and Veronica takes a major hit when Veronica agrees to search for his missing mother, who may or may not have jumped off a bridge (turns out she did). Seeing the reluctant allies work with rather than against each other on stakeouts and intel-gathering schemes is marvelous. The charm! The banter! You simply cannot look away from the sparks they generate, especially when they have to pretend to be engaged. And when Logan receives the devastating confirmation of his mom’s death? Veronica is there for him. A bond forms that day, paving the way for an epic ’ship.
#2: Their first kiss. (“Weapons of Class Destruction,” 1×18)
This one’s pretty obvious, right? Here is the lightning-fast transition from frenemies to lovers. While it took a lot of people by surprise in April 2005, in hindsight it’s so clear the show has been building toward this moment for a while. All their anger masks an intense attraction that’s bound to combust on screen. And boy howdy does it. If you weren’t already shipping LoVe, you likely were after that incendiary kiss outside the Camelot Motel. (And let’s be honest, you’ve also listened to “Momentary Thing” about five billion times since.)
#3: Logan moves on from Lilly. (“Hot Dogs,” 1×19)
Shows can lose momentum after a will-they-or-won’t-they couple finally gets together, but not Veronica Mars. Tension never dissipates between Logan and Veronica because they’re as similar as they are different, and they both thrive on conflict and drama. Rare moments of vulnerability between them must therefore be savored, like the time Logan tells V (in between stolen kisses) that he can finally stop feeling guilty. When she asks, “Guilty about what?” he responds, “Moving on.” They go on to have a short but critical conversation about his late ex-girlfriend, Lilly, who was also Veronica’s best friend in the world. Lilly’s death haunts both of them, but she’s also a cherished memory they share. Only by acknowledging their painful past can they start to look to the future as a bona fide couple.
#4: “If you don’t like my girlfriend, you can leave.” (“A Trip to the Dentist,” 1×21)
Logan calling Veronica Mars his girlfriend in front of basically their whole class is a HUGE turning point for LoVe. Go big or go home, right? The fact that her ex, Duncan, finds out that way too is unfortunate, but it had to happen sooner or later. (Sorry but not too sorry, Donut.)
#5: Veronica cradles Logan (“Normal Is the Watchword,” 2×01); Logan cradles Veronica (“Not Pictured,” 2×22)
These scenes are perfect bookends (one in the Season 2 premiere, its mirror image in the Season 2 finale), and I love them like whoa. The give-and-take of the Veronica/Logan relationship is perfectly illustrated here. Veronica takes care of Logan when he needs it, after being attacked on the bridge by the PCH biker gang. Logan, in turn, comforts Veronica when she thinks her father has died in a plane explosion.
#6: That Sadie Hawkins dance. (“Plan B,” 2×17)
Logan and Veronica dancing! How could I not include this one? Veronica rescuing Logan from the pesky G-g-gia and her endless talking is cute enough, but her guiding him into a dance is THE BEST. They sway together awkwardly at first, hesitant to make eye contact, but then they sort of melt into each other, and DAMN. They make a gorgeous couple, even (especially?) when they’re hovering closer to the “hate” side of their love/hate spectrum.
#7: “No one write songs about the ones that come easy.” (“Look Who’s Stalking,” 2×20)
Arguably THE most memorable—not to mention quotable—Logan/Veronica scene in the show. During the original run, Logan’s drunken “epic” speech gave shippers renewed hope for a reconciliation after a lot of ugliness between them in early Season 2. Probably didn’t hurt (or hurt in the best way?) that Logan couldn’t remember his speech the next morning, driving shippers WILD with the heartbreak and ratcheting up the (delicious) tension. Fifteen plus years later, Logan’s soulful, uninhibited words about his true feelings for V still give me goosebumps:
Logan: I thought our story was epic, you know? You and me.
Veronica: Epic how?
Logan: Spanning years and continents, lives ruined, blood shed. Epic. But summer’s almost here. And we won’t see each other at all. And then you’ll leave town, and then…it’s over.
Logan: I’m sorry. About last summer. You know, if I could do it over…
Veronica: C’mon. “Ruined lives, blood shed”? Do you really think a relationship should be that hard?
Logan: Mmm, no one writes songs about the ones that come easy.
#8: Logan talks Veronica down from shooting Cassidy. (“Not Pictured,” 2×22)
For all that Logan can be that psychotic jackass, he does recognize that violence isn’t always the answer. At least, not for Veronica. After Cassidy Cassablancas reveals he not only blew up a bus full of kids but also raped Veronica and blew up a plane (she thought was) carrying her father, Veronica turns Cassidy’s own gun on him. But Logan intercedes, telling Veronica to put the gun down. “You’re not a killer, Veronica,” he repeats over and over. I think he does this for a few reasons: He’s still in shock that his best friend’s little brother could have done all this, he knows Veronica could never live with herself if she killed him, and he recognizes he couldn’t live with himself either if he didn’t try to stop her.
This scene does a lot. It accelerates Logan and Veronica’s reconciliation, shows how well they balance each other out, and demonstrates that Logan will always come when Veronica calls (or texts).
#9: Their last college makeup. (“Show Me the Monkey,” 3×11)
Logan and Veronica break up and make up a few times in the series, but this makeup is by far my favorite. A speech from Piz about recognizing when you have something really good going (versus just going through the motions) spurs Veronica to knock on Logan’s hotel room one night and kiss the hell out of him. Logan kisses her back and kicks the door shut and that is that. SWOON.
#10: Veronica can’t resist a vengeful Logan. (“The Bitch is Back,” 3×20)
I probably shouldn’t like this scene as much as I do, but there’s just something about Logan avenging Veronica that I can’t help but enjoy. LoVe have been broken up for a while by the Season 3 finale, and Veronica’s dating Wallace’s roommate, Piz. None of those pesky complications prevent them from having a charged last scene together, though. Long story very short, when Veronica—who lives by the rule “someone always has to pay”—declines to go after someone who has seriously wronged her, Logan thrashes him publicly. Even Veronica’s warning that the guy’s extremely dangerous because he’s “connected connected” (as in, to the mob) doesn’t faze him. Veronica seems a little pleased despite herself, smiling grimly at his handiwork. Logan has proved he’ll do pretty much anything to take care of her, whether he’s her boyfriend or not. (If only he’d go about it in a less violent way…but, hey, he’s working on it!)
Veronica Mars: The Movie
#11: Veronica flies across the country to help Logan.
Nine years after Veronica Mars flees Hearst for Stanford to finish her undergrad degree, her past catches up to her. Logan, under investigation for the murder of his ex-girlfriend (again!), calls Veronica for help choosing a defense lawyer. Well, he claims that’s the reason, but we all know he’s hoping she’ll get inspired to prove his innocence. Veronica does exactly that, because of course she does. Unable to resist the lure of Logan Echolls in trouble (a weakness everyone calls her on), Veronica leaves her boyfriend, Piz (again!), on “read” and travels from New York City to Neptune to be by his side.
#12: Logan saves Keith’s life.
Awkward jokes in the first few minutes aside, LoVe really do fall back into their “old rhythms” quickly, trading quips and flirting shamelessly just like they used to do. Veronica can feel herself falling for him once more, comparing her attraction to an addiction. When Piz breaks up with her for choosing Logan over him one too many times, she barely reacts. She’s in deep. But then Logan rescues Keith from the wreckage of a car just before it gets hit again. To my mind, that’s when something flips in her brain. Keith is her favorite person in the world, and she’d have been utterly lost without him. Logan risking his own life to save her dad is not something Veronica will ever forget.
#13: Logan carries Veronica to bed…before she wakes up and jumps him!
After a long, draining night at the hospital ensuring Keith will recover, albeit slowly, from the accident, Logan takes Veronica home. Because he’s a total dreamboat now, instead of waking her when they arrive, he CARRIES HER INSIDE and tucks her into her bed. Aww. The sweet moment turns sexy in an instant, however. Veronica wakes up as he’s leaving and pleads, “Don’t go.” Logan, powerless to deny her anything, turns around, and she launches herself into his arms. They’re soon making out against a wall and it is hot, hot hot. Fans waited years and years for this LoVe scene (pun absolutely intended), and it does not disappoint. The morning-after scene, when Veronica tells Logan to get up because they’re going to catch a killer, is also perfectly them.
#14: “What’s 180 days to us?”
The movie leaves Veronica and Logan in a good place, a canon fix-it for fans left traumatized by their ugly season 3 breakup. Logan may be returning to active military duty, but he’s convinced they can make a long-distance relationship work. “It’s 180 days, Veronica,” he says. “What’s 180 days to us?” And then they take turns quoting his old speech back to each other: “Our relationship is epic. Spanning years and continents, lives ruined, blood shed. Epic.” Don’t think too hard about how Logan understands that Anti-Prom reference when he was too drunk to remember it the morning after he said it, let alone 10 years later. (My headcanon: Veronica has mercilessly teased him about it many times since that night.)
Season 4? What Season 4?
We don’t talk about that.
What did I get right, and which moments did I miss? What scenes do you think every LoVe fan must see? What’s your #1?
As mentioned, the Veronica Mars fandom is pretty badass, and they’ve created some impressive fan works. Allow me to recommend a few of my favorites:
- “A Strange New Story Every Time” by gyzm (also available as a podfic!)
- “Wingspan” by fluffernutter8
- “The Long Way Home” by AbsolutelyIris
- “Every Belt That Ever Hit Someone (Is Still Made to Hold Something Up)” by igrockspock
- “A Hard Habit to Break” by mskatej
- “i knew you were trouble when you walked in” by youcallitwinter
- “Slipstream” by cheshirecatstrut
- “The Washing Machine Story” by TheLastGoodGoldfish
- 23 (logan/veronica) by hurricane drunk
- Veronica and Logan | In another life [Movie] by sevenroses
- the last time | logan + veronica by amanda.
- Logan & Veronica | Bulletproof by FeedTheSilence
- Logan & Veronica | Hold me while you wait by LovelyxImperfect
- exile | logan and veronica by amanda.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: “8 TV Couples Who Deserved Better (Plus the Fic That Gives It to Them)” and “From nOTP to OTP in 4 Steps: The Evolution of Elite‘s Nadia/Guzman”
This article was first published on August 26, 2013, at HeroesandHeartbreakers.com. It has been updated and revised.