WARNING: This story contains major spoilers for season four of Veronica Mars on Hulu.
Like many of TV's most popular couples of all time, Veronica Mars and Logan Echolls were not originally meant to be together. If showrunner Rob Thomas had stuck with his original plan, Veronica's endgame (or at least her primary on-off romantic relationship) would have been Duncan Kane, and I think we can all agree that would have been a very, very dark timeline. But Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring's chemistry leapt off the screen early on, and ever since the midpoint of season 1 their intense relationship has been a linchpin for the show.
Whether you ship them or not (full disclosure: I have been LoVe trash for fourteen entire years and I have the teenage LiveJournal entries to prove it), Veronica and Logan's dynamic has stood the test of time, enduring through the many iterations of Veronica Mars. The newly released fourth season finds the pair in a long-term relationship, shacked up together in a beachfront apartment with a dog, and contemplating their future in a way that throws Veronica's intimacy issues into sharp relief.
Let’s take a look back at the key moments from the greatest LoVe story ever told.
They used to be friends (pre-season 1)
Ever thought about the fact that the iconic Veronica Mars theme song, "We Used to Be Friends"—which now exists in three different iterations—is really all about Veronica and Logan? In their sophomore and junior years of high school they ran in the same circles, were dating each other’s best friends, and formed a pretty cute friendship quartet with Lily (Amanda Seyfried) and Duncan (Teddy Dunn). In season 1, episode 4, there's a flashback to the foursome attending a school dance, and we get our first glimpse of things to come: during a game of Truth Or Dare, Duncan asks Logan what he thought of Veronica the first time he met her, and he admits he "thought she was hot." Not exactly poetry, but in light of what comes later, it's a big moment!
Logan is terrible to Veronica (season 1, episode 1, "Pilot")
As all VM fans know, things got dark real fast after Lily was murdered, and the Marses became social pariahs after Keith accused Lily's influential father of being involved in her death. Logan turned on Veronica along with the rest of the "09er" crowd, and in the pilot he's more vicious to her than almost anyone else, taunting her about her alcoholic absent mom (while calling her "Ronnie," which, absolutely not). In response, Veronica dubs Logan the town's "obligatory psychotic jackass," which is fair. It's pretty clear, from this episode, that Logan was never originally intended to be a love interest for Veronica, but that chemistry couldn't be denied for long.
Logan hires Veronica to find his missing mom (season 1, episode 15, “Ruskie Business”)
You gotta love the old "sworn enemies forced to work together" trope. Veronica and Logan's relationship kicks into high gear in the middle of season 1, after Logan hires her to locate his missing mother—demonstrating not only that he respects Veronica's skills as a PI, but that he trusts her with an incredibly personal task. When it finally becomes clear that Logan's mom is dead, he breaks down in Veronica's arms. Along with the revelation earlier in the season that his father regularly beats him, this was one of the first moments that exposed the vulnerability behind Logan's bravado, and began his transformation from Psychotic Jackass into Problematic Fave.
The first kiss (season 1, episode 18, “Weapons of Class Destruction”)
This is just objectively one of the best first kisses in all of TV, not least because it's genuinely surprising and yet makes perfect sense when it happens. After Logan shows up at the seedy Camelot motel to save Veronica from an apparent kidnapper (who turns out to be an undercover FBI agent, oop), she impulsively kisses him, turning the Something Happens song "Momentary Thing" into an anthem for LoVe shippers. There were even better kisses to come—who could ever forget this, from two episodes later?
Look, making out in a public bathroom is objectively gross, and yet these two make it hot and passionate and somehow elegant, and that is power.
Logan shows up at Veronica’s doorstep (season 2, episode 1, “Normal Is the Watchword”)
At the end of season 1's perfect, emotionally devastating finale—in which it's revealed that Logan's father Aaron Echolls killed Lily—a mysterious person shows up on Veronica's doorstep. The finale ends on the cliffhanger, with Veronica saying, "I hoped it would be you." It wasn't until season 2 that the mystery caller was confirmed to be Logan, who'd been beaten to a pulp and had gotten himself tangled up in a new murder mystery, because that's how these kids deal with trauma!
“I thought our story was epic." (season 2, episode 20, "Look Who's Stalking")
There's not a single fan in the VM universe who doesn't remember this speech. After their brief and intense fling ended during the summer, Veronica and Logan spent most of season 2 broken up, and have both dated other people while still clearly pining for each other. The romantic tension had been building for several episodes—that "Sway" dance!—by the time a drunken Logan finally confessed the depth of his feelings to Veronica at Neptune High School's "Alterna-Prom." Let's just relive this entire glorious exchange in its entirety, shall we?
Logan: I thought our story was epic, you know? You and me.
Veronica: Epic, how?
Logan: Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined and bloodshed. 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: Come on. Ruined lives, bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?
Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.
Chills! To this day!
Veronica and Logan are finally reunited by trauma (Season 2, Episode 22, "Not Pictured")
It's a miracle that any of us survived the stress of the season 2 finale, which is packed with one devastating revelation on top of the next—Kyle Gallner's Cassidy is revealed to be responsible for bombing a bus full of high school students, raping Veronica in her junior year, and seemingly killing her father. When a weeping Veronica collapses into Logan's arms after discovering all of this, who could blame her? There's even a perfect mirror image of the season 2 premiere, with Logan holding Veronica on the couch instead of the reverse, and who doesn't love romantic symmetry?
Even once Keith shows up alive, Veronica and Logan remain bonded by the insanely traumatic night they just shared, and they finally get back together once and for all. It's plain sailing for several episodes to come, until…
Logan breaks up with Veronica (season 3, episode 9, "Spit & Eggs")
This was rough, but not unexpected. After just eight episodes as a real couple, it's clear that Veronica and Logan aren't emotionally ready to be with each other, and that Veronica's too fiercely self-reliant to let her guard down in the way Logan wants her to. The only surprise is that it's Logan who ends things, telling Veronica he's not built to sit on the sidelines while she refuses to accept help. "I think we can take a tough but survivable amount of pain now, or stay together and deal with unbearable pain later," he says, which….no comment. He also tells her he'll always be there if she needs anything and kisses her on the forehead, and honestly that just makes the whole thing more agonizing.
The reunion sex (Veronica Mars movie)
The Kickstarter-funded 2014 movie was always going to lean heavily towards fan service, given that it was literally funded by fans, and Rob Thomas did not hold back on giving shippers exactly what they wanted with this no-holds-barred kitchen sex scene, which sees Veronica and Logan reuniting after years apart. A little backstory: The movie picked up with Veronica in the thick of a new life in New York, only to be drawn back to Neptune by Logan, who's been framed for murdering an ex-girlfriend. Needless to say, Veronica does her thing, gets his name cleared, and rekindles the LoVe flame right before Logan—who's now a smoldering military man who looks obscenely good in uniform, BTW—ships out on his next deployment. After all these years, the movie reconfirmed that Veronica and Logan still got each other in a profound way they couldn't deny as adults.
Veronica and Logan's wedding (season 4, episode 8, “Years, Continents, Bloodshed”)
There are a lot of great season 4 moments between the 30-something Veronica and Logan, who have now been together and very much in love for five years—a handful of stellar sex scenes, that proposal, and the emotionally charged scene in which Logan calls Veronica out for trying to provoke him into regressing.
Executive producer, writer, and all-around goddess Diane Ruggiero-Wright has our backs. "I wanted to see Veronica and Logan get married," Ruggiero-Wright told ET. "I didn't want to just hear that they got married. I wanted to physically see them do this. I wanted Veronica to be wearing some form of a dress. It doesn't have to be a puffy, circa-1988 wedding gown. But I wanted to see her have a wedding…Usually the things that I fight for are out of the fangirl in me being like, 'Please, let me see this. Let me have this. Give us this.'"
And they did, and that’s it, that’s the end. Congratulations to Veronica and Logan, who will now enjoy a long and blissful marriage built on years of hard-won mutual love and respect, a bond so strong that not even Logan’s deployments abroad can tear them apart. I love that the season 4 finale literally ended right after their wedding and nothing else happened at all!
Yup, nothing else to see here!
Logan’s death (season 4, episode 8, “Years, Continents, Bloodshed”)
I mean, the title of this episode alone. How dare you, Rob Thomas? I refuse to dwell too much on the details of this incredibly controversial ending, which reduced Logan to collateral damage in Veronica's story. Suffice it to say, Patton Oswalt's unlikely supervillain plants a bomb in Veronica's car, and she doesn't realize until seconds before it detonates with Logan inside. On their wedding night. While Veronica is still in her wedding dress.
The very first line of the original pilot (which didn't air, but is available on YouTube and the show's DVDs) is Veronica saying "I'm never getting married." She…probably should have gone with her gut on that. This twist is especially disappointing after the fourth season developed such a compelling, thorny adult dynamic between Veronica and Logan, and illuminated how much Logan had grown while Veronica was still clinging to the past.
All in all, I'm devastated. If you've read this far, you're probably also devastated. So let's bask in Veronica and Logan's greatest hits (and maybe just live in denial forever).
Emma Dibdin Contributor Emma Dibdin writes about television, movies, and podcasts, with coverage including opinion essays, news posts, episodic reviews and in-depth interviews with creatives.