For anyone who has escaped their hometown in search of success, watching the movie finale of Rob Thomas’s cult TV series Veronica Mars is bittersweet. Our favorite anti-heroine is back, black bag, leather jacket, dark eyeliner and all, and once again she is doing what only she can… saving her hometown of Neptune from a whole host of corruption and strife.
Veronica’s return to Neptune is a mixture of noir lighting, modern technology, and something like a cowboy coming home to find that his family had been murdered and his home burned to the ground while he was gone. Now he has to seek justice.
The always tech savvy Veronica is now living in a world where she’s not the only one carrying out surveillance. The movie has plenty to say about technology and our societal obsession with celebrity, addiction. Veronica herself describes the parallel between her compulsive need to fight crime and her mother’s alcoholism.
And as usual, Veronica pays the price for her decisions. She loses a lucrative and high profile job opportunity, her sweet stable boyfriend Piz, choosing the constant struggle that is Neptune. “When the class war comes, Neptune will be ground zero,” she narrates. Neptune, it seems, is just the same as it ever has been. Weevil may be the most changed of his graduating class, but police corruption is as prevalent as ever, and they plant evidence on him that could ruin his idyllic new life. Bad boy Logan Echolls may have enrolled in the military and traded in his flashy SUV for a beemer, but he hasn’t lost his propensity for starting fistfights in defense of Veronica’s honor.
Veronica Mars is a movie that must necessarily be watched as what it is: the end of a series, funded by and written for its fans. And in this sense, it delivers. Veronica may be able to drink legally now, but you still get to see her sitting at the reception desk in her fathers’ office, waking up in Logan’s bed, as she did many times as a teen. Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment is watching Weevil ride off with the motorcycle gang at the end of the movie, even after going straight to take care of his family. The long-time fan may be satisfied to see that though we’ve all grown up, all is as it has been and always will be.
But this, in my opinion, is why the movie succeeds in closing off the series so well. In the end, Veronica’s personal growth and hard work can only take her so far before her compulsive need for justice takes over. The movie, and Veronica herself, asks the viewer to decide: can she ever win the fight? Will corruption and her own obsession keep destroying her and everyone around her as she remains Batman-like in her dark office, watching over the town of Neptune for people in need?
As Veronica herself says: “In what world do you get to leave the ring and declare victory?”
It seems safe to say that V will never pay off her student loans.