[TV Review] Veronica Mars Season 4 (2019)

A long time ago we used to be friends … That tune was first heard on TV screens back in 2004, when a little show called Veronica Mars debuted. The series centered on High School student Veronica Mars played by Kristen Bell, whose father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) was formally Sheriff of Neptune and now Private Investigator, whose steps she follows. During the first season, Veronica is determined to discover who murdered her best friend Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried), while solving smaller cases at school, becoming friends with new comer Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and intertwining with her ex Duncan (Teddy Dunn) who was also Lilly’s brother, bad boy rich kid Logan (Jason Dohring), along with the biker gang led by Eli (Francis Capra).

The series would continue into season 2, with another season long arc, another mystery for Veronica to solve, a school bus bombing. Both season 1 and 2 were compelling, and the mystery of each season certainly kept viewers guessing. The show would have one more season, this time splitting the season arc mystery into two parts, first half of the season Veronica starts college and tries to track down the campus rapist, then once solved find out who murdered the Dean. With ratings down the show was cancelled, leaving loyal fans heart broken. Creator Rob Thomas then turned to Kickstarter to get a Veronica Mars film made, it was highly successful, and the film was released in 2014 with a fresh mystery to solve. Reuniting most of the original cast and bringing Veronica back to Neptune.

Five years after the film, Hulu picked up the series, returning for a fourth season and bringing back Veronica, Keith and Logan and other familiar faces. While the new show has been touted as a reboot, it feels and plays out like the show that won people over back in 2004. While this new season is shorter, it provides viewers with a mystery of intrigue and more mature content. Veronica living back in Neptune with boyfriend Logan, works with her father as Private Investigator’s. Things have changed since the film, Keith is no long Sheriff and has some health issues. Veronica has given up the lawyer life and back to what she does best. The show begins during Spring Break, and Neptune has turned into a party town, that is until a bombing shakes things up. There are many suspects and red herrings, with more bombs going off and time is ticking to solve the mystery.

It is fantastic the show has been resurrected again, it was cancelled far too early however during that time it has gained a larger fan base and it does feel like it was the right time to bring it back. While this new season is darker and edgier, it still brings in the flavor that made people fall in love with the show. It has been updated to reflect the times now, and brings in changes that make sense as Veronica is no longer in High School, she’s in her 30’s and dealing with the dramas of adult life. The core of the show is still the dynamic between Veronica and Keith, the father/daughter relationship that bonds together slowly. Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni still share the same chemistry, and haven’t skipped a beat playing these characters. Jason Dohring as well gives us a much more mature Logan, with the same sizzling chemistry that was present 14 years ago.

Familiar faces are back with the likes of Wallace, Eli, Dick (Ryan Hansen), his father Big Dick (David Starzyk) Cliff (Daran Norris), Leo (Max Greenfield) and Vinnie (Ken Marino) there are new faces who add a lot to this season. Mixed up with the bombing is Matty Ross (Izabela Vidovic) whose father was a victim, Pizza Delivery man and conspiracy theorist Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt), night club owner Nicole (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), politician whose son got hurt in the bombing Daniel Maloof (Mido Hamada), ex-con and now side hand to Big Dick Clyde Pickett (JK Simmons) and two henchmen with a mission to find the bomber Alonzo (Clifton Collins Jr) and Dodie (Frank Gallegos). There is a lot going on, a lot to pay attention too, with some interesting and unexpected twists and turns. The old faces and new faces fit together nicely, with lots of throw backs to earlier seasons. Highlights include the returns of Eli, Leo and Vinnie, seeing where they have ended up is great to see. New comers to the show really steal their scenes with Patton Oswalt and JK Simmons being extremely memorable and well-cast.

The season overall is fantastic, the central mystery with the bombings is compelling and certainly aimed to keep the audience guessing. The final episode of the season is filled with twists and turns and a huge shock ending that is bound to leave fans torn. Being back in the world of Veronica Mars is a great pleasure, flowing as well as it did with its pilot episode. The staying power of this show and its characters is special, Rob Thomas created something with staying power. With season 5 a huge possibility, it will take a new and interesting road for Veronica as well as its viewers. Whether the usual cast will return remains to be seen, until then there is lots of rewatches to be had.

Rating:

Review written by Marcella Papandrea

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