With the future of ''Veronica Mars'' still up in the air, our gal reunites a former child soldier with his dad; plus, summer plans are a hot topic for Veronica and Piz, as well as Logan and Parker

By Tanner Stransky
May 16, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Veronica Mars: Michael Desmond
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”Veronica Mars”: Uncertain futures

Veronica Mars fans, it’s crunch time, and your old TV Watcher Tanner is here for the countdown. (Your normal Watcher, Missy, is out on assignment this week and next.) On Thursday, The CW will announce the fate of our favorite teenage PI — whether her show will appear next year in the same form (highly unlikely); be retooled and spun forward with Veronica at the FBI and some new supporting players (could be); or get axed altogether (sadly, a very real possibility).

Personally, from all the rumors, I’m hedging my bets on the reboot option — hopefully, with at least a few of the supporting cast members retained. (I’m not willing to say goodbye to the Veronica-Keith banter.) If the choice is between nothing Veronica and something Veronica, I’ll take the something. Were The CW planning on canceling the ratings-challenged show, the network would have had the decency to let fans and the cast know by now, right? Regardless of their impending doom or reprieve, from tonight’s teen-spoofishly-titled episode, ”I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer,” we do know the short-term fates of the cast — at least in their fictional world.

As was to be expected, Veronica is off to a Virginia FBI office for the warm months. And Piz, obviously loving his new touchy-feeliness with Ms. Mars, could think of little other than the states that’ll separate him and his new love, regardless of which internship he decides to take. Piz was very clearly head-over-heels about the fact that he’s even in a relationship with his season-long crush. It’s cute, but sickening. Could he really be that torn up about a separated summer after just two weeks together? Young love is fast and passionate, for sure, but give me a break. And Piz, a little advice: Take the Pitchfork internship in New York City! It’d do you good, even if you do want to go into radio eventually. Heck, you’ve got three more years of interning ahead of you.

While enduring the trials of young love, Veronica investigated another of her one-off cases, checking out whether student author Apollo Bukenya was the son of her client, Kizza. I loved it when Veronica, who thought that Apollo’s book was faked, referenced the James Frey fracas, saying, ”I suspect Oprah may tear Apollo a new one on national TV.”

Although I’m not exactly loving the focus on short story arcs, I’ll admit the Apollo-Kizza case was touching, especially the heartwarming reunion at the end. Veronica usually uncovers nastiness in Neptune, and it was refreshing to see her use her powers for good. The short PSA with her, Dick, and Logan after the story line wrapped propelled me to check out the Invisible Children website — and you should, too. Added bonus: The Apollo plot produced the best line of the evening; after Piz interviewed him on his radio show, Veronica said, ”You realize you’re the radio host version of a rock star, right? I don’t know what the groupie procedure is for this scenario, but I might have to throw my panties at you.” Serious and playful, all at once.

Parker and Logan also faced summer-distance issues. Parker in Denver (with her awful parents!) and Logan surfing in South America, till his trip was canceled (so Neptune surfing, I suppose?). These two seem primed for doom anyway, so I’m apathetic about the whole situation. But Parker unfortunately had to trot out the ”Where are we going?” speech. As if anyone cares about the future of this contrived couple! (Another sign that next week’s episode isn’t this series’ last: the preview of a Logan-Veronica blowout. Although they’re toxic together, there’s no way producers would enrage fans by ending the series with these two apart. Right? Maybe I’m grasping at straws here. Or the episode could have been finished before the cancellation, thus leaving LoVe apart. Or Logan could be written out of the reboot, and the couple would still be screwed. Okay — enough speculating!)

Mac and Max — what a cute, matchy-matchy name combo, right? — were also at a crossroads. He announced he was quitting school to dedicate all his time to his business, leading Mac to tell him she needed to get back to her ”regularly scheduled life.” Tough breaks, eh? Even though she tried to lower the boom, she smartly just decided to back off a bit instead. Personally, I’m with Max — $1,500 a week for something you like, even though it’s without a college degree, is surely one way to be happy. In the end, this is the one couple on the show I’m rooting for. After Mac’s awful romance with Beaver last year, she totally deserves a guy who’ll impersonate a bull and come charging after her.

Speaking of Beaver, the not-so-dearly departed Cassidy came up in a blowout between Dick and his father. For the first time in a long time, Dick revealed the three-dimensional person who’s been hiding under the annoying frat boy for the past season. All right, so Dick has never been that deep, but seeing his father brought out rage and pain from Beaver’s death that he hasn’t really dealt with yet. A summer with someone who actually cares about him may be just what the doctor ordered.

Another unresolved story line is Keith’s campaign for sheriff and the rash of burglaries, supposedly carried out by the slimy Fitzpatrick gang. It goes without saying that Keith is the best person for the sheriff gig, but why is he basically choosing not to campaign? Maybe he thinks he doesn’t have to because he’s a shoo-in, but grimacing at Vinny’s cheesy-but-probably-effective television commercials and kicking him out of the police station won’t get him any closer to locking down the position. My gut says that Keith can’t handle a second sheriff booting. But if he does have to go back to Mars Investigations full-time, at least he’ll have another certified PI there in Veronica, who passed her exam with a 95. Maybe a father-daughter FBI spin-off instead, CW? I could be down with that.

But what do you think, TV Watchers? What musings do you have about Veronica‘s soon-to-be determined fate? Can Vinny really beat Keith for the sheriff spot? What’s the deal with that sex-tape story line previewed for the season finale? And is there any chance that Veronica could really be done with Logan forever, or was that preview reel just messing with us?

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