The Central Mystery etc
As brilliantly constructed as it was tragic, the central mystery was thoroughly engaging from start to finish. Each clue was revealed in a way that felt organic to the story, and not as if the writers were just trying to mess with our heads (like, say, the way "Desperate Housewives" does it). I found it impressively bold that Lilly was never a particularly sympathetic character - a lesser show would have made her a more appealing person, but "Veronica Mars" understands that good storytelling isn't always about emotional manipulation, but about being true to the universe and the characters you've created.
I love the way the (wonderful) humour never overshadowed the darkness at the heart of the story, that it was moving but totally unsentimental, and that it could be laugh out loud funny in one scene, heartbreaking in another (the first time I cried buckets was when Logan hand-picked the belt his father would then beat him with. That was the moment I realised how entirely broken Logan was, and how much I had fallen for him.)
It goes without saying that the acting is superb across the board, but particular credit must go to Kristin Bell, whose Veronica has become one of my favourite characters ever: brilliant, tough, implausibly quick with a witty one liner or a put down (which I love so much), adorable but never too cute, vulnerable but never ever a victim, grown up but still a kid in so many ways... it's a terrific performance by an actress with sublime timing and a deep understanding of who the character is.
The Rape That Wasn't
I didn't see it coming at all, but that it turned out to be Duncan, and that the sex was arguably consensual, was an incredibly brave and raw piece of storytelling. How utterly heartbreaking for both of them - and what a brilliant way to show how complicated and painful sex and love can be. It was impossible to take sides or to blame anyone, which is my favourite type of conflict in drama. When I can empathise with everyone involved, it is so much more involving, and so much more heart-wrenching.
Veronica and Keith
One of the most moving scenes in the entire season was when Keith revealed that he was really Veronica's father - their tears of joy and relief while they clung to each other was so beautiful, I've never felt such an intense bond between a father and daughter in fiction before.
Logan Can't Catch a Break
I won't front, the season finale broke my heart. It just hurts so much to see how screwed over Logan was, in every sense, and I'm not even talking about his violent psychopath of a father who killed Logan's girlfriend after having an affair with her. I'm talking about Logan falling deeply in love with Veronica, and then having her accuse him of raping her (he didn't), assuming he's a pervert who secretly films the girls he fucks (he's not), then reporting him to the police because she thinks he killed Lilly! (He didn't.) And if that weren't enough we're left hanging at the end, wondering what the fuck Weevil is going to do to him. At this point I am guessing it's not Logan at the door (although goddamn I hope it is) because it would be strange for Veronica to greet him with a flirty smile after all that.
Will Kate Keep Watching?
Hell yes I will. I'm sorry, Melissa and other haters, but I can't give up now and I have a funny feeling I won't dislike it as much as some of you did. My favourite film critic, Stephanie Zacharek, who has very similar taste to me and who I have the utmost respect for, remained a fan for the run of the show and that's enough for me to know I will get something out of the weaker seasons. Plus, I want to spend more time with Logan and Veronica and Keith and Wallace, and I *really* have to find out who was at the door.