I used to think I knew what tore our family apart. Now I’m sure I don’t. But I promise this: I will find out what really happened… and I will bring this family back together again. I’m sorry. Is that mushy? Well, you know what they say: "Veronica Mars, she’s a marshmallow.“
While struggling to get back into writing “Favorite Scenes From Each Episode of Veronica Mars” posts and trying to figure out what to write for each episode, I realized that I could write many, many posts about the Season 2 finale and still not cover it. I do not know what I am going to end up doing – so many of the big themes and symbols from the season only “come due” fully in the finale. I hope to get to some of them, but this post is more of preparatory clearing house(at least for me) that I thought others might enjoy.
Throughout Veronica Mars, as any glance at tumblr will tell you, there are constant parallels between episodes. Along the same lines, Rob Thomas and his team really likes to bookend things. There are even parallels and bookends within episodes (this sort is not addressed here). The second season, in particular, has some very distinctive (if not always obvious) bookends. This post is basically just a (probably non-exhaustive) list of those. It is not limited to the images above, which is mostly there for some obvious visual/verbal parallels (with a little V/L cherry on top at the end that I do not mention below) because tumblr users seem to like a bunch of pictures better than my boring text titles.
The Pietà is the most obvious and oft-cited bookend (some of my fragments of commentary on the Pietà in Veronica Mars are here). However, the bookending of the season goes far beyond the Pietà. Not all the parallels (for lack of a better word) are direct and congruent. Some involve inversions, reversals, foreshadowing, and other alterations of varying degrees of interest and significance. Some of the bookends are key symbolic moments, while some may be mere signposts. A few of the parallels describe the same moments/scenes, but different aspects of them.
Some of these I found one my own, but I would imagine that they have all been found at some point by someone else. Others (like the Pietà) are pretty commonplace. Some I picked up in personal back-and-forths (like the Cassidy/pool one, which I’m pretty sure @cheshirecatstrut pointed out to me about a year ago). I’m not trying to claim tons of originality here, just putting it out there.
What follows is just a basic (and again, probably non-exhaustive) list. Some stuff was borderline or hard to express quickly; I left those sorts of things out. None of this is intended as anything like a full interpretation of one, some, or all of these bookends (I hope to get to some of that down the road), just a list for future reference for myself and anyone else who is into this sort of thing.
[Note: These are in no particular order, and they are not meant to correspond directly with the picset above. 2x1 = “Normal is the Watchword”; 2x22 = “Not Pictured”]
2x1: Various people (Kelvin, Wallace, etc.) mention Veronica’s (real-time) boyfriend without specifying who it is; it turns out to be Duncan.
2x22: Dream Lianne tells Veronica not to “run off with that boy” without specifying who it is; it turns out to be Logan.
2x1: Veronica has a Lilly-based premonition when the bus stops for gas.
2x22: Veronica sees Lilly in her pre-graduation dream.
2x1: Logan is confronted with and devastated by the real truth about a misunderstood trauma and is comforted by Veronica.
2x22: Veronica is confronted with and devastated by the real truth about about a misunderstood trauma and is comforted by Logan.
2x1: Logan snidely says “ah, young love” when he sees Veronica and Duncan together.
2x22: Kendall snidely says, “ah, young love,” when she sees Veronica and Logan together.
2x1: As Logan breaks down in Veronica’s arms while facing the truth about Lilly’s murder, they are interrupted by Leo.
2x22: As Veronica breaks down in Logan’s arms while facing the “truth” about Keith’s death, they are interrupted by Keith.
2x1: Veronica solves the side mystery of Wallace’s failed drug test.
2x22: Veronica solves the side mystery of Wallace’s girlfriend Jackie’s trip to the “Sorbonne.”
2x1: Logan and Dick watch Cassidy jump into the pool.
2x22: Logan and Veronica watch Cassidy jump off the roof of the Neptune Grand.
2x1: Logan says “I’m practically an orphan.”
2x22: Logan truly becomes an orphan.
2x1: Veronica unsuccessfully tries to convince Logan to forgo revenge, leading to their estrangement.
2x22: Logan successfully convinces Veronica to forgo revenge, leading to their reunion.
2x1: Weevil tries kill to Logan, who is contemplating suicide by jumping from a height and is innocent of what Weevil thinks he did, but Weevil’s attempt at murder ironically ends up saving Logan.
2x22: Logan tries to save Cassidy, who is contemplating suicide by jumping from a height and is guilty, but despite Logan’s attemp to talk him down, Cassidy jumps to his death.
2x1: Keith interrupts Veronica and Logan in the Mars’ apartment during an emotional moment, and Logan leaves.
2x22: Keith interrupts Veronica and Logan in the Mars’ apartment during an emotional moment, and Logan leaves.