You know what I love about Veronica Mars? Yeah she’s badass and witty and just all around awesome but the show never shied away from showing her flaws or making her turn out to be wrong every once in a while or having her get called out when she was in the wrong. They never failed to make her human. So many shows don’t know how to do that.
Despite being an ENFP, Veronica Mars is nobody’s manic pixie dream girl. Like River Tam of Firefly,Veronica has suffered extreme trauma that affects how her cognitive functions manifest themselves. Flashbacks depict her as the most sensitive and demure of the popular kids, while in the present she has become the dogged, jaded, and tough lone wolf of Neptune High. Yet, at both stages of her life, she uses Ne, Fi, Te, and Si.
Dominant Function: Extroverted Intuition (Ne) - Veronica is constantly, compulsively drawing connections and pondering possibilities. In her everyday interactions with others, she’s quick on the draw and can almost always fire a steady stream of split-second snappy comebacks (“If I want you to speak, I’ll wave a snausage in front of your nose”). In her work as a teenage private investigator, Veronica often tackles cases by approaching them from all possible angles. Before eliminating any suspects, she imagines scenarios in which each person of interest could possibly have committed the crime. Maybe Jake Kane accidentally killed his daughter in a moment of frustration that escalated too far. Maybe Celeste Kane had had enough of her tumultuous relationship with Lilly. Maybe Duncan did it during an epileptic episode. If she decides one of these scenarios has potential, she’ll follow through on investigating it to see if it pans out. Sometimes she’s onto something, and sometimes she’s missing critical pieces of information that will take her back to square one. However, her relentless exploration of all possibilities is what enables her to gather the details that others may have missed or deemed irrelevant to the case at hand (Ne/Si).
Auxiliary Function Introverted Feeling (Fi) - Veronica lost her best friend, her boyfriend, her mother, her social status, and her virginity (involuntarily by date-rape) all in the span of a few life-changing months - and she doesn’t often open up about it. In fact, we only know how Veronica feels because we’re inside her head; we hear her voiceovers and see her flashbacks, but her friends and family mostly just see the Quip Queen (Ne-dom) who is hellbent on achieving justice for her friend’s murder (Te). Veronica processes her feelings internally, resulting in some black and white ethics like, “The hero is the one who stays, and the villain is the one that splits.” She also lives in a survival-mode loop between her Ne and Te functions in order to protect herself. Never again will she give her classmates and community the opportunity to exploit her vulnerabilities.
Tertiary Function: Extroverted Thinking (Te) - “You want people to leave you alone, Mandy, or better yet, treat you with respect? Demand it. Make them.” Veronica can appear so stone-cold that some mistake her for an ExTJ with an undeveloped inferior Fi function. However, the truth is that her Fi usually motivates her Te, not the other way around. Veronica’s rationale is completely subject to her ethics and emotional pain (you hurt me; you must pay), and she repeatedly goes overboard in administering justice where she sees fit. Her logic doesn’t question, it tells. It’s blunt and bossy, and it’s only when one of her loved ones appeals to her on an emotional level that Veronica will stop and consider if maybe she should reel it in a little. However, this same doggedness is part of Veronica’s relentless drive to prove guilt and innocence, solve cases, and achieve emotional closure for herself and others.
Inferior Function: Introverted Sensing (Si) - As a PI, Veronica knows the importance of paying attention to detail, but she’s more successful in finding it when she starts big (Ne) and then narrows her focus (Si). Otherwise, it takes reviewing every piece of evidence again and again and again and again until, aha! Now she sees the shoes in the bedroom that were supposed to be on the boat.
Veronica’s past experiences are her biggest vulnerabilities. There are some things she just can’t move on from without that aforementioned closure, and until she gets it, she obsesses over some pretty grisly memories: her best friend’s murder, her mother’s abrupt departure, her own drug-induced rape. Veronica’s extroverted intuition causes her to revisit these past events in some incredibly vivid, emotionally distressing ways. When she returns to the Kane house for the first time since Lilly’s death, Veronica envisions a conversation with Lilly’s bludgeoned corpse on the spot where she died. The following year, Veronica is haunted by the fact that she could easily have been killed in a bus crash, and she imagines speaking with its victims while trapped with them underwater.
Veronica also has some unhealthy perceptions of reality that unconsciously reinforce her tendency to look for the worst in people. Every time her Ne-driven hunches turn out to be heartbreakingly on point, her Si perspective gets a little bit darker. Logan calls her out on this behavior when she installs a tracker on his phone, asking her why she can’t just trust him. It’s only then that Veronica puts it together: I do this because I’ve seen too many couples get played by each other, and I don’t want that to happen to me (Fi/Si).