[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Veronica Mars Season 4.Read at your own risk]
Hulu surprised Veronica Mars fans by dropping Season 4 a week early. But now that the eight new episodes have been available for a full weekend now, fans are reeling from a jaw-dropping finale that saw Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) be killed after a forgotten bomb left by Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt) detonated in the backseat of Veronica's (Kristen Bell) car. We never saw Logan's lifeless body, but creator Rob Thomas confirmed to us that Logan is really dead.
Logan's traumatic death was a sudden end to a turbulent love story that fans have been dedicated to for 15 years, starting in the original series, then through a fan-funded film, and now this revival. There were several points throughout Season 4 when it looked like Logan and Veronica were not going to make their relationship work, but their adorable courthouse wedding just before Logan died had many thinking that they had finally settled down together for good.
However, this twist makes it clear that Thomas has other ideas for Veronica. TV Guide spoke to Dohring about his reaction to Logan's fate, if he believes his beloved character is really dead, and what he hopes to see for Veronica as she moves on without Logan.
When did Rob Thomas tell you what he had planned for this season? What was your reaction?
Jason Dohring: He told me the whole story and at the very end of the conversation he goes, "And Logan is killed in the blast." I was like, "Oh my God." Then for three days I had an empty feeling [in my chest.]
How do you feel now that you've had some time away from filming it?
Dohring: When Rob initially told me, he was really cool because he gave me the reasoning. If I step back and I took a producer point of view, I really [understand] it. He said we wanted to shed the teenage drama of the show, the on-again, off-again relationship, which we visited a few times during the show and the movie. I understood that and he said when Veronica is the underdog, you really feel for her. This is going to set her up in a really great way and possibly to even move out of Neptune and start life anew, possibly in a new place, and be as determined as ever, be as much of an underdog as ever. The grit that she has, she'll find very strongly in this new adventure.
Logan has described his and Veronica's love story as epic. What do you think of this ending as the end to their story?
Dohring: I think that it was a love story worth living. It was volatile, romantic. I think we play we played all aspects of it — the fun, the beauty, and it was just wonderful. [Kristen Bell] is a wonderful actress and working with her made that fun for me to be there and do those scenes. I'm very appreciative.
Did Kristen find out at the same time as you that Logan was going to die?
Dohring: I don't know when Kristen found out he was going to die. We talked about it on set a couple of times. I looked around sometimes and would be like, "Man, this is going to be it."
What was your last day on set like, knowing it was going to be the end?
Dohring: I noticed at the very end of the show, on my last day, the producers, like, magically disappeared from the set. They said their goodbyes before. I was kind of left on my own. I was in my trailer, just feeling it, like, "Wow." I guess it's like doing a play with creative people. You build this family. It's cool, because it's not real life and I'll still be in touch with those guys, but creating it — that was the joy and the pleasure.
Are you sure he's really dead?
Dohring: I think he's dead, but I think they can always bring people back in various ways.
If we have to accept that painful fact, what do you hope for Veronica now that Logan is gone?Dohring: Logan's hope for Veronica is that he contributed — and this was a cool part to play because he was always the loose cannon and stuff like that, as far as when the show started — to putting her on the right track. A track that is what she wants to do and is perhaps less cynical in her view. That was a part in the story that I played as Logan, and I think that was cool to send her off into her new life and living it on her own terms and being happy about it.
What do you want to see in Veronica's next boyfriend, if she does move on romantically?Dohring: Someone who looks identical to Logan — very funny, charming, all the things that Logan is. No, somebody very nice and pleasant... You can say "nice and pleasant," but it's cool to have someone who matches her wit, someone where they can live off each other. I think that's what [Logan and Veronica] did. Somebody sharp, witty, professional and cares about her.
Would you prefer she get with Leo or go back to Piz?
Dohring: Whatever she wants to do, man! That's what I would say, whatever makes her happy.
Veronica Mars Season 4 is now streaming on Hulu.