On Veronica Mars

The New Normal

Breaking the Boundaries of Vigilantism in Veronica Mars
By Kristen Kidder

During the first two seasons of Veronica Mars we watched our dynamic heroine’s social status vacillate between sharing limos with the popular 09er crowd to lunch room isolation and back again. She couldn’t seem to make up her mind about Duncan and Logan. In fact, she shape-shifted so often that one of the only things we can say with any degree of certainty is this: she really wanted a pony. In fact, she had probably wanted one since she was a little girl; it’s the kind of thing that gets tacked onto the end of birthday or christmas lists, the kind of thing that–after years of wanting and never getting–comes to represent something else entirely.

Veronica references her pony frequently; it’s part of the Mars family vernacular. It was the first thing she squealed for when her father handed her an envelope at her high school graduation, and it was her request when he suggested that they spend an evening doing something regular fathers and daughters do. (tough break there–in lieu of the pony, Keith thought Veronica might instead like to rub his feet.) Although it’s entertaining, the metaphor is hardly worthy of Mensa: what the detectives Mars are really longing for is normalcy; the pony is just part of their shtick. And who can blame them? Two seasons on the air and they’ve already weathered their fair share of trauma: Divorce, alcoholism, rape, murder, ostracism. Their mutual desire to blend into the woodwork makes perfect sense.

The search for normalcy is  …

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