The third and final series has fixed many of the problems I commented on in my previous reviews, but allowed others to fester in a frustrating way.
The mini-arc mysteries worked a lot better than the one big plot from previous seasons, pacing the series better. The first 15 episodes are made up of two mysteries which elegantly overlap and don’t feel as contrived as the second season bus crash did. This structure also means that even though the resolutions are a bit wobbly, like the previous two finales were, you don’t feel frustrated because you’ve invested so much time. There’s a wonderful balance between the big mysteries and the ‘issue of the week’ which makes the episodes interesting on many levels.
Sadly the final 5 episodes are a bit random and unfocused, meaning the series fizzles out. I know the writers were uncertain about whether they were getting a 4th season, but I’m sure they could have done a better job at resolving characters’ stories while leaving things to do for the next season.
Several of the characters suffer very badly this season. I love the fact that the regular cast each season changes around the core of Veronica, Logan, Wallace and Keith and this season I liked all of the additions, which made it particularly frustrating when they fail to appear for several episodes in a row. Keith and Veronica are perfect as always, a genuine feeling relationship that’s just great to watch. On the flip side the Veronica/Logan relationship was just a break-up waiting to happen. As I said before Logan is far more entertaining to watch when he’s being obnoxious, when he’s with Veronica it’s just un-natural. Wallace was pretty non-existent this season, Mac was great when she was there, but depressingly absent for many episodes. Parker and Piz were ok, but just felt like they were introduced to fill holes, so their moods were dictated by Veronica not by any internal consistency. Weevil, Dick and Sheriff Lamb on the other hand felt much more real and it was a shame they didn’t get a chance to do more.
Overall, I enjoyed watching this season and thought the writers had done well to move the series to college and make the changes to the plot structure. I really wish they’d focused more on the writing for the supporting characters and done something more spectacular and concluding for the end of the season, but I suspect they were busy trying to reposition the series for a potential paradigm shift for season 4. As it turns out they didn’t get the chance to either end well, or go on, so this hugely entertaining show goes out with a bit of a fizzle.