You and Kristen have both said that Veronica can't be happy. How do you take it forward from there?
Thomas: It's sort of a two-part answer. How I see the show moving forward is much more a mystery, that's the lifeblood of the show. It's no longer half-teen soap and half-murder mystery. Now, it's going to be fully a mystery show. I think Veronica will get moments of happiness. Even in these eight episodes, you saw lots of moments where she was happy, but if she is going to survive as this important fictional character, this fictional detective, I think her baseline [is unhappiness]. I think people like angry Veronica. I think people like driven, vengeful Veronica as one of the favorite zones for her. So there is some value in her not ever being satisfied without her being quite all the way fixed.
The original DNA was this half-mystery, half-teen show. Have you had to recalibrate your idea of how to write it?
Thomas: I don't want to say she will have no romantic life moving forward. There are going to be issues in her personal life, but I want them to be issues of a 35-year-old woman next time and not rehashing. The irony of the show is that what I really want to do is do a teen soap. I had never written mystery before Veronica Mars. I didn't know how to write mystery. The show I wanted to be doing was Freaks and Geeks. If someone let me just do Freaks and Geeks, I would be thrilled.
You got Martin Starr eventually [to star in Party Down].
Thomas: Yes, we did get Martin Starr. We got Lizzy Caplan. We really raided that cast. After Freaks and Geeks got canceled, the mystery was suppose to be the Trojan Horse that allowed you into telling teen stories. And now, here I am, I'm cutting off the part of the show that was my original reason for wanting to do it. But I have this, I guess it's not a secret goal because I've now been saying it out loud. I want Veronica Mars to be the first name in female detectives. If you're on Family Feud I want "Veronica Mars" to be the number one answer for female detective.
Veronica is driving away at the end of Season 4. Do you need Neptune for the show to work?
Thomas: I like the seediness of Neptune, the "looks good on the outside, looks shitty from the inside" quality of Neptune. And I love Keith and I don't think Keith is going anywhere. I haven't quite figured out the next mystery, but I know we're not leaving Neptune for good.