Question: OMG, Veronica Mars was amazing. What was in the case Kendall gave to Keith?
Answer: That's the million-dollar question, and one of the few series creator Rob Thomas wouldn't answer. You see, I anticipated that you guys would have tons of questions about the finale, so I got Mr. Mars on the horn yesterday and grilled him for 30 minutes straight about the four-star climax. (There was also some mild gushing, but it was mostly grilling.) Warning: If you haven't seen last night's episode, do not read. Major spoilers throughout.
Ausiello: What's in the briefcase?
Rob Thomas: (Laughs) That one I'm not going to answer.
Ausiello: I knew it was a long shot. Care to shed any light on what Kendall asked Keith to do?
Rob: Um, not really. I really want to keep that a secret. The thing I'll say about it is, it's pressing enough for him to stand up his daughter at the airport. It is desperately important and Keith recognizes that.
Ausiello: So we can assume that he has, in fact, stood her up? Or is there still a chance he might just show up late?
Rob: He has, in fact, stood her up; that I can answer definitively.
Ausiello: Did you ever consider keeping Keith on that plane when it exploded?
Rob: Never. He's the backbone of the show. It's half the reason Veronica is going to Hearst and not Stanford. I couldn't think of a good reason for Keith to move to Palo Alto.
Ausiello: I loved how Duncan referred to Clarence Weidman as CW. I had to stop and think, "Was he always referred to as CW?
Rob: (Laughs) No, it's the first time anyone's called him CW. But his name has always been Clarence Weidman, so we didn't actually change anything to make that happen. It certainly made the entire writing staff giggle.
Ausiello: Is Cassidy really dead? We didn't see a body.
Rob: Oh, he is dead. They found his crumpled body on the roof of a Ford.
Ausiello: Since Duncan's responsible for Aaron's murder, will that be one of the three mysteries next season?
Ausiello: But the Hearst rapist story will be one of the three eight-episode arcs, right? (For more on next year's narrative structure, click here.)
Rob: It will be.
Ausiello: So there will be 24 episodes next season?
Rob: No, it'll probably be 8-7-7. And that can shift. I think, ideally, we'll get an 8, 7 and a 7. But when they figure out their schedule it could be a 9, 6 and 7. Nothing is set in stone as far as those exact episode counts go, but they'll be running in three uninterrupted blocks.
Ausiello: Is Weevil really going down for Thumper's murder?
Rob: You won't see a Weevil trial, but he's going to go down for at least an assault. He's going to do some time. The next time we see Weevil, he has done time. But they won't be able to pin the murder on him.
Ausiello: Is Tessa Thompson (Jackie) done with the show?
Rob: She is. I would not hesitate for a second to have her come in to do an arc, but she will not be a series regular.
Ausiello: Might Mac and Veronica be roommates at Hearst next season?
Rob: They will not. It's too valuable for me to have Veronica at home playing scenes with Keith, so she will live off campus. I think both the roommates for Wallace and Mac will end up being, if not series regulars next year, then certainly major long-arc guest stars.
Ausiello: Are you referring to Arrested Development's kissing cousins, George and Maeby (Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat)?
Rob: No, but I'm hoping that we can get both of them. We have Michael Cera in mind for a story line. I already e-mailed Michael saying, "Hey, if you're available in August or September, we'd love to get you." I love both of those actors and I expect and hope that you see both next year, but we won't have them as series regulars.
Ausiello: So these roommate characters will be brand-new?
Rob: Yes. We've broken the first three episodes of Season 3, and Mac's roommate and Wallace's roommate will be major players.
Ausiello: Will Charisma Carpenter (Kendall) be a series regular next season?
Rob: No, she won't be.
Ausiello: Any other cast changes in the works?
Rob: It's in the negotiation stage to make Sheriff Lamb (Michael Muhney) and Mac (Tina Majorino) series regulars. But that's pending a deal happening.
Ausiello: And Teddy Dunn?
Rob: He's done.
Ausiello: What's the latest you're hearing about a third season?
Rob: I've been saying for the last couple of months that I think it's 80/20 that we'll be back and nothing has really gone on to change that opinion for me.
Ausiello: When will you find out?
Rob: I don't think I'll find out until May 17, which is when they need to put actors on planes to go to the upfronts.
Ausiello: One last question: What has been the reaction to my appearance as Blushing Guy?
Rob: Oh, the fans went crazy. (Laughs) You did a fine, fine job as Blushing Guy.