After 12 years off the air and five years without any onscreen update, Veronica Mars is back. The series has returned for an eight-episode season courtesy of Hulu, and fans will be happy to see that it's still the good old noir detective show fans know and love. Well, with one major exception. Mac isn't in Veronica Mars Season 4, but the reason why should help soften the blow.
Fans remember Mac as the super smart, sarcastic computer wiz who went to Neptune High with Veronica and became one of her best friends, and frequent co-worker. She helped Veronica solve many a crime, including who was responsible for the bus crash mystery of Season 2. But, alas, over a decade later, Veronica is going to have to solve her crimes sans-tech help, because actor Tina Majorino wasn't able to return for Season 4.
Speaking at the ATX Television Festival in June, showrunner and creator Rob Thomas broke the news to fans. "We would have loved to have Tina Majorino," he said, as reported by TV Guide. "She had other commitments. That was a shame. We adore her. We would have loved to have had her in it." No doubt fans also feel the same way.
It seems scheduling issues and prior commitments put a few bumps in the road to Veronica Mars Season 4. Majorino wasn't the only cast member Thomas had trouble getting a hold of, though he had better luck with other actors. As he told Variety, "We could get Ryan Hansen [Dick Casablancas] for three episodes, but we would have liked to get him for five. We would have liked to have Tina Majorino, but she wasn't available to us. CBs would only let Max Greenfield [Leo D'Amato] do three guest stars, and we got him for three, but I really wanted and needed him for a fourth. It's tricky."
Thomas clearly tried to have Mac included in Season 4. And, though Majorino doesn't appear to have commented on her absence from the season, she did recently express her fondness for the character. "Mac's an independent, rebellious, hyper-intelligent, confident girl. She had colored hair before it was super-chic," the actor told Vanity Fair as part of their recent Veronica Mars oral history. "I liked that her and Veronica could be vulnerable with each other, but really demanded respect and were tough with the outside world when they needed to be."
The last time fans saw Mac in the 2014 movie, Veronica Mars, she was still one of Veronica's best friends, despite working for Kane Software. (Hey, no one can blame Mac for wanting to make the big bucks!) And, unlike Veronica, she didn't really have any interest in coming home to Neptune, which could explain her absence in Season 4. Mac's a computer genius who always wanted to get out of Neptune, and, as much as fans might hate to admit it, it makes sense that she wouldn't move back home just to help Veronica make a career as a P.I. But, who knows? Maybe if Veronica Mars returns for a Season 5, fans will get to see Mac again — schedules willing.