The O.C. squeezes out a death

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They say TV show deaths come in threes.

On 24, many of the major recurring characters have bought the farm this time around.

On Lost, three characters have been killed this season.

On last night's third season finale of the Fox drama The O.C., Marissa Cooper, played by the eternally wooden Mischa Barton, was killed off in a car crash.

The death took place at the end of the episode, as Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) drove Marissa to the airport in his new Land Cruiser. A drunk driver pushed them off the road, and the inherently unsafe SUV rolled over. In the dramatic, poignant conclusion to the episode, Marissa died in Ryan's arms as the Cutting Crew's "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight" played on the soundtrack.

Barton has been with the show since it premiered August 5, 2003. Prior to her role on The O.C., she appeared in the Bruce Willis shocker The Sixth Sense and did modeling work. Her departure from the show was rumored all season, and this week the actress told Access Hollywood, "My character has been through so, so much and there's really nothing more left for her to do."

Barton was notorious for an unintentionally hilarious O.C. scene wherein her character became angry and threw a chaise lounge into a swimming pool. After that, Web users dubbed the actress "Mischa BARFton."

The O.C. season finale wound up number three in its time slot, going up against the season finale of CBS's CSI and the series finale of NBC's Will & Grace.

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