Possibly the most touching, heartbreaking series finale TV has seen. For the first three seasons, the OC periodically peaked as both a failure and a success. The first season – excellent: something new to the heart of TV. I disliked the 2nd season intensely, Marissa Cooper really started to aggravate me – she brought nothing but poor, depressing storylines to Ryan and the show. Her younger sister, however, actually evolves as a character: in Season 3, the entirely average season, she represented the epitome of an ungrateful, selfish little child, but, at the end of season 4, she evolves into a mature young woman – plus, she's definitely hotter than Marissa :D.
Since day 1, this show has been about Ryan. Yes, we have the Sandy storylines, the Seth & Summer ones, but nothing improved Season 4 over all its predecessors more than Taylor Townsend. Schwartz did a wonderful job of reinventing Ryan's persona with the help of Taylor Townsend - the girl you used to love to hate, but now, I think it's safe to say everyone loves her over Marissa. As Ryan dutifully says, "You saved me." As for the final episode of the final series of what is now definitively my favourite TV show, I can say that at first, I believed it to be failing. The first half an hour consisted of Julie Cooper trapped between helping herself and helping her daughter, and in the end, managed to finally make a morally correct decision.
Until the 30th minute, I honestly thought Josh Schwartz had failed me. What do you get when you mix a touch of nostalgia and a dose of appropriately fantastic music with 5 of the most incredible characters of TV and their goodbyes? The last fifteen minutes of the OC. There were stages where I wanted to pound my pillow in frustration that the show was ending, yet the finality it brought me was wonderful. We all know that music has been a critical part of the OC, but Patrick Park's song really touched me.
The OC has come full circle. Summer and Seth separate, but are reunited in a wonderful moment. Face it – I don't think anyone really cares about Julie Cooper, not when we're crushed that we'll never see Ryan, Seth, or Summer in a new OC episode again. Ryan returns to his loneliness near the end, reminiscing of his time under the Cohens' roof. We see Seth and Ryan hug for the second and last time ever. Under Patrick Park's 'Life's a song,' we see Ryan take the path of Sandy Cohen – head to Berkeley, and help those in need in the circle of life. For crushing our hearts in the last episode of the greatest TV show to date, I thank Josh Schwartz. I praise you for giving me four people that will always have a place in my memory as those who served as the foundations for the best episode of TV – ever. "Its time to let go of everything we used to know.
ideas of strength and who we've been.
Its time to cut ties that won't ever free our minds,
from the chains and shackles that they're in."
Thank you so very much, Josh, for 4 years of music, Californian babes, Ryan Atwood, Seth and Sandy Cohen, and Summer Roberts. They will never be forgotten.