The O.C.

Season 3 Episode 25

The Graduates

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 18, 2006 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (163)

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out of 10
980 votes
  • sad sad episode if you cry at sad movies dont watch this it will scar u if you love the oc.

    it was sooo sad i started cryin i cudnt help it i nearly wanted 2 stop watchin oc cos of it but i didnt cos i lyk it 2 much b4 i watched series 4 i had this insane idea that she might get better that ryan might take her to the hospital and thyed fix it but oc will never be the same again summer changes after marissa s death and so did i ! soooo sad i cant belive she s gone it will make me paranoid after all she went thru it was soooooo sad i coul;dent belive it pooor ryan and summ i just thought i hated oliver turns out compared to volchec hes a tree hugger!
  • Is that a joke?

    Ok so... a friend from US told me that this episode was the worst ever! Ok I can say the same!

    That was AWFUL, nothing happened and Marissa is dead! Are you kidding? I am sure you are, you can\\\'t give us a so bad season finale. It WAS NOT a season finale, it was a boring episode. When a season finale is coming, you must be behind your screen saying \\\"oh god!!! no!!!\\\" (like for smallville and One tree hill for example!) C\\\'mon that was so bad, I was sure that Mischa Barton was going to die especially when I heard that Kaitlin was back. Season 4 is going to be awful. Julie is going to cry all day and Kaitlin will be the bit... bit... of the \\\"all new serie\\\". Ahahaha Josh swartz (or something) you are so a looser. You can\\\'t even create a good season finale! Return watching your classics! Your episode was awful!! You lost all your fans!
  • Season finale always packing a punch.

    Just like season two, season three ends with a bang, except this time like the episode before it, the execution doesn't really feel up to par. The death of Marissa feels almost forced--well no kidding. The idea of Volchok having these super strong feelings for Marissa to the point where he goes crazy--okay maybe him being crazy isn't some new revelation--just doesn't seem convincing enough. It's nice to see Sandy getting his life back together after almost turning into the monster he detested and cracked jokes about all the time, but again the idea of it was kind of forced. Not that this isn't a good episode, it could have been better.
  • If you cry during sad movies, you'll be crying by the end of this episode.

    I am usually not one to be emotionally affected by TV shows, but there are a few season finales that have gotten to me. This was one of them. Since I already owned season 3 on DVD, I knew that it was Marissa who was going to die at the end of the episode. I just didn't know that it was going to affect me to the degree that it did. Everything started out as incredibly happy; our favorite four characters graduate from Harbor and are ready to embark on the next big thing: college. Marissa decides she's going to spend the summer with her father and the four celebrate. While all of this is going on, Volchok decides he still wants to see Marissa one last time and if he can't, he tells Marissa that he'll make life rather difficult for Ryan. After saying goodbye to Marissa, Ryan begins to drive her to the airport, but sees that someone is following them. They see that it's Volchok. He ends up running Ryan's car off the road and drives away. Ryan quickly gets out and then hurries to get Marissa out just before the car explodes. Holding her in his arms (much like when he did when she OD'd in Tijuana), she dies. Cue the song Hallelujah. At the same time, cue me breaking down into tears.

    While this was a great season finale I think in a way it was the series finale. Season 4 was very good, but it wasn't the same without Marissa. I have watched this episode about four times now and every time I watch it, I cry. One of the best episodes, but at the same time definitely one of the saddest episodes.
  • I'm totally shaking as i type this..i just finished watching this episode (for the first time) about 2 minutes ago.. =[[ WHY DID THEY HAVE KILL HER!??!

    Though i admit i knew this was going to happen because a few years ago i remember this being questioned on E! news the day after it aired about whether marissa really died or not..i just started watching this show only 2 weeks ago (all eps in order)

    I hate to admit it but i've been wanting to watch this episode really badly (to see how she dies)ha...its 4:30 am right now.

    The way she dies is really emotional (or at least it was for me). It was all slow motion and the flashback part made me almost cry (i was too busy shaking from shock). i was hoping deep inside that it was all a joke and that it was like this thing all fans did to get others to watch it or something..

    Anyway back to reviewing, Mischa Barton and Ben Mckenzie (i hope i spelled his name right)did an awesome job working together. i admit i was really disappointed when the time came when she died that they weren't really together, but you could totally tell they had feelings for each other.

    If there is any fan out there who hasn't watched this episode, i think they def should consider it. A death of a main character is definitely not the best idea for a show (since this is mostly why the show went completely rock bottom after this-mischa no longer here).

    That's all i have to say. I'm going to watch a bit of the first ep of season four. I heard something about ryan crying in a bar so it sounds interesting.
  • A foreshaodowing of Marrisa's demise, which I think was a great plot decision because it gave us new material to work with for a 4th season.

    Doesn't get any better than this.....As I quote Sany Cohen from this episode: Thers has been tragedy, comedy, loved found and love lost...need I say more. i get all happy when they are in the pool at the model home playing, laughing, crying, bittersweet. Then the life w/out ryan converstaion....there would be no Seth or Summer. Phew I am so glad that brooding young man fell onto the Cohen's doorsteps. I think the ending was a little over the top, Ryan carrying a dead Marissa, just like in the TJ episode season 2. Kinda of symbolic of their relationship, Ryan was always there for her in an over the top kind of way.
  • the group finally graduates high school. summmer is going to brown & seth goes to RISD in january. Ryan is attending Berkley & Marissa is working on a yacht with her dad. while driving to the airport, volchek causes ryan to crash, causing marissa's death.

    This episode always makes me cry. i must have a box of tissues by me at all times when i watch it. graduation scenes always make me cry. it makes me soo mad that they killed marissa off. whether misha wanted out or the writers just killed her of that was horrible. it killed the show. it could still be filming if she was on the show. that part makes me sad too. marissa was like my favorite character and everytime i watch, i'm screaming at the tv for volchek to stop like some kind of idiot. this episode ruined the show but i still love the show. r.i.p. marissa cooper:[
  • This may not have been the series finale, but it basically sent the show straight for it!

    This is probably the dumbest episode ever made. This episode is the reason the show got cancelled. You can't just kill off the star of show and expect it to be accepted. That was a horrible move and the show payed for it in the end...after that episode things were never the same. The show was quickly set to be cancelled. Why didn't they just let Marissa leave instead of killing her. At least that way they could of brought her backed when the show bombed...which it did. This show could have gone on for plenty of more seasons had they not made that mistake.
  • Its time to forgive to forget and to get revenge.

    This was one of the most controversial episodes of "The O.C." that has ever been made. It was very shocking that marissa was the one written out of the show. After this episode aired nothing but speculation went around for six months. The biggest question that everyone wanted answered was..."Is marissa gone?". Fans waited the answer but didnt like what they heard. This episode basically ruined the show. If it wasnt for the shocking cliffhanger the show probably would still be on the air. I guess what they say is true "all good things must come to an end." So Marissa's role had to end soon, but it ended way too soon.
  • WOOW!!

    It is graduation day for Ryan, Seth, Summer, and Marissa at Harbor High School. After graduation they all go out to eat and celebrate their graduation. Ryan's mother gives him a new car as a graduation present. Marissa is going to spend a year on a boat with her father as her graduation gift. Seth finally gets into RISD for second semester. Summer is still going to Brown University in the fall. Volchok is still mad at Marissa and Ryan, so he decides to crash Ryan's car. Marissa's death was a complete shock as she was the "beautiful, troubled kid" of the Orange County rich community!! LOVED the soundtrack!!
  • Marissa dies on the behalf of V. after the cauz of Graduation.

    Looking out in the sun, for number 1. California, where did she go. This episode was so painful to watch, this should have been the last episode of the SERIES! Goodbye Marissa, you'll be remembered. And I still love the struggles between Seth and Marissa. "Come on guys, hug!", that was one of my favorite parts of the O.C. "The Graduates" episode. Well that's it for now. THis is my review for the O.C. "The Graduates" - Season 3 finale of the series. What will happen next, another frighting episode? This There Goes Halo Three, peace out guys. Peace out, and in!
  • A sad episode for all of us.

    This review is dedicated to the memory of Marrisa Cooper.

    In this season 3 finale we dive a sea or roaring events and emotions.

    We say so long to character we have grown to love and known for the past three years.

    The great Marrissa Cooper who started as a popular school girl living in Orange county with her mom and dad until her mom Julie Cooper got divoced and got married to rich newport group owner Caleb.

    Riveting events have led Marrisa to change during the show from a cute and popular student to a bad example for teenagers everywhere. She started getting drunk, taking drugs and sleeping with a guy who is the opposite of everything that is good and peaceful.

    A long way Marrisa Cooper has come in this show but this episode is where she stops.

    A very moving episode which scarrred me for life.

    It displayed some happy events like Seth getting into college.

    Moving family speech was made by Sandy Cohen.

    And a great graduation was made.

    I say this to Marrisa,Summer,Seth,Ryan and Taylor congratulations and I say this to the writers although I dsepice you for killing her off, I thank you for giving Marrissa such a great send off and a very exciting episode.

    The inner circle of friends reunited in the rebuilt house that was ounce burnt by Ryan in a very moving scene of last moments together.

    At the end of the episode an exciting car thrash happens between Marrisa's exes Volchok and Ryan which lead to the very tragic scene of Marrisa's death.

    This was a fantastic episode which I Recommend everyone to watch and Marrisa Cooper you will always be in our heart.
  • A frustratingly weak finale.

    The third season finale of The O.C. triggers on an event--the occurrence of an act that will irreversibly change the series as we know it. Shamelessly advertised by FOX the preceding week to contain the death of a major player, the episode falls victim to its own insatiable need to shock in an example of what happens when you focus on the twist above all else. The ensuing events amount to nothing more than a few scattered notes all building to a pre-ordained crescendo, in an episode so dependent on its cliffhanger ending that it fails to make the first 40 minutes worth their weight. Viewers would be treated to three acts of teaser material, all crammed in to serve as exposition before the grand finale, the usual writing genius prevalent in all the best O.C. episodes sorely lacking. Resolutions to season-long plot lines come in the form of deeply unsatisfying scenes, wrapped up with seemingly no effort, shoved aside in preparation for a finale that would fail to live up to expectations. The ending--a shocking idea on paper--transpires as a watered-down mess on screen that lacks any of the emotional impact it should have after three year's worth of viewing. The end result is an extremely unsatisfying episode, made all the worse by the hype involved. But all is not lost--there are a few moments of genuine O.C. bliss. The Fab Four graduate in true O.C. glory--a bittersweet, heartfelt ceremony all set to the perfect song. It is the light in darkness in this otherwise abysmal episode. Watch it for the biggest event in The O.C.'s entire run, but don't say I didn't warn you when you walk away with a bad taste in your mouth. This episode truly deserved better.
  • Wes say goodbye to a character we've loved so much...

    Graduation. Death. Party. All this happens and more in the most shocking season finale The O.C. has ever had, with the most emotional ending that we have ever seen. This episode truly is one of the best episodes, The O.C. has ever produced. This episode also brings the best music an episodes seen since the first seasons end. When we see the final scene you can't help but cry out and seem upset knowing that nothing will ever be the same again, or when we see the images of this couple throughout the year you miss those times, knowing they'll never happen again, the most emotional season finale the shows ever made that will leave you breathless...
  • The end's not there, it's here.

    It was a good episode, but what threw it off was Marissa's death. A lot of people disliked her character with a passion, but she was who kept them together. Because of all the drama in her life, Ryan, Seth, and Summer, strive to make things better--which gets them all closer together. If it weren't for Marissa, there wouldn't be a Fab Four. Just when she had hope, and you thought she'd get her life back on track, she dies. How anticlimactic. This episode is both painful to watch and was the conclusion of the series. Although, as weird as it may sound...if you would exclude the fact that Marissa died and Taylor and Ryan end up together, I loved the fourth season.
  • We Say Goodbye To Marissa

    I was really upset in this episode when Marissa died. It was unbelivably sad and it started so happy too. I loved the graduation and the song: 'Speeding Cars' by Imogen Heap because it went so well. Then when they all went back to the Model Home from Season 1 and started to remember everything that had happened. That made me laugh loads and was really special how they all connected in a way. Then I was crying when they all had to say goodbye and the crash! What a crash! I'm glad that Ryan got Marissa out right enough because if she'd been blown up I'd have been even more upset! Then he carried her like he did when she had OD'd in Mexico! I was a mess by the end of that show! It was so touching and amazing!!
    Overall fantastic episode!
  • The Fab Four graduates then Marisa gets killed by Volchok.

    The show starts off as the graduation of Ryan,Marisa,Seth,and Summer. Then Marisa gets an invitation to go on her father's boat and work for a year. The Fab Four says good-bye to Marisa for now, but end up saying good-bye to her forever. They go to the Model Home and swim and talk about what it would be like if Ryan never came. After that Ryan brings Marisa to the airport. On their way, drunk Volchok follows them and runs them off the road. Marisa gets killed and dies in Ryan's arms. This was an awful way to get Marisa off of the show. Main characters are not supposed to die.
  • Well done!

    This episode was extremely well done. Watching the first three seasons over again made me realize that the show did not go down hill. There was never anything wrong with it or with this episode. It was dramatic and sad and full of emotion at every corner. It had everything a good O.C. episode needs, which is laughter and tears. My favorite part has to be when they graduate. It means more to me now because I just graduated and can relate to it more. The music, was great and overall it was just a great season finale, which is something you can always count on from The O.C.
  • stupid stupid stupid!!!

    great episode, dont get me wrong the episode was great. BUT! why kill marissa??? !!! ??? !!! ??? !!! ???
    i mean come on! now they can never bring her back! now there will be no drama! they could have just let her leave just in case the show become crap and got axed. oh wait it did, and oh wait because there was no marissa!!!! she was the drama. now theyr gonn try and bring kaitlyn in as the new marissa. stupid. i mean dont getme wrong she hott as but shes meant to be like 12!
    also. really good and sad ep. i nearly cryed. but i didnt.
    ah well it was good while it lasted
  • Final goodbye to the fab four!

    Wow! Did one of the main characters just died? "The Graduates" marks the last time we get to see the four friends together, in this hard to forget episode, each of them by the end had decided what their near future will be, college for Ryan, Seth and Summer, while for Marissa, her dad asks her to join him & work with him for the next year in a yat. It was a very good season finale, but for me it was the series finale. The OC in my collection has only 3 seasons... Was having a spectacular and shocking episode worth the end of a great show!? Maybe!
  • The OC. Episode 25

    When it comes to the OC, you never know. :D
    The whole graduation day was sweet, everyone was - unbelievable - happy and/or - big surprise - out of troubles. The highlight was the Fabulous Four joking in the swimming pool. And then... bang... Marissa is dead.

    Well, Coop’s death represents the moment in which the OC writers decided they have been ruining her character for too long. Besides, her death means:
    1. A new beginning for this show ---> Good point.
    2. Less whining story-lines ---> Even better point.
    3. Ryan is going to kick Volchok’s a$$ ---> the best point.
    For the record, I’ve always had controversial thoughts about Volchok. I’m aware he has definitely been acting like a b@st@rd but, sometimes, I couldn’t help finding him kind of hilarious and nice (for instance, when, after Ryan’s pep talk, he tries to become the best boyfriend ever for Marissa LOL). By the way, this time he has definitely crossed the line, so he had better emigrate everywhere else. The moon or Mars might be safe. :D

    It doesn’t matter if spoilers had already unveiled what was going to happen: the last scene was a shock, anyway. In my opinion, Marissa dying in Ryan’s arms was just epochal and heartbreaking. :(
    Classic finishing strokes:
    - The way Marissa whispered to Ryan “Stay”. Such a sad moment. Sigh.
    - Flashback’s snapshots. Well, it would be nice to remember Marissa like that: beautiful, happy and, chiefly, clear-headed. :D
    - Imogen Heap’s song in the background. “Love is not some victory march, it’s a cold and a broken hallelujah” was just perfect.
  • The show says goodbye to series regular Marissa.

    First of all I would like to say that this is an extremely gripping and emotional episode of the OC, brillantly acted by all, particularly Ben McKenzie, and is an extremely moving experience for all OC fans.
    The issue I take with the episode is the unsatisfactory way that Marissa is killed off; her death is one that is meaningless, there is no "reason" for her death, she is effectively murdered by Volchok. Josh Schwartz spent 3 seasons developing (and destroying) the character of Marissa, and it seems he has sacrificed all of that simply to create a "spectacular" finale to Season 3, to really grab viewers. Killing of a main character is naturally very shocking and is bound to grab a lot of attention, but her death could have had a bigger impact on fans if it had a more sophisticated cause than a car crash.
    Personally I believe the OC should have only go on for 3 seasons. Its aim was to tell the lives of kids growing up in Orange County, and by the 3rd season this could have been completed, with the lives of Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa all have being neatly tied up, with their issues resolved and they all looking forward to bright futures together. It may not have drawn in the huge viewing figures, but it would have been a fitting ending, and one that would sit much nicer with the real OC fans.
    As can be seen from season 4, it would clearly have been beneficial for the show to be ended at Season 3.
  • Probably the saddest episode in the whole show.

    The death of Marissa Cooper was a huge shock to everyone. No one saw it comming i mean she is like the main character in the whole show. Not only did the last scene of Marissa dying in ryans arms make me cry the graduation made me cry to because it made me feel like everything was comming to an end which it was. Not many people like this episode which i think is very stupid even though it isnt as good as the dearly beloved the ends not near its here and the ties that bind it still is one of the best episodes of the oc ever!
  • The last 10 minutes were the best; the rest of this episode was ok.

    I had another chance to watch this episode on the TV this morning and I didn’t.
    Not because Marissa’s death made me cry but because this episode wasn’t one I wanted to see again. The final 5 or 10 minutes were the only ones that really gripped me the rest of the episode was ok but I didn’t think it was worth a 10. Marissa wasn’t my favourite character because she always seemed to be dragging Ryan into her mess. Now the O.C can concentrate more on the other characters.
  • I think this was a great way to end this season...

    There were moments this season, and a lot more than one I must admit, that I thought the show was losing its touch

    From the first moment to the end, this episode proved it wrong, they still have it, Josh S. still can write it :-)

    Saying goodbye to Marissa will be difficult for everyone but I think they still might bring her back.
    do I agree with that? no! but who listens to me anyway...

    The season finale wrapped up the lives of all characters that I love, at some moments I thought that it could've been a series finale episode..

    the way everything worked out, Seth and Summer going to Rhode Island together, Ryan setting everything straight with his mom and going to Berkeley to have a life of his own.
    marissa dead/in a coma/working on a yacht/ who knows what will happen to her??

    well, I don't know what's going on in the head of Josh S. but the show is called "the oc" and next year none of my favorite characters will be living newport does that mean we will have different main characters (who are still living in newport) next season??

    when caitlin said "with marissa gone, I'm gonna rule Harbour" did she mean exactly that??

    Nov. 2nd is my birthday and I'm hoping to hear some good news...
  • Marissa wasn't just my favorite character on the show, she was my favorite character of ALL of TV

    Marissa wasn't just my favorite character on the show, she was my favorite character of ALL of TV

    Worst. mistake. ever. to. killer. her. off. Marissa Cooper was the show, and it's not the o.c. without her. They should have shipped her off to her father's and killed another character that was less important than her. Nice going, writers. Killing a young 18 year old off is just sick. Most people don't see the O.C. as a set or show, they see it as real life. R.I.P. Marissa, and The O.C.
  • A well structured episode...a definite favourite as far as season finales go. I used up a box of kleenex however.

    After this episode i stared at the screen for about ten minutes waiting for it to come back on...say that they were joking. I really did not see that coming. I didnt even like the character of marissa too much this season, and still, the ending moved me. Anyway, not to forget the rest of the episode, which was fantastic. I think the graduation was really powerful. The look on Dawn\'s face was truly wonderful, the pride and the joy of actually having a success in the family. Sandy\'s cheer made me laugh as it was such a \"Sandy\" thing to say. Julie beamed, which made me smile even more...lets just say the whole scene left me with some sore cheekbones. Ok...back to the main focus on the episode. I think the way Marissa died was the best way that Josh should have seen fit to end it. Some people say that they should have told each other that they loved eachother...however, i think the silence was very \"them\". They had never been very good with words. Not to say that the silence wasn\'t certainly made me hold my breath. Oh, and then came the tears. Imogen Heap\'s Hallelujah hit me as soon as Ryan started walking away from the car with Marissa in his arms. The flashbacks were extremely well put together and made it even more of a tearjerker. A FANTASTIC episode...and one that to this day makes me blubber like a baby.
  • This isn't the series finale, but it should be treated as if it was...

    Marissa Cooper says goodbye to everyone and then dies... Summer and Seth are going to Rhode Island to further their studies...
    Everyone is leaving, and how does the show continue?? Somehow it manages to.. By bringing in new cast... Sounds like Ally McBeal and Alias... Those two shows klled characters and brought in new ones to give the show a new spin.. But how will that be enough when past examples have shown that the show wouldn't last very long after that?? Of course, we learn that Seth and Summer don't really leave Orange County, and Ryan is studying in Berkley, which isn't that far off... So, not everyone is gone... But Marissa stays dead... It's like Destiny's Child continuing as a duo without Beyonce in it... The star drama queen is gone... Who is going to replace her?? And would the drama be recycled from what has happened in the past?? Well, we'll have to see...
  • I still love this show, yet I can handle that it may soon be over.

    We all heard Misha was leaving yet when the time came for her final scene she was very heartbreaking and convincing that it gets to you no matter how “ready” you are. I was angry when they killed off Johnny, but in life you don’t get a say in who lives and who dies. I guess this makes Marissa and Johnny the "star-crossed lovers"

    Lesson: Teenagers can die too.
    Lesson 2: Choosing the wrong boyfriend (or girlfriend) can mess up your life for a long time to come, if not for ever.

    Season 4 should be sad. Summer lost her best friend. Julie lost her daughter. Ryan had to watch her dye. I'm interested to see how they all deal with this.
    I know next season may be the last but I've heard the rumors that it was ending since season 2. No one likes change, especially where our tv shows are concerned. Season 4 will bring a lot of change, hopefully the change will bring new life to the show.

    I’ll be watching on November 2nd with my take out Thai and a heart full of hope.
  • Cute, funny, series changing episode. But I was highly disappointed by the death of a loved character. Their graduation was marvellous though!

    Cute, funny, series changing episode. But I was highly disappointed by the death of a loved character. Their graduation was marvellous though! The start of the ep was great, with the kids graduating & the whole family coming together. The middle was wonderful too, Marissa announced she was not going to uni & going to work for her Dad instead. Her & the other 3 of the core four spent some bonding time together. Then Marissa left for the airport & it all went downhill! Spoiler Below!:

    Marissa & Ryan were involved in a car crash & Marissa died! I know how tragic, it totally jumped the shark! Ryan could of just dropped her at the airpot & the epiosde end & I would have felt satisfied.
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