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
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  • 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.