“California, there you go…”

So Thursday night was the series finale of The O.C. And man was it depressing. Only sixteen episodes this season, but it was a phenomenal season, which made the ending that much more bittersweet.

The episode was titled “The End’s Not Near, It’s Here,” a lyric from the song “The End’s Not Near,” which was originally by The New Year, and then was covered by Band of Horses. Both songs were featured on The O.C., and both were featured, coincidentally, in the second episode of a particular season (The New Year’s version in “The Way We Were” (2-02), an and Band of Horses’ cover in “The Gringos” (4-02)).

But anyway, the episode was just wonderful. It jumped forward six months ahead, to around late August/early September, so babies were on their way (Kirsten and Julie’s), and kids were off to college or beyond (Berkeley, RISD, Paris, presidential rallies, etc.). But while the first 40 or so minutes were playful, fun, entertaining O.C., the last 20 minutes were extremely depressing.

Before the final montage, they showed Ryan walking through the empty Cohen house (The Cohens, having just had a baby girl, Sophie Rose, decided to move back up to Berkeley), reliving his first moments in the house. So in the final scenes, they actually flashed forward to the future (again) to show how everyone ended up. Sandy became a law professor at Berkeley, Ryan went to Berkeley, Julie graduated from college in a truly poignant scene as Kaitlin, Bullit, Frank, and her cutest son ever cheered her on (a la Marissa’s graduation in “The Graduates” (3-25)). Summer was shown at a rally, supporting the cause, and “saving the world.” Seth was shown admiring her. And then they got married, and the tears really began to flow. Ryan and Taylor’s relationship was left open-ended, and their fate is completely subjective, but I believe that they ended up together.

And the final scene was of Ryan, walking from a construction site (he became a successful architect), and then seeing a kid, lonely, abandoned, and exactly like him that side of 10 years ago. Ryan looked at him, as flashbacks of him back in “The Pilot” were featured. “Hey kid,” he called. The boy looked up. “You need help?” Ryan asked. The kid looked back down again, and then up again. The final shot was of Ryan. The screen faded to black, and I cried uncontrollaby. The show really did come full circle. I continued to cry uncontrollably.

Too good of an ending, made even better by Patrick Park’s “Life Is a Song” playing in the background.

And so now I am left O.C.-less. But there are always DVD’s, and, coming in early April, syndication, right? And I still have my O.C. calendar to gaze at for 10 more months. And my O.C. music to listen to. So not everything is lost.

I am currently listening to “California,” as a part of my The Best Of: A Retrospective O.C. Collection – Season by Season (which I will give to my mom as soon as it is finished). That famous line “California here we come…” just played. But I guess now it’s “California there you go…”

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2 thoughts on ““California, there you go…”

  1. you said it perfectly – and thanks so much for the links! …we’ll definitely be picking up the season 4 dvd as soon as it’s released in May (oh, and early ‘thank you’ for the cd’s – can’t wait!)

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