||In the fourth season, fans had to say goodbye to THE O.C., which quickly became the most popular night-time soap since BEVERLY HILLS 90210, when it debuted in 2003. Captivating audiences with its fresh dialogue, clever wit, steamy storylines, and the mesmerizing power of Peter Gallagher's eyebrows, the series became a trendsetting force in terms of popular fashion and music tastes among young viewers. Season Four begins on a down note, with each character dealing with Marissa Cooper's tragic death (or not dealing with it, as is often the case). Four months later, Summer is burying her sorrows in uncharacteristic environmental activism at Brown. Seth is back in Orange Country, longing for the close bond he once had with Summer, who, while technically still his girlfriend, is becoming more distant by the day. Perhaps in the worst shape is Ryan, who has not only returned to his old life of minor crime but has also found his way into the seedy world of cage fighting. Thankfully for viewers, good old Sandy Cohen arrives to whisk Ryan and the series back onto safer soil. As Ryan re-acclimates himself to the Cohen way of being, he finds an unlikely friend (and more) in Taylor Townsend, who after years of humiliation at high school, has returned from Paris a new (not to mention married) woman. Season Four is full of excitement, story arcs centering on new characters (with Taylor and Caitlin Cooper taking center stage), and old themes. While many fans may see the show's finale as coming too soon, series creator Josh Schwartz provides some sense of closure with a last episode that jumps several years ahead to answer the question "what happens next?"