|← S2||The OC Season 3||S4 →|
|#01||"The Aftermath"||#10||"The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah"||#19||"The Secrets and Lies"|
|#02||"The Shape of Things to Come"||#11||"The Safe Harbor"||#20||"The Day After Tomorrow"|
|#03||"The End of Innocence"||#12||"The Sister Act"||#21||"The Dawn Patrol"|
|#04||"The Last Waltz"||#13||"The Pot Stirrer"||#22||"The College Try"|
|#05||"The Perfect Storm"||#14||"The Cliffhanger"||#23||"The Party Favor"|
|#06||"The Swells"||#15||"The Heavy Lifting"||#24||"The Man of the Year"|
|#07||"The Anger Management"||#16||"The Road Warrior"||#25||"The Graduates"|
|#08||"The Game Plan"||#17||"The Journey"|
|#09||"The Disconnect"||#18||"The Undertow"|
Graduation is just weeks away and Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa leave Newport to attend their respective pre-frosh orientations at UC Berkeley and Brown. While dropping the boys off at the airport, Kirsten is surprised to see Theresa and her all-too-familiar-looking baby boy. While visiting Brown, Seth runs into Anna on the quad and they instantly connect. Could this be the end of Summer and Seth? Meanwhile, Kirsten and Sandy attend a hospital benefit where Kirsten vents her frustrations and falls back into an old habit.
Departures times in Newport Beach. Kirsten drives Ryan and Seth to the airport because they've to attend their pre-frosh orientations. Ryan at Berkeley, Seth at Brown. Seth is stunned about Ryan's amount of baggage. "You’re taking all that? You only own, like, a wife-beater and two hoodies." Yep, the fact Seth didn't get in to Brown represents only a little detail. Anyway, Kirsten assures Ryan Berkeley is going to be a breeze, considering that: "You conquered Newport". However, as soon as boys have gone, Kirsten sees something unusual at Newport's airport: Theresa and a two-years-old baby.
Meanwhile, deep talk between Marissa and Summer, before heading toward their own pre-frosh orientations. Luckily, cold war is far away, right now. Summer is worried that her fashion style won't fit in the east coast, so she starts wondering if she should "get some kind of angry looking piercing". A wise Marissa says her "everybody is gonna love you as long as you be yourself." By the way, Marissa seems very focused on the future. And Summer can't help but say: "Big talk coming from a girl who chucked her acceptance letter in the garbage".
Marissa has a big news: she and the surf Nazi are done. She has only to pick up some of her things left at his place. Summer is skeptical: "Saying your last goodbye with his dirty mattress in plain sight? That is breakup sex waiting to happen."
After all, Summer points out: "48 hours ago you were definitely Newport's answer to Courtney Love... Baby steps". Marissa seems to get her friend's point. Thank God. Greetings time. Julie tells Marissa she would love to go with her: "I could pretend to be part of your entourage, or your Scientology guide!". Marissa assures her she's going to be fine. That's not a shocker for Julie because she knows: "Cooper girls do have nine lives." As soon as girls have gone, Neil invites Julie to go to a working dinner (or better, a hospital benefit) with him and, in the end, she accepts.
At Berkeley, Ryan catches up with his freshman buddy, Wes, who, assures him in this university it's pretty easy to fit in.
In the meantime Marissa comes in the diner but Volchok didn't bring her stuff, as planned.
The surf Nazi wants to know why she dumped him. Since he doesn't seem interested in the whole "We have nothing in common" thing, Marissa starts speaking about an old cartoon she used to watch, in which there was the perfect life of a cute girl and her even cuter boyfriend.
"Then I grow up and I found myself doing coke and sleeping with a guy who I never had real conversation with." She isn't ready to give up her Newport lifestyle, after all. Well... "Not yet", at least.
Newport Group. Kirsten fills Sandy in on the baby issue, and he doesn't want to inform Ryan until he comes back from his Berkeley trip. Kirsten looks worried about it, but, later, Julie's invite to the hospital party is going to cheer her up. At Brown, Seth meets an old friend, whose favorite pastimes was "Mocking Newport": Anna Stern! He confides her he didn't get in to Brown and, of course, an emergency plan seems to approach. Good news: Seth arranged a meeting with a Brown professor. Bad news: Summer sees Seth and Anna together, misunderstanding the whole situation.
At Berkeley it seems Marissa and Ryan's friendship is finally starting to work out because "Everything feels different here." Well, at least, Ryan heard the bitter news. In the meantime, Seth's ideas are not that successful. Firstly, he tries to speak to Summer, but she doesn't seem to get his point. Secondly, even if his emergency plan for getting in to Brown are touching and sweet, the bald professor turned it down. In the meantime, Ryan is back in Newport, willing to know the truth. Kirsten assures him: "No matter what happens. We're behind you".
By the time Kirsten and Sandy are having a tough talk, Ryan drops by Theresa's. No trace of Theresa but there is a baby-sitter and a two-years-old baby. Theresa's, of course.
Marissa attends Wes' party. It turns out Wes isn't a model freshman. Of course, Marissa starts to speak about her whole sad family story. In the end, Wes is positive "Everyone belongs somewhere". It's Marissa's time to object: "Maybe not everyone. Maybe some people just get lost." Sigh. Tearful moment. It seems all is over for our little Seth but... surprise... Anna came up with another idea: to apply to one of the best art school in the US. Location: Providence, which is very little far from Brown.
At the party, it's clear Kirsten can't bear Sandy's Caleb-style. Well, her toast isn't exactly the happiest ever. "You know, they say when you grow up you marry your father. I thought I'd escaped that." Then she walks away, ending up drinking a glass of wine. Ouch, relapse time has definitely arrived. Thanks to Anna, Seth solved the whole college issue. On the other hand, Summer sees him and Anna hugging at the airport.
Another astonishing surprise. Marissa's clear-headed moment is done: she ends up on Volchok's beloved mattress, while he is sleeping. Actually he seems very peaceful, when he's asleep.
In the end, Theresa stops by Ryan's pool house. Her child is not Ryan's, but Eddie's.