|← 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"|
The new dean of Harbor School wants to expel Ryan and Marissa. Summer fights with Taylor over being Social Chair. Sandy tries to encourage Kirsten to come home, but her friendship with Charlotte keeps her at rehab. Jimmy has an unexpected proposal for Julie.
Chaos reigns in the Cohen kitchen as Sandy, Ryan and Seth continue to cope with Kirsten's rehab. Julie comes to the Cohen house to meet Sandy, who is less than delighted to see her but invites her in when she tells him that the parents of the students have filed a petition against Ryan and Marissa and that they might be expelled. Sandy and Julie meet Dr. Kim, who tells them that the matter is out of her hands and in the hands of Dean Hess, the new Dean of Discipline.
Sandy goes to meet Kirsten and encourages her to come home. She is reluctant, and he becomes concerned about Kirsten's attachment to Charlotte. At school, Marissa finds out that due to her absence, Taylor Townsend, who had been fighting her for the position of Social Chair since 5th grade, is trying to take over her position. Ryan and Marissa have a meeting with the dean during which Marissa loses her patience and tells him that she does not feel guilty for what she did and would be ready to repeat it if needed, after which she gets expelled from school though Ryan is not. Taylor Townsend has her wish come true and plans to organize the summer kickoff carnival, but Summer is there to take over from where Marissa left and spoils Taylor's plans. Meanwhile, Jimmy is in trouble again and proposes to Julie, thinking that by marrying her he'll get all the money he needs.
At the summer kickoff carnival, Ryan and Marissa are at the Ferris wheel about to kiss but suddenly Dean Hess, called by Taylor, stops the wheel and asks Marissa to leave. When Ryan protests, Hess grabs Marissa's arm and stats escorting her outside. Ryan gets outraged and punches the dean in the face, after which he tells Ryan that they both are expelled from Harbor and should they be seen anywhere near the campus, he will inform the cops.
- "Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab For Cutie
- "Get The Party Started" by Cobra Verde
- "Do You Want To" by Franz Ferdinand
- "California 2005" (No Whistling) by Phantom Planet
- This episode marks the first appearance of Taylor Townsend who along with Kaitlin became a main character in Season 4
- When Kirsten arrives at Charlotte's cabin, a water drop can be seen on the lens of the camera.
- When Seth & Summer arrive at the Kick Off Carnival to help set up, Taylor says, "Summer, you showed up! And you brought a little friend." Seth then, not so subtly, scratches his face with his middle finger, flipping Taylor off.
|Actor / actress||Character|
|Tate Donovan||Jimmy Cooper|
|Jeri Ryan||Charlotte Morgan|
|Autumn Reeser||Taylor Townsend|
|Eric Mabius||Jack Hess|
|Rosalind Chao||Dr. Kim|