Spoilers for "The O.C." just as soon as I figure out what holidays would have been left for Josh to write about in season five (Purim?)...
An attempt to make peace with cancellation. On the one hand, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that there are only four episodes left. In my head I understand the vagaries of ratings and the TV business, but the show is so creatively vibrant right now, which almost never happens in a final season. (Or, if it does, it's with a show like "Seinfeld" or "Cheers" where the stars don't want to keep going.)
On the other hand, I can see some wisdom in letting things wind down. Since the Marissa shiva ended, the season's been long on character and short on plot. There have been some significant events (Summer kicked out of Brown, the arrival of Ryan's father), but overall things happen largely as an excuse to give certain characters more to do, or to generate some phony conflict, like the pointless ups and downs of Ryan and Taylor's relationship.
Taylor's funny and Chatty Ryan is interesting, so a faux-arc can be entertaining on a short-term basis, but I don't know that there's another year's worth of stories to tell about these characters.
In a way, in fact, this episode felt like it could have been the finale. Kirsten's pregnant, Ryan and Taylor are back together, Che has found happiness with Groundhog Girl, and Julie has tentatively agreed to marry The Bullet. Obviously, there's more to come with her and Frank, and with Seth and Summer, but there's nothing that has me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. So in that way, it feels like the right time. Hell, they even brought in Showkiller Allison La Placa to play Taylor's therapist. Will Jason Gedrick be popping up in the finale?
Some other episode specifics: Peter Gallagher hasn't had a lot to do this year, but his reaction to the baby news was beautiful. I'm surprised Che didn't try to turn their night on the rooftop into something amorous; it was amusing to see him try to reconcile his heterosexuality with his belief in the validity of spirit visions. I was also expecting more wacky mistaken identity hijinks with both Summer and Taylor in the groundhog suits, and I can't decide whether I'm happy they didn't go there. And Chatty Ryan feels like a completely different character, but not in a bad way.
What did everybody think of this episode? And have you made your peace yet?