Welcome to The O.C., an affluent community home to California’s elite. On the outside, these wealthy individuals seem to live in an idyllic paradise, but closed doors hide a world of deception, lies, and hidden loyalties.
The community of Newport was changed forever with the arrival of Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie
), a brooding teenager from Chino taken under the wing of public defender Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher
) and his wife, Kirsten (Kelly Rowan
). But little did the Cohens know the large impact that Ryan would have on their family and friends. To their “adorkable” son, Seth (Adam Brody
), Ryan became a close friend and brother in which he could confide and voice his troubles – especially in winning the heart of his long time crush Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson
). Ryan quickly fell for the girl next door, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton
), but their relationship is tested in everything they do, as well as by Marissa's mother, Julie Cooper (Melinda Clarke
), and in Ryan’s quest to escape from his troubled past.
As the teens change and adapt to the world around them, they must deal with both the good times and the tragedy of losing one of their own. But with the loss came new faces to Newport, including Marissa's younger sister, Kaitlin Cooper (Willa Holland
), and the strange, yet lovable Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser
). As season 4 came to a close, the teens are able to establish their place in the world and Ryan comes to terms with his past when his experiences with the Cohen family come full circle.