Her relationship with her parents sinks to an all-time low when she discovers that they were back together again. At Jimmy's farewell party, she confronts her parents in public and loudly calls Julie a whore and herself "the daughter of a thief and a slut. Towards the end of the season, Marissa gets back together with Ryan and becomes friends with his brother, Trey, who was recently let out of jail. After Trey takes cocaine , he tries to rape Marissa. Marissa does not want to tell Ryan because she did not want him to worry, and Trey does not want her to tell him because he and Ryan were getting along again.
Marissa breaks down and tells Summer, who tells Seth. Seth was initially reluctant to tell his foster brother, knowing Ryan's volatile temperament and tendency to physically lash out when it came to people he cared about. When Ryan finds out, he and Trey get into an extremely violent fist fight at Trey's apartment. The scene ends with Marissa shooting Trey in order to save Ryan, who was pinned on the floor. As the series' third season opens, Marissa is under investigation regarding the shooting of Trey Atwood , who is in a coma as a result of the wound.
When he awakens, Julie threatens to smother Trey if he does not tell the authority that Ryan shot him, in order to keep Marissa out of trouble. Marissa finds out and convinces Trey to tell the truth. Ryan is let free, and Marissa faces no legal liability as she was defending another person's life using proportional force in the circumstances. Despite a lack of legal repercussions, the event results in Marissa's expulsion from the prestigious Harbor School, as it is cited along with her past of flagrant shoplifting and substance abuse.
Following her expulsion, she attends the local public school Newport Union and has difficulty fitting in. She befriends one of her schoolmates, a local surfer named Johnny Harper. Johnny causes rifts in her relationship with Ryan, who ironically befriends Johnny due to their similar backgrounds, initially because Marissa feels she cannot talk to Ryan about what happened with Trey and later because Johnny falls in love with her. Marissa confirms her commitment to Ryan and writes Johnny a letter saying that while he is her friend and she cares for him, she will never love him. This results in Johnny falling to his death from a cliff after a drinking binge, and the tragedy causes Ryan and Marissa's final breakup.
In the wake of Johnny's death, Marissa struggles to find closure, as well as her own place and purpose in Newport Beach.
She develops a relationship with Kevin Volchok after she and Ryan break up, which causes her to go back to her rebellious ways. She begins to abuse alcohol again and tries cocaine. Marissa distances herself from Ryan, Summer, and Seth and becomes argumentative again with her mother. After some time, she comes to her senses and decides to leave Kevin. But when she finds him watching The Sound of Music , she realizes he has a sensitive side and decides she may be able to have a relationship with him.
During their senior prom, though, she catches him cheating on her and breaks things off. In the season finale, Marissa receives a letter from her father inviting her to live for a year on a boat with him in Greece , and she accepts. The day she graduates from Harbor along with her friends Summer, Ryan, Seth, and Taylor, Kevin begins calling her and asks to see her, but she declines. Marissa pays Kevin to get out of town and to leave her and Ryan alone.
She says her goodbyes to her family and friends and prepares to leave for Greece. After their time together, Ryan drives her to the airport.
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On the way to the airport, a drunken Kevin begins hitting their car, causing them to go off the road. The car flips over several times and lands upside down on another street.
Marissa is unconscious, but Ryan pulls her out of the car, which begins to drip gasoline. Ryan takes Marissa into his arms and away from the car as it explodes. He tells her that he will need to go get help, but knowing that nothing can be done, she asks him to stay. After a few moments of looking into each other's eyes, she dies while in Ryan's arms. In " The Avengers ," Summer believes she sees Marissa - as a ghost - when she returns to the adjoining bedrooms they shared together for the first time since Marissa's death. This causes Summer to fast track her trip back to Brown and leave Newport Beach.
Moreover, many characters throughout Season 4 catch glimpses of Marissa, whether they be similar-looking girls in passing or a ghostly imagination of Marissa while reminiscing about her in a familiar place. Marissa's death has a significant impact on the fourth season, as various characters, particularly her mother Julie and Ryan, struggle to deal with their grief over her death. In the episode " The Cold Turkey ", Julie decides that it was time to move on after learning that Volchok turned himself over to the police and had been arrested.
Later in the episode, during Thanksgiving dinner, Ryan reminisces to Julie about the first time he saw Marissa out on the driveway and thought that "she was really hot". Marissa's death is most explicitly examined in the episode " The Chrismukk-huh? While trying to find out what is happening in this reality, Taylor stumbles into Marissa's bedroom.
She surprises Julie's maid, who tells Taylor that "Miss Cooper's" plane arrives at 3 o'clock from Berkeley. Taylor then sees a photograph of Marissa and Julie on her desk, which leads her to believe that Marissa is still alive in this alternate universe. After Taylor tells Ryan the news, he immediately wants to go to the airport to see Marissa. Taylor does not want him to in fear that Ryan, who is still recovering from Marissa's death, would be willing to spend the rest of his life in a coma if he could be with Marissa.
At the airport, Ryan catches a glimpse of a girl with a pink Berkeley sweatshirt tied around her waist. Kaitlin then explains to Ryan that her sister died three years ago in an overdose in Tijuana a parallel of her non-fatal overdose in the episode " The Escape ". Ryan then returns to Newport Beach, realizing that he can never be with Marissa again, alternate universe or not.
At first, Ryan and Taylor believe they need to restore the relationships that existed before Marissa's death in order to wake up. However, it becomes apparent that both Ryan and Taylor need to battle their internal demons instead. For Taylor, her demon is her mother whom she confronts along with her alternate male self at the Christmas party , and for Ryan, it is getting over Marissa. Back in the real world, Kirsten finds a letter from Marissa addressed to Ryan but does not read it. She hands it over to Julie, who reads the letter.
Marissa wrote that she still loved Ryan, but would be leaving Newport Beach because she knew that it was the best thing to do, so that they could both move on. She stated that when she got back, they might try again, as they would both be older and wiser. The letter is eventually placed right beside Ryan, which allows the letter to be "delivered" to Ryan in the alternate universe.
Ryan then goes to the beach, and upon discovering the letter, reads it. He finally says goodbye to Marissa and exits the alternate universe. In the final episode, Marissa appears as Ryan's final flashback as he reflects on his life in Newport Beach. As he backs out of the driveway, Ryan remembers seeing Marissa standing on the corner watching as he and Sandy drive away when Ryan thought he was not coming back to Newport Beach as seen in " The Premiere ".
Ryan Atwood is Marissa's second boyfriend on The O. Although extremely on-and-off-again throughout the show's course - their relationship originated as a platonic friendship in the pilot episode, which later escalated into romantic feelings.
By the 10th episode of the first season, the couple officially began their romantic relationship. The beginning of this relationship sees its first end when Marissa feels that Ryan has overreacted to Marissa and Oliver Trask's friendship. The second course of Marissa and Ryan's relationship fails because of Theresa Diaz and Ryan's illegitimate child together, whom Ryan agrees to help raise — returning to Theresa's arms and leaving Marissa to return to her alcoholic behavior.
The third attempt of Marissa and Ryan's relationship terminates after the suicide of Johnny Harper where they struggle to mourn him and need a break from each other. The couple's last attempt at a relationship ends when Marissa is killed by a drunken Kevin Volchok who sends Ryan and Marissa's car off the road, sending her to her death.
The overall relationship between Marissa and her mother, Julie Cooper, is full of angst, rebellion, misunderstanding and miscommunication. Beginning with the fling between Julie and Marissa's ex-boyfriend Luke Ward , the strain in the two's relationship increases throughout the course of the show. The troubled Marissa is then left to deal with her friendship, alcoholic, and depression issue alone, without the help of Julie.
The mother-daughter duo move from their home neighboring the Cohens, to Caleb Nichol's home, to a mobile home during their time of financial hardship. Summer Roberts , Marissa's best friend, is a girl that Marissa often leans on in both happy and sad times. Together, Marissa and Summer are the popular girls at school: Summer the socialite, and Marissa the over-achieving, beautiful girl many long to be. The friendship between Summer and Marissa is further strengthened by the boyfriends they often have: Summer becomes a positive force in Marissa's life.
For instance, Summer helps Marissa out of the hospital in episode 8, is open to Marissa's fluid sexuality in episode 24, and has enough faith in Marissa despite her problematic behavior that she buys her a Berkeley sweatshirt in episode Their friendship offers strong signs of female solidarity and is unique in that it is shown as a source of support and a catalyst for empowerment. Marissa's first romantic relationship on the show is with water polo player Luke Ward.
Their relationship begins prior to the Premiere. Marissa and Luke's relationship stems back to the fifth grade on a class trip to the Museum of Tolerance.
After much hesitation, Marissa decides to lose her virginity to Luke. Issues in Marissa and Luke's relationship constantly arise, making the viewer question if they really are in love. On a trip to Tijuana, Marissa discovers Luke cheating on her with one of her friends, Holly Fischer , on the dance floor in a club. The two realize that they may not be the most compatible couple but can benefit from each other's friendship and support.
There is controversy surrounding Marissa Cooper's character and how she is perceived. Some viewers perceived Marissa's behavior negatively, viewing her as a poor role model at times. Specifically, her behavior had a negative influence on unhealthy consumption of alcohol.