Why 'The O.C.'s Oliver Was The Best Bad Guy Ever

by Kaitlin Reilly

I'm pretty confident when I say that The O.C. is a near perfect teen drama, and a lot of the reason for that is the brilliant characters we were introduced to over the course of the show's four seasons. We have Kirsten and Sandy, two of the best parents television has ever bestowed upon us. We have their sons, Seth and Ryan (the former born a Cohen and the latter one who drifted in from Chino and became an honorary Cohen) and the women those two boys loved: Summer and Marissa. There will always be a lot of love for these characters, and for good reason — without them, The O.C. would just be a bunch of beautiful beaches and snobby ass rich kids. Of course, not every character was as beloved by fans — and some were even loathed. One teen that we don't love so much? Oliver Trask, who is perhaps the greatest villain to ever inhabit Orange County... and television as a whole.

Oliver was a Season 1 import whom Marissa meets in therapy. After they strike up a friendship, he proceeded to wreak havoc on her life — though it would take Marissa entirely too long to figure that out. Oliver had attempted suicide after a girl at his previous high school (whom he was also equally as obsessed with) rejected him, so when he met Marissa at therapy, he latched onto her immediately under the guise of friendship. Oliver was certifiably insane, and definitely a nefarious foe for Ryan — but what made him the best-worst villain in The O.C. history? Oh, let me count the ways:

He Has A Patrick Bateman Thing Going On

I don't know about you, but there's something about a psycho in a sweater vest that really unnerves me. Oliver has pretty much everything that money can buy, and yet he seems to have the most fun manipulating others around him.

He Lied... A Lot

Example: When Marissa found out that the woman at the front desk of Oliver's hotel was named Natalie Bishop... which just so happens to be the name of Oliver's "ex-girlfriend." Oliver lied to Marissa (and the rest of the gang) about as often as he breathed.

He Ruined Ryan And Marissa

Literally every conversation that Marissa and Ryan have during Oliver's arc is about Oliver. First, it's Ryan telling Marissa he doesn't trust Oliver as far as he can throw him. Then, it's Marissa saying that Ryan doesn't trust her and insisting that Oliver is just a needy friend. As fans know, Ryan turned out to be 100 percent right, but Oliver had already irrevocably damaged their relationship by that point. It takes a pretty horrifying villain to ruin something long after they've left.

He Used His Intelligence For Evil

Oliver was educated at the finest schools in the country, traveled all over the planet, and generally had the smarts to manipulate pretty much everyone around him. His self-deprecating speeches may have come from a real place, but they were Oliver's way of playing the "woe-is-me-card" to wiggle his way into Marissa's heart. Oliver was just too smart to not know what he was doing.

His Final Episode Played Out Like A Horror Movie

When Marissa finally put together that Oliver was crazy pants, he turned a gun on her. Had the show upped the suspenseful music, this would be a straight-up horror scene.

He Was A Grade-A Stalker

I love how no one thought it was that weird (well, besides Ryan, of course) that Oliver to transferred to Harbor for a "fresh start" alongside his brand-new bestie Marissa.

Audiences Knew He Was Cray Way Before Marissa Knew He Was Cray

Ah, dramatic irony. Is there anything better than screaming at Marissa through your TV to stay the hell away from Oliver? Props to Ollie for keeping his chill around Marissa and losing it when she wasn't watching — that's the true mark of a psychopath.

Oh, Oliver. I'll never forget your evil, evil ways... even if I am happy that you didn't make it to Season 2.

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