Fox may have pulled the plug on our beloved O.C. today, but let's focus on the positive: We've still got eight episodes left, the first of which airs tomorrow night. Even better, I just got off the phone with series creator Josh Schwartz and got his take on the big farewell, as well as scoop on who will and won't be in the series finale on Feb. 22. Read on:

Ausiello: What can you tell me about the final eight episodes?
Josh Schwartz:
As you teased in Ask Ausiello today, they're going to be a lot of fun. And there are going to be some surprises.

Ausiello: A pregnancy?
There will be a pregnancy. There will be a most-unexpected new love triangle. There will be some new animals that need saving. There will be some hallucinatory dreams. There's going to be a fight for the love of a certain woman. And there's going to be some surprises for the Cohen family, and some really big decisions for everybody to make. The finale is going to deliver real closure to these characters. It's going to be the finale we had always planned to do.

Ausiello: What can you tell me about my new favorite couple, Taylor and Ryan?
Taylor's going to have to deal directly with some of her hang-ups to make it work with Ryan. Let me put it to you this way: Their world is about to get shaken up.

Ausiello: Do you feel like you need to accelerate the plot?
No, we were planning for this. We've had all season to plan for this and deliver the season we really wanted. And Fox has been good about letting us creatively deliver what we wanted to do.

Ausiello: A lot of people, myself included, are calling the current season your strongest yet - at least creatively. That must feel good.
I'm thrilled. Very few shows get the opportunity to have their last season be their best season. I know there's been some speculation about a Season 5 on another network, but I feel like, because this season [is so strong], I would love to go out creatively on top.

Ausiello: So there's no chance of it moving to another network? Like, say, the CW?
I don't want to ever say never. But at this moment? No. Secretly, I would love a Julie-Kaitlin anti- Gilmore Girls show.

Ausiello: They've turned into a great mother-daughter team.
They're great. And that's really going to be a big part of the second half of the season.

Ausiello: Any chance Marissa might reappear in some form?
I feel like we've made our peace with that story line. I feel like she's been honored, and it's really about these characters moving forward.

Ausiello: So no ghosts or anything?
There will be no Ryan doing pottery with "Unchained Melody" playing in the background and Marissa helping him. [ Laughs] We really want to focus these last episodes on our core characters. The cast is clicking so well.

Ausiello: Happy ending for Ryan and Taylor?
It's going to be a really satisfying ending for people who have been with the show for four years, and really watched Ryan grow and search for happiness.

Ausiello: I'll take that as a yes! Anything else you want to add?
Like I said, I'm incredibly proud of this season. And that was my only goal this year. Knowing we were being asked to do an impossible task - given the Thursday time slot - the sole goal was to really deliver the best possible season, and I feel really satisfied that we've done that this year.