For me, it was not the perfect final season. It was good season when it came to drama/action/story but I did not like it as the end of OTH. To me, it did not feel like a build to the end. It was like it was going and going and then abruptly stopped. Because of that there were a lot of things I wanted to see but did. I think there were a lot of things that I didn't care for. I personally loved the end of s8. I was able to see almost everything I wanted for my faves and it had a nice note to it.
So if I had to rate it as a final season. I'd give it a 2/5. And the only reason it gets that high for me was because of Dan/Nathan and Dan/Keith. Everything else imo was a disappointment.
For me the lack of Naley in the season was a real downer. They were the reason I started watching. It was their scene on the docks with the sun shining so bright that hooked me on OTH. While I understood the limited screen time for James, I felt that they could have been given so much more at the end of the season. Their romance was a major theme and storyline for every season of the show. The lack of true classic moments for them in that season just made it not as highly rated for me. They are not the only reason I watch, but their chemistry and romance is what kept me watching when I did not care for other storyline on the show. I just want more for them and of them. I loved what we did get but I think they could have used his screen time better. At times, I have honestly felt that in the later seasons Clathan for some reason get just as much if not more than Naley and its annoying. I am not a fan of that friendship therefore I don't like the actors limited screen time being wasted on that contrivance when it could have better been used with NH + Family. We barely got any moments of the Scott family 4. And that's travesty imo, considering that family is the major legacy of this show.
Also I know its wrong, but I'm a biased classic Core 5 fan. I loved the focus Brooke got. I hated that Clay/Quinn/Logan got more moments bonding as a family then any of the Scotts. I hated that Lucas return barely had an impact. They should have used that time better and wrote it better. I felt like more things should have been resolved. I hated the lack of LN in the finale season because if anything that was a major moment that should have shown how far they had come. We should have seen LN and their children together, even if Hilarie could not come too. They should have shown us with them and their kids at the river court talking about Dan and where they were in their feelings for him. We could have seen Dan&Keith in heaven looking down on "their" boys and smiling.
I just really wasn't happy with it.