Entering their senior years, the teenage protagonists that make up The OC had a lot to look forward to. During the day they would rule the school and the evening time would bring unprecedented levels of debauchery as they could start getting into the “18 and over” nights at The Bait Shop. Ryan and Seth managed to go a whole summer without running away so their girlfriends weren’t mad at them and they wouldn’t have to waste precious months winning them back. Then again, not everything was so awesome. Marissa shot somebody, Ryan actually did try and run away and everybody was about to follow him, and Ryan and Marissa got thrown out of their private school because of that shooting. But let’s try to accentuate the positive and all of that. Marissa’s parents were getting back together, and Seth’s mom was out of rehab and would be coming home any day now. As long as they had each other, what was going to keep them apart?The OC still loves the early morning breakfast banter, but we have been introduced to a new breakfast routine as Summer, Seth, Ryan and Marissa all enjoy piling into a booth at their favorite diner and eating food or discussing their lives. As teenage eateries goes, it doesn’t quite have the cachet of The Max, but it will do. As the realization of Ryan and Marissa’s situation began to sink in, Summer is getting more and more depressed. Although she isn’t a ra-ra type big on school spirit and she does have expensive tastes, but she really likes the simple pleasures as well, especially when it comes to her high school experience. She had imagined her junior prom since she was a young girl, and for all the things Seth Cohen did incorrectly, saving her at the end of the prom probably did more for their relationship then a thousand spiderman kisses. Summer will still have Ryan, but not having her best friend is going to be difficult.
You also know that things aren’t going to get easier for Seth either. He was always a huge geek, and while he did gain some cred after going out with the hottest girl in the school, without Ryan around to intimidate the bullies, he was going to be in line for a number of different methods of geek torture including being pushed into lockers, wedgies, swirlies, and having his butt cheeks taped together. Frankly, I don’t get that last one. Perhaps his ass was so hairy that it hurt to rip the tape off? And from the bully’s standpoint, isn’t gluteal affixation sort of, well, a pain in the ass to accomplish? Wouldn’t that be a least a three man job? And being macho and everything, doesn’t it strike you as slightly homoerotic?
In fact, Summer and Seth think that maybe Ryan and Marissa got the better end of the deal. After all, they won’t have to deal with the pastel Dean who is getting creepier and creepier with. Besides, they still have each other and if they stick together they will be OK. If unplanned pregnancies, attempted lesbianism, and attempted murder can’t keep these two apart, it’s going to take a force of nature to prevent these two from enjoying all of their moments together. Or their parents could have tell them not to see each other, but they wouldn’t do that after how hard the two of them have tried to stay together, right? Shouldn’t they just accept it by now?
We are beginning to see a different Sandy this year. We have always known that he was well connected. We have never seen him step foot into a courtroom or even a judges chambers, but he still manages to be one of the most connected people in Newport. He’s always making calls and pulling in favors even though we never get to see how he earns them. It must be this uncanny skill that has found him as head of the Newport Group while Kirsten is gone even though most people wouldn’t hire him if they needed to build a bird house. Sandy is also showing new colors when it comes to this relationship with Ryan. We have seen the Cohens get parental on Seth for obvious reasons, but they usually left Ryan alone, and rarely scolded him for anything. So when Sandy called Ryan in for a little chat, the last thing we were expecting was for Sandy to get upset or raise his voice, but that’s exactly what he did.
Perhaps the reason for this new stern tone is the fact that Ryan is about to become an adult. He was de-facto adopted by the Cohens and Sandy has realized that this year is very important for Ryan. One of the reasons for going to Harbor was to give Ryan, who is of course very smart, a chance to go to any school he wanted, and really that was the whole point of getting Ryan away from Chino. It’s why the Cohens were hesitant about him leaving for Theresa and it was why they were worried when Trey came to town. Basically, Sandy tells Ryan that he needs to start thinking about what is good for him and not stop worrying about Marissa. He doesn’t say that Ryan must stop seeing Marissa, but he does think that they may do well with a little break. And you know that telling a teenager not to see the girl that he was willing to go to jail for is going to work as long as you have the proper overbearing guardian tone to you.
When Ryan got his call from Sandy, Marissa also got a call from her mom. During their conversation, I was just waiting for Julie to tell Marissa that she can’t see Ryan anymore, AGAIN. Seriously, I think Marissa is an attractive girl, she has kind of a strange head, but I can see where the appeal is. But if my girlfriend’s mom tried to get me framed for first degree assault, I would be out of there. Julie has kind of realized that these two are going to be together, but I think she is not so worried about that as she is about giving her daughter a fresh start. Therefore, you can understand how excited she is when she says that Caitlin’s boarding school will take her in. You remember Caitlin, she’s the Cooper’s other daughter. We knew her for the first summer season of The OC, and then we never saw her again. There is Marissa’s fresh start, and in case she was worried her younger sister would start trouble, Julie has raised her allowance. Marissa has a little problem with this and doesn’t want to go, so Julie says that she can stay, but she has to promise not to see Ryan.
But if there is anybody that is in a lot of trouble this year, it is Jimmy Cooper. He has always had this strange sort of existence, but he has always been a huge pussy. Jimmy goes to the Cohen’s to see Sandy, because he needs a favor. He makes some small talk about being sorry for all of that stuff with the District Attorney and Ryan possibly going to jail, but he really wants to know when they will be reading Caleb’s will. He needs some money to get rid of this goon that has been on this tail, and you know Sandy suspects something, but lets him know that it is happening on Friday.
With that knowledge, Jimmy goes to Julie and says they should get married that weekend. Julie probably wanted another big wedding, but when Jimmy wants to keep it small, she agrees. Tasteful, understated and with breakfast omelettes for all. What more does the future Mrs. Cooper-Nichol-Cooper need? Jimmy also has another suggestion – moving to Hawaii. Think about it, they will have a fresh start, Marissa will have a fresh start, and he will be far away from people looking to beat his head to a bloody pulp.
Julie thinks about it a little bit and goes to tell Marissa. Without having to worry about school, they have all day to make out, even though Ryan is kind of banned from their house. When Julie knocks on the door, Ryan has to hide on the balcony. But do you ever wonder where he parks when he goes over there? Wouldn’t Julie know he was there when she saw the Range Rover in the driveway or even down the street? Maybe he just rides his bike. While Ryan is hiding, Julie fills Marissa in on the plan, and if both of her parents in Hawaii, there is not really anything that she can do about not going. She didn’t do so good as that emancipated minor thing, so it looks like she and Ryan will finally be finished, unless they like each other on webcams as much as they do in person.
The news of the move doesn’t hit Summer and Seth very well. They haven’t had a great time without their two best friends at Harbor. Seth is getting wedgies…from sophomores. But there is going to be something even more uncomfortable for the two of them in the near future. Dean Hess did a good job of keeping Ryan and Marissa’s bad influence out of his school, but their best friends are still in the school, and you know that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The Dean has a little suggestion for the two of them. Do something good for the school. Join the drama club. At this point, Summer has to put her foot down. She has no problem with Seth and his dorky friends, and she would embarrass herself with things from synchronized swimming to animal rights, but she draws the line at drama club. Summer has a really big problem because the reason why Hess is suggesting drama club is because his favorite student, Taylor Townsend is head of the production.
Ahhh, now it makes a lot of sense. I suggested last year that there be a student-teacher relationship, but I thought it should center around Ryan. We aren’t positive what is going on between Taylor and Hess, but she obviously has some sort of influence over him, and I’m pretty sure it’s not because of her school spirit. She pouts a little bit, and Hess suggests that they might want to show some school spirit or they will see some consequences.
Summer is, of course, devastated when she hears Marissa is going to leave. Her entire life she has been a loyal friend to Marissa. She has been even more than a friend, she has been a sidekick, and one of the hardest things for a sidekick to deal with is the departure of the master. I don’t believe that Summer would have a horrible time without her master, but it is a difficult transition period nonetheless. Despite all of her reservations about going away to boarding school, Marissa isn’t exactly dreading going to Hawaii. She says her parents are happy and have a second chance and she wants to be part of that. What she really needs to be part of is a good work release program if you ask me, and honestly that boarding school idea is pretty sweet.
Seth and Ryan aren’t really affected by Marissa’s decision that much. In fact you could argue that Seth would be really happy with Marissa’s departure because he would finally have Ryan all to himself, but he at least tries to be helpful. He suggests perhaps running away or living in a model home, but since neither of those options worked very well the first time around, Ryan stops them before they even get started. Mr. Atwood does have a better idea though; Marissa should live with them. They have plenty of room (not that she would be doing much other than making out with Ryan in the pool house), and the Cohens are the Cooper’s best friends. Ryan just needs to get Sandy to think about it.
Lately, Sandy has had a lot of things to think about. Thanks to divorce, death, and detox, Sandy is now running the Newport Group. I’m sure it was just about the last thing that he wanted to do, but if there is anything that would send his beautiful wife into relapse, it would be returning home and finding out that her father’s company is now in ruins. And just when is it that Kirsten is coming back? When he found out that Caleb’s will would be read on Friday, he went up to Lake Arrowhead to ask her if she wanted to go.
When he got to the lodge Charlotte was waiting in the front and mentioned that “we weren’t expecting you”, and she wasn’t using the “royal we”, she was talking like she and Kirsten were a couple, or at least inseparable. You know that there is going to be a meltdown between these two at some point, and although I like Sandy, Charlotte looks like she would grab his balls, rip them off, and eat them for lunch. Kirsten comes out before any neutering occurs, and she isn’t exactly excited to hear about the reading of the will. She stands to gain millions, but she is worried about the whole ordeal. Her last argument with her father followed by his death really put her over the edge with her alcoholism, and she’s scared of the consequences of being in that situation, at least that is what Charlotte is telling her she should think. And just in case you were wondering just how attached Charlotte is to this whole thing, Sandy catches her eavesdropping on him and Kirsten talking about the will.
With that encounter on his mind, you can understand why Sandy is not too sure about taking in Marissa. One of the good things about this season of the OC is that Ben McKenzie is not overacting in so many scenes, and he begged Sandy saying that they got to where they were because somebody gave them a break, so it’s time that somebody gives Marissa one. Sandy can’t refuse a request like that, but he gets even better news himself; Kirsten has decided to leave her quarantine and go to Newport for the reading of the will.
Ryan is so very happy that he is finally able to do something for Marissa, and so he is very excited to tell her that they don’t have to be apart. When he tells her, he gets an entirely unexpected response. She appreciates everything that he has done, and loves that he would go to all that trouble, but tells him that she has decided to go to Hawaii because she wants to have a chance at a real family, and even Ryan Atwood in one of his patented wife beaters isn’t going to get Marissa to change her mind. He can’t really get mad and punch her out, so he just has to live with that decision.
At this point, Ryan doesn’t really have a lot of options. Seth has some good suggestions, like starting a blog, but he might want to think about doing something special to remind her of him with all of the hot native dudes and sailors (Seth’s words not mine). If I were Ryan, I would do that something special and make sure that I’m doing it and doing it and doing it well. See, she’s representin’ Newport, he was raised out in Chino. Since Ryan will have to use more than ripped-off LL Cool J lyrics to win her back, he decides to enlist the help of his friends, enter Seth and Summer.
Knowing that Ryan and Marissa were going to be out of school, we probably could have guessed that Seth and Summer were going to be able to get even closer than before, they just weren’t expecting that they would have to do it in drama club. But the real problem with drama club is not the dramies and the bandies that hang out in droves, it tis the person in charge of the particular production hey are working on. Yes, Taylor Towsend, after being non-existent for the first two seasons is now quite the player at Harbor High. She has Seth and Summer building a set, and I know that she wants to make sure that the two of them are occupied and having a hard time, but is it worth putting the quality of your production in the able hands of Seth Cohen? Hell, is it worth the potential lives of your actors just to get Seth to use a hammer?
All of that risk appears well worth it, especially since it gives Taylor a chance to rub it in to Seth. She is kind of scared to tell off Summer, so she makes fun of Seth by reminding him what a huge geek he is. There’s nothing like a good bitch fight between two teenagers, and Summer tears a new one into Taylor “Listen skank. Just because you’re saying really mean things in like a really nice voice doesn’t mean that we don’t realize that you’re some stupid little skank.” To Taylor, who keeps her J. Crew chastity belt on at all times, this is the ultimate insult, and she begins to cry. Dean Hess immediately sees what is going on, and warns Seth and Summer that there will be consequences if he has even one more incident between the two of them.
The big event of the week is the reading of Caleb’s will and yes, Kirsten does come. It’s a big relief for Sandy, who was really starting to miss Kirsten for things even more important than ordering Thai, cleaning the house, and his skeleton copulation fetish (seriously Kelly Rowan is hella thin these days). He has been very supportive of her when he sees her, although he is becoming a little more inquisitive about her timetable and even question how much Charlotte is responsible for her attitude. In one of the few times this season we will ever see him raise his voice, Sandy yelled at Seth for arguing with him about how much they should push Kirsten into coming back, so it was a relief that she walked in, and she didn’t have Charlotte with her.
Right before the will was read, you could really sense the anticipation in the room. Charlotte told Kirsten that Caleb probably had a surprise waiting for her, and she was listening to hear if that was true. Julie was waiting to see exactly how rich she was going to become. She signed a pre-nup which was likely air-tight, but his will would be his final say on the matter. Jimmy was hoping to get it over with as well. His friend had paid him a visit and said in some not so uncertain fashion that Jimmy would not get another chance. Lindsey didn’t make the flight, which is surprising to nobody, because neither she nor Zach will be heard from again if the producers stay true to form.
The executor starts his speech, and Julie is happy to learn that she is going to get an equal part of the fortune to be split with Kristen and Lindsay. Unfortunately, each of their portions is going to be roughly equal to the amount of money I give back each year to my alumni fund. Before I get a bunch of letter from people wanting to know if I am married, I should tell you that the share the women will be getting is equal not because I am so very generous, but because Caleb is so very broke. He lived a wealthy lifestyle, but i was all smoke and mirrors. A couple of mortgages on the house, debts everywhere. By the time the creditors were happy, that left nothing but a single letter to Kirsten.
Kirsten is so upset that she decides to leave, blaming Sandy for pushing her to come back. Sand tries to call her cell phone, then the lodge, but only Charlotte is there to answer. They both want to hear Kirsten on the other end, and are both equally disappointed that she doesn’t answer. Charlotte chastises Sandy for pushing her, as if Charlotte’s clingy, creepy style was what was holding her together, and we don’t know where she is off ton, until we see that she has found her way to a little deli and buys herself a flask of vodka. 3-2-1 relapse!
Julie just doesn’t know what the hell to do, but she has her security blanket with Jimmy, who has a business of his own. So what if they can’t move back to Hawaii with Caleb’s fortune. They are leaving on a boat in a couple of days and maybe it’s just a clean break. I don’t think anybody was wondering, but Julie admits that she loved Caleb for his money, because she was attracted to the security that money brings, and then confesses that she always felt safe with Jimmy. What Jimmy doesn’t tell her is that he is planning on skipping town. He says that it is bad luck to sleep with the bride before the wedding, almost as bad luck as it is to owe hundreds of thousands to a loan shark and neglect to pay it all. That’s all she wrote, and he rushes to his boat to start packing.
While all of the grownups are busy doing there thing, Ryan is busy wooing Marissa. He used the old “let’s get some black and white milkshakes at the diner” trick to lure her into following him. Now we all know that the best black and white milkshakes are not on the pear in Newport but are at the 101 Coffee Shop on Franklin. We also know that the likelihood of Marissa sucking down more than a few sips of that milkshake without throwing it up five minutes later is remote, so there has to be another reason for him asking her to go, and we soon find out why.
Ryan promised to tell Marissa her fortune…all night long.
Seth and Summer had been working on South Pacific, and they helped Ryan build a little cabana tent made out of props from the production, complete with tiki torches and plenty of blankets and rugs. There is, of course, nothing more romantic than spending an evening in Bedouin trading camp. I can’t believe Ryan was so thoughtless as to forget the goats and camels. But look, the thing is that they don’t need anything except each other to be happy, and so they are having a great time making out inside. You know, I am not sure what private beach they were on in Newport where nobody would notice this camp site, but let’s pretend David Geffen is on patrol and is keeping the untouchables away.
Everything is going great, but in the middle, Marissa decides that this is too much. She runs out saying that she can’t do this. Before Ryan decides if he should finish himself off with one of Kirsten’s Victoria’s Secret catalogs back home or see if Seth has forgotten to lock down his anime porn collection, Marissa comes back, says she was just kidding, and then things get really serious. A couple of seasons ago, this scene would have been intolerable, but Ben and Mishca pulled it off. Ryan said there was a lot of stuff that they have done, but nothing like they were about to do. Consider me a prude, but at this point, I am hoping that Ryan has some protection. Seriously, not only has Ryan already impregnated a girl, but he doesn’t know where she has been. There was the gardener, and then there was Alex, who slept with all sorts of people. And for Marissa, Ryan isn’t exactly chaste. Theresa brings a whole lot of people into the fold that you probably don’t want to know about.
But let’s not spoil the mood, because we have Jimmy Cooper to do that. No, Kimmy didn’t walk in on the two of them while they were going at it, or even bother them while it was going on, but after the two of them woke up in the morning, the morning that was supposed to be his wedding day, Jimmy calls and needs to see Marissa.
I was wondering what Jimmy Cooper was doing hanging around this season. He seemed to have a purpose at the end of last year, but they were kind of dragging him around. I was wondering why they had him run into money troubles again, but it quickly became apparent. Just as he was about to leave, his friend finds Jimmy with his bags packed and puts him in the back of an Escalade with no intentions of negotiating. During the scenes of Ryan and Marissa’s tender moment, they interject it with scenes from Jimmy getting the shit knocked out of him (as well as Kirsten sitting in a hotel room looking at her newly-purchased vodka), and he really was getting a beat down. They slammed his face into some beams near the pier to loosen him up, as it looks like these thugs were more interested in beating Jimmy to within an inch of his life among the most scenic surroundings than they were concerned about finding a secluded area to get the job done.
After plenty of ass-kicking, which warranted one of the few parental advisories we see for the OC, Jimmy is left for dead. We know he didn’t die, mainly because I just told you that he called Marissa, and when he does call Marissa to come and see him, she sees him in some pretty bad condition. Considering how many people were pounding him in though, he looks pretty good, at least not bad enough that he would have to worry about permanent damage, or, you know, scars. Seriously, I have hurt myself much worse than a group of guys hurt Jimmy. How is it that I would need stitches after cutting an apple, and Jimmy just patched himself up with his first aid kit, and didn’t even have a limp.
Most inefficient thuggery ever!
Jimmy tells Marissa that he is a bad father and that he has to leave. And to show just how much he cared about Julie, he is going to let Marissa tell her mother that the wedding is off. Marissa tells him that if he leaves, he should never come back, because it is too hard to say goodbye like this. Better than saying goodbye to him when he is in a pine box, right Marissa? Of all the things Jimmy has done, skipping out on Julie had to be one of the worst. She has been a huge bitch this season, but when she sees Marissa, then sees Ryan followed her, she knows something is wrong. Her chance at a new life is smashed. She thought she was actually going to be with the one she loved, the one who she left too soon, and was going to get a second chance. Instead, she found out that she was going to be alone. But hey! At least Ryan and Marissa get to stay together!
There was at least one happy ending in Newport however. Kirsten resisted the bottle, and she decided she wanted to come back home. She had her father’s letter, and knew that the only thing that would help her face the fears she had about what was within was not running away with a bottle, but running right back into the arms of her husband. In a weird way, Charlotte was right; Caleb left a surprise for Kirsten, but not one that she was expecting. His letter was not written out of anger for their argument about her drinking, but was written as an apology for the way he had treated her all these years. It was exactly what she needed to hear, and she knew that she was ready to live her life again.
They go back home, where Seth and Ryan are discussing everything that happened. While Ryan was watching Julie’s heart break, Seth and Summer were returning all of the props from the South Pacific set. Dean Hess caught Seth while Summer had left to get the tiki torches, and starts on and on about being the Dean of Discipline and how he has to set an example, perhaps he can start by showing everybody an example of how to act if you want people to believe that you are not a huge douchebag and a psychopath. He gives Seth detention, but says he can fix it by naming his partner. GIven the choice, Seth thinks about how his actions would affect somebody else besides him, and he says he acted alone. The Dean gave him two months detention, but it showed a new side of Seth; a side concerned about somebody besides himself. He believes it was the first brave thing he has done in his life.
Just when we think seth is about to start gloating again, Kirsten comes in with Sandy, setting off a “Hey!” explosion like we haven’t seen in a long time. For some reason, Ryan is the first one to great Kirsten. I mean, I know she has been like a mother to you, but Seth is the one that actually spent time in her uterus, so I think he has dibs.
This was overall a good episode. Dare I say the writers have found a sense of pacing? Kirsten came back home at the right time, and we got rid of the Jimmy Cooper distraction, but we still had hints of what was coming. Taylor and Dean Hess have something going on, and they are sure to get caught soon. Whatever it is, I hope they keep Taylor around, because she has been a great high school villain. On top of that, we learned a little bit more about Charlotte. She doesn’t own that cabin on Lake Arrowhead, and when the property manager came to collect her rent and tell her to leave, Charlotte packs up some things, heads out the back window, and leaves. So we know that she is poor and a liar, but we still have to find out why she went to all that trouble to get close to Kirsten.
What did you think of this episode? What will Julie Cooper do for money now? Will Ryan get Marissa pregnant? Will Dean Hess get Taylor pregnant? What will Seth do during detention?
Hey! Count: Episode 20(!), Season 35. [Thanks for the reminder D. Chuck]
UPDATE: I forgot to remind everybody that we are giving away three copies of the OC Season 2 on DVD. Read more for your chance to win.