So far this season, it looks like the third time is once again the charm for The OC. There are still plenty of things that we can’t really explain, but they are doing a little bit of a better job on knowing when to get in and out of story lines and how long they should wait to reveal a big twist. And although a lot of people may disagree, the show is really much more fun and believable when the kids are acting their age. By adding characters and putting the old ones in differing situations, there is a new balance to the show that we have been missing for a long time. Couple that with acting that, while nobody will confuse for an HBO Original Series, is nowhere near as laughable as it was before, and I think that it is now officially cool to be watching The OC again, even if a lot of us never left. OK, we complained a lot, but still, we never left.Since Ryan and Marissa were kicked out of school, we have all been wondering what it is that they are going to do with the two kids. Julie had thought about first boarding school and then moving to Hawaii with Marissa, but with Caleb’s death and Jimmy skipping town, both of those choices aren’t really an option anymore. The only thing left is to leave your kids in the hands of the government, which means public school, which means that Ryan and Marissa will be starting at Newport Union fairly soon. Therefore, I find it odd that they start off the show with Ryan driving and Summer and Seth going at it (verbally) in the back seat. If Ryan and Marissa are going to Newport Union, what the hell are Summer and Seth going to do? I mean, I guess they could get out of the car and move up front, but why not have them drive in the first place.
My concerns are taken care of when we learn that Ryan is going to be home schooled, meaning that Marissa is hitting Newport Union herself, and you just never know what she is going to run into. As she walks down the hall, she sees a lot of people staring at her, but it’s just because she is new. It doesn’t take long before somebody calls her “Newport Barbie”. But who cares about the looks, at least she is going to get a fresh start. But the surroundings! How can anybody learn in a place like this? Blacks, and Asians, and Hispanics. Oh my! Marissa, what have you got yourself in to now? Luckily, Ryan lingers in the car for a few moments and takes inventory of any person he thinks he may have to beat up later.
At Harbor, Summer has her own problems. She made the carnival so awesome; it kind of landed her a job as the social chair. She didn’t really want it that badly, and you could argue she never wanted it at all. Her main purpose for doing it is to keep it away from Taylor Townsend. Even so, Summer thought it was a figurehead position, and she never realized all of the work involved, like finding the right DJ. She has decided on DJ Bootyopolis, and picking the right DJ is really half the battle in these things. It just so happened that I was the social chair in college. You have to imagine a time when I wasn’t so old, angry and anti-social, and was more, well, drunk all the time. I even said “Toodles” once. Anyway, DJs are sometimes a pain. Some of these people would refer to themselves in the third person. Seriously, who leaves a message on your machine that says, “Hey J-Unit, this is DJ Rockin Lou, that date will be fine. I need half of the fee for deposit. Thanks and Rocking Lou OUT!Ã¢â‚¬? Seriously, who does that? But whatever her problems are, they don’t compare at all to Seth, who is being forced to clean bathrooms as part of his detention, or “work release” as he refers to it. I am sure he would have objected a little to his treatment if he werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t so adept at cleaning toilets because of his stint at the bait shop.
Ryan is back at his house, and after seeing how alone Marissa would be at school. It’s not that she can’t make friends, but what will she do if she can’t find somebody who loves Prada and Chanel? How is she going to make friends? What if the kids are too poor to know about things like lying outside by the pool, or TALKING? As her boyfriend, Ryan has to do something, right? No, you’re wrong! Sandy’s got this parenting thing down. Ryan will stay home with his tutor and he WILL think about college and he WILL prepare for his SATs. By the way, if he wants to go to one of those magical elite schools he was talking about, he needs to get in the SATs, SAT IIs, and maybe think about early admission to one or two of these places in the next couple of months, no? Eh, I guess that is being too picky.
Satisfied that he won’t have to call in Dr. Phil to fix his kids, Sandy moves on to see what is going on with his wife. There she is outside…. gardening? God, how generic could this rehab place be. Next thing you know, we’ll find out she also took crocheting and is going to start making Chrismukkah sweaters for everybody. Sandy asks her what is going on, and Kirsten says that she learned in rehab that she must confront her fears. Her biggest fear is cooking so she starts off with an herb garden. I have always thought Kirsten’s biggest fear was actually eating her food because she didn’t want to get fat. She’s obviously done a great job with that, and it makes Sandy as horny as ever.
Herb’s the word, cooks the verb…
After a little hint at the sex that was going to go on in their shower, they cut to a one second shot of the ocean. I am not sure if people caught it, but I was wondering why the hell it was there. It was directly above the water, so no idyllic countryside, and literally was on screen for like a second. Was it all just a metaphor for the sex that we just saw was about to happen? I am so confused.
Marissa is making it through her first day without too much problem, except that she doesn’t know where her classes are and she keeps on bumping into this bully who wants to beat her up. In their first meeting, this girl called Marissa “Newport Barbie”. This time, Marissa bumped into her while she was trying to find a class. Like most new kids, she apologizes, and it looks like the bully girl is going to let her go, at least on one condition. She wants Marissa to tell her that she is better than her. When Marissa says she doesn’t think she is better than her, the bully then asks, “What, do you think I am stupid?” I was waiting for Marissa to say, “Well, I don’t think you’re stupid, but the script says that since you dress in all black you have to be my enemy. Your dark clothes are a metaphor for how your dark soul threatens to black out my sunny outlook for the first day at my new school.”
It’s clear that the bully just wants to pick a fight, and it’s clear that Marissa would not be much of a match for her. Luckily for Ms. Cooper, there is another girl who has been watching the whole thing and decides to give Newport Barbie a little helping hand. We learn that this other girl’s name is Casey, and she appears to be the doppelganger of a 17 year-old Sheryl Crow if Sheryl Crow was like 1/8th Mexican.
Continuing through the rest of her day, Marissa has another one of those situations that only appear in your “first day at a new school” nightmares. She is trying to access her locker but can’t remember the combination, or even which locker it is. A boy comes up to her to try and help, and starts to make some small talk. He tells Marissa locker assignments are in the vice-principals office, and that he will show her how to get there since he is so familiar with the place. Marissa thanks him, but says that her boyfriend will be coming to pick her up soon, and that she’ll figure it out tomorrow. Out of nowhere, Casey comes by. I think that there is now going to be some fight between Casey and Marissa about the boy, Johnny, but it turns out that everything is cool. Casey and Johnny are together, and Casey has brought along their sidekick, Dennis. Dennis is awkward, rides a skateboard, and makes a lot of bad jokes.
Hmm, this all seems familiar. We have a bad boy who is always in trouble, his girlfriend who is pretty and the most stylish person in school, and their sidekick dorky boy with no social skills. It looks like Marissa has stumbled upon the Bizarro world version of her clique at Newport Union. It’s really a perfect situation, and it looks like they want a new person to add to their clique, because they invite Marissa to get some grub afterwards. Marissa knows that Ryan is coming to pick her up, but she really wants to make friends, so she gives him a call. Even though Ryan is sitting in the parking lot waiting for her, he knows it will be easier for her if she made friends, so he doesn’t make a fuss. But we all see the look on his face where he’s thinking if he’s already been replaced. I don’t think Ryan has anything to worry about, at least until the inevitable moment when we learn Johnny got a girl pregnant, Casey has a drinking problem, and Dennis (who we are supposed to call Chili) reads comics.
When Marissa gets home, her mother asks her if she doesn’t mind staying a Summer’s house for a little while, and tries to make up an excuse about the lawyer thinking they were moving out and whatnot. Julie is a bad liar and Marissa sees through her excuse and says that she doesn’t have to be protective anymore. Julie then tells Marissa that they are going to get through it, and when Marissa says that she believes her, that she knows she is a survivor and can trust her to get them through this, it means a lot to her mother. If we thought that Caleb being broke was a worst-case scenario for Jimmy, it is even worse for Julie. She has depended on men for her income, and never really planned for a time when she would have to do stuff on her own.
So Summer is getting a sister at home. She is so close with Marissa, they have the one relationship that hasn’t had a major falling out at any point during the series, which means that they will have to have a fight before long, so watch for that. What we weren’t expecting was for Summer to have a new BFF at school. And who was it that could replace Marissa Cooper? Could it be the wannabe Marissa Cooper, Taylor Townsend?
As strange as it sounds, it looks like that is exactly what is happening. Summer has been super busy planning the school dance, and Taylor asks if she can help out. The whole idea that Taylor Townsend would think Summer would have any interest in Taylor helping out was just laughable, but then Taylor began to pour her heart out to Summer. Senior year was supposed to be different. For a number of reasons, she doesn’t have any friends, and the real reason she wanted to be social chair was because she wanted a chance to show that she can change, and maybe for once people will write something in her yearbook that would mean something. Maybe people would say it was great to finally get to know you.
If there is one thing that Summer cannot resist is a good sob story, and despite everything that Taylor has meant to her in the past, she lets Taylor help out. One of the girls was having trouble cutting out an octagon, and hers had only three sides, which of course makes it a triangle. Summer should have just made it easy and used the best shape of all – the RHOMBUS. I don’t actually think there is anything that great about the RHOMBUS, but I love saying RHOMBUS. It has some sort of flair to it. RHOMBUS! Ok, I’ll stop capitalizing rhombus because it is annoying, but you should all go out and try to use rhombus in a conversation with a friend. Notice the looks that you receive. If they aren’t puzzled, they will surely be impressed because everybody loves a RHOMBUS. Oh shit, there I go again.
It seems almost too good to be true that Taylor is all of a sudden being very friendly, but it appears she has become nice, or at least a little bit smaller of a skank bitch. After overhearing a conversation in the teacher’s lounge between Dean Hess and another teacher, Taylor knows she has to report back to Summer, and it’s not good news. The Dean said that if Seth doesn’t give up his accomplice, he will be suspended. Seth has refused to narc on Summer, so she knows that if she wants to help her boyfriend, she is going to have to confess herself. She walks into the Dean’s office, which appears even larger than Dr. Kim’s office, and is a lot bigger than the office of our truant officer in High School, which was basically a spare desk outside of the principal’s secretary’s office. Summer lets him know that she was the one who helped Seth, and he shouldn’t be suspended. Dean Hess looks at her, says that he is happy she came forward, but with this new information, he wouldn’t be able to let her continue on as social chair. Suddenly, it all comes into place for Summer. Taylor set her up and never really wanted to be friends at all.
In the world of our adults, Sandy and Kirsten are wondering what to do about the Newport Group. Basically, the company is in deep shit because Caleb mismanaged it so thoroughly. They could probably build it back up, but it would take a lot of work. Kirsten doesn’t think that it is worth it, and decides to liquidate the company. It all perfectly makes sense, Kirsten is trying to put everything in the past, but it also makes it difficult for a number of people, including Julie Cooper, who was hoping to get a loan from the Newport Group to get back on her feet. Sandy tells her that is not possible, even without the liquidation. Now Julie has nothing to do except act surprised when the repo men come and take everything out of her house.
Every divorcÃƒÂ©e’s nightmare; a well-dressed asian repo man.
As inconvenient as all of this was for Julie, it was even worse for Charlotte. When we last saw our buxom friend, crawling out the back window of her cabin house, which really wasn’t her cabin house. That means that this whole thing was an elaborate scheme to get close to Kirsten, but why? Charlotte sends Kirsten some flowers, invites her to lunch, and we soon find out that Charlotte is a con artist. During their lunch, Charlotte says that she wants to create a halfway house for women who are recovering from addiction. She has a lot of investors, but she knew Kirsten would love to help out. With just a couple of million dollars, Kirsten could help out, and make her money back in a couple of years.
Kirsten is completely naive, and would have been taken to the cleaners, but without any of her father’s money, she doesn’t have a couple of million lying around that she can invest. She tells this to Charlotte, who is dumbfounded. Apparently, she faked her way in to rehab, at a very expensive place, just to get close to Kirsten and scam her from her father’s money. She rented a cabin to come up with this scheme, and now it looks like it was all for nothing. Desperate, Charlotte asks if the Newport Group would like to be a silent partner. Kirsten tells her that they are liquidating and nothing will be left.
Charlotte knows that Kirsten holding on to the Newport Group might be her last best chance to get money from Kirsten, so she tries a little bit more of that reverse psychology that worked so well in rehab. I can see it now, “Oh you may THINK that selling your father’s company will make things better, but you are wrong. And I should know. Remember? The experiences with my father are very similar to your experiences with your father. Whenever I thought I should liquidate my dad’s assets, I thought better and decided to rebuild those companies and give the money to charity. That’s why I don’t have enough money to finance this thing myself. BTW, why do you always listen to my advice? I have told you that I have relapsed many times? And why would a person who has relapsed so many times be a good business partner for a halfway house. Oh, did I say that out loud? Damn!” What made this scene great was the “Kirsten Manipulation Music” playing in the background. Just in case you didn’t know things were sinister, it would get louder whenever Charlotte would lie. Relevant crescendos are something of a lost art form on television these days, don’t you think?
For Marissa, her second day of school was better. She had a few friends, wasn’t getting lost as often, but there was still that pesky bully to deal with. One of the reasons Marissa came to Newport Union and was actually happy to leave Harbor was because nobody knew here, but how much anonymity do you think she really had? As it turns out, not that much. Our big bully, seeing that Marissa has already indoctrinated herself into a new clique, realizes that she is going to have to do much better than trying to trick Marissa into a fight. Why not just be direct about? When the girl confronts Marissa this time, she asks if Marissa is going to shoot her.
Since her hope throughout this whole thing was about getting a fresh start, knowing that somebody knows her secret and will spread it around school is too much and Marissa cries. I know that this is a difficult moment, but Marissa has been through some bad shit. Why does she go bawling at this point? In just the last week she found out she was kicked out of school, her family was going to move, her father got beat up and was going to leave, meaning Marissa had to stay with her mother, who was left at the altar and was getting kicked out of her house. Oh yeah, and remember when YOU SHOT SOMEONE a few months ago? Toughen up already.
Johnny comforts Marissa. She explains her problem, and Johnny said that everybody already knew anyway. See, Marissa forgot that their are no confidentiality laws in Newport Beach, and apparently the trials of minors are a matter of public record. Johnny then says that she shot somebody, but she did it to save somebody else, which is something a lot of brave people couldn’t even do. At this point, Ryan comes into the picture. He is about to pick up Marissa, and sees her crying and another guy talking to her. He runs up, and even though Johnny is friendly, assumes that he bothering Marissa, and tries to pull his tough guy Ryan act, which probably doesn’t work so well when you have your Banana Republic leather barn jacket and Hugo Boss flat front herringbone pants on.
Surprise, surprise, Ryan overreacts and embarrasses Marissa. He calls later that night to apologize, and suggests the movies. Marissa says that she has to study, but will eventually need a study break. Oh, BTW, Marissa’s studying is reading her books while laying out by this huge pool, or what a lot of us like to call a vacation. When Seth says that he is going over to Summer’s to pick her up for the dance at Harbor, Ryan says that he will do a little pop in on Marissa to see how she is doing.
The one big disadvantage with the pop in is that you always have to be ready for the consequences. While Marissa was busy studying, her new best friends decided to pop in at Summer’s house themselves. There is also a dance at Newport Union and they wanted Marissa to go. She says that she doesn’t feel like it, but when they say that their night would be ruined if she doesn’t join, she gives in.
You know, while these kids were at school, I thought it was very nice of them to welcome Marissa. They weren’t judgmental and took the time to get to know her. They gave her friendly advice like not to wear Prada and Chanel when all of the other kids shop at Ross and Target. They kept her out of fights; they helped her when people made her cry. Very nice people, this clique. But showing up at her house to drag her out to the school dance. Isn’t it a tad bit creepy how friendly they are at this point? Nobody in high school is that nice, not even if you were in the glee club or the pep squad. These kids are too nice for their own good; I can kind of see why that other girl hates them so much. I guess that is all explained by Bizarro world. Down is up, up is down. When people see you they say, goodbye, and when you leave they wave and say hello. I guess in Bizarro high school cliques of kids welcome the new kids at any chance they get instead of sticking tampon strings to their shoes and smashing tater tots in the middle of calculus books, not that I know any jerks that would have done that sort of thing. Or throwing their books into the middle of a six foot snow dune, I don’t know anybody who would do that either.
Ryan gets there just as Marissa is about to leave. The whole episode, he has been watching her make new friends. She doesn’t need a ride from him every day; she’s forgotten a breakfast date they had. Is Marissa over Ryan already? Still, Ryan shows restraint. Marissa REALLY wants to make friends, and he still thinks it is good for her. His heart is kind of broken. Maybe Marissa is doing all of this because he wasn’t good enough in bed? Perhaps he didn’t please her? Maybe the guys in public school don’t have such shallow vaginas? Maybe now that Ryan isn’t poor anymore, she doesn’t really like him? Think about it. Ryan, DJ, and Alex were all poor or down and out when Marissa fell in love with them. Maybe it’s happening again?!
While all of that is happening, Seth conveniently rushes off to take Summer to the dance. When they get there, he is amazed at how Summer has managed to bring the beach to their gym, not like it’s that hard since they can see the ocean from their parking lot. She was Seth’s own little human tsunami. It was nice and they had an old school surfing documentary on the stage behind the podium, but it didn’t blow me away. It was no SnO.C., THAT’S for sure. But let’s not take down Summer’s moment. She is no longer social chair, but her and Dr. Bootyopolis were there to make sure everybody had fun, except that nobody knew Summer had to do anything with it. Taylor Townsend took credit for the whole thing, and what’s worse, she brought up Dean Hess to gloat with her. And for whatever you say about Ms. Townsend, she has a great sense of irony, saying that this dance truly marked “The End of Summer”
Newport Union’s dance might not have been as rockin, but the people still came a knockin. Chili went to spike the punch like he always does, and there was Marissa’s nemesis. Everybody was staring at her with accusing eyes, and Marissa just couldn’t take it. She went to cry in another room, and by this time, we all know that Johnny, Casey, and Chili are all going to come and give her a pep talk, and that is exactly what they do. See, high school kids are like wolves, they can smell your fear. Besides, remember when your mom was having sex with your ex-boyfriend? How can this be any worse? Marissa gets up and decides that she will join the fun.
Seth had seen how upset Ryan was when he saw Marissa with her new friends, so he took it upon himself to call Ryan and make sure he doesn’t do anything that would jeopardize their relationship, meaning Marissa and Ryan, not Seth and Ryan. Seth pulls out his RAZR, which is the first one that I believe we have seen on the OC. I am surprised they don’t get more things like that to use for the show. For instance, if a company was to give me free electronics, like say, a 42″ HD television, I would probably gush about how awesome television looks on it and how everything else can’t compare. It’s just a suggestion.
Anyway, Seth tells Ryan that he shouldn’t do anything. He doesn’t want him to look back and remember that moment as the point in time he and Marissa drifted apart. Problem is, the way Seth was saying it made it sound like it was supposed to be reverse psychology. Ryan couldn’t tell if Seth was being sincere or sarcastic so he heads to Newport Union in plenty of time to see Marissa enjoying herself. He realizes that he shouldn’t be trying to save her all the time, and decides to leave. Just as he is about to go, he bumps into Seth, who apparently used his skateboard to get from his dance to Marissa’s. He was there to stop Ryan, and was happy to hear he wouldn’t have to cause a scene to prevent him from going in.
Now you could have sat there wondering why Seth had his skateboard with him. When Ryan dropped him off, he didn’t seem to take it with him, and Summer drove them to the dance. Does he have a spare skateboard in her car? In his locker? None of that really makes sense though. What I was wondering is what he told Summer. “Uh, I have to go to the bathroom. I had a double-quarter pounder today with extra cheese and a milkshake. Don’t wait up for me.” Apparently he didn’t tell her anything, because she is wandering around the dance floor looking for him. She sees Taylor Townsend heading off stage left, so she decides to follow and catches Taylor making out with somebody. But who could it be? DEAN HESS?! Oh. My. God. OK, it wasn’t that shocking because we all saw it coming, but damn does Summer have some ammunition now. When she confronted Taylor about tricking her into confessing and therefore losing the social chair position, Summer insisted that the war wasn’t over. Taylor came back saying that she was one big quagmire. Well, it looks like Summer will have the last laugh, because she is now locked and loaded like Donald Rumsfeld with some tactical nukes. She’s going to blow this shit WIDE OPEN.
After seeing this unfold, she has to find Cohen, or Cohizzle, as she called him, which is like four years old now, but was still really funny. Ryan had just dropped him off at Harbor, and just as the last dance is playing, she wants to tell him what she just saw, but Taylor is too close by. The damage is already done, however, and it’s going to be interesting to see what Summer is going to do with her new leverage.
Ryan moped his way back to the pool house, perhaps thinking that his relationship was over, but who was there to say “Hey!” to him? None other than Marissa Cooper. (Speaking of “Hey!Ã¢â‚¬? with two groups of high school kids, the “Hey!” count was almost a record this week.) When she was at the dance, she caught the back of his head as he left, and realized that he must still be worried. She says that she had a great time at the dance, but she was always thinking of him. Umm, try inviting him to the next one Marissa? He may get all feisty and stop Chili from spiking the punch, but maybe with his new haircut, it’ll be easier to keep a cool head about things. They make up, turn on the radio, and after skipping some fat beats, we get a proper emo outro like we are used to. They dance in each other’s arms. They may spend the days apart, but they will have their time together at nights, even if Marissa has to fake it.
Once again, another solid episode. I don’t think any of the big twists that they revealed came too soon. We know what Charlotte is up to, and we know that she isn’t finished. She spent $30,000 on rehab to lure in Kirsten, and she isn’t going to let her get away. And even though Kirsten finally decided to just let the Newport Group go away, she had a chance to say goodbye with a bunch of pictures carefully strewn on the floor to convey just the right amount of sorrow.
Meanwhile, something is going to happen with Taylor and Dean Hess. Summer can’t just throw around accusations, so it will be interesting to see how she goes about getting proof, and how she uses that to get what she wants. Finally, tough times are ahead for Julie. She moved into a hotel room, doesn’t have a job, and can do nothing but sob herself to sleep. Is this her rock bottom? What will she do get back on top? And you KNOW she’ll be back on top (I’d let her get back on top at anytime).
What did you think of the episode? How are Marissa’s new friends? new school? What’s up next for Julie? Charlotte? How is summer going to get back at Dean Hess and Taylor Townsend?
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 33(!!), Season – 68. [thanks for the reminder, bad news]