Although The OC may not be as trendy as it once was, I still believe that when done right, it is a solid hour of television. With the re-introduction of Kaitlin Cooper, I think that we have hit a sweet spot when it comes to the amount of characters and the story lines. That’s not to say that the episodes aren’t over the top, and sometimes barely believable, but to me the flow of events is much more natural. Considering they have been able to work in Kaitlin Cooper after a two-year hiatus, that’s actually saying a lot. Speaking of Kaitlin, I find it humorous how everybody finds that it is a surprise that the youngest Cooper is a bad girl. Seeing how her father, mother, and older sister are all pillars of the community, how could things go so wrong?As hard as it was for us to adjust to the idea of having Kaitlin back, it was just as tough for her to come back and find her life has gone from model home to trailer park. Poor Kaitlin, who now joins poor Julie and poor Marissa, she just doesn’t fit in. Like she was saying last week, it is hard to go home.
Seth is facing a completely different problem. For him, he is starting to feel like it is hard to leave home. Yes, that is right, he is having second thoughts about leaving Newport. He recently heard from his counselor that there was going to be somebody from Brown coming to do interviews. It was great news, but he was afraid to tell Summer. Even though the last time Seth and Summer had an argument about going to Brown they had some good make up sex (or it would have been good make up sex if they had concentrated on something besides filling out and mailing their college applications), Seth doesn’t want to risk another conflict between them. More importantly than that, he was worried that if Summer didn’t get in, he would have to learn to live without her. Knowing that Ryan is going to Berkeley, it means that he would be missing the two most important people to come into his life the last couple of year as he was about to go to college.
All of this worrying about college makes Seth so stressed out that he pours coffee into his cereal bowl. I laughed out loud, because every now and then I still find myself in a stupor and pour orange juice into my Lucky Charms. I’m surprised that Seth was so worried about what was happening with Summer. If there is something he should have learned by now it’s that he shouldn’t ever underestimate his girlfriend. Summer got her interview with the Brown representative, and while she was feeling a little bit of anxiety about leaving Newport, it wasn’t eating her up inside like she had just had two packets of pop rocks and a diet coke.
There was a little bit of anxiety over at the Newport group as well. They were making a presentation to bid on a project to build a new hospital, a proposal originally formulated by Caleb Nichol himself. Complicating matters was a competing bid from Brea Group (no word on if Fullerton Group and Placentia Group also placed bid), and the Brea Group was all about doing whatever it takes to get the project, even if it was slightly unethical. In a battle of bribes vs. bagels, it was going to take more than some flavored cream cheese and the Starbucks house blend to make a difference for the client.
Perhaps the biggest news in all of Newport, however, was the upcoming birthday of one Kaitlin Cooper. Yes, our favorite former catholic schoolgirl (they rule btw, ask the Red Hot Chili Peppers) was about to turn 15, and Marissa wanted to make it special. If you hadn’t been home in two years, you were probably expecting that your family was going to celebrate your return. And even if they lived in a trailer park, there are still ways to make it like no other. You may not have ponies or Cirque du Soleil, but a turtle and signed picture of Peabo Bryson might do the trick. Marissa did have an idea of how important it was going to be and decided that she was going to make a photo album of family pictures. She compiles this album in the middle of the school’s “cafeteria”, a practice I always thought was strange when I saw it happen in my day. The yearbook staff wouldn’t be allowed to congregate more than three at a time in any public place, and if they did, some cool people would eventually break up this daring threat to, but I guess that is another bonus of not having to go to public school.
Is it just me, or are these the biggest shoulder pads seen in prime time since the cancellation of Dynasty?
Over on the pier, Kaitlin and Johnny were getting a little closer. She was telling him that it would be so much better when she was 15, because then he wouldn’t have to be so guilty. And if he was caught, that could mean six fewer months to have to deal with the bottom bunk, if you catch my drift. I think Johnny really kind of likes Kaitlin. She is cute, spontaneous, and has a sense of humor. She may even be starting to like him a little bit. After she jumped in the ocean in the middle of Johnny driving her home, Johnny’s only thoughts were on making sure she had a towel, and Kaitlin sort of liked this old-fashioned way of doing things. It’s much easier dating a nice guy than having to steal money from a fraternity from attention.
While Kaitlin was getting her barely legal (check the California Age of Consent) heart strings going, Julie was busy with her own budding romance. She met with Neil Roberts for lunch on the pier. It was their first chance getting together. With Neil Roberts being a doctor and Julie Cooper being, uh, Julie Cooper, it was hard finding a time that was right for both of them. Now, I really don’t understand why they constantly make it look like Neil Roberts is doing life-saving procedures all the time in his plastic surgery practice. I’ve golfed with a neurosurgeon who was less concerned about his pages than Dr. Roberts. Although they both have reservations about their situation with their kids being best friends and both recently getting out of relationships, they both have a feeling, and with the inspiration of “I Only Have Eyes For You” playing in the background, they decide to have dinner that Sunday.
Dinner on Sunday would have been great, but that is also Kaitlin’s birthday. When Julie brings in the Thai take-out, which she calls dinner a la Cohen, but really should be called dinner a la pre-alcoholic recovery Kirsten Cohen since she cooks all the time now, and tells Marissa and Kaitlin that she will be away for “business” and Sunday, Kaitlin can’t believe her mom forgot her birthday. It was always a tradition for them to watch the Sound of Music, and sing along. Julie says that she will reschedule her meeting, and although she is going to hate canceling again on Dr. Roberts, she can’t just move Kaitlin aside when everybody really needs her.
Despite her mother’s good intentions, Kaitlin was very upset that Julie forgot her birthday. After being ignored for two years, you sort of understand. She decided to go to the pier and smoke a joint or two, where she bumped into none other than Seth Cohen. Seth is getting more and more anxious about this interview that could determine the outcome of the rest of his life. He had been talking to his dad, but Sandy has been a little pre-occupied with his hospital bid and the Brea group (which he lost, btw) and wasn’t able to give Seth the advice that he needed. He bumped into Kaitlin, who offered him a little bit of a toke to “help take the edge off”, but he refused. Before long, Marissa interrupted them. Kaitlin asked Seth not to tell her sister, but offered to give him some weed if he ever needed some.
One can understand why Seth was so upset. He was so uptight about this interview that he could barely function. Ryan was helping Seth and Summer prepare for the interview by asking them typical interview questions. Summer is not too concerned, and is more interested in thumbing through the latest issue of Vogue than trying to come up with rehearsed answers. She was taking the approach that she should be natural. Seth asks her if she should really go into the interview saying that the person she would most like to meet is Prada instead of Einstein. Summer doesn’t want to say something that she doesn’t believe in because she could end up with the wrong life. Summer’s laid-back attitude might not necessarily translate into academic success, but it is more likely to lead her to a happy life living for herself instead of others expectations. Honestly, I was wishing that Seth would sack up a little, but his feelings are normal. It just goes to show you that just because you read Saussure and Kierkegaard doesn’t make you any more ready for the real world than anybody else.
Seth isn’t the only person acting immature, of course. Kaitlin and Marissa are getting into the big sister little sister rivalry like they were never able to kindle over the last couple of years. Kaitlin complained that it was so difficult to grow up being the younger sister of Marissa Cooper, always having to worry about filling her shoes, and with a head that is not twice the size it should be for her body size. Although I think she likes Johnny, it was becoming clear that part of the reason she liked him so much was that she was hoping it would make her sister jealous. Johnny called Kaitlin’s cell phone, but Marissa answered. Since nobody knew about their relationship, Johnny had to fake he was calling Marissa to keep their secret.
Kaitlin eventually calls Johnny back and invites him to the bait shop that night. Normally, this wouldn’t be a safe place for two people trying to hide a relationship to hang out, but Kaitlin was sick of having to hide from Marissa and have her thinking that she was the only person in the house worthy of male attention, so she decided to go to the bait shop specifically after hearing that her sister would be there. While at the Bait Shop with Ryan, Marissa sees her sister with Johnny. Could somebody tell me why Marissa is so upset? She thinks Johnny is a great guy. He is a little old, but considering her sister was previously hanging out with college kids, shouldn’t she be happy her sister is with somebody that she knows? And she can’t be worried about Johnny because nobody could be better at making his life worse than she is.
Young Ms. Cooper might like her relationship with Johnny, but increasingly, he is more and more anxious about the whole thing. He says that he still wants to hang out, but it should just be as friends. Kaitlin goes to sulk by herself. She wasn’t alone for long though, because Seth was hiding in the bushes, probably in the same place where Gus does his peeping. He was really starting to get nervous, and decided he wanted to find answers from and herbal oracle.
Were any of you sort of laughing at this whole “movie of the week” thing that was going on with Seth? Seth is feeling anxiety, he needs to take the edge off, his loving parents are neglecting him, what else is a suburban white kid going to do but smoke a little weed? If only people loved him and would listen to him, he wouldn’t be thinking of throwing his life away. With only a few hours to go before his interview, Seth succumbs Mama Ghanj, and decides to smoke up (I refuse to use the “smoke out” terminology you crazy west coast kids use). He uses a towel to make sure no smoke leaves his room, and opens up the window, and gets his buzz on. Alternatively, he could exhale through a paper towel tube lined with fabric softener, but one step at a time for this kid.
Since Seth wasn’t used to smoking, he got really stoned, really quickly. He lost track of time, and before he knew it, Ryan had come up to drop him off at his interview. I think Adam Brody is a good actor, and he has his comedic and slapstick timing down well, but he may have to do a little more research on acting stoned, because he was acting more like those people who take two little hits and then act more stoned than somebody who was actually feeling a buzz. And while the producers were going for all of the stoner cliché mannerisms, how could they not have one empty bag of cheetos, or doritos or triscuits lying around the room to demonstrate the munchies? Wouldn’t he have an undeniable urge to play video games? ON WEED!!!! Ryan sees that Seth is going to be in trouble, so he tells Summer, who has the interview slot before Seth, to stall in order to give them a little time.
Being from Chino, I am surprised that Ryan has little clue how to deal with stoned people. He gives Seth a bunch of coffee to get him more alert. Personally, I would have let Seth go to the interview stoned. Quite honestly, he didn’t sound any worse than when he was sober and trying to make up answers he thought other people wanted to hear. An hour and a half later, Ryan has Seth dressed and ready to go in for his interview. Summer is relieved to see them, but Seth is not any more ready to head into his interview and answer questions. As soon as Ryan and Marissa leave for Kaitlin’s party, Seth takes one look at the interview room, and then makes a break for it. I am not sure where he was going, but from my experience, I would say Taco Bell or KFC are where I would look first.
Oh yes, you heard me correctly, I mentioned Kaitlin’s birthday. When Julie went to tell Dr. Roberts she would have to cancel, he told her to have the party at his house. There was plenty of room, and while the kids were doing her thing, they could have some alone time; he even gave her a key so she could set up ahead of time. Kaitlin could have cared less, of course, but Julie decides to invite Kaitlin’s old equestrian team. If they weren’t scared of Kaitlin’s horse (it had alopecia) back in the day, they couldn’t say no to free cake.
The only thing Kaitlin wanted at her birthday party was Johnny, but increasingly it looked like she just wanted to make Marissa jealous. Johnny shows up at the party just as Kaitlin is finishing up a little swim in the pool. Again, she is not that stoked about the party, but when she shows up, and sees the look on Marissa’s face, it’s worth the whole thing. When her mom sees that her little girl got herself a man, she is so proud. He may not be rich, but she’s still young and has time to learn. Kaitlin takes Johnny upstairs because she wants her present. Oh Johnny, what is his problem? He is 17, she is now 15. She is slightly crazy, but she does seem to want you. It’s for all the wrong reasons, but you are a guy, so when does that matter? Kaitlin is not successful in getting Johnny to throw her down on the bed and have his way with her, but he did give her a kiss on the cheek. I guess there is no reason to rush; he can get genital warts from her at any time.
If you though that amateurish seduction was hilarious, you should have seen Sandy at work. Although the Brea Group had nominally won the hospital bid, nothing was set in stone. Kristen convinced Sandy that he didn’t necessarily have to use lots of money to win the bid, so he tries an alternative method. Forget dinner at Arches, he’s going to take the client on a tour of the hospital followed by a burrito at El Pavo Loco. This plan would have been great if Sandy was in Berkeley, but he is really dealing with a different type of person. Sandy realizes that he might have to be a little bit more lenient of the rules than he has been used to.
The biggest difference between the Newport Group hospital and the hospital proposed by Brea Group was the location. Sandy wanted to build a hospital in a lower income neighborhood where people would need services like an emergency room and free clinic. Helping those people is probably more important than doing the business the “right way” and so Sandy gives Matt a chance to do give a little bit of his own sales pitch, which includes drinks at Matt’s apartment with some of Matt’s stripper friends. Being old, bald, and unattractive, the client is used to paying women to hang out with him, so the treatment he is getting is quite the bonus. The client gives Newport Group the contract for the hospital, saying that there wasn’t too much difference in the proposals, but he would like to take care of the people who take care of him.
By this time, a few more things had transpired. Before Seth freaked out, he told Ryan that he got the pot from Kaitlin. See, Ryan was worried that if Seth bought from some random guy on the pier, they would narc out Seth. Well, Seth didn’t need to a random drug dealer to narc him out, because he had Ryan. Ryan decided that he didn’t want Kaitlin ruining any more lives, and goes to tell Marissa. Now, I know that this is a big deal for Ryan to make sure everybody in his life is honest and everything, but what was he hoping to do by telling Marissa about Kaitlin buying part in the middle of Kaitlin’s birthday party? Earlier, Ryan had been upset with Kaitlin for trying to manipulate him into being upset about Marissa and Johnny, but what about selling Seth some pot couldn’t wait until after her birthday? He had to know that Marissa would be upset, but I guess since he is so mature, it’s no problem for him to hurt people like that.
Don’t get me wrong; I loved how everything blew up at the party. Johnny and Kaitlin come downstairs to see Marissa and Ryan. She sees that Ryan is there, and immediately starts to talk to Marissa about how much she likes Johnny, how she just made out with him, and how Marissa shouldn’t be jealous. Marissa says this isn’t about Johnny, but about Kaitlin dealing pot, and stealing money. She hardly even knows who her sister is anymore! Well, maybe you should have tried calling her a few times in the last two years! And Marissa, remember when you were going through your problems? Remember how much you enjoyed everybody telling you what to do and treating you like a little kid? Remember how much that helped when YOU were having a hard time fitting in?
Julie is pretty much oblivious to the whole thing, but when she is ready to pass out the cake, Marissa walks in to say that Kaitlin has already left. Julie jumps on Marissa, wondering how she could have been so meant to ruin her sister’s party, but Marissa says that a party isn’t going to fix this family, and heads out to get some fresh air. Dr. Roberts gets an emergency call from his office about a patient, and tells Julie to leave the key on the plate by the door after she cleans up.
Everything is falling apart. Marissa goes to the beach to be alone, Ryan is in the pool house, Kaitlin is locked out of her house, and Julie though that she might have won the key to the Neil’s heart only to hear that he wanted the keys to his house back. Seth couldn’t tell Summer the truth about the interview, and decides he is going to smoke some part to make his problems go away. Even Sandy, who won the contract is upset. He won the hospital, but he had to sell his soul to do it. When he was doing business, he had never wanted to hear “Caleb would be so proud” after he finished a deal. The only thing we were missing was shot of Dr. Roberts weeping as he sucks that fat out of a Newpsie’s big ass.
Even though I didn’t like the after school special feeling to Seth smoking weed, I thought this was a good episode. It is strange seeing Seth being taken down a serious and not comedic story line, so we’ll see if Adam Brody can pull it off. I have to say that I am sort of on Kaitlin’s side. Marissa should know more than anybody how hard it is to be that age, but she is handling the reappearance of her sister like Ryan handled his brother coming back from jail. Eventually, Ryan’s continued distrust of his brother led to the two of them nearly killing each other. By reviews, Kaitlin’s and Marissa’s fighting might lead to the death of Johnny, which I know will make my pen pal Margot very happy, but I can’t help but believe the whole “death by the cliffs of Newport” is too good to be true.
What did you think of the episode? Is Johnny good as dead? Is there any hope for Dr. Roberts and Julie Cooper? Is Seth going to replace Death Cab and Modest Mouse with Bob Marley and Pato Banton?
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 27, Season – 311