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You have to admit, The OC really started off on a high note. Marissa had a melt down, and we just knew that despite all of the talk about how the show had changed, there are always certain things you can count on to keep things moving along. Although I can’t say this season has been any better than the first, I must admit that I think the characters and their problems are more interesting overall. Then again, we were right about to go off on a long Oliver tangent by this time last season, so I perhaps that is not saying much. Still, if the writers don’t try and outsmart themselves too much(don’t everybody laugh at once), we should have a lot of stuff to look forward to. If we can get the wardrobe people to take their Dilantin we will have reached rare territory.The aftermath of the big Cohen family get together left a most of the household wondering just exactly where things stood with the whole Lindsay thing. Conveniently, Ryan had left Lindsay alone to sort things out by herself, therefore limiting the amount of information we would have missed. I would have thought she would have called, at least to have them do something about all of the lights they put up in her yard. Ryan has been contemplating a different sort of problem, like what he is supposed to do about Lindsay. He is like part of the family, and she is now part of the family, so that kind of makes them brother and sister. And even if they get past that, Lindsay looks a lot like a young Kirsten Nichol, so it’s kind of like he’s in love with his (foster)mom. Clearly Ryan needs to become a cult leader. That way, he can have sex with everybody without ever having to worry about people asking questions. I heard that old Heaven’s Gate property is up for sale, and it’s not that far from Newport. Ryan would just have to shave his head, and he is good to go.
Since Ryan is not likely to start a cult (and is not a Scientologist from what I see on the show), he must look to other ways to figure out his problem. Luckily for him there was a story line just like his on “The Valley”. Those writers are so clever, but you can’t slip one by me. How are the other people handling this, you know, the ones that are actually related to Lindsay? Kirsten seems to be handling it well. She hates her dad, but wants to get to know Lindsay and make her part of the family, and reminds Ryan that Lindsay will be “more like your sister”. Ryan had a chance to fret about it all day, but Lindsay told him that the Cohens were friends, and that the two of them were “more then friends”.
While Ryan and Lindsay are deciding just how strange things can become between the two of them, we see Zach, and he is busy seeking out Seth for some advice. Yes, that Seth. The one that he cold-clocked for being close to Summer. Zach has returned from his time in Mexico, and he wants to discuss girl matters with Cohen. Since the girl is obviously Summer, it would seem to be an odd situation, but Zach had sent Seth a Christmas card, so everything was fine between them. These two are really both just huge pussies. You just know that Summer has a gimp suit and strap-on waiting for whatever poor sap decides to marry her.
As it turns out, while in Mexico, Zach decided to have a little bit of the forbidden fruit. No, no, no, he didn’t sleep with a guy, although I am thinking that is what’s going to happen next. He simply kissed another girl, which is bad on its own. He really does like Summer, and wants their relationship to work. Since the girl he kissed happened to be his math tutor when he was 14, and just happened to be married and had kids, it didn’t make things any easier. Seth told him to be completely honest and that he would not say a word to anybody, because he was going to follow the Code of Guys.
Everything with Marissa appears to be moving along smoothly as well. She is through with hiding DJ, and so she decides that she is going to introduce him to her father. There is no problem she says, just mention that you love “ESPN Classics”. (Which reminds me, if the writers were so smart, why can’t they get the name of the station right. ESPN Classic, no “s” on the end. You can’t tell me somebody hasn’t told them this before.) This is going to be great for Marissa. She is very close with her dad, and their honest relationship is what keeps her together. You can imagine her surprise when she sees Julie and Jimmy in a little bit of post-coitus, pre-lunch afternoon smooch on the deck of his boat.
Later on as she confronts her dad about what happened, he mentions that the two of them were thinking about getting back together. Julie Cooper is a fine pice of ass, but come on! OK, maybe I shouldn’t be cynical about this. Anything can happen. Sure Julie walked out on him and remarried, and only came back after she found out Caleb was a cheating bastard as well, but shouldn’t one hold out hope? Shouldn’t we all believe in the power of marriage? I mean, as soon as things simmer down at Neverland, you know that Lisa Marie Presley will be knocking down on Michael’s door. Marissa is understandably upset that her dad has even thought about getting back together with her Mom, and reminds him that the “already lived through this once” and then wishes he’d “grow up and be like a real dad”. After she storms off, Jimmy confides in Kirsten and Sandy about his affair, and that he has decided to leave town to make things better. He’s going to go into business, buying, selling, and leasing boats in Maui. And then there’s that girl Tessa, who worked at the hotel…The Cohens don’t really convince him to stay, and in actually decide to throw a party to send him off. Hey, that’s one way to get rid of somebody, but it doesn’t always work. Residents of Malibu have been throwin parties for Barbara Streisand for years, but she manages to hang in there.
Now I have been complaining all season about how annoying it is to have all of these bands come and play on The OC. After the Rooney fiasco, I thought that they would give it up. I could kind of see how they tried to work in the bands when Seth was working at the Bait Shop, but now that he has quit, there has to be some other ways to get all of the younger people together. This week, the band is Modest Mouse and they are just as uninspiring as those that have come before them, but at least they only distracted us with one song. Seth is having a little identity crisis with Alex. He visited her earlier, and she didn’t want to speak with him because she was hung over. Therefore, Seth began to wonder if things were ever going to work out with him and Alex. As I said before, he is a big pussy, and she seems to like the kind of people who like fast cars and fast women, get drunk and stoned, and don’t dress like the only two stores in existence are Fred Segal and Urban Outfitters.
In Seth’s attempt to be tough, he first tried on one of Ryan’s wife beaters. Nothing says mean and menacing wife beater t-shirt, right? Well, it might if you were actually able to fill out the shirt at all, something Seth has some trouble doing. Instead, Seth decides that he is going to look tough and mature by stealing a hip flask of whiskey, and begins taking swigs of it in front of Alex to prove his masculinity. If it’s one thing that I have learned, it is that if you have kissed a girl when you both are sober, there’s no need to get drunk to do it again. It’s a waste of time, and you are likely going to be quite embarrassed. Seth quickly went downhill into a fit of drunkenness.
He sees Summer and Zach, and is just a little too friendly. She knows that he is drining because “his breath smells like Marissa”. The writers just love to laugh at themselves and the hilarious little universe they have created. Seth’s intoxication couldn’t have come at a worse time for Zach, and he just happens to let the little thing about Zach kissing somebody else slip out. Considering it was the first time Summer had heard the story, it meant quite the awkward little situation. She storms out, and Alex yells at Ryan to take him home. Apparently she has a problem with all of the time Seth has pent vomiting by the speakers.
Ryan had his own problems with Lindsay. After school, she had spent the afternoon with Kirsten, and then came over to the house for dinner. Lindsay and Ryan had previously decided to keep their relationship a secret, and decided that they would find a neutral zone, what they called their Switzerland, to meet and enjoy time together. After Lindsay left Switzerland, Ryan just couldn’t bring himself to get too excited by Lindsay, going as far as refusing to hold her hand in public. But those issues will have to wait, since Seth needs to get back home. Ryan almost gets him back with no problem, but we all know how hard it is to get drunk people back to their homes without any incident. You never know when somebody will moon oncoming or something similarly silly, not that I would know anything about that. Seth doesn’t quite manage to be as stealthy as he needed to be. His parents might have been waiting up, but when he knocked over all of the garbage cans, he pretty much killed any chance of getting back unnoticed. I can’t wait until Seth starts smoking pot.
As expected, there was hell to pay the next day. Not only was Seth hurting from his hangover, but he had no idea what he did the night before. When he finds out he caused a fight between Zach and Summer, he is upset about breaking the guy code. When he learns that Alex had to clean up all of his vomit, he wonders just how much there was. “Little Girl in Sixth Sense or Fat Guy in Monty Python” he asks. Come on writers, you can do better than that. You see, the little girl in the Sixth Sense was none other than Mischa Barton. Along with mentioning Adam Brody and The Ring, you can probably count on further movie references having to do with the cast. Will it be “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” or “The Hudsucker Proxy” for Sandy? “Candyman: II” or “Assasins” for Kirsten? “Hollywood Homicide” for Caleb? The mind boggles.
How do Seth’s parents handle his drinking? Kirsten says “My son, the wino”. I think it was supposed to sound like some sort of joke, but she had an almost proud tone to her voice that said “Awww, he’s drinking his problems away at 17. He’s almost an adult now.” Sandy doesn’t have the same sort of idea. He is upset that his son drank almost a fifth of Jack(not quite Sandy, a hip flask is lucky to hold ten ounces, let alone a fifth), and won’t let Seth leave to apologize to Alex. Although he admits defeat for the time being, Seth sneaks out just as Jimmy Cooper’s party is starting and tells Ryan to cover for him.
Oh yes, Jimmy Cooper’s party. It was a catered affair, of course, and came as a shock to many, like Julie Cooper. She found out that Jimmy was leaving when she got the invite to the party. She is understandably upset and they find somewhere private to talk. Jimmy explains that he can’t make the same mistake again, and that it would just be better if he left. Julie cries, either because she really likes Jimmy, or she realizes she might have to start putting out for Caleb. As all of that is settled down, Marissa walks in. Jimmy only told her earlier that day about his plan, and she did what she normall does to deal with the pain, namely drink herself into a stupor. Julie notices she is drunk, looks at DJ, and says “Is that tequila?!?”. Oh Julie, we love her subtlety. What proceeds is another classic OC meltdown. Doesn’t anybody realize you can’t have any sort of party or catered event without some sort of catastrophe happening? Marissa threatens to expose Julie and Jimmy’s affair, but doesn’t get around to it. Instead she says that she’s the daughter “of a thief and a slut” and doesn’t want to see them any more. She storms off, and DJ follows, most likely because he doesn’t want her to wrap his truck around a telephone pole.
Well, that was a great party, no? Caleb tries to get his Aston Martin from the valet only to find that somebody had stolen it. Even I was surprised when I found out it was Seth. He had stolen the car in order to impress Alex. She begins to see what he is trying to do, and tells him that he is not a tough guy, because she has dated tough guys. But before Seth can come up with a self-pitying comment, she says that she likes him because he is a nice guy, and that’s the best part about him. I am going to just go on and pretend that all of her words were actually true, because we all know what becomes of this later on.
Zach is also able to reconcile with Summer. When she gets back from the party, he is waiting in her room. He had brought her a novelization of the first season of “The Valley” (oh, how original), but her mom blocked him in, effectively preventing him from leaving her house. Zach, being the nice guy that he is, spent a lot of time thinking about their relationship. He is sorry he kissed somebody else, and sorry that he told Seth instead of her. Summer is hot, but these guys have to stop groveling so much.
After Marissa’s meltdown, it seems like Lindsay doesn’t see her situation as so bad. Sure she is the illegitimate daughter of her boyfriend’s sort of mom’s dad, but she can live with that. They start to kiss, and Kirsten almost catches them, but she is oblivious to the whole thing (she is probably drunk as well), and leaves them alone. I see this relationship going far, or at least until Ryan gets self-righteous and ruins it for the both of them.
Jimmy ends up finding Marissa. It turns out that DJ called him, and let him know about Marisaa’s little hiding spot on the beach. DJ probably also cleared away all of the vodka bottles before Jimmy got there. He is such a good boyfriend. Jimmy consoles Marissa, she cries into his chest, and they spend the rest of the evening on the beach catching up, or at least until Marissa passed out from the booze and Jimmy carried her home.
It would seem like Marissa is all alone, but don’t be sad. She has the Cohen’s Jimmy asked Kirsten to check up on her every now and then. He made no mention of his other daughter, who by now must think what in the hell she has to do to get some attention in her family. Drug overdoses and throwing lawn furniture are out, but a pregnancy may work. Then again, Marissa may beat her to that as well. Knowing that the Cohen’s are Jewish, Marissa brings them fresh bagels, even though they already have bagels. Sandy, who knows the healing power of bagels, proceeds to give Marissa a little hands on instruction on the finer points of spreading cream cheese. The cream cheese is like a metaphor for the Cohen’s love. You spread it around one bagel, and if there is a little extra, you apply it to another bagel. And they have plenty of cream cheese to go around.