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Well, I have to say, The OC really surprised me this week. A few weeks back I shared my pen pal Margot’s master plan to have Seth, Summer, Marissa, and Ryan all go to different campuses of the Claremont Colleges. Well, I was wrong, but really, I shouldn’t have been expecting any less. This is, after all, The OC, and they have made sense for like three episodes in a row now. A whole month without the writers making us scratch our head about the plots would have left us, uh, scratching our heads. So while the quality dipped a little bit, it was nowhere near Johnny death levels of absurdity. And while it would have been nice to see Mischa Barton “act” in a few more drug use scenes, at least the slut spiral is still in effect.Seeing the kids on this show go through the college application process was very interesting to say the least. It brought back a lot of memories of college visits with the parents, prospective weekends, essays, recommendations, and that nervous time waiting for acceptances or rejections. Seth, Summer, Ryan, and Marissa have all of that to worry about, plus they have the added stress of HTH problems to deal with.
Summer and Seth have their problems pretty much licked. Summer was a closet genius, although not a genius in the closet, if you are looking at her clothes, so she was able to mesh her dreams of staying with Seth forever with his dreams of leaving Newport forever. All that is left is for Summer to finish packing for the winter months, although she is getting a little carried away. Winter in New England can really suck the first time, but she is preparing like she will be living in an igloo for about, I don’t know, 18 months out of the year. Seth, while dying to get into Brown still wonders what might happen if one of them doesn’t go in.
Ryan is in an even more precarious position. While Summer was fitting Seth with long underwear, Ryan was busy making Sadie some dinner. Well, actually, Ryan finished making Sadie some dinner, but was hoping that Sadie was interested on snacking in the bedroom, so to speak. Ryan is avoiding too much college talk, instead using that bulging brainpower of his to figure out how many times he can have sex with Sadie before her escrow closes. As always, Sadie is mature about it and tells Ryan that ignoring the future never makes it go away. Very good words of advice, and I have my own words of advice along those lines, but for the writers. Just because you ignore the past doesn’t mean the readers will and forget bugging you about it. Theresa’s baby anyone?
Perhaps the most laughable idea of this whole college application process is that Marissa has a chance to get into Berkeley. At one point, when Marissa’s step-dad could have dropped millions into a new building or something, she had a chance to get in. Ryan has a chance with his sort-of legacy status, but Marissa has no chance. Luckily, Marissa has about as much interest in going to college as I have watching her pretend to be interested in being in college. She’s on the party train with Volchok and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.
Speaking of Volchok, we finally got a look into his apartment. I haven’t seen the musical Rent (I didn’t even see the movie despite the presence of Rosario Dawson, which is usually enough to get me to plunk down the $14 for a movie ticket) and know very little about it, but if Rent took place in California instead of New York and was following the lives of struggling surf punks and not struggling artists, the set would be Volchok’s apartment. Looking at Volchok’s loft, I was kind of wondering exactly where that building would be located in Newport Beach. I mean, you can see what would be Marissa’s trailer park from the PCH, but this empty warehouse loft? I don’t know where it would be. Also, did Volchok quit his job without telling anybody, or was he just working at that old house as part of a large plan to stalk Marissa?
Volchok picks up Marissa at the Roberts house, but says he needs some beer money. I guess that means he lost his job. Marissa runs back inside to steal some money from her mom’s purse and notices that there is a packet from Berkeley. When she opens it and looks inside, she discovers that she was indeed accepted. For a moment, I thought I saw a look on her face that said she contemplating the choices she had made in life and now had a chance at a fresh start, but it was probably just gas. She throws the letter in the trash and then speeds off with Volchok for, you guessed it!, a party on the beach.
Since this is the OC, we have to pretend that all colleges across the country coordinate the times that they send acceptance letters, so that everybody in the same school gets theirs at about the same time. Actually, I am surprised you don’t just get an e-mail with link to a letter these days. Anyway, everybody was getting their acceptances on the same day, and not just the kids we know and love, but the whole school. That would make it easier to throw a college sweater party. Everybody wears a sweater from the college they were accepted and people would gather an laugh and pretend that they are actually interested in the great Russian language program at their school when actually their main concern is how easy it is going to be for them to get into parties.
The sweatshirt party is planned for later that week, which is odd because you would think that some of these kids, when faced with making the decision that will affect at least the next four years of their lives, would take maybe a day or two before deciding what college they were going to attend and send off for some jockwear. Then again, this is Newport, so I guess the kids of Harbor may have simply purchased sweatshirts from all of the colleges they applied to in case such things occurred.
So how did the acceptance go? Summer made it into Brown; Ryan made it into Cal, and Seth? He didn’t make it anywhere. Not one of his college applications came back with an acceptance. Then again, when you only apply to one school, you are kind of testing fate. At first, Seth doesn’t know what to do, so he just lies about it, and then goes about trying to see if he can fix what just happened. Unfortunately, sarcastic comments and knowledge of Japanese horror films is not really enough to persuade most admissions counselors to give you a second chance. Seth wasn’t even on the wait list, so he was going to have to try again NEXT YEAR. I can already see this spiraling out of control, and to make sure Seth gets maximum psychosis, Sandy and Kirsten decide to have a little dinner party with their boys and their boys’ significant others in attendance.
Meanwhile, Marissa’s attitude gives us no indication that she wants to head to the East Bay and further her education. I don’t know, Cal can’t be that bad. She can move there, maybe meet the drummer of a band. They would probably be punk and call themselves the Red Light Bandits. She could make new friends with names like Wu, Gass, and Duggan. All that is left is to find a nice teacher who lives in El Cerrito and learn to love the Athletics and Barry Zito, and she would be well on her way to a finer life. Instead, she is contemplating going to Baja California with Volchok. Is she crazy?
That night, during dinner, Summer shows up in her full Brown regalia. Seth had neglected to invite her, but he gets moody sometimes, so she forgave him. During dinner, Ryan had some big news. Sadie was going to move with him to Berkeley. She doesn’t really need an address to run her business and she wants to be with Ryan, so why not? Sadie even threw on a dress for the occasion because she was so happy.
For some reason, the Cohens were really upset with this plan, and they didn’t do anything to hide their displeasure. It’s not that they got upset or even told Ryan that he couldn’t do it, but their emotions were expressed in their lack of enthusiasm. Sadie saw that they weren’t happy, blamed herself, and decided to leave. I think that the Cohens are great and they are always looking out for Ryan and his best interest, but would it be that bad if Sadie moved to with Ryan. I would say it’s a good idea, even if it was just to make sure that his mind is occupied with Sadie and not with some other girl that bumps into his life and needs help. Marissa has been accepted there, and I would be more worried that she was in the same time zone Ryan than if Sadie was sleeping next to him.
Part of Marissa’s problems with college and her current relationship with Volchok is that she doesn’t want to face the unknown. She keeps on talking about how she just doesn’t see herself at Berkeley. For most people, this is the reason why they apply to more than one college. You get your acceptances and then decide which one feels right. Julie knows that she hasn’t been around during her courtship with Neil, but is trying to let Marissa know that she will be there for her now. Julie knows what it’s like to have people all around you lose faith in you, but tells Marissa that she can’t just give up on herself either.
After seeing how the Cohens reacted to the news, Sadie was trying to tell Ryan that they shouldn’t be together for the wrong reason. She is afraid that she is going to pull him away from the normal college life at a time when most people are trying to find themselves. Ryan says that he feels more himself with her than with anybody else he has dated. Considering they have dated like two weeks, this is quite an accomplishment.
Ryan tells Sandy that he is not going with Sadie because he was scared, and Sandy tries to scare Ryan by telling him about all of the responsibilities he would have living off campus and with his wife not on the meal plan. Heady things to think about, but when you consider that Ryan dropped out of high school at one point to take care of the teenager he got pregnant and that involved getting a job in construction, I can think he can handle riding the bus to campus. Besides, Sadie said she would have a job, and she could probably charge her aunt commission for selling the house, so money is not the issue here. Whatever the case, Sandy wants to support Ryan and gives him a Berkeley sweatshirt to wear to the part and a matching one for Sadie that used to be Kirsten’s.
The more Marissa thought about a trip to Baja with Volchok, the more she thought it was a bad idea. I know that people like Volchok because he is a badass free spirit, but he might want to polish up his arguments a little bit. Calling the sweatshirt party gay when he is going to be running around the sun half-naked with a bunch of other dudes is not what I would call compelling evidence that Marissa should join him. And if I needed any other reason to believe that Volchok’s pad is like a mid nineties Broadway musical, he had a bunch of CDs lying around the apartment like it was, well, the mid-nineties. I don’t know how addicted Volchok is to blow, but you would think that he would save up some money for an MP3 player. Then again, these writers were talking about mix CDs just a few weeks ago, so maybe they are one of the three people out there who have never seen an iPod.
After she got off the phone with Volchok, Marissa bumped into Summer. The two of them haven’t been the best of friends lately, but you knew that they couldn’t be mad at each other for long. Summer was there for Marissa, and although it annoyed her at times that Summer cared so much about what she was doing, Marissa apologized for the way she acted. I think she also sensed that she had to be there for Summer and she decided she wanted to be there for Summer, who really had nobody to turn to when things were going wrong with Seth. Well, there is Taylor, but in between what was either ordering some kimchee or organizing a gang bang at the Korean BBQ place, the only words of advice Taylor came up with that Seth was like a wild silver back gorilla from Uganda. Oh shut the hell up Dian Fossey! Besides, I think he is more like a macaque. Why? Because whenever I say or write macaque, I laugh my ass off.
Summer was happy to have Marissa back and as a token of her appreciation, she hands Marissa a pink Berkeley sweatshirt, just in time for the party! Looks like the Cooper-Nichol-Cooper-Roberts family is well on its way to being a happy one!
Throughout the episode, Sandy had been bothered by what happened to Matt. He talked to Dr. Griffin and basically gave an ultimatum of his own. If Dr. Griffin doesn’t get off the project in 48 hours, Sandy would get his friends in the DA to prosecute for what happened to Matt. Dr. Griffin wasn’t going to go down without a fight, and so when he came back to Sandy with his answer, he offered around $700 million in contracts for the Newport Group thanks to some friends that he has in appropriations. That’s a lot of good Sandy could do, but when he comes home, Kirsten is waiting for him. Matt had visited and let her know that he was going to find another way to handle this, but wanted to let Sandy know he still had time to get out if he wanted to.
But let’s be honest. The real news is the sweatshirt party. This sounds like something that would be organized by your high school’s glee club. My high school, sans glee club, did no such thing. Not that I really needed an excuse to tell people where I had gone to college. It got so bad, people stopped calling me by my first name. While there we got to see where everybody was going. Plenty of Stanfords, some Yales, a UCLA here and there, a USC over there, and Taylor? She was going to the Sorbonne.
Everybody was sort of surprised that Marissa was there, but it was probably only a few hundred feet from her favorite lifeguard tower, so it shouldn’t have seemed that out of the ordinary. For some reason Taylor wanted to introduce Sadie to Sung Ho, they Korean restaurant guy, which gave Ryan and Marissa a chance to catch up. Basically, he said that if she ever needed to talk, he would be there. Man, I think they are already setting us up for these two to get together. Good thing Sadie is in the picture to keep Ryan grounded.
Actually, Sadie used to be in the picture, but she recently cropped herself out and then used the dodge and burn to clean up the edges. When Ryan went to pick up Sadie for the party, he was going to say something about life being difficult and not rushing, but she had heard about this artist’s co-op that a friend of hers ran. He ended up hiding his feelings, but Sadie is too good at reading what his body says. Earlier, she had read his palm and said he would be accepted to Cal, but this time, she didn’t need any palmistry to figure out their relationship wouldn’t work. Saying she couldn’t bear the thought of constantly pulling him away from his life at college, she decided to leave. Better to make a clean break now than to linger around and find yourself pregnant and living in Chino. That is, after all, how Ryan keeps a handle on his girls.
I liked Sadie, but I guess it was time for her to go. That party marked another end of an era as well. Part of the reason why Seth didn’t tell anybody about not getting into Brown was because he didn’t want Summer to give up the chance to go to a prestigious school just to be with him. Summer knew she wants to be with Seth, but for once, he is not sure if he wants to be with her, and he’s not going to hold her back for anything. I am surprised because he could always go to Providence or URI and they could still be together but instead they break up. Like I said, Seth didn’t say anything about not getting into Brown, and instead decided that breaking up would be better than holding her back.
I thought this was a good episode. I am sure that Seth and Summer will find a way back together soon, and I like that Marissa is not just letting Volchok tell her what to do. I am not sure what will become of Ryan, and I am pretty sure that all of them will eventually settle at some fictional UC school in Newport or perhaps UC Irvine. It didn’t blow me away, but it felt like it had a purpose.
What did you think of the episode? Will Summer go to Brown without Seth? Will Marissa go to Berkeley? Will Matt Ramsey get his revenge on Dr. Griffin?
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 30, Season – 438