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Best. Episode. Ever. No, I’m totally serious. This was the best episode in the history of The O.C. I defy you to object. What, you prefer Seth and Summer (R.I.P. Bilsody) reuniting via a lame recreation of the upside down make out from Spider-Man? Oliver holding Coop hostage? Coop biting it in Ryan’s arms? Sure these were all memorable episodes, but this episode had Taylor Townsend channeling her inner-Tawny Kitaen. ’nuff said.So we start the show on the best possible foot: With Ryan fantasizing about Taylor in full-Whitesnake 80′s video fetish get-up. Honestly, the only thing that was missing was an areola slip, which I’m sure had its debut in Ryan’s more private fantasy. Let’s hear it for boring, old Ryan, for having such a fun fantasy life. Original, it’s not, but after he continued to pine for the snore-iffic Marissa for years, who for all of her beauty exuded the same sexual energy of a bar stool, it’s nice to see that his sexual imagination even works. Also, I love that where most shows would have an 80′s fnatasy sequence purely as a gimmick, they chose it for Ryan because it works. After all, he is President of the I Heart Journey fanclub. Of course he’s fantasizing about Taylor circa Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science! And let’s just take another moment to applaud Autumn Reeser for her hilarious work as Taylor Townsend this season. With the possible exception of Sarah Chalke and Jenna Fischer on Scrubs and The Office, respectively, she’s doing the best comedic work on television (I also have a soft-spot for Old Christine, but that’s neither here nor there). I could go on, but let’s interrupt this rant much like Sandy interrupted Ryan’s mental porn party with a bagel and a smear (shmear?). I don’t think there is anything that can kill a hard-on like Sandy Cohen and his eyebrows.
As Ryan’s erection dissipates (for those of you who are not interested in hearing about Ryan’s At Wood, this week’s recap is not the place for you), Seth appears, which is ironic since he is something of a Boner himself. I mean that in the loving Growing Pains sidekick sense, not the literal one. In this, and possibly only this context, referring to someone as a Boner is a compliment. Seth is announcing his impending (like in 2 minutes) departure to RISD to check out his soon-to-be dorm and to give Summer the surprise of her life (I think he means the SHOCKER, but perhaps just a surprise visit). Ryan is disappointed because he needs Seth to discuss his new found Hair-Metal Taylor Townsend fetish with, but Seth is late, and as I assume it must be extra difficult to travel with an Inhaler these day, has to rush to the airport.
Speaking of Summer, the guillotine has dropped on our displaced Valley Girl, as Dean Meanie Pants, has suspended Summer for the rest of the year. This is devastating news to Summer, as Brown was becoming her home in the wake of the Cooper Invasion of ’06, the rekindling romance of her father and the Stepmonster and the Death of her best friend, Jack Skellington. Now she’s been evicted from both the left and right wings of America. What is a burgeoning politico to do!?!?
As Summer is bringing down her posters, picture frames and dreams around her, Che shows up and is utterly shocked that Summer isn’t glad to see him. It seems that Old Summer and New Summer have met in the middle, and it’s scaring the bejesus out of Che, who is just discovering the tip of the Rage Blackout iceberg.
In Newport, Kirsten gets a little screen time as she auditions to be Ryan’s new Seth, which is a little pathetic when you really stop to think about it. Luckily, I have no intention of really stopping to think about it, so it sounds just fine to me. I find it highly enjoyable when Kirsten asks Ryan how this whole Seth-Ryan confidant arrangement works, and Ryan tells her that usually Seth just talks about himself for a while until Ryan figures out what to do on his own. At this point it’d be nice if Kirsten took a minute to step back and realize that she raised the most self-involved person in the world, but she also presses on. Kirsten takes a stab in the dark, and correctly guesses that Ryan’s got Taylor on the brain. Her first clue was the raging hard-on. Ryan admits to the kiss(es) and that he’s thinking about Taylor a lot (he leaves the slutty Hair Metal video sluts fantasies out of it though), but just can’t wrap his mind around dating Taylor F-ing Townsend. Kirsten, wise and skinny as ever, advises Ryan to go for it. After all he’s been through over the past few months, if something good is about to happen to him, he should embrace it. It’s not exactly what Seth would say, but it is probably the advice that Ryan would eventually come to on his own, so he embraces it.
Still fantasizing about Taylor, circa 1987 Poison videos, Ryan heads to work and bumps into the real Taylor, sans teased-out hair and crazy guitar solo in the background. Ryan is a bundle of nerves and has trouble hiding his wet dream stain, so he’s super nervous to be running into Taylor. Taylor doesn’t see this as a daytime emission embarrassment, but rather that Ryan is awkward around her, since she planted that kiss on him. Ryan stops Taylor’s rambling apology by asking her what she’s doing tonight. She’s available. Very, very available. And by available, I tend to believe Taylor means, horny.
Over at New Match, the lame subplot that is keeping Kirsten stocked in fabulous clothing (seriously, she looks great this episode, if I believed for a second that she was the mother of any of these kids I’d even go so far as to use the term MILF), Kirsten and Julie are in the process of trying to satisfy an unhappy client (which is a lot less Skinemax than it sounds). Their client, Kim, is unsatisfied with the kind of men they keep setting her up with. Okay, I’m going to speed right along with this story, because although it was mildly amusing, there are bigger fish to fry here.
Gordon Bullet is still in the picture as New Match’s, silent partner and Julie’s pushy paramour. In order to get out of a date with the oaf, Julie lies about having plans to find a new base of eligible bachelor’s for New Match and about getting away with Kirsten and Sandy in Vegas for a recommitment ceremony. To solve problem number one Bullet gets his son (tennis instructor, Spence) and his young stud buddies to sign up for New Match. To solve the second, Bullet invites himself to Vegas with the gang, causing the fake trip to turn into a real one. After a dinner in Vegas that has Bullet insulting everyone (except me) with his anti-Semitic, racist, sexist and generally insensitive comments, Kirsten and Sandy head back home. Julie yells at Bullet for being a douche and he apologizes. I hope this isn’t a romance blossoming, because Gordon might be rich, but he’s old and ugly. The punch line here is that Spence calls Julie to tell him that the night with Kim, the unsatisfied New Match customer, went smoothly, and he’s ready to share his proceeds. Proceeds!?!?! Apparently, the guys signed up for New Match to become a team of gigolos! Kim, beeps in on Spence, and is now EXTREMELY satisfied with New Match’s services and is going to tell everyone that New Match has the best gaggle of young cock around! That’s right: Julie Cooper – Mistress of Newport. Yeah, it’s far-fetched and kind of dumb, but I think there is comic GOLD to be mined from this.
Okay, back to business: The day at El Pavo Guapo is over, so Ryan heads upstairs to the comic book shop (Taylor is covering for Seth while he’s in Providence) for his date with Taylor. Things are a little bit strained, perhaps because of the Japanese anime that Taylor insists on watching. Buzzkill. After an adorable Ryan-and-Taylor-go-for-the-popcorn-at-the-same-time-and-touch-hands moment, Ryan completely slays me with a fake yawn to put his arm around Taylor. The mood is set; the moves are made, so Ryan goes in for the kill. He leans in to kiss Taylor, but stops short. He just can’t do it. It’s too weird. Taylor is rightfully pisst off about this (which is nice to see, since we’ve only gotten to see her swoon over Ryan thus far). I understand that it’s not every girl’s dream to hear a guy say he can’t make out with her because it’s “too weird.” WOMEN!
As Seth arrives in Providence, he is in for a wicked surprise. Summer’s room is completely empty, including the little devil herself! Seth calls up Summer, and wouldn’t you know it, she’s at his house in Newport (does EVERYONE have a key to the Cohen residence?). Of all the… Anyway, Summer explains to Seth about Che’s betrayal, which awakes a long-dormant and wholly unbelievable vengeance kick in our skinny friend: He’s going to find Che and go all Ryan Atwood on his ass.
The next morning, Summer, after sleeping outside (since Taylor is sleeping in her room) and Seth are on the phone while Seth kicks in Che’s dorm room door. Che is one step ahead of Seth, however, as there is a DVD waiting for Seth, informing him the word has traveled of his vengeance mission (why’d Seth wait until the next morning, anyway?) and Che, being a pacifist, has gone underground. Summer sensing defeat, tells Seth to just come home. Moments later, Julie comes out to find Summer squatting in the backyard, as she informs her new step-monster that she’s home for a little while.
At Harbor High, we get our first glimpse of the water polo team, which is just as hilarious as you’d hope it would be. Kaitlin has decided to check out her first match, since her second attempt to throw herself at Tennis pro, Spence failed (he has a no “jailbait” policy, although he is pro-prostitution). At the match, she meets up with two girls who think that the fact that she is renegade bad ass Kaitlin Cooper is awesome. The girls are getting excited about sophomore Plastic, Riley’s sweet 16. The girls were told that they can go to the party if they stuff all of Riley’s envelopes. Kaitlin could not be less interested in any of this nonsense. I would’ve thought the same thing about mini-Coop myself last year, but in these tiny doses and with the help of her minions, and just can’t wait to see what happens with evil Riley and her stupid, Danity Kane fronted Super Sweet 16.
Later, Riley announces who the invitees to her bash are, with the two girls who stuffed her invitations, decidedly off the list. Kudos to the casting director for casting 16 year olds who are actually 16. Well, done. Anyway, Kaitlin overhears this as she’s smoking some serious doobage behind the bleachers, and probably because she’s bored, she decides to throw an opposing party to compete with Riley’s soiree.
After getting some sage advice from Sandy, also trying out his chops as the new Sethala, Ryan decides to again head up to the comic shop after work, to make amends with Taylor. Unforunately, Taylor is not alone. She has a nerd of her very own (her own Seth, perhaps) to cozy up with and watch manga. Yes, it’s obvious that Taylor is trying to make Ryan jealous. Well, obvious to everyone other than Ryan, that is.
At the Cooper-Roberts ranch, Summer finds Che, who has flown across the country to get Summer to forgive him for his trespasses. Summer wants nothing to do with him, so Che does the only thing a supporting guest star can do: he handcuffs himself to Summer in order to broker a peace treaty.
Later on, Taylor arrives home with Roger, the manga loser, and finds Summer and Che handcuffed in her room. Taylor is excited by this kinky turn in events, and wonders when Seth will be home to join in. I suppose, she’d also like to hold the camera, but Summer rebukes her assumption that Che and she are handcuffed in a bid for naughtiness, and informs Taylor that Che is not to be acknowledged.
Meanwhile, downstairs the minions are rolling in a few kegs for the big bash. Taylor and Summer and their “boys” head downstairs and put on their disapproving faces, which is annoying, because they are only 19 and would probably enjoy a nice kegger. God knows, Roger would, as he helps the minions roll in their kegs.
Ryan is having some alone time in the pool house, although the fantasies about Taylor have stayed G-rated (at least what WE see of them have…), when Seth arrives home from Providence, and heads over to Summer’s to reunite with his transplanted girlfriend. Ryan comes along for the ride so he can see Taylor because he likes her. There it is its official, RYAN LIKES TAYLOR. I believe that they might even be living in a tree with reports of K-I-S-S-I-NG.
Things are hysterically our of control at the party, with flashbacks of the awesomeness of season one’s bashes at Holly’s beach house dancing in my head. Minion #2 is kegstanding his way into the history books, while Kaitlin and Minion #1 are upstairs leading a game of seven minutes in heaven. The party is so raging that evil Riley’s boyfriend, Connor, is even there. Kaitlin is next up for the closet with Connor. They get in there and starts attacking him (she’s so Julie Cooper). Connor wants to talk, but Kaitlin only wants to give him a tongue bath. This leads to Kaitlin figuring out that Connor is a total gay! Connor isn’t sure, but after Kaitlin kisses him and he has no reaction she gently tells him: “Sweetheart, you’re so gay.” I officially love Kaitlin Cooper.
When Seth and Ryan arrive they split up to find their respective ladies. Ryan head’s up to Taylor’s room, but finds Roger in bed… with Connor! Quickest acceptance of homosexuality by a television character ever! Ryan doesn’t understand, but Roger says Taylor bribed him with geek paraphernalia to pretend they were doing to nasty. Taylor try to trick Kid Chino!?!? Ryan intrigued…
Back outside, Seth has caught up with Che and Summer. Naturally, since they are handcuffed and there is a pool, Seth pushes Che into it, without realizing that Summer is attached to him. After getting out and drying off, Che is beyond apologetic, but Summer is the better (best) person, and forgives Che, since she knew the consequences of her actions. She has forgiven Che. Seth reminds Che that he isn’t worthy of Summer’s divinity, and Che releases the handcuffs. What really seals the deal for me here, is that we find out that Che is really an incredibly rich guy named Winchester, whose latest phase is helping the environment. IF I’m not mistaken I believe I called this a few weeks ago…
Ryan finally tracks down Taylor and confronts her about Roger. “So what if I did pay a homosexual…” is how Taylor starts her explanation. Besides what does it matter to Ryan? Ryan finally cops to liking her, but he isn’t ready for a serious relationship. Whoa, whoa whoa, Tiger. Neither is Taylor. The ink on her divorce papers isn’t even dry yet. Right now she just wants to use Ryan for her own personally “jungle gym”, so they decide to see what happens.
And what happens is seven-minutes of their own in heaven… there is nothing about any of this that I don’t love…