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Although I enjoy giving the producers of The OC a good-natured ribbing every now and then, the truth remains that show has really picked up the last few weeks. When Josh Schwartz said things are some great things coming down the pipe, I admit that my first reaction was to laugh, but after seeing this last episode, I may just take his word on it. I don’t know about you, but I was still recovering from all of that action at the end of the last episode. In order to prepare myself properly for any more steaminess on screen, I decided to channel my inner Marissa and have a beer or three before getting started. As it turns out, I really didn’t need to cool off because the episode wasn’t that hott, but The episode starts with everybody at The Bait Shop. Summer is using her newly discovered knowledge of interpreting body language, which was bestowed upon her after she bought the latest issue of Star magazine. In one corner, she sees that Ryan and Sadie are really starting to look like a couple. The last time we heard anything, the two of them didn’t want to put any “labels” on their relationship, but the physical evidence says otherwise, and like Summer says, the bodies do not lie.
Summer is actually happy that Ryan and Sadie are together, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t worried about her best friend. Marissa hasn’t wanted to hang out, so Summer is worried she is sitting home alone and depressed. Then Summer notices that Marissa is definitely not sitting home, because she is at the bait shop. She definitely isn’t alone, because Summer sees her talking with Volchok and a couple of other guys who bought the group some beer. What’s more, it looks like Marissa isn’t depressed because she is sucking face with Volchok. What does Marissa’s body language say? Summer says “Eww!” Seth says, “Touch my pooper” and I say “a hilarious opening montage to The OC”.
Everybody wants Marissa to be happy, but they don’t think Volchok is good enough for Marissa. He’s poor, doesn’t have an education, doesn’t bother wearing underwear most of the time, and, uh, did I mention he was poor? Summer heads over to the trailer the next day and knocks on the door. Marissa would like to answer, but she is happily sleeping on the couch with Volchok, and it looks like she had been drinking so much that it would have made Sam Kinison rise from the dead. And just in case you wondered if Volchok was just a boozer, he brought his bong over to play as well. He even did a nice little wake and bake a little later, which is much easier when you don’t have that 10A to worry about in the morning.
For all of the drinking Marissa has done, it surely hasn’t affected her body, as we get a nice little shot of Mischa Barton in her underwear as she gets up from the couch and shoos Volchok into the bedroom while she gets rid of Summer. Notice how the producers don’t take a chance with a demi-bra when TVgasm is keeping vigil. Summer says that she is worried about Marissa, who assures her that it was a simple head cold, although Summer is still worried that Marissa might have caught something from Volchok because he is dirty, and, you know, poor. Marissa may have been monogamous with Ryan for almost six months in a row, but she has had her fair share of dudes, and Luke may have been dirtier than Volchok. The two girls would like to argue a little more, but they each get separate phone calls from their parents saying the same thing: dinner tonight at the Roberts’ house.
We always make fun of Ryan for being so old and not having any fun, and so when he starts acting almost like a teenager whenever he is around Sadie, people start to notice. As he and Seth are preparing some breakfast, he mentions how much he enjoyed the Bait Shop. It was so much fun, they should go there more often! Ahh, I love it when the writers make fun of themselves, and it’s even more enjoyable that they didn’t have to use a reference to the Valley to do it. Ryan is having such a great time with Sadie that he decides to visit her house before school. Nothing like a little nookie before first period to get you through that algebra exam.
After seeing the state that Marissa was in, Summer wanted to do something about her and Volchok, but it’s not like her and Seth have a ton of experience. Whenever they needed somebody to act mature and dispense advice, they usually called on Ryan, but they didn’t want to bother him since he was having a great time with Sadie. They wanted to keep further problems with Volchok off of his radar because he was “Atwood Kryptonite”. Further, Summer couldn’t even figure out what Marissa saw in Volchok, but Seth was there to help her out, mentioning that Volchok has great abs. Chicks dig it, and Seth should know because he says, “I have a six-pack myself”. I was thinking to myself that maybe he is confusing a six-pack with an anime DVD box set, but Summer was there to remind him that what he thought was abdominal definition was just his ribs.
Over at the Newport Group, Sandy was in the process of firing Matt. The ethical issues he has waded through with this hospital deal are really starting to affect him. I thought that it would have been easy enough to just let Matt work on other projects, but I guess that wasn’t enough of a buffer for Dr. Griffin. He wanted Matt fired and so Sandy decided that building the hospital was more important than loyalty and he sent Matt out the door. Matt was very upset that Sandy would fire him for ethical issues relating to partying when he knew that Dr. Griffin was dirty and taking kickbacks. He not only had proof, but also was not afraid to speak out. He tells Sandy that every time he needs to make a difficult decision, he uses the hospital as an excuse so he doesn’t have to feel upset about it.
At the Roberts house, Julie and Neil just made the announcement that Julie Cooper-Nichol-Cooper was going to become Julie Cooper-Nichol-Cooper-Roberts. I am not sure what kind of person re-hyphenates their last name after getting married, but it is a lot of fun to say, so whatever. Since it is a celebration, everybody is sharing a little champagne. Marissa chugs hers down like a champ and then goes out to meet Volchok, who had just given her a call. Julie is upset that Marissa isn’t happy, so she goes out to stop her. When she catches up with her, Marissa says that she will do what she wants, but not to worry, because she isn’t planning on screwing up her mom’s golden ticket. As harsh as that sounds, and as much as we want to believe that Julie and Neil are for real this time, you can’t blame Marissa for this attitude. Her mom’s history of marriages naturally leads one to think that she is more gold digger than anything else.
Summer sees that Marissa is outside talking to Volchok and realizes that the gloves need to come off. She calls up Seth, who had a date night with his mom since Summer and Sandy were busy. Having one woman that you love bored to death with kung fu movies is really not enough, so he let his mom suffer through some great rip your arm off and beat your opponent to death with it action, which is almost as good as eviscerate yourself and strangle your opponent to death with your intestines action, but they’ll have to work up with that. Anyway, Summer tells Seth that Marissa is on a slut spiral and they need to call in Ryan for help. She also sort of threw in there how Julie and Neil were getting married, which seemed a lot more shocking to Seth than Marissa shacking up with some guy. It was such a surprise I though Kirsten was going to get into another crash.
Seth gets home and runs to the pool house where he finds that the door is locked. Locked? Wha? This is not supposed to happen. He’s supposed to be able to walk in on Ryan no matter how embarrassing the situation. Ryan was inside with Sadie, and I guess after all of that home improvement he did over at Sadie’s house, he felt confident enough to put a lock on the door of the pool house. That lock makes the make out sessions with Sadie all that more enjoyable. He can light as many candles as he wants and smooch to whatever bad emo music suits him, unless Seth is determined to really get in the way, and tonight appears to be the case. After Seth lets him know that Marissa is dating Volchok, we all expect Ryan to rush out and save her, but he decides that this time is going to be different. He says that Marissa is not his girlfriend and that she makes her choices and he does the same. Overall, a very refreshing attitude. There is plenty of time to save the world, but have some fun while you’re young and enjoy life, right?
The next day, Kirsten is helping Julie move out of her trailer park. Julie is really trying to convince Kirsten that this time, love is for real. She has turned over a new leaf, she has no agenda and although it might be a disappointment for some, she is not going to be a manipulative bitch any longer. As the two of them are leaving, Gus is outside, taking a leak. If there is anything to give you inspiration to never end up in a trailer park, it’s seeing your landlord with his hose out watering the garden. And when said landlord turns off the sprinkler and turns around to shake your friends hand, you KNOW it’s time to leave.
At Harbor, Ryan sees Marissa at her locker. She is late for school and has missed a test. Marissa always has that sort of lost look on her face, but this time, she is really out of it. As Ryan goes over to talk to her and say “Hey!” she drops a few things, bends over to pick them up, and a flask comes of the bag. OK, now I know that Marissa is drinking, but nobody is stupid enough to take a flask to school, because having one is enough to get you expelled. What you do is take a bottle of Sprite, drink half, and then fill it with vodka or rum. It’s not only more stealthy, but your breath doesn’t smell as bad.
Then again, Marissa doesn’t really seem to care if she gets caught. Summer sees her outside lying on Summer’s car. Summer has seen Marissa go through a lot of things, so she is worried and tells her that she can’t act this way, especially now that they are sisters. When Summer says that she knows about her and Volchok, Marissa says “Wow! Aren’t you a regular Veronica Mars! Way to solve this week’s mystery!” You know, I’ve noticed some similar story lines among the teenage dramas produced by Warner Bros (Smallville, Veronica Mars, The OC to name a few) but this is the first time I heard them give any cross-studio love to somebody else. Summer seems insulted and tells Marissa to grow up and get over herself. That leads Marissa (who is much better at the insults to be perfectly honest) to make fun of Summer and her emo boyfriend, which leads summer to make fun of Marissa and her heavy metal vomit party boyfriend.
It’s not often that Summer and Marissa fight, so you know that this whole thing is serious. As of right now, Summer is the only one who cares. Ryan is trying to get through that first date with Sadie. He wanted to take her some place nice, but I guess Arches and the Yacht Club were booked, so he couldn’t think of anyplace else to take her and settled on the diner. But let’s not forget, since she is poor, she doesn’t mind the subtle romance of chili-cheese fries and a diet Coke. Everything is going great, and Sadie is just about to deliver some good news to Ryan when some of Volchok’s friends enter, and they are talking about Marissa, how hot she is, and how she has been scratching Volchok’s back.
Sadie wants to leave, but Ryan needs to say something. Ugh, I guess this is the point where he goes in and tells them that he wants to meet Volchok somewhere. I know Ryan gets in a lot of fights and is supposed to be a tough guy, but maybe they should get somebody to rewrite some of his tough talk. I mean “Tell Volchok to meet me by the pier tomorrow morning” is not bad, but when he wants to get his point across he gets the Ryan Atwood look on his face, drops his voice down to an octave and says, “Think you can remember all that? Or Do you need me to write it down?” Wow, I’m scared stiff. Hopefully next time Ryan doesn’t say, “Can you remember all of that? Or do I need to SEND YOU AN E-MAIL??!!” I might have fainted. Luckily, Volchok’s friends didn’t see Ryan when he is really upset and says things like “Can you remember all of that? OR SHOULD I SEND YOU A TEXT MESSAGE JUST IN CASE!!! Go ahead, make my day! I’LL PUT A STICKY NOTE ON YOUR WINSHIELD IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T HANDLE IT”. Whew, that was really close.
The next day, Ryan does in fact meet Volchok, and although I am expecting him to give some lecture, he once again surprises me. He says that he’s not judging who Marissa goes out with because that is none of his business, but he does want Volchok to know that Marissa has a drinking problem. Finally, he says that he won’t be looking after her anymore, so now it is all on him to treat her right, because she deserves it. This is clearly so out of character for Ryan, which is probably why I think what he said was perfect. He can’t just cut Marissa off and I am sure they are still leaving the option open for Ryan to save her at the end of this season, but he really needs to let thing go with her. When these two aren’t tied up, it allows for so much more freedom in the story lines, and I think we already see things getting better.
Ryan and Volchok might have buried the hatchet, but that doesn’t mean that Summer and Marissa are anywhere close to doing the same. During breakfast, they don’t want to share bread, share preserves, or even look at each other. It becomes Marissa in her Fendi sunglasses vs. Summer in her Gucci shades. I never would have imagined that the Julie and Neil marriage would last longer than the Summer and Marissa friendship, but I guess I was wrong.
Now that Ryan has said his peace with Volchok, he wants to go see Sadie and tell her how he really feels, but when he gets to her house, some guy named Bob is there. Bob bought the house, which I would think that Ryan would have been prepared for, but he hadn’t really thought about what was next for him and Sadie. I don’t think that Sadie thought about it much more than Ryan, but she knew enough that it wouldn’t be smart of her to change her whole life for a guy who is distracted. Therefore, she is moving back to Oregon.
The new Roberts family was having another one of their dinners, except Marissa hasn’t joined the party. Marissa’s behavior is affecting more than just her relationship with Summer, although it’s not such a big deal since Marissa has her own room now. Neil and Julie aren’t even married and they are already arguing about Marissa. Summer wants her dad to be happy, and he does seem happy with Julie, but she has no support. Ryan has another girl and Seth is on another date with his mom. This leaves Summer to deal with the slut spiral all by herself, and the spiral doesn’t look like it is going to end.
Marissa and Volchok are on the beach, and for a minute, it seems like Volchok is going to listen to Ryan and try and take care of Marissa. Their relationship ship is nothing more than drugs and booze and, of course, lots of hot and steamy sex. But when Volchok starts asking Marissa questions that are deeper than “roll or bowl?” and tells her that she deserves to be treated right, Marissa says that if she wanted to be treated right, she wouldn’t be with him. I guess it’s settled then; Volchok and Marissa can go back to doing what they do best, and he has something more to add to the party. I had always thought that Marissa had done more than just drinking and smoking pot, but when Volchok offers her some cocaine, she says she has never tried it and kind of gets freaked out and leaves.
When Kirsten said she would go on a second date with Seth, she insisted that she pick the activity. Seth was probably thinking it was going to be a fun evening at cardiobar or yogalates, where he would pretend to be exercising while he would actually be checking out asses, seeing how adventurous his mom’s friends were by checking to see if there were any panty lines under those stretch pants. I’m sure you already know this ladies, but that really is the only reason those two guys in your yoga class come every week or why any guy would be caught near the Stairmasters at the gym.
Instead of hot pants, Seth got a crappy rec center basement and some bad coffee. He knows that his mom isn’t in community theater, and he’s pretty sure she hasn’t joined some strange religious sect, so he can’t figure out what was going on. Then he finds out that his mom took him to an AA meeting and he almost freaked out. It was painful enough to see her when she was having trouble, and it’s not something that he wants to relive. It’s funny how we never really get insight into Kirsten’s life. I have made many jokes about how they sort of wrote away Kirsten’s drinking problems, and although it is very easy to say she has been going to AA for 9 months and didn’t tell anybody, it’s good to see this part of Kirsten.
Seth, however, feels there are better ways to spend time with his mom and wants to leave, but Kirsten begs him to stay. Not having been to AA, I am not sure what the protocol about family members is, but Seth did stay to support his mom. It was an important evening because it was her ninth month of sobriety, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you have known anybody who is a real alcoholic, each day can really be a milestone. When she receives her award, Kirsten gives a little speech and talks about why she got sober. She did it all for Seth, not only because of the look on his face during his intervention, but because he always believed that she could make it through. You could tell that Seth was really proud of his mom, and the whole scene was completely believable and, dare I say it, almost moving. No, I’m not getting soft, I said almost…
While Seth was finding out just how wonderful his mom was, Sandy wanted to go over and talk with Matt. After Matt left, Sandy caught him breaking into the Newport Group in order to get some files he says he needs for evidence against Dr. Griffin. When Sandy later told Dr. Griffin that Matt was very adamant about his accusation, Dr. Griffin apologized and said that the should have handled the problem himself in the first place. What was his answer? Send some goons over to Matt’s house to beat his ass in and destroy his apartment. They even destroyed the plasma television, which I think should be made a capital crime. Sandy arrives on the scene, the door is ajar and he walks in. There is Matt Ramsey, face a little swollen and still in shock. Sandy asks what happened, but he is just being naive. Maybe the hospital was worth firing Matt Ramsey, but if this is how Dr. Griffin takes care of his problems, I can’t imagine that Sandy will want to stick around for long. Even Caleb would have bailed by now don’t you think?
Since I have really liked how Ryan has been acting lately, I sort of wanted him to get together with Sadie, and not just because I’m a sucker for brunette that can wield a circular saw. He’s tried to make some changes, so hopefully something good will happen to him. He goes to Sadie’s house to tell her that he wants her to stay, but she already left for Oregon. Without. Even. Saying. Goodbye. That’s gotta hurt. Two weeks ago, I would have said he deserved this rejection, but now I kind of wanted Sadie to give him a chance.
Ryan is so confused that he heads to the lifeguard tower that Marissa frequents. It didn’t really make sense, but we needed an excuse for them to bump into each other. They both know it’s over, but they are still friends and Ryan explains what happens. The next part was also a little confusing. After leaving the beach, Marissa heads to the bus station to talk to Sadie. I thought this was strange because I thought Sadie had her own car. They didn’t say anything about her selling it, so I figured she would use it to drive home. At the bus station, Marissa does some lecturing of her own. She tells Sadie that she shouldn’t leave, that Ryan really cares about her, and that she should give him another chance. Sadie still seems like she wants to leave until Marissa tells her that Ryan had went over to her house that night.
It seemed like Marissa’s behavior was starting to worry Dr. Roberts, and he went so far as to tell Julie that the engagement is just a trial to see how the families work together. I think he still loves Julie, but twice bitten, thrice shy I guess. Summer overhears the conversation and when her dad goes upstairs to read a book and wait for Julie (which you should read as: take some Viagra and wait for it to kick in), she says that her father gets that way at this point of the marriage and not to worry, but even this gold digger knows there are things that are more important. Julie is worried about Marissa, and so is Summer.
The slut spiral is still in full effect. Is it over between Ryan and Marissa? I like to say yes, but you can tell that Marissa is still struggling with her feelings. Volchok is obviously a rebound, but she doesn’t know what she wants and doesn’t know where to find it. Actually, she wants a drink, but can’t get the bartender at the Bait Shop to give her one, even though she used to know the manager.
Although her life is a mess, at least Marissa was able to help somebody else. Sadie found Ryan in the pool house and he finally said what she wanted to hear. Ryan asked her what he had to do to get her to stay, and although the answer was “throw me on your bed and screw me until I can’t walk” (she didn’t say that, but I can read body language), it looks like they are going to try and figure out a reason for her to be there, because she now has at least one reason to stay.
And how about Marissa? She goes back to Volchok. Nothing else is going right in her life, so she might as well do some coke. The fans love it when Marissa is the bad girl, and it looks like she is getting badder every week.
I thought this was a very good episode. I really hope that it doesn’t turn into a “Marissa death spiral and we have to save her from herself” like has happened so many other times before, but Volchok is the kind of guy that you go to public school for, even though he dropped out so it doesn’t really count. I can’t imagine that Neil and Julie will actually get married but since the kids are going off to college and I would expect the show to focus on Ryan, Marissa, Seth, and Summer, I could envision a scenario where that marriage actually lasts. Speaking of college, in a couple days we have college acceptances. Does anybody think people are going to Brown?
What did you think of this episode? Will Marissa need to go to rehab? What will Sandy do about his business partner? Will Ryan and Sadie last?
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 15, Season – 408