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So by now we’ve all heard the bad news. As of February 22nd, The O.C. will be no longer. Cancelled. Kaput. Axed. Should I have seen the writing on the wall when Hercules himself was guest starring and Julie was running a Prostitution ring? Maybe. But it doesn’t make the news any easier to deal with. But I’ve had some time, and I’ve stopped wearing black, the mirrors are uncovered, and I’ve officially stopped taking Shiva calls. Sure it taken me Summer rage blackout mixed with a Marissa poolside freak-out/Season 2 bender to get here, but I’m in the land of acceptance. After the death blow of Everwood last year, nothing hurts anymore. So let’s revel in what little precious time we have left, shall we? Perhaps it would’ve been easier if the show was cancelled last season, when it was horrible, or next year, when it inevitably started to suck again (Special Guest Star: Oliver! Johnny back from the dead! The annoying half-sister from Chicago!), but I say let’s be happy that this show is actually going out on a high note (Josh Schwartz has gone on record saying that they’ve prepared for the series finale, and there will be closure when the 16 episode season comes to an end). In what has become classic O.C. fashion Summer and Seth are having similar conversations with their respective confidants (in this case Ryan and Taylor) about not wanting to get married. In what has also become slightly more annoying O.C. fashion, they decide that neither wants to be the one to break the news to the other, and when they meet up to “confront” each other, they instead pick Ryan as the Best Man and Taylor as the Maid of Honor. Ouch, even from the great beyond, that’s got to sting Coop just a bit.
Later that night on the pier, the similar technique is being used, as Sandy and Frankules (aka Ryan Atwood’s Dad freshly released from the Big House) are chatting about Frankules’ shady past, while Julie is explaining things to Kirsten. It seems that someone was brushing up on their Charles Dickens when he was writing this episode, because Bullet and Frankules becoming BFF’s in prison seems like a bit of a stretch. I mean, Bullet was in jail for Tax Evasion, which I have to imagine might be just a hop, skip and a jump away from where Frankules was locked up on several counts of being poor, white trash. Anyway, Frankules has convinced Julie, and subsequently Kirsten, with his sob story that he’s put booze behind him and he’s ready to be a part of Ryan’s life. Sandy and his eyebrows aren’t so quick to jump on the Frankules bandwagon however. Despite some obvious reservations, Sandy agrees to broach the subject with a just-recovering- from-his-true-love’s-tragic-death Ryan, to see if he’s fought in enough cage matches to be emotionally ready to see his Pops.
In what turns out to be the night’s most pleasant surprise, the B-story involves brilliant but lazy Kaitlin, needing to get tutored by new dork in class, Will. It’s a pleasant surprise because Will is played by watered down Usher clone (who himself is a watered down Michael Jackson clone), Chris Brown. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can bust a move to Run It! with the best of them, and if this was 7th grade and Christy Hencken was dating Rob Delbagno instead of me, I’d spin Say Goodbye once or twice to pass the time, but actor? Chris Brown? And boy was I right! The kid stinks. And he’s so tall and gangly, he’s not even believable as a band geek, while still not laughable UNBELIEVABLE at playing a band geek. The pleasant surprise here is young Willa Holland, who has officially stolen my heart as Kaitlin. I thought it was last week we she tried to learn to Two-Step with Bullet that did it, but it was actually this week when she gave an oral presentation on the Call of the Wild speaking as Buck the dog in a series of “woofs”. Hilarious. Said stunt leads the “unlikely” duo (I love her and all, but Kaitlin is as likely a “rebellious bad girl” as Chris Brown is a band geek) to have to work together to tutor Kaitlin through one of the easiest books ever assigned to a sophomore class.
Sandy drops by El Pavo Guapo to talk to Ryan about Frankules. Ryan isn’t so shocked that Frankules got out of jail (Ryan has always had a pretty firm grasp on the obvious), but he is kind of surprised to hear that Frankules took time off from Mt. Olympus to come to Newport to find him. But Ryan decides that he’s just fresh out of his Fight Club stage, and isn’t ready for his father to come back into his life. Besides, he’s got Sandy. Barf.
Seth and Summer have set off on a madcap plan to drive each other so crazy that the other one breaks off the engagement first. It’s no longer about hurting one another’s feelings, as it is about losing the upper hand. Ahh love. Here again, a plotline that could just be very irritating, takes flight and is hysterical. Seth brings Summer a copy of the Torah (for her conversion, of course) and Summer counters with a weekend of taking care of her pet bunny, Pancakes. Hilarity ensues.
Sandy pops in to New Match, where he finds Frankules slayng a Cyclops, as he has just finished pleading with Kirsten about helping him see Ryan. Sandy is steamed. That is until Julie drops the bomb on him: Frankules has got the big C. Cancer. Cancer of the handsome! Okay, so now not only is Sandy steamed, he’s awfully suspicious. And so are his eyebrows. You know, I thought these eyebrow jokes would get old, and sure, they have, but all I keep imagining is Dr. Octopus from Spider-Man 2 and his mechanical arms telling him what to do. It’s exactly like Sandy and his eyebrows, with less phallic symbolism (come one, those mechanical arms had to mean SOMETHING).
The next morning, Kristen can’t understand why Sandy won’t take Frankules’ confession about his disease seriously. She wants to talk to Ryan about it, but Sandy is still hesitant. I can’t imagine why, they’ve had such great success with Ryan’s family in the past. I’m just waiting for his Cousin Barry to show up and to rape Kirsten, steal all of Seth’s comic books and eat all the bagels. Later on, Sandy decides to call in a favor at the local prison to have the prison doctor check to see if Frankules’ cancer checks out.
Taylor picks up Ryan after work, and just so we’re clear the two of them are in full couple mode. Ryan is being summoned to Kirsten’s office for a chat, which he correctly deduces is about Frankules. He’s not looking forward to it, but Taylor reminds him that at least he has a father who wants to see him. Taylor’s father lives in San Diego and she hasn’t spent more than 20 minutes with him since she was 7. Duh, Taylor. That’s because up until this season you were super annoying. I’m sure that if you met up with your dad now, he’d fall in love with you just as we all have.
In a nice rare moment we catch Summer and Julie bonding over Hebrew flashcards and brisket. Julie is confused about Summer’s recent interest in all things blessed by a holy Rabbi, until Summer fills her in on the details of her life lately: Pregnancy scare, engagement, fear of marriage, etc. Then the light bulb above her head appears, as she realizes that she lives with the Lance Armstrong of male manipulation!
Later that night, Kirsten has set up a sting operation to get Frank and Ryan together. I guess that talk with Kirsten (and Taylor) paid off because Ryan is waiting for his dad as he and Kirsten walk along the pier. Ryan and he talk and he invites Frankules to dinner at the Cohen’s the next night.
Summer has found the Royal Flush of hands to play in the Whose Gonna Break Off This Lame Engagement First? Game. Eloping! She brings the option to Seth, who can’t talk his way out of it, so he reluctantly agrees. As the two are driving towards Vegas, Seth pulls the car over and it looks as though he’s going to put an end to this whole crazy charade once and for all. Psych! He just can’t marry Summer until he asks her father’s permission. In person. Well played Sethala. Seattle Grace here you come!
Frank, Sandy, Kirsten and Ryan are having dinner, and things are going really well. Even Taylor is there, hoping that she and Ryan can have their first major non-French Husband related couple moment. Unfortunately, the evening is interrupted by a phone call to Sandy from the doctor at the jail, informing him that the only thing that Frankules is diagnosed with is a big bad case of being a total faker. He’s cancer free and loving it!
Sandy confronts Frankules, and implores him to tell Ryan the truth and get out of his house, in that order. Frankules refuses, and Sandy tries to escort him out. When Frankules gets a little frisky, Sandy clocks him one, which he had to realize was a huge mistake about a minute after he did it since Frankules, is nicknamed, Frankules. He goes kind of berserk, and you get the first glimpse at how Frankules could’ve been a wife beater in his pre-prison days. Luckily for Sandy, Ryan is there to break up the scuffle, before Sandy gets destroyed. Ryan Puts Frankules in a cab, and tells him that it’s just too soon for him to be in his life.
Later on, Frankules leaves town (that’s just what happens when you get rejected by a series regular on this show), but gives Julie a nice deposit in her masturbation bank, as they make out hot and heavy before he goes. He also gives her the cooked books from New Match, and her well-toned ass is covered.
The episode ends, the way every episode of every show should end: Cohen family bonding time. Yay!