Isn’t it great to have The OC back to true form? As the show finished up last year, we had something that was light, humorous, and fun to watch. By the middle of this season, it looked like the writers had some idea that they could compete for a best drama Emmy. For their effort, we received a bunch of heavy-handed story lines and one-dimensional characters, making the show almost painful to watch. I speculated last week that the OC had turned the corner, and this week’s episode doesn’t skip a beat. Maybe with all the government focus on steroids, the oxycontin flow is back at a level that we need for all the creative types to do their best work. Whatever it is, let’s keep it coming, The OC is nearly back to being “can’t miss” television and something people once again talk about around the water cooler.Trey’s transition to living in Newport is going fairly well, but he clearly hasn’t caught on to the Cohen breakfast style, still preferring to make something in a pan than cook it with a toaster. But we all know that will come in time. The big concern on everybody’s mind seems to be the idea of getting Marissa and Ryan back together. Although I don’t believe Summer and Seth or Marissa and Ryan absolutely have to be couples for the show to be enjoyable, it seems like when these two couples are paired up, everything around them flows much better. Ryan admits that he is interested in Marissa, but he insists on taking things slowly.
Slow is fine, but it seems that is not exactly how it is going to work out. Julie has decided to go to Europe to avoid having to hear some of the gossip that is sure to be flying around town now that people know she is a porn star. While this is one way to handle the tragedy, it is not the only way. They have the rights to distribute the film. If people are going to laugh at you for your bad acting and ogle you as you blow some guy on camera, why not make some money off of it? It’s not like she is unattractive, and there really is no such thing as bad publicity.
Anyway, the Nichol’s are off to Europe, and since they recently fired their housekeeper, there will be nobody in their huge house to watch over Marissa. Since her dad is away, and Marissa still has a knack for getting into trouble, they arrange to have her live with the Cohens for a week. I think we all see where this is going, and that includes Summer, who is at Marissa’s house while she is packing. Although Marissa also denies that she sees any romantic things happening while she is living under the same roof as Ryan, Summer notices that her friend has packed a very revealing set of pajamas. Marissa says that she doesn’t want to be hot wearing her flannel PJs. Why she doesn’t have some boxers or boyshorts and an old t-shirt for the warmer months is beyond me, but Marissa decides to pack some some pack some long sleeve flannel to go along with her see-through babydoll number, just in case.
Seth is also keenly aware of the possibilities for a romantic interlude while Ryan and Marissa are in the same house. While at shcool, he is hypothesizing how they might meet at the refrigerator in the middle of the night, but end up with an entirely different kind of midnight snack. The best part of this little sections was the way Seth described the opening exchange. Marissa would say “Hey!” and Ryan would reply “Hey!” only with a slightly deeper voice. Hey is an easy and brief way for people to greet each other, and it was always fun to see how often they could fit “Hey!” in one episode. I even keep a “Hey!” counter going in my recaps. Maybe you don’t notice how often it happens, but go back to your Tivo, because this is one of the best “Hey!” episodes we have seen to date.
Back to the story, Seth is making faces to Ryan to demonstrate how Ryan would be kissing Marissa during the middle of the night just when Marissa walks in on them talking about it. Seth leaves so his friends can be alone. It’s always great watching Mischa Barton being awkward in her acting, but it is even better when she is being awkward while she is acting awkward, talking about how moving into the Cohen’s house will be awkward. Ryan pretends he doesn’t know anything, and I have to admit, it is funny to see how Marissa turns him into a blubbering idiot and not the 45 year old high school junior we are supposed to think he is this season. Maybe that is a sign of true love?
Trey has been spending most of his time trying to find a job or a place to live, but Sandy recruited him to help out with a Newport Beach charity auction. A bunch of people in Newport donate things to charity, and a bunch of other people in Newport buy the things that their friends don’t want. The people who are selling keep half the profit, which Sandy still hasn’t quite figured out, and neither have I. The people are probably more interested in receiving a tax benefit, no? It’s also supposed to be a yard sale, but it takes place in a banquet room. That’s also a little strange, but it means that somebody will have to pick tablecloths and napkin holders and chairs and everything else. These type of jobs usually fall to Kirsten, but since she is busy with launching the magazine and Julie Cooper-Nichol is away, Sandy gets the honor of running the show.
Sandy may hate the Newpties, but we love them. Just a few weeks ago, I mentioned that the writers should bring them back, and I was not disappointed. Kirsten’s band of gossipy, stuck-up, sex party swinging, friends are led by Taryn, played byKim Oja, who we all loved from Son of the Beach. Sandy thinks that he is simply going to emcee, but soon learns that “Honorary Chairman” is not a figurehead position, and he is going to have to be doing a lot of the things he has always made fun of Kirsten having to do over the years.
As might be anticipated, Trey is recruited to do some heavy lifting, and while he is moving an ottoman or two in the back room, he notices an big, crystal, egg. It turns out that one of the people who donated to the auction had a husband who worked at Warner in the props department, and he donated the egg. Trey is aboslutely dumbfounded, and asks “Is that the glass egg from Risky Business?” “It’s not the F-14 from from Top Gun!” is the reply from the Newptie Trey is working with. That is a good joke, but if the writers were trying to be really geeky, they would have at least mentioned another prop from a movie Tom Cruise did for Warner in his early years. Then again, saying “It’s not that sleeveless denim jacket from The Outsiders!” doesn’t have the same kind of punch. As amazing as that egg is, Trey is even more amazed that somebody considers the egg junk, and that junk is going to fetch nearly $10,000 dollars.
When you learned Marissa was going to be staying with the Cohens, what was the first thing that you thought of? If it was “Oh, I hope she bumps into Ryan”, you and I are the wrong wavelength. I was wondering where in the hell everybody was going to sleep. The Cohens only have three bedrooms and the pool house. Is it just me, or does anybody else thing that they could fit a lot more bedrooms in the space they have? The house seems like it should have at least two more bedrooms. If the space in the pool house was an apartment in Manhattan it would be like what, 3 bedrooms and $3500 a month? There really is no excuse for this people, but whatever. Sandy and Kirsten aren’t going anywhere, and Seth has been living there the longest of anybody else, so it doesn’t seem fair to move him. Ryan has the guest room, and Trey has the pool house, so one of them has to go, and it turns out to be Trey.
So, Marissa is in the pool house, but Ryan doesn’t know that. When he does to find Trey, he accidentally stumbles into Marissa as she is changing. For those of you hoping that Ryan and Marissa get together, this is a good sign. When Alex walked in on Marissa changing her shirt, they became a couple, so maybe that will happen again. This little exchange in the pool house was not the only awkward moment Ryan and Marissa share. Almost exactly as Seth described earlier, they bumped into each other in the kitchen while looking for a snack. Marissa was looking very respectable in her full length PJs, but the lights were dark, and Ryan was about to go for some contact, when the lights come on.Trey pulls the accidental cockblock. He is up early because he wants to go looking for an apartment. He loves Ryan like a brother, but he doesn’t want to share a room.
It’s Seth and Ryan’s turn to help out at the charity auction. They are spending time taking some polaroids of all the items up for auction. The day before, Seth and Zach decided to donate some comics together so neither of their collections would get too depleted. They would also get to split the profits. While they were talking, Carter came back to say hello to Seth. It turns out that Carter(did anybody else notice how GIANT Billy Campbell looked standing next to Peter Gallagher?) knows some comic book people. Although their previous foray into comics was a disaster, Zach and Seth become interested once again, when they learn that their limited comic run would be great for a graphic nobel, they just have to get approval from Summer.
When Alex and Summer decided that they should break up, Alex miraculously decided that she needed some parental guidance. I am not sure if she un-emancipated herself, but she did move back in with them. That left her apartment open, and Marissa suggest to Trey that it might be a good apartment to rent, and goes with him to look at it. The apartment is in fact perfect for Trey, and Marissa has another great suggestion, this time for the landlord. Trey obviously doesn’t have three grand to cover first and last plus the security deposit, but the landlord does need somebody to be an apartment manger and fix things around the complex. He says he would be happy to let Trey perform those duties and let him pay off the rent that way.
So, everything is happy, except there are often a bunch of background checks that people perform before they rent an apartment or hire an employee, and Trey’s soon-to-be landlord is one of them. When Trey’s background comes back, the landlord says that he can’t get him the job, but that he seems nice and will hold the place for 24 hours to let Trey come up with the money. This is devastating to Trey, because he wants to do the right thing so Ryan will stop worrying, but he is going to need some quick money to get the apartment, and there is one way he knows how to get some quick money.
The next day, Ryan wakes up early, and he notices that Trey is not there. When he is coming down the stairs, Trey has just entered the house, and says he was out doing some sheetrock for his new landlord. He had to be out so early so it could dry and he would be able to paint later. We all know this is a lie, but it is a good enough story for Ryan. Marissa had overheard Trey the evening before as he was on the phone, and so she knew what was wrong, but knew that it was important for Trey to get an apartment, and important for Ryan not to worry. She offers to help Trey with getting the money.
Marissa didn’t decide to pimp herself out, but she does have rich parents, and she knows there must be something in he basement that would be worth enough money to cover Trey’s move-in cost. How is she going to know what is worth money? Summer, of course! She turns out to be a big fan of Antiques Road Show on PBS, and she is able to recognize an insignia on a silver tea set that dates it back to the late nineteenths cetury. Score!
They get the silver to the auction, but it looks like it is too late. Ryan notices that the Risky Business egg is gone, and he knows that Trey must have taken it. He confronts Marissa about what she knows. Just as she is about to explain why she didn’t tell him about anything that happened, Trey comes out and tells Ryan why he did it. Ryan is just about to send his brother to jail for larceny, when Trey says he still has the money and the location of the people he sold it to. There is still time to get back the egg. Now, the egg is worth $10,000, but I doubt that Trey had enough time to find a buyer who would offer even half of that amount of money. Sure, he could sell it to some middleman, but a fence is going to offer something like 10% of that value to take stolen goods off of his hands. I guess it is being a little nitpicky in such an otherwise great episode, but just in case you resort to a life of crime, you should know that things don’t sell for their face value on the street, even if they just fell off of the truck…
It would take somebody with superhero powers to pull this off, but Ryan is going to have to do. He takes the money and heads off to get the egg back. Seth was successful convincing Ryan that he should be the sidekick, and Marissa get Summer to help her stall things by playing the assistants to Sandy’s emcee. This is the beginning of the type of caper that we loved watching everybody get into and out of last season. Completely implausible, but at the same time so very, very entertaining.
At first, Marissa and Summer are just making some jokes and showing off on the auction stage. The people of Newport love it, thinking that they are just a few kids happy to work for charity. However, as the items start getting sold, they are forced to get a little more creative in their stall tactics. The egg is the last item, but until Ryan and Seth come back, there is no way they can let the bids go on. Summer auctions off her vintage shoes “straight from 1983″, and some creepy guy buys them for $60. To buy more time, the girls then offer up Zach and Trey to do some work around the house. Taryn enthusiastically puts a few bids in, and I start to wonder if she doesn’t want to wait until the end of the year to get some action from somebody else besides her husband.
Ryan and Seth come up with a fool-proof plan to get the egg back. Seth is going to pretend he is from a film preservation society, and make a legitimate offer. If there is any problem with that, Ryan will be attempting to sneak in the back way and grab the egg without drawing too much attention to himself. Seth makes his way to the door, and he looks just like the type of annoying, scrawny person that would be hawking scientology door-to-door working for some obscure Hollywood fan establishment. He says they want to get a bunch of Cruise collectibles, but when they were coming up with this plan, they didn’t take into consideration that they might be dealing with criminals. The criminals look fat and retarded, but they are smart enough to realize that it might be odd that his person who says he is from some film society knows about an egg they bought illegally and has been in their possession for only a few hours.
Just as they are about to pound Seth in, Ryan makes a noise to get their attention. He has the egg in his hand and runs out the back, which is just enough to distract the two guys and give Seth a chance to run. Ryan goes out the back, and locks a fence. He makes it to the front of the yard, but the guy who was chasing Seth now comes after him. Just before he gets tackled, Ryan throws the egg to Seth. This sequence is great. It has that campy feel we love from the OC, and you can just sense that Seth is trying so hard to do the most athletic thing ever in his life, and it all takes place in slow motion.
Seth ends up making a diving catch, Ryan punches one of the bad guys, and they both make it to the car before the other guy can get to them. They race back to the country club and arrive back just in time to save Marissa and Summer, who had to resort to a blind auction to buy a few more minutes of time for the boys to get back. You know, I never noticed how much Marissa’s boobs moved about before, but after those topless photos came out, I can’t help but notice that our girl could use some sort of support under those slip dresses and bohemian tops she loves to wear. A camisole, a strapless, a seamless, there has to be something to keep her in check.
Later that night, Marissa goes to talk to Ryan. She really tried to help him out, and they are both starting to remember what it was about the other that made them so close before. She tells him how she helped him out by selling the tea set (which Kirsten ended up buying – it was her mother’s) to get the money to move in. Marissa wants Ryan to give Trey another chance, and he has to realize that Trey had the best intentions. And seriously, it is hard for ex-cons to adjust to life on the outside. Things are just about to get close for Ryan and Marissa, when she gets a phone call. It’s her mom. Julie is coming home early, and she is coming to pick Marissa up in 30 minutes. The rekindling of this romance will have to wait, at least for another week.
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 32(!!!!), Season Total – 229