Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
This week’s episode of The OC promised to provide us with a lot of answers. For years, the writers sort of neglected the fact that Theresa lied about her miscarriage. Most of us never really believed that Ryan was the father because Theresa wasn’t exactly the most chaste woman at the time, but the Ryan baby story line became a glaring example of problems that have been plaguing this writing staff ever since those magical first six episodes when we all believed that this show was going to be the best thing on television for a long time. Now that the show is not the pop culture darling it used to be and FOX has several hour long dramas that fans and critics like a lot more, I think the writing staff have realized some of the old practices aren’t going to work. But I don’t write these recaps to lecture the producers, and the writers do seem to be getting better this year, so I’ll just jump into the recaps. Scroll to the end if all you care about is who fathered Theresa’s baby.I understand that the college application process is different on the west coast. If you grew up in the east coast, every town with a gas station seems to have a small liberal arts college as well. Therefore, there was probably a good chance that you actually visited a college before you applied there. That being said, my first year college roommate was from California (Orange County to be exact), and so I consider myself to possess at least average knowledge of how things go.
Unfortunately, The OC got a lot of things wrong; chief among them is that we are supposed to believe that all of these kids are geniuses. Just because Sandy and Kirsten went to Berkeley doesn’t mean that Ryan has to go especially when we Marissa has to go to the same school to make things awkward. Just because she “got all A’s” two years ago as she would later tell somebody at Berkeley doesn’t mean that she will automatically be accepted at the best college in the University of California system. It would have been much easier and just as awkward to accept UCLA, and just imagine all of the possibilities of Kaitlin Cooper mischief if they had went to Santa Barbara! But again, I am not looking to lecture, so really, I’ll get on with it now.
Anyway, just like every college sent acceptance letters so everybody in Newport Beach would know where they got into college at the same time, the institutes of higher education all across the land conveniently conspired to have their prospective freshman weekend all on the same date. I mean, seriously, did Taylor fly to France for the Sorbonne pre-frosh weekend? I can imagine it now. “Zis weekend you will sit at zee cafe and complain about zee Americans and bash zee Euro” Oh, and I should call it pre-frosh, although more technically, it should be called profro. These are prospective students, meaning that they haven’t yet enrolled, and hence they are profros. When they officially enroll, some schools will have a pre-frosh weekend for those students. Oh shit, there I go with the lecture again, but you get the point.
Seth sort of wondered why Ryan was packing so many things, or technically, how he could pack so many things, since we’ve only seen Ryan wear a wife beater and like two hoodies. Seth is clearly confusing Ryan’s “run away from Newport” packing with Ryan’s “vacation from Newport” packing. Besides, being somebody who tends to over-pack whether the stay is one day or one week, I can completely understand. You don’t want to be miles away from home without a wardrobe for every occasion, plus six or seven extra sets of boxers and socks should something happen to you. Some people have emergency rations, but I have emergency underwear. If the apocalypse ever comes, I may die of starvation, but I will have clean boxer briefs.
As much as Seth is making fun of Ryan, he is just avoiding the obvious. Seth has to get into Brown, and although we left them last week trying to come up with another crazy scheme, all they have is this:
1. Seth flies to Providence
3. Seth gets into Brown!
In other words, they have had much better plans. That being said, Brown is the land of “pasty Jewish kids”, so Seth feels he’ll have no trouble fitting in and when Seth has confidence, there is no telling what could happen.
Kirsten takes the boys to the airport (Sandy couldn’t make it because of work), and I’ll definitely give a shoutout to Kelly Rowan for looking hot in that designer denim. She says goodbye to Seth, and then gives Ryan a few words of encouragement. One thing I have always thought that they do a bad job of portraying is Ryan’s insecurity. I am not sure if it is the writers or Ben McKenzie, but I just don’t see how this guy will chase down somebody’s uncle for child support payments one week, chase down his long lost mother a few weeks later, and then all of a sudden be scared of heading to Berkeley.
As Ryan leaves for his departing flight, Kirsten sees Theresa, which is strange because the last time she heard Theresa was still living full-time in Atlanta. But even stranger than that is that when Theresa comes home, somebody hands her a baby, and Theresa appears to be the mother.
It’s sort of nice to see Marissa back. We liked it when she was a bad girl, but there is a difference when you are a bad girl doing drugs and sleeping with water polo players and when you are a bad girl doing drugs and sleeping with “almost homeless dudes” as Summer described Volchok. Summer, besides worrying about whether the people in Providence will accept her and her sparkly scarves, is worried that Marissa is going to have makeup sex with Volchok if Marissa goes to his apartment, so she is happy when Marissa decides to meet him at the diner. When she gets there, Volchok doesn’t have the stuff he said Marissa left there, but does want an explanation as to why Marissa left.
When Kaitlin was back, we learned that the Cooper family had a love affair with The Sound of Music. Marissa tells Volchok that she always pictured herself as Liesl von Trapp and when she sat and thought about it, she is not yet ready to give up that dream, which is good because the opposite of Liesl von Trapp would be a horse-faced Nazi sympathizer. And while I make fun of Mischa Barton’s head, she definitely doesn’t have a horse face. Point being is that the two girls leave and Volchok is left to find some other pretty rich girl to make himself feel superior to his friends that have to use GHB for even the poor chicks to sleep with them.
By now, Ryan is at the Berkeley campus (is it just me, or did they use a CTU watch to calculate all of the travel times for this episode), and it is raining. When his freshman buddy, Wes, asks Ryan about Newport and whether he plays water polo, Ryan starts to feel insecure and mentions that he is actually from Chino. I think Ryan was expecting Wes to make a big deal of the fact that Ryan is poor, but Wes kind of shrugs it off, saying he has one roommate from Bangladesh and another roommate from Kansas. Ryan almost doesn’t know what to do. He’s been sheltered for so long in Newport, he’s almost forgotten that perhaps there are other people out there who might feel more strange enrolling in Berkeley than he does.
Later on, Ryan learns that Seth is now at Brown, having taken that awesome three hour flight Orange County to Providence, which sounds even more impressive when you realize that includes the layover in Chattanooga that Seth planned so he wouldn’t’ t bump into Summer. Ryan is amazed that he is actually on a college campus, making Berkeley sound like it is some sort of Xanadu or something. I know he is poor, but even Chino has a few colleges. And it’s not like college campuses have security that shoots any non-affiliated townies that dare set foot on the grass. Well, at least those colleges not located in New Haven won’t do that.
Seth is simply amazed at Brown. He sees ivy, and is amazed that it is actually growing on the buildings, just like they said it would in the brochure. It’s so perfect and everything he imagined; he only needs to find a way to un-reject himself and he’ll be one happy camper. As Seth is talking with Ryan, he hears “COHEN!” in the background, which probably means that his plan on keeping all of this a secret from summer is ruined, but when he turns around to see who shouted his name, he sees another face.
Speaking of characters that disappeared years ago only to never be heard from again, Anna is perhaps the most beloved ex-member of The OC. In the great battle over Seth, Summer beat out Anna, and the producers shipped her away to Pittsburgh because it was much easier than trying to figure out a way for her to exist in Newport. Thankfully, the producers have now realized that sometimes when you have a good character you can’t just ship her to the Midwest and believe we’ll never remember. Therefore, Taylor Townsend is still making cameos even after she failed to win Seth away from Summer.
It was great to see Ms. Stern back on the show, and Anna and Seth were almost as excited to see each other. The two of them have always had great banter, and they are right back to making fun of the sun, surf, and surgery of Newport just like before. I did love seeing Anna back, but I thought Samaire Armstrong looked kind of horrible. We can blame the stylist for making her look like a leukemia patient with bad hair extensions, but when you look at her face, you wonder if she has spent some time on the Nicole Richie diet.
Anna’s return also made for some obvious product placement. Anna said that she saw his comic, and had some notes on her character, Punky Spitfire, and the VCAST is HILARIOUS! What is VCAST you say? Well, now that you mention it, Seth was wondering the same thing. Luckily, Anna had her phone to show Seth part of the Atomic County VCAST episode. The producers were probably charging too much for them to say “Verizon” on air, but VCAST is part of Verizon if you have the right phone. I have Cingular Video, which I would love to review sometime, especially if I were to say, get the media package for free. (HINT HINT)
After the little product placement, Seth explains to Anna that he traded away the rights to Atomic boy in order to keep summer, and, oh yeah, he didn’t get into Brown. Seth cringed when her first reaction was to scream “YOU DIDN’T GET IN!!” at the top of her lungs, but he knows that Anna is smart and they have always been good friends; why not recruit her into his little scheme. We now have the makings of an actual plan.
1. Seth flies to Providence
2. Seth meets the Dean of Admissions at a faculty reception
4. Seth gets into Brown!
When Julie learned all of the kids would be going away, she thought it would be a perfect time to spend a little time alone with her husband to be. When Dr. Roberts tells Julie that he has to go to a retirement dinner for a colleague, Julie is discouraged. She might be back on top, so to speak, but that is not going to stop any of the gossip. Luckily, she has her ace in the hole – she can always talk to Kirsten. Julie tells Kirsten that she needs some help facing the Newpsies, and Sandy can come and mingle with all the doctors that will populate that new hospital. Kirsten’s last wish was to help Sandy do even more work, but she doesn’t want to say no to Julie and agrees.
Back up North, Ryan is learning that there are a lot more issues he can relate to with people at Berkeley. Wes even introduces him to his friend Miguel, who has more family members in prison than Ryan does. Their little lunch is interrupted when Wes notices a hot piece of tail looking lost. That piece of tail is Marissa, and her freshman buddy boycotted the meal because she is vegan. She only goes to the dining halls that have organic fruits and free-range tofu.
Ryan and Marissa share some small talk that is, you guessed it, very awkward, and so Marissa walks off, and with Ryan’s blessing, Wes follows her. If they are going to the same school, he better get used to her being with other guys, and there is no better time to get started than right now, right?
At the Brown faculty reception, Seth is trying to work up the courage to speak with Dr. Ogilvy. Meanwhile, Summer is just trying to fit in with the other students. She may be smart according to the College Board, but there is still a lot of catching up to do when you haven’t heard a major news story in your life that wasn’t covered in US Weekly or Glamour. For instance, when some students are talking about the cultural jihad of the west, and Summer asks, “What is a jihad”, because she really wants to know what it means. The other two students look at her with a strange look and then thinking Summer’s question was rhetorical say “Way to reframe the question!”
I always laugh when I see scenes like this because in my college experience, students rarely bumped into each other and talked about random current events. I remember there was one kid in this religion class I took freshman year. He started to throw about words like causality and duality and threw in some Locke and Descartes in this rambling comment he made about our first day reading assignments. The professor struggled to figure out how to respond, but thankfully one girl just blurted out “What does that even mean”, which got a nice chuckle from the class and that kid switched out the next day. Ah yes, peer pressure, mockery, and embarrassment are ways of life that follow you wherever you go.
It still bothers me that Seth would pursue Brown when she never wanted to go there. If she was only going to go because of Seth, why take up the space of a student who has dreamed of going there? Just go to Arizona State or something and fulfill your destiny. Instead, she comes to Brown, and if she wasn’t feeling bad enough, she sees Seth. She then sees Anna. Suddenly it all makes sense.
After Kristen saw Theresa and the baby at the airport, she told her husband, and she thought that they should tell Ryan. The reason they have been able to get Ryan to trust them and consider himself part of the family was by being honest. Sandy wanted to wait for the honesty until Ryan got home, and I agree. There were already plenty of things for Ryan to think about on his college visit. However, when Ryan calls the house to let them know he is OK, Kirsten can’t tell a lie and tells Ryan about Theresa and the baby.
Ryan found a flight back home right away, and the next morning, he bumps into Kirsten. He starts to lament again about his life. Just when things are going great, something like this happens. Oh boohoo Ryan. Get over yourself. Theresa is not the first unwed mother in the country, and you won’t be the first deadbeat dad. If she lied about the miscarriage, obviously she doesn’t want you n her life, and if she hasn’t come knocking in two years, maybe she doesn’t need you now.
Back East, Seth convinced the Dean of Admissions to have five minutes with him, but Anna recognized that he needs to tell the truth to Summer if that relationship will ever work. Now the plan is:
1. Seth flies to Providence
2. Seth spends free time telling Summer the truth about what happened
3. Seth meets the Dean of Admissions at a faculty reception for a meeting to explain why he should get into Brown
4. Seth reads speech to Dean of Admissions that he wrote with the help of Anna
5. Seth gets into Brown!
6. Seth and Summer live happily ever after!
Not too shabby if you ask me, but then again, this is Seth. He tries to interrupt Summer on her walking tour by posing as the Hinjew, Kumar Zimmerman. I would have thought it funnier if the nametag said “Fidel” and Seth said that he was a Jewban, but maybe that’s just me. As hard as Kumar tries, Summer doesn’t believe his explanation. Seth wanted to go to college to date smart women, and she doesn’t need much more explanation than that.
Meanwhile, back in Newport, Kirsten and Sandy are arguing about what Kirsten said to Ryan. I can see both sides of the story. First of all, we don’t know who the father is and Theresa has not asked for anything. On the other hand, being a father is more than five minutes of exercise and a cigarette. Kirsten reminds Sandy that there used to be a time when he thought being a family was important. Sandy would love to discuss all of this, but he has to go to the office before dinner. Didn’t this jerk ever hear of a VPN or a Blackberry? Shouldn’t his assistant be working all of these hours?
Ryan did go to Theresa’s apartment. Kirsten looked her up on the internet and was able to find her address. When he gets to the door, a woman who appears to be the nanny answers and says that Ms. Diaz isn’t home. Ryan sees the baby Daniel, notices it looks a little bit like him, but just leaves a message for Theresa to get back to him.
Back at Berkeley, Wes is showing Marissa that she has a lot to learn as well and it if your mind is still in the gutter, it has nothing to do with any sexual positions or drug cocktails. Besides, the night before Marissa said Wes reminded her of her father, which should have been enough to kill any of the sexual chemistry between them. No, Marissa learned that Wes wasn’t the model freshman he appeared to be. In fact, he was doing this whole freshman year thing a second time, having failed out the first time.
Marissa explained the Sound of Music to Volchok only to find it fell on, uh, deaf ears, so she tried to explain things a little better for Wes. There was a point when she thought she belonged at Berkeley, back when she was riding he sister’s pony and winning ribbons and having sex with polo players. Now she’s just can’t remember when she stopped being the girl that belonged in college, or belonged anywhere for that matter.
So, how did Seth do with the Dean of Admissions? About as well as Kumar Zimmerman did with Summer Roberts. Seth gave it his best try, but after the Dean learned that Seth wasn’t actually admitted, there wasn’t much he could do. In the end, he just didn’t go for the quick quips and pop culture bromides that have enchanted us for so many years. Luckily, Anna Stern had a backup plan.
That’s right, RISD. The Rhode Island School of Design. Originally, I thought that RISD would be perfect should Summer need to be close to Brown, but as my pen pal Margot reminded me, Seth actually has the better RISD resume having already penned his own graphic novel. Although Seth is worried of facing rejection, Anna convinces him to apply. Finally! I knew Anna would be good for this show. Not even the writers could mess up her innate sense of logic. Providence would have worked as would the University of Rhode Island, but let’s cheer the small miracles.
Marissa had heard that Ryan left early from Berkeley, so she decided she should leave early as well. Why? Because despite what both of them say, they are still very close and want to help each other with their problems. Ryan ends up telling her about Theresa and the baby, and Marissa wonders how he knows that he is the father and not Eddy. Ryan says that it felt like he was living somebody else’s life at Berkeley. Yeah Ryan, that strange vibe you felt was the inner teenager in you trying to combat the forces of middle-aged self-righteousness. Then Marissa says “But when you were at Berkeley, it felt right” because she could “see it in his eyes”. No, actually he said that he felt like he was living somebody else’s life, but now we know why we love it when the two of you break up. NO ONSCREEN CHEMISTRY AT ALL.
At the big dinner party, Sandy is busy giving a toast. He keeps on talking about being able to help out a lot of people by building this hospital, but all I’ve seen is the possibility that he’ll make a lot of doctors and developers rich. If he wants to feel good about himself, why not, I don’t know, become a lawyer and defend people? The Newport Group seems to be out of financial trouble. Judging by the way corporate America does things, that should be worth $100 million or so worth of golden parachute, plus some stock options. Why schmooze all of these doctors all the time?
Sandy gives a speech, and you can tell that Kirsten is just seething. BTW, he got a pretty good seat at this retirement banquet considering it’s not his retirement, don’t you think? If I was retiring, I wouldn’t want some jerk salesman making toasts on my day. Much better to have Jim from accounting and Peggy from HR tell mildly amusing office jokes and leave with my commemorative knock-off Rolex in peace. Kirsten is asked to give a little speech herself, and says, “they say when you grow up, you marry your father”. Actually, I think the saying goes slightly differently, but you get the point. Sandy has always tried to conduct himself as the anti-Caleb Nichol, and now he became just like him.
Kirsten is so disgusted, she goes outside, and WOAH! She has a wineglass in her hand, and she chugs it down. How ironic if her father AND her husband die alone because of her drinking? Seriously though, it’s sad to see Kirsten fall this far. She’s tried hard with the AA, but without her job at Newport Group and without Julie helping her run NewMatch Singles, she has really become isolated. I just hope Sandy isn’t so naive to miss the signs this time around and gets her help before things fall too far.
Summer is now heading home from Brown. She is on the phone with Marissa about Seth, and Marissa is telling her that she shouldn’t assume anything unless she has heard what Seth has to say. The good news is that Seth can say that the RISD guy was impressed. The bad news is that Summer may never want to hear it, because as she is leaving, she sees Anna giving Seth a hug and hears her saying “call me”. Summer might have been able to go to Brown without Seth, and might have even gone to Brown with Seth there and broken up, but to think he broke his heart for Anna, I am not sure if she even wants to think about Brown at this point.
All that we have left is the BIG question of the hour.
Is Daniel Ryan’s baby?
Oh, that was kind of anti-climactic. I thought we would get some sort of palpable crescendo of emotion, but Theresa just nipped it in the bud. She doesn’t know how he found her, as if she had moved to some Eastern European country and joined “Yuri’s Traveling Circus” as a sideshow performer or something. She was still living in Orange County, didn’t exactly use covert means of travel, and WORKED AT A HOTEL. The only question was why it took so long.
So, Eddie is the father like we predicted. Theresa is doing well for herself. Having moved from unwed mother living with her mother to hotel businesswoman in less than two years is no small accomplishment you know. BTW, high school kids, if you see this show and see people getting jobs as Bar Managers, construction workers, and hotel managers before you are 18 or even have a high school diploma, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Theresa says she didn’t want to ruin Ryan’s life in Newport, so she lied. She would like to someday catch up with him about the baby, but we are running out of show time and this is already a little too boring, so let’s end the episode.
There you have it. Like I said, kind of anti-climactic. I thought this was an average episode, but I think they mailed in a few too many details. I though Anna’s return was better, but she just she looked kind of like a mummy, so it was distracting. Marissa is back with Volchok after feeling uncomfortable at Berkeley. It was nice that he rented to Sound of Music to get an understanding about Marissa, but is she really going to stick around with his rapist friends? That being said, I do think they have set up a good final three episodes and it will be interesting to see what they are going to use as a cliffhanger. My guess is that none of the kids go to those far away colleges and all decide to stay close to home, but who knows.
What did you think of the episode?
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 16, Season – 453