Although TVgasm pulled out a pretty big spoiler about future plot lines in The OC, there is still some television to get through before we get there. We broke the news about Mischa Barton’s future love interest in part because we needed something from this season to be worthy of some gab. Sorry Josh Schwartz, episodes 1-4 of this second season simply did not pass the test. Through the first month of the show, we were basically stuck in a quagmire of last year’s relationships with the kids combined with some sort of Ally McBeal/LA Law hybrid with the adults. It all added up to a massive festival of suck. When was The OC going to stop with the bullshit and just go back to being The OC again? It might of happened this week.For those of you who have read what I have to say about The OC, you know that I have a serious problem with the idea that Seth’s parents haven’t bought him a car yet. Sandy and Kirtsen roll in a 7 Series BMW and Range Rover, yet couldn’t scrounge up enough money to get seth his own car? Don’t they watch Laguna Beach? Seth seems made to drive a Mini Cooper, although some would say his effeminate tendencies would have him more likely rolling in a Miata or something. Anyway, suspend disbelief for a second, and we come to Ryan and Seth coming to school and skateboard and moutain bike. I guess this is a new era for The OC; they already have an episode that doesn’t start in the Cohen’s kitchen with Sandy talking about bagels.
Seth and Ryan are talking about how great their new love lives are going to be. Ryan is so happy do be dating the smartest girl in school, who also doesn’t have a huge drinking problem. If there is one thing Ryan has carried over from last season is his self-righteousness, so wholesome Lindsay is just perfect for him. And how about Ryan’s hair? Is there casting going on for some new Peter Jackson movie I am not aware of? Because it looks like the boy just got back from the set, and forgot to get rid of his hobbit mullet. Alex is perfect for Seth because, ummm, uhhh, well I’ll get back to you on that. Seth was really just at the concert because he was trying to show Summer how well he had moved on. He got lucky when his boss decided to buy him ice cream, and kissed him, maybe just to shut him up. Luckily for him, Summer and Marissa show up, giving the perfect opportunity to start gloating.
Finally, the producers remember that high school kids are more likely going to stupid high school dances than seeing indie bands perform at the local 18 and over club. The event in question is the winterball, named “Welcome to the SnoC”. Can’t they have a homecoming game or Sadie Hawkins dance or something? Marissa is in charge of the dance(and her parents are chaperones), so of course everybody has to go. The rest of the conversation was Seth and Summer trying to show how much better they were than the other, which of course pisses off Zach. God, why doesn’t Zach just punch Seth one of these days? Seth’s a huge pussy and would totally back off, which means that Zach must be an even bigger pussy for not giving it a try. Summer’s main put down was that Seth’s date pulled a Houdini on him, ie disappeared. A couple of points to note. First, I thought it was the guy who pulled the Houdini on the girl. Secondly, at least he didn’t get the donkey punch. That would have been really embarrassing.
Ryan is all excited to tell his new found love all about how he wants to get more serious. The problem is that she doesn’t want to get serious. See, she thought about it over the weekend(just like Ryan had feared earlier in the episode) and decided that it would be too awkward if they broke up being lab partners and all. No, it’s awkward breaking up when you get another girl pregnant, or your boyfriend is humping you mom. Still, since awkward breakups kind of required people to be going out in the first place, you might argue Lindsay was getting a little too far ahead of herself. Cut to Ryan looking dejected, and all of the audience shock that the producers actually threw a decent twist into the show.
Last time, Marissa and DJ had just about made up. There are no relationship problems that can’t be cured by a night alone in a lifeguard shack. I think Marissa was happy that she wouldn’t have to drive her drunk ass home another night. We have already established that DJ is the oldest, richest, most fluent English speaker of any yard guy ever found in Southern California. You can also add that DJ is the only gardener who passes up a $3 burrito from the local taco wagon in order to pick up his high society girlfriend. (Speaking of high society, how come nobody in this town seems to smoke pot? What kind of high school is this?) OK, so if I was dating Marissa Cooper and she liked to bang out for a little nooner now and then, I would also interrupt my day to pick her up, even if it means I miss the Buffy reruns.
DJ is also the only person I know who is actually interested in going to the high school prom after his high school years have passed. It would take two Marissa Coopers in my bed to get me to do that, maybe three considering how bony her ass is. Marissa actually doesn’t want DJ to come, mainly because she is embarrassed. That is the least of her problems though, as her mom walks in and finds the two post-coital. Julie is incensed, ground Marissa, and then fires DJ. Marissa’s house must be really big, because she obviously can’t keep track of all her staff, considering how DJ quit a few weeks earlier.
If you think Ryan had a problem with his girl, Seth has a little bit of a problem as well. He goes to work, hoping that his little smooch would lead to a lot of hot broom closet one-on-one with his boss. I guess when they kissed, she didn’t exactly feel the earth move, because she was more than over what Seth had to offer. She even laughed at how Seth’s little immature mind believed that a kiss meant something more than they kissed. Alex kisses the beer guy and then some random girl(which wasn’t the anticipated lesbian coupling, but we’ll take it nonetheless while we wait for the main course) just to prove her point about how little it meant to her. I think she was simply testing out her new and improved hairstyle, which is lightyears better than the old coif.
So, Seth has struck out with his date, Ryan has struck out with his date, and Marissa told her date to stay home, but pick her up later when she would be ready for some peach schnapps and some doggy style. But Zach and Summer are just perfect, right? Well, not exactly. Zach has been sitting idly by watching Summer and Seth go back and forth, but despite the visual evidence, he hasn’t been totally convinced that Summer is done with her Cohen affliction. The last straw for him was when he saw the former couple having a good time chatting in the cafeteria. Ironically, Seth simply wanted some advice about how to deal with Alex, and she helped him out. Still, it was enough for him to back out on the SnoC dance by saying he had a family obligation just come up, which is second only to hearing “i have a headache, maybe later” when it comes to knowing your relationship is on the skids.
Now Marissa was still expecting most of her friends to go to the dance, so she convinced Ryan to go with her as friends. And how could he say no, he had just finished carrying this giant stuffed penguin from Marissa’s car in preparation for the dance. While huge penguins are always an interesting prop, I was left wondering what kind of event needed the huge giant ice(crystal?) penis in the background, but whatever. Ryan agrees to go with Marissa, which is of course minutes before Lindsay comes around and tells Ryan that she actually wants to go. Although Ryan has given up getting into Marissa’s pants, he still says no to Lindsay. I wish I was on this show, so I could kick Ryan’s ass for passing up that opportunity. I do have to give props to the producers for finally showing the boys drive to work. Sandy is obviously not doing much during the day, so they take his Range Rover to school.
Armed with Summer’s advice, Seth decides to see if it will work. Summer said that she was playing him hot and cold, to see how he would respond. He came on really hot, so now he should come off kind of cold to see her response. Seth did this, and it appeared to work. She was waiting for his witty banter to commence, so she could tell him to shut up, but it never happened. He went about his job like it was well, his job, and didn’t try and grope his manager. The cold treatment seemed to work, but Seth ruined it by going a little too far with the playing it cold idea by quitting the Bait Shop. This probably means there won’t bee too many more Indie bands showing up, which I of course applaud. Seth sort of wonders why his cold act doesn’t work, but leaves the club anyway, wondering what in the hell just happened.
So, it looks like Ryan is the only one going to the dance from the Cohen house, and he looks sharp, just ask Sandy. Sandy loves the suit that Ryan brings out for EVERY SINGLE FORMAL EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE SHOW. Seth is going to be happy watching old kung fu movies. I know Adam Brody brought some of his indie band love to the show last year, and so I wonder if he brought his love of kung fu movies to the set as well. Well, his choice of movies kind of sucked. If you want something better than the shit Seth was watching, try Secret of the Water Technique or Shaolin Kung Fu and thank me later. Like all concerned parents, Kirsten and Sandy encourage Seth to go, first by saying he will have fun, and then by threatening to ruin his movie experience by sitting down and asking dumb questions. Ever since coming back from Portland, Seth has no will power and so bows to his parents pressure to go.
Sandy and Kirsten do have plans for the evening, well Sandy does. He is trying to get to the bottom of this Rachel Wheeler thing. He confronted Rachel earlier in the show, which could have meant doom for the trial and the California State Bar Association, but he did get some sort of idea that Rachel and Caleb had an affair, which would explain all the money Caleb has been funneling off. But 16 years of alimony, that must mean that this fair and striking red-headed lass must have a kid. Could it be? Well, Sandy confronts Caleb, and he confirms that an affair occurred, but he would never say anything because it would destroy his family. Urgent message for Caleb. One of your daughter’s can’t hold down a job for a month and is the planet’s number one traveling floozy. Your other daughter hasn’t come to terms with her drinking problem. And you married a woman and forced her daughter to live with you. What else is going to happen to your family? Wouldn’t it be worse for your family if your company went under because you made your bimbo wife a CEO and you were in jail? With Sandy on the case, no mystery goes unsolved. When his career goes under, Peter Gallagher and his eyebrows have a date doing more Columbo movies for A&E.
When Ryan and Seth finally get to Marissa’s house, they see that surprise! Summer is there, and she has no date. They all pile into the car, and it is just like old times again, except Marissa doesn’t have a flask and Summer can’t control her bangs. While the boys were dressed fairly conservatively, Marissa had on a dress that would have been used in “Thriller: The Wedding”. Summer also looked bad, but Rachel Bilson is going to have to wear a trucker hat on the show before I complain about her look.
Fresh off of seeing Marissa with DJ, Julie Cooper is just happy to see her daughter with Ryan, who is now not the least desirable man that her daughter can be seen with. Seth and Summer just spend time trying not to piss each other off. High school dances seem great for this cast, because all of the awkwardness that they project on the camera looks absolutely natural in that sort of setting. Watching Marissa and Ryan dance was like watching a preying mantis eat her mate.
The show then progressed to resolving all of the split relationships that were going on, including that of Julie and Jimmy Cooper, who started sucking face like they were in high school, which I guess makes sense because they were in a high school, but they were married so it was bad. Ryan starts the ball rolling by starting to get self-righteous with Marissa about why she didn’t invite DJ to be there. Are you embarrassed Marissa? Don’t you really like him and want it to last (well we know how part of that ends out). To make it easier for DJ, Ryan gives Marissa his jacket and tie. Ahh, how sweet. DJ and Marissa get back together, despite the looks and stares people are giving the yard guy.
Zach, the sappy bastard that he is, heard a song on the radio that made him want to drive to the SnoC. This is a great idea, but Summer and Seth by this time have decided that they shouldn’t ruin the evening for both of them, and so they start slow dancing themselves. As expected, Zach walks in on them, and sees them together. He is pissed off, which eventually leads to him driving to…the Bait Shop? Yes, apparently Zach is so distraught he has to get himself a chocolate soda. He strikes up a conversation with Alex, which leads to him talking about Summer. Alex, sensing Zach is having a hard time, tells him that he should fight for his girl, beat up whoever is in his way. After all “she can’t fall for you if you’re not there to catch her”. The show LOVES the sage advice of high-school dropouts. Zach is not really too much of a fighter, but “I know I could take on Seth Cohen”. Hearing Seth’s name, Alex rushes out after him.
At the school, Seth and Summer are awkwardly on the bench, when Zach comes around and punches Seth in the face. Zach might of hurt his hand, but Seth is dropped to the ground. Luckily, Alex comes racing in to help, prying Seth away from Summer, although it looks like Summer was kind of upset when she showed up. Still, problem solved, Seth and Summer now have Alex and Ryan. It only took a bunch of people driving around Newport for several hours to figure it out.
What about Ryan? Well, he didn’t just leave the clothes off his back with DJ because he had no balls. He wanted to make things right with Lindsay. She is so fair and has that striking red hair. To tell you the truth, she would be a dead ringer for Renée Wheeler. I wonder… Ryan knocks on Lindsay’s door, and she is very surprised to see him; so surprised that she can’t really speak except to tell him about the “Freudian slippers” on her feet. I would make fun of her for this type of thing, but I myself bought a t-shirt in college with an equally lame Freud joke that managed to make an even more lame PInk Floyd joke. Lindsay appreciates Ryan’s gesture, but says she can’t compete with the most “intimidatingly beautiful” girl in the school. If by intimidating she meant, her hip bones and shoulder blades can poke an eye out, I guess you can call Marissa intimidating. Alas, Ryan’s good gesture is all for nought.
Or is it?
While relaxing in his pool house, Lindsay knocks on the door, and says she was all wrong and she wants to have a relationship. They kiss, and start working on something that needs BOTH hands – Playstation, of course. While I know nothing else that would kill the mood than suggesting to the girl who came over to your place that you want to play a video game (birth rates must drop whenever Grand Theft Auto or Halo sequels are released), it works for Ryan. Maybe this is the producers way of saying all geeks like video games, no matter what the sex is.
Now, something was fishy about this scene, because why would they writers add in something that was so out of left field (and when did they move the Playstation in from the main house?). When Renée Wheeler walked in to talk to Sandy, it dawned on me. They had to have her stick around, so her mom could mistakingly walk onto the back patio, so when Lindsay left, she would say “Mom, what are you doing here”, and everybody would be confused. That’s exactly what happened, and it also explained why Ryan lives in the pool house. If Ryan was getting busy in an upstairs bedroom, girls could leave down the stairs or through a window or something, making surprise scenes like I just mentioned entirely impossible. The solution was so easy, why didn’t I think of it?
So I have new renewed faith in The OC. The stories were pretty good, and they didn’t try to throw around a bunch of inside jokes like has plagued them in the past. They also decided against self-referencing themselves through “The Valley” or some other dialogue. Top it off, I can actually say I am interested in all of the new couples. It will be even better to watch how they are destined to fall apart.
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 14, Season Total – 36