It’s nipple week here at TVgasm, and I only say that because the search engines really seem to like us when we mention things like Mischa Barton, Marissa Cooper, The OC, nipple, boob, slip, oops, etc. in the same sentence. We never imagined what one barely discernable breast could do for our popularity and our bandwidth bills, but needless to say we’ve been a little busier here than we are used to. After everybody has finished squinting at the Mischa video (now downloaded about 350,000 times combined at iFilm and TVgasm), life and the show must go on. Last week, Ryan managed to fight his urges and didn’t punch Johnny. Seth, on the other hand, couldn’t resist the urge to help Taylor Townsend, who couldn’t resist the urge to piss off Summer by keeping her locked out. Sandy resisted the urge, perhaps incorrectly, to sell the Newport Group, and Julie Cooper looked like she had given in to Charlotte’s urging her to screw over Kirsten as they were planning their charity bash. This week we were hoping that the truth in all of the situations would be, uh, exposed, once and for all.One of the things that the producers of The OC love is being able to coin new phrases and establish new trends in popular culture. One of their favorite vehicles to do this is Seth Cohen. We all remember Chrismukkah, and last year a lot of people started talking about comic books and graphic novels like they actually knew the difference between the two. The early returns are in, and it looks like we may have a focus on kung fu movies this year. Seth’s interest in the classics of cult cinema have been mentioned before, but when you start out with Master of the Flying Guillotine, you know that things are getting serious. Like many, I had a crazy uncle who liked kung fu movies and owned some nun chucks, but nowadays, I prefer the epic Asian masterpieces like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House of Flying Daggers. I’ll probably see Memoirs of a Geisha alone so I will be able to deny it brought me to tears the first time I watched it.
By now, you are pretty bored with everything that I am saying, much like Ryan, Marissa, and Summer were going to be bored to death if they had to spend another movie night with Seth and his kung fu masters. The girls thought it would be much better if they instituted a Cheerocracy and watched Bring It On. And while it looked like Ryan and Seth weren’t too excited for 90 minutes of “I’m sexy, I’m cute, I’m popular to boot” and “I’m wanted, I’m hot, I’m everything you’re not”, let’s be honest; all of us guys will deal with that as long as there is a chance that the girls will get in the mood and want to play with a spirit stick by the end of the movie.
Jokes about Bring It On. How vintage!
All of these things will have to wait because Volchok is on the prowl. He walks into the diner and lets it be known that he is quite upset with the way Ryan blindsided him the other night. Now, we all know that Ryan punched him in the face fair and square, but Volchok wants a rematch, and there is no way that he is going to let a few semantics or Seth’s joke stop him. Ryan isn’t one to back down from a challenge, but I think he realizes that a lot of people have given him a lot of chances, and he doesn’t want to get in a fight and ruin his future in the process.
The next day at school, Seth is still worried about Ryan. He knows what Ryan should do, but there is no telling what his alter ego Kid Chino will do. Ryan assures him that Kid Chino is retired and he has hung up the hoodie. I am not sure if Seth is convinced, but he has his own problem to deal with. In the last episode, he helped Taylor Townsend’s lock-in from becoming a complete and utter disaster with his inventive games and grace under fire and flying footwear. Unfortunately, his random act of kindness made him a target for Taylor Townsend’s limitless amounts of affection. Seth was not only the person that treated her the nicest in recent memory (lecherous deans looking for easy ass access do not count), he was pretty much the only one, and Taylor wanted to return the favor.
In truth, Seth found out that Taylor wasn’t that bad. She really teeters on the edge from sweet and nice to crazy and psychotic, however, and when she starts talking about asking Seth to help her plan the next dance, he quickly realizes that he has to abort whatever is going on. A) He doesn’t really like dances other than dancing with his girlfriend and B) his girlfriend, who he still loves very much, would kill him if she ever found out that he didn’t hate her with a passion. It upsets Summer enough when he seems completely unsympathetic to the bruised hand she has from pounding the door on the side of the gymnasium trying to get back in.
Does anybody else remember when Sandy was still a lawyer? When Kirsten was gone and Caleb dead, he was effectively running the company, but now that he has decided not to sell, he is excited for his first day at his old new job. When he gets to the job, he is very excited to put his touch on things, and his touch is making sure the Newport Group is doing good work by making one quarter of their properties low-income housing. Sounds great, but depending on their definition of low-income, developers are often government subsidized. It still takes a risk on their part, but a lot of the risk is taken out of our paychecks. But since this isn’t the Libertarian lesson of the day, I’ll spare you the message, and just say that it looked like everybody at the Newport Group was happy to see that Sandy was officially in charge. Five minutes into his tenure as President and CEO, Sandy learns of his first tough decision. Matt has met up with the accountants, and it appears that in order to continue running, Sandy is going to have to get rid of nine people.
To tell you the truth, I think that things worked a lot better when he was doing good and Kirsten was making the money. Kirsten is just too smart, and although she is finding some happy homemaker tasks to keep her busy, I just don’t think it will last. I know she is recovering and everything though, so let’s not rush her into anything. For now, Kirsten has some other things to keep her busy, number one being the fundraiser she is planning with Julie and Charlotte. At the beginning of the show, Sandy was worried that Kirsten was doing all the work and Julie and Charlotte were busy getting Mystics (that would be Mystic spray-on tans), but everybody was playing a large part. Now, it’s true that Kristen was busy thinking of how to make money, and Julie and Charlotte were busy trying to rip that money off, but they were all doing their part. It seemed like Julie didn’t want to do it, but with two daughters (so the writers admit that Kaitlin does exist!), no husband, and no money, she is not going to be able to stick around Newport unless she has a bank account, or several hundred thousand dollars stuffed in the mattress in her condo.
As I said before, Taylor now has it in her head that Seth is like her best friend. Hey, that could be very true because she doesn’t have any friends, so if Seth is her only friend, it makes him her best friend. She still needs to know a little bit more about him, especially that whole Summer situation. What better person to ask than Ryan Atwood? Taylor believes that even though Summer and Seth are as cute and perfect of a couple as Brad and Jen, she can always be the Angelina in the whole process. She already has a little bit of a head start since her last relationship was this bizarre affair with a man much older than her (we remember Billy Bob) and her relationship with her mom is looking like Angelina and Jon Voigt.
Ryan tells Taylor that Seth and Summer are too stable and she is not going to be able to do anything, besides he is more interested in getting away from her. Seth may have been nice to her, but she is still one of the reasons why Marissa isn’t at Harbor. When he comes outside, he finds that Volchok and some of his surf Nazi friends on the top of the Range Rover. Ryan ignores them, even when they pour Coke over the hood and scrawl “Little Bitch” into the side of the door with a key. Volchok is not afraid of causing damage, either to other’s property or Ryan’s face, so it looks like Mr. Atwood has a bit of a dilemma on his hands.
Marissa also has a dilemma on her hands. She feels terrible because she believes that she caused not only Johnny’s breakup, but Johnny’s fight with Volchok, which means she created Volchok’s fight with Ryan. After school, she goes to visit Ryan, who is busy putting a heavy bag up in pool house. At first, she wondered what all of the tools were for, and I thought Ryan was going to say “I need all of these tools so I can make a band, I’m going to call it Rooney.” But really, he just wants a target so he can spend time punching something innocent (Summer barely avoided it last week) without hurting anybody or getting kicked out of school. She hears about Ryan and how he didn’t get in a fight at school and is very proud, and when Ryan hears about how bad she is worried about Johnny, he tells her to invite him to the Bait Shop that weekend.
Ryan may have told Taylor that she doesn’t have a chance with Seth, but Taylor really has nothing else to do, so she is going to keep on trying. Luckily for her, Seth’s parents won’t find it strange at all that she comes over and she is not Summer. All she has to say is that is that they are working on a science project, and she will be free to get freaky with Seth, as long as they have a potato clock or baking soda volcano to show for it afterwards. Seth, on the other hand, does not find it so comforting when Taylor makes it into his room. It’s strange that she seems to love kung fu movies at least as much as he does, much the same way Anna loved comic books. Still, it’s not enough for him to even think of choosing Taylor over Summer, and when Summer calls, he finally gets Taylor to leave.
Having ditched Taylor, Seth is free to join his friends at the Bait Shop. This week’s whiny band to be lifted from obscurity into prominence is the Subways. I am sure there will be people out there that complain when I say that they sound exactly like most of the other people the producers choose to highlight on the show, and I will admit they don’t seem like the cookie cutter “Are we on heroin, homeless, or just too hipster for you?” types that usually surface. Either way, by the looks of everybody there, they are completely bored. I know it is strange because Johnny is sort of a pity invite, and playing fifth wheel to kids you don’t really know might be worse than Netflix with Chili (I guess he’s trying not to choose sides in the battle and we won’t see him much), but you think that these people could make it look more exciting than watching a couple of agents dancing at an Oar concert, worried about ruining their suits.
Even if the band was boring, there was going to be plenty of drama coming soon. First, Taylor tried to find Seth. She knew that Summer would be there and she had a way to make her jealous. While Taylor was talking to Seth, Summer of course tried to break it up. While some may argue that Taylor just needs a friend, Summer is not really under any obligation to be that friend. I think she might have been interested in helping Taylor along socially, but when Taylor locked her out, and now tries to move in on her boyfriend, she can’t let that happen. Taylor doesn’t stick around to fight Summer, but she wants to give something back to Seth. That’s right, it’s Captain Oats. Captain Oats and Summer’s Princess Sparkle share a special bond, and while you might think there could be other things that are more symbolic of their love, these plastic horses mean a lot, and when Summer saw that Taylor had it, she knew Seth had explaining to do. Seth has to admit that Taylor was in his room, which isn’t a great idea, because he had lied to Summer about it earlier. I think he should have told her what he told Ryan, i.e. nobody wants Dean Hess’s seconds, and so she shouldn’t worry.
So Taylor has done plenty of damage, but we haven’t seen nothin’ yet, because Volchok is about to burst onto the scene, and since there is a law that white kids with hoodies on this show must be prone to violence (see Ryan, Johnny), he is looking to start a fight. Ryan is willing to walk away, but when Volchok grabs Marissa, only a huge black bouncer stops Ryan from beating his ass to pulp. Even though he got thrown out, Volchok now knows what Ryan’s weakness is and he plans to use it. The next day, Marissa tries to bribe Volchok out of the fight with $4000 dollar watch. She brings Chili around, I guess for evidence, and Volchok agrees. By the way, I know that the public school Newport kids are poor and everything, but would Chili really drive an LTD? Wouldn’t it be more like an ’88 Accord?
The big news that weekend is still the charity event. Kristen is getting very into it, and Charlotte is chomping at the bit to get her investment into Kirsten Cohen back. Julie, however, is having second thoughts about everything, especially after she hears that Kirsten is going to have to sign a liability agreement, setting herself up for a big fall. At first Charlotte told her to be practical. When Charlotte skipped town, everybody would think it was her, and Julie would be left to help her friend Kirsten out when she was in need. When Julie still showed some hesitation, she said that if Julie didn’t play along, Charlotte would alert the cops, still skip town, and leave Julie to take the rap. If that was still a problem, Charlotte promised to cut off one of Bunny’s toes and sell it for the ransom money, or a bag of dirty underwear.
Another big event happening that Sunday was at the Newport Group, where Matt had taken it upon himself to do the firing that would be necessary on a Sunday. Sandy looked at the books, and he found out that by cutting her and there, including a lot of his own perks, he could save five people. It meant that their margins would be so thin, that even one bad deal could sink the company, but Sandy wanted to take that risk. It also meant that they would still have to get rid of four but losing four would be less of a morale killer than losing nine; he just didn’t plan to do it on Sunday. Matt had wanted to do it on Sunday so the people being fired wouldn’t have to be humiliated as they cleaned out their desks, but Sandy wasn’t about to let somebody else do his dirty work, and did the firing, one day ahead of his schedule.
That night, the party was turning into a huge success. Kirsten was genuinely happy and she let Julie know it, and boy was it ever a huge guilt trip. She not only thanked Julie for convincing her that she needed to do this, Kirsten said that it was great to know she had Julie’s support. If that wasn’t enough to make Julie feel like shit, Kirsten said that the only way it could be better would be if her father was still alive to see them working together as such good friends. Ouch! Julie looked like she wanted to rewind this country song and get her dog and truck back in the process.
Anybody who was anybody in Newport was there, or at least anybody who had a minor detail in the story line, including Taylor and her mother, who apparently didn’t come for any other reason than to make fun of Taylor for not having any friends and telling her that she would have been better sitting home alone reading The Economist. It’s times like these, when you wish that Zach were still around. He is obviously enough of a geek that Taylor would like him, plus he has always liked girls that liked Seth first, so it would be good for everybody. Anyway, Seth sees Taylor’s mom making fun of her, and decides to save her again by acting like he was looking for her. This probably seemed like a relief to Taylor until her mom continued by letting out how much she talked about Seth and how she spent hours wrapping a present for him. She gives him the gift, which is a rare kung fu movie only distributed in Asia (we are assuming Seth has a region-free DVD player), but leaves running.
Seth follows her, and she is crying. It was nice of Seth to help her, but she realizes that she has no friends. Even the Grinch had that “stupid little dog,” but she can’t even pay for somebody to share in her misery. Again, Seth tries to help out Taylor. Listen, I know that he is being nice, and I love Taylor’s character, but we know this is going to lead to trouble. This is a little too much like Anna, and I am wondering if the writers are just setting us up to have her leave by plane to somewhere east just like every other woman rejected by Ryan or Seth. He tells her that she is funny and has great taste in movies, and that if she would relax, she could make friends. Once again, this kind gesture leads Taylor to believe something is going to happen, and that her dreams of being Angelina, perhaps minus kissing her brother, would someday come true.
The look of love, is in her eyes
Inside the party, Julie Cooper decided that enough was enough. She wasn’t going to betray her only friend. She made an announcement saying that there were so many donations; she hoped that people would write their checks to a different charity, the National Foundation for Substance Abuse. Charlotte hears this new, legitimate, charity and once again threatens to out Julie Cooper, but Julie calls her bluff. She is not going to betray Kristen and since the town was only big enough for one manipulative bitch, Charlotte would have to get the hell out of there.
While all of this was going on, Ryan noticed that Marissa was not around. Johnny, who helped with the setup of the party, was there when Ryan got a phone call from her phone, but on the other end was Volchok. He had come to tell Marissa that he didn’t want her watch, and that he needed money. It was only $50, so he told her to get into his molester van and he’ll take her to an ATM. Volchok really wanted to bait Ryan into fighting, because he knew that Ryan’s weakness was Marissa, and he was right. As soon as he heard that they would be at the pier (we used to fight at the flag pole in my day), Ryan rushes to help her.
The last couple of weeks have been about how Ryan is using his brains and not flying off the handle, but it was going to take a lot of anger management to save himself from this one. When he gets there, he goes completely nuts. He tells Volchok that not only does he want to fight, he wants to hurt him badly, and he’s done it before, so it doesn’t bother him. He breaks a glass bottle and tells Volchok to come get a piece. Seeing how crazy Ryan is, Marissa tries to get him to stop, but whatever Ryan was doing worked, because Volchok and his crew backed down and ran. Yes, yes, the craziness was just an act. He wanted to see how reckless Volchok was, and when Ryan basically made the game mutually assured destruction, Volchok decided he didn’t want to play. Considering how monumentally stupid it was for Marissa to get in a van with Volchok and his friends without anybody watching her back, you have to agree that things went pretty well. Ryan and Marissa go home and they kiss, but just in case you think he has completely changed, he punches his new bag until his hands bleed. BLEED I say. OC writers are never ones for the subtle metaphors.
This was a good episode, but I did think the end of the Charlotte saga was pretty anti-climactic. What I love about Julie is that she is willing to do anything to get ahead. She is unscrupulous and calculating, but less and less is she willing to take somebody else down in order for her to get ahead. Oh, and she’s smoking hot to boot. I am increasingly enjoying how manic Taylor has become, and while it looks like Johnny might still be a problem in terms of fitting his story lines in, from the previews, it looks like the producers are going to take care of that problem pretty quickly.
What did you think of this episode? Have we seen the last of Volchok? How far will Taylor go to get her hands on Seth?
“Hey!” Count: Episode – 29, Season – 144.