The O.C. S2.E09 “The Ex-Factor”
Drinks Taken: 38
Welcome to another installment of The O.C. Rewatch Project! I’m very excited to be settled in to season 2. Last week, Meredith asked me if I’m as mad at Jimmy as she is, now that he’s decided to abandon Marissa when she needs her dad most. And I totally am. Running away from problems is a total jerk move on its own, but especially when you run away from your daughter and make her feel abandoned and like she’s maybe part of your problems. The latest in a string of cowardly Jimmy Cooper moves.
Meredith also asked if seeing Seth Cohen in a wife-beater affected my crush on him, and it kind of did. That scrawny little Jewish boy should not be dressing in such a manner. It is unbecoming.
Let’s drink to never seeing Seth in a wife-beater ever again!
The O.C. Drinking Game
Drink once every time:
The ladies have a convo while primping in front of a mirror
Seth makes a nerdy reference
Someone says “Chino”
Anyone plays a video game
Summer says “ew”
Anyone eats a bagel
Anyone references The Valley
Drink twice every time:
Someone says “Newpsie”
Fisticuffs occur (three times for pool fights!)
Someone grabs a cup of coffee
Ryan and Seth read comic books
Someone reminds us that Kaitlin Cooper exists
On to the episodes!
2.8 “The Power of Love”
Oooh, Seth and Ryan are in big trouble this week. But they’re not the only ones. Sandy forgets his anniversary, once again proving how inept he is at romantic occasions. Even Seth remembers his parents’ 20th anniversary – specifically, he knows it’s their 20th, unlike Sandy, who mistakes it for their 19th.
But back to Seth and Ryan: Seth sneaks out for a sleepover at Alex’s place and Ryan tries to cover for him, but he’s just so bad at lying. Then Kirsten busts Ryan fooling around with her new sister, Lindsay, and that’s that. It creates serious friction in the Cohen household as Kirsten feels like she can’t leave the boys alone for the weekend while she and Sandy celebrate their anniversary with plans that Sandy made so obviously at the last minute. Kirsten doesn’t feel like Sandy is being hard enough on the boys or letting her have any power as a mother, and she certainly hasn’t forgotten Seth’s Portland adventure – nor is she letting Sandy forget it. It may seem like she’s acting a bit melodramatic, but there’s a whole lot of stress in Kirsten’s orbit right now between Julie and the company, her father’s indictment, and her good kids who are acting kind of bad. It’s enough to push a woman to drink, you know?
On top of that, Kirsten has to deal with Ryan dating Lindsay, so she gives the poor girl an ultimatum: her sister or her boyfriend. That’s pretty unfair, but Lindsay chooses Ryan as if she’s never heard of uteruses before duderuses. Ryan, on the other hand, knows family is more important, so he makes the decision for Lindsay. I just wish she had chosen Kirsten on her own.
Meanwhile, Sandy pays Alex a visit in a desperate effort to reach Seth. He’s got some tunnel vision right now, and Alex is the only one he’ll listen to, so Alex makes a choice for Seth – she can’t see how this is going to work, with her being so independent and Seth living by his parents’ rules.
Elsewhere, Marissa drags DJ into some drama to aggravate Julie, who’s orchestrated a photo shoot with a magazine to prove how united and strong her family is in the face of all this controversy with Caleb. Marissa invites DJ to the photo shoot, where Caleb acts kind of racist and classist (okay, not kind of – severely, actually) and Julie tries to pay DJ to never seen Marissa again. That doesn’t work, but she does tell DJ something he already knows, so he breaks it off with Marissa because he doesn’t think it’s right that she’s just using him to piss Julie off.
Then there’s Summer, whose desire to have sex with Zach is inspired by a sense of competitive jealousy because Seth is already shacking up with Alex.
Instead, Zach mistakes her proposal to take things to the next level for a desire to meet his parents. It’s very reminiscent of the time when Seth met Summer’s dad in that it’s a total disaster and Summer clearly doesn’t fit into their intellectual world with all their talk of world issues, to which Summer is oblivious. And here she thought she was pretty high class.
How many times did I have to drink?
Worst outfit of the week
Lindsay, what on earth is this bra situation? Surely you jest.
Truest thing anyone said this week
Sandy: “Nothing like a little Julie Cooper to strike terror in the hearts of children everywhere.”
When he middle-names the hell out of Seth.
Sandy: “SETH EZEKIEL!”
The Wisdom of Sandy Cohen
Kirsten: “Seth? I’m more pre occupied with Ryan an my sister.”
Sandy: “Well, I understand but we cannot fight a war on multiple fronts. Have we learned nothing from the Nazis?”
Summer explains it all
Marissa asks who Kofi Annan is, and Summer thinks he’s some guy Zach’s mom knows who works for United Airlines.
Sandy Cohen can sing
Sandy Cohen can sing, guys.
2.9 “The Ex-Factor”
This week it’s very much boys against girls, as Ryan pressures Lindsay to become friends with Marissa, so she won’t be intimidated by her existence anymore. I get where Ryan’s head is at: he wants less drama, and if Lindsay could just see Marissa as the flawed human that she is, she’ll be less concerned about Ryan and Marissa’s friendship and more understanding of why they broke up. Similarly, Summer is having a hard time reconciling her past relationship with Seth with the fact that she’s been with Zach – who, although he made out with his older former tutor, is a bit more laid-back than Seth – for six months. Zach wants to take her to a nice dinner to celebrate (this sounds great!), but Summer is freaking out a little about the normalcy.
Seth is also distressed because Alex’s ex is in town and Alex just needs some space to sort out the drama. Even more distressing to Seth is discovering that Alex’s ex is Jodie, a woman, which leaves him feeling even more emasculated than he would if it were just some dude. I love that Seth isn’t freaking out because Alex’s ex is a woman or because this means that Alex identifies as bisexual, but because she lied to him and is pushing him off to the side while she decides what to do about Jodie.
So the girls decide to have a girls’ night out. Lindsay joins Marissa and Summer for a night at The Bait Shop (where else?), but Marissa gets bored easily and whips out her booze stash. So as not to feel left out, and because she’s still feeling very nervous about Marissa, Lindsay decides to join in the drinking to disastrous results. Girl gets straight-up wasted. Meanwhile, Summer is complaining about her Zach issues to Matt Miller (who will hit on anything that moves, btw) when the guys show up to reclaim their territory because they’re men or whatever.
There’s like a Goldilocks array of pigheaded behavior here: Zach is only a teensy bit dramatic, getting frustrated with Summer for hanging with a guy when she wanted a girls’ night before admitting that showing up at the club was a mistake and storming off. Seth acts moderately immature, demanding to confront Jodie and insisting that he’d totally fight a girl if necessary (even Marissa could probably kick Seth’s ass – come on).
But Ryan acts the worst of all. After taking a drunk Lindsay to the beach and leaving her there (unattended!) to go get some food and coffee, Ryan returns to find that she’s disappeared and thinks that she’s wandered into the ocean and drowned. Given his issues with his mom and Marissa, I get why he’s so irked about Lindsay getting sloppy, but that’s his problem – not hers. As Seth points out to him later, Marissa wasn’t doing the pressuring in this situation. Ryan was.
Ryan flips out when he finds Lindsay safe and sound on a couch in Alex’s office, blaming Marissa’s bad influence and poor judgment, accusing her of trying to take someone else down with her. It’s way harsh, and Marissa doesn’t deserve this. Alex is clearly not having this macho behavior – as Ryan flips out, you see the disgust on her face in the background, and when she offers to take care of Lindsay and he gives her attitude, she snaps right back before telling him to get lost.
Ryan’s attitude is a bit sexist in that White Knight “I know what’s best for you” way, and although much of it is Ryan just projecting his own baggage onto Lindsay, it’s still not okay. Lindsay is her own person capable of making her own choices, and not everything has to do with Ryan. He’s acting very Marissa.
Over in adult world, things are certainly shaping up at the Newport Group with Julie in charge! Her latest idea: to launch Newport Living, a magazine all about/catering to the wealthy contingent of the O.C. And the first cover has her face on it, like she’s Oprah or something. Only Oprah can do that, Julie.
Sandy and Caleb agree it’s a bad idea, and I love when these two actually agree on something, so they decide to present a united front with Kirsten and confront Julie over dinner – but Caleb chickens out because he’s scared of his wife, and Sandy winds up as the only person naysaying the magazine because Kirsten actually did her research and thinks it’s got promise. Poor Sandy.
The end of the episode finds Marissa hanging with Alex, who covers her with a blanket when she’s cold and the pair exchange a very telling (read: steamy) look. Uh oh.
How many times did I have to drink?
Best pop culture reference
Seth confronting Alex.
Seth: “You got your whole too-cool JEM and the Holograms thing going on…”
Seth: “I’ve actually seen The Banger Sisters… part of it, on cable. And I know how this story ends.”
Also, Ryan says Lindsay is too busy to come over for dinner because she went with her mom to “family therapy and a Truffaut double feature.” That’s heavy, man.
Worst outfit of the week
It’s a two-for-one. What is this shredded dumpster shirt Marissa is wearing? Why is Summer wearing a scarf in the sunny O.C.? How very Anna of her.
Truest thing anyone said this week
Julie explains that her magazine will work because people want to be obsessed with the residents of Orange County.
Julie: “We’re all beautiful and we’re all dysfunctional. Surf, sex, and scandal – it’s a recipe for a cultural phenomenon.”
The more The O.C. is self-aware, the more I love it.
Emmanuelle Chriqui plays Alex’s ex, Jodie. You might know her from Entourage (ick) or the movie Waiting with Ryan Reynolds.
In Seth’s comic book club, we have Mark L. Young as one of the geeks – he played Valerie’s nephew on the second season of The Comeback! And! That’s Tom Bosley as the other geek – he was in Little Giants and on episodes of Scrubs and Weeds. So many fun guests this week.
Best Julie Cooper Bitchery
That’s it for this week’s episodes! But before we go, I have a question for Meredith: what do you think of this whole Alex/Marissa thing? Personally, I’m into it. It’s probably the only time I really enjoy Marissa.
Be sure to join Meredith back here next week for “The Accomplice” and “The Second Chance”!
About the Contributor:
Britt Hayes is a writer and sensible sweater enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She loves movies, watches too much television, and her diet consists mostly of fruit snacks and revenge.