Title: The O.C. S4.E01 “The Avengers”
The O.C. S4.E02 “The Gringos”
Released: 2006
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 19

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome back to The O.C. Rewatch Project, where Season 4 has arrived! I am so excited!

Last week, Britt asked me how I feel about Marissa’s death, and honestly, I’m not sorry Marissa is off the show. The writers were running in drama-circles with that character, and Season 4 has an exciting, fresh new energy without the same old same old drama. But I also agree that KILLING HER OFF instead of letting her have a happy ending with Jimmy is such an unduly cruel way of handling Barton’s exit. Sheesh! Britt further asked if I had to choose at gunpoint between dad-foxes Sandy Cohen and Neil Roberts, who would I choose, and the answer is SANDY FOREVER, but Neil gives him a real run for his money. (Though less so in these episodes.)

Let’s drink to dad-foxes, and to Season 4!

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
Ryan wears a white tank top
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
Now that Kaitlin is a full-time cast member, changing this rule to “Kaitlin is a stone-cold badass”

4.1 “The Avengers”

It’s been five months since Marissa’s death, and everyone’s dealing with it in different ways. Julie is consuming a lot of pills and keeping busy with gardening, house redecoration and also trying to track down Volchok so she can avenge her daughter’s death. Neil is cheating on Julie with Summer’s former step-monster, which is NOT OKAY, NEIL. Kaitlin is stealing shit and smoking pot and hanging out with Luke Ward‘s younger twin brothers, and also blackmailing Neil for cheating on Julie (drink!). Summer’s gone granola at Brown, getting into a bunch of hippy protests about chickens and trees with her new pal Che. Sandy’s back at it as a public defender (yes!) and Kirsten’s back at it with the Newpsie luncheons. Seth’s trying to fill his time during his semester at home before he can go to RISD, working at the video store and keeping his parents company.

And Ryan? Well, Ryan is cage-fighting.

HAHA! He is seriously cage-fighting. It’s so good. He’s also a bartender, but mostly he’s a cage-fighter. But the poor Cohens are trying so hard to reach out to him, and he’s just not having it. Kirsten’s sending him care packages and inviting him to dinner, and he’s just completely closed off from everyone and every thing – even from Julie when she gives Ryan a file on Volchok’s whereabouts and invites him to kill Volchok! I mean, that is usually EXACTLY Ryan’s cup of tea, but he says, “I don’t want it. I don’t care about him, I don’t care about any of it, and I don’t want to start.” We also learn that he skipped Marissa’s funeral and never visits her grave, and we see him throw away a box of her pictures, so Ryan is clearly not in a Feeling Place.

Summer to the rescue! Seth has left her a series of pitiful voicemails, and she tells Che that she has to go home because her friends haven’t moved on as well as she has. She comes home, finds Ryan and forces him, when no one else could, to go see the Cohens, who have prepared a beautiful Atomic County presentation reminding Ryan that Kid Chino is still surrounded by people who love him. It works – Ryan quits the cage-fighting and the bar and packs up his stuff to move back into the pool house, but not before meeting Julie at Marissa’s grave and accepting the Volchok file. Oh, Ryan.

Ugh, and so sad: as Ryan thanks Julie for meeting him at Marissa’s grave, she breaks my heart:

Also heartbreaking: Seth and Summer just can’t seem to get their groove back, even though they’re both being sweet and clearly still love each other, and I suspect it’s because Summer hasn’t moved on quite as well as she thinks she has. She tells Seth she’ll meet him for breakfast at the diner before heading back to Brown, but after spending one second in her bedroom and remembering all of the time she spent there with Marissa, she takes off in a cab to the airport, fleeing Newport and all of her memories.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Season 4 credits! 

Everyone looks so grown-up now. And no more Mischa Barton!

Taylor Townsend’s French accent

The Sorbonne is treating Taylor very well, as she says EVERYTHING in this exaggerated, hilarious French accent. But also Summer runs into her in Newport and Taylor’s hiding from her mom and not actually in Paris, so something is clearly up with the child.

Aww, Seth

In one of Seth’s pitiful voicemails to Summer: “Me and your dad are really bonding. There’s been a lot of that, me and adults bonding.” Poor lonely Seth.

Granola Summer

She looks hot like this!

Guess who


He is perfect.

Summer rules

I love the way she forces Ryan to come home when no one else could: “Let me do what I do best: giving orders. Just do what I say, Atwood. One last time.” It works!

Hot Kaitlin is hot

(That’s a Ward twin in the background.)

Most recognizable song

Every time Ryan gears up to cage-fight (lol!), Placebo’s cover of Kate Bush’s great “Running Up That Hill” plays.

4.2 “The Gringos”

Seth overhears Ryan and Julie on the phone, plotting Volchok’s demise, so he insists on going with Ryan on his Volchok-seeking trip to Mexico. Ryan maintains he’s just going to FIND Volchok and then call the police, and Seth is wisely skeptical of this big fat lie. He rides along, despite the danger and Ryan’s surliness, and some not-entirely-funny hijinks ensue, some of which include Steve-O. Volchok’s no longer working where Julie’s PI said he was, so Ryan’s stymied – but a waitress tells Seth of Volchok’s new whereabouts. Seth makes Ryan promise he’s not planning to kill Volchok, and Ryan promises, but Seth knows better, so he gives Ryan the wrong address, goes to Volchok himself and convinces him to turn himself in and then calls Sandy and Kirsten to pick him and Ryan up. He did the right thing, but he knows Ryan won’t forgive him, and he’s right: the episode ends with Seth approaching the pool house and Ryan closing the blinds on him. I hope this fight doesn’t last too long 🙁

Meanwhile, Julie is going off the deep-end waiting to hear news from Ryan about Volchok, and poor Kaitlin just can’t steal enough shit to get her attention. The new Dean of Discipline at Harbor School tells Julie that she and Kaitlin have to work a clothing drive together as punishment for some of Kaitlin’s MANY misbehavioral activities (gah, the Harbor School must really hate these terrible Cooper sisters),  but Julie continues to flake and space out and ignore Kaitlin, until Kaitlin says the right thing: “Some of us are still alive, you know?” That gets Julie’s attention, and it seems like she’s going to try to be a better mother to Kaitlin now, and she makes Kaitlin promise to be less of a delinquent. We also learn that Julie knows Neil is cheating on her; she’s just too depressed to care. GAH.

Finally, at Brown, Taylor Townsend pops in for a visit, and quickly realizes that Summer is shutting everyone out, especially Seth. She is dismayed that Summer hasn’t shaved her legs or given herself a pedicure in months, and she suspects Summer of cheating on Seth with Che, a theory which Summer heartily declines (I believe her, yo), but Taylor’s not wrong that Summer’s shutting out Seth because he reminds her too much of Marissa. Summer doesn’t respond well to Taylor’s well-intentioned criticism:

but then both girls quickly make up in the sweetest way possible because they are the BEST. And then we learn a little tidbit from Taylor: she came to Brown to tell Summer that she accidentally married some gorgeous brilliant French writer, and now she has to get a divorce. TAYLOR, YOU ARE SO FABULOUS. Taylor also bought Summer an espresso machine as a dorm room gift, because, again, fabulous.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best Seth Cohen line

To Ryan, before their road trip.

Seth: “So where are we going?”

Ryan: “Mexico.”

Seth: “Perfect. I need Chiclets.”

Summer’s brilliant theory

Regarding Taylor’s globe-hopping, mysterious whereabouts over the past week, “Do you have a secret twin? Because that would explain so much.”

Guess who? 

As you can see in the above picture, Steve-O is in this episode.

Guess who else? 

Kaitlin’s new Dean of Discipline is Tia Carrere! Can you imagine how many students are intentionally misbehaving just to get sent to her office?

Trilingual Taylor

At least trilingual, that is – we learn in this episode that she speaks Spanish as well as English and French.

Most meta moment

At Taylor’s accusation that Summer’s cheating on Seth with Che, Summer affirms, “This is not a love triangle. I don’t DO love triangles anymore.” Thank you for allaying our concerns, writers, because you KNOW we were sweating that. (No one wants to have to choose between Adam Brody and Chris Pratt.)

Dark Julie

A super cheery worldview she passes on to her impressionable daughter: “The world is an amoral toilet bowl and one day we’ll all be flushed.”



That’s it for this week! Britt, I have a question for you: HOW GREAT IS SEASON 4? I took care of the dark eps for you, so you can jump right in with the non-stop fun!

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she covers “The Cold Turkey” and “The Metamorphosis.”


Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.