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Title: The O.C. S2.E20 “The O.C. Confidential”
The O.C. S2.E21 “The Return of the Nana”
Released: 2005
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 22

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome back to The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week, Meredith asked me about the repetitive nature of Season 2 – why do the writers keep recycling plots like the comic book drama and the stuff with Rebecca and Carter, and I really think this has a lot to do with the extended nature of American network television. With 20+ episodes to fill, things tend to get redundant. I’m sure the writers thought it was clever to challenge Sandy and Kirsten’s marriage with Rebecca, then Carter, showing two sides of a similar coin, but it’s just frustrating and kind of unnecessary. It’s a lot of wheel-spinning that you wouldn’t see on British television or even premium cable dramas because the seasons are shorter and encourage more thoughtful storytelling. If seasons of The O.C. were just 10-12 episodes long, they wouldn’t be so redundant. Hour-long shows don’t need over 20 episodes per season like sitcoms (and even then, I could argue against that, too).

Anyway! Let’s drink and drink again and again, as the redundant nature of this season demands.

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
Summer calls Zach “Duckie”
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

2.20 “The O.C. Confidential”

With Trey facing serious jail time after taking the fall for the drugs at the party, Ryan and Marissa decide to pull a 21 Jump Street and go undercover to figure out who the real drug dealer is. The investigation proves to be pretty easy when Marissa points out Jess (face down in the pool girl) hanging all over some beefy water polo player. So Marissa arranges a drug deal to entrap Jess’ boyfriend, while Sandy works with Trey on his defense and tries to plea with the prosecuting attorney for leniency.

Meanwhile, Seth is trying to win Summer’s affections back after he lied about Super Cool Reed being a Super Cool Girl.

But Summer isn’t having it when Zach reveals that he and Seth have a meeting with Reed on the night of the big Death Cab for Cutie concert, which means Seth has to ditch Summer for Reed – again. Summer is being a little too jealous here, given that Seth has a real career opportunity and that takes priority over Death Cab. And it’s not as if Seth wants to miss out on his favorite band or hanging with his favorite lady, but duty calls, etc. Granted, Seth shouldn’t have omitted Reed’s gender in the first place, but here we are. In an effort to make things up to Summer – again – Seth tricks her into going to a party Reed and the publishers are holding in his honor, where everyone wants to fawn over him and meet Lil’ Miss Vixen. Summer (rightfully) isn’t into this weird obsession with her comic book alter-ego, which is based entirely on Seth’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl idealizations of his girlfriend – everyone is in love with some weird, reductive fantasy of Summer instead of treating her like a human.

And Summer is right to be annoyed by this lame party with these geeks who try too hard. Seth has once again turned into an annoying little ego-monster, and when he refuses to abandon all his adoring corporate fans, Summer gets a ride home with Zach.

With Sandy tied up in Trey-business, and Carter without a date to the vineyard (WHOSE FAULT IS THAT, KIKI?) for a story he’s working on, Kirsten gets roped into taking a day trip to day drink some wine with everyone’s least favorite d-bag. Predictably, Kirsten and Carter get hammered and can’t drive back home, but the vineyard is nice enough to offer them a suite – but just one, of course. This turn of events deliberately conjures up not-too-distant memories of Sandy being forced to hole up in a hotel with Rebecca during the rain storm, which made Kirsten furious. Instead of reacting similarly, Sandy is real sweet about the whole vineyard situation, putting his full trust in Kirsten to spend the night with Carter. Alone. In a suite. With a mini bar. As Trey points out, Sandy is impressively trusting, but that trust guilts Kirsten into taking the hotel up on its offer of car service and politely declines Carter’s invitation for her to take a shower and put on a comfy robe – as we all know, comfy robes lead to comfy behaviors like cheating on your husband at some corny vineyard.

Things are not great for Julie this week, as she attempts to welcome Caleb home with open legs only for him to reject her “personal sacrifice” because he’s had some time to think about this whole amnesia porn thing, which he is definitely not forgetting. Zing zing zing. It’s a bit strange, given that Caleb told Lance that he’s had private investigators thoroughly examine Julie’s past, so he was fully aware of this porn tape before they even got married. He was okay with ignoring it until the whole town found out, but when Julie surprises Caleb (and herself, and us) with genuine tears at the thought of divorce, he decides to give her another chance. And the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.

Back over on 21 Jump Street, Marissa and Ryan nail down the water polo drug dealer and Sandy calls the cops to bust the kid, neatly getting Trey off the hook – again. Marissa and Ryan celebrate by making out (here we go again), and Trey goes home to find Jess creepin’ in his house, ready to seduce him back into trouble. UGH, TREY, NO. This girl is a drug monger whose hobbies include wearing ugly studded belt and denim skirt combos, talking in an insufferable baby prostitute voice, and floating face down in pools because she has not a single travel-sized ounce of self-control.

Trey, you are too hot to keep disappointing me. And yet.

How many times did I have to drink? 

14

Accurate

Trey perfectly describes the teen dirt bags of the O.C.

Trey: “You know, he looked like every other kid in this town: tall, tan, and a face you just wanna flatten.”

Best pop culture reference

Ju-ju goes all American Beauty to seduce Caleb.

Most recognizable song

Everything by Death Cab for Cutie, duh!

2.21 “The Return of the Nana”

Ugh. Ugh. Ughhhh. What is wrong with everyone? At least we have Sandy Cohen as a positive moral anchor in this episode because otherwise this shit would be incredibly dour. And at least half of the episode makes me feel so uneasy.

Sandy, Seth, and Ryan head down to Miami because the Nana is in love and engaged, and she’s acting so sweet and happy, and it’s wonderful. Seth is pumped to spend the weekend among his people, the old folks.

Before they leave, Seth tries to apologize to Summer, who has taken up a Girlfight punching bag hobby to calm her rage blackouts. She thinks they should take a break, but passive-aggressively comments on Seth’s little vacation and all the potential spring break action, which is basically a warning for him to keep it in his pants.

And while the three boys are away, Kirsten stays home, making some lame excuse about the magazine, when really she just wants to spend some solo time with Carter before he leaves (GOOD RIDDANCE, YOU SKEEZE). She invites him over to the house for dinner to celebrate his new job and say farewell, which obviously leads to lots of wine and the two share a kiss before Carter leaves and I hate it. I hate this so much. Kirsten’s guilt and stupid despair over this d-bag send her straight for the vodka, which (SPOILER) is just the beginning. Like, really, Kiki? You’re sad about THAT guy? Team Sandy.

Meanwhile, down in Florida, Seth is fitting in with his elderly friends and having a blast playing bridge and pinochle and shuffleboard, until this nice southern girl named Mary Sue shows up and wipes the shuffleboard floor with Seth. The two make a friendly wager, and Seth loses, so he has to participate in some spring break competition for NDN (The O.C.‘s MTV equivalent). Of course it’s not actually a dance competition like Mary Sue promised – instead, Seth has to eat whipped cream off her bikini-clad body and suck a cherry out of her mouth on live television. And you know that Summer is constantly glued to NDN, so of course she sees it while she’s at Zach’s house for dinner.

In a fit of jealousy and anger, Summer retaliates by making out with Zach – of course she doesn’t actually want to be with him, she’s just rightfully pissed at Seth and trying to console herself by getting back at him. It could be worse. She could be making out with someone like Creepy Carter.

Not only are Seth and Kirsten horribly disappointing this week (Seth a little less so – just a little), but so is Trey. He’s still hanging out with Jess, who taunts him about his friendship with Marissa, telling him he could never get someone like her in a million years (what does that say about you, Jess? JFC). Marissa helps him get a job at the Bait Shop, so Trey invites her over for margaritas to celebrate. Instead of watching The Notebook and having a nice PG time as Marissa suggests, the pair end up getting a bit wasted, and Trey sneaks bumps of coke stashed in his couch. Dammit, Trey Atwood. Marissa gets a little too tipsy, so she invites Trey out for a walk to get some fresh air, but Trey takes Marissa’s friendship and kindness as an invitation to put the moves on her instead. Marissa tries to fight him off, but Trey is persistent, pinning her down on the beach and trying to assault her, implying that she wants it no matter what she says and Ryan never has to know. Thankfully, Marissa grabs a piece of driftwood and bashes Trey over the head before running away, leaving her cell phone and purse (and a bloody Trey) behind.

Ryan is going to be pissed. Hell, I’m pissed. This is so very uncool.

But then there’s Sandy, who helps ease the frustration of this episode by hinting to the Nana’s fiance, Bill, that he’s on to the guy’s gold-digging, shady ways. Sandy puts the fear in Bill, who runs off and leaves the Nana in tears, and while she’s heartbroken and sad at the thought of being alone for what’s left of her life, she’s thankful to Sandy for having her back. Good ol’ Sandy Cohen. I think Seth, Kirsten, and Trey could learn a lot from him. We all could.

How many times did I have to drink? 

8 (but maybe I had a few extra because seriously, this episode.)

Hipster Seth

Seth: “I can’t believe it, Ryan. Bright Eyes has two albums in the top 10.”

Old Man Seth

He’s not planning on drinking anything in Miami but Metamucil. I can legit vouch for Metamucil. It’s not just for the olds. It’s totally good for you and I drink it every morning. I also have a thing for old Jewish men in their giant sunglasses, so this really speaks to me.

“Victory lap”
GIFs from MTV

Sandy is so white

Sandy: “In the immortal words of Will Smith, ‘Welcome to Miami.'”

Most recognizable song

Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On.”

Guess who? 

Former model Jamie King plays Mary Sue, the southern temptress who gets Seth in a world of trouble. I highly recommend this 1996 New York Times profile on King from when she was a 16-year-old model. She was so bratty. It’s great.


That’s it for this week’s episodes! My question for Meredith next week: how do you feel about Trey assaulting Marissa, not just as a viewer, but also as a storytelling device? I’m conflicted about it, for sure.

Be sure to check back next week, as Meredith covers “The Showdown” and “The O Sea.”


Contributor Britt Hayes

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.

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This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.