Title: The O.C. S3.E06 “The Swells”
The O.C. S3.E07 “The Anger Management”
Released: 2005
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 14

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome back to The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week Britt asked me if I’m getting tired of Marissa and Ryan being all cute, healthy and schmoopy, and the answer is: I would be, but fortunately Ryan and Marissa are never happy for long. By this week’s first episode, they’re already dysfunctional again! It’s hard to decide which is more boring, to be honest.

Let’s drink to something else!

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
Someone reminds us that Kaitlin Cooper exists

3.6 “The Swells”

Marissa’s public school friends are super into surfing, because of course they are. Marissa blows off a Cohen family dinner to hang out with Johnny and crew, emphasis on Johnny, and Summer gets all anxious because she’s not good with change. While hanging on the beach living out her Point Break fantasies, Marissa meets Volchok, the local tough guy who hates Johnny because Johnny stole his surfing sponsorship, I guess. Johnny’s too busy CLEARLY falling in love with Marissa to care about Volchok’s vague threats.

Marissa’s still suffering completely understandable Trey trauma, and Ryan’s being a pretty typical straight guy about it and changing the subject whenever she brings it up. You know who totally lets Marissa talk about Trey? Johnny. He went through something similar with an abusive step-father, and the two do some serious bonding over their insanely dramatic histories. Casey, Johnny’s girlfriend, can’t help but notice how close Marissa and Johnny are becoming, so she resolves the situation by sleeping with Volchok during a party at Johnny’s apartment, which is a real dick move, Casey. Johnny goes after Volchok to fight him, and Ryan – who’s at the party because Summer called him, fearing that Ryan was about to lose Marissa to Johnny – saves the day, sort of, by beating up Volchok. Now Ryan and Johnny are friends, which is kind of good because at least Ryan doesn’t want to beat up Johnny, too, but it’s also complicated because a newly single Johnny is DEFINITELY in love with Ryan’s girlfriend. Whatever! These public school kids are not nearly as interesting as the Harbor crew, and I’m saying that as a lifelong public school kid.

So let’s see what’s going on at Harbor! Taylor Townsend has organized a mandatory lock-in, which both Summer and Ryan miss because of all this boring public school hubbub. Poor Seth is at the lock-in by himself, and he devotes his energy into convincing Taylor to sign in Summer and Ryan so they won’t get in trouble for being AWOL. This is Taylor’s unsurprising response:

But when Seth overhears Taylor’s mom being a righteous asshole to her – seriously, she’s emotionally abusive to poor Taylor, which explains a lot about Taylor – and then sees how mean the entire class is to her when she’s trying to organize some wholesome fun, he decides to join her on the microphone. Seth helps Taylor lead the lock-in, taking the brunt of the student body’s hostility, because the only two people at  Harbor who don’t hate Seth Cohen are currently at a boring surfer party. But now someone new doesn’t hate Seth, and that someone is Taylor Townsend, who has decided she’s madly in love with him. You could do a lot worse than Season 3 Seth Cohen, Taylor. What a sweetie he is.

What are the adults doing? Sandy’s about to sell the Newport Group on behalf of Kirsten, when a hotshot young man named Matt convinces him to keep the Newport Group and run it himself with his Sandy Cohen brand of do-gooderism (and with Matt by his side, naturally). Sandy’s never one to say no to a hastily suggested life-changing occupational decision, so he asks Kirsten. Kirsten’s like, “Sure, whatever!” These two, by the way, are so healthy and happy again, and it does my heart good. Kirsten’s a little busy dealing with this charity event that Julie and Charlotte are organizing, and they shanghai her into helping them. But soon, Julie discovers that Charlotte’s a total fraud about to bankrupt the entire city of Newport, because Julie’s smart. Charlotte convinces Julie to help her bankrupt the entire city of Newport, because Charlotte’s evil.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Guess who? 

Volchok’s played by Easy A‘s Cam Gigandet, and he does not look tough.

Best Seth Cohen line

When Summer breaks the news to Ryan that Marissa’s flaking on dinner to hang out with Johnny, Seth says, “Ryan, try not to punch Summer.” That line makes me laugh so hard. I’m laughing again right now, thinking of it.

Dorkiest Taylor Townsendism

Of the lock-in, “All you need is a sleeping bag and an open mind.”

Best pop culture reference

Summer, fretting that Marissa’s straying: “I’ve seen Unfaithful, Coop. I know the signs.”

Most recognizable song

Rogue Wave’s “Publish My Love.” Great tune!

The best burn

When Seth says into the mic that he was “all-camp” for Capture the Flag at Camp Takaho, some hilarious jerk yells, “You were all-geek at Camp Geek!” I love how much everyone hates Seth.

The truest thing anybody said this week

Summer, realizing she overstepped by calling Ryan about Marissa and Johnny, laments, “I overreacted, I meddled. Oh god, I’m Cohen!”

3.7 “The Anger Management”

The awesome foursome are hanging at the diner when Volchok and his band of scowly surfers show up to invite Ryan to a re-match. He tries his hardest to instigate a fight, and to Ryan’s credit, fails. So then Volchok keeps trying, and trying, and trying, all throughout the episode, constantly showing up in random places and poking the sleeping bear that is Ryan’s wrath. Ryan’s got himself a punching bag as “therapy,” and it seems to be doing the trick, because even after Volchok ABDUCTS MARISSA UNDER FALSE PRETENSES, all so he can get Ryan’s goat, Ryan just goes completely HAM and pretends to be in a murderous rage. He wields a broken bottle and throws Volchok a 2×4 and gives this badass speech:

Ryan: “I’ve been fighting guys like you for years. You want to bash my face in ’cause your life sucks? Fine! But you want to fight, you’re gonna have to kill me.”

Volchok, to no one’s great shock, chickens out and runs away. Everyone celebrates Ryan’s restraint, especially Marissa, who hard-core makes out with him directly in front of poor, lovesick Johnny, but at the end of the episode Ryan’s really giving it to that ol’ punching bag with a crazed look in his eyes, so he might not be as healthy as he appears.

Taylor’s straight up stalking Seth, and he’s terrified that Summer will find out. Summer does find out, because she’s Summer, and at first it’s messy, but sweet Seth convinces Summer that Taylor just needs some friends, and Summer’s heart melts at the Amazing, Terribly Attractive Kindness of Season 3 Seth Cohen. Taylor, meanwhile, is NOT taking the hint, but when her mom berates her directly in front of Seth, she breaks down and finds herself a little clarity:

He then starts listing all of the things he likes about her – most importantly that, as we learned this week, they “share an appreciation for ultra violent Asian cinema” – and GAH, he is so sweet. Too sweet, actually, because after he walks away Taylor promptly abandons all of that hard-won self-awareness and starts giggling to herself that he’s falling in love with her. He’s not, by the way.

Sandy’s having a hard time of it at his new job as the President and CEO of The Newport Group, which makes sense because what have we ever learned about Sandy Cohen that indicates that he’s at all qualified for a job like that? He has to lay off nine people, according to new Vice-President Matt, but he takes a paycut so he only has to lay off four. Better?

Meanwhile, Kirsten’s actually enjoying working on the charity event with Julie and Charlotte, and Julie’s starting to feel guilty about their impending plan to scam $600k – money that Julie desperately needs, as a newfound poor person. She tries to back out and Charlotte threatens to call the cops on her, but then Kirsten tearfully tells Julie how much she appreciates her friendship, and Julie makes up her mind. She announces on the microphone that all checks should be made out directly to the charity, and a furious Charlotte threatens her again, telling Julie that she has no friends to help her if she winds up in jail. Julie’s response is AMAZING.

Julie: “Wrong. I have Kirsten. And I won’t do this to her. Now, I think it’s time you left. Don’t you? This town’s only big enough for one manipulative bitch.”

Yas queen, yas queen!

How many times did I have to drink?


Summer + Marissa = BFF

Summer and Mariss love Bring It On, because they are intelligent women who appreciate quality films. They recite this entire cheer and make me love them extra:

Best pop culture reference

Taylor, scheming to steal Seth, “Of course, though, I mean, look at Brad and Jen. Everybody thought that they were stable. But nobody knew how unhappy Brad was. That he was just waiting for Angelina to come rescue him!” When Ryan assures her that Seth and Summer are level 10 stable, Taylor muses, “Sucks for Angelina.” Taylor Townsend is totally the Angelina Jolie of my heart.

Taylor Townsend truism

When Seth’s marveling that she likes yakuza films, he asks her if she also reads comics.

Taylor: “Comics are geek wacking material.”


Spoilery foreshadowing

As Taylor’s grilling Ryan about Seth, presented without further comment…

Fuck yeah Julie Cooper

That’s it for this week! Britt, I have a question for you: I find myself, against my better judgment, crushing so hard on HAM Ryan. Am I the only one who finds his anger management issues just a little bit sexy? The way he takes it to that punching bag, whew!

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she covers “The Game Plan” and “The Disconnect.”


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.