Title: The O.C. S1.E23 “The Nana”
The O.C. S1.E24 “The Proposal”
Released: 2004
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 21

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome to this week’s installment of The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week, Meredith asked me if, while watching the first season live during its initial run, I was aware of all the Valley in-jokes. Here’s the thing: I didn’t start watching until season 3, so I was a bit behind the times, but I did totally understand all the fun, meta references. I was also very much aware that Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson were dating in real life, which was bittersweet for me as I have a major crush on Adam Brody, so I want him for myself, but it was also pretty delightful that they were together for real. Until she left him for Hayden Christensen. Who dates Hayden Christensen?! That’s such a Marissa move.

Let’s drink to deal with that!

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
Someone grabs a cup of coffee
Ryan and Seth read comic books
Someone reminds us that Kaitlin Cooper exists

Onto the episodes!

1.23 “The Nana”

I absolutely love the Nana, and I love “The Nana”… well, half of it, anyway. Nana Cohen is coming to visit for Passover, which means Sandy Cohen is super Jewish all of a sudden, and he’s committed their home for Seder. And while everyone is terrified of the Nana, she surprises them all by being incredibly warm and kind, gushing over each person as she hugs them hello and even admiring the beautiful California sunshine.

But her sunny demeanor is merely hiding the truth: she has lung cancer, and she’s decided to forgo the chemotherapy to save herself some pain. The stuff with the Nana in “The Nana” is the absolute best, and involves some real mature and touching conversations about death and family between the Nana and the Cohens. Ultimately, forgoing chemo is her decision and hers alone, but I love the way this episode approaches the effect these sorts of decisions have on families, and how it asks someone who is already suffering to be selfless and reward those who love them the most with more time… even if it will be painful.

Getting to know the Nana also helps us get to know Sandy a bit more and understand where he comes from, and what drives him to make decisions like bringing Ryan Atwood home – he took the beautiful generosity and social ideals of his mother, but abandoned the staunch, narrow dedication which kept her focused more on other people’s children than her own.

And since the Nana is around, Summer is trying her best to impress by learning some fancy Seder talk, and how to do all those very important Hebrew guttural sounds. As Seth points out, Summer is a very good huuuugggch-er.

Meanwhile, Marissa has run away from home (ugh, again) after learning of Julie’s affair with Luke, which means Ryan gets to spend the entire episode hunting her down and trying to convince her to come home. Of all the places she could go, Marissa is hanging out over at Theresa’s… on the day of the party to celebrate her engagement to Eddie and his dumb satan goatee. Obviously this leads to some fisticuffs when Eddie demands that Ryan leave them alone. And it also leads to a string of dramas centered around trying to get Marissa to leave (she actually thinks she can play grown-up and stay with Theresa), which leads to a run-in with Eddie, a whiny fight with a stubborn Marissa, and even a confrontation with Luke, who shows up to join in on the Drama Party.

The entire time this was playing out, all I could think of was how rude these kids are being, which totally speaks to my elderly sensibilities (I think the Nana and I would get along quite well). It’s Theresa’s engagement party! Take that nonsense somewhere else and quit ruining all the backyard cake fun. To Theresa’s credit, she handles this very gracefully, although I do believe her suggestion that Marissa could live in Chino and get a job is laughable, at best. She has good intentions, though.

Eventually Marissa goes back home, where Julie’s selfishness trumps her mothering instincts, so when she demands that Marissa stay and visit a mental institution, Marissa snaps back with a suggestion that they call Jimmy and Caleb and explain why Marissa ran away yet again. Julie’s pride simply won’t allow her to do the right thing, which would be to take responsibility for what she did with Luke. Instead, she shrinks back and coldly tells Marissa to pack her crap and go.

And meanwhile, Jimmy and Hayley have a little drama of their own when Jimmy thinks it might be a bad idea for them to start a relationship, while Hayley (rightfully) believes that Jimmy has feelings for her and they should see where it goes. I kind of love these two messy adults being together. They’re pretty cute.

How many times did I have to drink? 


The social event of the week

Seder! Gotta love Passover, you guys. More like Pass Over some of that brisket. L’chaim!

Most unintentionally creepy line

Julie coldly tells Ryan that she’d love to stay and chat, but she has to find her daughter. After she walks out, Ryan dramatically stares after her and says, aloud, to himself, “Not if I find her first.” Calm down, stalker.

Most recognizable song

“Float On” by Modest Mouse playing at Theresa’s party. I can’t be the only one stoked that we’re finally getting a new Modest Mouse album this year, right?

Cutest nickname ever

Sethela! The Nana calls Seth “Sethela” and it is just the cutest. Those Jewish Nanas are fantastic.

Worst outfit

Marissa, NO. That’s two weeks in a row now. We should put her on fashion probation.

Sandy Cohen burn

When the Nana fondly recalls how Sandy was basically raised by the neighborhood because she was so absorbed in her work, Sandy doesn’t miss a beat: “Somebody had to.”

Best pop culture reference

Seth, snapping awake shouts, “No! It’s my Precious! You can’t have it!”

Best Seth Cohen line

Seth: “How do you know that? Don’t assume that. They have Jews in Chino. Why do you think they want a P.F. Chang’s?”

1.24 “The Proposal”

“The Proposal” is like 45 minutes of people overreacting. Except for Sandy and Jimmy. And Seth and Summer. Those are the reasonable people here. But everyone else is acting absolutely insane. Luke wants to apologize to Marissa and explain so he can move to Portland with his dad without this weight on this chest, but Marissa and the gang catch him in a secret meeting with Julie at the mall (seriously, how small is the O.C.?), so that’s not happening anytime soon.

As Jimmy and Sandy prepare to open their restaurant, there’s just one hiccup: the new liquor license commissioner is an old client of Jimmy’s with a grudge, and he’s not giving them the liquor license they desperately need as long as Jimmy is involved. Can’t someone explain to this guy that Jimmy can’t begin to pay back the money he siphoned without a steady income? Nope, apparently not. So Jimmy and Sandy enlist the help of Caleb, whose solution for every problem is throwing money at it.

At the big pre-opening restaurant event with all their friends and family, Caleb decides to propose to Julie, which elicits some amazing WTF reaction faces. Everyone seems pretty devastated by the engagement – especially Kiki, who has taken to guzzling champagne, and Luke, who shows up drunk and drives away to drink more and endanger his life and the lives of others. Marissa refuses to talk to Luke, and Luke refused to take Ryan’s advice and write a letter (as if writing a letter is the most ridiculous concept in the world), and Ryan is somehow the most mature person in this equation – Marissa is so immature and stubborn, and Luke is so juvenile and obnoxious. I really think those two deserve each other more than anyone else. On the one hand, it’s understandable that Marissa doesn’t want to talk to Luke, but on the other, she’s forcing Ryan to choose sides and refusing to give up her car so Ryan can prevent a drunk Luke from possibly killing himself or someone else. I rolled my eyes so hard at Marissa this week that I think I sprained something in there.

And although everyone is overreacting about the engagement of Julie and Caleb, I did enjoy Kirsten’s hilariously dramatic assessment of the situation:

Meanwhile, Seth and Summer are our lovely respite from the melodrama, as they decide to surprise Marissa by giving her cluttered, boring bedroom at Jimmy’s a makeover. Naturally, Summer does most of the work because Seth is utterly useless around power tools. But he does paint a lovely mural! This is a nice hint of Seth’s artistic talents, which (spoiler!) will be explored a bit more in the near future. The cute banter between Seth and Summer is so natural and fun – contrasted with Ryan and Marissa, it makes you feel like those two really are unnatural.

Of course, Luke crashes his truck (after trying and failing to beat it up with his foot) and ends up in the hospital, which is finally enough to get Marissa to talk to and forgive him. This is just how you have to appeal to Marissa: you must center your whole life around her, and if you upset her in any way, you either need to gravely injure yourself or leave the city ASAP. Luke admits that he’s moving with his dad to give Marissa a chance at a normal life. Um, Luke, you are not Marissa’s problem. How Marissa chooses to handle upsetting events in her life is Marissa’s problem. The idea that someone would move to a different city just to make life easier for Marissa is absurd.

But there’s one person who is not making life easier for Marissa: Caleb Nichol. Yes, Caleb is a bit dastardly, but I take some pleasure out of watching him manipulate Marissa. Here’s one person who is not even about to tolerate her BS, and he swiftly makes that known. I guess the real bummer here is that Marissa has to move back in with Julie, and Seth and Summer did all that hard work on her bedroom for nothing.

How many times did I have to drink?


The social event of the week

Sandy and Jimmy are holding a grand opening party for their restaurant. It makes me want to try Nana Cohen’s meatloaf.

How we know it’s 2004

Julie had to block Luke from her Buddy List. AIM!

Most recognizable song

That’s Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” playing again as Luke drinks on the hood of his truck. We first heard it in the Valentine’s Day episode.

Most melodramatic line

Marissa, commenting on the union between Julie and Caleb: “If my mom marries him, she’s gonna be the most powerful woman in Newport.” While this line serves to highlight the way we view our parents as larger than life figures, it’s also just mentally insane.

Best Julie Cooper bitchery

She knows how much Kiki loves that sauce.

Seth and Summer 4Ever

I could watch an entire episode about these two just hanging out and being all cute and goofy together. It’s so pleasant.

That’s it for this week! And now a question for you guys: what do you think about Marissa and Ryan getting back together? Yes, it was inevitable, of course. But it’s almost annoying how Ryan is drawn to troubled, dramatic women and loves to get sucked up in all their problems, particularly since he comes from such a troubled background. You’d think he would want some semblance of normalcy.

And a question for Meredith: along similar lines, how do you feel about Marissa’s behavior this week? Is it more insane than normal, or par for the course? My empathy for her is wearing thin real quick.

We’ll see you guys back here next week when Meredith covers “The Shower” and “The Strip”! Just three more episodes left in season 1!

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.


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