The O.C. S1.E26 “The Strip”
Drinks Taken: 26
Welcome back to The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week Britt asked me how I felt about Marissa’s behavior in the wake of her discovery of Juke. And although I’m the first to admit that Marissa will take any excuse to act out, burst into tears, destroy some patio furniture and accuse everyone she knows of trying to destroy her happiness, I feel like she has a pretty good excuse for melodrama when she learns that her mother has been laying her ex-boyfriend. Still and always: Team Juke. Juke Forever. I miss Juke.
Let’s drink in remembrance of Juke!
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”
Someone grabs a cup of coffee
Ryan and Seth read comic books
Someone reminds us that Kaitlin Cooper exists
There’s a reference to “The Valley”
Onto the episodes!
1.25 “The Shower”
It’s two weeks until Julie and Caleb’s wedding, and so much has to be done! First up, the shower, which Julie reins Kirsten into organizing with Marissa’s help. Marissa only agrees to participate because Caleb is blackmailing her into being nice to Julie and living with the two of them – a piece of information she still hasn’t been able to break to Jimmy, who’s so excited to have his daughter back under his roof. So she “helps” organize the couples shower by inviting Julie’s sister and nemesis Aunt Cindy. And sure enough, Aunt Cindy seems to have every intention of mortifying Julie, using such colorful phrases around her fancy Newport friends – and even worse, around Caleb – as “monster trucks,” “dropping trou,” “Jell-O shots” and “the entire defensive line of our eighth grade football team.” Julie is humiliated and furious, but then Cindy approaches her and apologizes, admitting that she just misses Julie, who took off for Newport and left Cindy in her past. They make up, and Caleb is very sweet about the whole thing, insisting that Cindy attend the wedding and then telling Julie, “There is nothing I could find out about you that would make me walk away.” Julie just looks at him dubiously in response.
Marissa’s still stressing about the whole Julie/Caleb thing, but at least she has Ryan! Well, almost. They’re being really cute this week, which of course means it’s high time for them to hit another snag. Theresa comes to town with a black eye delivered by that dirtbag Eddie. She goes to Sandy for legal advice, and he is as wonderful with her as can be, but promises to keep it from Ryan because he and Theresa both know Ryan will do something stupid, violent and not even a little helpful if he hears about this. Unfortunately, Ryan, Marissa and Theresa all run into each other in the most awkward way possible:
And sure enough, after hearing that this isn’t the first time Eddie’s hit Theresa, Ryan ignores Seth and Sandy’s advice, abandons Marissa at the shower, steals her car and takes off to Chino to kick Eddie’s ass. But none of that is the worst of Ryan’s behavior here: the worst is the way he yells at Theresa for considering going back to Eddie. It’s terrible and makes me want to throttle him – of course Theresa knows that she shouldn’t be with the man who hit her, but she needs loving encouragement and patience right now – and she gets it from everyone else, including the Cohens and Marissa. But eventually Ryan, halfway to Chino, realizes his mistake, and he returns to talk to Theresa like an adult, and to convince her to move in with the Cohens temporarily until she figures out a permanent solution. Marissa is clearly wigging about this a little, but Kirsten gives her great advice – “Make room for her to be in his life. He’s not going anywhere” – so when Ryan apologizes for bailing on Marissa at the shower (with her car), she sweetly forgives him and tells him she knows everything’s going to be okay between them. They hug, but the episode ends with their mutually concerned faces.
Also concerned: Kirsten, upon discovering, the same day as Marissa and Julie, that Jimmy and Hailey are now an item. Marissa’s happy for them, Julie is blissfully ambivalent, but Kirsten thinks Hailey’s just dating Jimmy to get to her. It’s sort of an arrogant assumption, and Jimmy says as much, though nicely: “This isn’t about you. Hailey and I – it feels real…So just be happy for me, okay?” Kirsten agrees, but doesn’t look particularly happy about her promise to be happy. Jimmy, on the other hand, is gonna be happy regardless, because Caleb paid him and Sandy $2.5 million for The Lighthouse and he has a hot young girlfriend.
Also unhappy: poor Seth Cohen, who insists on meeting Summer’s dad, because it turns out that Summer is a real daddy’s girl. She’s nervous to introduce them, and she makes it clear that it’s VERY important to her that her dad like Seth, and the sweet boy genuinely tries.
But, being a neurotic little weirdo, of course he quickly veers into Trying Too Hard territory, talking the man’s ear off about comics and Summer’s “vim and vigor.” He uses the words “vim and vigor” way, way too many times. Summer’s dad is NOT impressed, and just like that, it seems that Summer’s fallen out of love with Seth Cohen. He does his best to win her back during the engagement shower, but she keeps avoiding him, and when he finally gives her a really sweet, mature speech, she just bursts into tears and runs away like so much Marissa Cooper:
How many times did I have to drink?
Best Seth Cohen line
As Seth glumly tells Ryan that he thinks he and Summer are over because of her dad, he adds, “Of all the love triangles to sink us, it is the least sexy.”
Best pop culture reference
Aunt Cindy is played by Holly Fields, who has been in approximately one million things.
Seth, trying to figure out their new family tree, points to Sandy and says “Julie Cooper’s going to be your mother-in-law,” pointing to Kirsten, “She’s gonna be your step-mom” and then, pointing to himself, “Me and Marissa, we could be related? I don’t know, I can’t even do that math. But the real kicker is Julie Cooper is my grandma. My grandma wears Uggs!” This is before he even finds out that Jimmy Cooper is now dating Hailey Nichol. Good lord, this group of people.
Truest thing anybody said this week
Kirsten to Sandy: “Nothing good happens at our parties. Have you noticed that?”
1.26 “The Strip”
It’s time to go to The Vegas, baby! Caleb’s headed there, ostensibly for a bachelor party, and Seth, Sandy, Ryan and Jimmy invite themselves along, all for different reasons: Seth’s trying to get over Summer, who still won’t talk to him. Ryan’s trying to win enough money to send Theresa to Atlanta, where she has a cousin willing to put her up if Theresa can afford the $2k for the flight. And at first it seems that Sandy and Jimmy just want to have fun, until they learn the reason for Caleb’s generous offer to buy them out of The Lighthouse: he actually bribed that liquor licence commissioner to refuse a license so Caleb could instead up-sell the property to someone intending to turn it into a mall or something, and he’s in Vegas to finalize the deal. Sandy puts the kibosh on that deal with some litigation threats, and he almost punches Caleb, but Jimmy shows up to do the job instead, after learning from Ryan (who slipped up) that Marissa is moving in with Caleb and Julie because Caleb’s bribing her to do so. Jimmy punches Caleb OUT, and it is awesome.
The younger Cohen gets into plenty of trouble, himself.
But before he gets a chance to do any of that, a beautiful young woman named Jenn walks up to him and starts conversing. She even kisses him, trying to convince the pool security guard that she’s Seth’s guest. Unfortunately, an apologetic Summer was on the phone for that one:
But newly single Seth shakes it off and spends the rest of the day with Jenn. She takes Ryan and Seth to a shady off-strip card game where a card-counting Ryan wins a ton of money, and when Seth invites all of Jenn’s friends up to their penthouse (that includes a bowling alley, an extravagance Seth charged on Caleb’s credit card to Sandy’s immense approval), it turns out Jenn and all of her friends are prostitutes, and their pimp wants $5k for the day. Summer arrives at the same time, and Seth is getting hammered on all sides, but it all works out in the end – Ryan wins enough money to pay off the pimp (though not enough for Theresa’s travel), and Summer and Seth make up very cutely.
Meanwhile, in Newport, the ladies are working on Julie’s bachelorette party. Kirsten very much wants a sedate affair, but Julie is begging – literally begging – for a stripper.
She wheedles so cutely that Kirsten finally gives in and asks Hailey (her stripping expert) to find a stripper for Julie. Hailey hates Julie, so she arranges to have several firefighter strippers arrive at the party with some nebulous plan to have a stripper (who looks like Kevin Sorbo, but isn’t) seduce Julie into bed so Hailey could tell Caleb she cheated on him, or something. Julie figures it out, maybe, and the two get into a crazy fight that ends in the pool. Drink three times! Poor Kirsten.
And finally, Marissa’s being sweet and hanging out with Theresa in Ryan’s absence, but her patience is tested to its limits when Theresa tells her she’s pregnant and it might be Ryan’s. Gah, poor Theresa can’t catch a break. Poor Marissa, too. And poor Ryan. Poor everybody. When Ryan stops by after Vegas to see Marissa, she tells him the news and makes it clear that she is NOT going to be okay with this. I mean, who can blame her, but also she sure knows how to make everything about her, doesn’t she?
How many times did I have to drink?
Best pop culture reference
Seth says that they’re not staying at Caesar’s because Celine Dion performs there, and Sandy sighs fondly, “Hey, mock if you must, but the woman can sing, sing, sing.” Oh, Sandy.
Hailey, telling Summer and Marissa that it’s better when your parents disapprove of your boyfriends. “Otherwise the sex isn’t any good.” Marissa, understanding that Hailey means Jimmy, is aghast. Hailey also makes me laugh when she asks Kirsten about the bachelorette party: “How do you get yourself into these things? Does Julie Cooper have a picture of you wearing culottes or something?
Best Seth Cohen line
Sandy Cohen burn
He repeatedly refers to Caleb as “Cay-Cay,” mocking Caleb’s KiKi and JuJu nicknames for Kirsten and Julie.
The pimp is played, against type, by Kevin Rankin, of Breaking Bad, Undeclared, Justified and FNL fame.
The grossest thing this week
The many different times a woman calls another woman a “whore,” “slut” “skank” or “bitch.” Second grossest: the fact that Julie Cooper wants to go to a full-frontal strip club called The Petting Zoo.
That’s it for this week! A question for you guys, and Britt, for you too, as we end the first season next week: what’s your favorite episode of Season One?
And meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she wraps up S1 and kicks off S2 with “The Ties That Bind” and “The Distance.”