Title: The O.C. S2.E12 “The Lonely Hearts Club”
The O.C. S2.E13 “The Father Knows Best”
Released: 2005
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 27

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome to this week’s installment of The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week, a very understandably pained Meredith asked me why on earth the writers had to introduce Rebecca and screw up the beautiful Cohen marriage. I mean, if we’re being rational, it was for drama. But my irrational side is with Meredith on this one and it’s so unnecessary! They are the loving stability and normalcy this show desperately needs. Let the kids have the drama. Let Julie Cooper screw up her marriages. LEAVE THE COHENS ALONE.

Whew. Let’s drink to cope with this Rebecca Bloom nonsense.

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

2.12 “The Lonely Hearts Club”

This is a real downer of an episode. The whole thing with Sandy and Rebecca is so heartbreaking – not because they’ve been torn apart and they still can’t be together (ugh), but because it’s tearing Kirsten apart. Sandy attempts to kick Valentine’s Day off early after his major screw-up last year, but Kirsten is rightfully pissed that he lied to her about Rebecca, so she’s not having any of this romantic overture BS. So he decides to remove himself from Rebecca’s case, even though Kirsten never asked him to, but it’s the right thing to do for his marriage. It’s a step.

But that step is quickly undone once Rebecca’s father passes away peacefully on a park bench by the beach, and Rebecca feels even more isolated. After repairing things with Kirsten and getting a reservation at the Arches, Sandy gets an all-too-conveniently-timed phone call from Rebecca, who’s skipping town and running from her problems again. Faced with the choice of going to dinner with his wife or saying goodbye to his ex-fiancée, Sandy chooses the latter, and Kirsten’s face says everything about how terrible this is. Kelly Rowan is so, so great at crestfallen looks. Some people have resting bitch face. She has resting disappointed face.

It’s bad enough that Sandy ditches Kirsten, but even worse that he kisses Rebecca goodbye and tells her that he wishes she never ran off in the first place. Why, Sandy, why? So you could have had a life together? Clearly you are forgetting your amazing wife, whom you never would have met if Rebecca had stayed. Sandy has the wrong perspective on this situation. What makes this arc even more terrible (as if it could get worse, but it does) is Sandy missing out on dinner with Kirsten, who closes their bedroom door in his face when he finally returns home. I know Meredith and I hate this Rebecca Bloom plot, and a lot of you probably do, too, but I have to concede that it’s one of the more emotionally stirring plots of the series. It’s drama done correctly, and not just because it’s executed well, but because Sandy and Kirsten are such lovable, amazing characters whom we care about so, so much, making the pain of this whole situation almost unbearable to watch.

Also happening this week in Bummer City: Seth, Zach, and Summer head off to San Diego, while Seth frets about his renewed (but come on, did it ever die?) love for Summer. Seth is now in the same position Summer was in when he was dating Anna, and it’s both charming and kind of sad to see the roles reversed. When Summer was the third wheel, it felt more comedic. With Seth it just seems pitiful and desperate when he plops down between Summer and Zach in their hotel bed and tries to keep them up watching TV all night.

That doesn’t work, and while Summer and Zach are well-rested for their meeting with the comic book publishers, Seth is strung out, presenting some weird new romantic subplot that he never approved with Zach and Summer. Thanks to Seth’s weirdly aggressive pitch, the publisher tells them to come back when they’re on the same page.

Caleb and Lindsay seem to be getting along nicely, and it’s real sweet, but don’t think for a second that Caleb has completely changed his ways. He still despises Ryan with a WASPy resentment, and when Ryan attempts to apologize so everyone can just get along (and so he can take Lindsay out on a V-Day date), Caleb sneers and refuses to accept. Of course. OF COURSE. But Ryan isn’t totally giving up, and he returns to challenge Caleb to a round of pool – if Ryan wins, everyone has to get along for Lindsay’s sake, but if Caleb wins, Ryan will bow out and stay out of their orbit. It’s all very Color of Money, as Caleb acknowledges, and as expected, Ryan wins, so Caleb has to suck it up.

Marissa and Alex are having a nice time and are probably the happiest and healthiest couple in this week’s episode, which is kind of shocking because, come on, this is Marissa. There’s definitely a sense that Marissa is using Alex (even subconsciously) to annoy Julie, who’s back from Europe and still trying to force a working relationship with her daughter. Thanks to some smart advice from Alex, Marissa successfully navigates dinner with Julie so she can run right back to Alex. Although she balks at the idea of having their first date on Valentine’s Day, Alex changes her mind for an impromptu walk down to the beach to watch the tides change – a ritual she has for when something major is changing in her life. I love Alex (and Olivia Wilde), but that’s super corny. Of course Marissa loves it. Of course.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best Seth Cohen line

Seth: “It was the most sexually charged nose graze in the history of nose grazes. It was basically nose humping.”

Oh, Grandpa

Caleb plays Mad Libs with Lindsay and it is the cutest. Post-heart attack Caleb is fun! Until he’s not, of course. Of course.

Not my Sandy Cohen

Sandy is the worst this week, and it breaks my heart into pieces to say it. He lies to Kirsten, then ditches her on Valentine’s Day (her favorite holiday) so he can say goodbye to Rebecca, whom he ends up kissing. It is so inappropriate and awful and I hate everything about this so, so much.

Into it

I kind of dig strung out Seth Cohen with his even crazier hair and tired eyes. 

I mean, it’s kind of hot, right?

2.13 “The Father Knows Best”

I wish I could say that things are looking up, but “The Father Knows Best” is still pretty much a bummer. Sure, Seth not showering and continuing to look mega strung out is fun – the crazier he gets, the bigger his hair gets. Seth is distraught and irrationally desperate to know if Summer and Zach hooked up in San Diego – as if there’s still hope for him if they didn’t. Summer stages a quick intervention with Seth, asserting that this part of her life no longer belongs to him now (so true and wonderfully stated), but she throws him a pity bone and lets him off the hook by telling him that she has not had sex with Zach.

Later, Zach undoes Summer’s good-doing by telling Seth that he wasn’t waiting for marriage, but for the right girl and the right moment, which is why he plans on having sex with Summer in Italy. Pause for a moment: teenage sex is so melodramatic. Planning when and where you’ll have sex is so ridiculous. Let these things happen when they happen, guys. But Summer admits to Marissa that she wasn’t sure that she wanted to have sex with Zach in San Diego because she can’t get Seth out of her head. So maybe there’s hope for Seth yet.

Meanwhile, Julie snakes her way into Caleb’s business with Lindsay, as expected, and plants a giant seed of doubt about his paternity. Caleb never got a paternity test because he needed to keep the affair on the DL, and Lindsay’s mom has been accepting payments from him ever since. Julie has a point, as much as we all hate to admit it: Caleb is a rich dude, and no one could blame Renee for taking the money all these years even if she wasn’t sure that Caleb is Lindsay’s dad. It’s just that Julie’s approach is rooted in self-interest and greed, which is par for the course but still kind of awful.

Even though Caleb is planning this huge adoption party at the Nichol Mansion, he’s intent on getting the paternity test. The old Sandy Cohen we know and love pops up with some advice, telling Caleb that if he loves Lindsay, it shouldn’t matter. But it does matter because this is Caleb Nichol, so he lets the party move forward as planned while still intending to move forward with the test, which is incredibly absurd and mean-spirited. Renee tries to dissuade Lindsay from the adoption, and when that doesn’t work, she enlists Ryan’s help after admitting that Caleb might not be Lindsay’s dad after all.

Poor Lindsay. All this drama is revolving around her, and it’s not fair to her to feel so burdened when all she wants is to have a father. Caleb tells her that he wants the paternity test and Julie “saves the party” by announcing her plans for the Newport Living magazine so no one has to know why they were actually having a party. Plus, Julie gets to talk about herself and get all the attention, which is her favorite thing to do besides have money.

Things with Sandy and Kirsten are not much better this week, though they are on speaking terms and delicately taking steps to repair the damage, even with a surprise visit from the FBI. Things are somewhat okay until Kirsten pays Rebecca a visit and asks her a couple of questions: Is she still in love with Sandy? (She is.) And how far is she willing to go to let him ruin the family he’s been working to build while Rebecca’s been off ignoring real life? That’s enough to get Rebecca to ditch town, but it sets Sandy off. And honestly, he has no right to be pissed at Kirsten at all. She’s been so trusting (a little too much, maybe) and letting Sandy distance himself from their marriage to help Rebecca, as much as it pains her, and for all the trust she gives him, she deserves it back tenfold. But Sandy isn’t sure he can trust Kirsten right now because she chased Rebecca off (not her fault – totally Sandy’s), to which she counters, “Then we’ve got some bigger issues to deal with.”

Alex and Marissa are once again the only bright spot in an otherwise downer episode, with Marissa fretting over whether or not to tell Summer about the relationship and unsure that she’s ready for the commitment. It’s understandable, but eventually she tells Summer who is – as expected – very supportive, and she and Alex end the evening so happy together. And now we wait for the other shoe to drop. And it will because this is Marissa.

How many times did I have to drink? 


The social event of the week

Lindsay’s adoption party, which is actually a “Surprise, you’re getting a paternity test!” party. Sad trombone.

Best Julie Cooper bitchery

Julie: “I should run. You two take care. What a cute little house.”

Best pop culture reference

Seth hasn’t taken a shower in two days, and Sandy notes that he “Smells like Teen Spirit to me.” Also, Hellboy is a very therapeutic movie about a guy who tries to do good but destroys everything. Relatable.

Most recognizable song

“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars is appropriately playing when Zach tells Seth he’s going to have sex with Summer in Italy, and again later when Seth goes to see Summer and gives her his blessing.

Words of wisdom from The Valley

“Relationships are like geese. They fly north in the winter.”

That’s it for this week’s episodes! I have a question for you, Meredith: do you find Caleb’s desire for a paternity test reasonable or totally awful? I have to admit, as a levelheaded adult I’m inclined to agree that it’s a good idea. And also: how stoked are you to see Rebecca Bloom go away?

Thanks for joining us again, guys, and we’ll see you here next week when Meredith covers “The Rainy Day Women” and “The Mallpisode,” which are both really great episodes, so get pumped.

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.