Title: The O.C. S3.E04 “The Last Waltz”
The O.C. S3.E05 “The Perfect Storm”
Released: 2005
Series:  The O.C.

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome back to The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week, Meredith asked me how I feel about Taylor, and I am so very pumped. Taylor, while seemingly a bit of a pain and possibly maniacal, is such a joy. She’s fun, and this show could use some fun after Season 2’s atrocities. I am very much Team Taylor. I am also very much Team Sweet Seth Is Finally Back.

Let’s drink to the return of lovable Seth!

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

3.4 “The Last Waltz”

It’s Marissa’s first day of school! At Newport Union, anyway. The show goes to great pains to make it clear that Newport Union, a public school, is not as great as Harbor, which is more elite and for Children of Privilege. Mostly the episode does this by relying on generic rock guitar riffs, to show you that this place is edgy. It’s not edgy. Anyway, let’s meet the new kids! There’s Heather, who is awful and totally has it out for Marissa, tormenting her about the shooting and her princess outfits. To be fair, Marissa does look very princess-y. Maybe not such a great idea to flaunt your privilege to kids who don’t come from money and who have to work twice as hard for their future, which tends to discourage them from working very hard at all. I know a little something about this, and I think Harbor is a great place for Marissa to learn some real things about life beyond her melodramatic, spoiled existence.

But she also makes new friends! Johnny (who is cute), his girlfriend Casey (also sweet and adorable), and Chili (NO ONE CALLS HIM THAT), who is a total doofus. I like Marissa’s new pals, but they’re very much like sitcom versions of cool public school kids, with skateboards and hoodies and low-slung jeans. They’re just so optimistic and sweet and eager to be Marissa’s pal! In contrast to her brooding, they look relentlessly positive and goofy, but that positivity also makes Marissa’s brooding seem silly and melodramatic, so it’s a weird combo.

Anyway, there are TWO school dances this week: There’s one at Newport U, where Chili spikes the punch and the gang has to get Marissa to stop moping about Mean Heather (I hardly think it’s a coincidence that her name is Heather). While Ryan has been very kind and understanding about Marissa’s new school situation, giving her some space and trying to keep his overactive punch tendencies in check, he’s also scared to lose her, which is why he almost crashes the Harbor dance – until Seth stops him, skateboard in tow, lookin’ real casual sophisticated in his shorts, coat, and tie. What a cutie.

The other dance provides much more drama: Taylor (bless her) appeals to Summer’s kind heart by explaining that she’s aware that her attitude and behavior haven’t earned her many (read: any) friends, so she offers to help with the dance, and Summer reluctantly agrees because she’s a good person. But Taylor uses the opportunity to trick Summer into confessing her involvement with the tiki incident to Dean Hess, effectively losing her Social Chair position, which ends up going to – you guessed it – Taylor. That sneaky Taylor!

Even worse: Taylor doesn’t thank Summer for all her hard work putting the dance together. Worse than that: She thanks Dean Hess in front of everyone, instead. EVEN WORSE: She looks straight at Summer when she refers to the dance as a recognition of “the end of Summer.”

But while Seth is away dealing with Ryan, Summer discovers something shocking: Taylor and Dean Hess have a very inappropriate relationship. It’s totally gross. This info should come in handy, though.

Back in the land of grown-ups, Kirsten has decided to sell the Newport Group and really allow herself some closure on that extended chapter of her life. Charlotte is absolutely stunned to find out that Caleb left Kirsten – and everyone else – with nothing because he was broke. That’s not going to stop Charlotte and her Bland White Guy boyfriend from scheming, which seems pretty stupid – like, what are you going to get out of Kirsten now? A quiche recipe? It’s probably just okay because she just learned how to cook.

As for poor Julie (both literally and figuratively), she’s being evicted from her gorgeous home, which means Marissa has to crash with Summer for a while (totally okay with this), and Julie has to shack up in a motel until she can pull some money together. Marissa trusts Julie when she assures her that they will survive (cue up some Destiny’s Child), but she’s also hilarious because she thinks Julie actually has some money saved up for this rainy day situation. Marissa with the jokes!

Most ridiculous thing anyone said with a straight face this week

Dean Hess admonishes Seth and Summer, “Like I said, you give up the person who helped you steal the tiki hut, and this will all go a lot easier for you.” Does he even hear himself?

Best pop culture reference

Sandy informs Ryan that his new tutor was the tutor for Sylvester Stallone’s kids.

No one calls him Chili

Except they all do, and I wish they would stop.

Sweet Seth is the best

Seth: “It’s like you’ve brought the ocean to us, my little human tsunami.”

Most recognizable song

Youth Group’s cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young.” It’s Ryan and Marissa’s song now! Which is cute, but I’m already getting tired of their cute again.

3.5 “The Perfect Storm”

This week, on The O.C.: Ryan wears Bad Idea Jeans! Harbor is hosting a “college circus,” as Summer calls it, which is actually just a college fair, for senior students to meet and greet with reps from various colleges and begin planning their future.

Since Dean Hess has kicked Ryan out of Harbor and attached a shady note to his file, Ryan’s college prospects are looking decidedly grim. He knows it, and even after Sandy gets the OK from Dr. Kim (bless her) to let Ryan attend the college fair, Hess threatens to have Ryan removed by security – so Ryan decides to fire his tutor and strike out on his own. No Atwood ever went to college, let alone made it through high school, so he feels like he accomplished something, kind of.

Marissa finds out, of course, and despairs because there’s no talking Ryan out of something once he’s made up his mind. So Johnny decides to talk to Ryan, which seems like a really nice thing for him to do – until he tells Ryan about his uncle’s fishing boat, which goes out for weeks at a time and offers decent money for hard labor. Ryan thinks this is a great job opportunity. Dammit, Johnny. What is Johnny up to, here, exactly? This seems like a real shady move, but then he’s so earnest when Marissa asks him why he helped Ryan ditch his future. It’s hard to get a read on this Johnny kid.

Meanwhile, Summer is annoyed because Seth doesn’t believe that Taylor and Dean Hess are actually having an icky affair, but he is impressed with her scheming – she’s going to bust these two inappropriate lovebirds and use the proof as leverage to get Ryan back into Harbor. Taylor likes to exchange gross texts with Dean Hess, so Summer sees an opportunity to use that against her.

Also, Taylor’s juvenile texts to Hess are pretty dumb. I mean:

“To: Dartman 4 u / Lol U R SO NAWTY”

So Summer and Seth get their own bedazzled Sidekick, which looks just like Taylor’s, and Summer tells Taylor that she saw Dean Hess making out with the gym teacher, which leads Taylor to confront Dean Hess at the college fair.

After Summer fakes a romantic apology letter from Hess to Taylor, she gets Taylor to show up at what is apparently the only motel in the O.C. Busted. And the first person they’re going to tell: Sandy Cohen. He’ll know what to do.

And he does! He gets real sneaky by confronting Dean Hess with the copycat Sidekick, telling Hess that he has photos of him and Taylor making out. He never offers to show the nonexistent photos, but it’s enough to spook Hess into not only letting Ryan back into Harbor, but vacating his position. Monster: vanquished.

Meanwhile, Charlotte is still plotting away – she pops in to visit Kirsten, who’s just told Julie about a solid deal on a very nice condo. Charlotte takes note of this, and makes an appointment to see the same condo Julie’s checking out. Since everyone knows everyone else’s business in the O.C., the condo agent is very snide to Julie (it’s a total Pretty Woman moment), even though she has a purse full of cash and is ready to make a down payment. Then Charlotte swoops in, adding insult to injury. Later, Charlotte pops by the ONLY MOTEL IN THE O.C., and offers a free condo to Julie. “I bought it for you,” she says, and Julie knows better than to trust such generosity. But she does anyway, hesitantly, and takes the condo. I don’t know what Charlotte’s playing at (no, seriously, I don’t remember how this goes), but it seems like a really dumb idea to spend $30k on rehab and then another, what, $20-$50k as a downpayment on a condo just to try and swindle poor people.

Sandy tries and fails to use his “Jedi mind meld” on Ryan to get him to stay. And before you say hey, that’s wrong, he’s mixing his Star Wars and Star Trek references – he’s not. There is such a thing as a Jedi mind meld. I know this because I googled it. Thanks, Google.

Anyway, Ryan is determined to get on this stupid fishing boat, and Sandy signs the waiver to allow him to do it. The Cohens plan a farewell dinner, and Marissa (who was the last to know that Ryan was leaving) is understandably furious, and unable to contain her anger at dinner. Later, after a talk with Johnny, she visits Ryan at the pier and tells him why she’s really upset: her dad ran away from his problems on a boat too, and running away never solved Jimmy Cooper’s problems. This is the thing that finally convinces Ryan to stay – it’s not that he thinks he has much of a future with school, but he doesn’t want to abandon a future with Marissa. His priorities are so wonky. At least he recently prioritized that haircut.

How you can tell it’s 2005

Remember Sidekicks? Those were definitely a thing.

Stay classy, Julie Cooper

Kirsten introduces Charlotte as a friend she made in rehab, and rather than scoff, Julie asks if she was a doctor there – it’s not polite to make assumptions, you know, even though her assumptions were correct.

Best pop culture reference

Once again, Summer nails it.

Summer: “Welcome to the Terrordome, Townsend.”

How did I never notice this? 

Ryan has a Journey poster in his room. That seems accurate.

Cute Seth is cute

Seth: “We’re not gonna call her, my little dim sum, we’re going to text her.”

Meredith, I have a question for you: I know we were both so happy to see Marissa and Ryan being normal and cute again, but I’m sort of getting annoyed with it now. Are you?

Alright guys, that’s all for this week – but be sure to check back here next Wednesday morning as Meredith covers “The Swells” and “The Anger Management.”

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.