Title: The O.C. S2.E06 “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t”
The O.C. S2.E07 “The Family Ties”
Released: 2004
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 47

Last week, on The O.C.

It’s already Chrismukkah again! Wow, how time flies. Last week, Britt asked me if I’d figured out Caleb’s “big secret” when I was watching this show live, and the answer is TOTALLY. But The O.C. certainly managed to surprise me on the Lindsay front. I remember actually gasping aloud when Lindsay sees Renee at the Cohens’ house and says, “Mom?” Well done, writers!

Let’s drink to increasingly complex family dynamics!

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 (three times for pool fights!)
Someone grabs a cup of coffee
Ryan and Seth read comic books
Someone reminds us that Kaitlin Cooper exists

On to the episodes!

2.6 “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t”

Chrismukkah is here again and, as reliable as the tides, Seth is responding with a tremendous amount of dorky and obsessive cheer. He’s convinced this is the year that Chrismukkah will sweep the nation while simultaneously fearing a Chrismukkah backlash, and it’s all cute and nerdy enough to make me forgive him for all of the dumb shit he’s been pulling over the last two weeks.

But a cloud threatens to hang over our favorite holiday, as Caleb’s still refusing to admit to his affair with Renee in order to keep himself out of jail (reminder: the prosecutor’s office thinks he once bribed Renee to hide some illegal dealings, when in fact he was giving her money to hide some adulterous – but not illegal – dealings), and Renee’s refusing to come clean, as well. It all comes to a head at the Chrismukkah party that includes, thanks to an inviting/uninviting/reinviting debacle that I won’t recount here, Seth, Ryan, Summer, Marissa, Lindsay, Kirsten, Sandy, Julie, Caleb, Jimmy and Renee. So that’s eight exes, two adulterous couples, a new girlfriend who hates the old girlfriend and an illegitimate love child. Party!! 

As you might expect, the holiday ends poorly. Lindsay runs out crying with an apologetic Renee hot on her heels, Caleb gets two slaps for the price of one and Kirsten loses her goddamn mind, throwing a vase against the wall, trying to beat the ever-loving shit out of Caleb and then locking herself in her closet. Look, Kirsten, it sucks that your father cheated on your mother seventeen years ago, but this reaction is OUT OF SORTS. You’re an adult. Please try to act like one. Also, it’s Caleb. How does anything he’s done surprise you?

A defeated Seth tells Ryan, Marissa and Summer that Chrismukkah is canceled, but one Ms. Summer Roberts is NOT having that. (The best thing – when Marissa is fondly recalling last Chrismukkah and Summer says, “Yeah, I got rejected by Cohen in a Wonder Woman costume and you got caught shoplifting.”) She’s got a plan: she and Marissa work to decorate the Cohens’ house with a quickness (we know Summer’s good at that), while Ryan is sent to coax Kirsten out of the closet. He does so swiftly and brilliantly, by reminding her that this sucks most for Lindsay, and when Kirsten sniffles through the door, “Is she okay?” he responds, “Well, that depends on whether or not she figures out she’s part of a family that’s pretty good at letting in new members.” Not even Crybaby Kirsten can resist that Chino charm, and she opens the door and admits, “Good line.”

Meanwhile, Seth’s sent to convince Lindsay to return, and he does so by ribbing her gently until she can’t help but laugh at her dorky…what, nephew? This group is so incestuous. He also calls back to “The Debut” by recycling this terrific line:

It works, and Lindsay heads back to the Cohens’ house to find the glorious, gorgeous scene you see at the beginning of this episode’s write-up. She and Kirsten – sisters! – embrace as Renee looks on sweetly, and Seth tells Summer she saved Chrismukkah, and everyone is nice to each other (the Gruesome Twosome weren’t invited, which makes it easier) and they eat latkes and drink eggnog and maybe I cry a little, okay.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best Seth Cohen line

He calls Summer “Tiny Tim” after her Saving Chrismukkah speech, which is hilarious because Summer is tiny.

Best Sandy Cohen line

He calls Caleb and Julie “Grinch” and “Mrs. Grinch,” which is hilarious because Caleb and Julie are dicks.

Best pop culture reference

At last year’s Chrismukkah, the Cohens evidently watched Over the Top, and Ryan promises Lindsay they can watch it again this year. 

Ryan: “I think I could watch that movie a hundred times and never get sick of it.”

Most egregious hat

Seriously, S2 Summer. GET IT TOGETHER. 

Most amazing hat


Julie Cooper bitchery

She slaps Caleb and acts awfully self-righteous at the discovery that he cheated on his first wife, and all the while she’s currently cheating on him with her ex-husband. This bish’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Truest thing anybody said this week

Summer, after the big blowout, sighs, “Suddenly, my family doesn’t seem so dysfunctional,” and Marissa replies, “You do know this is my family, too?” Summer: “Right, sorry. I forget sometimes. It’s confusing.” It really is, Sum.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Look, we all like Zach and Alex, but we also want Seth and Summer back together as soon as possible. So when Summer kisses his cheek under the mistletoe and shows a little sadness when Marissa refers to Alex as Seth’s girlfriend, it’s a good thing.

Most recognizable song

Seth has written a Chrismukkah anthem that begins with the lyrics, “Moses and Jesus, they both have beards.” And…

Of course it is, Cohen.

2.7 “The Family Ties”

Everyone’s still reeling a bit from all of the revelations of the last episode, but none more so than Ryan and Lindsay, who have to figure out what, exactly, they are to each other in light of the fact that they’ve made out but they’re also sort of related. Well, Seth knows exactly what they are to each other: Lindsay is Ryan’s “surrogate mother’s illegitimate half-sister,” and when he puts it like that, it does sound awfully simple. Anyway, they’re awkward the whole episode, especially Ryan, who fears that kissing Lindsay will be like kissing his sister. But at the end of the hour, they finally put that theory to the test with a crazy hot make-out sesh that is interrupted by Kirsten, who thankfully didn’t see anything. Yet. We all know this Kirsten bomb is about to drop, but in the meantime, she’s just being a sweet friend – neither is ready to use the word sister – to Lindsay. They go out shopping together and she invites Lindsay over for dinner, and this whole thing is complicated but also sort of nice.

Also nice? Seth Cohen, who drops by Alex’s place to say hi after the Christmas break. It’s 3pm and she’s just woken up, crazy hungover after a night of partying with her super tough and cool-looking friends. She calls Seth “nice” about 25 times, which, naturally, sends Seth down a neurotic spiral. He decides he’s going to toughen up his image, and he does so in the least effective ways ever.

He brings a flask to the Bait Shop and commences getting CRAZY wasted on his “good friend John” (He probably means Jack. Or Jim), vomiting all over the merch table and accidentally spilling the beans to Summer that Zach kissed his much older ex-flame over holiday break. (They make up, it’s fine.) Then he gets grounded, sneaks out, steals his grandfather’s Aston Martin and drives it over to Alex’s. I know, this sounds like the worst Cohen ever, but it really isn’t. He was genuinely trying to keep Zach’s secret, and none of his decisions here are particularly selfish. They’re just obsessive, but not SELF-obsessive, and he’s kinda cute the whole time, trying to be tough while failing spectacularly. Anyway, Alex finally tells him that she likes him because he’s a good guy, not a bad boy, and he realizes what a dumb endeavor this whole thing has been just in time for the cops to show up, looking for Caleb’s car. 

Finally: Jimmy Is The Actual Worst. All of Caleb’s charges have been dropped and he’s ready to go home to Julie – but Julie, meanwhile, just wants to keep banging Jimmy on his boat. Marissa sees them making out and is DEVASTATED, and tells Jimmy, completely rightfully, that it’s time he grows up and starts acting like a real dad. Here’s how this idiot interprets that: he decides to move to Maui to charter yachts. Marissa is pissed, and I’m right there with her. She’s a mess, and it’s almost entirely Jimmy and Julie’s fault. Mostly Julie’s, and now he’s abandoning his daughter to the mother who screwed her up in the first place. Marissa tells him he’s the only thing that’s been keeping her sane, and that doesn’t convince him to stay in the slightest. “It should be interesting to see how things go,” she says. She’s not wrong.

So Kirsten throws Jimmy a going away party, and he says a sweet goodbye to Julie, to Kirsten, to Sandy. And then Marissa shows up, completely trashed, and causes a huge scene, calling Julie a whore and a slut and Jimmy a thief. She handles this terribly, as Marissa handles most things, but I really do feel awful for her – when she tells her dad she needs him, he responds by moving to Hawaii. Anyway, they make up and spend the night talking on the beach, and then a tired, sad Marissa shows up the next morning at the Cohens’ house with a bag of bagels. She does this because she needs a family, and that crazy, incestuous, dysfunctional unit is the best family she knows. (Me too.) Of course, they’re already eating bagels because it’s the Cohens, but they quickly throw their own bagels away and start toasting hers, a sign of true love and support. Sandy teaches Marissa the proper way to schmear, Ryan gives her a hug – everyone is so sweet to her, and it’s a really lovely way to end the episode, a reminder – as The O.C. always is – that when your family lets you down, your friends can be the best family there is.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Best Seth Cohen line

When he hears that Zach accidentally made out with his former tutor, an older, twice-divorced woman with kids, during Christmas vacation, he exclaims, “Holy eighties teen comedy plot!”

Best Sandy Cohen line

As Seth is still fretting about being too nice, having offered to make a hungover Alex a sandwich, he says, “It’s like the more edgy and dangerous she became, the more I became like a Jewish grandmother.” Sandy replies, “Not your grandmother.

Best Summer burn

Upon realizing that Seth is drunk, “Ew! Your breath smells like Marissa’s!” That burn’s a twofer, ladies and gentlemen. 

Most bromantic moment

Ryan takes care of dumb, drunk Seth in the cutest and most solicitous way. He keeps trying to get Seth to keep his voice down so he doesn’t get caught by Sandy and Kirsten, but of course he does get caught, because this is Drunk Seth’s idea of stealth: 

Most meta moment

When Ryan reminds Seth that he vomited the night before, Seth replies, “How much vomit? Like are we talking the little girl in Sixth Sense or the fat guy in Monty Python?” Of course, the little girl in Sixth Sense is Mischa Barton!

(Sorry that’s gross.)

Best shout-out

Seth, trying to look tough, borrows one of Ryan’s wife-beaters and looks AMAZINGLY ridiculous. He also asks Ryan if he knows where his old wrist cuff and leather choker are! This show is so good at making fun of itself.

Most recognizable song

Modest Mouse heads to the Bait Shop! I love Modest Mouse. They play several recognizable songs, but the ep ends with their most recognizable, “The World at Large,” probably because these lyrics most relate to Stupid Jimmy: “Gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand. I move on to another day, to a whole new town with a whole new way.”

Social event of the week

Jimmy’s going away party, which ends in tears, fisticuffs (well, Marissa shoves Julie) and chaos, as every O.C. social event must. Therefore…

The truest thing anybody said this week

Kirsten, teasing Jimmy, “Well, you said you wanted a good, old-fashioned O.C. party.”

The least true thing anybody said this week

Jimmy, explaining to Kirsten and Sandy why he feels he “must” go: “In the last year I’ve nearly been arrested and bankrupt for stealing from my clients, I got punched out at my daughter’s cotillion, I lost my house, my family, I tried to kiss [Kirsten], which I still feel terrible about, I spent the summer drunk on a boat with [Kirsten’s] 25-year-old sister, and now I’m getting back together with the woman who started all this in the first place.” Okay, almost all of that is very true, until you get to the part where Julie started all this. No, Jimmy, YOU started this. You cheated your clients, stole from your friends and broke the law. It NEVER sat well with me that you blamed your thievery on Julie’s high-maintenance lifestyle, and the fact that you’re doing it again to excuse your daughter-abandoning jaunt to Maui makes me want to throttle you. Smell ya later!

That’s it for this week! Britt, I’ve got a question for ya: are you as mad at Jimmy as I am? This plot has always affronted me. And please comment on what it does to your Adam Brody crush to see his scrawny arms in a saggy wife-beater. 

Meet Britt here next Wednesday morning as she covers “The Power of Love” and “The Ex-Factor.”


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.