Title: The O.C. S3.E16 “The Road Warrior”
The O.C. S3.E17 “The Journey”
Released: 2006
Series:  The O.C.

Drinks Taken: 19

Last week, on The O.C.

Welcome back to The O.C. Rewatch Project! Last week, Meredith asked me if I feel as much nothing as she does about Johnny’s death, and the answer is yes, yes I do. And I agree with Meredith that most of it is because his arc was so wrapped around Marissa that it bored me to tears. What is up with Marissa? She cannot be the pinnacle of women in Orange County. Has anyone met Summer? Or Kaitlin? I mean, come on. Snoozeville, population: Marissa.

Meredith ALSO asked if I’m as excited as she is to move on to the very delightful Season 4, and yes, yes I am. Season 4 is just endless fun, and Season 3 is starting to bring me down. But hey, we’re almost to the end and I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE FINALE. Anyway! Let’s drink to the death of Johnny and hopefully to the death of boring!

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

3.16 “The Road Warrior”

Oh boy, there are some relationship issues this week. Look, I don’t know that Sandy Cohen is being the best version of Sandy Cohen right now, but he’s not being outright immoral or terrible, so Kirsten’s reaction feels like an overreaction – or just maybe the showrunners just felt like Sandy and Kirsten had been too happy lately. Matt wants Maya to give the proposal to her dad, but he’s too nervous to ask and potentially ruin their relationship, so Sandy offers to do it, but Matt beats him to it, and Maya loves the proposal – but then she breaks up with Matt. Not because of the proposal, but because she’s moving to New York. And Kirsten is all grumpy with Sandy, and it’s kind of boring.

There’s enough drama elsewhere, anyway: Ryan has been spending a lot of time helping Sadie out with her aunt’s house, and there’s no denying that these two are pretty cute together. As Meredith pointed out last week, Sadie is the opposite of Marissa – she’s more optimistic, more self-sufficient and independent, and she gets where Ryan comes from. She’s even better for him than Teresa was. Ryan makes the mistake of helping Sadie track down her uncle/Johnny’s dad in an effort to collect on three years of child support because Johnny’s mom is broke, broke, broke. (To be honest, I hardly understand this plot involving Johnny’s mom being broke. She seemed okay taking care of herself and Johnny, and now with her son dead – not to be insensitive – she only has to take care of herself. But hey, it’s a plot or something.)

Johnny’s uncle and his pals kick Ryan’s ass because Sadie went aggro and started beating on the deadbeat’s truck, and Ryan and Sadie spend lots of time alone together in a hotel room playing strip poker and flirting – meanwhile, poor Marissa (wah wah wah) is stuck in Newport, pouting because Ryan won’t return her calls and has basically ditched her. No worries, though, because Volchok is scoping her out, and Marissa does love her bad boys. This will end well, I assure you.

Ryan succeeds in getting money from Johnny’s uncle, and he and Sadie head back to Newport, where he makes a call to Marissa and they break up without really saying it – they don’t need to.

Meanwhile, over in Fun Time Land! Neil has hardly been at home because he’s had a lot of late nights with Julie, but he hasn’t told Summer about their relationship yet, so she thinks her dad is working way too much and must be depressed or something. She goes to Kirsten and Julie to acquire their matchmaking services, but she’s already done most of the legwork for them: she wants a woman who is blonde (which Neil likes, apparently), is fluent in Italian, has her own money, no mental issues, and loves crossword puzzles. She’d also like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.

Julie suddenly wonders if she’s good enough for Neil, or for Summer, for that matter, so she dresses up like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and it’s pretty great:

Summer takes Seth undercover to see what her dad’s really been up to, which is the second instance of a stakeout in this episode, following Ryan and Sadie’s own spying.

Summer sees Neil with Julie, and her immediate response is “ew,” obviously, but then Seth talks to her about it and convinces her that, even though Julie married his grandpa for money, she’s actually kind of awesome. Plus, she’s really gotten her act together. Living in a trailer has a way of humbling people.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Most recognizable song

Alphaville’s cover of “Forever Young” plays during Marissa and Ryan’s phone call – as you’ll recall, it’s *their* song. Bummer City, population: Marissa. She has dual residency in Bummer City and Snoozeville.

Truest thing anyone said all week

Summer is the cutest

Summer is the realest

Influenced by her favorite television shows, Summer records her own voice over to play while she’s alone and doing things like picking out a bikini. It makes her life seem more dramatic and important, obviously. It’s also kind of the silliest, best idea.

3.17 “The Journey”

It’s Ryan’s birthday! Our little rascal is turning 18, and that’s deserving of a party! Ryan is hesitant, but the good ol’ Cohens convince him it’s a good idea – there’s just one problem: is he going to invite Marissa? If he does, that signifies the possibility that they could get back together (again), and if he doesn’t, it makes their break-up final. He does invite Sadie, though, who says she can’t make it because she has to go deal with an ex of her own up in L.A., but she gives him the adorable, wacky gift of a hammer with a comically long inscription on it. “Think of me when you pound something.” That’s kind of sexy, in a weird way.

As Summer points out, Marissa is spending all of her time out at that lifeguard station, “like a naval widow.” Ugh, Marissa, do you live there now? Go home, you’re bumming me out. Anyway, Marissa is still grieving over the loss of both Johnny and her relationship, which is understandable, though she tries to put on a happy face at school and with her mom – so she’s matured a little, I guess. Volchok is basically stalking her for some mysterious reason, as if it’s totally normal to keep hanging around some girl you don’t know and then run away every time she notices you. Eventually he reveals that his mom always wanted him to be a better kid, just like Johnny, and it makes no sense that Johnny should be dead when Volchok – who we know is a bad boy because he wears that leather jacket – is still alive. Makes sense.

Seth takes control of Ryan’s birthday, and relishes the opportunity to force his friend into doing things he’s uncomfortable with, like deciding if Marissa should go to the party, and having a party with 100 people versus the like, four people he actually knows.

Meanwhile, Summer is still figuring out how she feels about Julie and her dad, and she’s mostly OK with it until she finds a pair of cruise tickets and realizes that her dad is probably about to propose. Julie assures her they aren’t that serious just yet, but Summer thinks her dad has a cruise ship-proposal disease, which leads to this gem:

As it turns out, the cruise tickets were purchased months ago as a last ditch effort to save Neil’s previous marriage. He even bought a ring and wanted to propose to his most recent ex-wife all over again. There’s a great scene at the restaurant where Julie is clearly way more excited about their public relationship and surprise cruise trip than Neil is – it’s awesomely cringe-worthy – and although Neil is secretly as surprised about the trip as Julie is, he decides to go for it. I mean, it’s kind of strange to repurpose a cruise trip and an engagement ring which were intended for someone else, but Julie doesn’t know that. Also, that engagement ring is the size of a Ring Pop. Good lord.

Sandy locates Ryan’s mom, who’s spending time behind bars (again) for writing bad checks (again), and even though he manages to cut a deal and get her out of prison (he’s so good at that), Dawn just can’t commit to seeing Ryan – it’s heartbreaking, but I think Dawn is too scared that she might make a mistake and embarrass him again, so it’s for the best. Plus, she sends him a short but sweet letter along with a photo of them together from when Ryan was little.

Seth assures Ryan that the party will be mind-blowing:

And it kind of is – in a really ridiculous way. There are posters everywhere of Ryan imagined as various career people: a fireman, a doctor, a wrestler… a cowboy:

Plus, there’s a Foreigner cover band (because a Journey cover band was not available). Marissa made Ryan a mix CD, but she chickens out on delivering it to him at his party – the one to which she was not invited. (Ryan did, however, manage to hear the CD when he paid her a surprise visit at the trailer park and she was not home.) Instead, Marissa runs off to hang out with Volchok and drink out of his flask at the lifeguard station, which seems about right.

Sadie does show up to the party after all, and I really like the idea of her and Ryan together – she’s so mature and mellow and optimistic and realistic and all the -istics that are good to be.

How many times did I have to drink? 


Social event of the week

It’s been a while since we kept up with these, but this week is Ryan’s 18th birthday, and that calls for a little acknowledgement – although, I mean, I can barely picture any of these kids being actual kids. Like when Sadie talks about her last boyfriend, and she must have been, what, 16? Who gets that serious at 16? Your life is high school and CDs and deciding how many bracelets to wear.

Summer snap

Sandy Cohen’s eyebrows say

Sandy’s eyebrows get real soap opera this week.

Melodramatic Marissa

Her weird freakout panic attack at the rebuilt model home is so over the top and ridiculous. Most people would be like, “Oh, what a coinkydink.” Marissa is like “OH MY GOD MY WORLD IS ENDING THIS IS WHERE WE HAD A SPECIAL TIME.” It’d be more understandable if she was having a panic attack because she had to stand next to Cam Gigandet while he does his wacky bad boy acting at her.

That’s it for this week! I have a question for Meredith: what do you think of Volchok? His stalker act is so weird and his cold shoulder behavior is even weirder – it’s like he’s on the spectrum or something and has trouble with “normal” social behavior. Then again, he’s right up Marissa’s alley, so…

Join Meredith here next week as she covers “The Undertow” and “The Secrets and Lies”! We’re almost to the end of Season 3, guys! 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.