Previously: Another effing dance in The OC ends with someone getting punched in the face.
The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t
Amanda: Before we get into this recap, a little bit of context about my history with The OC. I watched seasons one and two when it aired on TV and actually own season one on DVD. I happen to think that season one is one of the greatest seasons of TV ever, and it definitely was my very favorite season of TV as a teenager. However, I haven’t seen season two since it aired. In my mind, The OC ended during the season one finale.
So! With that, let’s get into “The Chrismukkah that Almost Wasn’t.” (Full disclosure: I asked to recap this episode because Chrismukkah is one of the first things that come to mind when I think of Seth Cohen/The OC.) (S: And this is a great episode for any Seth Cohen Chrismukkah fan.)
“Previously on The OC.” Man, I can’t even identify whose voice it is that says that. It has been a LONG time since I’ve seen season two! Trying to figure out where this episode falls in my The OC memories should be fun. (I think the voiceover might be Kirsten?) (S: At first I thought it was Alex/Olivia Wilde, but that makes very little sense, so I’m pretty sure you’re right.) Whoa. I forgot Ryan had a girlfriend other than Marissa. Wait. Mom?! ARE THEY RELATED? God I can’t remember anything that happened this season.
Marines: But at least so far your lack of memories has been very entertaining.
Amanda: The episode begins with Sandy and Caleb talking on the pier by the water. They’re complaining about the cold – 50F in December, to which I say HAHAHAHAHA as someone who’s weathered a polar vortex as well as winters in Chicago and Beijing. Californians. So typical. (M: I laughed so much, because also Floridians.)
Caleb’s in hot water unless he tells the truth about… something? A CHILD? Lindsay. Oh, Ryan’s girl! (Thanks, “Previously on The OC.”) Sandy insists that Caleb has what’s coming to him. I’m okay with that; I’ve never liked Caleb. Sandy washes his hands of Caleb and says “Happy holidays” as he walks away. What’s the point of wishing him a happy holiday season if he’s going to be done with him? Seems like wasted breath.
The scene cuts to Seth fiddling with the menorah and Ryan helping set up the Christmas tree. Chrismukkah indeed. Seth wants to take it national and has even created a Chrismukkah work wheel. (I feel like Seth and Hermione would’ve gotten along very well. His work wheel seems like something Hermione would’ve created for S.P.E.W.) A+ to Seth on his ugly Christmas sweater while working on his Jew-cruitment of Jewish people to join in the Chrismukkah celebrations. He can’t even recruit Sandy – he’s just walked past the living room and insisted that Seth leave him out of it.
CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME, RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM.
(God, I love this song so much. And this show. All of the feels are coming back to me. I seriously adored this show so much in high school.) (S: I’m having a lot of fun watching all the one time watchers explain why it’s actually terrible, but I love it all the same. That high school love runs deep.)
Seth is telling Ryan he wants JoJo to record the Chrismukkah anthem, to which I say WHOA, I forgot about JoJo. Wasn’t she like 12 or 13 when she made it big? I always did like Leave (Get Out). Wonder what she’s up to nowadays…
Mari: Wikipedia just told me she sued her record label, settled out of court, got a new label and released an EP as recently as 2014. THE MORE YOU KNOW.
Amanda: Okay, back to The OC. Jimmy is getting veeeeeery horizontal with someone — can’t tell if it’s Julie or Hailey. I remember he had relationships with both during this show but I can’t remember who he was with when. “Cheating on your husband with your ex-husband” okay, this is Julie, and she’s boning Jimmy whilst still married to Caleb. Classic Julie Cooper-Nichol, getting cozy with who she can, when she can. (Remember Luke?!) (S: UGH, DON’T REMIND ME.)
Sandy is meeting with someone on the pier, a “clandestine meeting.” Not sure who the character is but HEY that’s Toby’s ex-wife and mother of his twins from The West Wing!! She might be going to jail? It sounds like she’s Lindsay’s mom. And Caleb’s former lover, if Caleb is Lindsay’s father. Why the secrecy? HOW DO THEY KNOW ABOUT LINDSAY? More importantly… DO RYAN AND LINDSAY KNOW? I know they’re not related, because Ryan is like adopted into the Cohen family, but it’s still weird, and if I were him or Lindsay I’d definitely want to know about this.
Cut to Ryan and Lindsay studying at school during what I presume to be a free period. Lindsay is telling Ryan how she never heard or got presents from her dad during Christmas, because she never knew who he was. She claims to have stopped believing in her dad the way kids stop believing in Santa. Aw man. I wonder if the knowledge that Caleb is her dad is going to make her happy or upset? (M: To go with the anology here, this is kind of like telling Lindsay her real dad is the Grinch. Super sad.) Has she even met Caleb yet? GOD, I CAN’T REMEMBER ANYTHING FROM THIS SEASON. (S: This plot quickly came back to me, but the big reveal at the end of the last episode totally caught me off guard too.)
Marissa and Summer are sitting in the cafe place in their high school. It reminds me a lot of the beloved on-campus cafe at my college. Weird that they are in high school with that sort of cafe, but whatever. Seth wishes them a merry Chrismukkah and Marissa and Summer aren’t having it. Seth is not discouraged and invites the girls to celebrate Chrismukkah at the Cohen house. They immediately accept and walk away.
Julie and Kirsten are at work and apparently Julie has missed a meeting. She blames her assistant but hey hey, we all know she was busy making sure Jimmy was meeting her needs. Kirsten comments on the fact that she recognizes Julie’s ringtone for Jimmy on her phone. Julie tries to be all casual and ignore his call, but Kirsten is harping on her about the status of her relations with Jimmy. Kirsten loses interest in the conversation and leaves the office, but come on, Julie. I expect better from you when it comes to keeping it together in the office after morning sex. If the rest of the world can do it, so can you.
Seth tells Ryan that he invited Marissa to Chrismukkah and Ryan starts freaking out because he’s also invited Lindsay. The boys agree that it’d be too weird for both Marissa and Lindsay to be there, and then Seth starts worrying about the Chrismukkah backlash from trying to make it too big of a thing. SETH, CHRISMUKKAH IS NOT THE ISSUE HERE. THE ISSUE IS THAT YOU TWO BOYS ARE IDIOTS WHEN IT COMES TO GIRLS. Is Seth dating anyone right now? I assume not since Summer said she was missing Zach but someone please get Seth a girlfriend so he can stop harping on about Chrismukkah when clearly no one around him wants to hear it. Seems like Seth’s got some pent up energies that might be put to better use.
Sweeney: Sure, nobody wants to hear him talk Chrismukkah, but also Seth’s lack of emotional maturity is better kept in singledom for now, rather than being inflicted upon any of the ladies of The OC.
Amanda: The boys run into Sandy grilling outside and Sandy asks Ryan how serious he is with Lindsay. This is a bit of a weird conversation because Seth’s there? Don’t these kind of talks take place one-on-one with parents and not with friends or siblings involved? Anyhow, Sandy says right now is not such a good time for Lindsay and Ryan makes a quip about an illegitimate love child. Sandy gets this dead serious look in his eyes and the boys fall silent. Sandy says that things stay between them, at least until the holidays, and then walks away.
Mari: Why is everyone so bad at keeping secrets today? The Eyebrows didn’t even try.
Amanda: The next morning, Ryan asks Seth to uninvite Summer because he has to uninvite Lindsay. It’s only fair, he says. Seth then tries to put the uninviting of Summer on Ryan, which he rejects. Now Ryan is at Lindsay’s door, and they’re playing this really annoying “meow meow meow” music to “Carol of the Bells” as part of the soundtrack and GOD, WHY ARE CATS MEOWING TO A CHRISTMAS CAROL? THIS ADDS NOTHING TO THE SCENE. STOP MEOWING!!!! (M: +1. I was so confused.)
Lindsay gets super excited when she sees Ryan and basically cuts him off from trying to uninvite her and presents him with a yamalke Santa Claus hat. You know, red with white trim and stuff. Ryan totally chickens out of uninviting her and simply asks her to bring eggnog. (S: BECAUSE THIS WAS THE CUTEST. I don’t remember having Lindsay opinions, but it makes sense that yet another peripheral love interest would be an all-around better person than the show’s ~*OTP*~ Lindsay is adorable.) If I were Lindsay, I’d be like “Yeah okay, but you could’ve texted that? Or called me for that?” Maybe I’m unromantic (okay, I’m totally not) but I would’ve at least been like “So, any other reason you made the trek to ask about eggnog?” Especially since Ryan seemed so uncomfortable.
Seth and Summer are now looking for Christmas trees. I think I missed something about how this particular turn of events occurred. Also, it’s really weird that they are looking for Christmas tree in the California winter because that’s not a real winter and why is Summer in a knit sweater and a knit hat when it’s ONLY 50F outside? And sunny? Something is not right here. (S: 50F is super cold for Californians. Also, this outfit was very Anna. I miss Anna.) Anyway, Seth has now asked Summer to make latkes for Chrismukkah so it’s clear that Mission Uninvite The OC Girls has failed miserably.
Marissa and Summer appear at the poorhouse just as the boys inform each other that Mission Uninvite The OC Girls was a colossal failure.
Renee drops off Lindsay at the Cohen house. I take it from Kirsten’s awkward introduction to Lindsay that she’s never met the Cohens before. Lindsay introduces herself to Kirsten as Ryan’s lab partner, to which I say ONLY LAB PARTNERS??? (At this point they might be. I have no idea what’s going on in the romantic lives of Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood.) Lindsay walks into the rest of the gang at the pool house and the awkwardness level skyrockets.
Sandy and Caleb break out the hard liquor and Caleb informs him that he “needs to tell Kirsten.” But he doesn’t know how to say what he needs to say and wants Sandy to help. The scene immediately cuts to Renee ringing the Cohen doorbell and telling Kirsten she needs to talk to her. Oohhhh, the suspense!!
Kirsten is as gracious as ever and asks Renee if she’s okay. Renee just stands there awkwardly and compliments the house. (Come on, Renee. You can do it.) Renee tells Kirsten that what she says next should come from Caleb and freaks out when Kirsten offers to get Caleb. Then Caleb and Sandy enter the kitchen and Caleb asks what she’s doing there, and Sandy says to say what Caleb should be saying, and then all of the kids walk into the kitchen and OH GOD, THE SUSPENSE IS BUILDING, and Lindsay wants to know what’s going on, and so does Kirsten, and then OH LOOK JIMMY AND JULIE ARE HERE TOO!
(Seth makes a comment about the kitchen being roomy, which is exactly what I was thinking. That’s a lot of people in that kitchen. And there’s plenty of room to spare for more people, which I wouldn’t be surprised by considering literally everyone on the show right now is crammed into that one room.)
Sweeney: It’s a delightfully aware comment, because this scene, wherein every character on this show magically descends upon the kitchen for this big blowout, makes ZERO sense. Only on TV. Confessing to stuff on TV is the worst. No wonder nobody ever uses their words.
Mari: The kitchen is a super handy place to do this though. Snacks readily available.
Amanda: Lindsay demands to know what Renee and Caleb are being so cagey about. Kirsten gets mad too, and then Julie does as well. Caleb tells Lindsay he’s sorry and Kirsten that he wished he could protect her. Since Caleb is facing prison, he says his hand is forced and he has to come clean about an “error in judgment.” Obviously, that error in judgment is an affair that resulted in the birth of Lindsay. Lindsay starts to cry, (S: Having just been called “an error in judgment.” Shit, Caleb.) glares at Renee and runs out of the room. Renee follows her. Everyone just stands around awkwardly. Then Kirsten slaps Caleb and everyone stands around even more awkwardly. Then Julie slaps Caleb too and everyone is just like WTF ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO??? (S: Slap Caleb!) (M: Me next! Let me put down this popcorn…) Ryan decides to check on Lindsay, Seth on Kirsten and Marissa and Summer continue to stand there awkwardly.
Kirsten yells at Sandy for not breaking attorney-client privilege when it comes to Caleb and his love child. Caleb walks in and Kirsten starts screaming at him and throws a vase at his head. (Nice choice of things to throw — probably was an ugly vase anyway.) She misses, but Seth sees all of this happening. Kirsten goes and hides in the closet after Sandy tries to restrain her from lunging at Caleb. Seth steps in and tells Caleb to leave.
Ryan goes to visit Lindsay, who is now wearing glasses? Random, but whatever. (S: Because NEEERD, obvs.) She looks like she’s been crying and is waiting for Ryan to say what he wants to say just to get it over with. Girl, you’ll be waiting for a while… Ryan Atwood is not known for being loquacious or eloquent. Anyway, Lindsay tells Ryan to not see each other anymore because she can’t stand his family. Well, that’s one reason to break up? I mean, I’ve heard worse reasons, so props to Lindsay I guess.
Mari: I think they’ve been dating for three days and they’ve broken up twice. Ah, The OC.
Amanda: Marissa says her ex-boyfriend is dating her stepsister and Summer notes that they have new boyfriends. Then Marissa adds that the ex-boyfriends have new girlfriends, and Summer is clearly uncomfortable with the idea that the ex-boyfriends have new girls serious enough to be deemed girlfriends. (BUT WHO IS SETH’S GIRLFRIEND??) (S: Olivia Wilde! But “girlfriend” is probably a little strong.) Seth then appears and joins Marissa and Summer declaring they have to cancel Chrismukkah.
Now the three are in a diner, and Ryan joins them. Marissa refuses to feel sorry for Julie even after Summer says “Your poor mom” to Marissa. Hmmm, some things never change. (I see Seth has lost the ugly Christmas sweater and is wearing an equally hideous vest.) The boys give up on Chrismukkah and Summer gives Seth crap for giving up on it when people need it most. Summer is now talking about a Chrismukkah miracle… like, where has that belief been this whole episode? Uh, nowhere. But okay Summer. You go on believing in those Chrismukkah miracles.
Cut to Julie, who is telling Caleb that Marissa will make this whole episode about her. Pot calling the kettle black, or the apple not falling far from the tree? You be the judge. (S: Both, but I LOL’d at the epic truth of that statement.) Julie says she can’t believe Caleb cheated on his wife. Skating on thin ice there Mrs. Cooper-Nichol, considering who she was between the sheets with this morning. Caleb asks Julie if she’s forgiven him but she walks away telling him she doesn’t know if she has.
Back at the Cohen house, Ryan and Seth have a little heart to heart over some Chinese takeout. Sandy offers some mooshu to Ryan. (No love for orange chicken?) Ryan goes upstairs to talk to Kirsten. He knocks on the door of the closet she’s locked herself in but she tells him to go away, that she doesn’t really feel like talking to anyone right now. Ryan asks if they can talk about Lindsay because Lindsay isn’t okay, much like how Kirsten isn’t okay. Ryan really sucks at communicating, so I don’t blame Kirsten for being snippy with some of her responses.
Mari: Aw, I thought he did a really good job here, considering his default communication method is, “brood.” I like the little line about letting people into their family.
Amanda: I appreciate that Ryan was trying! But his (very well intentioned) attempts just reminded me of how much Ryan sucks at communicating in general, ha.
Anyway, Kirsten eventually opens the door and sees Sandy with Ryan, too. They talk about how great Lindsay seems, which seems like such a generic and throwaway compliment because Kirsten’s only interaction with her was when Lindsay stood on the Cohen doorstep and told her she was Ryan’s lab partner.
I forgot Jimmy lived on a boat, but I sure remember now because Marissa and Summer are on said boat asking him for a generator. Summer is still hell bent on that Chrismukkah miracle, I guess. Marissa is suspicious that Jimmy is asking her about Julie because it’s abundantly clear that she still despises her mom. (S: Because she’s the worst fucking parent ever.) Lo and behold, after the girls get off the boat he opens a door on his boat and Julie emerges. Jimmy asks her what they’re doing and if they’re making a huge mistake. JIMMY, ANYONE COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THAT NEITHER OF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND YES, YOU ARE MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE BECAUSE IT IS ALWAYS A HUGE MISTAKE WHEN YOU THINK SOLELY WITH YOUR PANTS!!!!! God, Julie and Jimmy deserve each other.
Seth seems to have a knack for finding people because he has located Lindsay sitting on the beach. (S: It’s amazing how easily people keep finding each other on what should be miles of beach. Is everything but a ten yard section roped off?) Seth tells her about what it’s like to be a Cohen, which seems to involve a lot of jokes and traumatic events.
Mari: It’s a thing we’ve heard him say once before to Ryan, and now he’s welcoming Ryan’s girlfriend into that same family. Not in a way that makes this normal.
The Chrismukkah miracle, it turns out, is that the gang lit up Lindsay’s entire house with Christmas lights. Super pretty, but also a little tacky because they really went all out and LET’S REMEMBER IT’S NOT EVEN COLD IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IN THE WINTER SO THIS IS REALLY WEIRD. (S: JUST BECAUSE IT’S NOT COLD DOESN’T MEAN CALIFORNIANS CAN’T HAVE ALL THE CHRISTMAS THEY WANT TO. YOU CALM DOWN WITH YOUR SNOW ELITISM, AMANDA.) (M: YEAH.) (A: Oops. Sorry. Anyway.) Everyone gets really emotional, as is fitting for a Christmas episode in a TV show.
Seth and Summer sit on the front stoop, shooting the breeze. Marissa offers eggnog and latkes. Ryan tries to be all gentlemanly and boyfriend-y and puts one of those yarmulke-Santa hats on Lindsay’s head. Marissa asks for pizza instead of latkes. I love latkes, but I don’t have faith in anyone’s cooking ability on the show besides Sandy Cohen so I totally second the motion for pizza. Man, now I want pizza. The episode ends with Seth starting to sing about Moses and Jesus, because how else would a Chrismukkah episode end?
Next time on The OC: Things continue to get awkward for Ryan and Lindsay in S02 E07 – The Family Ties.