Previously: There was a whole lot more of Marissa than we care for around here.
The Anger Management
Manda: Last time I watched The OC, the gang was celebrating Chrismukkah and I revealed my snow elitism roots. (M: Good times.) I haven’t seen any of season three, so this should be interesting…
The episode begins with the foursome eating at a diner. The boys decide that the girls should pick the movie (could I love these boys anymore??), which leads to Summer and Marissa riffing “Bring It On.”
Clearly there’s some sort of tension going on between Volchek and Ryan, because they are doing that macho dude smoldery eye staredown thing. A rematch?? Wait. What? Oh. I guess Volchek and Ryan were the one throwing punches in the “previously” bit. But wait. Seth is implying that Marissa and Volchek hooked up. When was this? And why do things seem okay with Ryan and Marissa if he’s all “the girls should pick the movie!” and she’s off making out with other people?? Okay, I am pretty sure I’ve gotten all the details wrong because NONE OF THIS IS MAKING SENSE.
Marines: I’m not even sure I know how to clarify it for you. Um, Volcheck hooked up with some other girl, though. A friend of Marissa’s. Yeah.
Manda: Marissa is clearly over this barely veiled macho aggression, stating, “This is so stupid.” Like, yeah. But so is a lot of stuff about this show.
Opening credits start to roll. It doesn’t matter how many years it’s been since I first watched The OC Season 1 when it aired, I’m still going to shout CALIFORNIAAAAAAAAAA! at the top of my lungs.
CALIFORNIAAAAAAAA! CALIFORNIAAAAAA! HERE WE COMEEEEEEEEEE!
Back to the show. Sandy is having trouble picking out a shirt and Kirsten is all, “Just pick the damn blue shirt, won’t ya?” Meanwhile, Kirsten is freaking out about throwing a party together and Sandy is far more supportive of her neuroses than she is of his. Sandy advises Kirsten to ply her guests with alcohol, as people feel more generous with several shots under their belt. #truth Sandy is a wise, wise man. Must be those eyebrows. Sandy reminds Seth and Ryan that this is the first event Kirsten has thrown since she’s been out of rehab, which now makes his previous comment about drunkenly generous guests a little awkward. Well then.
Marissa and Summer are hanging out, and Marissa says she feels responsible for what’s going on because she introduced Johnny to Ryan. ??? I can’t quite tell if Marissa is truly “responsible” for whatever she feels guilty for or if it’s the thing that some people do when they feel responsible for something that isn’t theirs to blame OR if it’s just Marissa being annoying. Who is this Casey girl they are talking about? Did she hook up with Johnny too? Oh. Apparently Casey is Johnny’s ex-girlfriend, which makes Marissa uncomfortable because that means Johnny might not actually be “just friends” with her and actually be in love with her. OH MY GOD. Really?
Mari: If Marissa feels guilty for something and someone new is in love with her, it’s probably any episode of The OC ever.
Manda: Seth and Ryan are at school, AKA the glitzy glorious beautiful campus that I have a very hard time believing is a high school and not a college campus. Taylor appears. (Who’s Taylor?) She starts prattling on about lock-in and capture the flag and other stuff that starts bringing on severe high school nostalgia for me. Just as I’m starting to get annoyed by Taylor’s prattling, she drops a Captain Oats reference and suddenly she seems much more endearing. Now she’s asking Seth to plan the Christmas dance with her, and he tells her to talk to Summer. Her response? “Your… girlfriend?” Taylor freezes up and walks away. Ryan, who was there for the whole conversation, tells Seth he’s in trouble. Summer sees Taylor walks away and demands to know what’s going on.
Marisa really did say it best at the beginning of this episode: THIS IS SO STUPID.
Scene cuts to Kirsten, Julie, and Blond Barbie. They’re at a restaurant planning whatever shindig Kirsten is spending her time putting together. Julie starts muttering under her breath and doing that Julie Cooper thing where she’s trying to figure out what’s in it for her. $300,000 is what’s in it for her, apparently.
Taylor’s back on camera, talking Ryan’s ear off in the school hallways. She makes Ryan rate how stable Seth and Summer are in relation to Brad and Jen (because clearly Taylor is #TeamAngelina). Ryan’s a champ and rates them a 10. GOOD ON YOU, RYAN!
Marissa is talking to someone and insists, “Just don’t tell Johnny.” Who, of course, hears and demands to know what she’s saying. They go back and forth for a while, till one of them says, “Guys, this is tearing me apart.” OH MY GOD, GUYS, THIS IS SO STUPID. Now Marissa and Johnny are fighting, saying this isn’t Ryan’s problem, but it’s become Ryan’s problem, or something or other, and truthfully I’ve lost interest because I can tell this will just keep going in circles and circles and circles and circles. But Johnny agrees not to fight with Ryan because “it’s one thing to upset a lady.”
Mari: There’s really nothing I can say. It is this stupid.
Manda: Ryan and Seth run into Volchek at the school parking lot. Volchek keeps trying to provoke Ryan, who insists he won’t fight him. Seth does that thing where he talks too much when he’s nervous, and everyone ignores him. Volchek insists that he knows how to push Ryan’s buttons, and starts keying his car. Ryan’s fist starts to ball up… and Volchek starts to carve “little bitch” into the car. Volchek sure is creative!
Marisa appears out of Ryan’s poolhouse and says she’s proud of him for not fighting. Ryan surprises Marissa with a punching bag that Sandy says he could use. GET THAT AGGRESSION OUT, RYAN! Marissa looks confused by the concept of therapy, which explains a lot about her story arc. BOOM! Ryan throws a punch at the bag. AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS WHY YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO FIGHT RYAN.
Mari: That whole paragraph was perfect. Their entire relationship is usually going the route of one of them is trying to deal with their issues, the other one doesn’t get it.
Manda: Taylor appears in Seth’s bedroom, which is total creeper stalker behavior. She blurts out “I LIKE YOU” to Seth, so at least I can give her props for honesty. However, that’s about as much as I’ll give her because she is clearly on a home wrecking streak and is hell bent on breaking up Seth and Summer, AKA ONE OF MY FAVORITE COUPLES EVER. Stop bonding over samurai comics! SETH, YOU ARE NOT SOULMATES WITH TAYLOR DESPITE WHAT SHE INSISTS! TELL TAYLOR TO GET LOST! Summer calls Seth, and when he’s on the phone TAYLOR STEALS CAPTAIN OATS!! HOW DARE SHE?! Summer hears Taylor in the background and asks who’s there, and Seth lies. Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Slippery slope has started to slip…
I still have no idea who Blond Barbie is, but she hops off the phone with some dude and joins Julie and Kirsten at their party planning thing. Julie senses something is afoot, and oh! Something is afoot because Blond Barbie is going to skip town and it’ll make Kirsten look bad (or something?) and Julie will swoop in and save the day. DIABOLICAL. (M: There is stolen money involved so DIABOLICAL X 2.)
The camera cuts to a music act, which is only fitting for a show that launched a bunch of indie bands into the mainstream. I have no idea who this band is, though. Neither do the characters, it seems… especially since Johnny clearly was the group’s pity invite as they’re roping him into helping out with the fundraiser Julie and Kirsten are working on. Seth goes to get drinks and Taylor emerges from the darkness LIKE A CREEP. Summer sees the talking and is clearly ticked. “Why are you always talking to my boyfriend?” AND THEN, BECAUSE TAYLOR IS EVIL, SHE HANDS SETH CAPTAIN OATS AND NEGLECTS TO MENTION THAT SHE STOLE HIM! Here’s the thing: girls, are you really going to be happy in a relationship that you had to hijack your way into? ARE YOU???? I don’t think so.
Mari: They are all about to graduate. It’s about time to start learning these valuable lessons.
Manda: Volchek and Johnny and Marissa and Ryan and some girl get into a heated discussion. Volchek makes a crack about Marissa with a gun and punches are about to fly but the bouncer kicks out Volchek and his gal pal. Okay then. Next scene is Ryan asking Sandy for help, and Sandy asks, “Is this why my car is now labeled ‘little bitch’?” Oh Sandy, don’t ever change.
Marissa bribes Volchek with a fancy watch to leave Ryan alone. A Cartier watch she got for her 16th, apparently, worth $4k. Volchek accepts the watch in exchange for leaving Ryan alone. Marissa threatens to tell the cops Volchek stole the watch if he breaks his end of the deal. There’s a little bit of Julie Cooper in her after all…
Sandy’s biz partner has decided to fire nine people on a Sunday, since apparently that’s better than getting fired on Monday and having to pack up a desk in front of the rest of the office. Um, this is not a business partnership that will end well, if you ask me. How did they start working together? Cause they’re doomed.
Blond Barbie and Julie are on screen again. Julie’s getting cold feet for whatever their diabolical plans are. She’s worried about Kirsten getting hurt, as well as Marissa. (Aww, Julie! Is your heart growing three sizes?) Blond Barbie is now threatening to blackmail Julie and reveal their fake charity plans to the police. Apparently they are defrauding all of their friends. OH SNAP! Whatcha gonna do, Julie?? WHATCHA GONNA DO???
Volchek’s gal pal gives Marissa back her Cartier watch, saying that Volchek wants the cash instead. She meets him in the parking lot, where he demands cash right now. Marissa hesitates to go to the ATM, so Volchek threatens to go inside and find Ryan. Immediately she hops in the car with him, presumably to find an ATM. (Repeat after me Marissa: This is so stupid.)
Kirsten is thanking Julie for all of her support, saying that she wishes Caleb could see them be supportive BFFS cause it would make him happy. Julie is getting visibly uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable, so is Taylor, who’s also at this fundraising shindig with no friends. Her mom points this out and is very snarky about Taylor’s lack of friends. Seth appears and Taylor’s mom thoroughly embarrasses her in about five seconds. Taylor gives Seth a comic related gift, and Seth is now all gaga eyed. Taylor starts to cry, because she says her mom’s barbs hit home: she is friendless and boyfriendless. Seth says he likes her *cue melodic music* and begins to compliment her. She puts his hand to her face, and Seth stops talking, and SETH, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW, RIGHT NOW, RIGHT NOW!!!!! Oh thank God, he goes back inside. Taylor starts giggling to herself and rushes off all happy.
Manda: Blond Barbie is on the lookout for Julie, who appears on the stage and says that the fundraiser is helping a great many women in need. She asks everyone to make out their checks to a national foundation, effectively screwing Blond Barbie out of whatever diabolical plan they had to defraud the wealthy families of Orange County. Blond Barbie is PISSED and threatens to call the police. Julie stands her ground — YES, this is the Julie Cooper we all know and love! — and tells Blond Barbie to leave town, saying that The OC can only handle one manipulative bitch.
Seth tells Summer that Taylor is just really lonely, and Summer visibly softens towards Taylor. She’s still annoyed, of course, and says Seth can’t ever lie to her again, but there’s hope yet for Taylor’s social life at Newport.
Ryan’s gone to fetch his idiot girlfriend, who Volchek says is waiting for him underneath the pier. Ryan comes tearing in, ready to grab Marissa and run. Volchek isn’t having it, so Ryan grabs and breaks a bottle. Volchek is all “Whoa, Ryan” but Ryan’s like “I GREW UP DOING THIS, COME AT ME BRO” and the intense music ramps up and then… Volchek drops his plank or bat or whatever he was holding onto and backs off. Marissa falls into Ryan’s arms. End scene.
Mari: Just to be clear, we saw Ryan win this fight by out crazy-ing the other guy. Cool.
Manda: Kirsten asks Sandy what’s going on, and he confides that he fired four people. Kirsten says his conscience is why he’ll be successful, as Caleb had no conscience. She gives a nice little speech about how, if given the choice, she’d always choose Sandy over Caleb. Well, isn’t that nice. Caleb must be turning over in his grave.
Marissa and Ryan are cuddling on one of the outdoor couches by the poorhouse. She describes the situation with Volchek under the pier as “intense” which, yeah, UNDERSTATEMENT but okay. Marissa tells Ryan he’s changed, “like, a totally different Ryan Atwood…” She says she’s proud of him, and then heads home.
I feel you, Ryan. I really do. Your girlfriend said it best at the beginning: THIS IS SO STUPID.
Next time on The OC: College application season is upon us in S03 E08 – The Game Plan.