You knew Marissa would be booking passage back to Drunkskankistan the second she and her lawn guy boy toy caught Jimmy Cooper giving Julie a thorough oral exam. Yes, in what might have been this season’s most cohesive “OC”, Jimmy Cooper announced his departure, the Fawn climbed back inside the bottle (Julie, with an awkward eye at DJ: “Let me guess, Tequila” – snap!), Seth and Chino switched identities, the Firecracker made out with her “nephew” while lunching with her “sister”, and Summer dressed up like Hand Sown Home Grown-era Linda Ronstadt. Awkward walk-ins, angry walk-offs, shocking confrontations, and puke on Modest Mouse’s merch table – it could have been a storyline on “The Valley”.
With the revelation of Kirsten and Lindsay’s White Devil sisterhood still very weird, the Firecracker and Chino decide to find a “personal Switzerland”, ideally with a private chalet they can play doctor in. Seth tracks down Alex at her numbered streets one bedroom, and is greeted by a rogues gallery of scruffy hangers-on. The air thick with H residue and motel sex musk, Seth sees he has to be a bad boy to get in Alex’s gitch; realizing this, he of course offers to fix her a sandwich. “Uh yeah, I’ll have the pansy roast on white bread, with just a schmear of Jewey sauce.” Cohen is pissed. David Banner gets mad and turns huge and green. Seth? He transforms into a “75 year-old yenta named Sylvia”. Thus, with no backbone of his own to rely on, Seth orders up the next best thing: the Ryan Atwood Starter Kit. Cue scenes of his stringy arms jutting from a wife beater.
Seth’s get-tough pledge mirrors Chino’s throbbing brain. “Punch something!” Seth implores him at one point, interrupting his studying. While AP Ryan is trying to get good grades AND boff his adopted mom’s half sister, Jimmy Cooper has decided his dalliance with Julie has to end. The White Devil’s legal troubles are over anyway, so Jimmy knows Julie’s going to run back to Cal’s money and big old mansion. He also knows he’s spent an entire summer boozing on a Sonny Crocket boat with nothing to show for it but well-manicured nail scratches down his back. So it’s off to charter boats in Hawaii for Jimmy, but not without a final rogering of his ex. And that’s when Marissa and DJ catch them. Instead of bitching them out or at least asking what the hell is going on, the Fawn naturally runs away in a huff, thereby combining the always awesome awkward walk-in with the never-fails-to-be-ridiculous angry walk-off. DJ: “I wore this shirt for nothing!”
You know you’ve made it when you’re playing to a crowd of 50 or so awkwardly-dancing extras on a stage that, though rigged to resemble a rock club, looks more like the employee break room on the Death Star. Weird catwalks, harsh angles, lots of black lacquer, and Modest Mouse making a dollar. Strutting into the Bait Shop, Seth adds a flask into his bad boy image and tells the bartending Alex he’ll be “hanging by the speaker, drinking”. Summer and Zach appear; “Ew, your breath smells like Marissa!” Summer says, right before Cohen throws a wrench into their relationship by dropping bombs about the ex Zach hooked up with over Christmas break. He ralphs on the merch, Ryan takes him home, and Sandy glowers darkly from beneath those Groucho eyebrows. The bad boy tip is not Cohen’s bag.
After Jimmy lays out his exit strategy to Sanford and Kirsten (with some genuinely solid acting from all three), the Cohens decide the least they can do is a going away party. The big night arrives. Julie can’t believe Jimmy’s leaving; she sheds tears of expensive spring water. Lindsay and Ryan are making out like camp counselors in the pool house, and Summer walks in wearing a floral print dashiki and wrinkled rustic ankle skirt. At the site of her – a tousled brunette vision in ’70s California pop finery – Jackson Browne did a whiskey spit take like you read about. But all of that only built an audience for one of the “OC”‘s best fights yet.
“Of course I’m screwed up! I’m the daughter of a thief and a slut!” And as the spittle flew, Marissa sent Julie Cooper back to her home on whore island. It was the liquor talking, of course – her dad’s departure means Marissa has no one but a creepy looking creatine yard guy to turn to. What’s she going to do, cry on the White Devil’s shoulder? Motherfucker can barely smile at his illegitimate daughter, let alone his stepdaughter. Marissa’s drunken outburst puts Jimmy’s decision in relief, but it doesn’t change anything. Later, in a heart-to-heart in the lifeguard tower (where else?), he tells her he’s sorry for leaving, but doesn’t say he isn’t. In other words, it looks like Tate Donovan’s got another job.
To make his Ryan Starter Kit whole, Seth would have to steal a car. Which he does, sort of, heisting Cal’s Aston Martin in the midst of Marissa’s Sauza throwdown. Of course he’s caught, and of course Alex tells him it’s the nice in him she likes, and of course – ’cause this is the “OC”, and everybody feels a little Cohen eventually – Marissa shows up the next morning at the house, pushing tequila sweat and looking sweatshirt haggard. Poor, poor pitiful Fawn – she’s been put down, she’s been pushed ’round – when will she be loved? Soon! And likely in the arms of Alex, the beguiling tough girl. Looks like being bad in 2005 requires not being a boy. Yow!