“The OC” is back after its baseball hiatus, and up to its old tricks. There’s decent banter between Seth and Summer, still the show’s best character. And there’s intrigue all over the joint, from 7 of 9 snooping around to Marissa finding new friends (and a new nickname) at a new school. But while it’s still entertaining, and still interesting to see what music makes it in to the show nowadays, “The OC”‘s mass culture cred is slipping a little. During its hiatus the girls from MTV’s “Laguna Beach” pulled a flanking maneuver and completely cut Rachel Bilson and Mischa Barton out of the media/tabloid picture. People who care about these things are picking sides (Team Kristen! Team Lauren!), and the blogs are alive with the sound and fury of the “Laguna Beach” kids’ descent into D-list parties and a three-way “Real World/Road Rules/Laguna Beach: Inferno.” Somewhere right now, Trishelle is cheersing them drunkenly.
But in the meantime “The OC” plugs along, and it’s still good for a few laughs. Or, in the case of this past Thursday’s episode, a flurry of text messages between myself and my friend C. Live-texting is the new live-blogging. Bring it.
The show opens with a post-AA Kirsten getting her cook on. She’s prepared a fancy egg breakfast for Seth and Ryan, who look at her blankly. Sandy comes into the kitchen, but he only wants the usual…
“Put a schmeer on my bagel.”
“That’s what Sandy gets for marrying a shiksa.”
After the lighthearted start it was clear “The OC” was on a mission to come back strong from the hiatus. The Cohens attend a college fair, but it becomes a showdown between Sandy and Dean Hess, the clunky Ken Doll who previously kicked Chino and Marissa out of Newport and currently has it in for Seth and Summer.
Meanwhile, Kirsten’s still battling blindly with 7 of 9, who has since been revealed (to us, anyway) as a grifter with a line on the Cohens’ cash. 7 of 9 also puts her hooks into Julie Cooper-Nichol, whose own skills as a hustler, gold digger, and ex-porn star inexplicably fail her when it comes to the so-obviously-fucking-with-everyone 7 of 9. 7 buys Julie a condo by the beach, presumably so someone can be thrown through its plate glass windows in the season finale.
“This episode is fucking nuts.”
“Taylor Townshend has huge…sweaters.”
Townshend is Summer and Seth’s nemesis, and no relation to Taylor on “Laguna Beach.” Taylor’s a footsoldier in Dean Hess’s uptight citizens’ brigade, but Summer has also discovered that she and the Dean are, you know, doing it.
“I love that girl.”
Chino’s in hot water with Sandy after revealing that he doesn’t want to think about the future and college, he just wants to get a job. He’s also not an Atwood, nor is he a Cohen. That’s right, he’s a Chino, but I digress.
“When will Chino hit someone? I ask you: when?”
Dean Hess isn’t going to budge on letting Ryan back into Newport. Hess is going to blacklist him so no college will ever take him in. Sandy’s eyebrows waggle angrily.
“The dean is seriously the biggest dick ever.”
Since her expulsion from Newport the Doe Eyed Fawn’s been attending public school, which in typical “OC” fashion is populated by street toughs and women’s prison rejects. As long as she attends the public school, Marissa will be known as She-no.
Anyways, at her new school She-no hangs out with an opposite world group of friends, including a bizarrro Summer, bizarrro Seth, and bizarrro Ryan/inevitable She-no love interest named Johnny. (Hey!) He and Chino almost came to fisticuffs once, but in this episode they bond over having played public league football together in middle school.
When Johnny finds out Ryan’s trying to find work, he gets the erstwhile Cohen adoptee a job on his uncle’s fishing boat. (TV Johnny twisting his evil moustache: “Hissss, I will get rid of this Ryan character once and forrrr all, sssooo that Marisssaaa willll be mine, all mine! Echoing laughter…)
And the texts start flying as fast as “The OC” could make Gorton’s Fisherman jokes.
“Chino the fisherman.”
“Aqua Cheen Fishing Force.”
TV Johnny’s plan works – Ryan gets the fishing boat job. The usual “OC” awkward dinner scene then unfolds, with Marissa stalking off in a huff and Summer and Seth lightening the mood with sailor jokes.
“I love the going away parties. Brought to you by the T-Mobile Sidekick.”
“Night of a Thousand Maritime Jokes.”
Seth and Summer decide to use their T-MOBILE SIDEKICK to catch Taylor Townshend and Dean Hess in the act. They set their trap, Taylor falls for it, and there’s a showdown at the same dingy motel where everything dingy in the “OC” happens – Julie meeting Marmaduke Luke for illicit sex, Julie’s ex-boyfriend plotting her blackmail, etc.
“Taylor Trash; nice.”
“Taylor Trash. Summer rules.”
Sandy gets involved in the plot, getting Dean Hess to admit to his affair with Taylor by craftily using a T-MOBILE SIDEKICK. Hess agrees to reinstate Ryan; all is well. Well, until next week, when he will inevitably punch TV Johnny.
“Weird episode, huh?”
“Lot of shit happened, but nothing happened. Same
old OC template.”
“And he’s not a fisherman, either. Shocker. Fluffer line
at end: Best.”
Songs featured in this episode:
• “Blind Asylum” by Orenda Fink from Invisible Ones (Saddle Creek)
• “Weight of the World” by BRMC from Howl (Red Ink)
• “Holding Me Up” by Dandy Warhols from Odditorium or Warlords of Mars (Capitol)