Yes, people change—but not on a dime. Over the past couple of weeks I was afraid the writers of the O.C. had lost their balls and caved in to the clichés of TV drama. I mean, we had the White Devil finding his inner Ward Cleaver after a heart attack and vowing to adopt his heretofore illegitimate daughter Lindsey; then we had Super Husband Sandy Cohen getting his groove on with a dime store Patty Hearst, this from the man who got all Barry White in front of all of Newport at the Bait Shop on his anniversary; the eternally love-sick Seth Cohen accepting the loss of his one true love to his comic book buddy; and of course the once Ham Fisted Chino now all bookish and sissied up and…well, that hasn’t changed.
As Travis Bickel said in Taxi Driver, “One day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.” Okay, it wasn’t that dramatic, but the rain was falling in Newport and it did wash away a lot of the bullshit that’s built up over the last few episodes. It also made for a particularly fruity bit of flirtation between Cohen and Chino as neither wanted to trek the 12 feet through the rain to each other. They do what any good, rich, southern Californian teen with girl problems does: they phoned it in.
Yes, Cohen decides it is now or never. He needs to profess his undying love for Summer before she cavorts off to Italy with the shamefully nice Zach for “canolis and canoodling,” not to mention the nappy dugout. “What took so long!?!” you might ask yourself, but Cohen (and Sandy’s) inability to confront and verbalize their feelings is at the heart of the tension that’s built these past few weeks. It is their fatal character flaw. But like in so many classic dramas, who saves a fatally flawed hero? A divine heroine.
And speaking of divine heroines, after dick teasing the audience for weeks implying there’d be some hot girl-on-girl action, the O.C. has gone O.D. on the Doe Eyed Fawn and Alex lip locks. These two minxes should be hosed down and caged separately. But what fun would that be? After sneaking French kisses literally behind Julie Cooper’s back, Marissa uses the opportunity to all but confirm her true motives for getting down with the foxy blonde by looking her mom in the eye and dropping the lesbo bomb. Confused, Julie turns to Kirsten who summarily dismisses homosexuality as a “phase,” leaving Cohen to put the relationship into its proper social context by declaring that the two are “no longer welcome in the Red States.” As it turns out, Marissa’s not the only one who tried out for the home team as Julie admits she too “experimented” back in the day. “It involved a little Motley Crue and a lot of Jaeger…” Where was this party and why wasn’t I invited? I was a fat little metal head who dreamed of just such an event. Proof that this is all just fiction, no matter how badly we want to believe it.
Meanwhile, back in the land of the Straights, we find that the White Devil may have seen the light, but he’s still the FUCKING DEVIL—and he’s pussy whipped. Despite his hospital bed pledge to be the father Lindsey never had, Julie Cooper convinces him that he should demand a blood test. After all, a man in his position has responsibilities to his family and business and her ever skanky wardrobe. Cal caves and demands just that from the Firecracker on the very night of her “adoption party.” This week, of course, we find that Lindsey is indeed his progeny and Cal sighs a phony, “I knew you were my daughter,” as he gives her one of his stiff Granddad hugs. Now Lindsey has to decide whether to move in with her new Sugar Daddy (this after meeting him a few weeks ago) or to move to Chicago with her long-suffering mother. Poor Chino is once again left to basically beg her not to dump him. True love prevails and she assures him she just couldn’t stand to live without him…for now.
What is it with Chino and this chick? She’s putting him on hold every two weeks. Perhaps he and the ever-understanding Zach should run off together on Seth’s catamaran (now dubbed “Gimme Sex”). Yes, by the end of the episode, despite assuring Chino she couldn’t live without him, she has once again left him in the lurch and decided to pack it in for the Windy City. Chino needs a good woman to save him from his suddenly ineffective self…like the Cohen boys have.
Faced with a night of ex-sex in a No Tell Motel, Sandy FINALLY does the right thing and turns down Rebecca and calls home. Yes, after weeks of denial and sneaking around, Sandy faces up to the fact that he has a life that doesn’t include a girlfriend from 23 years ago. Swearing to get home “come Hell or high water,” Sandy packs Rebecca up and braves the storm of the century only to end up in the ditch. Hey, he’s an imperfect hero. We knew that. And it’s in the mud and rain of that ravine that Rebecca finally accepts the fact that she can’t have Sandy and like the rugged, self-reliant woman she is, tramps off into the rain and presumably to the Weathermen or whatever 80s knock-off revolutionary group from whence she came. Sandy stays true to his word and catches a Grey Hound home only to find his beloved Kirsten dutifully waiting for him at the depot. She had the faith in their relationship Sandy had only just realized.
Which brings us to the other love story we all knew would come back around. Summer, faced with talking down Zach’s bitch sister at the airport on the eve of her wedding, instead decides to run back to Cohen, leaving the nicest kid in America at the gate. Non-plussed, Zach assures Summer he “didn’t think she’d make it through security.” After begging Cohen to make move through non-verbal cues, Summer takes it upon herself to bring America’s couple back together and finds Cohen hanging upside down from a rope in the rain clad in a Spiderman mask (don’t ask, it’s ridiculous), reenacting the famous upside down kiss to many-a-teen’s sure delight but to this old curmudgeon’s dismay. Ah, whatever. As long as they’re back together!
Somehow this wasn’t the season finale even though it felt exactly like it. I guess we can expect Chino to run off in the closer to give us something to ponder for the summer. Did we get a glimpse of the drama to come in the closing shot of ole Ham Fist and Doe Eye standing together in the rain, watching the churning ocean below ebb and flow like so much teenage drama?