The O.C. (“The Second Chance”)

Season 2, Episode 11
Date of airing: February 3, 2005 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 7.25 million viewers, 4.7/7 in Households, 3.4/9 with Adults 18-49

Damn, the writers must have really cared about Rebecca during this stage of the show, considering that the character was very much the central figure of two back-to-back episode cliffhangers. Or maybe it was just a funny writing opportunity the room took upon — Rebecca comes in, and both Sandy and Kirsten were equally shocked about seeing her face at the end of the episode, and both know that their marriage is in trouble as soon as the realized that Rebecca is not only alive, but in town. Being the second back-to-back cliffhanger, it is obvious that the characters is being used to bring tension into the Cohen marriage and to make sure that, as soon as the writers are finished with the Rebecca arc and is out of the show, she will continue to throw a shadow presence over the Cohens, because a troubled marriage is gold material for weekly primetime soap operas. Besides that, Rebecca could finally be the element that breaks the tree of the very solid Cohen marriage, especially since Sandy decided to lie to his wife about Rebecca’s status, and that could even “help” Kirsten in getting worse herself. All this time she was close to putting her entire head in a bottle of booze, and now that she learns her husband has been lying, is this the moment she decides to let herself go and not care about the marriage and her family any longer?

She cannot believe that she might already have another girlfriend on her arms.

I did not get why Sandy would not tell Kirsten about Rebecca though. I did not understand his reasoning (except of course his reasoning was only grounded in his fear of putting his wife in legal jeopardy by knowing about the location and whereabouts of a fugitive, but that sounded like one hell of an excuse) and I am pretty sure the writers did not care about the legal reasoning, because they can easily use Sandy’s lies about Rebecca still being alive as the ground material for Sandy and Kirsten’s now troubled marriage. Considering the fact that the writers completely rewrote Rebecca as a character within the previous episode, it is imaginable that the legal aspect of the story will be forgotten quickly and it is all just gonna be about why Sandy lied to Kirsten, and how heartbroken Kirsten is, and so on and so forth. The story won’t be about clearing Rebecca any longer, it is going to be all about how it is shaking up the Cohen marriage. It is not like the show has ever been known for showcasing the business side of Sanford Cohen, so Rebecca’s presence won’t be doing that either. There was this deposition with his father-in-law once during “The Heights,” but that was pretty much all of it. That tends to show you the writers did not have an idea how to write a proper legal drama into their weekly primetime soap opera.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Lindsay are continuing to break apart, and this time around Ryan cannot even blame himself. Okay, he should be blaming himself, because of his efforts to unite Lindsay and Caleb, he essentially ruined his relationship with Lindsay, but it is interesting to notice that this version of a break-up is actually unique. Lindsay just wants to get to know her father, and because of unique circumstances, Lindsay cannot do it without her boyfriend around. It is almost a cruel way to lose a relationship, but here it is happening. By the way, I kind of loved that Caleb still believes Ryan is freeloading and on the hunt for the Cohen money. There needs to be a person in Newport Beach whom Ryan continues to hate for eternity until their deaths. Ryan cannot never have a weird relationship like he had with Julie, who has been absent for too many episodes now, because I just stumbled over her face and needed three seconds to remember her name, even though she was mentioned by Ryan once. But yeah, the contentious relationship between Ryan and Caleb is still wonderful to watch and sometimes I would wish for the writers to just expand on it. I guess they did with this episode, helping Caleb along to his heart attack, but still…

It’s like seeing her naked for the first time.

The teenage storylines were okay. I was slightly happy for Marissa realizing that there might be some sparks between her and Alex, as I silently cheered for them as they were holding hands at the end. Of course, Marissa better not be breaking Alex’s heart in the next episode — holding hands was a definite answer to Alex’s question earlier, and if Marissa fails to hold up her end, then Alex deserves to punch her out of Newport Beach. Seth and Summer on the other hand were weird. It was predictable that the two would have a nose-touching moment again, but I was confused by the fact that neither of them were dumb and actually went for the kiss, especially after Seth already went for a kiss on Summer’s lips, which she hated for obvious reasons. Besides that, Seth and Summer are known to just randomly kiss when they are not together. They did it during Caleb’s birthday party in the previous season, but during this episode they are deeply and emotionally troubled about showing affection for another. And of course it’s just the story that will lead to Seth and Summer getting back together, because the writers simply could not do it without them. Even more so, after the writers decided to write Zach in a clueless way, not even noticing what is going on between his business partner and his girlfriend, who is his business partner’s ex-girlfriend. Zach has a lot of heart in him, when he is able to trust both Seth and Summer this way, and the writers have a lot of convenience…

The O.C. (“The Accomplice”)

Season 2, Episode 10
Date of airing: January 27, 2005 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 8.11 million viewers, 5.2/8 in Households, 3.6/10 with Adults 18-49

After a few of the recent episodes have been quite chaotic and twisty and dramatic, this hour seemed like the viewers were supposed to take a little breather, calm and settle down and start focusing on some of the character arcs. There weren’t any highly emotional events in this episode, and in fact, the writers decided to focus on some plot developments and character relationships, as the major couplings among the teenagers is developing forward or back, and even Sandy and Kirsten are steering right towards a troubled marriage, now that a woman from Sandy’s past has emerged to definitely twist and turn that heart of the public defender. I guess that at this point, THE O.C. wants to be a character drama more than a daily soap, and so I hope that the character arcs will be at least a little bit entertaining. And it’s also a fact that I appreciate the little breather from the highly soap-opera-charged storylines from recent episodes.

Prison visits are not a rarity in this television show.

Sandy’s current story is a character arc, which I kinda liked in this episode, and only kind of because I didn’t like that Rebecca showed up at the end, living and breathing, her heart pumping and her blood flowing. First of all, Max was asking for her, and he asked Sandy to find her because of the difficult relationship between Max and Rebecca. Second of all, it was pretty obvious that she would still be alive, considering even in her potential dead state, she was grounds enough to ruin Sandy and Kirsten’s marriage (and that Rebecca was predictably still alive stems out of the fact that all of Sandy’s story was about her). But while the latter was an obvious story choice, the former didn’t make sense, and showed just one more point of inconsistency the show had since forever. Because why would Max find Rebecca, or Rebecca go with Max to find Sandy, when the story started off with the back story of Rebecca and Max’s non-relationship? It seems like that midway through the episode, the writers changed their idea about who Rebecca was and what kind of impact she should have on the story. At the beginning, she was a job for Sandy. In the middle, she was a back story for Sandy. Right before the end, she was a problem for Sandy. And now she becomes a stepping stone for Sandy. It is not really one of the best-written parts of the show, but it happens to be one of the more interesting stories for the adult characters in the show, especially since now the writers were able to focus on Sandy and Kirsten, and I get the feeling their marriage was about to rock the boat for quite a while now. Notice the shot of Kirsten moving the wine glass away from her, after she started realizing that the thought of Rebecca in Sandy’s life is going to bring chaos and drama into her marriage.

Meanwhile, relationships were constructed and deconstructed amongst the teens. I loved that Caleb and Ryan had another scene or two, because I appreciate the hostile relationship between the two (this is so Caleb, making him the currently only consistency in the show), and I liked that the writers finally went into a depiction of what a Caleb/Lindsay relationship could be about. Of course, some brain cells in Caleb’s head were not functioning right, and all he can think of was how he could pay off Ryan and Lindsay to finally be straight with him. No wonder the guy never had any proper relationships in his life — I’m pretty sure everyone who gets to him wanted something from him, whether it was money or a job (remember Jimmy, who was hoping to ask for a job in his company?). I sort of reminds me of what Orange Hitler Donald Trump could have been during his time in the 1980s and 1990s — were kids coming up to him demanding a job, a car or money? Would that make Trump an inspiration for a fictional character? Could that mean Trump is pretty much like Caleb? Ugh, those thoughts I have now…

Seth’s new work of art will fry his brain in the long run.

Anyway, Ryan and Lindsay have trouble now, but because THE O.C. can’t just be all about bad and mad relationships, Marissa needed to get a really good friend and possible romance with another girl, while Seth and Summer somewhat secured a sweet post-romance situation for the two of them (I really tried it with the alliterations), including the teaser of the two probably getting together again, because Zach isn’t a main character (yet?), and of course it’s all about Seth and Summer, especially after she found out that she was always on his mind, even after the heartbreak disappearance on his sailboat. I do like the idea of Seth going into comic mode and creating one though. The guy has been a nerd for all his life, it’s finally time to make a career out of it. For heck’s sake, he painted an entire mural on Marissa’s wall, and even back then I was wondering why the kid wasn’t making a career out of his artistic abilities.

The O.C. (“The Ex-Factor”)

Season 2, Episode 9
Date of airing: January 20, 2005 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 7.87 million viewers, 5.0/8 in Households, 3.6 rating with Adults 18-49

That final scene was so pregnant with foreshadowing, I almost gave birth to an entire LGBTQ storyline right there on the spot. I’m wondering if it’s generally a good idea to tease that there might be a gay story coming or if it might be best served to have it just “creep up on you” suddenly and without warning (even though this episode sort of did it — Marissa and Alex have been acquaintances for a bit now, but they seem to be developing a crush fairly late in their sorta-friendship). I’m neither bi, gay or closeted, so I don’t know what it’s like to finally find yourself attracted to the same sex via a good friend who happens to sit beside you right this second while watching a crappy horror film, in a somewhat nice moment after an awful day of happenings regarding love and friendship. In this case, it might have been a good idea to not tease the story, but then again, it’s Marissa who will probably change directions here, and that can’t just happen within a scene or two. Besides all that, it’s great of course to have an LGBTQ story coming up on THE O.C., although it involves a female gay couple yet again. Has there ever been a broadcast network drama, in which a male gay couple was the center of attention for multiple episodes? Because I cannot seem to remember a single one. Maybe Jack McPhee over at DAWSON’S CREEK, but the show was very much trying to keep Jack’s sexcapades and romances away from viewers — he never even had a proper on-screen boyfriend for multiple episodes.

They are making peace over a milk shake.

The episode happened to be surprisingly good. It turns out that I actually liked all the stuff involving the exes, including the drama that resulted out of a drunk Lindsay and resurfaced the pre-Newport version of Ryan, including a moment to yell at Marissa and her fallacies. Hell, even Ryan’s apparent macho muscle move towards Alex in that same moment, which I might have found a little ridiculous, albeit important for Ryan’s state, was somewhat entertaining and almost dark for the character. But with Lindsay having to swirl around Ryan’s life, and Seth swirling around Alex’s life, and both kind of hitting walls over and over, it was intriguing and fascinating to witness how love became so damn difficult in this episode. All of a sudden I’m very happy to be single so I don’t have to deal with this, but then again, my depression and anxiety shouldn’t allow me to be alone forever and ever. What a shame that Summer and Zach were only the fifth wheel here — I would have appreciated to see these two front and center, even if it would have meant this episode becoming a little more boring. Because really, Zach is boring, because he is so nice and normal, and Summer doesn’t even deserve him, that’s how messed-up her love life is. But I like Zach too much, because of his Tom Hanks-ish attitude, and I wanna see more of him. So consider me happy when he and Summer shared a milkshake at the end, although I was wondering where Summer’s order went, and if she shared her black’n’white milkshake with Zach as well. By the way, what the heck is a black’n’white milkshake? I would assume vanilla is the white stuff, but what black thing makes a milkshake taste good? Chocolate is not black…

In hindsight, I didn’t know what the hell was going on in Seth’s mind. When Alex kissed a girl in front of him, he seemed secretly excited about the endless possibilities, but when he learns that his kinda-girlfriend has a girlfriend, whom she never broke up with, he gets all mad and awkward and confusing about it. I can sort of understand the lying thing that he threw in Alex’s face, because she really didn’t tell him her entire story, when it might have been a good idea to do so, but then there was Seth, babbling some random crap that almost sounded like an official break-up, just because he couldn’t stand that his kinda-girlfriend had an ex roaming around, instead of being the guy who has a girlfriend with a girlfriend. I mean, am I the only one being a total dick about it and thinking “threesome?” Sure, there was this slight talk about Seth maybe feeling delighted about the prospect of his girlfriend having a girlfriend, but damn, he turned into a fury instead and I would have loved to slap him left and right.

Watching movies together and probably falling in love with each other.

Meanwhile, Lindsay is definitely not from around here, commenting on the model looks of the girls of Newport, and how they could eat and never get fat. I get that this was a growing issue Lindsay has with Ryan’s surroundings, leading to the inevitable break-up in a few episodes (especially now that Ryan and Marissa had a huge argument, which sounded like they were still together), but for a moment this could have been satire about the beauty and diet crazy of the rich elite in California (or the continental United States). This coming from the character who does not inhabit the world of the rich and white in Newport, I would almost love it if Lindsay continues to burn the people around her like that, including her immediate realization that she is talking bullcrap and she is humiliating herself.

Especially since Julie came around with a rich elite California magazine she wanted to publish nationally, advertising all the rich and privilege Newport has to offer, I wanted Lindsay to come in and burn everyone to the ground with sick comments about their skin color and all that money in their bank accounts. Someone like Lindsay would constantly roll her eyes over stuff like that, but Julie is seriously thinking about that magazine idea, while Kirsten thinks it’s a solid idea to pursue. By the way, the idea of a Julie/Caleb and Sandy/Kirsten double date was almost hilarious. I still believe that Sandy hates everything about Caleb and Julie, yet the two married couples always seem to hang around and make something that resembles a business deal.

And here is another post scriptum: Three episodes after the big twist revelation, there isn’t really anything that makes Caleb look like a wannabe-father to Lindsay. I would have thought he wanted to try to be a father, but I guess both Lindsay and her mother have locked out the grey-haired, skin-toned dude. Which is a shame, because there could be so much happening, if Caleb and Lindsay would try to spend time together for a few hours. She just found out who her father is, shouldn’t she be using that new information for something? Does she not feel the urge to build a connection to a father figure, now that she has one?

The O.C. (“The Power of Love”)

Season 2, Episode 8
Date of airing: January 13, 2005 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 7.46 million viewers, 4.6/7 in Households, 3.2/9 with Adults 18-49

Please, more of Sandy Cohen singing! Turns out that Peter Gallagher, if it was actually him singing (and I do believe it was him, but sometimes you simply can’t be sure that a voiceover was used), had a pretty rockin’ voice and should have tried out for AMERICAN IDOL, if that show would allow people of his age to compete. The anniversary party, as predictable as it was when the two cops showed up at the restaurant (predictable as in I knew they were part of the plan to lead Kirsten to some evening happiness after days of agony, anger and disappointment), was still nice to look at and listen to, including a nice visual of the Cohen family and their friends hanging out and celebrating a 20-year-long love, like they all haven’t had any problem to deal with lately. Ryan was standing between Kirsten and Lindsay, putting a visual image to their conflict in this episode; Summer stood between Marissa and Zach, which said absolutely nothing; and Seth was smack in the middle — it was pretty cute, and it showed that the characters in this show can be friends, if they just wanted to, instead of talking about their troubles all the time and seeing enemies in each other who can’t deal with problems.

Busted!

It was to be expected that DJ would be the first love interest out of the show, considering he had the least amount of screentime of the four recurring love interests, and was generally used as a plot device to further the conflict between Marissa and Julie. I didn’t even mind that DJ was used for that, but I am however a little surprised that he made it to the eighth episode, which means the guy was around for a third of a season while causing the same endless trouble between Marissa and Julie. The writers must have come to realize that at this point as well, which is why they were probably figuring out another way for Marissa and Julie to feud, or maybe even trying to find a way to keep DJ in Newport without having it look ridiculous. Anyway, either one of Marissa or Julie can start drinking hard liquor now — probably Marissa, because she is already on an ongoing date with the alcohol.

Meanwhile, Zach, Alex and Lindsay all went to the next level with their love interests, who happened to be central characters of the show, and only one of them doesn’t really fit. I still believe Alex is way out of Seth’s league, but for some reason she likes him (okay, that reason being she is a fictional character, and the writers want her to like the nerd in a romantic way) and he hangs out with her, and the two seem to have fun and now she is meeting his parents. I can’t even believe there is an option for a bad girl to even date the good and sweet and nerdy guy of the bunch, because in reality Alex would have done good for people like Luke, yet she likes Seth and is somewhat fascinated with and drawn to his parents — granted, that part is legit logical and brought her some character depth in this episode, but I still think that Seth should have realized long ago that he is dating a girl who should not even be on his radar, because she is so “out there.” A club manager, a bartender, some tattoos (small ones, and I’m shocked Sandy and Kirsten seem to have problems with those — are they in actuality conservative parents dressed in the writing of a supposed liberal?), and maybe even capable of entering foursomes of some kind, considering the moment Seth saw two guys and another girl walking out of her apartment after the Christmas episode.

For the festivities, witness Peter Gallagher’s smoothness.

Anyway, Zach and Lindsay are still in the game for Summer and Ryan, and I continue to like those two pairings and stories. Zach is wonderful as a recurring romantic love interest, thanks to his buddying relationships with Seth and Ryan, and I like that he can actually be considered part of the hangout group here, maybe even part of the main character pool (I wonder if the writers were thinking of the character to become a main character at one point). And Lindsay is just cute, even if her story turned out to be a little more soap opera-ish in this episode, as she was talking to her sister, who wants to be her friend, followed by talking to her boyfriend, who wants to be her friend — it must be hard to be part of the Cohens. By the way, I found some inconsistency in this episode: Previously, Summer mentioned that Zach spent his winter break with his family, but this episode established he hasn’t seen his sister for a year. Do I win a prize now? No television show is ever going to find an antidote against inconsistencies, but since Zach hasn’t been part of the show for that long, I would have figured the writers knew his story.

There is one thing I would like to talk about though: Kirsten considered Ryan as her (adopted) son, when she talked to Lindsay in the office, and Sandy said “my kids” on stage. I know that Ryan has been adopted, even if I still can’t believe it and am unable to see past the notion of Sandy and Kirsten just being Ryan’s legal guardians, but here is an episode that fully acknowledged the fact that both Sandy and Kirsten see Ryan as their son now, which is something that hasn’t really happened before, if I can remember correctly. On the other side of the medallion, does Ryan accept them as his parents? Because that has for sure not been part of the story yet.

The O.C. (“The Family Ties”)

Season 2, Episode 7
Date of airing: January 6, 2005 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 7.65 million viewers, 4.8/7 in Households, 3.3/9 with Adults 18-49

There have been reviews of this season that did not speak complimentary words about Mischa Barton’s acting abilities on THE O.C. I concur that she isn’t the greatest actress in the world (however, she was great in LOST AND DELIRIOUS), and she definitely lost some market value when she decided to become a diva and ride on her fame that was built on THE O.C. before quickly falling off that horse and destroying her stardom, but so far she hasn’t made a very negative move here, and it’s especially noticeable in this episode. It turns out that after seven episodes of season two, Barton was in fact a pretty good actress — her breakdown at the pool in front of Julie in the season premiere, and now her cry-in-the-shoulder moment with Jimmy in this episode, which was a touching and dramatic and emotional scene, and it was definitely not one that made me think Barton is a bad actress. She has certain styles that are questionable (like, always showcasing her smile, because maybe she thinks her smile is the selling point), but so far I wouldn’t know why critics saw her as a problem in this season.

One hug from the ex-wife…

This episode was good enough, although I wouldn’t have bothered with the weird thing between Ryan and Lindsay so much. I guess you can definitely think about that it might be an issue when those two date, considering they are part of the same family, but it’s a fact that Ryan isn’t. I don’t even think the word ‘adoption’ has ever been put in anyone’s mouth (except in Caleb’s, during his first appearance), which makes me think that Ryan hasn’t been adopted in the legal sense of the word, and instead just got new guardianship in the form of the Cohens. For this to be a whole adoption, Ryan’s mother must have given up her parental rights, and while she kinda did that when walking away at the end of “The Gamble,” I can’t really think why she would do that for real. So, here I am, thinking that Ryan isn’t fully adopted, which means he isn’t legally a member of the Cohen family, so he should have no trouble dating Lindsay, and neither should Kirsten. But what do I know about anything, since I’m sitting here between armchairs, doing my thing no one really cares about?

The thing that annoyed me in Ryan and Lindsay’s story though is that they were constantly talking about it, while not at all talking about just risking it or maybe moving forward with the romance without having to run into the Kirsten wall every time they are close with each other. I understand why it is a problem for the two, but it was too big a problem for me. At least they had fun kissing each other, so there is that. Turns out the two are made for each other and can in fact be in a relationship, and should Kirsten be having a bad opinion about that? Because if she has a problem about it, she would be a bad sister to Lindsay, and she would be a bad sorta-mother to Ryan. Especially in these circumstances, right after the big family secret has been revealed, which is when the family needs a few happy moments, and that is something Kirsten shouldn’t even be allowed to ruin.

Meanwhile, Seth goes out of character for a girl who is out of his league, voluntarily drinks and steals a car without his heart beating out of his chest. I had to laugh when Caleb learned his car got stole, and one second later there is Seth with a stolen car (everyone thought for a second that it was Marissa who stole the car), but in hindsight I found that story ridiculous. Even after 34 episodes, most of Seth’s stories are still being used for comedic purposes, yet here is Seth, going all in to become the bad boy, by getting drunk and stealing a car, which should be a huge problem for him and his future in the Cohen family. And Seth couldn’t have just taken Ryan’s car instead? Was this entire mission executed, just so Seth can stand in front of Alex as a bad boy with a car that was probably driven by James Bond at one point?

… and one hug from a daughter makes for a busy day for Jimmy.

Summer’s story was boring, but at least it felt like the first real attempt at making her part of the show without having her be part of the Seth Cohen show. Like Zach said, they had their first fight, and it wasn’t about Cohen — I noticed that, too, and I appreciated it, although I don’t have the hots for the story. It’s great to see though that Summer can do something else than be around Cohen all the time.

And finally, there is the goodbye man. With Hailey’s move to Japan, it has become apparent that Jimmy became uninteresting, boring and useless, so this affair with his ex-wife was written into it, which was also uninteresting, boring and useless, even if it happened to emotionally destroy Marissa for this episode. Or let Jimmy to make the decision to leave Newport and sail to Hawai’i, which must be a pretty rad thing to do. I don’t know if I’m gonna miss Jimmy as a character, but it’s a fact he hasn’t gotten much to do, so it only seemed natural that the writers would say goodbye to him, let him move on, and maybe have Marissa follow up on her promise and see herself go into Crazyland. Now that the only calm constant has left her life, she should totally go straight into alcohol and troubles. Make her mother wish she had transferred her into a mental institution a year ago. This could be the original episode of Marissa’s bad side.

The O.C. (“The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t”)

Season 2, Episode 6
Date of airing: December 16, 2004 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 6.3 million viewers, 4.0/6 in Households, 2.7/8 with Adults 18-49

For a weekly soap opera, this happened to be a wonderful episode. The illegitimate family twist came around nicely and wasn’t held back for multiple episodes for the sake of construed drama, instead was turned into some great character drama full of emotion, during which I almost teared up myself as well, especially when Seth and Lindsay were talking on the beach, or Kirsten and Lindsay were hugging it out at the end, welcoming each other to the crazy Cohen/Nichol family. Those were surprisingly beautiful moments, but I’m already scared that they won’t have any outcome on the family situation, because I remember Lindsay not being this deeply involved with the show, which means her exist is pretty much around the corner, now that she has been involved in the biggest twist of the show and her story and happiness can only go up from here (until of course Ryan cheats on her with Marissa, because why the hell not?).

A kipper for Ryan gets him more excited for Christmas.

Of course, it was totally coincidental and a bit ridiculous that all the main characters and involved guest characters would find themselves in the Cohen kitchen to witness the revelation and resurrection of a huge skeleton in Caleb’s closet (it’s kind of funny, all credited cast members appeared in that scene, that usually doesn’t happen in television). I know why Julie needed to be in that scene — her follow-up slap happened to be extremely funny in a weird sense — but maybe Jimmy wasn’t really needed, and maybe Marissa and Summer weren’t needed to witness the spectacle, but I guess the Chrismukkah miracle still had to happen, so it had to involve characters not involved in the drama that came out of the soap opera twist. At leas that part of the episode worked extremely well, although I was wondering why Summer was actually interested in a Chrismukkah miracle when she wasn’t particularly interested in anything else around this time. I wondered why she was so int the holiday that she felt she needed to save it before everyone’s emotion go down the drain. It’s not like Summer had a particularly great Chrismukkah before. She even recapped it herself: She got dumped by Seth after appearing in a Wonder Woman costume. She already suffered through a bad Chrismukkah, which was her first and only Chrismukkah, so why would she be interested in getting involved with another one?

I am also thankful for the simple fact that Ryan (and Seth) wasn’t (weren’t) forced to speak the truth that they knew the truth for half a day longer than Lindsay. I was imagining her asking him if he knew about it, and Ryan would have told her the truth, and the two would have never exchanged words ever again, but there they were at the Wheeler house — she was sad and emotional and about to kiss this version of life goodbye, and he didn’t really know what to do or say to her. She had a proper reaction to the revelation, and he just wanted things to be better, because he figures that Lindsay can be a girlfriend and does not deserve this kind of hurt right now. No reason to destroy that, just because Ryan knew about Lindsay and Caleb before Lindsay did, which is definitely breakup material.

They are sisters now, and the tears bond them together.

On the other side of the medallion, I didn’t know what Summer’s positive attitude was all about. She hung out with Seth, she forced him to come Christmas tree shopping with her, she led him under a mistletoe, so she could give him a kiss on the cheek. Girl, do you even know what you want, because you look like you don’t know what you want? It was obvious that Summer’s positive attitude led to the second half of the episode, which needed her in a miracle attitude, but that behavior bites itself with the one from the previous episodes. I would go so far to say that Summer is acting in an inconsistent manner, and that dampens the fun I have with THE O.C. right now.

And then there are the adult stories. Kirsten in the closet was a good idea, because I figured she needed to live through some trauma as well. Jimmy and Julie porking each other on his boat is also a good idea, because this might confuse the hell out of Marissa, who might have been waiting for that to happen, but who might not care about it at this moment and who will most likely hate what is happening here when she does indeed find out. Also, with Caleb being the most hated man in the Cohen/Nichol/Cooper family, chances are the writers will use those conflicts to make some great drama out of the rest of the season. I would definitely approve, because the show didn’t have a lot of exciting adult drama so far.

The O.C. (“The SnO.C.”)

Season 2, Episode 5
Date of airing: December 9, 2004 (FOX)
Nielsen ratings information: 6.36 million viewers, 4.4/7 in Households, 2.9/8 with Adults 18-49

Goddammit, Ryan isn’t even allowed to be completely and utterly happy in a relationship for a change. He finally managed to get onto Lindsey’s lips, get into her good graces, hang out with her and make out with her, and suddenly the writers had to derail that relationship with a huge chunk of twisted rock in front of them, turning over a story that has Lindsey being Caleb’s illegitimate daughter, which means Lindsey is Kirsten’s half-sister, which means Ryan is dating his guardian’s half-sister, which means things might be a little awkward from here on. Well, so much for happy hearts and stuff, because one thing is for sure: Those teenagers are gonna be broken in the next episode or the one after that (including their parents or guardians), which means Lindsey will be history as a character very soon, as I cannot imagine her being part of the show for more than just the reveal of being Caleb’s love child and Kirsten’s teenage half-sister. Why stick around when you know your father and your whole life is a sham, right after you got your probably first boyfriend ever?

I am glad however that the twist was delivered in this episode. I was already wondering why Caleb, Sandy and Miss Wheeler were talking about that illegitimate child in this episode, without the child being seen (and then Miss Wheeler gendered the child as her daughter, while Sandy made sure to tell us that their kid is 16 years old), begging the question if a character already established in the show might be the illegitimate child (and Lindsey seemed the more obvious choice, because of the strawberry hair and the fact that she hasn’t been given any kind of a family back story). If the writers would have carried that twist to the next episode or the one after that, I would have most likely puked out all my dinners and snacks, because it would have been an ugly story worthy of five weeks of twisting and turning on a daily soap opera. But oh well, there is drama in the show now, although the premise of an illegitimate child is not really that intriguing for me. But it should ripple the Cohen/Cooper/Nichol family for a little bit, and you could cause all kinds of drama out of this reveal, or create additional drama. Especially now that it also involves Ryan’s love life. And aren’t we all here to witness Ryan’s messed-up love life?

Welcome to this episode’s titular festivities!

Also, aren’t we here to witness Julie having an extramarital affair with her ex-husband? It’s another one of those stories that came with a bit of preparation, because Julie and Jimmy have been awfully close recently, talking nicely and calmly about their daughter, and what life is all about. So, seeing them kiss each other on the lips and with tongue (probably) was not that much of a plot-twisting shock, especially after Julie and Jimmy had quite pleasant conversations lately. However, it did something great to Julie: She becomes much nicer all of a sudden, and she turns into more of a relatable character. She was written as the evil bitch from hell in the previous season, with one or two efforts to make her more approachable and likable, but the writers went back to the drawing board with Julie Cooper pretty much with every new plot twist, essentially rebooting her character with this season. She thinks of Ryan as handsome as the Prince Charming to Marissa’s screwed-up life, she doesn’t care much for Caleb right now (which kind of shocks me, but then again, she only married him for his money, so she shouldn’t be giving two craps about what is going on in his life right now, as long as the bank accounts remain filled with all the cash Julie never worked for), and even Jimmy seems to like this more friendlier version of Julie, but I know that was only able to happen, because he currently doesn’t have any other story and the love of his current life has disappeared to Japan.

Meanwhile, the teenage drama continued, and the four couples were still building. I seem to find Seth and Alex a little ridiculous, because Alex is more out of Seth’s league than Summer ever was. First of all, I would love to know how Alex is even able to work slash manage the Bait Shop, when she isn’t even allowed to vote yet (except of course she lied when the guys figured she was seventeen years old). Secondly, I would love to know what she sees in Seth to feel responsible for him, or have her kiss him in a weird and lovely and romantic way like this is a perfect impromptu first date or something. Maybe punk and nerddom fit together well, who knows? Maybe she actually likes doing geeks? Or maybe it’s just Seth’s hardcore charm no one can escape from — not even Ryan, which would explain why the two became friends so quick during the pilot.

At least one couple is allowed to find love and affection before Christmas.

I did like that Marissa had it a little easier in this episode. DJ might be a boring character, but he does seem like he is a good boyfriend for Marissa right now, until his portrayer’s guest starring contract runs out and Marissa is being thrown together with Ryan again. Also, it turns out that Zack is a cool dude, but only because he is not the asshole everyone thought he could have been, considering he is Seth’s rival. It makes the story more intriguing when you actually get to like the rival, when you start rooting for the Summer/Zack relationship, even if you’re supposed to root for Seth and Summer to get back together. It’s kind of clever writing, but I wouldn’t suggest that THE O.C. is a cleverly written show. At the moment, maybe, but from what I’ve heard from season three onwards, I wouldn’t want to say that again.