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?
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…
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…