The O.C. Sundays – Volume Two – Season One: Episode Three – The Gamble
Recap by Holly Hill
Why Rewatch The O.C.?
The O.C. premiered on August 5, 2003 and ended on February 22, 2007. Or May 18, 2006 if you like to pretend that the fourth season never happened (a lot of people do, it’s okay). The O.C. not only introduced a lot of people to some fantastic music through its heavily bought mix tapes (this is before YouTube, Spotify, & Apple Music), it also created Chrismukkah, and inspired a decades worth of ‘THE REAL’ reality shows.
Not sure what I mean by that? Well The O.C. prompted the reality show Laguna Beach: The Real O.C., and a thousand other spinoffs to it. The catch phrase ‘The Real O.C.’ morphed into The Real Housewives of fill in the blank rich people cities.
Needless to say, despite its shortcomings, The O.C. had some great writing, a fantastic soundtrack, and truly inspired a generation worth of TV, for better or worse. The O.C. is the only TV show I own on box set. I haven’t watched it in awhile, so why don’t we watch it together? Whether you’re new to The O.C. (you can stream it on Hulu) or a long time fan, it’s a show anyone with a love for the dramatic can enjoy.
The episode opens with Ryan and Seth BMX biking and skateboarding down the Newport boardwalk. The two sit down to a lobster dinner and discuss fashion. Because you know. Now they are both rich kids.
“Is that a new shirt?”
“Yeah your Mom bought me some new clothes, she didn’t have to.”
Ryan gives him a classic Ryan look.
“Gotcha, you got your style I got mine.”
They discuss Marissa, who Ryan has not called because he is giving her space. Ryan feels uncomfortable with everyone giving him money and as he whines, someone behind them who works there gets fired. Perfect time for Ryan to get a job for one episode only! Because that’s exactly how that sort of thing works in the real world. Seth gets pretty sad about this prospect of something else taking up Ryan’s time.
“Before you moved here, all I did was hang out by myself, so it’s really a return to form.”
Kirsten is having a retreat with her awful friend group and Julie. The other women in the group are OBVIOUSLY horny for the scandal that Julie has just created with Jimmy stealing all their husbands’ money. Kirsten is not thrilled with the gossip, but insists they must go anyway since it’s been booked for weeks. Back in the Cooper house, Julie says she needs to go because it’s already paid for and so they don’t talk shit about her the entire time. Jimmy was hoping they could talk this weekend and Julie is like, this is your mess, clean it up.
At the beach, Summer and Marissa are tanning. Rachel Bilson, as Summer, is in a bikini, because it’s in her contract or whatever that she can only wear bikini tops. Summer wants to go shopping and Marissa is like, ‘WAHH MY DAD’S CREDIT CARDS GOT SHUT OFF HOW DO I PAY FOR STUFF?’ Relax bitch. They talk about how Luke is kind of not her boyfriend anymore. Summer says that Marissa needs to not be depressed because her step mom is depressed and is always on medication and she sucks. Okay, we are building a Summer character and a history and background. MAYBE Rachel Bilson can put on a shirt sometime soon. Summer invites Marissa to lunch, and they of course go to the lobster shack or wherever that Ryan now works at for one episode.
Donnie sees Luke walk in and laments to Ryan, “That Abercrombie and Fitch water polo playing bitch wouldn’t last a day in Corona.” Ryan admits he’s from Chino and they talk about how that place is no joke.
Okay, time for another SoCal lesson from a local. Chino is in San Bernardino County and Corona is in Riverside County. They are just 20 minutes apart though. I’ve said this previously that just because Chino isn’t in Orange County doesn’t mean it is a total shit hole, full of of gangsters that are ‘no joke’, and neither is (surprise) Corona. It’s actually quite nice. The only thing that’s no joke about it is that it’s inland like Chino and hot as fuck out there, basically all the time. I’m not sure where Josh Schwartz got his info on places in Southern California that aren’t Newport beach, but it’s lacking in actual information.
Donnie promises that not everyone around here is like Luke though, and promises to show him a good time after work. Marissa and Luke ‘talk’ but all Luke wants to do is pretend everything is normal and just go get drunk at Holly’s beach house. Marissa has to remind him that Holly’s Dad beat up her dad at her debutante ball. Luke says that Marissa’s dad stole all her money so it’s not Holly’s fault. Wrong thing to say. Needless to say, they are still on the outs after that conversation. Seth shows up as Ryan is off work, hoping to hang out. He meets Donnie but feels out of place, and doesn’t take the invite to come hang out with him and Ryan.
The next morning, Ryan blearily walks into the Cohen kitchen to find a very cold-shouldered Seth reading comics and eating cereal. Seth clearly feels left out. Summer and Marissa are back at the beach and Summer is in another bikini. Ryan is headed into work and passes Marissa and Summer.
“When I asked if you wanted to hang out yesterday, I was asking you out.”
“I just wanted to clear that up because I’m going to ask you out again. Wanna do something tonight?”
Marissa says she has to babysit Kaitlin, but she will be cooking mac and cheese and invites Ryan over.
Sandy sees Jimmy walking his dog and offers free legal advice. Sandy admits that even though he doesn’t like him, he’s a public defender and he represents a lot of people he doesn’t like. Sandy and Jimmy discuss how Jimmy is really in deep shit here. He’s gonna lose his license and he’s never gonna pay back the money he stole. Jimmy and Sandy play videos games and ask each other if they are old. Sandy says the best year of his life was when he was 22, when he met Kirsten. Jimmy says 16, when I met Kirsten. Awkward.
At the retreat, Julie talks about how she needs to enjoy the weekend because she’s not going to be back for awhile. She works the room and whines about how she’s just worried about the girls and had no idea Jimmy was stealing! The women can’t get enough of it and suck down their bloody mary’s, dying for more details. One of them gives Julie the name of a divorce lawyer, and Kirsten is mildly disgusted by the whole thing.
Seth tries once again to get Ryan to hang out by enticing him with IMAX tickets to a shark movie. Fucking party. Ryan has to let him down again because of his Marissa date. Donnie comes out and fist bumps Seth, and since Ryan can’t hang out, he invites Seth to go to the party where there will be…wait for it.
Seth agrees and Ryan tells him Long Beach is a ‘shady neighborhood’ and ‘pretty hardcore’. Oh my god Ryan, no it’s not. Long beach is fine. I feel like I can say that since that’s where I was born. Holy shit. Long Beach is in Los Angeles county, but borders Orange County. It’s like Schwartz thinks as soon as you cross the invisible county line, things start to get ghetto. To say that Long Beach as a whole is ‘shady,’ really misrepresents the place. Sure some neighborhoods aren’t great, like North Long Beach or the west side neighborhood. Go there at night for a party and it might get a little shady, but that’s about it. But Donnie never specifies where in Long Beach this party is. It could be in fucking Naples or something, in which case it’d be just like a Newport party. Hold your judgement, Ryan!
So clearly, Ryan can’t let Seth go alone so he escorts him to what is clearly North Long Beach or West Side neighborhood, because this party is located in a parking lot with hydraulic cars and the Black Eyed Peas pumping Get Retarded (which has not been dubbed to it’s PC version of Get it Started. Very gangster.) Girls are stripping in the backyard/parking lot and Seth is like…boobs. Ryan says they are only going to hang out for 45 minutes. Ryan calls Marissa and says he got dragged to a party, but has to get Seth away from a dancer before he can come over.
Seth and Ryan head back at the allotted time, only to find that their Ranger Rover has been damaged. Apparently you don’t bring a Range Rover to North Long Beach. The next morning, Sandy is observing the damage to his car.
Ryan clearly has missed his date with Marissa, and Seth apologizes for salting his game. Seth goes to Marissa’s to apologize to her for taking Ryan away. He says that Ryan is mad at him right now and he begs Marissa to have Ryan cook her dinner.
Sandy and Jimmy go golfing and Sandy says he won’t go to jail if he pays back everything he lost, but he’ll lose his Series 7 license. Sandy says Jimmy can sell his house and he’s got money in equity. This is too much for Jimmy. How dare Sandy try to help him by telling him the truth about how fucked he is! Jimmy screams at Sandy about how poor he is and how Kirsten takes care of him, and to Sandy’s credit, he doesn’t throw his golf club at Jimmy’s face. Sandy says there’s more to providing for family than money, and asks if Jimmy wants to be around to see Kaitlin grow up, and Marissa graduate. Jimmy leaves that decision up to Julie. Keep the house and throw him in jail, or sell everything and start over as a family.
At Ryan’s job, Seth says that he’s quite skilled at getting a date when it’s not for himself. He tells Ryan he will be cooking for Marissa tonight and Donnie overhears and asks Seth what’s up tonight. Seth tells him about a party at Holly’s beach house (again!?). Donnie asks if he can come to Holly’s beach house with Seth and party with the Newport kids, drink their beer, and dance with their honeys. Sweet, ‘honeys’. Cool.
Back at Ryan and Marissa’s date, Ryan is grilling grilled cheese and Marissa brings over leftover mac and cheese. Marissa wipes her hands on a napkin saying it was the best grilled cheese ever – as if she actually ate it. We all know that she is only allotted three almonds a day. Ryan asks if Marissa wants to do something fun and they push each other in the pool. OMG so cute. All This Time by Onerepublic plays and obviously everyone at home is in swoon mode.
At Holly’s beach house, Summer is wearing a t-shirt, which is the biggest revelation of the night. Luke is sad and drunk, and Holly basically jumps on him knowing that he and Marissa are taking a break.
Donnie hits on Summer and they all make fun of him. Donnie says these kids are ‘mad doggin’ him. Then he shows Seth his gun. Okay, cool Donnie. Way to turn into a psycho.
Seth, who has the worst timing ever, calls Ryan saying that Donnie is a psycho and he has to pick him up, basically interrupting what would have been Ryan and Marissa’s first kiss. Marissa takes off because that’s what she does when there’s a chance that things could get emotional. Donnie and his friends are throwing chips at each other and breaking vodka bottles. Luke comes down and confronts Donnie. Seth tries to warn him to back off, but then Ryan shows up. Seth says that Ryan and he should go. Luke pushes Donnie who obviously has to pull out his gun and point it sideways at Luke. Damn those Long Beach/Chino/Riverside/Corona/non-Orange County kids are crazy!
“How much you hate this kid Ryan? What about you Seth?”
Nice green t-shirt Summer. I see you back there semi-clothed. Ryan tackles Donnie to the ground and Luke’s arm gets shot. No water polo for you. Donnie takes off, and Luke is whisked away to the hospital in an ambulance. Ryan, being the good guy he is, calls Marissa to come to the hospital to see Luke. She tells him not to wait for her. She might be awhile.
Guess that Ryan Marissa thing is on hold for now.
Best Song of the Episode:
“The Way We Get By” by Spoon
This was the first time I ever heard a Spoon song and have since become a lifelong fan.
Seth: I do think that from now on, though, we got to stick together because united we’re unstoppable, but divided it’s…
Ryan: People get shot.
Seth: That’s what I’m saying. That’s what I’m saying.
Number of Non-White People with Actual Lines in This Episode:
Zero. Which is surprising because they were in Long Beach which is ‘a shady neighborhood’.
Weird 2003 thing:
Seth’s giant white first gen ipod.
Also, in one scene Ryan is eating from a box of Captain Crunch with The Wild Thornberrys on it. Not a thing anymore.
Best Fashion Statement:
Summer’s green t-shirt. You heard that right. T-shirt. On Summer.