The O.C. Sundays – Volume Eight – Season One: Episode Eight – The Rescue

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.



Marissa is such a narc. “I have no one,” said the girl who literally had three people right by her side caring about her well being before she took a bunch of pills and almost died in a dirty alley in Tijuana. Remember how Ryan and Seth lied about going to Mexico? Well now they’re a bit fucked because Marissa nearly OD’d so they had to call their parents and let them know. Thanks Marissa.

It’s very early morning at the Cohen house and everyone is pretty depressed about the whole thing. It’s Sandy’s first day at his new job, Ryan has a meeting with Harbor school (the exclusive private school in Newport) to see if he qualifies to go there, and everyone is just waiting to hear back from the hospital on how Marissa is doing. The phone rings on the sweet ass cordless landline and we cut to The Cohens at the hospital.

Jimmy is watching over Marissa as they come in, and he informs them that she will be fine. Jimmy thanks Ryan for finding Marissa and says that if they hadn’t air lifted her out she probably would have died. Julie comes in to insult everyone because she has failed as a parent so she clearly has to take her aggressions out on the Cohens.

Sandy: “Don’t take it personally. Julie has just been through every parent’s nightmare.”
Kirsten: “I’m sure she’ll apologize.”

Sandy: “You are? It’s Julie Cooper we’re talking about.”

As the Cohens go to leave, Julie pulls Ryan aside and says everything terrible that’s happened to Marissa is Ryan’s fault. Ryan says he’d never do anything to hurt Marissa and Julie says he’s never going to see her again and she’ll make sure of it.

Later that day at the Harbor school Ryan goes to meet with the Dean, Dr. Kim. The school is basically a college campus and a few students mill about because it’s registration week.


Kirsten is talking to all the faculty while Seth shows Ryan around. He is clearly impressed by the swimming pool and the basic rich peopleness of the place. Ryan goes in to meet Dr. Kim and right away she insults Seth.

“Ryan, nice to meet you. Seth, always interesting to see you.”

Dr. Kim isn’t impressed with Ryan’s truancy and criminal record, but is impressed with his grades. She says that if Ryan can pass a few tests he can come to rich people school.


Seth is reading on the school balcony while waiting for Ryan and there is a terrible shot of a green screen ocean behind him. Nice 2003 set. The filming location for this school is catholic girl’s college in LA and you can actually see the ocean from it but for some reason they needed it to feel like the ocean was RIGHT THERE, so green screen was the obviously terrible choice. Summer shows up looking sad about Marissa and Seth invites her over. Seth says that they should go by and cheer her up when she’s feeling better. Summer almost says yes, but then cheerleaders walk by and give her a ‘why you talking to that nerd’ look, and she makes a half ass promise about it because she does not want to be seen hanging out with Seth.

At Sandy’s new job, Rachel is showing him around and flirting her face off with him. Sandy looks at the kind of work he’ll be handling and is disappointed it’s mostly rich people suing other rich people for bad Botox and yacht noises. Sandy keeps wanting to go to court for most of these cases, but Rachel is trying to get him to settle most of the cases.

Julie talks to Jimmy about taking sole custody of Marissa and Kaitlin. Jimmy says he’ll fight her on it. They whisper fight while Marissa hears the whole thing. Time to run away from her problems and ruin someone else’s life because hers is going so poorly!

Ryan is trying to study and Seth is obsessing to him over Summer blowing him off. He finally convinces Seth to stop talking when the phone rings. It’s Marissa and she’s’ so upset she NEEDS Ryan ASAP. He drops everything (including his future at Harbor school) to visit her. Marissa apologizes and says she wasn’t trying to kill herself. She just wanted to escape. Ryan says he understands because he’s trying to get laid.


Julie comes back in and Ryan hides in the bathroom while she has a freak out. Ryan says he has to go take the test and he’ll be back after that. Marissa seems fine with that but you never know with her.

Julie wants to send Marissa to Dr. Burke, a psychiatrist in San Diego. She works at some recovery center and Julie says Dr. Burke will be in to evaluate her. Marissa grabs her phone and makes another “MY LIFE IS SO TERRIBLE” phone call, this time to Summer, to rally Ryan and Seth to save her!

Summer stops by Seth’s and finds Captain Oats, an adorable plastic horse from Seth’s childhood that she immediately makes fun of him for (hang on, Princess Sparkle is coming).

Summer: “We need to do something radical. We need Ryan.”

Seth: “What’s wrong with me am I not radical enough?”

Summer: “That depends are you ready to take on Julie Cooper?”
Seth: “We Need Ryan.”

*they attempt to exit Seth’s room*

Seth: “That’s my bed.”

Summer: “Uh-huh.”

Seth: “Just wanted you to know.”

Now Seth and Summer are in on the “let’s ruin Ryan’s future” train. They go to break him out of his placement exam because even though Marissa is in ZERO danger, she needs HELP again. Since Ryan can’t wait like 20 minutes to an hour to finish his test, he hand sit in half done to Dr. Kim and says it wouldn’t have worked out any and leaves because MARISSA.

Meanwhile Marissa is being evaluated, and the doctor pretty much is confirming that Marissa is an alcoholic. She says not unkindly, “I’m here because accidentally or not you nearly killed yourself.” While Marissa is legit getting the help she needs, Summer comes down the hall dressed as a Candy Striper to break her out of the hospital. Because undercover.

The doctor talks to Jimmy and Julie and says she can definitely get help here in Newport, but Julie wants Marissa committed to the institute. Like she’s got the money for that. Julie goes behind Jimmy’s back and tells the doctor that they’ve decided they want Marissa committed.

Ryan shows up just in time to put Marissa in a candy striper outfit and Summer distracts Julie and the doctor. Luke shows up with flowers and Marissa is like NOPE. He see’s Julie and puts together that they’re trying to escape. He lets them go and does the first nice thing! Aw, I love watching Luke become a good human.

Jimmy comes by The Cohen’s to talk to Sandy about custody but he’s not home. Kirsten says it’s not okay that he tried to kiss her but that they’re old friends and it’s silly to let something so small get in the way of their friendship. Kirsten and Jimmy show up to where Sandy and Rachel are having ‘welcome to the firm’ drinks. She finds out where she is from his front desk at work. However, it clearly looks like they’re getting drunk on the job in a weird date situation. Because that’s exactly what’s happening. Jimmy sees that this is awkward and they leave with a final bitch remark from Kirsten to Sandy: “I’ll see you at home when you finish work.” Oh SNAP.

Jimmy goes back to his apartment to find Seth, Summer, Ryan, Marissa sitting in the dark on his couch. Marissa says that her mom was getting ready to drive her down to San Diego. Jimmy clearly had no idea and Marissa says he wants to live with him and do outpatient therapy. The phone rings and it’s Julie and he tells her that Marissa is there. Marissa overhears and runs away again because It’s what she does best.

Summer, Seth, Marissa, and Ryan eat pizza on the boardwalk and Ryan says he can stay away from her if he’s the reason her mom wants her to go away. Marissa says she just wants her mom to LISTEN to her. URGH. LIFE IS HARD.

Back at the Cohen’s, Kirsten is mad at Sandy for his hot date/drinks with Rachel. He says nothing is on, and Sandy makes a point that she spent time painting at Jimmy’s house and he didn’t give her shit for it. STILL HASN’T TOLD HIM ABOUT THAT KISS. They say they trust each other. Uh huh. Sure.

Ryan calls Sandy and they come up with a plan. They bring Julie over to their house for a weird communication intervention with her and Ryan. Ryan tries to relate to Julie with their similar upbringing, which she does not appreciate.

Ryan: “Look you’re from Riverside right? That’s not too far from where I grew up.”

Julie looks like he just slapped her in the face.

He says that Marissa doesn’t want to go to San Diego and she definitely doesn’t want to live with her Mom. Marissa shows up dramatically behind her and asks her to just say yes. Marissa promises to see a therapist if she lets her stay in town with her dad. Julie says, “This isn’t over.” So nothing is solved. Marissa kisses Ryan on the cheek. His reward for her drama getting in the way of his future at Harbor school.

While all this goes on Seth and Summer sit by the pool and he asks if she will ignore him when they get back to school. She doesn’t really answer, but it’s obvious she’s considering not ignoring him. When Julie storms out Summer takes Marissa home to Jimmy’s and Seth is left alone with his Mom.

Kirsten: “Now let’s talk about that surprise little trip to Tijuana.”

Seth: “It’s pronounced Tia-whuana, that’s how, you’re so white mom.”

Sandy tells Ryan to go explain himself to Dr. Kim, he might not have lost out on Harbor school just yet.

Sandy, Seth, and Ryan head off to make a plea to Dr. Kim for Ryan to retake the test. Sandy tries to bond with Seth over Summer, saying they looked chummy yesterday and Seth clearly doesn’t want to talk to his dad about it.

Ryan comes out of Dr. Kim’s office having retook the test and passed. Dr. Kim says welcome to The Harbor School and she’ll be watching him. Cool. Boring filler episode.

Best Song of the Episode:

No real great songs this episode. Here is the list if you don’t believe me:

  • “Keep It Together” by Guster
  • “Let the Bad Times Roll” by Paul Westerberg
  • “Le Femme D’argent” by Air

Best Quote:

I mean seriously, Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows are insane.

Number of Non-White People with Actual Lines in This Episode:

Dr. Kim is an Asian American woman if you couldn’t tell from her last name. She speaks and is smart.

Dr. Burke who evaluates Marissa is an African American woman and a Doctor.

So two women of color with speaking roles this episode.

That’s TWO people, our highest number yet.

Weird 2003 thing:

Marissa’s flip camera phone makes multiple appearances this episode as she tries to make secret phone calls from her hospital bed. I don’t know anyone who didn’t want one of those at the time.

Best Fashion Statement:

Whatever the hell Julie is wearing here as the mother of a daughter who just tried to kill herself. Also those chunky blonde highlights that were in style for some reason.


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