The O.C. Sundays – Volume Fourteen – Season One: Episode Fourteen – The Countdown

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.



Now that Marissa is in therapy, Ryan is under the impression that everything is normal and fine now. Oh Ryan, you poor delusional man. Nothing is ever okay when you’re dating Marissa Cooper. They decide to stay in for New Years (It’s almost 2004, yo!), and Ryan ends the night with a oopsie.


Marissa: “Uh…you’re welcome?”

Ryan goes back to the pool house to find a half naked women he’s never seen before who demands to know who he is. She tells him that this is her pool house and he says actually it’s his. Ryan guesses that she is Kirsten’s younger sister Hailey. Hailey says Kirsten doesn’t know she’s here and they’ll sort it out in the morning, but for now Ryan can sleep on the couch.

In the morning, Seth finds Ryan on the couch and he tells him Hailey is here. Seth is thrilled and goes to ask his parents in kitchen where Hailey is.

Kirsten: “I don’t know, Thailand, Morocco?”

Sandy: “I think she’s planting trees in Tacoma.”

Kirsten: “Costa Rica building churches.”

Sandy: “I think that was Nicaragua and they were hospitals.”

Seth: “She’s in the pool house.”

Once Ryan comes in from the couch Kirsten realizes they’re not joking she starts to wonder why Hailey would be here. Sandy says she’s run out of money. Hailey then enters in her underwear.

Seth: “Aunt Hailey! Later when you’re dressed, we’ll hug.”

Seth gives Hailey his robe and Kirsten and Sandy leave to go make up the guest bedroom. Hailey asks what their New Year’s Eve plans are and Seth says he’s going to do whatever Ryan and Marissa do. Ryan says that he and Marissa might not be doing much because he said Thank You to her I Love You. Seth says it looks like they’ll all be staying in.

Back at therapy, Marissa and Oliver chat again in the waiting room. He tells her he’s having a party tonight where he lives in the Four Seasons penthouse. Okay. That’s reason number three not to trust Oliver. Marissa doesn’t seem bothered by any of this though. She says her and her boyfriend Ryan might show up. Oliver says that his girlfriend Natalie will be there too. Uh-huh.

Kirsten is trying to find out why Hailey is back other than money. Hailey says she was going to call their Dad, Caleb, and let him know soon. Kirsten says she has two weeks to do so because that’s when he gets back from Paris….with Julie Cooper. Hailey is floored that her father would date her and asks what’s going with Jimmy Cooper then. Kirsten says they’re getting a divorce. Hailey tells Kirsten about a party that her and Sandy should go to since they are clearly a very boring married couple.

Marissa asks Ryan to go to the party to which he is clearly not interested. He asks who Oliver is, and she says a guy from therapy. Red flag number 1,000. Marissa says she is going to the party, and Ryan says he is not. Kirsten and Sandy are off to their dinner and then the party that Hailey suggested. They ask if they need anything before they go.

Seth: “Ryan needs a tear in the space-time continuum so he can go and back and say ‘I love you’ to Marissa.”

Hailey shoves them out the door and says she doesn’t expect them before 2:00am. She comes back in and can’t believe Ryan and Seth aren’t dressed to go out. They say they aren’t going out. Hailey convinces them to go to Oliver’s party by convincing Ryan that if he doesn’t go Marissa will end up kissing Oliver at midnight. As they’re getting ready to leave a bunch of Hailey’s friends come in the door for the party she’s throwing….at the house.

Ryan feels like he can’t leave now, and Seth says he’s not going to be the one to tell his Aunt she can’t have a party. It’s embarrassing. Seth says he’ll stick around and make sure nothing too damaging breaks and Ryan should go after Marissa. He instead goes to confront Hailey who is being yelled at in a room by a friend who says she owes her three grand. Ryan threatens to call the cops and Hailey locks Ryan and Seth inside the pool house. Seth starts breathing through a bag and Ryan starts imagining Oliver making out with Marissa. Seth asks Ryan why he didn’t say I love you. He says he’s never said it before, but he definitely does love Marissa (WHY?).


Marissa brings Summer to the party and Anna is also there. Anna says her parents are friends with the parents of the guy who’s throwing this party. Marissa asks if she knows Oliver. She doesn’t. Ooookay then. Oliver shows up and takes Marissa to show her around. Anna asks if Summer knows where Seth is. She says she doesn’t know.

In the car, Kirsten asks Sandy if they’re in a rut, an idea she clearly got from her sister. She asks Sandy if they need to take more chances and he thinks they do and he starts defying the GPS lady. She tells him to go left, he goes right. Kirsten tells him to stop and just listen to the GPS lady.


Kirsten suggests they skip dinner and just go to the party that Hailey suggested. Just to be spontaneous!

Oliver says his parents actually own a bunch of hotels, which is why they are having the party here. He and Marissa flirt over the word ‘mojito’ and they drink virgin drinks. They are super boring and weird. Oliver says he’s clean and sober for 11 months now. He asks where Ryan is and she says he’s not coming. She asks where Natalie is and he says she isn’t here. Oliver says it’s a long-distance relationship. They make a toast to each other’s significant others.

Hailey comes into the pool house and asks for Ryan and Seth’s help to get rid of a girl who’s going to tear the place apart if she doesn’t get money from Hailey. Ryan says he’ll help shut the party down and Seth agrees because it’s already what he does best. Ryan takes off to hopefully beat the clock and kiss Marissa before midnight.

Anna and Summer are sitting on a couch and a guy nods over at them. They nod back then wonder who he was actually nodding at.

They can’t figure out who he is interested in, so they both go up to the guy and make him choose between them. A great metaphor for Seth. Anna says she’s going to go and Summer stays to hang out with the guy.

Kirsten and Sandy show up to the party and they slowly realize it’s a swinger’s party. Kirsten still thinks they’re in a rut, and Sandy puts his watch in the bowl to prove to Kirsten they can be fun. She looks mad about it even though she essentially dared him to put his watch in the bowl. Sandy and Kirsten wait as everyone draws watches and suddenly they’re the last two left. Sandy reveals he never put his watch in the bowl and they head home.

The house is a disaster. Hailey says she’ll clean up, Seth goes to take out the garbage. Sandy opens up the door to find his bedroom is occupied…a little homage to Seth in the first episode.


Kirsten and Hailey fight.

Kirsten: “Your whole life is dedicated to having fun….but are you even having any?”

Hailey storms off into the pool house without cleaning up the house. Nice.

Seth goes to take the garbage out and finds Anna in his driveway. She says she didn’t want to be alone on New Years. They decide to hang out.

Ryan arrives at the Four Seasons with only 3 minutes to spare. The elevators are taking forever so he books it up the stairs all the way to the penthouse. He almost doesn’t make it and it looks as if Oliver and Marissa are nearly about to kiss for some reason. The countdown starts just as Ryan makes it inside. Marissa see’s him at the last moment, shoves Oliver aside and her and Ryan adorably kiss. He pulls back and tells her he loves her. Marissa says thank you. Classy girl!

Oliver makes out with no one. Sandy and Kirsten change the sheets on their bed to make out. Anna and Seth make out in his bedroom. Ryan and Marissa make out. Summer makes out with the guy at the party before pushing him off her and telling him he’s not Seth Cohen. Oh Summer, you poor dear.

Best Song of the Episode:

“Dice” by Finley Quaye

Best Quote:

Hailey: “That was last year, Kiki.”

Kirsten: “Don’t call me Kiki, only Dad calls me Kiki and only because he won’t not.”

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

ZERO. Nice job OC.

Weird 2003 thing:

When Marissa says it’s the last day of 2003. Weird. Guess this category gets updated next week!

Summer: “Seth Cohen is so 2003.”

Also so many mentions of Carson Daily in this episode as he used to to do the midnight ball drop thang on tv around this time.

Best Fashion Statement:



Obvious Reasons to NOT trust Oliver Trask:


  1. He knows who you are even though you have no friend or places in common
  2. He knows your medical history
  3. He lives in a hotel
  4. Anna says her parents know the parents of the guy who’s throwing the party, but she doesn’t know who Oliver is.
  5. He says his girlfriend lives long-distance so you’ll probably never get to meet her. Super convenient.
  6. He give you ‘come make out with me’ eyes on new years even though he knows you have a boyfriend.

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