The O.C. Sundays – Volume Seventeen – Season One: Episode Seventeen – The Rivals

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 look on Ryan’s face says it all here and I’ll refer to it again in a moment. The kids are back at school. I say kids because they’re supposed to be 16, even though they look 21 and I say back at school because they are back at school. You know that thing they sometimes go to in between new years parties, fake OD’s, concerts and time away in Palm Springs.

Seth: You did accuse a guy of faking a suicide attempt

Ryan: No, I didn’t I just didn’t believe him.

Seth: Hard to believe such blind compassion upset Marissa.

That’s right Ryan and Marissa are on the outs. Oliver’s ‘suicide’ attempt and Ryan’s ‘yeah right’ about it has finally made Marissa choose between Oliver and Ryan. Of course in a friend vs boyfriend way. Because Oliver is clearly someone who just wants to be friends with Marissa. According to Marissa. Who is insane. Seth suggests Ryan make peace with Oliver and try to be his friend. He tells Marissa that since Oliver is her friend, he will try to be Oliver’s friend. He promises he’ll try to be cool with it and he does a pretty good job for about FIVE seconds until Oliver shows up at school. Guess what? He’s the new transfer student. Cue to the photo at the top here of Ryan’s face. Now you get it. Oh fucking great.

Oliver: Marissa and I have like the exact same schedule now. What are the odds?

Ryan: Crazy.

I’m sorry is Marissa a fucking moron? Don’t answer that, we all know the answer.

Meanwhile, Seth confides to Ryan that he and Anna never fight and they like all the same things. This makes him wonder if he is dating the female version of himself. Seth and Anna decide that they should like/do different things sometime to avoid this. Also they dress alike. I think Summer’s brother/sister comment is really getting to them.

Sandy meets up with Jimmy to talk about their deal to buy The Lighthouse restaurant. Jimmy can’t believe that Sandy remembers their drunk conversation, but he agrees to go with Sandy to meet with some investors. Sandy puts a down payment on the restaurant and Jimmy is hesitant to sign anything, but at the last minute agrees to and The Lighthouse is suddenly back in business.

Julie shows up at Kirsten’s office asking about the interior design job that the Newport Group is hiring for. Julie has zero experience. Kirsten is hesitant but Julie says she’ll do their first house for free and if Kirsten likes it they can talk more about it. Naturally Julie ruins everything and Kirsten swoops in the to save the day so Caleb won’t find out about it. With Kirsten’s help, Caleb loves the place and hires Julie, much to Kirsten’s dismay.

Seth is the funny friend, right? So when Summer shows up at their lunch group hang out time with a ‘funny’ guy (who isn’t funny at all) named Danny, Seth is immediately jealous.

dannytheoc (1).jpg

Summer’s new hilarious ‘boyfriend’ is pissing Seth off and he and Anna come to school dressed the same again. Seth goes on and on about it to Anna, who realizes that he’s actually jealous of Danny’s relationship with Summer. To prove he’s not jealous he invites Danny to hang out with him after school. Danny asks Seth if he could try to be less funny around Summer. Summer apparently always tells Danny how funny Seth is. This brightens Seth’s mood considerably and he suddenly really likes Danny. He tells Danny he needs to be bigger, and funnier. Essentially he’s trying to make Summer so annoyed with Danny she leaves him. Seth gets his wish the next day as Summer tells him that her and Danny broke up. Anna shows up and her and Seth are wearing the same scarf. Seth looks annoyed. Summer clearly loves Seth and Seth clearly loves Summer. COME ON ALREADY.

Oliver finds Ryan at lunch on a couch and makes small talk about school being hard. Oliver says there was an incident at his old school so he left. Oliver asks Ryan to give him a chance so they can start over, but really he wants to know what the incident was that lead to Oliver leaving his old school. Ryan tells Seth he doesn’t trust Oliver. Seth says he can either go break into the file room at school and find out what that incident was or he can just let it go. Ryan chooses to break into school instead and he gets caught looking at Oliver’s file. We get our first non-white person in in like five episodes when Dr. Kim, the principal, is back to discuss Ryan breaking into the school. Ryan said he found out from the file that Oliver slit his wrists in the bathroom at his old school….over a girl who filed a restraining order. He thinks that he could turn violent on Marissa. Dr. Kim says that’s confidential and Oliver has been rehabilitated. Uh-huh. Ryan gets detention for every day until the honor committee reaches a verdict on what do with him.

Ryan sees Oliver give a piece of paper to Marissa, who puts it in her locker. Seth and Ryan meet up in the pool house and Seth asks if Ryan learned his lesson. Ryan has not. He will not let this go. He shows Seth the letter that he’s already taken out of her locker. He says he hasn’t read it, and Seth tells him to put it back. Seth says Ryan is acting scary. Ryan says that Oliver is scary. Ryan says he’ll put the letter back. Seth leaves and Ryan reads the letter. It says that he can’t live without her and Oliver loves her. Seth says if Marissa finds out he took the letter they are finished as a couple.

Ryan almost gets away with everything until Dr. Kim intervenes. She sits Marissa down and says she’s worried about a transfer student that has a close relationship with Marissa and might be unstable. Marissa says she’s aware of Oliver’s issues. Dr. Kim says she’s talking about Ryan. Oh THANKS BITCH. Now we know who to blame when all of this shit finally comes to a head.

Ryan gets out of detention only to find Marissa waiting. Unsurprisingly she is pissed and Ryan says he broke into the school for her protection because he was worried about her (okay I guess that sounds a little crazy). Ryan says Oliver is obsessed with her. Marissa denies it because she’s oblivious. Ryan says he knows for a fact because of the letter in her locker. Marissa says that letter isn’t meant for her. It’s meant for Oliver’s ex girlfriend, Natalie. He wants to get back together with her and he wanted Marissa to read the letter first. Oh if that wasn’t a planted trap from Oliver I don’t know what was. Marissa breaks up with Ryan because now she doesn’t trust him. Good!

The next day Oliver shows up and tells Ryan he heard about about happened. Ryan apologizes to Oliver and says he was wrong about him.

Oliver: Did you think I came here for Marissa? Because I’m in love with her?

Ryan: Yeah I know, I…it was crazy.

Oliver: *shurgs* Here’s the deal Ryan and it’s nothing personal. Marissa and I we just connect.

Oliver goes on a long speech about his true confession to Ryan of being an obsessed stalker psycho.


Ryan: I’m not going to let this happen.

Oliver: At this point who will believe you? Walk away, you have a chance to make something of yourself. Don’t blow it all over some chick you’re not going to care about in ten years.

Ryan lasts about two more seconds until he punches Oliver three times in the face on school property. He looks insane as he’s held back and screams at Oliver to stay away from her. So that’s at least a suspension for Ryan who now has no girlfriend and an insane person stalking his ex. Good times on The OC.

Best Song of the Episode:

“The Spoils Of The Spoiled” by The New Amsterdams

Best Quote:

“Ryan, I am no girl, although I did spend several summers at Camp Tuckahoe being called such, but maybe you’re jealousy is getting in the way.” – Seth Cohen

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

Dr. Kim, coming in and giving us some color! You go girl.

Weird 2004 thing:

Seth mentions to Summer that he has a bunch of Jon Stewarts Daily Show on Tivo if she ever wants to come over and watch. Today, Trevor Noah hosts the Daily Show.

Best Fashion Statement:

Me too Summer, me too. Stop wearing scarfs in Orange County. It’s like a constant 75 degrees.


Obvious Reasons to NOT trust Oliver Trask:


  1. He knows who you are even though you have no friends 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 gives you ‘come make out with me’ eyes on new years even though he knows you have a boyfriend.
  7. His name isn’t on the list for backstage passes at the front door but he meets you in back to get you in
  8. His girlfriend Natalie never shows up when he says she will (spoiler, she doesn’t exist)
  9. He makes angry phone calls about cocaine then tries to buy some off an undercover cop and gets arrested
  10. He watches you and your friends creepily from outside your house.
  11. He says his parents and Natalie will be in Palm Springs, then they don’t show up
  12. He tries to run out off the golf course by causing you to die in a golf cart accident
  13. He breaks a plate and freaks out when you call him on his shit
  14. He fakes a suicide attempt so he can make sure he has your full attention
  15. He shows up as a transfer student at your school with zero warning (because at thing point he’s probably stalking you)
  16. He makes sure you and him have the exact same schedule
  17. He slit his wrists in the high school bathroom over a girl and she filed a restraining order
  18. He tricks you into believing all of this is your fault before he coerces you into punching him several times

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