The O.C. Sundays – Volume Two – Season One: Episode Two – The Model Home
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.
Ryan is back at the Cohen’s and as the episode starts it seems as if he’s already taking advantage of the rich life.
He and Seth lounge in the pool while Sandy and Kirsten cook a last meal before Ryan has to be taken to child services in the morning. Seth wants to do something cool on Ryan’s last night, “Possibly get some tattoos, hire some hookers and lose our virginity.” Ryan gives him a ‘that ship sailed a long time ago for me’ look, but instead of giving Seth a hard time, he confesses he just wants to lay low tonight. After all, he’s basically staying at a five star resort.
In the kitchen, Kristen can’t believe a mother would just abandon a child like Ryan’s Mom has, but she’s still not budging on letting Ryan stay. She and Sandy talk awkwardly about foster care and how there’s still a chance he could get adopted. “Yeah because everybody wants a brand new teenager,” Seth says grudgingly as the boys come in for dinner.
Kristen starts talking to Sandy about her father, Caleb Nichol, who owns the company she works for. Remember Caleb’s name because he’s about to show up and be insufferable for two solid seasons, with splashes of comedy in between. Kirsten essentially does all the work at their property development/management business and you can tell there’s a strained relationship there. There’s a model home replica on the table and Ryan asks if she can build him one. Bad joke. As dinner is ready, Sandy says, “So last supper huh?” Also, a bad joke.
After dinner, the entire house tries to sleep, but it’s soon given up as an impossible task. Ryan can’t sleep and does not want to go to the group home so he packs his stuff and tries to leave. Seth comes down to see if Ryan wants to play Playstation and catches Ryan on his way out the door. Seth has an idea for Ryan to stay in Newport, so he goes up to his room to grab some things and tells Ryan to meet him out in front.
As Ryan is outside waiting for Seth, Marissa comes out and they ‘hey’ at each other. So many ‘heys’, you guys. Like these breathless long weird surprised ‘heys’ will continually keep happening as long as this show goes on. Marissa says she didn’t think she’d see him ever again and thanks him for making sure she didn’t die of alcohol poisoning the other night. Seth shows up and is surprised to see Marissa who says she’s on her way to her best friend Summer’s birthday party. Seth outs himself as a stalker saying that Summer’s birthday isn’t until Wednesday. Marissa gives him that crazy look and she asks what they’re up to.
Oh Seth. Always trying and failing at being stealth. Marissa offers to give them a ride and in the car, Seth and Marissa find out they have more in common than they both originally thought. Ryan confesses he doesn’t really listen to music, which is weird. Except Journey, he likes Journey. But more on that in Season 3.
Seth takes them to the literal Model Home that they saw a replica of earlier. Kirsten is having trouble with the contractors so it’s empty right now! Convenient! Just become a squatter, Ryan. Problem solved. Seth starts skateboarding in the empty pool, and the gang celebrates their smart thinking by purchasing some high quality In and Out, because they’re in California, just in case you forgot. Marissa eats some fries which is probably the only thing she eats that day because at 5’9” she can’t come in at more than 100 lbs. Marissa confesses that she thinks her dad is in trouble as a financial planner and Ryan talks about his shitty Mom and OMG, they both have issues. Remember, white people have problems too.
Luke calls to see where Marissa is at, probably trying to gauge her arrival time and see how many chicks he can bang before she arrives. She quietly tells him she loves him, but makes weird faces at Ryan because she obviously doesn’t want him to hear. Ryan asks how long they’ve been together and Seth interrupts and says they’ve been together since the fifth grade, “…when they got their mack on during the class trip to the Museum of Tolerance. Back of the bus, classy lady.” Marissa takes offense and asks what she ever did to Seth. He says nothing. She’s never said or done anything to him. She says he’s the one that thinks he’s better than everyone, and Seth reports that at least he doesn’t shave his chest. Marissa defends Luke saying that he plays water polo so he has to.
The party is broken up when Summer calls again to ask where Marissa is. Seth is desperate to get his name in as he asks Marissa to tell Summer he said happy birthday.
Marissa is kind enough to lie and tell Seth that Summer said “thanks” instead of “who”. Marissa leaves, Seth heads home to keep his cover, and Ryan spends the night at the empty house. In the morning, Ryan wakes up in a big beautiful empty house and Sandy goes to wake Ryan only to find that he’s split in the middle of the night. A cop shows up and Seth and Marissa talk on their land lines about a meet up plan to get supplies to Ryan.
Side note, if you were born after 2000, a land line is a phone that can’t leave your house, sometimes hard lined in, or if you’re super cool in the early 2000’s, you have a cordless one. But don’t think about taking it anywhere outside the house. It won’t work.
After Marissa leaves, her Mom Julie takes her sister, ‘Season One Kaitlin’ to the stables to buy a horse. Season One Kaitlin is played by a young Shailene Woodley who apparently wasn’t old enough looking or hot enough looking when they decided to bring that character back in Season 3. It’s slightly awkward because Willa Holland who replaces her is the same age as her. So one has to conclude it’s a hotness issue, not a old enough issue.
Julie asks for a check and Jimmy, who is CLEARLY HAVING FINANCIAL ISSUES because he is wearing a bathrobe in the middle of the day, pales at the idea of giving her money. Jimmy protests that Kaitlin doesn’t need a pony and Kaitlin protests that “China the prettiest pony”. Jimmy says he needs to talk to Julie about work, and she says she doesn’t like to talk about work. She says no one is dying so I’m sure you’ll fix it. Now write that fucking check.
Julie shows up later saying China has alopecia and she needs a new check. Since Jimmy can’t talk to his wife about his financial problems, he calls his ex girlfriend, Kristen and asks to meet her for some help. Meanwhile, Sandy is worried about Ryan, but he thinks Seth knows where he is and is keeping it a secret. Kristen asks what is so special about Ryan and Sandy says he sees himself in him and if no one had helped him, he wouldn’t be here today. Sandy is just working away to chisel down that stone cold heart of Kirsten’s.
Marissa and Seth show up at the house with supplies for Ryan, but no one brought food so they go on the boardwalk to eat something. Marissa hops on the back of Ryan’s bike and Seth longboards around Newport Pier. A fun montage occurs! They’re all so quirky and fun!
They go to a diner and discuss Ryan’s next move. Marissa says she can get him money to get to Texas where she knows someone who could help him get some work. Luke and his friends come in and Marissa defuses the tension while the guys try to sneak out. Ryan makes it out without being seen but Seth knocks into a waitress and makes a scene. He is caught and Luke wants to fight of course, but Ryan senses trouble and comes back in much to the rage of Luke and his tiny penis.
“You’re a little far from 8 mile,” Luke says, pulling down Ryan’s hood and looking to start a fight. Ryan takes the bait.
“You know what I like about rich kids?
Ryan sucker punches Luke and he and Seth make their escape. Later at the model home, Marissa meets up and tries to defend Luke’s behavior. They start to argue but then they hear voices so they sneak around the top of the stairs out of sight to see that Kirsten has shown up with Jimmy. They talk loudly about Jimmy’s financial problems and he asks Kirsten for $100,000 which she readily gives. Kirsten says the new contractors are coming tomorrow as they exit, and that means Ryan has to get out of there.
Back at the Cohen’s, Sandy tells Seth that the cops called him and someone fitting Ryan’s description got into a fight at the pier, so they go out looking for him. Marissa goes to another party at Holly’s beach house and everyone starts talking shit about Ryan. Summer, in her one-dimensional character way asks, “Who dat?” Luke says they’re talking about Ryan who is a little bitch and he’s gonna beat his ass. Marissa gets all sad and leaves. Unbeknownst to her, Luke and his gang follow her.
Back at the model home, Ryan lights a bunch of candles (really smart Ryan) while listening to the ‘Model Home Mix Tape’ that Marissa has given him. Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is playing and Marissa shows up randomly saying ‘this song reminds me of you.’ We will hear this song again by the way, another cover of it by Imogen Heap in the last scene we ever see Marissa and Ryan in together (hold onto your tears for season 3 finale).
Marissa says she’s not sure why she’s here, but she’s afraid she’ll never see him again. She asks to spend the night. Ryan says that if she stays, he doesn’t know if he could leave. BUT THEY LIVE IN DIFFERENT WORLDS! RYAN ISN’T LIKE HER! GO! GO! Ryan and Marissa emo it out for a few minutes before Marissa is told to leave and Ryan dramatically turns away from her as if looking at her hurts, and they’re in a fucking Shakespeare play. Marissa starts crying for no reason, gets in her car, and drives away somehow not seeing Luke’s giant truck parked right by her. Ryan changes his mind and runs after her but it’s too late! She’s GONE!
Time for some revenge. Ryan hears noises and asks if Seth has the bus ticket to Texas, but it’s not Seth, it’s Luke and his bro gang. Oh shit! Luke wants to know what Ryan is doing with his girlfriend. They start fighting and of course they knock over a bunch of candles and the entire place starts catching fire. WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU LIGHT A BUNCH OF CANDLES IN AN ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION AREA, RYAN!? Luke’s friends take off, but Luke has a change of heart and comes back for a beaten and bloody Ryan. He drags him out of the house to safety before taking off and leaving him there. He tells Ryan to run, but Ryan can’t exactly move that quickly after getting his ass kicked.
Marissa comes home crying and Jimmy, while bragging to Julie about how he took care of his work problem (AKA Kristen gave him money), gets up to console Marissa. The Cohen’s show up at the burned out house and Seth says it’s his fault. So the cops and everyone else head to The Cohen’s to sort this out. Meanwhile, Ryan is out trying to hitch a ride and Luke shows up. As the police are questioning Seth, and the nosy neighbors, The Coopers come out to see what’s going on, Ryan and Luke show up. Ryan admits to everything and apologizes. Luke says it was an accident and says he was there too. The police arrest them both.
Sandy tells Ryan and Luke to keep their mouths shut as he will be their attorneys. Kristen is not happy, and Marissa looks confused in her too big Ugg boots and weird bathrobe/nighty combination. Also, what is Julie Cooper wearing?
Best Song of the Episode:
“California” by Rufus Wainwright (who also does a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Basically get ready because in this show you’re going to hear A LOT of different versions of Hallelujah).
“You know what I like about rich kids?
Weird 2003 thing:
Marissa and Seth call each other on their land lines because those are still relevant.
Number of Non-White People with Actual Lines in This Episode:
One. There is a black cop who says ‘we have to ask you a few questions.’ DIVERSITY.
Best Fashion Statement:
Summer’s Jean skirt and triangle bikini top. Which she has now rocked three different times in only two episodes.