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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Debut"

Marquette basketball has a freshman coming in this fall named Sandy Cohen. There's only one logical thing to do: recap episodes of The O.C.

The near-unanimous reaction to hearing that Marquette had received a verbal commitment from Seymour (WI) guard Sandy Cohen was "What, the dad from The O.C.?" As such, it seemed the obvious thing to do would be use The O.C. references when he makes an outstanding play for the Golden Eagles. We'll spend some time this summer recapping episodes of the classic Fox drama, making notes of major Sandy Cohen moments along the way and giving everyone a guidepost as to what the hell we're talking about come November.

Makes sense, right? Ok, hit it, Phantom Planet!

Season 1, Episode 4 - "The Debut"

Directed by Daniel Attaias
Written by Allan Heinberg & Josh Schwartz

Previously on The O.C.: Ryan's mom came and went.

As per usual for Ryan and Seth when they have free time, we open this episode with the pair playing video games.  Sandy & Kirsten wander in dressed pretty nicely, and they boot Seth out for a serious talk with Ryan.  They want him to live with them, but that means that they have to become Ryan's legal guardians.  Ryan's on board, but he's concerned about what could make them change their mind.  Sandy points out that he's already stolen a car, burned down a house, and punched out the captain of the water polo team, so it's not like he can do anything worse at this point.  Seth wanders back in, having known about this all along, and welcomes Ryan to the family, along with "a life of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt."

After the title sequence, Kirsten's checking in on what they need to spruce up the pool house for Ryan to live in it full time, and that's where we find out about COTILLION!  Smash to Kirsten and the boys arriving at the country club:

Kirsten: Cotillion is Newport's biggest social event.
Seth: Until whatever's next week.
Kirsten: Newport's most accomplished young women make their formal debut into society.
Seth: Or another excuse for them to get wasted and throw up on themselves.

So, let's say they have differing view points.

Sandy comes back from surfing and Jimmy wanders over for a heart-to-heart about the $100K that Kirsten gave him.  Look, Sandy's a public defender, so he's got variable hours.  Jimmy's got a business that's so effed that he needed $100,000 from Kirsten to keep either himself personally or his buisness afloat, yet here he is, staring out his window until he sees Sandy come home so he can have this talk with him, instead of doing literally anything else.  I think I know why he's massively underwater.

Anyway, Jimmy apologizes for skipping over Sandy, Sandy asks how much he lost, Jimmy dances, Sandy asks how he lost the money, Jimmy dances and then says the important thing is that the Coopers and Cohens are friends forever.

Seth and Ryan wander into tux fitting for Cotillion, and there's Marissa!  And Summer!  AND LUKE!  Boy oh boy, there's a lot of not happy to see anyone going on there.  Well, ok, not between Marissa & Ryan, and definitely not from Seth towards Summer.  Anyway, Kirsten jumps in front of the nuclear detonation of Luke and Ryan, and lets Marissa, who's in charge of organizing all of this mess apparently, that Ryan and Seth are available as last minute escorts.

Sandy makes his way into the office, and one of the two SEC guys from the pilot wanders in.  Turns out, the SEC gets all question-y when subjects of investigations suddenly get $100,000 checks from their friends.  Who knew??  Turns out, Jimmy's being investigated for fraud, and as we transition back to the Cohen house, Sandy lets Kirsten know that Jimmy's been siphoning money from his investment clients to pay for his own debts.

Ryan tries to tell Seth that he can't go to Cotillion because he doesn't want to get into a tangle with Luke, and since Seth says that's a faux pas, Ryan heads next door to explain it to Marissa.  Marissa answers the door halfway into a dress that she's trying on, and Ryan ends up helping with a strap on the back.  Apparently Ryan's never seen a girl's exposed back before, because THIS TAKES A LOT OF FOCUS ON HIS PART.  Also, he forgets he was going to bail on Cotillion because of Marissa's back.

As a result of Sandy spilling the beans about Jimmy's stealing, Kirsten heads over to confront Jimmy about it.  As Kirsten asks Jimmy how he could do that, Julie rams her way into the room, tells Jimmy that she has to buy shoes for Kaitlin, test drive a CLK (which is apparently a Mercedes sedan that runs in the neighborhood of $50K), and pay for Marissa's tennis lessons, so what credit card should she use.  Man, and that's not even getting into Kaitlin's pony that has alopecia, but I guess we figured out why Jimmy was stealing from his clients.  I mean, that's really not a great reason, but it's a reason.  Jimmy says things like "I can't say no to my family" and "I just need that one stock," so he's got some severe issues to work out here.

Seth and Ryan head to dancing practice, where again, Marissa is in charge.  This is where we meet Anna Stern, freshly arrived in Newport from Pittsburgh.  Marissa pairs Anna with Ryan, and that leaves the pathetically dateless Summer (her own words before she realized that she didn't have a date) paired off with the incredibly lucky Seth.  After practice, Holly invites the boys to her pre-Cotillion beach house party, which is an every year event, which is news to Seth.

Holly connects with her dad at some point, and they bump into Jimmy as he's picking up carry out from a restaurant that doesn't really look like it does carry out.  Mr. Fisher tells Jimmy that he's got a chance for a big real estate investment so he's going to need $250,000 out of his investment account, and he's gonna need it tomorrow at Cotillion.  This raises questions: How much of Mr. Fisher's money did Jimmy have where $250K is a drop in the bucket that barely registers mentioning the severity of the total, how many people did Jimmy have as a client, and finally: HOLY CRAP, HOW MUCH MONEY DID JIMMY LOSE?

Ryan and Seth arrive at Holly's party, and inside of five minutes, Luke gets pissed off that Marissa is talking to Ryan.  Luke ends up sucker punching Ryan because Ryan doesn't want to get into trouble that gets him booted from the Cohen's house.  Of course, the unintended consequence is that girls don't like boys that sucker punch other boys, so Marissa storms out.  Seth and Ryan head home as well, where Ryan point blanks says all the stuff about not wanting to ruin what he has going with the Cohens in case you didn't get it from Ryan refusing to fight Luke.

Ok, everybody, time to get dressed for Cotillion! Except Marissa refuses to go because Luke is a sucker punching nozzle, Sandy refuses to go because he can't keep his mouth shut about Jimmy's thievery, and Jimmy refuses to go because he doesn't have $250K for Mr. Fisher.  Except Jimmy can't say no to his family, so when Julie tells him to get a move on, he does.

The duty of telling Anna (hey, remember her from 500 words ago?) that Ryan's not coming falls to Seth, but that's okay, as it turns out that Anna's super cool and likes comic books.  Summer discovers that Marissa's not coming to Cotillion, so she gloms onto Luke as an escort and when she tells Seth this, he wanders off in a daze, forgetting that he was having a fun conversation with Anna.

Marissa wanders over to the Cohen house after Summer tells her that Ryan's not at Cotillion, which leads to the two of them essentially daring the other to go to Cotillion.  Since Sandy's not doing anything else, he drives them over.  Luke, of course, goes bananas when he sees Marissa walking in with Ryan, so he dumps Marissa in front of everyone.  Ryan volunteers to escort Marissa, which makes Julie very very sad.  Anna has to basically slap Seth in the face to get him to realize that she needs an escort, which leads to Seth blowing Summer off, leaving her with no escort at all.

Blah blah blah Cotillion blah blah introductions blah blah waltzing and Mr. Fisher wanders up to get his money from Jimmy.  Jimmy finally admits that he doesn't have it, and Mr. Fisher goes KABONGO, cold cocking Jimmy while screaming THIEF!  Sandy tries to step in and HE gets sucker punched.  Holly's dad goes back to raining punches on a prone Jimmy until Ryan tackles him off and a bunch of other people drag him off while he keeps shouting THIEF about 10 more times.

As his attorney, Sandy advises Ryan to bail after forgiving him for "getting into trouble" on this occasion.  Seth gets Ryan's blessing to take Anna home (she's going to sail to Tahiti for the rest of the summer! JUST LIKE SETH WANTS TO!), and Ryan finds Marissa outside.  Luke also wanders back like a sad sack, but Marissa chooses to be alone instead of with either of the boys.

Best Sandy Cohen Quote: Finally, we have a quote that actually will work for Sandy Cohen the basketball player.  While everyone else is busy at Cotillion, Ryan and Sandy bond over video games.  When Ryan goes to the front door to end up talking to Marissa, Sandy starts getting good at the samurai warrior game that they were playing and shouts at Ryan, " Ryan! Come on, check this out! I have totally annihilated all the other ninjas!"  So yeah, we're going to be shouting about ninja annihilation a lot going forward.

Best Sandy Cohen Moment: While going with Sandy asking Jimmy point blank how much he lost and how he lost it definitely ranks up there, I'm going with Sandy sitting down next to Kirsten at Cotillion after originally refusing to go.  He sits down, saying "500 channels and nothing on..." Kirsten questions his lack of wearing a tux and he just pointedly looks at his wife and says, "Pick your battles, honey."  BOOM.