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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Outsider"

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 5 - "The Outsider"

Directed by Jesus Salvador Trevino
Written by Melissa Rosenberg

Previously on The O.C. - Luke and Summer make observations about Ryan and Marissa.  Jimmy can't say no to his family.  Kirsten has a long personal history with Jimmy.  Holly's dad knocked out Jimmy at Cotillion.

With Spoon's The Way We Get By playing, we get a montage of things going on at the beach, and eventually we phase to Seth and Ryan at what we'll call The Crab Shack as I don't think they actually name it in this episode.  I'm also not sure if this is supposed to be the same diner from The Model Home, but I don't think it is, due to the LOBSTER DINNER that the boys order.  They chat about Marissa, and Ryan is uncomfortable with his legal guardians paying for things for him.  Luckily for Ryan, as he mentions getting a job, a Crab Shack busboy dumps a tray of something and is fired/quits in protest.

The next morning (I guess?) at the Cohen house, Sandy eavesdrops on Kirsten and her socialite friends discussing their upcoming spa weekend, not to hear what they're saying but really to find out when he can go get his briefcase off the table that's next to them.  Ryan heads off to The Crab Shack for his first day on the job, and who should wander in, but Marissa and Summer!  Ryan awkwardly asks Marissa for a date, but she blows him off for now.  Luckily, they get this awkwardness out of the way before Luke comes in, as this was a setup by Summer to get Marissa and Luke back together.  Ryan and his Crab Shack co-worker Donnie bond over how much Luke sucks before Marissa runs out of the Crab Shack because... well, because Luke sucks, really.

Throughout this episode is a long running bit between Jimmy and Sandy as Sandy offers to give Jimmy some free legal help.  We find out that Jimmy has only lost $4 million, and I say "only" because that would mean only 16 people had the $250,000 invested with Jimmy that Mr. Fisher knocked Jimmy out over.  Sandy ends up talking to a lawyer friend of his, and Jimmy has an option of liquidating his assets, namely selling his house, to pay restitution or going to jail.  Jimmy essentially hates the idea of selling the house because it would mean giving up the lifestyle that got Julie to like him in the first place.

The socialites go on their spa weekend, including Julie, as the trip was already paid for.  Julie uses the opportunity to cast herself as the victim with her friends, which only ends up driving Kirsten nutso.  Eventually, Kirsten lashes out at all of her friends, pointing out all of their flaws - the $500 a day cocaine habit in college, the Guatemalan housekeepers that don't make close to minimum wage, etc.  This ends up with Julie throwing Kirsten's long time relationship with Jimmy back in her face.

While all of that is going on, Ryan and Seth find themselves invited by Donnie to a party in Long Beach.  More accurately, Seth is invited because Ryan has plans with Marissa, but Ryan isn't an idiot and tags along.  You can tell it's a dangerous area because it's poorly lit!  The fact that they're playing Let's Get Retarded by The Black Eyed Peas is just a coincidence.  The hour that Ryan gave Seth is up, so they head out, only to hear that the Cohen's Range Rover has been trashed.  I don't even know how they got home with the windshield in pieces like that, but they did.  Seth claims "IMAX theater parking lot" to Sandy, and Sandy tells him that it's Seth's responsibility to explain that to Kirsten.

Seth heads next door to the Cooper's to make peace between Ryan and Marissa and get Ryan a second chance at a date.  With that all arranged, Seth heads to The Crab Shack to relay the news to Ryan.  Because Seth learns lessons very slowly, he ends up inviting Donnie to the party at Holly's parents' beach house that Summer called Marissa about while Seth was talking to Marissa.  Ryan overhears this and calls Seth an idiot without actually saying the word "idiot."

Marissa and Ryan's date at the Cohen's pool goes fabulously with grilled cheese sandwiches and very chaste frolicking in the pool, but the beach house party does not go fabulously.  First of all, there's no grilled cheese sandwiches.  Also, Holly has taken it upon herself to make Luke feel better about losing Marissa by throwing herself at him, and more importantly, Donnie has a gun.


Seth IMMEDIATELY calls Ryan upon finding this out, and while Ryan hustles over to the beach house, Donnie and his lackeys start being those jackasses at a party who can't just hang out and be cool.  This leads to Donnie "dropping" a vodka bottle, and hey, people smashing expensive things in her parent's beach house is WAY more important to Holly than having sex with Luke.  Holly goes tearing out to the kitchen where Donnie dumps a blender on the floor.  Luke eventually is able to stand up without embarrassing himself, so he confronts Donnie.  Luke goes into his standard "boy, aren't these lower income people terrible" mode, which leads to the newly arrived Ryan trying to intervene, which leads to shoving, which leads to Donnie pulling out the gun.  Ryan stupidly attempts to wrestle the gun away from Donnie and because Donnie has poor firearm safety fundamentals, the gun goes off, shooting Luke in the arm.

We skip over all the paramedic stuff with a scene between Kirsten and Julie on the way home in their stretch SUV limo where they kind of make up, a scene where Kirsten arrives home to find the Range Rover a mess and beer in the fridge from The Adventures Of Jimmy And Sandy, and a scene where Jimmy lays the options on the table for Julie.

The episode ends with Marissa arriving at the hospital to see Luke and things being awkward between Ryan and Marissa again, while Seth and Ryan decide that they should probably listen to each other more often.

Best Sandy Cohen Quote: Sandy's pretty much limited to his ongoing discussion with Jimmy in this episode.  His only really good line of dialogue comes right in their first scene together.  Jimmy reacts to Sandy's offer of legal assistance with skepticism because he knows Sandy doesn't like him all that much.  Sandy's reaction is fantastic: "I'm a public defender.  I represent lots of people I don't like."

Best Sandy Cohen Moment: The best moment for the elder Cohen comes when he refuses to believe Seth's story about the IMAX theater when it comes to the Range Rover damage.  He does what he needs to do by calling the insurance company, but he wants nothing to do with telling Kirsten about what happened since he knows that Seth and Ryan aren't giving him the straight story.

In case you were wondering, no, it wasn't a very strong Sandy Cohen episode.