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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Escape"

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 7 - "The Escape"

Directed by Sanford Bookstaver
Written by Josh Schwartz

Previously on The O.C.: Jimmy got knocked out at Cotillion, which led to his investment fraud becoming public knowledge.  Marissa chooses Luke over Ryan.  Summer kisses Seth.  Marissa unchooses Luke, but finds Ryan making out with Caleb's girlfriend, Gabrielle, and ends up choosing Luke and sleeps with him for the first time.

In the Cohens' kitchen, Seth attempts to convince Ryan that they should pretend to be going to Comic-Con and instead make what is apparently a traditional Newport Beach pilgrimage to Tijuana before the school year starts.  Ryan thinks this is a terrible plan for the obvious reason of lying to the Cohens and also probably because he wants to avoid Marissa, although he insists that's not the case.  Sandy and Kirsten come in, which transitions the discussion to Sandy heading out to a job interview with a fancy big time law firm.  He's done this before, and enjoys doing it because they feed him.  Kirsten insists that he'll never actually leave the public defender's office.

Coming back from the title sequence, Seth leans on Ryan a bit regarding whether or not he's over Marissa.  Ryan insists that he is.  (MrsB pipes up from next to me on the couch: "You've also never been under her!")  This conversation smashes to Summer and Marissa who are having the same talk, which ends up transitioning to Summer demanding details about how awesome sex with Luke is.  The girls wander off in the house and end up talking to Jimmy, who seems incapable of having a conversation with his 16 year old daughter.  As it turns out, Jimmy had no idea how to talk to his daughter because as soon as she and Summer leave for Tijuana, he's going to pack up his stuff and move out, oh, and he and Julie haven't told the kids that they're getting a divorce, either.  We find this out before Marissa and Kaitlin because Jimmy has no where to live yet, and goes to Kirsten for help.

Marissa goes to visit Luke and they're snuggling on his bed, but she's distracted by how terrible that conversation with her dad went, and she decides she doesn't want to go to Tijuana because she's worried about Jimmy.  Luke is bummed because Tijuana is "so romantic." Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Over at The Crab Shack, Ryan works while Seth pretends that Summer is sitting in the booth behind him playing hard to get and not just completely unaware of his existence.  Luke and Marissa come in, which leads to an awkward exchange between Marissa and Ryan, but a "hey, what up, bro?" point from Luke to Ryan.  How things have changed.  Marissa tells everyone at the table that she's out on the TJ trip, which annoys Summer, since she no longer has a ride.  Luke and Holly have a "hey, well, if Marissa's not going to Tijuana, wanna bone?" conversation, which is really more Holly telling Luke that they should and Luke pretending that he's faithful to Marissa.  Ryan may or may not have caught part of this exchange.  As the group starts to head out, Seth interjects himself, because he's "overheard" that Summer no longer has a ride to Tijuana.

In the middle of all of that, Sandy has his job interview at Fancy Time Law Firm, where Rachel, a former assistant district attorney is the lead recruiter.  Sandy's familiar with her work as an ADA and the two throw friendly barbs at each other before the meeting actually gets started.

While Seth made the right move by offering Summer a ride, he forgets to smarten her up on the "we're going to Comic-Con" secret aspect of it.  This leads to Sandy talking to her about comics and Seth having to save the whole thing. Summer heads off to beg Marissa to come along while Sandy gives Seth the business about how hot Summer is.  Marissa has to have Jimmy order her out of the house, saying "I can't take care of both of us," instead of "I'm moving out," so off she goes, and HEY! What a surprise!  Ryan's in the back seat!  I seriously can't believe that she didn't figure this out.

To kill time while the kids drive, Kirsten and Jimmy paint the apartment or whatever that Kirsten found for him on almost no notice.  The only real things of interest here is that Kirsten's outfit to paint in reminds me of Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica and Jimmy STILL hasn't said anything about the divorce to his kids.

Back in the Range Rover, Summer is in full complaining about everything Seth does mode, although her line about Death Cab For Cutie is fantastic: "It's like one guitar and a whole lot of complaining."  Summer eventually has had enough of Seth's driving, and grabs the steering wheel.  I'm not kidding.  At 70 miles an hour, she's yanking the steering wheel all over the place.  Surprise, the axle breaks and they careen off the highway.  I am *AMAZED* that any of the other three ever speak to her ever again.  That goes double for Seth, as this is the self same Range Rover that Seth got trashed by going to the party in Long Beach.

So they're stuck... I don't know where, really.  Seth says that the GPS said there was three and a half hours left in their trip, but according to Google Maps, it's not that long from Newport Beach to Tijuana.

See?  It almost seems like they're just outside the Cohens' driveway based on these maps, but instead, they're stuck at some dirtbag motel instead.  Really, I'm just impressed that there's a mechanic that's going to get the axle on the Range Rover fixed by the morning.  Summer, who is the one who put them in the dirtbag motel for the night, does nothing but moan about the quality of the room.  I can't believe that Marissa doesn't punch her in the face.

Sandy comes home to find a surfboard from Rachel and Fancy Time Law Firm.  This leads to a conversation between Kirsten and Sandy about how much money Sandy makes relative to how much money Kirsten makes.  HINT: Kirsten is winning.

Back at the dirtbag motel, Marissa and Ryan whine at each other about Ryan's sexy time with Gabrielle while debating Ding Dongs over cheese sticks from the vending machine.  Back in the room, Summer wears something halfway between a nightgown and a minidress and fails at getting Seth to give her the bed to herself.  Ryan and Marissa wander back to the room as Jimmy finally gets around to calling Marissa and telling her about the divorce and moving out.  Marissa fights off tears and crashes on the fold out couch, sharing it with Ryan.

The next morning, Seth and Summer go to breakfast where Seth states his case about how interested Summer actually is in him while leaving Marissa and Ryan spooning on the fold out.  Marissa wakes up first and seems okay with this, while Ryan is asleep and has no idea that he's doing this.  Back from breakfast, Summer makes the case that going home would just be depressing, so off they go to Tijuana.  There's a big ol' sign that lets us know you can be arrested for immoral conduct there, and Summer demands that they stop off at a pharmacy before they do anything else, as her stepmom needs more painkillers.

Back in Newport, Sandy meets with Rachel again.  He claims he's not interested in the job, and thanks her for the surfboard.  She points out that 1) he wouldn't be at this lunch meeting if he wasn't interested and 2) he knows he's wasting his talents as a lawyer in the public defender's office.  Sandy doesn't have a witty retort for either of these points.

Kirsten and Jimmy finish up sprucing up Jimmy's new bachelor pad.  Kirsten stumbles coming off of a ladder and Jimmy stops her from falling.  And then he kisses her.  No, I'm not joking.  Kirsten runs out the door as Jimmy realizes that he's a really big moron.

Back in Tijuana, Holly and Luke are getting busy on the dance floor of a club since they both know Marissa's not going to show up.  And then Marissa shows up. Whooooops.  She rightfully flips out, Holly offers the "Luke is banging every chick in sight, I can't believe no one ever told you!" defense, Marissa storms out, Summer goes after Holly until Seth drags her away, and Ryan stops Luke from going after Marissa.  Really, the right move for everyone involved, but Luke can't figure that out, so Ryan punches him.  Luke goes flying into some other dude, which starts a brawl and Ryan ducks out amidst the chaos.

Of course, Marissa's not just waiting outside, so Summer, Ryan, and Seth split up to try and find her.  Summer wins the race at the hotel and tells Marissa that they'll just pack and go home.  She heads to the bathroom to grab their stuff and call the boys, but she leaves her purse on the bed.  Marissa sees the easily acquired painkillers in Summer's purse and bolts.

Back at the Cohens', Kirsten pours a glass of wine to relax after Jimmy made his move.  Sandy comes home and offers Kirsten a hypothetical: "So, if I take this job..." until Kirsten cuts him off because she knows that he's already accepted the position.

Over the border, Marissa finds some shady bar to set up shop in.  She orders a drink, pounds a handful of painkillers and chases it with the alcohol.  Unsurprisingly, this goes VERY POORLY, and she stumbles out of the bar.  We then launch into the longest segment in The O.C. history to date as Summer, Ryan, and Seth wander around shouting for Marissa while she stumbles around half passed out from mixing alcohol and painkillers.  It just goes on and on and on and on and on until she finally collapses in an alley and is found almost immediately by her trio of friends.  Ryan is the only one that bothers to go over to her and he carries her out of the alley.  The episode ends as he stands there holding Marissa's inert form in his arms instead of doing, well, anything, as a crane shot swoops up to provide drama.  I don't know about you, but just standing there with a passed out human being in your arms is no way for the future Detective Jim Gordon to behave.

Best Sandy Cohen Quote: Back at the top of the episode, Sandy says he goes on one of these big time law firm job interviews once a year or so just to get a free meal out of the deal.  In response to the discussion of whether or not he'll take the job this time, he responds: "Not unless it's one hell of a free meal."

Best Sandy Cohen Moment: It's his entire conversation with Rachel when he arrives for the job interview.  It's just a nonstop barrage of quips and friendly joshing between former adversaries in the court room.  I do think that Sandy does have the advantage at the end of it, but he does end up a little on the short end when Rachel points out that there's no free meal waiting for him, only a strong sales pitch.