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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "Telenovela"

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 20 - "Telenovela"

Directed by Sanford Bookstaver
Written by Stephanie Savage

Previously on The O.C.: Marissa thinks she can just start back up with Ryan after dumping him amidst the Oliver mess, but Ryan can't bring himself around to it.  Theresa, Ryan's old friend from Chino, has starting taking catering jobs in Newport.  Sometimes Ryan thinks about going back to Chino.  Luke and Julie Cooper have a thing going on which I would rather not think about further.  Summer has always been the girl for Seth, even when he was dating Anna, apparently.  Seth and Summer have started having lots of sex.  Marissa knows Theresa is in Newport.

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As a new school day gets started at The Harbor School, Seth and Ryan discuss how Ryan's working on being friends with Marissa, and then we cut to Summer and Marissa having the same conversation.  That eventually turns over to Summer and Seth's sex life, and then we flip back to Seth and Ryan having the same discussion.  I feel like I'm changing channels on two different shows.  Ryan's cell phone lights up, and it's Theresa!  Yes, you and Ryan absolutely should hang out as friends after dinner.  Just out of curiosity, though, why are you kicking that suitcase underneath the bed and why is Eric Balfour coming out of the shower and calling you 'baby?'

The foursome bump into each other in the hallway, but only for an awkward few seconds before Brad from the water polo team drags Summer off to talk about using her in a fundraiser kissing booth right in front of Seth and Ryan takes off running because he doesn't know how to act as friends with Marissa one on one.  This is going well.

In the student lounge, Summer hangs out with Brad and the water polo team, which strangely does not include Luke, who as of four months ago was the captain of the team.  Oh well.  Anna plunks down next to Seth and points out how wonderful it is that Seth's new girlfriend is spending so much time with him at school.  Speaking of people spending time together at school, there's Julie Cooper at school for a conference with Dr. Keiko Kim about Marissa, but she's dressed up very, very nicely and slightly boobtastic and she's talking to Luke and I need my bucket again. Ryan and Marissa make plans to hang out before dinner, and I see what Ryan is doing here.

At The Lighthouse, a possible head chef is getting a tryout from Sandy by making Sandy's mom's recipe for meatloaf.  Caleb comes in, insults the meatloaf after knowing whose recipe it is, and then asks Sandy for a favor.  Again, I don't understand how Caleb became a real estate tycoon, because he's really bad at this "make people like you so they do favors for you" thing.  It turns out that Caleb's oldest friend, Bill Shaunessy AKA "Uncle Shaun" got arrested for public intoxication after accidentally stumbling into the wrong hotel room downtown, and Caleb would like Sandy and his connections at the district attorney's office to make this go away.  Sandy asks to see the police report to see if he even could think about doing something and then Caleb asks if there's more meatloaf.  Seriously, dude, you're REALLY bad at this "interaction with people" thing.

Seth decides to have a post-coital discussion with Summer about how she was ignoring him at school, and she launches into a crazy theory about how tabloid exposure is bad for couples and how being in the public eye is bad, so that's why they shouldn't be a couple in public.  Seth actually buys this.

Over at the pool house, Marissa and Ryan hang out and play video games, but now it's time for Ryan to do some homework, and by homework, I mean hang out with Theresa who is out of work early.  Buddy.  Stop trying to juggle girls that you're claiming are just your friends.  It's not going to end well.

We get some early morning scenes, as Sandy digs into Kirsten to find out exactly what Uncle Shaun does for The Newport Group (liason with permit office, unions, that kind of thing), Ryan explains that Theresa is taking a semester off... from high school?... to work because her mom got laid off, and Luke and Julie are at a $79 a night motel.  After a discussion of going to homeroom and a phone call from Kaitlin who is locked out of the house and needs to get her diorama, Julie ends things with her teenaged paramour.  The only good news here is that we establish that Luke is 18 years old, so now this is only creepy and disturbing, instead of creepy, disturbing, and illegal.  Luke leaves, and we find out that Theresa is staying in the motel room right next door.  Nothing will come of this.

At school, Ryan and Marissa have lunch together and act like actual human beings while talking about what Theresa is doing in Newport, and then Anna berates Seth for not standing up to Summer for being ashamed to be seen with Seth.  As if to draw this into focus, Seth gets shoulder blocked from behind by one of the water polo jerks in full view of Summer and neither one of them says a word about it.  Yep, Seth's a big ol' coward.  Hey, remember when Seth made Anna dump him because he was paying too much attention to Summer because Anna was too much like Seth?  Idiot.

Uncle Shaun took the liberty of letting himself into The Lighthouse for a meeting with Sandy.  If that didn't give you an idea of what kind of character he is, Sandy explains it further: the guy pressing charges against Uncle Shaun just happens to be a lumber supplier who was in town to negotiate a contract with The Newport Group's biggest competitor and rival.  What an amazing coincidence that Uncle Shaun accidentally wandered into his hotel room, where he might have lots of documents about his business dealings.  Uncle Shaun tells Sandy that he's been friends with Caleb for a long, long time, and if he were to have to sit down with the DA, who knows what kind of stories he might end up telling.

Ryan and Theresa go for a walk on the beach and talk about how surreal Newport Beach is, and talk about Theresa's boyfriend Eddie who I don't remember hearing about back on Thanksgiving, but must be Eric Balfour.  They also talk about how Ryan is struggling to be Marissa's friend, and how easy it is to be Theresa's friend.  This is ironic, because they're both Ryan's ex-girlfriends.

Seth goes over to Summer's house, and after she doesn't listen to him on the whole "acknowledge me in public" issue, Seth goes on sex strike.

Ryan comes home from his walk on the beach with Theresa and there's Eddie sitting on the tailgate of his truck.  You see, he went and talked to Trey and found out where Ryan was at, and since Theresa disappeared after he asked her to marry him and her mom said she was working in Newport, he thought he'd come and ask him if he'd seen her.  Wait, Eddie, did you just say that you and Theresa are engaged?  AW, SNAP.  Ryan lies about seeing Theresa, surprising no one.  Eddie's happy for Ryan getting a chance to live on the high side of things after dealing with Trey for so many years, and then he leaves, but not before there's an awkward "Eddie might kick Ryan's ass" moment.

Ryan heads straight over to the motel to unload on Theresa.  She claims they're not engaged, and technically, what Eddie said and what Theresa said are both true.  He asked her, she never said yes.  She can see the valid reasons to marry Eddie (stable, foreman at work, crazy about her), even if he is eight years older than her, but she just isn't ready to do that yet.

Meanwhile, Summer comes over to try to get Seth to cross the picket line but fails, and Caleb gets to learn what a booty call is when Julie slams the door in his face.

Kirsten and Sandy set up for dinner while talking about what Uncle Shaun actually does around the office (hint: nothing), and Ryan and Theresa come on in for dinner.  Ryan tells Seth about the kind-of-enagement, and then Seth explains the very Spanish language television drama situation that we have going on here.  Hey, that's a telenovela, and that's the title of the episode!  As they eat and Theresa tells stories about Ryan when he was younger, the doorbell rings.  It's Marissa!  Jimmy encouraged her to tell Ryan what she actually wants in possibly the most adult thing that he's ever done in 20 episodes, which led her here.  Unfortunately, Theresa's here, so I guess that conversation's on hold.  As I said in the last recap, a lot of these issues would just be solved if people would just talk to the people they have issues with instead of talking about their issues to other people.

The next morning, Eddie calls to talk to Ryan, but Seth "can't find" Ryan.  Seth revels in the situation that Ryan finds himself in, but tells his foster brother that based on his own recent experiences, Ryan needs to avoid the love triangle.  Ryan insists that he's not in one because he's friends with Marissa and Theresa, but Seth realizes that when you include Eddie, Ryan's actually in a love rhombus.

Sandy goes to talk to Caleb about Uncle Shaun's misdeeds, and DUH, SANDY.  Of course Uncle Shaun is dirty and underhanded!  That's how the construction business works!  Sandy doesn't want anything to do with this any more, except, of course, Kirsten's tied up in this mess because she signs Uncle Shaun's paychecks.  Serious question: If Uncle Shaun exists completely as a person who does borderline if not completely illegal things for The Newport Group, why is he actually getting paychecks as an on the books employee?  Aren't you just asking for this problem to eventually crop up?  Why has it taken 40 years for Shaun to find himself in this kind of trouble?  There's no way one guy had a 40 year streak of good luck like that.

In the student lounge, Anna plays Ms. Pac-Man and Summer apologizes to her for suddenly ending up dating Seth about five seconds after Anna dumped Seth.  But maybe it doesn't matter because Summer doesn't think their relationship is going to last much longer anyway.  You see, guys always get tired of Summer and then they dump her.  Summer can't allow herself to be seen in public with Seth because she can't handle being publicly dumped by Seth, because EW, GROSS, rejected by Seth Cohen!  Also, Summer has no idea why Seth likes her, because he's much smarter and they have absolutely nothing in common.  Well, why are you interested in him?  Perhaps I can direct you to the 1988 Paula Abdul classic, "Opposites Attract?"

Luke gets a booty call from Julie and I resume hating the universe for inflicting this storyline on me.  Maybe I'll pretend that Julie Cooper is more like Lady Heather to get through this.

Anna tells Seth what Summer told her and OH MY GODS JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER ALREADY.

Marissa goes to the motel for a steel cage match with Theresa, where the winner gets Ryan.  No, wait, they're just talking.  Theresa tells Marissa this story about her First Communion and a stained glass window of St. Teresa of Avila. Theresa hoped that someday she would be walking down the aisle of that church with a different white dress on with the same smile that was on St. Teresa's face because someone had pierced her heart with an arrow, the same way that St. Teresa's heart was pierced in her visions.  I had to look up the visions part.  The point of all of this is that Theresa's heart was pierced by Ryan, but he's not interested, so she's going back to Chino to accept Eddie's proposal.  Marissa leaves, and Theresa says "I can see why Ryan likes it here."  Did she mean the actual topographical scenery or did she mean Marissa?

While all of this is going on, Ryan's off at the car shop where Eddie works.  He's decided to come clean to Eddie about knowing where Theresa is, and amazingly enough, Eddie doesn't kick his ass.  Eddie does say that he's madly in love with Theresa and he's going to fight for her if he has to.

The kissing booth is live at school, and Seth goes with the grand dramatic gesture of hopping up on the counter and forcing Summer to publicly acknowledge him or lose him forever.  I would have just showed up with $100 and gotten my money's worth at $10 a pop, but hey, this works for Seth, so who am I to doubt him?

Theresa starts packing to leave and calls Eddie at work.  While she waits for him to come to the phone, there's a knock at the door.  She puts the phone down on the bed without hanging up, and answers it.  It's Ryan.  Blah blah do the right thing blah blah figure out what that is blah blah why don't I want you to go blah blah why don't I want to go blah blah and they start kissing.  We dissolve off the two lovebirds and onto the phone on the bed inside the hotel room as Eddie calls out to Theresa.

Best Sandy Cohen Line: At dinner, Theresa's telling a story about Ryan at the rotating restaurant at the top of the local Holiday Inn, and in response to Seth professing love for rotating restaurants, Sandy fires off this one: "Who doesn't?  Motion and digestion?  It's an unbeatable combination."  Yeah, it kind of sucks.  They're not all winners.

Best Sandy Cohen Moment: Sandy doesn't really have anything outstanding here, other than his verbal jousting with Caleb on two occasions, but as you already noticed, he doesn't really have any great lines in either of those scenes.  Better luck next time.