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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Proposal"

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 24 - "The Proposal"

Directed by Helen Shaver
Written by Liz Friedman & Josh Schwartz

Previously on The O.C.: Caleb wants a second chance with Julie.  Luke breaks off his affair with Julie, but Marissa finds out about it anyway and wants nothing to do with Luke any more.  Ryan convinces Marissa to come back to Newport because hey, what is he supposed to do without her around?  Julie gets smacked with the hard dose of reality when Marissa makes her realize that she can't exert control over Marissa without telling everyone what she and Luke were doing.

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We open on a tight close up of Marissa bawling her eyes out.  This return to Newport isn't going very well, is it... wait, it's pretty dark in this shot..... Oh, I see.  The gang is at a very sad movie, and even Seth and Summer are crying.  Well, what's next on the agenda?  Whatever Marissa wants to do, because we can't afford to make Marissa not happy because she'll go loopity loo again.  Marissa says she doesn't need to be watched constantly just because the guy she lost her virginity to had sex with her mom, except she kind of shouts that last part and now everyone is staring.  Marissa suggests Jamba Juice and off everyone goes in immediate agreement.

Luke and Julie are having a meet up.  Well, this can't go well.  Julie is attempting to be inconspicuous with a lowbrim floppy hat, but she's also wearing a V-neck top that cuts down below her boobs, so it kind of draws attention at the same time.  This meet up is happening because Luke won't stop calling or emailing her, which is kind of a funny thing to do after you end a relationship.  Wait, did Luke just ask her if she wants a Razzmatazz?  OH CRAP, ARE THEY AT THE SAME JAMBA JUICE?  Yep.  Yep, they are.  Marissa is definitely not okay.

The remainder of this episode will be 40 minutes of Ryan kicking Luke's ass.

Ok, that was a joke I wrote in my notes while the title sequence played, but that's actually Ryan's plan.  Actual dialogue between Seth and Ryan:

"So what's the plan?"
"I'm gonna find Luke, then I'm gonna beat him up."

The first half gets much easier when Luke walks into the pool house.  Sadly, there's no punching, but Luke has a fun story: His parents' divorce is final, so he's going to move to Portland with his dad.  That's why he was meeting with Julie and he wants to tell Marissa face to face and wants Ryan and Seth (but mostly Ryan) to help facilitate that.  Yeah, I'd just give up on that one, bucko.

Over in the kitchen, Sandy's preparing for some kind of disaster to derail the grand opening of The Lighthouse tomorrow.  It's a Cohen family trait to expect the absolute worst, after all.  Jimmy comes in to chat with Sandy and to exchange their special incredibly complicated handshake.  Hailey wanders in to ask if a dress she plans on wearing for the opening puts the "ho" in "hostess."  It's certainly something.  Sandy finds some mail that says that their liquor license is getting pulled, and Jimmy and Hailey exchange a kiss after Kirsten and Sandy leave the room.

Summer arrives at Marissa's apartment to hang out with her, but she's off to meet up with Ryan for lunch.  We get to see Marissa's room for the first time since she and Jimmy moved in, and, well, Marissa hasn't technically moved in yet.  Boxes everywhere, and I can't even actually see her bed.  Summer asks if she can just chill at Marissa's place because her stepmom is all crazy on Percocet after having her wisdom teeth out.

Out on the pier, Marissa and Ryan have a chat and Marissa denies Luke's request for a meeting.  She just wants to keep that part of her life separate from this part of her life.  What exactly is this part of her life, anyway?  Well, apparently now it involves kissing Ryan and his windswept hair that's not actually moving in the wind.  Meanwhile, Seth arrives at Marissa's apartment mistakenly thinking that Summer wants to have sex with him in Marissa's bed.  Nope, Summer merely wants to make Marissa's bedroom look like a teenaged girl actually lives in it, not just using it as a storage space.  Seth will prove to be entirely useless at using power tools.  Or simple tools, really.

Over at The Lighthouse, the liquor commission guy that approved the temporary license shows up to tell Sandy what's going on.  Turns out the new Liquor Board Commissioner only has the job because Jimmy cleaned him out and he had to go back to work.  So now he's pulling the temporary license and refusing a permanent one.  Kind of overstepping his bounds there to deny a liquor license just because Jimmy Cooper is involved, but then again, Jimmy did steal $250,000 from this guy.

Back at the apartment, Ryan and Marissa do some more smooching.  Did Marissa forget that she said Summer could just hang out, or did they actually check to see if Summer was still around, or what?  I mean, I know Summer dragged Seth off to the Home Depot or whatever, but you see my point.  Anyway, there's a knock at the door.  It's Caleb, and he's here to ask for Marissa's blessing to ask Julie to marry him.  Marissa needs to be scraped off the floor upon learning this news, so odds are she's not going to spill the beans before tonight's party at The Lighthouse, but she is stuck with the dilemma of telling Caleb that her mom is a super crappy person or to keep her mouth shut.

Over at the Cohen residence, Luke sits on the front stairs waiting for Ryan to come home.  Ryan tells him there's no chance that Marissa's going to talk to him.  Luke doesn't take this well, because he's gotta explain everything to Marissa, MAN, and Marissa's refusal to see him isn't gonna stop him, MAN.  I think Ryan's suggestion of writing a letter was pretty good.  Inside, Kirsten looks hot in her dress for the party and Sandy tells her that Jimmy's the hold up.  Kirsten suggests getting Caleb involved to work some magic, but this suggestion just makes Sandy chug the glass of scotch he was drinking.  I'm surprised that she didn't suggest Uncle Shaun.

The Lighthouse is a happening scene with everyone who's anyone in Newport showing up.  Luke parks his truck in a dark corner of the lot and drinks a lot of beer.  After a few party scenes (Seth/Summer leave to work on Marissa's room, Marissa is cold towards her mother, Hailey doesn't have a love life no sireee bob who started those rumors anyway, Sandy tells Jimmy he's working on the liquor license), it's time for Caleb to give a speech about how awesome Julie is, which means it's also time for Luke to come inside.  Ryan sees Luke and intercepts him, but just as he's breaking away from Ryan, Caleb gets down on one knee and proposes to Julie.  Everyone is shocked and Luke runs out the door.  Ryan tries to get Luke to stop and let him drive Luke home because Luke's clearly been drinking, but Luke shouts "What home?!" and drives off.  Ryan asks Marissa for her keys so he can go after Luke to make sure he's okay, and Marissa gets pissy about Ryan's concern for Luke.  Wasn't the lesson of The Oliver Saga that "Ryan is most likely right and we should generally trust him?"  Meanwhile, here's Marissa screeching at Ryan because she disagrees with him until he tells Marissa that Luke's leaving town and wanted to apologize, oh, and also, the heavy drinking.  Oh, NOW Marissa's on board.

Luke makes his way to a Makeout Point type of place and chugs his way through a few more beers that are mysteriously missing their labels while listening to "Night Moves," which, for those of you keeping track, was the song playing the first time that Luke and Julie got it on.  Ryan calls him from Marissa's phone, which means Luke's momentary excitement that Marissa was going to talk to him probably contributes to his downswing when he hears Ryan's voice.  Luke says he gets it why Marissa won't talk to him, and when Ryan asks him to not do something stupid because he has to say good bye before he leaves, he says "good bye" to Ryan in a way that makes me think he's about to do something incredibly harmful to himself.  Luke hangs up, angrily kicks the front of his truck about 10 times, and decides that Julie "owes" him a goodbye when she doesn't pick up the phone and drunkenly drives off.  Yeah, no one owes you anything like that, dude.

In the Cohen kitchen, Sandy tells Caleb about the liquor board issue.  The two men repeat the exact same dialogue from when Caleb asked Sandy for a favor regarding Uncle Shaun, and as it turns out, Caleb just likes reminding Sandy that he helped Caleb instead of actually being helpful.  Caleb says he's going to go check in on his bride-to-be, and Kirsten may vomit.  This is probably at least halfway due to her downing champagne like it was going out of style after the proposal, but "Julie is her new stepmother" isn't helping, either.

Marissa frantically tries to call Luke, but he's not answering.  Red flashing lights start appearing in the car, but I don't know why.  Was Ryan speeding?  Wait.  The lights are flashing on Marissa and Ryan's faces, so that means the source is in front of them.  It's an ambulance, and they're currently extracting Luke from his truck, which is wrapped around a telephone pole.

The next thing we see is the four kids in a hospital waiting room the next morning, and Mr. Ward comes in to tell them that Luke's out of surgery.  He's still going to be knocked out for a while, so there's no reason for them to stick around.  Seth and Summer take off to go work on Marissa's room, while Ryan and Marissa elect to stick around.  Marissa tells Ryan that she wished for something like this to happen to Luke, and Ryan tells her to not blame herself.

At the Cohens', Jimmy says that Luke's drinking and driving makes him think about actually fighting over their liquor license.  Oh, and about that, Jimmy... it's kind of your fault, and Sandy's asked Caleb for help.  Jimmy objects, but Sandy says that he didn't have a choice, because he wasn't going to cut Jimmy out of The Lighthouse just to get a liquor license.

Back at the hospital, Ryan's asleep, but Marissa just lays on the couch and stares.  Mr. Ward comes back in to tell them that Luke's awake and he appreciates them sticking around, but seriously, though, go home and sleep.  Marissa asks Mr. Ward to tell Luke she's there and ask if she can talk to him.  Luke accepts, but even without the drugs making him dopey, he would have jumped at this chance.  Luke apologizes, saying he was lonely and didn't have anyone.  He hopes going to Portland will let things go back to normal for Marissa, and asks if she can forgive him, which she does.  Ryan and Luke make jokes about Luke going to Portland as the new kid and getting his ass kicked by the captain of the football team, just like a certain lad from Chino did once upon a time.

Caleb meets up with Sandy and Jimmy at The Lighthouse, calling for a Bloody Mary, because it's the last drink they're going to serve.  Even Caleb's "charm" couldn't change the liquor commissioner's mind because he REALLY misses his quarter of a million dollars, not to mention his retirement.  But don't worry, kids, Caleb's got an idea that he needs to talk over with Sandy and Jimmy...

Julie's launched into major wedding prep mode, and for some reason, she's doing this in Kirsten's kitchen.  Seth's off to go work on Marissa's room, and asks if Ryan's back from the hospital yet.  Julie doesn't know yet, and after Kirsten tells her about Luke, she attributes it to continuing issues from the revelations about his dad.  Seth stares at her, and in the most sarcastic tone possible, he agrees with her.

So, where to, Marissa?  Home?  Nope.  Off to Caleb's office to have it out about Julie now that they're engaged.  Marissa tells Caleb that he doesn't know what Julie's really like, and Caleb says, nope, I know everything.  Marissa doesn't bother asking a follow up question in the biggest mistake in negotiating history, and gets herself suckered into a very favorable deal for Caleb.  He'll buy The Lighthouse for several million dollars and a major profit to Sandy and Jimmy, but in exchange, Marissa has to come live with Julie and Caleb in order to make Julie happy.  Marissa calls this blackmail, I call it shrewd.  It's also not blackmail, as Caleb doesn't have anything that Marissa wants to hide.  It is extortion, though, although it's really not even that bad as far as extortion goes.  Still, it would have been interesting to see Caleb's reaction to Marissa actually SAYING that Julie was sleeping with Luke, but Marissa just accepted what Caleb said at face value.

Ryan takes Marissa home, and there's a huge clattering noise from upstairs.  Summer's berating Seth for being terrible at home repair projects, but the room does look fantastic.  The wall across from the door is painted to look like the closing title sequence from the very sad movie they were seeing at the start of the episode, and of course, Marissa loves the room.  There's a bit of the The Gift Of The Magi vibe here, as Marissa just got negotiated out of this bedroom.  It's not a very strong vibe, though, as of course Marissa will still be able to come visit Jimmy and use the room, but you see my point.  The episode fades out on the kids crashed out on Marissa's bed and Ryan making fun of Seth for why he knows what the Care Bear Stare is.

Best Sandy Cohen Line: It's not going to be useful for referring to basketball in the slightest, but Sandy's best line came during his conversation with the liquor commission guy.  Sandy's trying to figure out what's going on with the license, and has this to say: "Without a liquor license, there's no way this place can turn a profit.  This is Newport Beach, everyone here's a borderline alcoholic!"

Best Sandy Cohen Moment: It's quick, but Sandy telling Jimmy that he refuses to abandon him just to keep The Lighthouse operational is great.  Yes, Sandy's done it in other episodes, but it's a wonderful thing to see a friend do that for a friend.