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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Shower"

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 25 - "The Shower"

Directed by Sandy Smolan
Written by J.J. Philbin

Previously on The O.C.: Caleb proposed to Julie.  Summer used to never speak to Seth, but hey, that was a year ago.  Jimmy and Hailey are dating, but not telling anyone.  Theresa decides to go back to Chino and marry Eddie, even if she doesn't really love him.  A jerk liquor board commissioner shut down The Lighthouse on Sandy and Jimmy, but Caleb's going to buy it, as long as Marissa agrees to live with Julie & Caleb.  Ryan and Marissa started dating again, or at least making out a lot more often.

*     *     *     *     *

The Nichol/Cooper wedding invitation has arrived in the mail, and the wedding is only two weeks away, sending Kirsten into a complete tizzy.  Sandy's warming up to Caleb, or rather, the insane millions that Caleb's going to pay for The Lighthouse.  Seth attempts to start divining the new relationships being created by this marriage: Julie is Sandy's mother-in-law, Marissa is now Seth's aunt, etc.  As entertaining as this is, there's a ringing phone to be answered, and Sandy snags it.  It's Theresa calling from a pay phone and suspiciously staring stage left as she talks.  She's got legal questions for Sandy that she doesn't want Ryan to know about, which makes this even more suspicious.  They make plans to meet during one of her breaks at her catering job at a bakery in Newport, and as Theresa hangs up, she faces the camera, and we see the shiner on her left eye.  Uh oh.

After the title sequence, Kirsten's in her office and on the phone.  Julie flies in and just won't shut up about various complications of planning a wedding on such short notice.  Two things: 1) PHONE, and 2) Then don't get married on short notice, idiot.  Anyway, Julie figures that since Kirsten's going to be her maid of honor, Kirsten can organize the wedding shower.  Oh, also, by the way, Kirsten's the maid of honor.  SURPRISE.  Caleb's already made arrangements for it to be at the country club, so at least that headache is out of the way.  Julie doesn't want the kitschy lingerie/jokes about "making whoopie (her phrase, not mine), but a classy couples shower/cocktail party.  How amazingly reserved for Julie.

Over in Harbor's student lounge, Marissa isn't thrilled about her mom voluntelling her to help Kirsten with the shower.  On top of that, she still hasn't told Jimmy that she's moving out, but promises Ryan she'll do it later that day.  As the freshly restarted couple plays some Ms. Pac-Man, Seth stares at the two of them and moans to Summer about how he doesn't understand how and/or why they're happy.  Marissa's supposed to be crying and Ryan's supposed to be brooding, dammit!  Seth has stopped nitpicking his relationships for minor faults and has now moved to destroying other people.  Summer gets to bail on this idiot line of discussion by answering her cell phone.  We hear an incredibly friendly conversation, and as it turns out, that was Summer's dad, whom Seth has never met.  Seth cajoles Summer into arranging some kind of meeting, because parents love Seth.

Sandy and Theresa meet up, and the story of the black eye is as such: Eddie lost his job and his apartment, and then one night, he was drinking and popped her one.  To review: Eddie was the solid stable option between Ryan and Eddie all of four episodes ago, and if time on the show is following the original airdates, that was just seven weeks earlier.  Also: everything was fine with Eddie two episodes/three weeks ago.  The hell did he do to lose his job and apartment in three damn weeks?  Theresa asks what would happen if she decided to press charges if it ever happened again, which means 1) she's not pressing charges this time and 2) she's also not leaving him, because "it's complicated."

Jimmy and Hailey decide to move their heavy petting session from the couch to Jimmy's bedroom, but then Hailey realizes that Marissa will be home soon, so maybe they shouldn't.  Turns out, Hailey's bad at telling time, because Marissa comes in the door, leading to the worst lying you've ever seen on TV.  It's so bad, they don't even try to pretend that Marissa bought any of Hailey and Jimmy's excuses for why Hailey was there, but she tells her dad that she's happy for him.

The next morning, Seth's in full panic mode about what to wear to lunch at the country club with Dr. Roberts and Summer.  Ryan, being a smart guy, leaves Seth alone to writhe in his own misery.  Plus, the doorbell rang, and he's got to warn Marissa that Julie's in the house working on wedding stuff.  Marissa says "All I want to do is get back at her," and after a bit of forced interaction with her mom before she leaves, Kirsten puts Marissa in charge of finalizing the guest list.  Hey, Aunt Cindy isn't on the list, and I'm absolutely sure that Marissa is making a solid decision here that won't bother Julie at all.

Caleb meets up with Sandy and Jimmy to pay them $2.5 million for The Lighthouse.  It's not actually clear, but it actually might be $2.5 million for EACH of them, but Sandy says it's more than twice what they put into the place, so maybe it's only to share.  But still, not chump change.  Sandy wishes it had been operating The Lighthouse that had made Jimmy happy, but let's be honest: Jimmy's just happy to be solvent, even if he's forgetting that he doesn't have a job any more.  Jimmy points out that instead of tying up his free time with the restaurant, Sandy can now spend it doing what he actually likes to do: help people.  Jimmy makes a reference to "some stray out there" that's just waiting for Sandy to help them out, and all Sandy can do is think about Theresa.

Remember way back when Jimmy pointed out that it was silly of Julie to be upset that Sandy accused her of being from Riverside, just one town over from Chino, where Ryan is from?  Well, we get to see what would Julie would have been like if she never left Riverside, as Aunt Cindy is rollicking up a storm telling Kirsten stories about Julie in the Cohen living room.  Three words: Def.  Leppard.  Phase.  As you might expect, Julie and Cindy hasn't spoken in seven years, and Cindy's pretty sure that the last thing Julie said to her was to get lost for good.  It's hard to tell, though, because she was kind of hazy from all the Jell-O shots.  Kirsten's just about to call Marissa out on this when Julie comes in the door and makes it clear that Cindy is in fact, NOT super welcome here.  Well, time for Marissa and Ryan to go pick up that cake from the bakery.


Bakery?  In Newport?


The scene of lunch between Summer, her dad, and Seth is about 5 minutes long.  Four minutes and 30 seconds of this is Seth nervously rambling on with an inability to shut up, even when Dr. Roberts attempts to talk to his daughter.  It is literally the absolute worst thing you can do when you're meeting your girlfriend's father for the first time.  Seth goes so far as to launch into the "Comic books are a legitimate art form" discussion monologue, which is a major no-no for your first conversation with any human being on the face of the planet.  By the end of the scene, Seth actually realizes that he should have shut his trap about three minutes ago, BUT HE STILL CAN'T STOP TALKING.

Jimmy and Hailey arrive at the Cohen house for... something?  And they're going to tell everyone that they're a couple and they're happy and people should be happy for them.  But what if it's the wrong time?  Julie's getting married, and, well, maybe we should make out a while, and oops, the door opened and now Kirsten and Julie know what's up.

As alluded to earlier, the bakery where Marissa and Ryan are picking the cake up from is the exact same one that Theresa's working at now.  Theresa immediately jumps to "I guess Sandy told you anyway," which is a pretty stupid conclusion, seeing as when you happened upon Ryan and Marissa, they were fighting over putting cake samples in each other's mouth.  How hard did Eddie hit you, Theresa?  You clearly have a concussion if you think that's how Ryan behaves when he comes to see you because your fiance's been punching you.

An early morning surfing session doesn't clear Sandy's head or conscience, so he's gonna head over to Chino and give Eddie a stern talking to.  This is a colossally stupid plan, and Kirsten tells him so.  She points out the much easier options: Talk to Ryan, who is - stunner - pissed at Sandy for not telling him and go invite Theresa over to the house.  Sandy realizes that this is a much better idea.  The talk with Ryan goes exactly like you think: Ryan is angry because HE HAS TO DO SOMETHING, while Sandy points out that all he was going to do was something that was going to land him back in juvie for violating his probation, plus Theresa has to be the one to figure out what she's going to do.

Seth heads over to Summer's house to pick her up for the shower, and he's disappointed that Dr. Roberts isn't around so the two of them can chat some more.  *sigh*  Seth bugs Summer for any info about what her dad had to say about the lunch date, but she's got nothing for the little spaz.

Theresa arrives at the Cohen house, and she and Ryan have a talk where Theresa says everything that Sandy said to Ryan earlier.  She adds that she's staying with Eddie and she'll take some self defense classes and live happily ever after.  Um, yeah.  Kirsten invites her to the shower and offers the use of her make up cabinet to conceal the black eye.  Marissa comes in and for a second, things get awkward.  But Marissa recovers nicely and tells Theresa that she should come to the shower.

At the bridal shower, Caleb actually seems to like Cindy, which isn't that surprising.  Cindy's just being herself and isn't bowing and scraping in front of Caleb like a lot of people seem to do.  Marissa and Theresa end up having a quiet moment together off in the catering tent, while Cindy starts a game of "How Well Do You Know Them?"  The problem is that Cindy only knows Riverside Julie, and she's surrounded by a bunch of people who only know Newport Beach Julie.

Ryan finds the girls, and Theresa's cell phone rings.  It's Eddie, of course, just calling to apologize again.  Wait, again? Theresa's been talking to Eddie?  Oh, man, Ryan gets pissed, as he can only see things in black and white.  I mean, from a philosophical perspective, yes, Ryan's right, but if Theresa doesn't want to leave Eddie over this, that's up to her, y'know?  Of course, along the way, we find out that this isn't the first time that Eddie has struck Theresa, which immediately makes you start wondering what's up with that whole "Eddie's more stable" thing.  Ryan goes flying out, grabbing Marissa's keys along the way.  Seth tries to get him to not leave, but Ryan actually growls at Seth when Seth grabs him by the arm to stop him.  Ryan gets to the car and Sandy catches him there, but Ryan doesn't listen to Sandy either, and goes tearing out of there in Marissa's Jeep Cherokee.

After Julie ends up angrily stomping away from the garden party aspect of the shower because of Cindy's little game ("Who was Julie's first love?  The defensive line of our 8th grade football team!"), Cindy apologizes because she misses her sister.  I have to agree with Cindy, because Riverside Julie kind of seems like more fun than Newport Beach Julie.  Caleb wanders up, assures Cindy that she'll be invited to the wedding and tells Julie that no matter what he learns about her, he'll never walk away.  The camera lingers on Julie as if to let us know that she's still worried about something (her affair with Luke?) coming to light.

Seth tracks down Summer, who has been avoiding him all party long.  Summer's very close with her dad, because as she puts it, "they've been through everything together."  I don't know what that's referring to, but we do know that Summer has a step-mother.  Anyway, Seth's freakshow performance at lunch has left a bad taste in Dr. Roberts' mouth, and he's just not a fan of Seth.  Seth, of course, gets defensive, because he doesn't get the message when a girl tells him repeatedly that her dad is her best friend.  He says the only thing that matters is the two of them, right?  Wrong, Seth.  Summer just told you that her father's opinion is very important to her.  You need to listen, you dope.

Over at The Mermaid Inn, Ryan knocks on Theresa's door.  Ryan got all the way to Corona before realizing that Eddie wasn't the person he wanted to talk to.  Dude, that's pretty much all the way to Chino.  Theresa's still going back to Eddie, though.  See, he promised to never hit her again, so that's okay then, because I bet he totally means it the fourth time!  Ryan pleads with her to not go back to Chino, but instead, go to the Cohen's house.  He doesn't know what will happen if she goes there, but he does know what will happen if she goes back to Eddie.

As Kirsten and Sandy recline in their living room, swearing off parties forever and wondering if Ryan's already back in juvie, Ryan and Theresa come through the front door.  Theresa is welcome to stay as long as she wants, of course.  Later, Marissa stops by to, y'know, retrieve her car, and Kirsten ends up being the one to tell her that Theresa is there, but also to tell Marissa that Ryan loves her, and she should probably find a way to make space for Theresa in Ryan's life.

In Seth's room, where Ryan's now going to be bunking while Theresa occupies the pool house, Ryan apologizes to his foster brother.  Seth points out that these apologies are probably better served being directed at Marissa.  Ryan heads out to the pool where Marissa is sitting and offers his apologies to her, too.  Ryan knows there's going to be a lot of crazy pants stuff in Marissa's near future and he's going to be there for her her.  The duo agree that they think everything is going to be okay, but like it did with Julie earlier, the camera lingers on them looking in opposite directions while snuggling, leaving me with the distinct impression that both of them doubt their future.

Best Sandy Cohen Line: It comes right near the end, when Kirsten is declaring that she's never going to host a party ever again.  Sandy: "Aw, honey, don't tease me like that."

Best Sandy Cohen Moment: While Sandy's conversation with Ryan in the pool house about why he did what he did for Theresa is pretty great, namely Sandy treats Ryan like an adult while still laying down the law with him, that's not what I'm picking here.  Instead, I'm going with Sandy's original face to face conversation with Theresa.  He's being a total pro as a lawyer, but he's also being Theresa's friend and just enough of a parent to her, too.