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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The New Kids On The Block"

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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 spent last summer recapping episodes from the first season of the classic Fox drama in order to mine for gold for when the basketball playing Cohen did something superlative.  He had a relatively quiet freshman campaign, but that doesn't curtail our quest for entertainment, both during the season and during the quiet summer months.  So we're back again in 2015 with recaps for the 24 episode second season.

Makes sense, right? Ok, hit it, Phantom Planet!

Season 2, Episode 3 - "The New Kids On The Block"

Directed by Lev I. Spiro
Written by Stephanie Savage

Previously on The O.C.: Caleb's getting indicted.  Marissa has been dating DJ The Yardboy all summer, which is a surprise to both Summer and Ryan.  Marissa defends lying to Ryan about DJ by shouting at Ryan because he left town.  Summer is dating Zach, the comic book loving water polo player.   Seth really stinks at wooing and dating Summer.  Caleb was arrested.

*     *     *     *     *

Ryan reads the newspaper, which has Caleb on the front page.  Pretty impressive hustle by the newspaper, seeing as he was arrested after dark last night, and the sun stays out late early in the school year.  Anyway, Ryan's fascinated by this whole thing, but Seth's focus is on the fact that he was cropped out of the picture on the front page and he suspects it's because of his haircut.  Perhaps Summer was right when she accused him of making everything about him all the time?  Seth takes this as constructive criticism from Ryan and vows to change, but not to win Summer back.  Unless that's what she wants.

We get car-themed for the next two segments as Sandy picks up Caleb from his night in lock up, tells him that Sandy needs his bosses to sign off on taking on Caleb as a client, and advises him to step down as CEO of The Newport Group, then a beat up Toyota Corolla hatchback pulls into the parking lot at The Harbor School.  We get a never before seen teenage girl exiting the car, which has all sorts of "Free Tibet" and "PETA" and "Kerry/Edwards" bumper stickers on the back.

Fade out to the student lounge, and Seth & Ryan are buying coffee.  There's a convenient plot device flyer for The Walkmen playing at The Bait Shop, which is obviously a very popular concert venue that's been there the whole time who said it hasn't been?  You know who loves The Walkmen?  Summer!  Seth shall buy tickets for her and Zach as a sign of selflessness and friendship.  Ryan gets his coffee and turns to follow the typically manic Seth... and promptly slams his giant plastic cup into New Girl's chest.  WHOOOOOOPS, says Ryan, here, let me get you some napkins, and BOOM, back elbow to the nose.  Smartly, New Girl collects her spilled purse and backs away from Ryan before he does any further damage.

Over at the Cohen's, Kirsten and Sandy continue to push Caleb to step down.  SURPRISE, Julie's at the door, back from her spa trip.  Julie's determined to not let Caleb's legal issues cause their marriage to fall apart like they did with her marriage to Jimmy... but I'm pretty sure that was Julie's fault, really.  Julie offers her assistance in any matter to Caleb, and since he's going to be working from home more often now, he puts her in charge of coffee and those nice pumpkin muffins that he likes.  We'll call Julie's reaction "underwhelmed."

At school, Marissa and Summer discuss how Summer's dad is more excited about Summer dating Zach than Summer is.  Marissa wonders if this is because Summer's still hung up on Seth, but Summer INSISTS that's not the case.  Here we learn that Zach is a Congressman's son and, after he wanders over to join the conversation, we learn that he reads five newspapers a day.  LIAR.  Anyway, after some big eye insisting from Marissa, Summer sets up weekend plans with Zach to introduce him to her father.

It's Ryan's first day of AP Physics, and SURPRISE, the only available seat is next to New Girl.  I'm actually kind of surprised that a rich school like Harbor is packing the kids in like this.  It occurs to me that this is day 2 of school, so I'm now wondering why New Girl missed yesterday, as she mentioned today was her first day earlier.  After Ryan smacks her in the head with his messenger bag on the way to his chair, Mr. Greenberg shows up to teach and SURPRISE Ryan and New Girl are assigned as lab partners.  We also learn that her name is Lindsay Gardner after a full 10 minutes and 19 seconds of this episode.

Enough of this school nonsense, let's head off to the pier and HOLY CRAP, Ryan and Seth are riding bikes and skateboarding!  When was the last time that we saw them do this??  Anyway, they're heading to The Bait Shop to buy tickets.  The only person that seems to be in the building is this nice lady sitting at the bar using a computer with headphones on and WOOOOOO IT'S OLIVIA WILDE AS ALEX!  After she armbars Seth for sneaking up on her, Alex tells him that the show's sold out, but then she hands tickets to one of the young gents hauling stuff around the building.  See, employees get tickets for the show.  Seth points out the "Help Wanted" sign, and thus, Seth is now the low man on the totem pole as Alex hands him a mop.

Several mornings later, Ryan does some homework while Sandy pores over some legal looking papers, presumably Caleb-related.  Sandy remarks on the "new Ryan Atwood, studying at the kitchen table."  Is the point here that Ryan doesn't usually study at the table?  In the last episode, Miss Fischer remarked about how fantastic Ryan's GPA was last year, so he obviously did a butt-load of schoolwork.  Seth wanders in, moaning about how sore he is from all the physical labor at The Bait Shop.  Kirsten wanders in, too, and this leads to a discussion about if Caleb were to go to prison, it wouldn't affect Seth.  It wouldn't mean the end of The Newport Group and they wouldn't lose the house, although Kirsten and Sandy exchanged glances that make me think that's not 100% true.  We flip over to the Nichol house, where Julie has the same conversation about Caleb with Marissa, except Marissa is cheering for Caleb to get convicted for her own personal reasons.

Back at Physics, Lindsay has already turned in the lab report that she was supposed write with Ryan.  You see, she transferred to Harbor so she could take way more AP classes and get early admittance to Yale, so just shut up and take the A, pretty boy.  Lindsay appears to be under the impression that Ryan is a dumb jock type, and he points this out.  "God doesn't give with both hands," says Lindsay, clearly implying that she thinks Ryan is super cute, so therefore he must be super dumb.  Whereas Seth would likely meltdown as a result of this, Ryan merely has had enough of Lindsay, and attempts to use her doing the lab report by herself to get out of being her partner.  This move fails, as Mr. Greenberg makes them do extra work to make up for the lack of teamwork.

At The Bait Shop, Alex stupidly tries to pick up two racks of drink glasses at once and shouts for Seth's help.  He's only just barely useful enough to get the glasses to the bar, so Alex demands to know why he wanted this job.  As he explains, Alex's cell phone rings, and it's her mom.  See, Alex is only 17 and has been kicked out of three high schools, but she's really good at running the club.  *shrug*  As an experienced woman (who is roughly the same age as Seth, seeing as he had his driver's license a year ago), she tells him his plan to win over Summer with the tickets will fail.

Sandy wanders into Kirsten's office as she ends a phone call with a Mr. Brubaker (aside: the people writing this show are such nerds) to let her know that Sandy no longer has a job.  His bosses let him know he had to pick between his job and representing Caleb, and he chose representing Caleb.

Summer is in her bedroom watching The Valley, even though her favorite character is played by a skeezeball nozzle.  There's a knock at the door, and it's Seth, who also reports that Summer's step-mother is nice.  I like this running gag.  I want the next person to knock on Summer's door to be carrying a can of Coke that Step-Mom gave them, and then the next person has a sandwich, and so on.  He hands over the tickets for The Walkmen show, and explains that they're for her and Zach and he's trying to show that he's not thinking about himself all the time.

The next morning on Jimmy's boat, Marissa and Jimmy have breakfast after she's spent the night.  Jimmy finally figured out how to make French toast, and that's a call back, son.  They talk about being lonely, and Marissa explains that she's lonely because Ryan won't talk to her because of what happened with DJ, except she refers to Ryan as "my boyfriend."  I distinctly got the impression that this was not the case when Ryan left town at the end of Season 1, especially since they weren't talking over the summer, AND that she was dating DJ in secret all summer, too.  She seems to have some severe reality issues.  Julie shows up to pick Marissa up, but I swear that Marissa had her own car.  As Marissa grabs her stuff from below deck, Julie and Jimmy chat about their past and Julie's present with Caleb's situation.  Jimmy tells her that the woman he married wouldn't accept being Caleb's personal assistant.  Oh crap.

At school, Lindsay is still judging Ryan unfairly, and, oh by the way, still doing the lab work for him.  See, she's not here to make friends, so now I'm worried that she thinks that this is a reality TV show and not high school physics.  Because they're supposed to work together, they make plans to meet up this weekend to do that, but no one's excited about it.

That night, Zach and Summer are getting ready to go to the concert, but Zach has questions about where the tickets came from.  He starts getting the feeling that Summer has unresolved hang ups about Seth, so he insists that Summer go to the show by herself and just let him know when she's got it all figured out.  He's being quite mature and responsible about this whole thing.

At the Cohen residence, Sandy pops some champagne to toast his newfound unemployment.  Caleb also has things to toast: he's conceded that he has to step down as CEO.  Yay!  He's naming Julie as the new CEO!  BOO.  I blame Jimmy Cooper.  When he and Julie are leaving later, Sandy reads Caleb a very quiet riot act.  Sandy makes it very very clear that Caleb has to make up passing over Kirsten as CEO to her and quick, otherwise he also needs to find himself some new legal counsel.  What a dum dum.

At The Bait Shop, Seth works the door while Ryan hangs out.  How does this work, exactly?  He brings Seth a soda, so he was somehow allowed in the club to do this, even though there were no tickets available for him... Oh well.  Summer arrives sans Zach, so Seth pawns off his duties onto some other schlub to escort her to her "VIP seating." Uh huh.  Time for Ryan to leave, and hey, look!  It's Marissa sitting on a pierside bench!  They talk about Summer and Seth, although most of what they say could be mistaken for a discussion about themselves and how their relationship is kind of permanently doomed.  They decide to go inside, at least that's what I thought they were doing, but again: they don't have tickets, and I have no idea what they actually do because we don't see them again until the next day.

As The Walkmen play "What's In It For Me," I laugh because it's a backdrop for Seth being an idiot.  He sits with Summer but won't shut up.  Alex wanders over to tell him to go clean up somebody's puke, which leads to Summer asking what's up with that.  Seth explains his job to get the tickets for her, and Summer thinks that's pretty sweet.  Seth thinks that this means it's a good time to kiss her, but he is VERY wrong.  Summer shoves him away and storms out.  Seth follows, there's a whole bunch of shouting, and after Seth says he can't be just her friend, Summer says that this means they're finished.

In the pool house the next morning, Seth is completely demoralized and looking for someone to unload on, but Ryan has to head off to meet up with Lindsay for lab work since it's Saturday.  Over in the main house, Kirsten's not doing much better, as there's absolutely no way she can go back to work if Julie's her boss.

Out of options, Seth heads over to Marissa's house to try talking with her about his problems, because talking is his move.  This quickly turns into Seth deciding to apologize to Summer, who is at the club with her dad.  Marissa tries to tell Seth that Zach is there with them, but he's not listening.  Marissa asks where Ryan is because they had fun last night, all off camera, mind you, and Seth knows he's at school for physics stuff because "Ryan's kind of a dork now."  AGAIN, the academic counselor at school was very impressed with Ryan's GPA last year, so he was pretty studious already.  I thought this was part of Ryan's deal: Smart but troubled, right?

Time to wrap up a bunch of threads here.  Caleb comes over to offer Kirsten the position of Chief Financial Officer of The Newport Group because the money is where the real power is.  We're not going to tell Julie that, though, and yes, this means a raise.  At school, Lindsay apologizes for being wrong about Ryan and he apologizes for constantly accidentally assaulting her.  They start being real people and having a bit of fun and that's right when Marissa wanders in.  She sees Ryan having fun with another girl, which is obviously the worst thing ever in the known universe, so she runs away on the verge of tears.  I'm not exactly sure why she's so upset because, as Marissa said last week, they've never been friends.  At the club, the almost exact same scene takes place with Seth seeing Dr. Roberts taking a shine to Zach and Summer being happy.

Seth wanders off and ends up at the pier where he finds Marissa on the same bench that she was on during the concert.  Seth sits and and they are lonely together.  Not that kind of together.

Best Sandy Cohen Moment/Line: It comes very late in the episode, when Caleb comes over to talk to Kirsten about becoming CFO.  Sandy escorts him out to the patio, telling Caleb that Kirsten has agreed to supervised visitation.  Caleb thinks this is silly because he doesn't need supervision. Sandy's response: "Oh, I'm not supervising you.  I'm making sure she doesn't kill you."