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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Family Ties"

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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 7 - "The Family Ties"

Directed by Lesli Glatter
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg & Josh Schwartz

Previously on The O.C.: Isn't Zach the most perfect boyfriend ever?  Ryan and Lindsay were starting to date, but that was before we knew that Caleb is Lindsay's father.  Julie and Jimmy are doing the horizontal rumba on the regular.  Alex got kicked out of three high schools and now she's the manager of The Bait Shop.

*     *     *     *     *

Ryan tries to get some schoolwork done at the kitchen table, but his studying time is interrupted by a succession of people.  First, Seth clatters into the room bemoaning the death of Punchy Ryan while he studies old pictures of his mother for resemblances to Lindsay.  Sandy comes in during all of this and advises Ryan that it's best that the missus doesn't know about Ryan and Lindsay dating for now.  Of course, Kirsten hears him talk about obscuring things from her, but she presumes it's about Caleb's trial starting.  This, of course, leads to Kirsten accidentally awkwarding Ryan's relationship with Lindsay by pointing out that it's like Lindsay's his aunt.  Or, really, because of the age, like his sister!

After the title sequence, Marissa and Summer hang out in the school lounge as Marissa explains that she's nervous about officially introducing DJ to her father.  Zach eyeballs the girls talking from afar, and notices Seth wandering about and approaches him.  Zach makes sure that they're cool after Zach tried to knock his block off last time they met, and Seth understands where he was coming from.  With that settled, Zach unloads on Seth: While he was in Cabo with his family for the holidays, he had some tequila, and Chingy was playing (oh, man, remember Chingy?), and he kind of kissed an old girlfriend of his.  Who was his math tutor when he was 14.  Who is divorced with kids.  Eeeeeep.  Seth's suggestion: Be honest with Summer, but y'know, leave out the divorced with kids part.

Seth promises Zach that he's not going to spill, which means we smash cut to Seth telling Ryan everything.  Wait.  Nope, it's Ryan and Lindsay in the hallway.  Well, bravo to Seth for making it 5 minutes.  They clarify where Lindsay is with people: The Cohens are her friends, and Ryan is more than friends.  More importantly, kissing Ryan is definitely not like kissing his sister.  Nope, never even thought about that.

After a bit where Caleb and Sandy drive in Caleb's Aston Martin after all charges against him have been dropped, we transition to Julie on Jimmy's boat talking to Kirsten about how Caleb's planning to come back to work, even though the CEO and CFO of The Newport Group hate his ass right now.  So, if Caleb's not going to prison, where does this leave Jimmy and Julie, then?  For now, it sends them back below deck for more sex.  The sexy times must have lasted for a pretty decent while, because Julie's still on board when Marissa and DJ get within 40 yards and they see Jimmy and Julie smooching it up on deck.  Marissa grabs DJ's hand and they get out of there before they're seen.  Unrelated: Julie's really bad at being CEO of The Newport Group.

Seth's afterschool activities include heading over to Alex's apartment to see what she's up to.  A shirtless dude answers, but Alex hears Seth's stammering and comes out to talk to him.  Alex bailed on visiting her family and came back to town to hang out with friends.  Said friends aka previously shirtless dude and two more guys and a girl file out of Alex's apartment in search of cigarettes and beer.  This makes Seth's brain shut down in a very stupid way and Alex tells him she'll talk to him at the Modest Mouse concert later that night.  Memo to Seth: Alex is not your girlfriend and stop presuming things were happening because four people crashed at Alex's apartment last night.

Seth's real hang up, though, is that Alex said it was "nice" of Seth to stop by, and gosh darn it, nice is a bad thing, so it's time to panic.  Seth tries to act tough when Sandy asks him to shuck corn for dinner, but it results in both Sandy and Ryan laughing at him.  Seth's default setting is "Jewish grandmother," apparently.  Hey, his words, not mine.  Kirsten arrives home and is thrilled to see the menfolk making dinner, but she hopes they made extra, because she picked up Lindsay after school for coffee and shopping, like sisters do.  *awkward alarms*

Marissa wanders back to Jimmy's boat after dark, but by herself this time.  Jimmy's disappointed that the plan to meet DJ fell apart, but hey, you were busy making out with Julie, weren't you, Jimmy?  He doesn't know how to react to this declaration from Marissa, other than to try to claim that things are different now.  Marissa points out that because Julie's married to Caleb, this is just Jimmy lying and cheating and sneaking around, just like before.  "Why don't you grow up and be a real dad," spits Marissa as she leaves Jimmy to think about what he's done.

Seth attempts to raid Ryan's closet for tough guy clothes (aka his collection of sleeveless undershirts), but they're baggy on Seth so it's making it worse.  Dinner with Lindsay was a nice family dinner, so both boys are completely screwed.

Time to head off to The Bait Shop for the Modest Mouse show.  Seth has abandoned his attempt at Ryan's clothes, but look at him showing off his flask of whiskey to Alex.  Even if she is your friend, maybe don't show the club manager the alcohol that you snuck into the building, you nimrod?  Seth doesn't, y'know, actually like whiskey, so he's going to go stand by the speakers because he doesn't care about tinnitus and drink all of the whiskey anyway.  Well played, tough guy.

To give us some time in between happenings at the concert, we wander over to the Cohen house, where Jimmy comes clean about banging Julie to Sandy and Kirsten.  He also announces his plan to sign a contract with a yacht chartering company... in Maui.  And leave in about three days.

While they watch Modest Mouse, Lindsay tries to hold Ryan's hand.  He ends up only letting her have his pinkie finger because... he doesn't like public displays of affection?  Time to go outside to hash this all out.  Meanwhile, the freshly deaf and drunk ("You smell like Marissa!") Seth sees Summer and Zach and runs over to high five Zach over Summer understanding the whole kissing the tutor thing.  Except he says it out loud and Zach never actually did tell her yet.  Whoooooops.  This, and Seth puking all over the merchandise table leads to Alex kicking him out and making Ryan take Seth home.  This kind of shuts down the discussion between Ryan and Lindsay before they can do anything productive about things being weird.

At home, Seth does his best low power Baymax impression while trying to be "stealth."  All that happens is he falls into the trash cans, alerting Sandy to his drunk ass.  We'll call Sandy.... "displeased."

The next morning, Marissa's out on Jimmy's boat again.  This is, what, 12 hours after her last trip?  In any case, Jimmy tells her that he needs to learn how to be a real dad so he's moving to Maui for at least six months.  Yep, nailed it, Jimbo.  Unsurprisingly, Marissa's not a fan of this idea, storming off the boat after telling Jimmy that he was the last thing that was keeping her sane.  This is a very real threat after all of her adventures in Season 1, so I'm amazed that it essentially goes nowhere.

Seth rises from the dead and heads to the pool house to thank Ryan for being a friend and also apologize for being a lout.  Ryan gets the fun job of informing Seth that he 1) spilled Zach's tutor issue to Summer before Zach could tell her and 2) looked like a jackass in front of Alex.  Seth decides he needs to do something about at least one of these things and turns to leave.  This leads to one of the best physical jokes in the entire run of the show, as Ryan tosses Seth a bottle of aspirin, which plunks Seth right in the side of the head as he makes zero effort to try to catch it.

Over in the main house, prep is ongoing for Jimmy's going away party, which is being mentioned for the first time here because it's the first time it came up in the episode.  Kirsten greets her son "the wino," as Seth attempts to explain his way into leaving the house.  Sandy, who's actually more upset than Kirsten is ("your father was waiting for you to leave your room so he could send you back to it), strictly forbids Seth from leaving the house for any purposes.  It's not clear if Sandy's upset about the drinking or the being stupid.  Also: Seth, you moron, just use the phone.

Over at Summer's house, Zach has a peace offering of the novelization of the first season of The Valley.  Two questions: How is this thing only about an inch thick and 2) Were there O.C. books at some point?  [googles]  Why yes, there were. Go figure.  Summer doesn't give a crap about the gift because she has the hardcover signed by Grady Bridges and also Zach sucks.  Off she goes to Jimmy's party by herself.

And thus, it's time for the party to start.  Caleb & Julie arrive and Kirsten and Julie leave Cal to mutter his small talk about Jimmy to himself.  Seth uses the burgeoning crowd to disappear into the night even though Ryan tells him to stop being stupid.  Sandy and Jimmy are talking when Julie wanders up.  Turns out she didn't know Jimmy was leaving until Kirsten told her.  They end up in the Cohen master bedroom saying their goodbyes, where Julie actually says out loud and in all seriousness: "Did you really think I would leave you again?"  YES, JULIE, WE DID.  Kirsten wanders in and that breaks that up.

Summer's sitting all alone at a table being miserable, but luckily, there's Ryan and Lindsay to keep her company.  Just as they point out that the party is kind of boring, there's Super Drunk Marissa to liven things up.  She goes right after Julie for whatever reason, then starts dragging DJ away "before she tries to sleep with you next."  Jimmy attempts an intercept, which goes poorly, but actually better than you think it might.  Even though Marissa threatens it repeatedly, she never actually loudly shouts about Julie & Jimmy sleeping together, instead rifles off that she's not okay because she's "the daughter of a thief and a slut," and then disappears into the night.  Later, Jimmy asks Kirsten to check in on Marissa from time to time.  Kirsten objects because, y'know, Caleb, but anything for her oldest friend.  Me, I would have just said "absolutely, Jimmy," and then just put Ryan in charge of it.

Caleb and Julie have decided to leave, but that's going to be a problem.  You see, the valets (yes, Kirsten has valets for this party and no, I don't know where exactly they're parking the cars that's not in the driveway) report that Caleb's Aston Martin has been stolen.  THREE GUESSES AS TO WHO STOLE IT.

If you guessed Seth, you win.  This is him continuing his bad boy streak in order to impress Alex.  See, here's the thing, though: if you're gonna steal a car, you're going to want to aim lower than one that costs $250,000.  The people who own cars like that tend to report things to the police VERY quickly.  Just as Alex explains that she likes Seth because he's a good guy, that's when the police turn up on the lookout for insanely expensive sports cars.  Nitwit.

After Zach apologizes to Summer after a long evening of listening to her vibrational meditation tapes, Lindsay and Ryan smooth over things in the pool house.  They decide to kiss in the name of SCIENCE to see if it will be "kissing your sister" weird.  It's not, although they do jump about five feet apart when Kirsten knocks and comes in looking for Seth.  No worries, K, the police have him at the front door, where he has jokes about someone calling the cops on the party.  *sigh*

Jimmy finds Marissa and DJ out on her favorite lifeguard station, and when I say "finds," I mean "went exactly where DJ said they were going to be on the phone."  DJ takes off, Jimmy apologizes, Marissa cries, and they sit there as long as Jimmy has left in town.

In the morning, Jimmy's gone to Maui and Marissa ends up at the Cohen house bearing bagels.  Sandy teaches her how to properly apply cream cheese and we fade to black on a nice family moment.

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: Oh, this one is easy.  When Jimmy comes clean about what he's been up to, he says "I'm falling in love with my ex-wife."  Sandy, without missing a beat: "You were married before Julie?"  The entire concept that he might be referring to the woman who was such a complete demonic monster to Jimmy over the last year is so foreign to Sandy, he has to honestly ask Jimmy if he's referring to a different ex-wife.  Brilliant.