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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The New Era"

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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 4 - "The New Era"

Directed by Michael Fresco
Written by J.J. Philbin

Previously on The O.C.: Sandy quit/was fired from his job because he insisted on representing the apparently guilty Caleb.  Ryan is physics lab partners with Lindsay Gardner, the new girl at Harbor.  Things started poorly between Ryan & Lindsay, but it's better now.  Marissa was smooching DJ The Yardboy all summer without telling anyone to keep him employed, but he quit in a fit of jealousy.  Speaking of quitting, Caleb quit as CEO of The Newport Group, but replaced himself with Julie.  Seth can't just be Summer's friend, so it looks like it's over between them.

*     *     *     *     *

It wouldn't be an episode of The O.C. if Seth wasn't experiencing some sort of crisis, so that's what we start with here.  This week's flipout?  Summer and Zach are actually dating seriously now!  Not sure how this is different than last week.  Or the week before.  Or the week before that.  Or all summer long when Seth was in Portland.  So clearly Seth needs a new girlfriend to make Summer jealous.  He starts a bit of yearbook shopping while I admire Ryan's restraint for not pummeling him with the hardcover book.

After one from Seth, Sandy checks in with the second utterance of the title of this week's episode as he and Kirsten reset what's going on with them, although we kind of already saw all of it in the Previously On segment.  Ryan and Kirsten aren't fired up about Seth's yearbook shopping, but hey, if it stops him from bitching....

After the title sequence, we find out that Seth's #1 yearbook shopping choice, Tina Wu, has already managed to laugh in Seth's face, and the school day hasn't even officially started yet.  Ryan gets Seth to start letting him know which girls he hasn't embarassed himself in front of while Lindsay notices them staring at the other girls and harangues them for quad shopping.  Yeah, it's kind of a bad look.  She updates both of them that they both get a no from her, and she leaves.  Seth, of course, thinks this interaction was a perfect meet cute, and demands that Ryan make a date happen between Seth and Lindsay.  At this point, the only thing stopping him from taking a run at Ted Mosby's reign of "Worst Titular Television Character" is that Seth's name isn't in the title of this show.

Over to Marissa and Summer we go, and we get our third mention of the title of the episode.  Finally, Marissa is free of boy drama, because she's just friends with Ryan, regardless of being super double sad when she saw Ryan and Lindsay having fun last week.

Switching gears to Sandy and Caleb at the club, where Caleb knocks out the fourth "It's a new era!" of the show.  At least with Telenovela last year, it was played for laughs.  Sandy says that Caleb's been funneling money to a trust fund controlled by an associate of one of the city councilmen.  This sounds way less shady than "transferring money directly to the councilman," which is what the accusation was last we heard.  Caleb tells Sandy that a woman by the name of Renee Wheeler runs the trust, and it was all set up by Phyllis, his old secretary.  Now who wants a frittata?

In Physics class, there's some downtime, so Ryan asks Lindsay out, and she says yes.  THEN Ryan mentions that he's asking for Seth and Lindsay just kind of has to go along with it.  Ryan, you idiot.  If you're doing another guy's work, then you HAVE to lead with that part.

Kirsten's hard at work in her office when Julie comes trundling in with a ficus.  Kirsten tries to explain that she's in the middle of some very numbers oriented long term planning stuff for a presentation tomorrow, but she kind of insults Julie along the way.  I'm not going to ruin it for you, but the meeting goes very badly when Julie kicks Kirsten out to go deliver a lunch menu and then can't answer a question from President Logan about long term interest rates and portfolio hedging.

Marissa tracks down where DJ is working and invites him to go see The Killers this weekend.  He's about as enthused as someone who quit a job to avoid talking to a person would be to get this invite, which is not even in the slightest.  Spoiler alert: His "friends" end up with "an extra."

At The Bait Shop, Seth is hard at work.  No, not actual physical labor, I mean working at getting Alex to go on a date with Ryan.  You see, Ryan poked his head in to let him know that the date was on, but then Seth demanded that Ryan come with... to protect him?  I dunno.  Anyway, it seems to be going badly, even with Seth couching it as a "group hang," but after... some tickling?  It seems to work.  I wouldn't tickle Alex if she was my boss.  She'd kick the hell out of me.

The next day at school, Seth updates Ryan on his fantastic plan working, which makes me wonder what the hell he was doing at home between work and now.  Then again, this is a wonderful excuse to have Seth melt down in front of Summer again.  He plays it cool for all of 1.5 seconds before just blurting "I HAVE A DATE" like some kind of preening shmoe.  Summer burns him to the ground with her comeback, though: "Have fun with Captain Oats!"  Ryan gets to tell Marissa all about the "group hang," and he asks about DJ.  Awwwwwwwkward.

Julie brings a bribe lobster roll to Jimmy's boat to convince him to give her some advice on what to do after President Logan stumped her and bailed on the meeting.  Jimmy admits that he knows that she doesn't have the financial or real estate background to hang as CEO, but she does have savvy, aka "the ability to make rich men do what she wants."  I don't think I really like Jimmy encouraging Julie's worst tendencies like this.

At The Bait Shop, Seth and Ryan go corral the ladies that they corralled for the other one, which leads to awkward introductions, and then the standing there doing nothing.  As The Killers get started playing (aside: Brandon Flowers is not a very interesting front man here in 2004), Marissa and Summer and Zach show up, which sends the group hang into a complete tailspin.  Ain't nothing like ex-girlfriends wandering by to ruin a first date, especially when Seth grabs Lindsay with a big ol' side hug.

At home, Sandy curls up with some Cheetos and watching Judge Hatchett on the TiVo.  This is made funnier by his chair being the only piece of furniture that's returned to the living room, so it's a ton of wide open space around him.  See, he's massively bummed out because Caleb's case is turning up dead ends.  Literally dead ends: Phyllis is dead, and has been for a year.  Caleb's clearly hiding something.  Not hiding anything: Julie, who's at the door with caterers.  You see, if she *asked* Kirsten to host a party for President Logan, she'd say no, so here we are!  BTW: Caleb's at the club for business, so Sandy's off to investigate that.

Back at The Killers' show, Seth and Summer won't shut up about each other.  The concert wraps up and Lindsay shoves Seth off to go chase after Summer and Zach.  Luckily, Zach makes a big deal about jumping off a pier, so Summer doesn't even give Seth a chance to do ... whatever it was he was planning, so now he's just sad.  Good news, though: this gives Alex a chance to shove Ryan off on Lindsay because she "just wasn't feeling the spark."  Ryan tries to apologize for how things went, but... well, it doesn't go "Seth" bad, but it doesn't go well, either.

Jimmy turns up at the Cohen house party (free booze, dontcha know), and that gives us a chance to narrate Julie's outrageous flirting with President Logan, including, but not limited to, grazing his ass with her hand.  Her charm has its upside, though, as she uses banal discussion of ponies to showcase how awesome Kirsten is (she flipped a stable for a profit), and that leads us to a brand new contract for President Logan.

Sandy tracks down Caleb at the club and sees him hand a fat envelope to a tall redhead.  Sandy snags the plate and rings it in to a buddy of his at the police station before confronting Caleb.  The redhead is Renee Wheeler, the aforementioned trust fund executor, at least based on the plate on the car coming back to her.  Caleb isn't having an affair, but he warns Sandy away from both Ms. Wheeler and whatever the money was for.  Look, Caleb, I don't want to tell you how to run your life, or even worse, your criminal defense, but DUDE, Sandy's YOUR lawyer.  1) Attorney/client privilege, 2) It's going to make your life WAAAAAAY easier to give him a chance to fairly defend you.

After their respective ladies disappear, Ryan and Seth meet back up at The Bait Shop and recap.  Seth sticks around to chat with Alex, while Ryan leaves.  Oddly, Seth acts like a normal human being around Alex, which pays off: she decides to go with him to get ice cream, which includes kissing him.  Seth's approximate reaction goes something like this:

If you remember, DJ did end up at the concert, and on his way home, he notices Marissa's car parked pierside.  She's not in it though, as she's taking up her usual spot at a lifeguard station.  No signs of drinking this time, but it does end up with DJ declaring that he'd better get ready for some drama as they kiss.

Lindsay's at a bus stop, which is very stupid, as she very clearly has a car.  Ryan pulls up in the Range Rover and offers her a ride.  She declines because Ryan's a jerk hole.  He decides to work on this whole "jerk hole" thing, and here's a shocker: she's upset because she said yes to the date because she thought it was going to be with Ryan.  Well, to be fair, the way Ryan worded it *was* for a date with him.  Ryan admits he probably screwed that up because he wanted to but didn't think that she'd say yes.  D'awwwww.

Hip new happening band U2 plays over the closing montage, which kind of threw me off.  We see Summer and Zach setting up a DVD run through of The Valley and snuggling, DJ and Marissa kissing some more, Alex and Seth enjoying their ice cream, and Ryan and Lindsay chatting it up at the bus stop.

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: It's such a subtle thing, but when Julie explains how she didn't ask permission for the party, Kirsten looks at Sandy.  All he does is look down and immediately start brushing the Cheetos dust off of his shirt.