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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Second Chance"


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 11 - "The Second Chance"

Directed by Tony Wharmby
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg & Josh Schwartz

Previously on The O.C.: Sandy's law school professor asked for Sandy's help finding his daughter Rebecca, who used to be Sandy's girlfriend.  Lindsay asked Ryan to come to dinner with her and Caleb... and... it went really badly because Caleb hates Ryan.  Seth started working on a comic book based on people he knows, which means drawing Summer.  Alex and Marissa have been hanging out an awful lot.  It turns out that Rebecca's dead.... except she turns up very much alive in Sandy's office.

*     *     *     *     *

Sandy pulls into his driveway very early in the morning.  Ryan's already hard at work at the kitchen table, and, of course, Seth has concerns about how sexy all of his time working with Summer on the comic book could get.  That's right, he's worried about potential sexiness.  Guess what?  You can just, y'know, not let that happen, because you're a fully realized person with self-control.  Wait.  This is Seth.  No, he's not.

Ryan tells him to shut up and Seth slinks off upstairs.  On his way up, he notices Sandy trying to sneak into the house with his shoes off.  Seth attempts to negotiate this into a free curfew violation of his own, but not a chance.  Sandy sneaks into the bedroom, but Kirsten's already awake.  She asks how Max took the news about Rebecca.  So, this is literally the next morning?  Like, 8 hours have passed since the last episode ended?  Okay.  Well, let's keep that in mind.  Anyway, Sandy doesn't tell Kirsten about Rebecca being, y'know, alive.

After the titles, Kirsten comes into the kitchen and chats with Ryan about his studies and how dinner with Lindsay and Caleb went.  Kirsten is insulted that her father is a jackass, so she tells Ryan that there's going to be a second chance (hey, that's the title!) at that dinner with Caleb, and that dinner will happen TONIGHT, IN THIS VERY HOUSE.

Marissa and Alex roust themselves at Alex's apartment after a night of drinking.  Alex wonders how Seth is doing, as he and his chicken arms haven't bothered her in a while.  It's literally been exactly 2 days since Seth was at her door, bugging her about their relationship.  Also: Alex knows exactly where Marissa was all day yesterday, so why the hell would Marissa know anything more about Seth than Alex does?  Anyway, Marissa's gonna keep skipping school so Alex can give her a surfing lesson.  But that's right after Marissa strips down on her way to the shower in full view of Alex.

Rebecca and Sandy walk along the piers and play catch up.  So, if this is the morning after Sandy went to tell Max about Rebecca, what the hell was Sandy doing all night that WASN'T talking to Rebecca??  Sandy explains that he's not going to tell Kirsten about Rebecca being alive and/or in town because Rebecca is technically a fugitive, and he doesn't want to make Kirsten an accomplice.  Well, okay.

At school, Ryan invites Lindsay over for the second chance dinner, except she's not going for it, even with Ryan attempting to use a Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader metaphor.  Lindsay points out that Vader cut off Luke's hand.  Solid point, m'lady.  Over at The Newport Group office, Kirsten reads Caleb the riot act and tells him if he doesn't come to dinner tonight, he's going to lose two daughters.

Over at Sandy's office, Rebecca explains to her dad that she's going to leave town in a couple of days.  Fugitive and all, so it's not safe.  But Max asks Sandy to clear Rebecca's name.  Why?  Well, it turns out that she never went to the lab that Joe Zukowski burned down with the night custodian still in the building, so she's innocent.  But why run?  She didn't want to testify against her friends.  This, of course, begs the question of why would she be asked to testify against them when she wasn't there.  She's not actually guilty of anything, so it's not like she's actually a fugitive from anything.

In the student lounge, Seth sketches Marissa as Cosmo Girl, complete with magic flask.  Summer wanders over and, even though Ryan told him that he's an idiot, Seth explains his sexy, sexy concerns to Summer.  Idiot.  Here comes Zach with great news, though!  His Congressman father has an intern who has an uncle that works at Wildstorm.  Oh, man, remember Wildstorm?  Anyway, Zach pitched him the idea of Seth's comic and they love it!  Especially the Little Miss Vixen, the character based on Summer!  So we've gotta lock down her likeness and that means lots of Summer modeling for Seth immediately!  I have questions.  1) When did this pitch happen?  Hell, when did ZACH find out about the Summer drawings?  Didn't the last episode end with Summer and Seth agreeing not to tell Zach about the Summer art?  Wasn't that about 12 hours ago?  2) Why exactly does Summer need to model for Seth when he has a giant sketchbook of Summer art?  Ah, contrivance.

Kirsten sets the table for dinner and lets Sandy know that he's excused from having dinner with Caleb.  Probably smart.  You don't want to throw water on the grease fire that is Ryan and Caleb in the same room.  Sandy takes Kirsten's temperature on Max's idea on clearing Rebecca's name.  Kirsten thinks this is a wonderful thing to do, but that's because she thinks that Sandy is giving a grieving father what he wants.  Ryan's over there in the kitchen, and THIS is when he decides to tell Kirsten that Lindsay's not coming to dinner.  Not as soon as he got home from school, not via phone call from school, now, when she's already started cooking and setting the table.  Ryan can't convince Lindsay to come to dinner, but Ryan's not her older sister.

Alex and Marissa are in Alex's office.  There's a sketch from Seth of a demon water polo player on the wall.  "What's the deal with you and Seth, anyway?"  GAAAAH.  1) You asked her this question 2 days ago and then spent almost all of those two days with her.  Nothing has changed.  2) You drove to and from LA with Alex.  That's 2 hours of driving.  You couldn't hammer this out during the drives?  3) There was a drunken binge last night.  Isn't that the perfect time for these kinds of conversations?  ANYWAY, this ends up being a nice transition to Alex asking Marissa what she's doing with Alex, since they keep doing all of these things that people in relationships do all the time.  This ends up causing Marissa to run out of The Bait Shop.

Lindsay plays the oboe in her bedroom.  That's new.  Kirsten knocks, and she's impressed, even if Lindsay just started practicing again.  Kirsten uses Lindsay playing Brahms and Caleb "coincidentally" liking Brahms to convince her to come to dinner.  That was easy.

Sandy sets Rebecca up in the spare room of his office so she doesn't have to stay a fleabag hotel while Sandy works on her case.  Time to celebrate with Mexican food take out, tequila, and hey, how about some of this pot that Rebecca's carrying?  PRO TIP: If you consider yourself to be a fugitive in a murder case, don't carry illegal drugs.  Especially across international borders, presuming she was in Canada until very recently.

Seth's at Summer's house for a hard night of sketching.

Idiots, both of them, and a hearty Stone Cold Steve Austin salute for you, Seth.

Dinner time at the Cohen house, and Kirsten attempts to build bridges.  This lasts, right up until Caleb can't stop himself from taking cheap shots at how uncultured Ryan the street thug is.  Ryan tries to be nice for his foster mother and his girlfriend, but Caleb just keeps going harder and harder, even with Kirsten telling him he's over the line, right up until... he has a heart attack.  No, seriously.

We come back from commercial at the hospital.  Seth's there along with the trio that was at dinner.  Dr. Lasser comes out and tells them that he's been with Caleb all night (what time is it, anyway?) and confirms that he had a heart attack and that they'll keep him for a few days for observation.  Lindsay goes back to see Caleb as Sandy arrives.  Again, how much time passed since dinner?  Kirsten's happy to see him, even if he is a bit drinky (remember the tequila?), but tells him to leave, as Sandy isn't usually great for Caleb's blood pressure.

Summer and Marissa have a confab in Summer's room.  Again, what time is it?  Seriously, I'm asking.  It's kind of dark in this room, but Dr. Lasser said "all night."  Anyway, they're mostly discussing what Summer calls the nosegrazing that happened in that video up above.  Marissa uses it to talk about the larger concept of what to do when you share a moment with someone you weren't expecting to share one with, obviously referring to Alex.  Summer says Marissa has a great nose and she should graze it with whoever she wants.

At the hospital, Caleb's clearly higher than a kite on morphine, but he realizes he's getting a second chance (hey, there's that title again!) and wants to make things right with his daughters.  Should probably apologize to Ryan, too, but we're going to ignore that for now.  Lindsay realizes how much she really did want a dad when presented with the chance of losing him for good, and she forgives him.  Ryan arrives with coffee, but smartly buggers off for now before anyone sees him.

At Sandy's office, he thinks he's got an idea to keep Rebecca out of jail.  Probably can't avoid a guilty sentence on something, but hey, better than jail.   I still don't understand what she's guilty of here, unless there's hard 20 year old evidence that she was clearly involved in planning the fire, and thus they can get her for conspiracy.  They'll need a statement from Rebecca and have to round up some witnesses that prove where she was that night, but hey, it's a plan.  Sandy calls Kirsten and leaves a message, and Rebecca tells him to leave her for now and go be with his family.

Back at the hospital, Seth's gone home, but Ryan's still there because he thinks it's the right thing to do.  Standard Ryan behavior, really.  Kirsten tells him that she doesn't blame Ryan for Caleb losing his mind and having a major cardiac event.  Obvious, but you have to say these things to people.

Alex turns up at the Cohens' to give Seth his Demon Water Polo art back.  They have a conversation about how their relationship was nice to get both of them ready for whatever comes next in their lives... up until Alex sees all of the Summer art that Seth's working on.  Yeah.  Best of luck with that, Seth.

In the kitchen, Sandy cooks dinner for Kirsten because she's a nice lady who deserves it.  She asks about how the office is working out, and he likes it.  She offers to help spruce it up, but he likes it unspruced.  Since he's cooking, Kirsten's going to run to the store to get some things for Caleb.  Kisses and "I love yous" are exchanged, and I'll give you one guess as to exactly how this episode ends.

Seth heads over to Summer's with a plan: we have to limit our contact if we're going to keep this professional.  Good plan Seth.  Now, here's Zach with some news: He arranged a meeting with Wildstorm down in San Diego, so that means a road trip for all three of them together!  Yaaaaaay.

At The Bait Shop, Rachel Yamagata performs "Reason Why."  Alex runs around working a bit, and then stops to watch.  Marissa comes in and takes Alex's hand.  We get a mirror scene at the hospital, where Lindsay takes a sleeping Ryan's hand, which transitions to Lindsay giving Ryan a ride home.  Even though Kirsten dismissed the idea, Ryan tells Lindsay this was all his fault, and she tells him that's not the case as well.  With that said, though, she wants to pursue a relationship with her dad, and even if he's claiming that he's changed, it's probably best if Ryan and Lindsay avoid each other to make sure that she can get to know Caleb without interference.  So it's break time for Ryan and Lindsay, again.  Ryan does lighten the mood by saying that if Lindsay wants a relationship with Julie Cooper, then he's outta here for good.

Seth draws in his room and the phone rings.  After a futile effort to Jedi Mind Trick it into his hand, he answers.  It's Kirsten and here's where your one guess from earlier comes in handy.  She's on her way home, and is Sandy around?  Seth makes zero effort to try and find his father, so Kirsten says she's going to drop some stuff off at Sandy's office to spruce it up.  She tells Seth to not tell Sandy because she wants it to be a surprise, and OH BOY, there's definitely going to be a surprise.

Kirsten lets herself in to the office, turns on a light, and picks a book up off the floor.  Rebecca hears the noise and comes out of the spare room, thinking it's Sandy.  We end this episode the exact same way we ended the last one, with one of our main characters saying, "Rebecca?"

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: I guess it's Sandy deciding to try to fight to clear Rebecca's name, but his continued insistence at not telling Kirsten that she's in town once he knows that she's innocent kind of makes Sandy look like a jackass here.