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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Father Knows Best"


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 13 - "The Father Knows Best"

Directed by Michael Lange
Written by John Stephens

Previously on The O.C.: Alex and Marissa go on their first date.  Julie is wary of Lindsay's burgeoning relationship with Caleb.  Rebecca's father, Max, died on a pier bench when Sandy wandered off to get tea for him.  Sandy was hiding Rebecca being in town from Kirsten for totally legal reasons, since she's a fugitive from justice.  Seth had a meltdown in San Diego, blowing the comic book pitch and completely ruining whatever friendship he had with Summer, because he's not over her.

*     *     *     *     *

Ryan steps into the Cohen kitchen through the patio door, tosses his messenger bag on the counter, and flips on the TV for some before-school... news, I guess?  That's what we hear before Seth voices his objection to the noise from underneath the blanket on the couch.  He was NOT up all night watching movies.  He only watched Darkman.  And Hellboy.  And the first two Matrix movies.  He also has apparently not showered in days as he is agonizing over... well, Seth comes right out and says it: He's agonizing over whether or not Summer and Zach had sex in the hotel room next door to him.  Hate you, Seth.  His obviously solid plan: end the uncertainty by asking Summer.  Just when you think he managed to hit bottom, Seth finds the emergency exit in the hole to keep on trucking.  Ryan points out that this will result in his death, and Seth admits Ryan's right, so new plan: Asking Zach.  Goddammit.

In the Cohen master bedroom, we have good news to report: Sandy has been allowed into the bedroom to get dressed after Kirsten shut the door on him at the end of the last episode.  They briefly discuss Seth being a loon, which leads to a comment about lady drama, which brings us around to Sandy & Kirsten's own lady drama.  Sandy's off to pay his respects to Max, and that means just him and Rebecca by themselves.  Can't have a real ceremony, because the authorities would be waiting for Rebecca, so she couldn't go anyway.  Max was a law professor at Cal.  I would imagine he's got more than one former student in the state who would like to pay their respects.  ANYWAY, yes, Sandy's exactly this stupid.  Kirsten had offered to go to support Sandy, but y'know, Rebecca, so she's gonna see what Caleb keeps calling about....

.... and that's probably related to the Julie shouting we see as we transition to The Newport Group office.  Lindsay arrives at about the same time as Kirsten, and oh, this is about Caleb's will, isn't it?  Hey, turns out it's actually NOT about the will!  Caleb wants to officially and legally adopt Lindsay.  This seems slightly weird as he's her father, so I don't really get how the legal aspect is necessary, but I'm also not a child custody lawyer.  Julie objects with a "Well, OF COURSE I would take care of Lindsay if something were to happen to Caleb," which no one actually buys.  If Lindsay accepts, then there should be an appropriate level of party to go along with this, so I guess we have our "big event at the end of the episode" all squared away.

In the school lounge, Seth, who clearly looks like he's strung out on heroin more than anything else, plops down next to Zach to clear the air after San Diego.  After a bit of air clearing, Seth eventually works his way around to nudging against the topic of what happened in the hotel room after he left, and Zach calls him on digging around about his sexual activities with Summer.  Seth stares at Zach for a tell before Zach leaves and I miss Luke.  I think the regular asskickings from Luke was really doing a good job keeping Seth in line.

At the piers, Sandy and Rebecca scatter Max's ashes into the Pacific Ocean.  Sandy tells her that he's got a meeting with a guy he knows at the FBI tomorrow (wow, this is serious) and points out that the kissing that happened the other night can't happen again.

At school, Lindsay tells Ryan all about the adoption news.  While he's excited for her, he knows the obvious dangers of making an enemy of Julie Cooper and warns Lindsay about that.

At The Bait Shop, Marissa sneaks up and surprises Alex.  Alex tells her that she has a few friends coming down for a visit, so there's going to be a party, and hey, maybe Marissa can invite Summer?  Well, that will entail actually telling Summer about their relationship, but she's ready to do that.

Sandy comes home to find Kirsten in the kitchen with some wine and a business card from the FBI.  Two agents stopped by to talk to Kirsten earlier in the day about Rebecca.  Kirsten says that all she told them was that Max came by to ask for Sandy's help in clearing Rebecca's name, which is absolutely not what happened.  Max never came to the house, and Max just wanted to find her because he felt his health was failing.  ANYSMACKS, Sandy is concerned about Kirsten intentionally not telling the whole truth to the FBI agents because she's exposed to possible prosecution for obstruction, but Kirsten interprets that as having to choose between protecting her or protecting Rebecca.

Julie vents her frustrations out on Caleb, begging him to at least re-do the paternity test because there's been medical advances in the last 15 years.... and that's where we learn that Caleb never took a paternity test back in the day.  And thus, Julie has an opening.  Caleb says he'll think about it.

Summer and Marissa hang out as Marissa presses Summer for deets on how Valentine's Day went.  She doesn't really have anything to share, other than "Zach is full of surprises," and then Sum apologizes for leaving Marissa alone.  But I wasn't alone, Marissa responds, but then she chickens out of telling Summer about Alex and covers by mentioning dinner with Julie.  Chance #2 to tell Summer about Alex pops up in the form of inviting her to the party, but she chickens out again and only invites Summer to the party that Caleb is throwing.  We're rescued from further chickening out when Zach calls Summer and tells her about Seth's interrogation.  Time for an asskicking.

Sandy meets Ross The FBI Agent for coffee at the piers.  We learn a few things here: 1) Rebecca won't avoid jail time if she turns herself in and cooperates, 2) Ross is actually more worried about Sandy's past with Rebecca causing problems for him at home, and 3) Rebecca had a legitimate reason to go on the run because it was her key that let people into the lab to burn it down, killing a janitor in the process.  Yeah, that's no good.

Julie shows up at Renee & Lindsay's house to talk to Renee.  Lindsay doesn't know about the paternity test thing yet, but Julie's there to bring Renee up to speed in the most passive aggressive fashion possible, as she's saying nice things in a nice fashion, but even someone experiencing Julie Cooper for the first time knows she doesn't mean any of it.

Seth shreds his Summer artwork while laying on his bed when Summer explodes into the room and begins viciously assaulting him with his own pillow.  Sadly, she is easily overpowered and disarmed.  He knows he's a hot mess, though, and apologizes to Summer for ambushing Zach with sex questions.  She accepts his apology, orders him to take a shower for the benefit of those he lives with, and then, on her way out the door, she says that she and Zach did not have sex.  This gets this reaction from Seth:

So, what, because two teenagers DIDN'T have sex in a hotel room, this means you have a chance at winning back Summer's heart?  You suck, dude.

There's a knock at Rebecca's hotel room door, and it's Kirsten.  Ain't no fooling around time here: She point blank asks Rebecca if she's in love with Sandy.  To Rebecca's credit, she says yes, she always has been, but nothing's happened between them.  So honesty and lies at the same time.  Weird.  Kirsten gives her a speech about putting Sandy's family at risk and leaves.

Renee turns up at the Cohen house to talk to Ryan, of all people.  She attempted to talk Lindsay out of the adoption without actually mentioning the paternity test and it didn't go well, which is really bad because Lindsay and Renee almost never fight about anything.  Ryan doesn't really know what he can do to be of help, but then he realizes why Renee's asking for his help: Lindsay can't take that paternity test because Renee legitimately doesn't know if Caleb is actually Lindsay's father.

Caleb meets with Sandy on a Sunday morning at The Newport Group offices.  Sandy immediately goes to the worst possible case scenario, i.e. someone else trying to arrest Caleb.  This does result in jokes about poaching elk at Yosemite, but Caleb winds it around to Lindsay and the paternity test.  Sandy gives him two answers: 1) As his lawyer, Sandy advises that he absolutely has to go through with the test to protect himself, and 2) as his son-in-law and as a father himself, Sandy tells Caleb that going through with the test if he actually loves the kid is totally and insanely stupid.  It's a solid point from Sandy, as since it's an adoption, it really doesn't matter if Lindsay actually is Caleb's daughter.

Marissa rolls up to Alex's apartment, but the party is already full swing even though it's earlier than expected.  I should clarify: By "party," I mean there are six 18-25 year old women in Alex's apartment.  Marissa promptly freaks out over being public with Alex, tells her that she's gotta go show up at the party at her house, and drives off as fast as possible.

Seth's appetite has returned as he scarfs a diner burger.  Zach arrives as requested by King Idiot, and Seth apologizes for his poor behavior earlier.  Zach tells Seth that he and Summer didn't have sex, and Seth tries to cut him off because his story doesn't matter, but Zach powers through: He didn't have sex with Summer because he was a "wait for marriage" guy.... right up until Seth asking him about it made him realize that it was kind of dumb to pass up that seemingly perfect moment.  Then Zach realized that he's going to Tuscany with Summer, and boom: perfect girl, perfect moment, oh, man, it's gonna be awesome.  Seth loses his appetite, proving that he is a colossal moron for thinking that just because they didn't do it that one time that he was in like Flynn with Summer as a result.  What a disgusting jackass.

Down on the piers, Ryan meets up with Lindsay to try to talk her out of the adoption.  Of course, he takes the same tactic that Renee did and doesn't mention the paternity test, and it just makes Lindsay upset.  She tells him to only bother coming to the party if he's actually going to be supportive of her.

Seth plays a motocross game on the Playstation while Ryan gets ready for the party.  It seems that Seth has actually lapsed into acceptance land over his complete lack of a chance of getting Summer back.  He is, however, venting about how over Summer he is, and Ryan points out that venting this randomly is probably less useful than telling Summer, so Seth's gonna go do that.  This seems stupid and pointless.

It's stupider than you realize, because Summer's over at Marissa's house for the party, but Summer has to find Marissa in her room where she's reading "Please Kill Me."  Two things happen in this scene: We learn that Summer's not as ready for sex with Zach as we thought because she's got Seth on the brain (aw, crap) and Marissa tells Summer that she's been dating Alex.  Summer reacts to Marissa coming out (kind of) to her about as well as one could expect their best friend to react.

Ryan arrives at the Nichol house for the party in a swank Johnny Cash-esque black coat on black shirt look, and right as he's about to go inside, he discovers Renee arriving at the same time.  Lindsay *must* be stopped from this adoption thing even if it means telling her about the paternity test.  Ryan volunteers to do it since Lindsay's still a bit sore at her mom.  Ryan finally lowers the boom to Lindsay and flips over Renee's cards on the issue.  Lindsay doesn't quite know how to react, but she does go outside to where her mom is waiting.

Sandy tracks down Kirsten at the party.  See, he stopped by Rebecca's hotel room to drop off some Chinese food for her... and she was gone.  She did leave a note, though, and the contents of the note make it obvious that Kirsten went and talked to her.  This leads to a whole nasty bit of nonsense about trust and believing in the other person, and hoo boy, this does not look good for everyone's favorite married couple on this show.

Lindsay finds Caleb drinking in his billiards room, and she wants to know if they can just make the announcement now.  Well, no, we're going to postpone that announcement until after the paternity test.  Gotta make the smart decision here.  Lindsay knows her real dad wouldn't treat her this way and she flies out of the room in tears.  Julie is SHOCKED at this development, but being a good, dutiful wife, she covers for Caleb: The big announcement is Julie's fancy time magazine!  Yaaaaaaaay.

Marissa finds Alex outside her apartment by herself.  The other girls took off because Alex wasn't in a party mood, but Marissa can fix that!  Yes, she freaked out.  But Marissa pulled herself together and told Summer what's going on, so now she wants to meet Alex's friends and be introduced and so forth.  This was nice.

Speaking of Summer, she's watching The Valley again when there's a knock at her door.  It's Seth, there to tell her about how cool he is with her trip to Italy with Zach, and he's totally over her now, and everything's cool.  Cool.  Cool cool cool.  Summer seems... like she doesn't know how to react to this news, which is probably the right reaction, but based on her Seth Brain revelation to Marissa, I really hope that we haven't just reversed this situation going forward.

We close on Sandy bringing home the hours old Chinese food where the boys are watching Hellboy.  They describe the plot as such: Hellboy's raised to be a good guy, but his destiny is to destroy the world, so he can't help but kind of screw up all the time.  Pretty much exactly how all three of their lives are going right now.  Well, at least Ryan's and Sandy's.  Seth has never been doing the right thing.

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: This bit is discontinued until we get Cool Dad Sandy back.