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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Accomplice"

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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 9 - "The Accomplice"

Directed by Ian Toynton
Written by Allan Heinberg

Previously on The O.C.: We've discovered that Caleb is Lindsay's father.  Alex has an ex-girlfriend.  The previous episode ended on a note teasing something going on between Alex and Marissa.

*     *     *     *     *

Ryan, Seth, and Zach are on a walk out on the piers.  Seth raises the point of whether he should ask Alex if they're together or not.  WHAT THE LIVING HELL.  To recap the last two episodes:

  • Alex asked for some time and space so she could figure out what the hell was going on with them.
  • Seth broke up with Alex because he felt slighted because she didn't tell him about Jody, her ex-girlfriend that technically wasn't actually her ex-girlfriend.

YOU'RE NOT TOGETHER, DUDE.  Yes, last episode had a bit of a reconciliation between Seth and Alex, but that was more of a "I don't hate you" than it was a "we're totally dating now" thing.  Holy crap, dude.  Seth also wonders if Alex is with Jody or not.  WHO CARES.  You made it expressly clear that you don't want to be with her, so she can do whatever she wants.  That transitions into Seth wondering if he can negotiate himself into a three-way with Alex and Jody.  So for the record: Clueless on his own actions causing Alex to not be interested in him, and also a disgusting pervert for thinking that Jody's interested in him automatically because Alex was at one point.  Seth is hitting all new lows at a record speed.  The boys arrive at a diner, where they're quickly joined by Summer and Lindsay, which means that they run out of space for Seth.  That's fine, he says, he's going to go get what he wants, just like Zach advised.  Goddammit, Seth.

We swing over to the Nichol house as Marissa wears a very short nightgown and dances to 10AM Automatic by The Black Keys.  I mention the nightgown (and the vodka she's pouring into her orange juice) because the music causes her to not hear Caleb knocking on the door.  Since there's no answer, the guy with the 40-something year old daughter just wanders into the bedroom of the 17 year old girl that he only has a tenuous legal relationship with at best.  Idjit.  He's surprised she's not at school (it's a school day?  How early were the other kids at the diner?  How far away from Harbor is that diner?), while she's surprised he's not at work.  Cal babbles about how his life is coming apart at the seams (he only has one clean shirt!) because Julie's off doing research for her Newport Living magazine.  In Europe. I don't believe this "Caleb falling apart" thing.  He wasn't married for a long time before Julie because Kirsten's mom passed away a while back.

Anyway, Marissa claims she's sick and Caleb leaves.  Marissa's version of "sick" is that she claims she is so she can call Alex and hang out with her just like she has all week.  Well, Jody's still in Alex's apartment and they've been alternating between Jody leaving, fighting, and then making up.  There's a knock at the door, and, of course, it's Seth, skipping school to ask a girl he broke up with if they're actually dating.  I'm not being absurd to prove a point, that's literally what he's doing.  "Where do we stand?"  He literally says this out loud, and somehow, Alex doesn't punch him right in his dumb face.  Alex doesn't do relationships, she says, and Jody wanders out of the shower (in a towel) to glare at Seth a bit.

As physics class wraps up (volcanoes!), Ryan and Lindsay chat about Seth skipping school and how the Cohens will react.  Discussion of Kirsten's mindset turns to the mindset of the father that she shares with Lindsay.  Apparently Lindsay hasn't talked to Caleb at all since they bumped into each other at Jimmy's going away party.  Lindsay doesn't know how to proceed or even if she wants to proceed.

Sandy and Kirsten are checking out a beachfront dump that Sandy has decided to use as his office for his new solo law office venture when he gets a call from one of his professors from law school.  What amazingly coincidental timing!  Oh, Max Bloom has something important to talk to Sandy about!  What are the chances?!?

In the school lounge, Zach and Summer see a moping Seth and head over to talk to him.  "Did Alex break up with you," asks Summer.  I mean, really.  What kind of lies is Seth telling all of his friends?  Anyway, this is where we discover that Seth deals with being upset in regards to women by drawing them in various superhero poses, as he's drawn Alex as a whip wielding warrior woman.  Zach demands that he start producing his own comic book.

Marissa's over at Alex's apartment hanging out instead of going to school.  She asks Alex what's the deal between her and Seth, and I walk over to the nearest wall to beat my head against it, but Alex's quick response is "Friends.  I hope.   Someday."  Wow, Seth's not even on the right continent with what Alex is thinking.  As a follow up, Marissa asks about Jody, and that's totally over and done... except when Jody left, she swiped one of Alex's necklaces.  In fact, she swiped a heart necklace that matches a necklace that Jody also has because they got one for each other and aw, what a shmoopy couple.  Marissa wants to run down to Jody's place in LA to get it back, but Alex has to work, so that's going to have to wait til tomorrow.

Caleb's in his office where we see him follow through on his stated intention to call to check on Marissa while she's ill, but she doesn't answer, obviously.  Ryan comes into the office, and Caleb ratchets his dickishness up as far as it will go.  Somehow, Caleb's convinced that Ryan's entire life over the past, what is it, 20 months or so at this point has been nothing but a scam to get at the Cohens' (read as: Kirsten's) money.  What an odd thought process to hold tight to for nearly two years.  Anyway, Ryan tries to broker Caleb talking to Lindsay even though she doesn't know that Ryan's trying this.  Cal says that if he wanted a relationship with Lindsay, he'd have one, and oh, by the way, Ryan, where's YOUR father?  Sick burn, Cal, except you opened yourself up to Ryan's retort: The same place you would be without Sandy's help.

Max Bloom wanders into Sandy's office to chat with his former protégé.  Max is retired now, and he's had a few strokes in the last few years.  YO, "a few" strokes?  Dude's walking and talking just fine, so I'd like to meet his physical therapists.  He asks Sandy for help finding his daughter, Rebecca, as no one has heard from her since "the accident."  Also, Sandy was the love of her life 22 years ago.  That noise you hear is the "insane jealous reaction" early warning system.

The next morning, Sandy tells Kirsten that he's off to Lompoc to talk to Joe Zukowski, an activist he knew from back in his days at Berkeley.  Sandy initially tries to just play it off to Kirsten as a missing person thing, but he eventually coughs up that it's about Rebecca Bloom.  Here's where we get the background: Sandy & Rebecca were actually engaged (engaged to be engaged, says Sandy), and she burned down a nuclear laboratory site, which I presume is the aforementioned accident.  Sandy points out that she was merely the primary suspect in the burning, so maybe she didn't actually do it.  BOOM, LAWYERED.  Also: As eco-terrorism goes (I presume that's what this was actually about), burning down a lab where radioactive materials are plentiful seems horribly unsafe in the big picture.

Over at the Nichols, Caleb's at Marissa's door again as she prepares for her big day of retrieving crap with Alex.  Caleb tries to parent Marissa by talking about how she didn't answer the phone yesterday and wasn't home when he came home last night.  He's got nothing to really stand on here as Marissa ignores him and takes a cheap shot at him about trying this act out on Lindsay instead as she heads out.

At school, Ryan, Seth, and Zach spitball ideas for the comic book.  They're leaning towards making it autobiographical-ish, going for a "living in the O.C. with superpowers" mood.  This sounds less interesting than "regular police work in a world with superpowers" that was done incredibly well by both Gotham Central and Powers, but hey, write what you know, right?  Summer wanders in to try to round up Zach, but he's obviously busy.  And they have plans to work on the book after school soo.. dinner and a movie?  Summer says fine, but not a superhero movie.  It is at this point that I lose all respect for Seth Cohen.  Seth chirps up that superhero movie suck anyways.  Didn't this nozzle start a comic book club because of how great and popular Spider-Man 2 was?  He follows this up by pointing out that he didn't like X2 and I suddenly realize what is going on here.  See, the writer of this episode is Allan Heinberg, who was also starting to write the Young Avengers series for Marvel at about the same time.  As a staff writer for The O.C., Heinberg has started to steer Seth towards being the annoying assjack comic book fan that spends most of their free time on the internet moaning and complaining about how the people creating the comic books (and movies) have no idea what they're doing.  I *HATE* those guys.

Kirsten comes into Caleb's office with some contracts to sign.  Caleb realizes that Kirsten puts a ton of work into keeping The Newport Group running and points out that she's way too nice to him considering what a terrible father he's been.  Kirsten figures out where this is really coming from and hands him Lindsay's phone number.  We cut from that to Lindsay telling Ryan she "A9 dot com'd" Caleb and discovered that he's, y'know, kind of a terrible person.  Of course, as she's telling Ryan all of this, Caleb calls to set up a dinner date with her.  After she accepts, she tells Ryan all about this and insists that he comes with as a buffer.  This is not going to go well.

Alex and Marissa drive into LA as I look for someone to high five because I didn't have to Shazam the song playing because I recognized Rilo Kiley's Portions For Foxes.  A question about Alex's butterfly tattoo leads to an explanation about how Alex sued for and received her emancipation from her parents.  Marissa says she's jealous, but if Alex's previous comments about Seth and his parents are to be believed, I'd have to imagine that Alex wouldn't want her to be.  Then again, Marissa's current parental situation is waaaaaay worse than Seth's.

After Sandy's trip to Lompoc results in Joe Zukowski (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) telling him that Rebecca is dead, Sandy returns home to make some phone calls to some lawyer friends in Vancouver (the real one, not the fake one in Washington) to confirm this.  He can't believe that if Rebecca had been sick that she wouldn't have called her father.  Kirsten points out that she would have called Sandy, too, as she ominously takes a sip of wine.  Ah, crap.

Seth does some drawing of people he knows as superheroes as Ryan gets ready for dinner.  There's Seth, and Captain Oats, and Ryan, and oh, are there any sketches of Summer?  Well, only this entire sketchbook that Seth did back in his Portland days.  Well, let's not show that to Zach, shall we?  Yes, good plan.

Marissa and Alex are at Jody's apartment.  Alex alternates between hunting for stuff of hers that Jody "took possession of" and arguing with Jody about how much stuff Jody has.  She's openly not trying to find the heart necklaces because she doesn't want to have a conversation with Jody about how much she cares about the necklaces.  That, however, gives Marissa a chance to excuse herself to the restroom but actually end up in Jody's bedroom hunting through her jewelry box.  Jody lures Alex down a psychological dark alleyway and alllllllmost gets her to stay the night, but Marissa was told to make sure that doesn't happen.  Marissa plays off of Jody's earlier assumption and says that she's not going to let "my girlfriend" spend the night at Jody's apartment.  Alex, previously the baddest chick on the block, is mega-impressed with what Marissa just did, but the cherry on the sundae is when Marissa hands her BOTH heart necklaces.  To repay her, Alex gives Marissa the other one and they share another long look.

Zach sits in Seth's room and tells Seth how great his sketches are.  He's so enthused about Seth's art that he completely forgot to go pick up Summer for their date and now she's here to drag him out of the room.  Oops.  She loves the art, too, although she's disappointed that there's no drawings of her.  They make it down to the front door, but then Summer realizes she left her purse in Seth's room.  She runs back and grabs it, but knocks Captain Oats to the ground in the process.  Because she's a nice friend, she bends down to pick up the toy horse, but sees Seth's sketchbook that he hid under the bed.  Summer pulls it out, realizes it's all of her, and then steals it.

I'm not going to put a lot of effort into recapping Lindsay's dinner with Caleb.  It goes like this: Caleb is super nice to Lindsay.... right up until Ryan shows up late because of traffic, at which point Caleb turns into a jackass again, reveals to Lindsay that Ryan had come to his office earlier in an effort to set this up, and leaves.

Sandy calls his Vancouver friend again and leaves a message, and somehow, all of this calling Vancouver to confirm Rebecca's death sends Kirsten into a jealous fit.  This is kind of insane.  Sandy hasn't seen or talked to Rebecca in two decades, not to mention the part where SHE'S PROBABLY DEAD, but Kirsten's flipping out about Sandy trying to help Max find her.  MEANWHILE, last season, there was literally a "hey, isn't Sandy's new blonde co-worker hot?" storyline, and Kirsten was generally speaking okay with all of this.  As Kirsten's going into a meltdown, Mark from Vancouver calls back, and hey, surprise, Rebecca's definitely dead.  Nicely played, Kirsten.  After a commercial break, she turns into "loving, supportive wife" to comfort her husband about finding out that a very old friend of his has died.  PICK A SIDE, WOMAN.  Sandy leaves to go tell Max the news face to face.

At the Nichol house, Marissa strips off her tank top because "it's sticking" to her.  What a weird way to introduce a heat wave storyline... oh, it's not because she's sweaty.  Marissa has a tramp stamp tattoo now.  As 17 year old Alex and 17 year old shirtless Marissa check out the tattoo, the approaching 70 year old Caleb just wanders on into Marissa's room without knocking at all this time.  Nice one, jackass.  Unsurprisingly, the girls immediately run out of the house, although Alex does compliment Cal on the house on the way out.

Summer returns to the Cohen house after taking some time to peruse Seth's sketchbook.  Anyway, she admits that she swiped the sketchbook, and Seth instantly apologizes and offers to destroy it immediately.  Except.... Summer actually likes the art.  Although the boobs on Super Summer are a little out of control, so Summer demands to have boob approval on any future drawings.  Seth lets Summer keep the sketchbook, but they both agree that it's probably a smart move at this point to not tell Zach that it exists.  This was a nice little moment between two ex's who are trying to figure out how to be friends going forward.  Of course, this involves Seth and a woman, so I immediately think this going to go somewhere disastrously stupid.

Sandy's at his office waiting for Max to tell him the bad news about Rebecca.  Max arrives, and before Sandy can say anything, Max has a surprise for him.  It's Rebecca, there in the flesh.

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: When Kirsten and Sandy are checking out the beachside dump that he's going to take as his new office, Kirsten points out that he just wants it because he can go surfing in between clients.  Sandy turns, looks at his wife with wide eyes and says, "The thought had never occurred to me."  Well played, Sanford.