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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: "The Risky Business"


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 18 - "The Risky Business"

Directed by Norman Buckley
Written by Cory Martin

Previously on The O.C.: The Rocketeer isn't anything like what Sandy expected from a counter-culture dirty hippie from 25 years ago.  Zach, Summer, and Seth come to the realization that working together on a comic book isn't going to work out for them.  Ryan's brother Trey is out of prison and staying with the Cohens for the time being.  Say, what's going on with Ryan and Marissa from a romantic standpoint, anyway?

*     *     *     *     *

It's morning in the Cohen kitchen, and Trey is cooking.  Did not see that one coming, although he claims it's a thing he picked up in the joint.  I don't know if there's a lot of omelette cooking in prison kitchens, but whatever.  Somehow this turns into a discussion of action heroes, as the boys choose up sides for various 90s/early 2000s heroes, but Sandy pops in to nominate Steve McQueen.  Trey's a fan of Bullitt, so now he's Sandy's favorite.  Julie calls and Kirsten leaves the room to talk to her, which allows the menfolk to discuss what's going on with Ryan and Marissa.  Ryan eventually gives in and says they're taking it slow, which means it's time for Kirsten to come back in and tell everyone that Marissa's going to stay with them for a week because Caleb & Julie are leaving town.  Whoops.

Marissa and Summer discuss this development while Marissa packs for the week.  Summer blasts her for packing a floral print bustier type deal, which Marissa claims is for sleepwear?  Whatever, girl.  She also packs some flannel full length jammies, too.

In the Cohen bedroom, Kirsten gets off the phone and finagles Sandy into stepping into a suddenly vacated charity yard sale honorary chairmanship.  I should clarify: By "charity yard sale," I mean "auction that takes place at the country club where the people donating get to keep half the money."  Welcome to The O.C., I suppose.  Sandy's first action as chair is ordering Ryan & Seth to help out tomorrow (I guess today is Friday?) and snagging Trey to help right now.  Over at the club, Trey is immediately pressed into service doing the heavy lifting while Sandy finds out that this gig has actual decorating responsibilities and isn't just a ceremonial thing.

At school, Seth tells all of his "Ryan and Marissa meet up at the fridge in the middle of the night and make out" fantasies, which is broken up by Marissa arriving.  Seth scurries for high ground, and he's quickly followed by Ryan, because no, this living arrangement isn't going to be awkward at all, nosiree.  This transitions to Seth at his locker in the hall, and Zach meanders up to talk about the release of Elektra on DVD.  Oh, Zach, no.  I mean, Terrance Stamp as Stick is fantastic casting, but no.  No no no no no.  ANYWAY, Zach's mom is making him donate 10 comics to the yard sale.  Seth offers to chip in five of his own in order to less the burden on Zach because he's trying to get out of the comics deal as a favor to Summer.  NOTE: Both Mrs. Stevens and Summer are terrible people for forcing the boys to change who they are.

Back at the club, Trey totes around heavy expensive crap.  Amongst the expensive crap is the crystal egg from the Tom Cruise classic film Risky Business (hey, that's the title of the episode!), which is valued at 10K.  If you had "Trey is going to steal this" in the plot point pool, you win!

Marissa arrives and Kirsten figures out where to put her.  This goes unspecified for now, because that gives us a chance to skip to Ryan & Seth sifting through comics to find something to donate, and Ryan wanders off to talk to Trey in the pool house... except he's not in there any more.  That's Marissa, and she's in the process of changing her shirt.  Nope, not awkward.

It's 6am, and Ryan can't sleep, so he steps carefully over Trey on the guest bedroom floor on his way to the fridge.  Hey, look, here comes Marissa in her fuzzy jammies... just like Seth imagined.  Is this kid just going to be right about everything going forward?  I mean, just give me a heads up so I know what to expect.  Things almost get interesting in the kitchen, but Trey comes in and flips the light on.  He's got some apartment hunting to do, so he's gotta get a jump on the day.  Marissa offers to take him over to Alex's recently abandoned place since Ryan's tied up with Sandy all day.

At the club, Sandy's turned into an honorary chair tyrant, barking orders at socialites left and right and demanding all sorts of crazy things.  Kirsten & The Rocketeer turn up with the Newport Living sponsorship banner, and Sandy and The Rocketeer have a beverage and talk about how busy Kirsten's been at work with The Rocketeer.  He apologizes for keeping her away from home so much, and that's about all that happens here.

Over at Alex's apartment, Trey likes it, but First/Last/Security comes out to $3000, and he doesn't have that.  Marissa offers up the idea of Trey being the fix it dude around the complex, and the landlord says he'll get back to Trey.

Zach arrives at the club with comics in hand while Seth takes Polaroids of all of the stuff up for auction.  Not sure why, but whatever.  The Rocketeer wanders in, and they talk about comics a bit... including Seth admitting that he's been working on Atomic County since the WildStorm thing collapsed.  He's got 13 or so stories built up... which is just enough for a graphic novel.  The Rocketeer's got some publishing ideas, but they're going to have to check in with Summer first.  FLASH FORWARD: Summer threatens to kill Seth & Zach in their sleep if they mention comics to her, so they never actually run it past her.

At home, Kirsten makes tablecloth jokes and Sandy reveals that he was being a tyrant for laughs, just to hassle the socialites.  He like The Rocketeer, and maybe, just maybe, he has a new friend in Newport now that Jimmy's gone.  Inside, Ryan plays video games as Trey and Marissa arrive back at home after apartment hunting.  Exactly how far away is Alex's apartment?  It's dark out now... Anyway, the phone rings, and Marissa answers it.  It's the landlord, so Trey picks up the nearby extension.  Trey's background check is, unsurprisingly lousy, so he can't be the manager.  Wait, who said anything about being a manager?  The landlord likes him, so he'll hold the place for 24 hours.  Marissa heard all of this because she didn't hang up the phone (hey, remember having a land line in your house where you could listen in on calls in other rooms?), and notices Trey lie to Ryan about how the apartment is shaking out.

It's 6am again, and Ryan can't sleep again.  There's no Trey on the floor, though, and as Ryan goes downstairs, he finds Trey coming home.  Trey's got some excuse about the apartment and plastering and drywalling and you gotta let it dry before painting which Ryan doesn't buy a word of.

Trey brings some breakfast into the pool house for Marissa, and she comes clean about listening to the phone call.  She won't tell Ryan, but she offers to help Trey with the money.  He says he has friends to help, but it's pretty obvious that's a lie based on how his time out of prison has gone so far.  Also, I already told you he's stealing the egg.

Seth and Zach meet up before heading to the auction, and Seth extolls the virtue of collecting baseball cards to Zach.  This, of course, is because Summer's out on the comics deal, and it leads to Zach saying "Who's Curt Schilling?"  For context, this is hilarious because this episode aired less than six months after Schilling's bloody sock game in the 2004 World Series.  They're about to leave, but they find The Rocketeer at the door.  He's organized a pitch meeting for them through a former assistant of his, and Seth give this a hard pass.  Zach points out that Summer said no COMICS and this is a GRAPHIC NOVEL, so that's DIFFERENT and I want a kaiju to leap out of the Pacific and destroy them and they say yes to the meeting.

RAPID FIRE EVENT SCENES!  Marissa finds a tea set in her basement to add to the auction for money for Trey, Ryan helps Trey with his necktie and there are jokes about events in Newport usually get crazy, Summer overhears Seth & Zach talking about the comic at the club and makes them pinkie swear to not screw up anyone's relationships along the way, Ryan stores the tea set and realizes that the egg is gone, and Trey admits to taking it and selling it.

So that means it's time for a caper.  Ryan and Seth head off to get the egg back, although they elect for stealing it back from the guys that Trey sold it to, which of course leads to a bit where Seth has to run and catch the egg ha ha get it that happened in Risky Business.  Meanwhile, back at the auction, Summer, Marissa, Trey, and Zach all attempt to delay and stall the auction, including auctioning off Summer's shoes and the services of Trey and Zach, before finally having a "blind" auction for the egg.  Luckily, Ryan and Seth return just in time to hand it over to the nice lady that purchased it.

To review: Trey still has the money that he was paid for the egg, plus the $400 he got from selling himself, plus the money that Marissa gives him from the tea set.  That's $2500, because Kirsten paid $5K for the set, because, unsurprisingly, it belonged to her mother and Kirsten thought it had merely been lost.  In the kitchen, Sandy knows the boys were up to something and is disappointed that they didn't come to him for help.

We close on Marissa and Ryan sitting out by the pool having a chat about the day, and things almost get interesting... except Julie calls because she's cut her part of the trip short and she's going to pick Marissa up in 30 minutes.  Wasn't this trip supposed to be a week?  I wonder if we're going to get an explanation on this in the next episode.....

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: I guess in retrospect it's when Sandy's going nuts making demands of the socialites setting up the auction.  I mean, he comes off as a lunatic at the time, but when he admits to Kirsten that he's messing with them, I guess it makes up for it?  Honorable mention goes to the "I'm disappointed in you two" speech he gives Ryan and Seth near the end.  That's the "high quality parenting" Sandy that we haven't gotten in a long, long time.