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The Sandy Cohen Chronicles: The Brothers Grim

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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 17 - "The Brothers Grim"

Directed by Michael Lange
Written by J.J. Philbin

Previously on The O.C.: The Rocketeer was assigned to work on Julie's Newport Living magazine by the publisher.  Sandy loved the 'zine that The Rocketeer published back in his dirty hippie days at Berkeley.  Julie performed in a porno flick about 20 years ago and got extorted for $500K.  Summer broke up with Zach at the airport on the way to Italy with him in order to get back together with Seth.  Hey, now that they're back together, what about Ryan and Marissa?  Hmmmmm?

*     *     *     *     *

Sandy arrives home with dinner (take out chicken parm!) and we get hilarious jokes about Sandy thinking Kirsten is talking to him because she has a hands free device on her cell phone.  Is it just me or did Bluetooth devices beat this joke into the ground since this episode aired?  Anyway, she's talking to The Rocketeer because there's 67 hours til they have to make a presentation to advertisers so they'll buy ads in the magazine.  A discussion ensues about how busy Kirsten has been lately, which brings up an important question: Why the hell is Kirsten working so hard on this dumb magazine?  Caleb once said that Kirsten's residential real estate section of The Newport Group was the only profitable part of the company, so why are we diverting her energy from that?

Anyway, the boys run in, grab take out trays, and try to take off back to the pool house for important PlayStation happenings, but Sandy demands that it's family dinner time, free from PlayStation and work.  While not wildly received, this briefly turns into a discussion of a family trip to Mount Rushmore this summer until the phone rings.  It's for Ryan, and Sandy seems kind of serious about it.  It turns out that it's Trey, Ryan's brother.  If you used that fact and the title of this episode to guess that Trey's being released from prison tomorrow, you win!

Over at Harbor School the next morning, Marissa and Summer talk about Trey's release, since Seth brought Summer up to date.  Marissa wishes she knew so she could go with to support Ryan.  Very girlfriend-y, eh?  No, no, just friend-y.  Speaking of "friend-y," there's Zach, arriving to school for the first time since returning from Italy, and he's riding a Vespa.  Get it?  His dad is insanely rich so of course he has an Italian scooter now.  I really don't think he should be driving and parking it four feet away from the lounge door, but whatever.  He's perfectly normal and friendly Zach, loaded with stories and pictures from Italy to show Marissa and Summer, so of course Summer is suspicious.

At prison, Ryan sees a youth with roughly the same haircut and build as him on the phone, which leads to pensive thoughts about his life.  Sandy asks Ryan how he feels about Trey staying with them for a while, and Ryan doesn't really have an answer.  Trey gets let out and there are hugs.

The Rocketeer and Kirsten go over the video for the advertising presentation, but Julie's all twitchy, so The Rocketeer leaves the women alone to chat.  Julie confesses about the porno (erotica, she sez) to Kirsten, and explains that she did it with the agreement that Lance would never show it to anyone.  Except... she was paid for it, and she admits that... and it has a professionally made slipcase... so.... I *think* that means that there was an expectation that people would see it...

Anyway.... She still needs the $500K to pay Lance, so as Kirsten says, she's going to have to tell Caleb about this.  Pretty sure that's what Sandy told Julie when he bought the rights to the flick in the first place, so I'm glad she's listening to her legal advice.

After a stop for lunch, Sandy pulls the Range Rover up in front of Trey's friend Rick's brother's house, because arrangements have been made for him to stay there now that he's out.  Except no one's home.  And it gets super awkward for a moment, right up until Ryan asks if Trey wants to come stay with him and the Cohens.  Obviously, this is the smart choice.

Zach tracks down Seth at school, and Seth launches into apology mode.  Smart move, obviously, but Zach's okay with what happened with Summer.  Why, you ask?  Well, Zach met a tall, blonde, Italian girl named Francesca and everything's super hot and so forth, so it's all good.  JUST DON'T TELL SUMMER, OKAY?  At least Seth admitted he has a bad track record with secrets, especially ones Zach tells him, right?

After school, Seth scoots right on over to the pool house to demand all the deets on Trey's release... except no one told Seth that Trey's staying in the pool house for a few days, so that's kind of embarrassing.  Thankfully, Sandy and Ryan eventually wander in to rescue Seth from his personally created hell of babbling nearly incoherently and refusing to just leave the room.  Sandy's got some shopping money for Trey to get himself back on his feet, and Ryan knows where all the good stores are.  Well, Marissa does, so Ryan tells Seth to get her to meet them.

Over at the Cooper-Nichol house, Julie's made a nice sitdown lunch for her and Caleb... wait, it's totally after school now.  The hell time do these people eat lunch?  ANYWAY, Julie's got things she wants to chat about with Caleb, and oddly, none of them include his ridiculous red striped shirt.  Yada yada yada, remodel the upstairs bathroom, blah blah blah, I was in a porno and I'm getting extorted, and so forth.  What was that about porno?  Oh, right.  Caleb muses that Julie's in a bit of a bind, almost without any emotion, and Julie goes NUTS.  I KNEW YOU'D HAVE NO SYMPATHY, etc.  Except he's happy to pay it, and if she would have just let him say more than six words, it would have been fine.  Odd that this conversation didn't mention the purchase agreement that Sandy has with Lance, though.

Seth and Summer hang out at the diner as Kingdom Flying Club plays, and Summer wonders what Zach's deal is.  This gives Seth the opportunity he needs to ignore his promise to keep his mouth shut and immediately unload about Francesca to Summer.  Clown.  Summer seems hung up on the fact that she's tall, whereas I was more disturbed by Zach going with a blonde woman in Italy.  I mean, c'mon, man.  Although I guess that would be a change from Summer, so whatever.

Ryan and Trey shop, which includes checking out a cool watch and realizing it costs $200 and walking away.  Marissa arrives, and they have to explain their relationship to Trey, although things turn pretty playful pretty quick.

We take a quick break from the shopping (because shopping is boring TV) to head over to The Newport Group, where Julie tells Kirsten that Caleb's going to pay.  Kirsten doesn't really hear her because she's staring out her office window at The Rocketeer talking to people out in the lobby.  Julie immediately launches into teasing Kirsten about her interest in The Rocketeer, and thankfully we're saved from this by Sandy arriving.  He tells her about Trey staying with them, which she's okay with, and Sandy asks about Carter, since he's anxious to meet him.  Nope, totally busy doing important work things and definitely not walking past the office window aimlessly waving at Kirsten.

Finally the shopping is done, so we can go back to the store.  Trey finishes paying and everybody heads out.  Security demands that they stop, because Trey and his sleeveless Tshirt were ogling that watch over there before, so he obviously stole it.  Trey flips out, shoves the guy, dumps his bag out to prove that there's nothing in there, and knocks over a stand or two before Ryan drags him out.  Just curious: If you watched him looking at the watch and were then nervous about him stealing it, did it occur to you to watch him to see if he, y'know, WENT BACK AND ACTUALLY STOLE IT before accusing him of stealing it?  Also: Maybe you don't want to leave the $200 watches just sitting on the counter where people can easily steal them?

The next morning, Ryan tells Seth about the store, but admits that he both can't and shouldn't tell Sandy and Kirsten about it.  Trey's digging through the classified ads for jobs (the constant use of classified ads in the newspaper is easily the most outdated part of this show), and the freshly arrived Sandy & Kirsten drag Seth outside for presentation/party prep.  That gives Ryan a chance to advise Trey to change his attitude soon.

Over at Summer's room, Zach arrives with a box full of her stuff.  She launches into a monologue about how he's moved on already, which could just be about the box, but is very clearly about Zach's Italian lady friend.  She shoves him out the door in order to avoid talking about this further.

Caleb shows up at Lance's seedy motel room with the money.  Lance has what he claims to be the only copy of the tape, and again, I point out that this was a professionally produced pornographic film, so this is clearly a lie.  I mean, it might be the master, but it's definitely not the only copy.  Say, as the guy who created a purchase agreement/contract with Lance, shouldn't Sandy be here for this?  And shouldn't Caleb not pay in cash just to create some nice paperwork to go along with the contract?  These thoughts almost distract me from Caleb telling Lance that he's not surprised by anything about Julie because he's got some pretty talented private investigators on retainer.  Also, he brought some goons with him (pretty old goons, as goons go), so he'll be taking that money back now.  Well, I'm guessing Lance will be filing a motion in court against Sandy for violating their purchase agreement.

Summer turns up at Zach's house to hand over a box of Zach's stuff, but he's not home.  His mom is, though, and she's full of all kinds of useful information, like how she has no idea who Francesca is and how Zach spent the entire trip to Italy sulking in his hotel room because Summer broke up with him.  Oopsies.

Over in the Cohen pool house, Trey's kind of bummed, because he was immediately turned down by five or six different jobs, presumably because he's an ex-con.  Well, come on into the house for dinner, right after you hang up these clothes, bro!  Ryan hucks new clothes at Trey, until he gets to the bottom of the pile and finds that $200 watch.  Uh oh.  Trey says he went back today and bought it.  Ryan doesn't believe him, and the shouting starts.  Trey produces the receipt for the watch and shoves it in Ryan's face, along with the fact that he bought it for Ryan as a thank you gift.  Trey leaves, going God knows where.

Zach turns up at Summer's, and he explains that he didn't want to cause problems upon his return to California, so he invented Francesca to help smooth everything over between him, Seth, and Summer.  I mean, he's still their friend, so it just made sense.  Summer realizes that he then planted that story with Seth with the exact purpose of knowing that Seth would immediately blab it to her.  This makes it three straight episodes since the rain kiss that Seth has managed to make Summer absolutely furious at him.  What a great relationship.

So it's party/presentation time, which means we get a lot of things happening rapid fire.  Ryan leaves to find Trey, Marissa tags along, Caleb tells Julie that he's taken care of the money, Summer demands an apology from Seth but refuses to explain what exactly the apology is for, Carter wants to talk to Kirsten because he thinks she's angry at him but Julie's making ridiculous faces and hand gestures so he knows what K's deal is, and finally, there's Lance The Pornographer working as a waiter for the party.

Ryan and Marissa find Trey's favorite hang out/tough guy bar, and yep, he's there.  He's not coming back with them, and they're not leaving without him.  Well, looks like we have ourselves a Mexican standoff here, except we're missing a person and there are no guns.  That wasn't my best explanation.  Trey goes outside and kicks a garbage can.

Seth heads up to his room to deal with Summer, and he's got no idea what he's done wrong.  Dumbass.  He admits that he had some sort of panic about Summer's reaction to Francesca and her apparent jealousy, and for some reason, Summer finds the neurotic part of Seth adorable.  Everything is now fine, although they never discuss the fact that Francesca is fake.  *shrug*

Ok, time for the big video presentation to the advertisers.  Let's do some math here, kids: Video presentation + Caleb screwed over Lance + Lance is working as a caterer at the party = You guessed it, THE PORNO ON THE BIG SCREEN!  Ah, the hilarity.  While Caleb comforts Julie in the Cohens' bedroom ("I'm never leaving this room ever again!"), Sandy gets a chance to meet The Rocketeer, and while Sandy goes off to get a drink for Kirsten, The Rocketeer apologizes for creating any weird tension or vibes between him and Kirsten.  I'd say, "Whew, well, this story line is over," except I can see the stills in the DVD menus, and it's so totally not over.

Back at the dive bar, Trey still hasn't come back inside, so Ryan and Marissa decide to leave.  Some skeevy dude that was eying up Marissa earlier (pssssst, she's 17, creeper) decides to engage in some light false imprisonment, so of course, that raises Ryan's hackles.  Skeevy's buddies start laying the boots to Ryan, but that's when Trey and his Pool Cue Of Choking come into play.  They let Ryan go, and the Atwood boys & Marissa hightail it out of there.

We wrap things up with the three of them arriving back at the Cohen house as everyone, including Summer, gathers around for a nice family time.

Best Sandy Cohen Line/Moment: Nothing really doing for Sandy here.  I mean, he's barely in the episode, and we're significantly deprived of hilarious Sandy bits by Julie not mentioning that whole purchase contract/agreement to Caleb.