Previously on The O.C.: a bunch of remarkably important things happened, the dramatic dealings of Southern California's rich and powerful were chronicled in painstakingly soapy detail, and people did unexpected things you would never, ever have expected. Aaaaaand...we're all caught up.
Cohen manse under the stars. Sandy "Man Of Chevitz" Cohen enters his kitchen holding a brown paper bag proudly up in the air and announcing, "All right! Dinnertime! How do you feel about chicken parm?" Kirsten "Blonde Ambition" Cohen sits at the table facing away from her husband, perhaps in a self-protective measure to position herself downwind from the smell of Kim Delaney's rotting flesh, which still wafts off of him with disturbing frequency. Kirsten barks, "That is simply unacceptable" in what seems like a retort to Sandy's query, but when he shoots back, "Don't look at me. I'm the one who wanted Thai," Kirsten gives up trying to do business over her cell phone and tells Carter she has to call him back. It's hard for women to have a professional career when it's so evident that their place is somewhat kitchen-adjacent.
Sandy pulls plates out of the pantry to put the takeout on -- which I also totally do, even though this overstatement of presentation would be like putting one Oreo on those giant spinning cake trays like they have in diners in New Jersey and referring to it as "The Single-Decker Crèmewich" -- as he banters with his wife who doesn't hate him anymore: "I barely recognized you without a wire coming out of your ear," which is, if I remember correctly, also a line Ally Sheedy says in the 1991 cult classic Short Circuit III: Emergency Maintenance. Kirsten apologizes for being so preoccupied, telling Sandy and us, "It's just that we're unveiling the magazine to advertisers in exactly sixty-seven hours." Sandy, meanwhile, eschews eye contact, staring into the bottom of the takeout bag as if to say, "I don't remember ordering this many extra packets of clunky exposition!" But nevertheless, there they are, and Kirsten keeps spilling them everywhere, with a remarkably indiscriminate lack of aim.
Hark! Once-endearing children spilling from every room of the manse. Seth and Ryan smell food and come running like roaches into the kitchen, and they grab their containers and immediately start making tracks for anywhere else. But Sandy calls after them, informing them with numerous Brooklyn-born, Danza-esque inflections of the "oh," "ay," and "oh" varieties that they're not going anywhere. This is, as Sandy has spontaneously decided, "a family dinner." Seth expresses some "aww, shucks" reservations about this plan, complaining that he and Ryan "are in the middle of a crucial Playstation game"; Kirsten piggybacks onto this that she has to work. Sandy repeats that no one is eating unless they're eating as a family, and forces them all to sit down at the table. They do, with great reluctance, Seth snarking, "Family time is always best when it's forced." You're welcome, you spoiled, sniveling...actually I'd throw my dad over for a kick-ass Playstation game any day of the week. Noticing that correlation for the first time actually says a lot about how I live my life today. Sandy adds that if his kids don't behave, they won't be invited on the family trip he's planning. He asks Ryan if he's even seen Mount Rushmore, and Ryan shoots back a look that telegraphs, "Well, I went on a school trip to South Dakota in fourth grade, but that was before anything was carved into the rocks." But this Coyote State reverie is broken by the sound of a ringing phone, which Sandy ambles over to answer. He announces that no one will be taking any calls during dinner, but is quick to hand the phone off to Ryan when he hears who is on the other end. Ryan takes the phone and experiences the information-free portion of the conversation: "Hello? Hey. Really! When? Yeah, no, all right. Yeah. See you then." See who when? I'm doing the pee-pee dance over here. SEE WHO WHEN? Ryan hangs up the phone and lets us know: "That was Trey." Because she thinks this show has picked up hundreds of viewers rather than lost millions of them, Kirsten takes pains to clarify, "Your brother?" No, it was Trey Anastasio, former lead singer of the legendary jam band, Phish. Wrong number. I feel sad because the music is sad, and Ryan takes this opportunity to tell the assemblage that Trey is getting out of jail and wants Ryan to come pick him up in Chino. Seth stabs a bite of the food no one has eaten and barks, "Huh. There's that family trip you wanted," which seems oddly non sequitur and uncharacteristically harsh. But really, that's all splitting hairs. Let's sing!