Ryan becomes a man in the Jewish sense of the word with his Bar Mitzvah -- although because it's so close to Chrismukkah, it becomes a Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah. My spellcheck, it cries. Ryan's hesitant to make a fool out of himself, and Sandy's hesitant to let him, saying it's sacrilegious and offensive, but they go ahead with it anyway. Summer and her dad spend time together and talk about Summer's long-lost mom, who abandoned them on the day of Seth's Bar Mitzvah, leaving him alone and friendless and so very sad, as we see in his home video of the event. Awww! Julie spends some time with Summer's dad too, and he admits to her that he and the StepMonster are getting a divorce, and she admits to him that she lives in a trailer. Love potentially blossoms, and they head for the Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah just in time to join the line of swaying friends. It would have been such a great episode if it weren't for the fact that the whole Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah event was being held as a fundraiser for Johnny's knee surgery, which Ryan almost misses because he has to go stop Johnny from doing some fundraising of himself -- holding a freaking Mini-Mart up at gunpoint. Ugh.
You guys, it's the episode I've been waiting for! The best thing about The O.C.! Chrismukkah! Being a half-Jew, half-Christian myself, I, too, celebrate Chrismukkah, although in my family, we called it "Nondenominational Xmas" and are always entertained by my mother's attempts to Christianize herself for a day, although not so much my dad's efforts to share his English Christmas traditions, namely plum pudding. Rumor has it that Dad will be dousing it in brandy this year and lighting it on fire, which means that I may very well be writing my next recap from the burn ward of a local hospital. And it will rule. Anyway, I'm excited about this episode and I'm sure it won't disappoint me at all.
Our gang search for the perfect Chrismukkah tree. They've been at it for three hours, and Marissa is getting impatient. Every time Summer shakes one of Marissa's fellow wooden friends, a shiver runs down her spine. Seth talks about how every Jewish kid's desire to celebrate Christmas is akin to every Christian kid's desire for a bar mitzvah. Unless you grew up in my predominantly Catholic town, where every kid in your class got mad cash for both Communion AND Confirmation and the most anyone knew about Judaism was that it had the "funny writing." Ryan says that he never wanted a Bar Mitzvah, because Chino has its own coming-of-age ceremony involving rats, dirt, and sadness, and it was enough for him. Seth scoffs that Ryan just doesn't know any better, and Summer leads Marissa off to look at some more trees off-camera so that Seth and Ryan can talk Bar Mitzvahs.
Sadly, Marissa and Summer won't be as far off-camera as I had hoped. Marissa starts looking at a tree for Johnny, because evergreens are the universal symbol for platonic friendships. Summer, who's sporting some dark circles under her eyes -- I'm guessing it's because her roommate the Queen Mooch stole her cover-up stick -- doesn't understand why Marissa is thinking about Johnny when Marissa just said that they shouldn't see each other. Good point, Summer. Why not double your "voice of reason" score and ask Marissa why she's buying Johnny a freaking tree when his mother can obviously take care of that herself? Marissa says that it's the holidays and that she feels sorry for Johnny, who's "all alone," except that he isn't. Summer calls Marissa "Cooper Scooper," and Marissa laughs that that is a bad nickname. It's a much nicer one than you deserve, Marissa. Marissa says she and Ryan talked about Johnny and his feelings for her, so she's sure Ryan will be cool with her buying Johnny a Christmas tree.