The O.C.
The Countdown

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Swinging In The New Year

Outside The Big House. Night. Marissa gets out of the car as Ryan holds the door open for her. She suggests that, the next time they go see a movie, it shouldn't be a three-hour period piece about boats. Ryan corrects her that they're called ships, and that he liked the movie. Getting all up in Ryan's face, Marissa opines that Russell Crowe just doesn't do anything for her; people say he's good-looking, but she doesn't see it. Ryan ponders this, admitting that he never really thought about it. ["This has to be a shout-out to the fact that every profile of Benjamin McKenzie in the history of time points out the resemblance between him and Crowe." -- Wing Chun] Clinging to Ryan's chest, Marissa points out that there's only one day left in 2003. Ryan knows, and sweetly says that it's been a good year. When she snits that her parents got divorced, her father went bankrupt, and she overdosed, Ryan explains that he meant it's been a good year for him. Which is a surprise, since it's usually all about her. Marissa knows it's been a good year for Ryan, and she can't wait to celebrate with him. They kiss, and she asks what he wants to do. She starts to say she heard about some parties, but he cuts her off to suggest that they take it easy after what happened at Christmas. She's all, "What happened at Christmas? It's all kind of a blur, actually." When Ryan just stares at her she bursts out, "Kidding!" to which Ryan's all, "Funny." He proposes that they hang out at The Big House and rent a couple of Russell Crowe movies: "So I know you'll be safe." Aw. More kissing. We see Marissa's face over his shoulder; looking content and at ease, she says, "I love you." Ryan's body stiffens, and we see her facial expression switch from delight to dismay. She clears her throat and pulls away, all, "I mean, I, I, I didn't mean. I..." Ryan commences with the tongue-lolling before volunteering, "Thank you?" Marissa stares at him, and responds, "Uh. You're welcome?" Without looking Ryan in the eye, Marissa hurriedly cites a midnight curfew, and rushes into her car. Ryan leans in the window to kiss her awkwardly, and then bumps his head on the doorframe. Marissa makes a series of confused faces and screeches away while Ryan stands, immobilized, in the headlights.

Ryan walks into the pool house, throws himself against the wall, and mutters, "Huh. 'I love you. I love you.' How hard is that to say?" A female voice startles him by answering, "Saying it's easy. Meaning it? That's the hard part." The camera pans over to reveal a manly woman brushing her teeth and strutting around in an undershirt and panties. She asks who the hell he is, and Ryan says, "Long story," before responding in kind: who the hell is she? She snits that it "doesn't work that way, dude," because it's her pool house. Ryan clarifies, "Actually, dude, it's my pool house." She fingers her t-shirt in his direction and seductively asks, "So this is yours? You want it back?" Ryan's all, "I got plenty. Thanks." Hee. Ryan deduces that she's Kirsten's sister, Hailey. Which would make her Seth's aunt. She feigns surprise that Ryan's heard of her, and snipes that Kirsten probably doesn't remember her at all. Ryan points out that Kirsten didn't say Hailey was coming, and Hailey reveals that Kirsten doesn't know she's there. She suggests that they get it sorted out over breakfast; in the meantime, "the living-room couch is pretty comfortable." She picks up a pillow and shoves it at Ryan, who catches it, and turns to go. Hailey stops him to mock, "Oh! And. Love you too." Ryan leaves without looking back, but you can just make out his head bobbing around as if he's whinily repeating, "Love you too."

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