The O.C.
The Dearly Beloved

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The Dearly Beloved

The episode opens on a close-up of a pretty, glossy brochure, which Sandy Cohen is clutching in his hot, disillusioned little hand. It is pimping a rehab center, so obviously, Sandy isn't going to take the Portland approach with Kirsten's liver. Sandy tells the rehab doctor that he is free to meet right away, but only briefly, because he has a funeral that afternoon. What an action-packed day: sending both your wife and your father-in-law to better places.

Seth stumbles downstairs in his bathrobe and bumps into Kirsten. He asks if everything is okay, and looks appropriately blue. "Been better," Kirsten says. Seth is sorry for her loss, and Kirsten lovingly touches his face and reminds him how much Caleb loved him. That's funny, I don't remember Caleb showing up at Seth's comic-book launch. Then again, none of that matters now, since apparently the book has found a way to live on without its writer and artist, because anyone can draw and create stories -- it's the spreadsheet man that is its heart and soul! Seth lies that he's going to miss Caleb very much, and then toddles off in search of a cell phone charger. Kirsten tells him to check Sandy's office.

Cut to Seth doing a very thorough job of looking through every single drawer in Sandy's desk, having apparently started at the very illogical bottom of the desk and worked his way up to the more telegenic hiding places. He finds no charger, but settles on a brochure for the SURIAK treatment center, and gapes at it. As would I, because I don't want to go rehab myself at a place that sounds more like an Ikea metal bookshelf than a gentle womb cradling me to sobriety.

Seth, of course, takes this revelation all the way into the poolhouse, where Ryan is opening his blinds in what is probably a symbolic move representing their sudden awakening to Kirsten's situation. Maybe I'm trying too hard. Wait, "maybe"? Certainly. Ryan kindly asks how Seth is coping. "Well, I was depressed. Now I'm depressed and confused," Seth says, handing Ryan the brochure. Ryan is surprised to see it and asks where Seth got it. "My dad's office. And I don't think he's trying to kick bagels," Seth says. God, no. Why would anyone do that? It's crazy talk. Ryan looks past Seth and sees a hollow Kirsten futzing with the Cohen McManse's blinds. He correctly deduces aloud that perhaps it's not Sandy who is in need of wringing dry.

SURIAK rehab center is basically a massive, sprawling resort with ten pools, infinity edges, a swim-up coffee house, three world-class restaurants, and ponies. At least, that is what I expect, based on the exteriors. The doctor (a "Hey! It's That Guy" named Garrett Brown, who was the dad on Roswell) and Sandy stroll outside as they converse about Kirsten's history on the bottle. Sandy says she's always enjoyed a nip or two of wine, but lately, things have been different: "She's switched to vodka, she had a car accident. And I'm afraid that with the loss of her father, things will get worse." Sandy conveniently leaves out that Kirsten felt abandoned and as if her marriage was crumbling, but that would involve mentioning She Who Shall Not Be Named Again, Ever, On Account of General Icky-ness And An Irritating Plot. Dr. Roswell insists that their residential treatment is peaceful and totally confidential, because they've had the place sprayed with grape-icide to prevent the growth of any vines down which gossip might travel. Sandy frets that he's overreacting, so Dr. Roswell closes the deal by pointing out that it's tough for anyone to come to terms with needing outside help to handle this type of thing. "She's not going to come voluntarily," Sandy says sadly. Dr. Roswell points out that not many of them do, no matter what Pat O'Brien's publicists try to make people believe.

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