The O.C.
The Debut

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Fisticuffs and Wristicuffs

Marissa hurries to answer her front door while attempting to hold up her Cotillion dress, which she's trying on. It's Ryan, whom she greets, "Hey! You're, um, at my house." Ryan wants to talk to her about Cotillion, but first, she wants to finish putting on her dress, and she "can't seem to reach the --" She doesn't finish this sentence because the back of the dress is not held up by a zipper or even a clasp, but basically a triple bra strap. And you can't just come right out and say, "I can't seem to reach my triple bra strap," can you? In any case, Marissa contorts herself, attempting to view her own back; she continues wriggling around until Ryan asks, "Did you want me to, um. I cou...Do you want me to, uh?" Marissa deduces that this is an offer on Ryan's part to fasten her dress, and in response she acts like the schoolgirl in a porno, as she softly agrees and turns around. We get a long shot of her back and neck, and this scene would have been sexier if the dress just had a zipper. Because the back of this dress is distractingly stupid-looking, and also very 1999. Marissa does a good job of looking uncomfortable and yet slightly thrilled; she does an even better job of performing the signature Joey Potter hair tuck. All fastened up, Marissa turns back to ask Ryan what's up about Cotillion? Back-dazed, Ryan responds, "What time did you want me there?"

Inside Lady Heather's Lair, Jimmy apologizes to Kirsten; he never meant for her to be dragged into the situation. She asks how this happened. She can understand a few bad investments, but theft? As Jimmy scoffs at the concept that his theft is...well, theft, they are interrupted by Lady Heather, who pauses when she notices Kirsten; Lady Heather snits that Jimmy didn't tell her Kirsten was coming by. Jimmy lies that Kirsten stopped by to ask "a quick...business...question," and Lady Heather snits, "A quickie, huh?" When Jimmy whines at her, she pretends she was kidding, but jokes in the genre of accusations of marital infidelity are kind of hard to pull off. Unless, of course, they involve Monica Lewinsky. Lady Heather can't stick around, because Caitlyn needs new shoes for Cotillion, they're test driving "the CLK," and she has to pay for Marissa's tennis lessons at the club, so which credit card should she use? And that's just a bizarre, clunky, plot-driven question. Are we really supposed to believe Lady Heather always willingly asks her husband on which credit card to charge something? Jimmy looks uncomfortable and tells her to use the MasterCard. She asks about the AmEx, and he snaps that she shouldn't use it, making up some lame excuse about the miles. Lady Heather pecks him on the cheek and exits, but not before one last snark that Jimmy and Kirsten "have fun!" In her absence, Jimmy says, "Well, now that the how and why have been accounted for..." He claims again that he wasn't stealing, but was borrowing to pay back his debts, but then the market took a turn. Kirsten flatly says, "You were stealing." Jimmy insists that he can't say no to his family, and that he plans to pay everything back -- he just needs "that one stock!" What he needs, Kirsten says, is help. Jimmy pauses, and then laughs this off: "Yeah, well, who's gonna help me?" Well, the Cohens will, obviously. Maybe they can be Angel's Orange County branch and thus adopt his suitable motto, "We help the hopeless."

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The O.C.

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