Shiny, shiny happy sunshine shines down on the southern California that exists on the TV only. Because let me tell you, I've spent winters in Scotland that have featured more sunshine than what we're experiencing now in O.C.-adjacent counties like whatever county Los Angeles is in. We find ourselves this week fading up in the Cohen kitchen, where Ryan "Professor Frink, Professor Frink, He'll Make You Laugh, He'll Make You Think" Atwood hits the books hard, as usual. He is soon to be joined by his fellow compadre in unrequited man-love, Seth "Clever Nickname Generator Has Failed, Please Click Refresh, Message 404" Cohen. Seth and his abnormally tight cords make the first inadvertent reference in weeks to anything having to do with a "chino" of any kind, and he asks Ryan what he's doing, only to be disappointed once more when the response isn't anything even slightly akin to "I am preparing for the time during which I am offering you the kind of pleasure that can only be brought about by the touch of another man." Because then? Then, we've got a television show, people. Seth, then, is doubly disappointed to discover that Ryan is studying once again, and he calls his usual amount of meta-attention to the unease of character development this show has been exhibiting all season with a defensive "Logarithms are the new upper cut. Got it." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Except that we already have. In the forums. And the recaps. For the last seven episodes. Dude, Cohen. Go up a size, Disco Seth.
Seth sits at the table, which is a feat considering his compromised leg mobility. He seems to be flipping through some kind of a photo album, and he intentionally pulls Ryan away from his studies by noting a page in it and loudly intoning, "Wow. Now I see it." Ryan sighs internally and thinks, "Well, in the socioeconomic structure of this living arrangement, this kid is technically my boss, so...what, Seth?" Instead of saying that out loud, though, he just asks, "See what?" and Seth is at the ready with a reply: "I've been looking through old photos of my mom, looking for resemblances to Lindsay. Look at that." Seth hands Ryan the photo album, indicating a photograph that bears similarities to Kirsten and Lindsay only insofar as it doesn't look a damn lick like either of them. Or maybe it's Lindsay's headshot from when she was fourteen. It was either her or it wasn't. The plight of the redheaded stepchild is one fraught with confusing identity mishaps. Ryan, appropriately, asks Seth if he's trying to make this even more awkward for him, and Seth defends the whole mess: "It's not like you dating Lindsay is full-on incest. You're not even related." Seth's voice quavers slightly, because you just know he gave that speech as a dry run for when he delivers it again with his name in place of Lindsay's. Not to mention the fact that Ryan and Lindsay aren't really dating at all, are they? Ryan is quick to point out that Kirsten is like his mom, and, gesturing toward the photo album, "Lindsay is clearly her sister." Seth submits that it is "kind of weird," and Ryan comes up to my part of town, takes a nice, long drive down Exposition Boulevard, and fills in the blanks for the casual viewer (of which I really didn't think I was): "And the fact that your mom doesn't know that I'm dating her sister? It's a lot weird."