Previously on The O.C., Dawn Atwood wanted Ryan out of the House of Trash. She also wanted a beer, a cigarette, and a decent haircut. Kirsten asked what kind of mother just abandons her child, and Sandy dropped his head. Marissa thought Dawn had to come back, but Ryan thought she was a "train wreck." Seth hid Ryan in the model home, where Ryan did nothing with Luke's girlfriend, but it didn't look like nothing to Luke, and so he and his friends commenced the burning of the model home and the near burning of Ryan, for whom the police then had some questions. They had questions for Luke, too. Also, Jimmy needed $100,000, and Kirsten had it.
We open the show with buzzing gates. Juvie. Sandy -- who with each episode is in increasing need of a pair of hair clippers with which to tame his eyebrows-- signs in and makes eye contact through the bars with a sullen-looking Ryan. He enters, and asks Ryan if he wants the good news or the bad joke first. When Ryan doesn't answer, Sandy cracks, "We gotta stop meeting like this!" Okay, so Sandy didn't ask the good news/bad joke question, but that was a bad joke, and clearly not what Ryan needs to hear. In any case, there is good news: Kirsten's company has dropped all the charges, and Ryan is free to go after his probation hearing. In his signature move, Ryan casts his eyes downward as Sandy continues, "You'll be out no problem." Which, to me, is a whole lot different than the thirty-sixty days he admits when Ryan pushes for a time frame. Sandy says that Ryan would be out sooner if he could be released into the care of a parent or guardian. In a perfectly timed only-on-television-moment, just outside the gates Luke is released into the arms of his adoring blonde mother. Ryan watches and comments, "He gets to leave," obviously not having gotten the point about the parent/guardian issue. Sandy explains that his and Luke's stories meshed about the accidental burning of the Model Home, but that Luke is without priors and has no record, which is exactly what Sandy said about the difference between Ryan and Trey in the first episode. The obvious finally sinks in and Ryan angrily concludes, "And he has someone to take him home." A pissed-off-looking Luke shoots Ryan a dirty look before leaving.