The O.C.
The Last Waltz

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The Vast Schmaltz

Julie stops by the Newport Group to get as much mileage as the producers can out of those sets before they're gone forever, and asks Sandy if the Newport Group can give a former officer a personal loan. It turns out that's illegal, and that the company's about to be put out of existence in a few weeks anyway. Julie's surprised that "it's all really ending," but turns down Sandy's offer of financial help from the Cohen bank account, saying that she only needed the loan for "convenience" so that she could put a down payment on a house on the beach that doesn't actually exist.

Taylor Townsend closes her pristine private-school locker to find Summer staring her down. Summer tells her that she may have won the battle for Social Committee power, but she certainly hasn't won the war. Taylor Townsend advises Summer to have an "exit strategy" before she takes on the "human quagmire." Summer asks every passing student what a quagmire is. Hey, at least she knows her shapes.

Over at public school, Marissa reads a crappy sign advertising the crappy public school's upcoming crappy dance. Johnny spots her and asks if she's planning on going. Marissa asks what the dance's theme will be. Johnny's all, "Theme?" You see, down in public school, dances don't have themes. Hell, you're lucky if anyone even actually dances, what with the bullets flying and the termite-ridden gym floor all full of holes. "I don't think I'll be going, then," Marissa snots. She recovers and says it's not because there's no theme. It's because there's no chocolate fountain. Johnny urges her to go, saying that he, Casey, and Dennis will be there, which is probably supposed to be a motivating thing, but totally isn't because those three are lame. Heather Heathers walks up, wearing another black shirt replete with tough black armbands, and apologizes for being so mean to Marissa the day before. Marissa says it's cool. "So then, you're not GONNA SHOOT ME?!?!" Heather projects to the crowd. The crowd giggles uncomfortably, and Heather adds that a shooting is the reason Marissa got kicked out of private school, right? Because she shot someone? Now, see, that factoid would be enough to make me want to get on Marissa's good side. But these public-school kids don't listen to reason. Marissa runs away, and Johnny follows her because he is Sensitive.

Through the metal gate of public-school hardcoreness, Marissa cries that now everyone in the school will know about her past non-crimes. Johnny totally sucks out on the attempt to make her feel better by saying that everyone already knew about that anyway. No duh. It's pretty safe to say that if every private school in a fifty-mile radius knew about it, the nearby public school might have heard a little something about it, too, even though it is filled with the illiterate dregs of society. Marissa says she was hoping to be anonymous at her new school, and now she sees that's obviously out of the question. Johnny says he saw the news (since, you know, he couldn't read it), and it said that Marissa saved someone's life when she shot Trey. So it's cool with him. It's not cool with Ryan, though, who drives up just in time to see Marissa looking upset and talking to another guy. He jumps out of the Range Rover and runs over, asking what's wrong and assuming that Johnny "did" something to her. Johnny and Marissa both assure him that Johnny wasn't the one who made Marissa upset, and Johnny introduces himself and puts out a hand for Ryan to shake. Ryan leaves him hanging for a minute, and then shakes it, staring at Marissa the whole time. Johnny wisely decides to leave. Marissa angrily tells Ryan that Johnny was just being nice to her, and the guitar chords scream with teenage angst.

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The O.C.

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