After beating Volchok senseless, which wasn't really a long trip, Ryan drops him off at the hospital.Volchok comes to long enough to mutter that he was jumped by a bunch of guys, thus letting Ryan off the hook. But then Volchok tells Ryan to meet him at his place the next day, since they have much to discuss. Aaand Ryan's back on the hook! But in case there was any doubt, Volchok makes sure to tell the orderly that Ryan isn't his friend. The next day, a stitched up, but still ugly, Volchok blackmails Ryan into being his lookout for some job that will take place in Ryan's neighborhood. No, not Chino, Newport. DUN! Well, it was a DUN! for me because I still think of Chino when Ryan refers to "[his] neighborhood." Sandy seems totally carefree and is actually a bit excited to be told that Riviera is naming him as Man of the Year because of all his work on the hospital. Kirsten is less than thrilled, as she notes that her father had the same dubious honor. Sandy later meets with his old buddy, the D.A., to find out just how many fathoms of shit he might be in because of Griffin's misdeeds. The D.A. tells Sandy he can save himself by cooperating with the D.A. and informing on Griffin. However, the hospital will go down with Griffin and Sandy's not quite ready to let that happen. Meanwhile, Kirsten is stressed and worried and slips back into the colorless, tasteless, and odorless arms of La Vodka. Seth finds his mother passed out and studiously cleans out her mug while contemplating a little substance abuse himself. The good thing is Kirsten is still going to AA meetings and admitting to her group that she's had a relapse because of stress at home. Seth overhears Kirsten admission, and determines that his father is the one to blame. Marissa prances around Caitlin's school, getting herself involved in her little sister's hijinks and even helping lil' sis out of a jam by wearing a very short LaCrosse skirt and not very much of a LaCrosse blouse, all of which helps me learn a new word: LaCrosstitute. Summer spends most of the episode trying to sneak Seth's cocktail napkin confession away from Sandy, but spills the entire beans anyway, including letting Sandy know that Seth didn't get into Brown. When Sandy confronts his son with all his misdeeds, Seth calls him less than a father and throws it in his face that Kirsten is drinking again. Sandy is just a bit gobsmacked. Later, Kirsten and Sandy have an honest heart-to-heart, after which Kirsten has a heart-to-heart with Seth and coaxes him into coming to the Man of the Year party. Kirsten then sends Seth off to get a mounted photograph of the hospital from Sandy's office. Seth has a heart-to-heart with a joint and "accidentally" sets his Dad's office on fire. If he calls it activist art it will totally help his RISD application. At the Man of the Year party, Sandy makes a big ol' speech where he DOESN'T accept Riveriera's dubious honor, because he has instead decided to be Father and Husband of the Year. Sandy adds that he plans to cooperate with the D.A. in their investigation of Griffin. He then very publicly hands over a folder to the D.A. that will prove helpful in their case. Cops walk in and start sniffing around. But for whom? Sandy? Ryan? Seth? Ryan sort of helps Volchok steal a big, fat fancy car from one of his neighbors and even gets called "little bitch" in the process, so it's supposed to be all ironic that he's right back where he started. However, unlike last time, Ryan doesn't get in the car with the scruffy, car-stealing bully and runs away, as the police chase the stolen car. Ryan gets Marissa to give him an alibi and they arrive at the Man of the Year part just in time to see Seth get led away in cuffs. Somewhere in there Theresa tells Ryan she will always love him, but can't be with someone who continues to live by his fists. Julie Cooper stands up to Dr.Neil when he tries to keep her from associating with the Cohens. I'm out of breath, how about you?
Previously: Dr. Neil told Sandy that Griffin was being investigated for "certain improprieties." Seth smoked pot and...wait...smoked POT?! What has happened to this show? I know I haven't watched much of this season, but Seth smoking pot...makes sense, actually. Not good sense; not "what a neat twist" sense; but "Season 3 of The O.C." sense. Kirsten drank again, but refused to use her alcoholism to blackmail Sandy. It makes sense, really, because telling Sandy would just get him upset and ruin the enjoyment of slamming down good glass of Central Coast Chardonnay. Seth wrote out all his misdeeds on a cocktail napkin and promised Summer that he would never lie again, but if he did, she could give the napkin to his father. The cocktail napkin is a thoughtful medium of confession, actually, because after Sandy finishes crying over his son he can blow his nose on it. Seth is such a snot. Summer, pissed off about Anna and Brown and so many things, dropped the cocktail napkin confession off on Sandy's desk before going to prom with Hayase and then regretted it. Marissa's prom date, Volchok, smoked pot, and made out with a date that was not his own. Ryan comforted Marissa peaceably, but later went off to defend her extremely dubious honor with his fists -- which were all the more furious when he learned that Volchok stole the prom money from Taylor Townsend's purse.
Ryan beating Volchok to a stubbly, pulpy mess is what segues us from previouslies into the episode of the evening. The camera angles get all fragmented and wavy and cold-lit, as Ryan crouches breathlessly over Volchok's inert body. Some severe close-ups try to take us into Ryan's head. Ryan reaches over to gently -- bit late for the soft touch, Ry -- check Volchok's pulse. Ryan barely touches him, when he becomes fascinated by the blood all over his knuckles. Wandering through the living room at this point, my husband proclaims Ryan a "pathological puncher." Ryan gets up and drives away in Volchok's behemoth of a beach van, while Bloc Party tells us, "If it can be broke than it can be fixed," which is a pretty good summation of this show, I think. I hope. Ryan winces at the lights of oncoming traffic, but finally pulls up somewhere and painfully puts the car into park. He rips open the back doors, and looks sickened at the sight of Volchok. The sight of Volchok is enough to sicken anyone, but our Ryan is more sensitive than that, and he's clearly sickened by what he did to Volchok's ugly mug. Irritated that no one at the hospital notices them, Ryan bellows, "Can I get some help over here?!?" An orderly comes over to help, and asks whether Ryan saw who beat up Volchok. Doesn't the orderly see the blood and cuts on Ryan's knuckles? Maybe he's not used to people bringing their human punching bags in for repair, and just assumes Ryan was helping to fight off the gang responsible for turning Volchok's face into steak tartare. As Ryan pauses, considering coming clean, Volchok mutters that he got jumped and that he didn't see who did it. Ryan warily looks over at the police, who are finally checking out the scene with interest, as the orderly says that they will want to question Ryan. Volchok tells Ryan to meet him at his place the next day: "This ain't over." Ryan looks repulsed because he realizes Volchok wasn't being noble for not turning him in. When the orderly looks up and doesn't see Ryan, he asks Volchok, "Where's your friend?" "He's not my friend," Volchok corrects him. Ryan, standing off to the side in the shadow of a car, hears this and tries hard not to feel hurt.