The O.C.
The Model Home

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Burnin' Down the House

Back inside, Ryan -- all clean, pressed, and hair-fluffed -- nearly collides with a distracted Kirsten as he enters the kitchen. They make small talk about swimming, until Ryan discovers a Barbie Dream House sitting on a card table in the middle of the kitchen. Kirsten explains that it's a model home, and she builds them, then clarifying that she doesn't actually build the models, but "real ones, not that one." Ryan asks, "Can you build me one?" and then apologizes for the "bad joke," when Kirsten is bothered. He stares the model house down before heading over to the dinner table. Hmmm. I guess that's the last we'll hear of the model home. Hence, the episode's title.

Sandy welcomes the Cohen family plus Ryan to the dinner table, referring to it as the "last supper." This elicits the same annoyed face from Kirsten that Ryan's comment did seconds ago, and he responds with the same apologetic "Bad joke." Because they're the same! They're the same! They're the same! And if you haven't picked up on the subtle hints yet, I'll just come right out and say it for you: they're the same! Kirsten snits that it's "just a laugh riot around here," and Ryan attempts to lighten the mood by admiring the food. Seth -- who, by the way is wearing a striped shirt he borrowed from the neighborhood four-year-old, and which, of course, looks adorable on him -- laments that Ryan is leaving, because they don't usually eat this well. Kirsten pissily claims that she "cook[s] all the time," causing Seth to call on his father for backup, which Sandy provides with apologies to Kirsten. The men snicker, as Kirsten concedes that they should just eat. They're not done with the joke, though, as Sandy points out that no one is suggesting she should cook more, and Seth recalls "the meatloaf incident of '98." Kirsten rushes to correct him, claiming it was brisket, and I don't know how that's better: either your meatloaf is bad, or your brisket is so bad it's unidentifiable. Seth is on the same track: "Yeah. That's my point, exactly." Ryan witnesses this light-hearted exchange in amusement with a fork stuck in the side of his mouth, and he and Kirsten share a sweet look. Aw. Ryan continues to look happy and wistful and slightly uncomfortable all at once. Take that, Luke Perry! One raised eyebrow does not an actor make!

Post-dinner, Sandy rifles through papers, offering to cosign Ryan's forms, which officially state that he is without legal parent or guardian. Ryan concludes that he's now "a property of the government," and Sandy rattles off a string of numbers mimicking the fact that that's what Ryan is about to become to the government. In the background, Seth mumbles something sounding an awful lot like, "Hey, it's better than Death Breath Seth," but your guess is as good as mine. Cute as he is, that Adam Brody is a mumbler! And no, I don't use closed captioning because I can't figure out how, and besides, it's always wrong -- though kind of funny -- anyway. Sandy says that the social worker will meet them in the morning, and that she'll be the one to take Ryan to his new home. Sandy then boasts that his "contact" at Child Services got Ryan in a home with only two other kids, which is good, because otherwise it can get crowded. Ryan graciously thanks him, but looks wary. Sandy lies that it is possible that Ryan will be placed in a permanent home, and Seth interjects, "Yeah, because everyone wants a brand-new teenager." Hey, I want a brand-new teenager! But only if his name is Seth! ["I just got a brand-new teenager yesterday and he's working out just fine. And in the winter, he can shovel the driveway!" -- Wing Chun] Seth launches into a tirade about how he's the only one willing to state the obvious: they have all this extra room, but they're still going to ship Ryan off to a group home. He asks, "Am I the only one who gets how much that sucks?" Ryan assures him that it's okay and, to ease the tension of the situation, quickly signs the paper. He congratulates Kirsten on the model home, proclaiming it perfect, before heading out the door. Sandy's eyebrows are dismayed.

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The O.C.

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