The O.C.
The Perfect Couple

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Demian: B | 2 USERS: A
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The Lady Prevaricates

Outside, Ryan hears footsteps on Lady Heather's front walk, and he stops in the shadows to peer down at the gentleman ringing the doorbell. It's Caleb. Lady Heather emerges from Casa Cooper, places her French-manicured claws on either side of Caleb's head, and plants a sloppy, lingering wet one on his lips. Caleb sends his chauffeur off for the evening and steps past Lady Heather to enter the Casa. The smile on Lady Heather's lips dies a quick and horrific death when she happens to spot Ryan lurking behind the palm tree next door. Ryan tries to duck back into the shadows, but it's too late. Lady Heather spins on her heel to reenter her home, and the last thing we see before she shuts the door is the magnificent, withering glare she shoots in Ryan's direction. Ha! God, I love her. Note to the production staff: Give Bonnie Somerville the boot already, hire Melinda Clarke full-time, and slap her wonderful wickedness into the opening credits. Trust me on this one. Your viewers will be eternally grateful.

The following afternoon, Marissa arrives at the pool house in that eye-searing atrocity she purchased in the luminous presence of Miss Catherine Zeta-Jones, and it's even worse on her body than it was in her hands. It looks like a sparkly purple brassiere with swatches of black lace and yellow satin pinned to the bottom. Ryan, almost completely dressed but still in his stocking feet, bounds across the futon to greet her with a kiss. Aw. He's awfully sweet and boyish for a guy in his thirties. Ryan scrambles for his dress shoes while Marissa perches on the futon, jawing away about how her mother's "a changed person" and how, if everything goes well at the soiree...well, you know. Her parents will reconcile and everyone will live happily ever after. Except for China. Because alopecic ponies, no matter how pretty, never live happily ever after. Ryan remains silent during all of this until it goes far beyond his comfort zone, at which point he announces, "We're going to be late."

Meanwhile, over in the Big House proper, Seth answers the door to find Anna waiting on the front steps with a shy smile and a pair of enormous, dangly ball earrings. They greet each other thusly:

Seth: Yo.
Anna: What up, holmes?
Seth: Chillin'.
Anna: A'ight.

Hee. That was wack. Seth steps aside to allow Anna in, and as she passes, he sniffs the air swirling in her wake. "What's that smell?" he wonders. "Perfume," she duhs, playfully twirling a hand in the air. "Smells like wood chips," he notes, wrinkling his nose. She squints at him. "In a rose garden," he amends, "of roses." Ha! Anna looks around admiringly and asks if he ever uses the hot tub. "Hot tub's for the hos," Seth explains, sliding his hands in his pants and leaning against the sofa. "I usually hang in the grotto." Ryan and Marissa enter, and the gals immediately bolt to powder their noses. "Because girls can't be alone," Seth calls after them. Ryan gives him a look. "What?" Seth asks. "It's Anna. I could say 'pop a squat' in front of her." "Sometimes," Ryan observes, "I think you talk just to make sounds." "You guys ready?" Kirsten asks as she totters down the stairs in her heels. "The girls are peeing," Seth overshares. "Don't say 'pee,'" Kirsten chastises. Seth wonders what's keeping his father. Kirsten rolls her eyes and mutters, "Don't ask."

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The O.C.

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