The O.C.
The Rivals

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Mystery Of The Letter In The Locker

Back on the sofa, the boys sit in awkward silence, which Danny interrupts to ask if Seth's seen his impression of Mr. Parker. Seth cuts him off before he can embarrass himself further. Danny then works up the nerve to ask Seth for a favor: can he try to be just a little less funny around Summer? As Seth looks confused, Danny explains that all Summer ever talks about is how funny Seth is; Danny likes her so much, and is just killing himself to hang in there. And no offense to Danny, but non-funny jokes aside, Summer is still completely out of his league. Three months ago, Summer was pursuing Newport investment bankers, and now she dates the only high-school boy on this show who actually looks/acts like a high-school boy? Seth seeks confirmation that Summer said this about him, and Danny says, "Yes! You and some dude named Captain Oats." He shakes his head and quietly mumbles to himself, "Who the hell is Captain Oats?" Seth tells Danny to "chin up," because he is funny, but that he could just go a little bigger with his comedy. Danny thinks it over and agrees to give it a shot. When did Seth become such a meanie?

We enter the Dean's Den with Marissa, just as Dean Kim is thanking her for making time for a meeting after school. Dean Kim wears a headband; she looks more like the student than Marissa does. Not that that's a feat. My eighty-seven-year-old grandmother looks more like a student than Marissa does. When Marissa asks what's going on, Dean Kim confesses that although it's outside her duties as Dean, she felt it was her responsibility to have an honest conversation with Marissa: she needs to talk to her about one of their transfer students, with whom Marissa has a relationship, but who Dean Kim worries may be unstable. When Marissa says she appreciates Dean Kim's concern, but that she is already well aware of Oliver's issues, Dean Kim reveals that it's not Oliver she wants to talk about. D'oh! Marissa furrows her brow in an effort to look concerned without getting all wrinkly. Wrinkles are gross!

There are three students in detention: two of color and one of Chino. Ryan stares out from beneath his shaggy 'do as a teacher -- who deeply resembles Judd Nelson were he to don Buddy Holly glasses and still have a career -- prowls the room. He declares detention over, and Ryan exits to find Marissa waiting, arms crossed. And at last the producers have found new ways for Marissa to express anger. Arms crossed? Angry! Feet stomping? Angry! Fist pumping in the air? Angry! She asks whether he wasn't supposed to be helping Kirsten, and he claims to have gotten detention for failing a chemistry quiz. She outs the lie and he looks caught, bowing his head and insisting that he did it to protect her! His voice escalates as he yowls that he doesn't trust Oliver, who "has a history of girls he's obsessed with!" Marissa bleats that Oliver isn't obsessed with her, but that ever since he showed up, Ryan hasn't trusted him, which is fine, she tells him: "That's who you are," but he at least has to trust her! Ryan insists that Oliver has serious issues, and Marissa asks who doesn't. Ryan continues that Oliver is in love with her, producing the letter from his bag to her wide-eyed surprise. (Potential new stage directions for expressing surprise: throwing her arms up in the air or slapping both palms to her cheeks à la Macaulay Culkin). She figures out that he stole the letter from her locker, and exclaims that she's been looking everywhere for it! Ryan determines that Marissa already knows what it says, and asks how she can possible argue that Oliver's not in love with her. Marissa explains that Oliver wrote the letter to Natalie because he wants to get back together with her, but that he asked Marissa to read it over first. Ryan stutters an apology as Marissa tearfully whispers that she can't this anymore, because now she doesn't trust Ryan. She stomps past him, and he sadly watches her go.

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The O.C.

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