The O.C.
The Showdown

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Heathen: B- | Grade It Now!
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The Showdown

Sunset. Ryan is in the Poolhouse of Pity when Marissa shows up, clad in a black top that has a plunging neckline narrow enough to cover her collarbone. It looks great on her. She nervously asks if that's appropriate for a comic-book launch, because she's never voluntarily dressed that normally in public. She smiles a little, and gives Ryan a proper kiss hello. When they part, Ryan asks if she's okay. Marissa responds with a harder kiss, throwing him down on the bed. "Why don't you tell me?" she teases. They start to make out in earnest, but once Ryan rolls her over and starts going to town, all Marissa can see and hear is Trey. She starts looking alarmed, pushing at him slightly, and then the illusion stops and she sees Ryan again, and kisses him again. Ryan, for his part, responds to this by looking confused, then smiling when she does and continuing to paw at her; she allows this until her next weird flash. It goes on like this for a long time -- long enough that I think it's really, really weird that Ryan keeps trying to make out with her when half the time she's squirming and looking wigged out. I would think two of those push-pull moments would have been enough for him to sit up and ask her why she's engaging in a one-woman tug of war. Ultimately, Trey's voice gets too loud in her head, and Marissa rockets up to her feet and flees, mumbling, "I'm sorry, I can't do this...I thought I could, but it's been too long...too much has happened...I'm sorry!" Ryan is downright perplexed, and a little crushed, because he thought he got in some good practice on Lindsay.

Kirsten sits on the couch with a drink. It's a regular glass, and it's empty, so God knows what was in it. Sandy enters and exposits helpfully that Kirsten's car is in the shop, so he got her a rental. This is probably because the good company that makes Land Rovers doesn't want any of its vehicles to be engaged in a losing battle with a truck. That's not the greatest product placement: "Land Rover: We crumple on impact!" Sandy clears his throat and says they need to talk. "About us," he clarifies. Kirsten gets up and walks into the kitchen wordlessly, filling her glass with water. Unless she's wired it so that the purifier spouts Skyy. Sandy gives chase. "Did something happen between you and Carter?" he blurts. "Don't do it like this," Kirsten mumbles, emotionally spent. Sandy just wants to know. "Is that what you really think?" she asks. Way to deflect him, Kiki. Sandy outlines the logic: they were close, she was suffering, and Carter's sudden departure spawned a bender. Kirsten doesn't dispute him because she's not exactly going to tell him she's been bending on wine for longer than he knows. "Nothing happened -- the same way 'nothing happened' between you and Rebecca," she sasses. Sandy, somehow, manages to be surprised that she's stuck on that; he clearly doesn't understand how traumatic it would be if your husband started ignoring you for a jowly charisma void who looks embalmed. Kirsten can't believe his reaction. "AGAIN? Sandy, what do you think this is? What do you think Carter was about?" Kirsten squawks. Sandy wants her to lay it out for him. "YOU LEFT ME," Kirsten shouts. Sandy asks her point-blank if she had an affair with Carter. "You don't get it, do you?" she says sadly, shaking her head. She leaves and Sandy exhales. "No," he says softly, sadly. I liked that scene. I like that Kirsten wasn't able to forgive and forget, and that she and Sandy are having a hard time communicating about it; the whole thing feels sort of real. Even though I didn't like the fact of the Rebecca or Carter stories, I like that they're leading to bigger emotional hurdles for Kirsten and Sandy to scale together, rather than being swept under the rug with a hug and an apology.

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The O.C.

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