The O.C.
The Showdown

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The Showdown

Caleb is sitting at his desk, ostensibly working, when Julie arrives. "What's the heart-attack special of the day going to be? Deep-fried ribs?" he sasses. Oh, don't tease me, Caleb, you old brute. Julie acts unfazed, dropping a manila envelope on his desk that arrived at the house for him. She then asks him to go to counseling with her, because their marriage stinks and someone needs to, I quote, "penetrate that fortress of solitude you've erected." Well, props to him for being able to erect something. Caleb says that marriage counseling is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas, and that includes Kim Delaney. As Julie rattles off her frustration with him for ignoring both her cooking and her carnal advances, Caleb opens the envelope and studies its contents. He then changes his tune. "You may have a point. I've been letting you do all the work," he says. But rather than go to a counselor, he suggests dinner at The Arches. She kisses him on the cheek -- the spot du jour on this show -- and vows that they can make this work. As she trots out on cloud seven (as high as you can be in her situation), Caleb flips over the contents of the envelope and reveals that they are photos of Julie with Lance. Which are at least a week or so late in arriving, and which he should've just had sent to the office in the first place. But, I've split so many hairs over this show that my entire head of hair multiplied by six, so I'm going to let it go.

Kirsten, at home, calls out for Sandy. Nothing; she's alone. My notes again say that Kelly Rowan looks horrible in this skirt, which I've already said once but which apparently struck me very hard. I know she's very, very slim, yet she looks slightly pregnant here. Kirsten stares at the phone, fingering her Featherbrook necklace the way she wishes she could Carter's fluffy beard; she gives in to temptation and dials his number. He doesn't answer, so she leaves the following message: "Hi, Carter, it's...it's me. I, uh, wanted to thank you for the necklace. It's beautiful, and...[she breathes tearfully and shakes her head] I'm sorry. I shouldn't have called. Please don't call back." She hangs up and immediately hits the freezer for some Absolut Escapism.

At school, Jess watches Marissa wave at an approaching Ryan. So she waylays him, reintroducing herself as "Floater Girl," having apparently forgotten all about how Ryan completely knows who she is because he helped bust her dealer boyfriend. Marissa watches them, wearing her very best headband-scarf. I hate that modern fashion has led to me writing that sentence. Jess gives Ryan the fuck-me eyes as she tells him she and Trey have been hanging out a bit. "Just what he needs -- more trouble," Ryan sighs. Jess is flattered and gushes that Ryan might even be cuter than Trey. He's visibly uncomfortable and glances helplessly at Marissa, who shows her support by...leaving. That's an interesting message. "Oh, right, can't keep Marissa waiting," Jess says snidely. She licks her lips and asks to borrow a pen, shoving her hand into Ryan's pocket before he can stop her. She then does yank out a pen, proving that he wasn't just happy to see her. "Thanks, Ryan. You're a sport," she drools. Ryan looks around for the nearest lye shower and can't find one, so he bolts outside into the Newport sun to try burning off the germs.

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The O.C.

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