Fourteen year-old Kaitlin Cooper is back in town after an unbelievable two-year absence, during which she didn't even come home for Christmas because no one in her family cares about her. She's been gone so long that Ryan doesn't even recognize her when she shows up on the Cohens' doorstep after finding her last known residence inhabited by Persians, as Julie didn't even bother to tell her that she moved. Sigh. So Kaitlin is understandably pissed, but she's also kind of evil, having stolen $1500 from an ex-boyfriend's brother and zeroing in on Johnny as soon as she figures out that he likes her sister. Johnny gets to be almost cool in this episode when he tells Marissa, concerned for him after finding out that he's not back on the PacWest tour after all, to stay out of his life. Then he blows it by apologizing to her and taking it all back, like, the next day. Ryan gets to spend the episode solving Kaitlin's problems for her, while Summer and Seth spend it trying to avoid their new friend Taylor Townsend, a mission that gets more difficult when Mrs. T suddenly decides that she's going to marry Dr. Neil and somehow blackmails Kirsten into setting up a date with him. This makes Julie jealous and sad, especially when Dr. Neil brings Mrs. T to the launch party for NewMatch -- Julie and Kirsten's exclusive matchmaking service for people of all sexual preferences and marital statuses -- as his date. Fortunately, Seth saves the day by letting it slip that Dr. Neil has genital warts, and Mrs. T dumps him faster than you can say "at least it's not herpes."
It's morning in the Cohen kitchen. Seth does his usual self-admiration in the reflection of a well-stocked wine cabinet (how sensitive to Kirsten the Alcoholic's needs, there, Sandy) and notes that his complexion is clear today, thanks to the oil-clearing powers of NEUTROGENA! Oh, wait -- Mischa Barton's the spokesperson for Neutrogena, not Adam Brody. In that case, we can chalk it up to a recent run of good fortune for everyone, including Marissa getting back into Harbor and other Marissa-centric things. No one points out that things aren't going so well for Johnny because no one cares about him. Seth is well-versed in television melodrama, so he knows that this means something big and bad is about to befall them. Ryan isn't too concerned…until the doorbell rings. Seth begs him not to answer the door, saying they could be looking at a "flaming bag of crap" or, for those of you who have seen Trapped in the Closet, Rose the Nosey Neighbor with a spatula in her hand. It turns out that Seth was correct, as Ryan opens the door to reveal the long-neglected Kaitlin Cooper, who went to what she thought was her home only to find it filled with rich Persians who gave her the Cohens' house as Julie's mail-forwarding address. I know Julie's having trouble accepting the reality of her situation, but it's really not cool for her to just expect the Cohens to take care of her mail like that. Ryan doesn't know who Kaitlin even is (I know she wasn't in that many episodes, but come ON) until she addresses him by name and Seth wanders in and admires her new boobs. I can't even tell you guys how excited I am, now that I have not one, but TWO troubled young Coopers to endure.
After the credits, all the Cohens meet in the kitchen and discuss the reappearance of Kaitlin. They wonder what she's doing home in the middle of the semester. They should be wondering why she hasn't been home or seen anyone in her family at all for the last two years. Isn't that child neglect? Summer enters, and Seth informs her that Kaitlin is back and that Mini-Cooper is "not so Mini." Because, you know, she has boobs. And both she and the actress playing her are fourteen, I believe, so this is starting to get into child porn territory. Julie, followed by Marissa, enter, and Julie is not looking forward to telling her youngest daughter that her family is now poor trailer trash. Kaitlin finally enters and the family has a hug- and smile-filled reunion. She explains to her clueless mom that she's home because her school is on "mid-winter break," then asks where Julie's new house is. This is everyone else's cue to get right on out of their own kitchen so that mother and daughter can have their talk.