The O.C.
The Test

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The Chastity Report

Plink, plinkety-plinky. The Strummy Strings Of Morning Banter ring out in the Cohen kitchen, which Ryan enters to discover Seth lying motionless on a nearby couch, where he has apparently lain since last week. Ryan hits a remote, which turns on a nearby television, and avoids the usual morning entertainment news about The O.C.'s tanking ratings in lieu of some barking news program. Seth, from under his piles of flannel pajamas and sadness, moans, "Oh, dude, please turn that off." Ryan tries to engage Seth in conversation, but Seth drawls, "Sssssh...I'm sleeping." But Ryan sees right through this clever little ruse, barreling on, "Please tell me you weren't up watching movies all night." Seth banters that he didn't do anything like that, adding by way of unraveling his entire argument, "Just Darkman and Hellboy and the first two Matrixes." So besides watching movies, Seth also managed to plan the First Annual Never Get Laid Again Film Festival Fun Pack. I guess any film containing a character named "Amidala" will be saved for the closing night ceremony. Back on the couch, Seth hilariously tries to correct his usage, groping for the plural of "matrix." He makes it as far as what sounds like "matrisis" before he asks "What's the plural of matrix?" and Pamie and I scream "It's 'matrices,' der" from the couch through a haze of Diet Coke and guacamole-flavored Doritos. I know. You hear of my rock-star life and you die with jealousy just a little bit.

Ryan offers Seth a cup of coffee with an advertising-savvy, "Coffee...mmmmm," and then stirs in the cream, sugar, and plot development, reminding Seth, "You need to get in the shower. We got school." Seth insists that he took a shower yesterday, and when Ryan fact-checks this, Seth clarifies, "I took a shower the day before yesterday." Ryan, understudying for the role of Sandy Cohen, tells Seth that he's going to make him a bagel, and Seth indicates that his body will tell him when it's time for him to eat. Ryan banters, "Just like it's telling you when it needs to shower?" Seth wants Ryan to try a little tenderness, but Ryan can't abide Seth's wallowing, counseling, "Enough's enough." Yes, Seth. Take a page from the Ryan Atwood playbook. If he can forget a troubled past, a pregnant wife, and the wholesale existence of something called a "Chino," you can forget about your not-girlfriend having not-sex in San Diego. Seth says that he's not wallowing, and that, in fact, what we are watching is "agonizing." He clarifies that wallowing includes "lounging around, eating ice cream, watching VH1." A show of hands from people who have just learned they were "wallowing" in an activity they previously referred to as "weekend plans." Hang on. Typing with one hand. In other news, Seth continues, agonizing "requires discipline. Days of no sleep. No food." Yeah, that's not what I'm doing. I wasn't even aware the expression "no food" existed. He rehashes again that agonizing also includes sitting around wondering if Zach and Summer had sex in a hotel room next to his. Ryan, shmearing the morning away as is expected according to local custom, says that such speculation is "pointless," and that Seth will never really know for sure what happened that night in San Diego. Seth agrees that he will never know, "unless [he asks] Summer." Ryan tries to undo this argument, but Seth knows a lot of words and he says them really quickly and in an arbitrary order, telling Ryan that it's the uncertainty of the situation that's getting to him. Ryan does argue that "it's weird and it's creepy and it's none of [Seth's] business," and Seth agrees, concluding, "I'll ask Zach." With which the homeless troll doll who has replaced the former Seth Cohen ambles down the hall and slightly further out of my heart.

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The O.C.




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