The O.C.
The Undertow

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Sara M: B- | Grade It Now!
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Another Tertiary Character Returns

Ryan tries to have his cake and eat it to by juggling both girls around. As he drives to Jess's house, he leaves a message on Sadie's cell phone asking her to take a break from home "renovating" to spend some time with him later tonight. Once he finally arrives at Jess's be-pillared home, she's thrilled to see him, especially since she was on her way to take a dip in her pool and is therefore looking her sexiest in her bikini and useless tiny robe. Jess tells Ryan that Trey seems to miss his brother, although he'd never actually come out and say it. And Jess overshares that she likes men like that, citing her current boyfriend as a similarly angry and damaged young man. Ryan senses where this is going and turns to leave, but Jess dangles the carrot of more information about Trey in front of him: Trey is dealing...blackjack. Jess enjoys watches Ryan get all upset when he assumes that Trey is dealing drugs and then relieved when she finished the sentence with "blackjack," because that's what manipulative people like to do. She finishes by saying that Trey is "trying" to stay out of trouble. Ryan seems relieved about this. Jess tells him to stick around as the Electric Guitar of the Dangerous Woman Theme starts to play.

And suddenly, it's the next day and Ryan is taking out his frustrations about his brother on his punching bag. He notices Kirsten standing in the doorway, watching her sweaty, muscled, newly-adult foster son working out and probably thinking about how things seemed to work out well enough for Woody Allen and Soon-Yi. She asks Ryan what's making him so angry, and he tells her that he's worried about Jess, and about Trey's effect on her. He wants to "prevent another casualty of Trey," even though Jess hasn't asked him for help and seems to be doing quite well without it. Kirsten warns Ryan not to ignore Sadie just because she isn't pathetic and in need of his help all the time, which indicates to me that Kirsten hasn't heard about how Ryan got beaten up two weeks ago when Sadie took a tire iron to Daddy Harper's truck. Although now that we've seen Sadie's definition of "home improvement," she may very well have been trying to make Daddy Harper's truck look better in a misguided attempt to win him over to get the money from him the easy way.

A pajama-clad Marissa answers a knock at Matt's door, having fully made herself at home. I mean, honestly, Marissa: it ain't your house, whoever's knocking on the door obviously isn't there to see you, so don't answer the freaking door. I know I have a personal reason for not liking people who hang out in other people's private homes when the occupant isn't there, but still. Of course, it's Sandy, at the door, and he is duly horrified to see Marissa there, obviously having spent the night. Marissa the Airhead Moron doesn't realize that Sandy assumes that she spent the night in Matt's apartment because she had sex with him, and therefore doesn't disabuse him of that notion. It's like a plotline out of Three's Company, except even stupider and less realistic and much less entertaining. R.I.P., Don Knotts.

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The O.C.

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