"It's just the first day of school, man," Ryan reminds Seth, us, crossing guards, lunch ladies, and the team of volunteers who go around from class to class hanging those posters with the adorable little kitten that reads "Hang In There!" on the door of every classroom in America. Seth offers his impression of the first day of school which, according to him, features "Ashton Kutchers knuckle-knocking and going on and on about summer." I think that I know all of those words, but I've never seen them presented in quite that order before. I think the syntax of that entire sentence has been punk'd. As if "Ashton Kutchers" and "knuckle-knocking" will automatically explain themselves to me via some Oxford English Dictionary Of The Not-Too-Distant Fuuuuture, Seth cuts right to the end to clarify that the word "summer" referred to the season and not the person. Which is exactly why I didn't capitalize it. Jeez. Read the recaps, Brody. And return some of my phone calls. And stop washing the "AB and DJB 4Eva" from your sidewalk that I leave you every night, because it really takes a lot of blood to keep spelling that out all the time and I'm starting to get kind of dizzy. And remove the electric netting from around your house because the tough-love thing is grating on me and YOUR LOVE IS VERY HARD. Anyway. Ryan doesn't really care, like, that much, but he's game enough to ask Seth if he's called Summer, and Seth sighs deeply and holds up a comic book and changes the subject: "Before you read this, remind me to tell you the difference between Plastic Man and Elongated Man." Well, for one, Elongated Man is...nah, too porny.
Ryan sits down because unpacking heartache can really take its toll, as Seth continues ranting that he hasn't had time to call Summer, what with the just getting back to town and the "three months of back issues" that he needs to "bag and board." Is he speaking English? When did I turn a thousand? Stop being Captain Slangula for a second and just talk. This must be so exhausting. Ryan notes that Seth could have called her from Portland, and Seth explains that he did just that, every day, until she picked up the phone once and said that if he didn't stop calling her, she'd have her father kill him. And considering he spent his summer with docile Gay Dad while his own father devolved into a spineless old Yente who spent all his time wandering around the village being all, "So you want to run away, so nu?," I can totally see why Seth would be so easily cowed by the idea of a strong paternal figure entering his life for once. "So Summer has no idea you're back?" Ryan clarifies in a way that's now almost patronizing, like he's acting out the role of "Guy On Phone" in a play written by a fourth-grader where he has to be all, "What's that? What's that you say at the other end of the phone? You say you want to meet at 6 PM? At the restaurant?" Ryan suggests that perhaps Summer has "moved on" by now, which Seth takes with an incredulous shrug and the question, "Because I meant nothing to her?" Ryan pauses a moment and makes his role clear: "I'm gonna brood silently." Okay, show. You get one more, and then I'm going to start recapping the recap and see how you like it. Said Djb, somewhat verbosely. Seth asks rhetorically why he should have to endure being ignored by Summer, and Ryan helpfully posits, "Because you left for three months without telling her?" Ryan suggests that he try apologizing, and Seth cleverly turns the tables, retorting, "Is that what you said to Marissa?" And really, it's a bad idea to say anything at all to Marissa, unless he wants to be deafened by the power of primal-scream therapy and to wake up with a spare lawn chair lodged in his colon. But Ryan says that he does intend to apologize to her, with which he grabs his book bag because it's not every day that you start the eleventh grade. Unless you're on this show, in which case it is exactly every day that you start the eleventh grade. Again. Seth asks Ryan if he really thinks he's just going to walk up to Marissa and say "hey" and hope that she "hey"s him back. "Yeah," says Ryan, crestfallen. "We're not goin' to school." Because he's worried about being awkward and in over his head with a girl? If I had employed that logic in high school, I'd still be living off the interest of the money I would have saved not going to the prom.