The OC S01E17: An Episode So Bad It Took Nine Months To Recap

Welcome back to my OC recaps, bitches! This recap had the same gestation period as a human baby but will be nowhere near as adorable, unfortunately. Thank you for your patience, and hopefully I will not be so lazy with the next one.

Anyhow! After their extremely successful trip to Palm Springs, the kids are back at school and Ryan is trying to convince Seth that Oliver is a lying psychopath. Seth is like “That’s crazy talk! He’s just a sad dude who tried to kill himself! Cut him some slack!” Seth thinks Ryan is just jelly of how rich Oliver is and advises him to try to make peace with the situation to save his relationship.

After this unprecedented stretch of talking about somebody else’s problems, Seth changes the subject to “I’m worried that in dating Anna I am actually dating myself and I’m not sure if that’s ok.” Summer really got under his skin with that “you could be brother and sister” comment last week!

Ryan is like “No comment” and then runs off to talk to Marissa. While looking like he just sucked on a lemon he asks how Oliver is and Marissa is like “Wow it’s so sweet that you care! He’s super sad that his tragic suicide attempt caused us to fight! PS why are we fighting?” He says that he wants to try to be friends with Oliver and Marissa kisses him just as the devil himself emerges from a door right behind them.

Because guess what! Oliver has transferred to Harbor for reasons I am sure are completely normal and non-stalkery!

Across campus, Anna is suggesting an after school Jenga game with Seth. He is too creeped out by their similarities to agree to this plan, and also shoots down comic book shopping and the quiet mocking of people at the mall. He says that they should shake things up by taking a Krav Maga class or borrowing Luke’s Sea-Doo. Anna is like “Good idea! I agree with this plan because we, for the purposes of this episode, are identical!” Then they notice that they are wearing basically the same outfit and make plans to pursue other interests for the afternoon.

They run into Ryan, Marissa and Oliver and hear the great news about Oliver being their classmate now. Ryan makes a number of wtf faces in Seth’s general direction while Oliver is like “I just have so many friends at this school now that I couldn’t stay away! P.S. By some kind of crazy coincidence I have all of the same classes as Marissa isn’t that funny?”


Apparently Sandy is still working for the snooty law firm because while the kids are at school having relationship trouble, he’s at home getting ready to leave and checking his schedule with his secretary on the phone. He has some exciting clients lined up for the day including a 16-year-old with three DUIs. Jimmy wanders in and Sandy is like “Oh hi, I hate my job, who knew that when I sold my soul to an evil law firm they would expect me to take on evil clients?” Jimmy is like “I have been unemployed for quite some time and cannot sympathize.”

So Sandy is like “Well anyway, tomorrow we’re going to go check out that restaurant that we made a drunken plan to buy together in the last episode” and Jimmy is like “It’s been so long since catweazle recapped that episode I was so drunk that I have no memory of this.” He can’t believe Sandy is serious and thinks it’s a terrible idea because neither of them knows anything about running a restaurant. This is the most sense anything Jimmy says in the entire series will ever make. But Sandy doesn’t care, he wants to leave his evil job and have fun with his inexplicable BFF.

Meanwhile Julie is harassing Kirsten at work, trying to get her to agree to hang out. Kirsten is like “Bitch I know you don’t actually want to spend time with me. What do you want?” Julie has decided that she wants to be an interior decorator and wants Kirsten to hire her to design the interior of a new model home. And how does Julie know that there’s an interior design opening at the Newport Group? Because Caleb mentioned it when they were boning, of course, and thinks giving the job to Julie is a wonderful idea. Kirsten says “It’s definitely thinking outside the box.” More like thinking INSIDE the box if you know what I mean. Ok I’m sorry that was gross.

But anyway, the point is, Kirsten kind of has no choice but to give Julie the job and I’m sure it’s going to go really well!


At school, Seth goes to join his friends for lunch and is surprised to find them all LOLing uproariously at some random dude’s terrible jokes. This plotline makes very little sense because the guy is not even remotely funny but everybody acts like he’s the most hilarious person on the planet. Look at these faces.

Only Luke is believable, because he is a precious stupid angel who loves everybody.

Seth is very affronted that somebody is trying to replace him as the funny one in the group, especially as this new gentleman is romancing his erstwhile second girlfriend Summer.

Not present for this revelry is Ryan, who is too mad about Oliver’s mere existence to hang out with his friends. He is sitting on a couch in the student lounge brooding when Oliver comes in and is like “Hey buddy, I can’t believe how hard this school is! It’s so hard that they wouldn’t even let me be a senior even though I was a senior at my old school so I have to be a junior like you and Marissa! It’s not at all weird that I wanted to change schools a semester before graduation and end up having to go for an extra year, and I definitely didn’t leave my last school under suspicious circumstances! I mean full disclosure, there was an ‘incident,’ but I’m a new man now! It’s fine!” Ryan is like

Marissa comes in and is like “Hey boyfriend, do you want to come with me to Oliver’s after school so I can help him with his French homework?” Ryan’s heart says “Are you fucking kidding me?” but he wants to be a good boyfriend so he politely declines and shakes Oliver’s hand.


That night Seth and Ryan are playing videogames and Seth is like “I don’t know man, I just don’t trust Summer’s new boyfriend. Something seems off. Love that Oliver guy though!” He goes on and on about how new guy’s sense of humor is too big and cheap and Ryan is like “I don’t care about your life. Oliver said there was an incident at his last school and he might be violent and I’m worried that he’s spending so much time with Marissa!” and Seth has the gall to say that he remembers when Ryan was the new violent guy in town hanging around Marissa when she was dating somebody else. He sarcastically suggests that Ryan break into the school office and look at Oliver’s file if he’s so suspicious, but Ryan is like “WONDERFUL IDEA!”

He rides his bike over to the school in the dark of night and gets a security guard to let him in by pretending he forgot a book. He goes into the conveniently unlocked file room and rifles through some folders until he finds what he’s looking for.

Unfortunately the security guard catches him in the act so the next day he and Sandy and Kirsten have to go have a little chat with Dr. Kim. Kirsten is like “Don’t worry, he’s totes grounded, we’ll handle it.” Dr. Kim is like “Well that’s nice but he fucking broke and entered so we’re going to be considering some discipline of our own. But first, can you tell me whytf you did this when you were finally fitting in here, Ryan?” Ryan is like “Because Oliver is clearly insane and dangerous and you are all blind morons.” He saw in the file that Oliver is a juggalo became obsessed with some girl at his last school and slit his wrists and she filed a restraining order against him. Classic teen stuff!

Sandy is like “Why would you let this nutjob into your fancy school???” and Dr. Kim is the second person to try to convince us that he and Ryan are twinsies by saying “I don’t remember you complaining when we made an exception for your troubled son!” She sentences him to daily detention until the school board decides what to do with him.

Meanwhile Seth and Anna are still having their stupid storyline. Anna runs up to him after class with Bright Eyes tickets and he pees his pants and agrees that since they’ve never seen Bright Eyes together before it doesn’t violate their “stop being twins” pact. But he’s distracted from his glee by Summer coming up with her “hilarious” new boyfriend. He forces Seth to participate in his “there’s something on your shirt” gag before running off with Summer to watch some Leno he has stored on his Tivo.

Anna tries to cheer Seth up by talking about Bright Eyes but he’s too busy complaining about Summer’s clownfriend. She’s like “Clearly you are jealous of this goon, and somehow I am surprised and disappointed by this because I thought our relationship would make your decade-long Summer boner magically disappear” and storms off.


Sandy and Jimmy are over at the restaurant which is in the process of being packed up and shut down. Sandy tries to get Jimmy excited about buying the place and Jimmy finally starts shaking off his “I’m way too used to being a pathetic loser to feel any optimism” attitude. They brainstorm some ideas like having a raw bar and no icky girly cocktails with fruit slices in them. They almost hit a snag when they both declare that they want to serve their mother’s special meatloaf recipe but decide that they can be total mavericks and have two different kinds of meatloaf on the menu. Which is two too many if you ask me, especially with no fruity cocktails to wash it down!


Also living out some absurd career change fantasies is Julie, who has taken over Kirsten’s office as headquarters for her model home interior design project. Kirsten is worried because Julie has decided not to go with any of the usual vendors and only has 72 hours to finish. Julie is like “Exsqueeze me but I am following my artistic muse and it’s going to be amazing.” Kirsten glances over at an ornate frog fountain and is like “Sure…”

She says all the house needs is a couch and some rugs and Julie starts spouting out shit like “You have to spend money to make money” and “The Newport Group should be an aspirational brand.” Even this random office extra is like


Back at school Ryan spies on Marissa and Oliver hanging out from down the hall. Oliver gives Marissa a letter which she puts in her locker and Ryan finds this VERY suspicious because hello have you not heard of email? He breaks into her locker after they leave and stares intensely at it. DID HE OPEN IT??? We’ll have to wait and see because next thing we know Ryan is at home being lectured by Sandy and Kirsten about his questionable decision-making skills. Sandy is like “Clearly Oliver is fucked in the head but girl you need to chillax because you’re the one who’s going to get expelled after we all jumped through fiery hoops just to get you into that school.” Ryan is like “Are you going to unadopt me? 😦 ” They say no way, but they’re going to punish him so hard that he’ll wish they had.

Seth drops by the poolhouse later for a quickie to see how Ryan is coping with his boyfriendly woes. Ryan is like “I stole this letter out of Marissa’s locker LOL.”

He hasn’t read the letter yet and Seth makes him promise to put it back. Ryan is like “Oh yeah totally I pinkie swear!” but of course as soon as Seth leaves he reads it and he really doesn’t like what’s inside.

The next morning before school Ryan goes to Seth’s room to be like “Oh hey so I read the letter and OLIVER IS CRAZY AND SAYS HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT HER WHAT SHOULD I DO???????” Seth yells at him again about how he’s just as crazy as Oliver but gets interrupted when Marissa comes in looking for Ryan so she can invite him to come to a cooking lesson with her and Oliver. Ryan is like “Yeah no, I would love to but here is a bullshit excuse.”


At the Newport Group HQ Julie is not feeling as optimistic about her interior design skills as she was yesterday.

Kirsten finds her crying in her office and Julie admits that the whole design is a disaster and she’s never going to be able to fix it. Kirsten says she’ll call all the usual vendors and see if they can do a rush job because apparently this is the episode of the Cohens helping the Coopers out of their ridiculous messes.


At school Seth and Anna are ordering smoothies from the school juice bar (?). At first they order the same thing, but Seth uses judgmental eye lasers to make Anna change her order. Then Summer and Danny (Clown Boy has been in this episode enough that he’s earned a name, lame as he is) come in laughing hysterically at something and TBH I think the deal with this guy may be that he just has access to a lot of high-grade drugs. Because he seems to be pretending to be a dinosaur and making weird faces and noises at everybody around them and Summer finds it very entertaining. And when they get over to Seth and Anna he says “WHY YOU UP IN MY KOOL-AID WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THE FLAVA?”

Anna glares at Seth for not laughing at this hilarious joke (?) so Seth manages to keep the vom inside his mouth long enough to invite Danny over for a play date after school.

I initially thought my struggle to get through this episode was all about Oliver but this whole ridiculous love trapezoid plotline is almost as bad, tbh.

Anyway, we bop on over to Jimmy’s Apartment Of Sadness, where Sandy has just come by to share the good news that he made a down payment on the restaurant. Jimmy is like “Ugh Sandy why are you trying to ruin my life by single-handedly bailing me out of every shitty situation I get myself into and then graciously entering into a business partnership with me even though I am a broke loser who has proven that he cannot be trusted in positions of power and also has an eternal boner for your wife? You asshole!” He’s upset because he can’t afford to split the payment 50/50 and that makes him feel pathetic. Sandy is like

Jimmy says he needs more time to think about it.


Back at school Ryan tries to sneak into Marissa’s locker to return the letter but he doesn’t get a chance because just as he enters the combination Oliver creepily materializes next to him and is like “Hey bro, Marissa must trust you soooo much to give you her locker combo! Best couple ever!”

Luke strolls up and Oliver tells both of them that he and Marissa have been talking about planning a camping trip for the whole gang and it’s going to be a super fun time! Perhaps remembering what happened the last time they all went on a trip with Oliver, Luke and Ryan are like

When Oliver leaves Luke is like “Yeah I hate that guy and obviously he is only here because of Marissa and you have to tell him to back off!” And then he offers to do it for him, using these exact words: “Just give me the word and I will drop The Great Gatsby!” Oh Luke. Nobody believes that you know what The Great Gatsby is.


Over at the Cohens’ Seth is playing videogames with Danny, who is giving a running commentary in a manner I’m pretty sure we’ve seen from Seth but whatevs. Seth is like “Kill me now.” Sandy comes in and introduces himself to Danny and maybe this terrible plotline has killed all of my brain cells but this was my biggest laugh of the entire episode:

Seth follows Sandy into the kitchen to get some Mountain Dew and Sandy is like “What the fuck is that kid’s deal? He makes Ryan look funny!” Seth responds “He makes Marissa look funny.” Burn points go to Seth on that one.

He goes back to the living room and Danny gets all serious and is like “Hey bro I have a favor to ask you. Could you maybe try to be less hilarious when you’re around me and Summer because she thinks you’re the funniest guy on earth and I am super jelly.” Instead of being satisfied that he doesn’t have anything to prove and moving on with his life, Seth is like “BINGO!” and sabotages Danny by telling him that he just needs to go bigger with his comedy.


At school Marissa is dragged into a meeting with Dr. Kim to talk about her *~*boy trouble*~*. Dr. Kim starts off by saying she’s worried about Marissa’s relationship with a transfer student with emotional issues and Marissa is like “OLIVER IS FINE WE ARE NORMAL BUDDIES AND HE ISN’T EVEN A LITTLE CRAZY” but Dr. Kim is like “Lololol I wasn’t talking about Oliver, I was talking about his twinsie Ryan!”

Meanwhile Ryan is sitting in detention with what appear to be the only two Hispanic students at Harbor.

Marissa is waiting for him when she leaves and he tries to pretend he got detention for failing a quiz and she’s like “BALONEY!” and says Dr. Kim told her all about the file-stealing incident. He tells her again that Oliver is crazy and obsessed with her and she’s like “Whatevs” so Ryan pulls the letter out of his pocket to prove it to her. She’s like “Exsqueeze me but this letter isn’t even for me, it’s for Natalie and I was just proofreading it for him or something.” He apologizes but she tells him she doesn’t trust him anymore so they’re dunzo.


The next morning Sandy gripes to Kirsten about what a tool Jimmy is being about the restaurant, and Kirsten gripes to Sandy about how the model home is probably going to be a disaster when she shows it to Caleb today because Julie is a mess. Seth strolls in wearing this outfit:

Ryan emerges from the poolhouse and everybody is shocked to hear that Marissa will not be giving him a ride to school today. SCANDAL!


It turns out that Kirsten’s worries about the decorating job were unfounded because Caleb strolls into her office and tells her and Julie that he loved how simple and classic it was. Julie is officially hired. This scene is boring and predictable so can we take a second to talk about Kirsten’s hair?

THOSE HIGHLIGHTS! Was that really a thing back then? I mean, Julie’s dye-job isn’t amazing either but this seems like they went out of their way to make her hair look as stupid as possible. Justice for Kirsten’s hair!


At school Seth runs into Summer, who is feeling bummed out because her hilarious new boyfriend is now suddenly running around the hallways dry-humping random people. Seth manages to keep from smug-smiling about it which I guess we can count as a win. Summer laments that she’ll never find love and will die alone. Don’t worry honey, when you move to Bluebell, Alabama you’re going to find like three or four new boyfriends! Anna strolls up and OF COURSE she is wearing the same stupid scarf as Seth. Summer’s face is peak Greek Chorus here:

Out in the courtyard Ryan stares longingly at Marissa while she talks to an extra and then goes to hang out with Oliver next to a tree. Sad acoustic guitar music plays in the background, but judging from this shot I think some Vince Guaraldi Trio might be more fitting:


Meanwhile Sandy is at the restaurant listening to the former owner talk about how he inherited it from his father and what a bummer it is that Sandy can’t buy it anymore and it’s probably going to get converted into a fro-yo shop or whatever, but then Jimmy bursts in at the last minute and is like “I stopped being a moron at least for the duration of this scene! Let’s buy this joint!” They sign the papers but unfortunately do not follow it up by high-fiving in midair because Jimmy just can’t get anything right.


Back at school Ryan is playing pool in the student lounge. Again I find myself asking, is this a thing? I didn’t go to a fancy private school or anything but this still seems bogus to me. Anyway, Oliver is hovering as usual and tells Ryan that he heard about what happened between him and Marissa. Ryan apologizes and says he was wrong about Oliver because he apparently bought the whole “the letter was for Natalie” thing and Oliver is like “Weeeeelll actually I am totes in love with her and we’re meant to be!”

Ryan is like “Oh HELL no” and starts beating the shit out of him because this is how they do it in Orange County. Marissa runs in and stares at Ryan incredulously and then THIS GODDAMN EPISODE IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

About catweazle

Catweazle is an 11th century wizard trying to make his way through the modern world while living in a disused water tower with his pet toad.
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12 Responses to The OC S01E17: An Episode So Bad It Took Nine Months To Recap

  1. facetaco says:

    Perfect! I returned from my hiatus today, too! Even more remarkably, I returned to talk about The OC! I’m not naming any names, but SOMEBODY on this very blog claimed just last week that The OC and Gossip Girl could not possibly exist in the same universe. To which I say SHENANIGANS! All true OC Superfans know that Gossip Girl featured an episode called Valley Girls which was meant to be a backdoor pilot for a spinoff about a young Lily Vanderwhocareswhathernameis. This spinoff, had it been picked up, would have included a young Kirsten Nichol and Jimmy Cooper as characters, thus cementing the shared universe. So there you have it!

    • catweazle says:

      Would there also have been a big reveal that Caleb Nichol and Bart Bass are long lost brothers?

      • facetaco says:

        No, they’re saving that reveal for the spinoff that show Bart Bass and Caleb Nichol fighting for control of Hell.

  2. flanny says:

    I can’t believe how much stuff happened in this first season. I also remember just fucking luving that leather skirt/turtleneck outfit of Julies.

  3. Sota says:

    POOR RYAN! No one believes in him! I am so thankful that he has Luke on his side. These Oliver episodes are the WORST.

    • catweazle says:

      I truly believe that Luke is the purest soul in the history of fiction. He is his truest self 24/7/365.

    • mikaelajm says:

      For some reason, this episode and the one that follows it are the ones I remember most clearly. So I consider this recap a special gift to me, and that is why it took so long to formulate. PRAISE CATWEAZLE!

  4. Sota says:

    Also, Kiki’s hair was definitely crazy highlights…but then again I do remember some of my friends having highlights that wide and awful, so i guess its accurate.

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