Episode 27

Year One limps to a close with Caleb and Julie coming together as man and wife--and everyone else going their separate ways. Ryan's going back to Chino to be with Theresa, who may or may not be carrying his little bundle of juvenile delinquency. Marissa's going back to the bottle because her life sucks so hard, what with the mumbling guy who's given her nothing but grief returning to the 909 and her being confined to a mansion's upper story bedroom with private veranda overlooking the Pacific. Seth's just plain going, sailing his teeny catamaran from the hell that is Newport Beach--turn around and wave goodbye to Marissa (if she ain't blotto yet)--to an island where they shrink the heads of haoles who toss out terms like Chrismukkah. With the gated-community walls crashing all around her, Kirsten is at last shown sobbing and snotting uncontrollably into Sandy's Tommy Bahamas shirt, but is she making this Emmy-stealing scene because of whatever Seth wrote in his goodbye (or suicide?) note? Or is it the thought of losing the Chinoan who, frankly, she's just barely connected to to begin with? Hell, look on the bright side: you get your pool house back--and maybe Seth's room!

The questions The O.C. wants us to mull over until next fall--which is when the show returns, according to the "special announcement" that was broadcast over the end credits--are: Will Caleb lose everything? Will scheming Julie stick with the old codger if he does lose everything? Will Ryan start a family with Theresa? Will she even have the kid? Is the kid even Ryan's? Will Seth come back? Will Marissa sober up? And what about the Azerbaijanis? But the questions I'm left to mull over are: Will Ryan learn to talk? Will Summer loan Cohen one of her balls until he finally grows a set? Will Fox 11 News come up with enough stories to fill the hour now that they'll lose those insipid tie-ins to The O.C. for awhile? Will Sandy ever discover the wonders of electric hair trimmers? And the most-pressing question of all: Will I get a life?

FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Kirsten making a sack lunch for Ryan's drive to Chino--like it's some major cross-country journey or something. Without traffic, with or without the toll road, getting off the 15 and cutting across on Pomona-Rincon Road, it'll take 45 minutes tops. Unless the 91's fucked, as it usually is. Then it could take up to two days. In which case you might want a sandwich.

FUNNIEST SHOT OF THE WEEK: A week after coming with all sorts of interesting camera angles in Vegas to make Ryan appear at least as tall as his co-stars, the much taller Marissa is shown looking up at him as they slow dance at the Caleb-Julie wedding reception. But when the camera pulls back for a long shot, you can see that Marissa is wearing flats and sticking her butt way out to make herself shorter.

LINE OF THE WEEK AND A PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF MY BRAIN AFTER WATCHING A YEAR OF THE O.C.: "Pudding. Pudding. Puuuuuuuuddding. Pudding . . ." Seth, trying desperately--and unsuccessfully--to recapture his patented cute.

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