Season 2, Episode 5

It's time for that annual Harbor winter dance to end all frigidity: The SnO.C., which, ironically, was the real-life name of the Harvey Wallbangers-and-powder-sniffs nightspot near John Wayne that Newport Beach cops in their short-shorts uniforms shut down in the early '80s. Zach just says no to taking his girlfriend to the fictional SnO.C. because Summer's obviously still got a thing for Seth. Marissa won't take D.J. to the SnO.C. because he's Mexican–and, as everyone knows, Mexicans are not allowed at events after dark in Newport unless they're catering. So the gals wind up going to the 'do with their old boyfriends, Seth and Ryan, even though Chino would rather be with the new red-headed egghead Lindsay (she said no) and Seth would rather be licking the face of that chick who works at the all-ages club. Oh, what's her name? The riot grrrl? Fake tats? Streak of purple hair? Let's just call her Eraserhead. By show's end, everyone is with who they are supposed to be with: Zach and Summer, Marissa and D.J., Ryan and Lindsay, Seth and Eraserhead–even Jimmy and (ew! alert) Julie. Now, I don't like to brag, but I saw the twist at the end come from a mile away–or, at least, 30 minutes before when the first close-up was shown of the red-headed stranger Caleb has been secretly paying off. “That's Lindsay's mom,” I yelled, which was embarrassing because I was in Paul “The King of Big Screens” at the time. It's simple, folks: when two similar-looking characters who are about 20 years apart in age arrive during the first few episodes of the new season, they've gotta be related. So sayeth the Natural Law of Soap Operas, right between the chapters “Timely Bouts of Amnesia” and “The Return of People Long Thought Dead.”

SNARKY LOCAL REFERENCE OF THE WEEK: Seth is about the same age as Lindsay, which means Caleb's grandson and daughter (though she doesn't know it yet) were born the same year. Mega-developer Caleb is modeled after real-life mega-developer Don Bren, whose then-wife and then-secret lover each had a kid by The Donald the same year, about a dozen years ago.

LINE OF THE WEEK: “Why aren't you at the SnO.C. winter wank-off?” Eraserhead to Seth.

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