Mischa Barton: Art Streiber/ FOX
Annie Barrett
January 20, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

”The O.C.”: Marissa considers switching teams

I need to comment right away on how this episode was the most delicious yet. Right after Kirsten phoned in the biggest Thai food order I’ve ever heard, I got really jealous and did the same thing. (Except I only had enough money for pad thai. Damn this show.) Marissa and Summer scarf down cheeseburgers, Summer mentions chili fries, and Zach slides a candlelit cupcake under Summer’s nose. Not to mention the diner milkshakes. I’m trying to fatten up to qualify for the next Biggest Loser, so thanks, O.C., for all the great ideas. Too bad none of this food was actually consumed by the cast. I wonder if Marissa’s burger was actually a foam prop laced with Dexatrim.

It’s girls vs. guys tonight, which somehow causes Seth to question his manhood. You know, for a change. He even goes so far as to ask Ryan, ”What do guys . . . do?” ”Duh,” thinks Ryan. ”We balance remote controls on our noses. Obviously.” Seth is an expert at girls and acting bitchy, but he has no idea how men behave. So let’s help him out.

Some men — namely, Eyebrows and Bangs — stand together on set and read cue cards in public-service announcements for the tsunami victims. Who wants to bet tonight is the USA Freedom Corps’ most lucrative night ever? It was pretty cool to see The O.C. using its power for something other than promoting the special band of the hour. I kept waiting for Seth to walk by in the background wearing a sandwich board for the Thrills. (Don’t worry, the band got its promo time later when it provided the weekly musical cameo appearance at the Bait Shop.)

Speaking of tsunami victims, some men take midnight dips in the raging surf because when the weather is cold, the water is warm! Actually, Ryan went swimming because he thought his low-carb Lindsay Lohan knockoff girlfriend Lindsbree was drowning. I’m not sure what made him think she was in there, but it could have been the shoes, sweater, and purse she left behind in the sand. Poor Ryan. And, by the way, poor Lindsbree, for not knowing that in Newport you’re not supposed to eat low carb — you’re supposed to play with pretend food to make others feel bad but actually eat nothing! She has so much to learn.

Sometimes men do things they shouldn’t, like force their girlfriends to hang out with the devil. I couldn’t believe that Ryan walked Lindsbree over to Summer and Marissa’s lunch table and basically begged the skinny twins to hang out with her. That is so sad. I was already hurtin’ for Lindsbree after that LOL L.L. Bean backpack fiasco. With Ryan acting as her overprotective father, Lindsbree’s made out to be the socially inept child the cool girls would rather not be seen with. Okay, so maybe that’s exactly what she is, but still. Cringe worthy.

Here’s something else men shouldn’t do: Answer questions about their ex-girlfriends. (Maybe women shouldn’t be asking, but we’re talking about men here.) Ryan gushes way too much about the first time he saw Marissa. ”There she was. . . . We just connected. . . . She was like nobody I’d met before.” Ryan! WTF? ”Till you.” Dude, horrible save. I don’t blame Lindsbree for getting so wasted on Marissa’s vodka that her numb was tongue.

Let’s see. Zach’s a guy — what does he do? He remembers and acknowledges his and Summer’s six-month anniversary with a homemade cupcake. Summer doesn’t like that. I’m confused, until I remember that (1) she doesn’t eat and (2) she doesn’t even like Zach. He’s become the definition of a boy toy.

Then there’s Seth, who’s worrying so much about doing things guys do that he probably doesn’t give himself enough credit for being a man and standing up to Alex. Angry about Alex’s withholding information about her female ex, Jody, Seth goes all critical on Alex by comparing her to Jem and the Holograms and the Banger Sisters. Oooh, burn. Those are good, but I have another: With her plastic-looking face, lone pastel hair extension (purple! lesbian!), and smattering of relatively innocent tattoos, Alex reminds me of a My Little Pony. Seriously. Google-image-search it. The resemblance is uncanny.

While the guys are busy doing what guys do, the girls convene at the club and basically let down sisterhood by accepting Summer’s implication that without guys, there’s nothing to talk about. Boo, Summer. But wait till the end! Sisterhood gets a boost with Marissa and Alex’s very special blue-fleece-blanket lesbian-preview moment.

Omigod! Will they or won’t they? I have no idea! Oh wait, yes I do, and so does every other viewer — and no, none of us can wait. In fact, after this scene, my boyfriend sang the McDonald’s ”I’m loving it!” theme song, partly to piss me off, partly because he finds himself hilarious, and mostly because it’s pretty much true for all of us. You go, girls.

What do you think? Was Ryan’s rage at Marissa too out of control? Will Seth be invited into the Marissa-Alex-Jody love triangle, thus rendering it a love square? Are there love squares?

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