Annie Barrett
January 05, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EST

Hercules: Ryan’s my son.

Every so often, The O.C. delivers my favorite kind of episode — a “The Cohens are a FAMILY!” episode — and I think this one may have been the best yet. I’ve tried for years to focus on other elements of the show, but I cannot get enough of Ryan and Sandy subtly reminding each other of their beautiful, two-tough-guys-in-a-mansion bond. In fact, I need someone to make a YouTube video of every Ryan/Sandy moment ever, so I can sit at work and cry while grinning all day. Seriously, I can send you a list of “moment suggestions” just from memory. Do it!

Plenty of these moments occurred last night. My favorite was after Frank left the house and Ryan said “My dad’s right here” to Sandy. Ohhhh, my heart! Say it again, Ryan! And he did, seven times, thanks to the power of rewind. If I was more high-tech I’d have produced a short, looping movie of just that one line to put in place of the already-pretty-righteous photo of Sandy at left. Or even better, the movie could alternate between that and Julie/Summer’s dry-heaving attemps to pronounce the “ch” sound in Hebrew. It’s so cute — Summer needs a mom; Julie misses her daughter. Challah!

Anyway, the big drama this week was that Frank lied about havinglung cancer to lure Ryan into associating with him. I loved theuber-cheesy soap opera moment when Kirsten said “Sandy, Frank is dying”right before commerical break. Julie was in the background with avacant stare, Sandy faked acting stricken by the news, and there wassome tinny, pseudo-orchestral music to boot. Then finally, like a mothto a flame burned by the fire, this happened. Join me: Awwww!

Chris Brown showed up, ostensibly to play a “smart” band geek whohas problems enunciating, but really to promote his new Fox-producedmovie, Stomp the Yard. You can’t fool me, Fox! Also: I hate you.

Seth and Summer… just, ew. I had a hard time sitting through theirscenes, to be honest. Wouldn’t it have been easier if Seth hadinterpreted Ryan’s suggestion to “smoke her out” in his season 3fashion and just gotten her stoned? (Again?) The paranoia alone wouldnix the idea in seconds. Actually, maybe not — they’d probably end upagreeing their love was as infinite as the ocean (or the Cohens’ pool),finalizing the dinner menu for the reception, and feeding each othercookie dough. But I’d still rather have watched that.

What did you guys think?

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