''The O.C.'': Stealing Tom Cruise's egg
Wow. Tonight's episode, ''The Risky Business,'' was so perfectly hilarious that instead of trying to be funny about it (which is risky business in itself), I'll just straight up tell you what happened. Whew! There's a load off. For you and me both.
We began as always in the kitchen, where, after much argument and homage paid to Steve McQueen, Sandy Cohen emerges as the O.C. clan's premier action hero. As if he weren't already. He surfs, he sings, he sometimes even reads minds! He also has a keen, dare I say, queer eye for centerpieces and table linens. Sandy was forced by magazine dominatrix Kirsten to collaborate with some typical Newport Beach ladies on a pseudo-charity non-yard sale. The best part about this event's name is that all three Cohens deadpanned it during the episode, independently of each other. And the best part about Sandy's stint as honorary chair of the PCNYS was that for the entire time he was just messing with the Newpsies (a season 1 term that is somehow so official that it even made its way into my DVR's episode summary: ''Trey meets the Newpsies'').
With Julie and Caleb indulging in European escapism, Marissa had to stay with the Cohens for a few days. Seth hinted to Ryan in a one-man improv skit what might happen if Kid Chino and Cosmo Girl met at the fridge for a late-night beverage. (''Yoo-hoo?'' ''Maybe just you. Let's kiss on the mouth.'' [Smack smack smack.] ''Let's French hard.'') It didn't exactly happen like that, but Seth did foreshadow the it-was-meant-to-be fridge meeting correctly. Unfortunately, Trey stumbled in just as the Chino Kid was reaching ever so gingerly for Cosmo Girl's hand. Lights! Mood ruined. I bet if Marissa had worn her ''Take Me Now'' underthingie, things might have escalated further.
But! Then the almost-lovers wouldn't have had that ''so close . . . and also so close to season 1'' moment at the end of the episode, when Ryan put his jacket around Marissa's shoulders just like he did in season 1's cotillion episode, ''The Debut.'' That time, it was Luke and her dad's financial fiasco that interrupted Ryan and Marissa's chemistry; this time, it was a phone call from Julie, who's back in town (and judging from the previews, ready to kill that porn guy).
Cut back to the day before the PCNYS. While Ryan and Seth were cataloging the auction items (genius move giving Seth Cohen a Polaroid, by the way; no one else could pull off ''Work with me, you're a cougar, you're a panther in the woods'' while addressing an ottoman), Ryan performed the first and we assumed only, because that would just be too much Tom Cruise Diving Save of the crystal egg from Risky Business. Zach stopped by in time to meet Kirsten's colleague-crush Carter Buckley, who informed the boys that the graphic novel is so hot right now. Either that, or Kirsten is so hot right now and Carter just wants to win her favor by doing a rather excessive favor for her comic-book-drawing son. Carter set up a meeting with a publisher, and they'll take it, even though Summer then freaked out about the return of the comic threesome. Her death threat was a little too much, even for her. Seth has always dreamt of penning the Great American Graphic Novel, and anyway, she's the main heroine!
It was cute the way Zach and Seth tried to start a new hobby right away under the threat of Summer's rage blackouts. They thought baseball cards might work, because they come with gum and some of the players (''Who's Curt Schilling?'') have nice outfits. Ha.
Meanwhile, new BFFs Marissa and Trey tried to negotiate the rent on Alex's old apartment for Trey, who told the landlord he could work as the building manager. (Actually, what he said was ''What if I became your guy?'' but we knew what he meant.) Trey's background check didn't go through (shocker), so he stole the Egg and sold it to two thugs for its estimated value of $10,000. At this point, everything got a little crazy. Seth protected himself from an actual sword-wielding Summer with an actual shield. (Props for using those antique props!) Trey showed up, 'fessed up to Ryan, and, faced with the thought of more jail time, had a change of heart and suddenly wanted to make things right.
Ryan, save the day! Bring Seth, because he never gets to go! Cue the Chemical Brothers for the action-packed PCNYS and accompanying scenes, which in my opinion made up some of the best O.C. minutes to date. Who cares if the timing was completely unrealistic? I think it worked. Here are some highlights. Pick your favorite, or post your own and blame me for not including it. It's okay. I'm ready. I'll just sit here, taking the flack, repeating to myself, ''What the f---?'' just like the guys in Risky Business.
· In a nod to another Tom Cruise movie, Top Gun, Seth said to Ryan, ''You're gonna need a wingman, and Marissa and my dad are busy.''
· Marissa and Summer took the stage with a bewildered Sandy to stall the show with quite entertaining (yes, even Marissa) ooh-and-ahh behavior over the auction items.
· Seth showed up at the thugs' door, claiming he was Pippins McKee (for some reason, this name is perfect) from the Film Preservation Society, and explained that Mr. Cruise had the Egg ''outfitted with a trans-mitro-pneumonic . . . transmitter device . . . tronic. It must be a Scientology thing.''
· Summer auctioned off her ''vintage'' shoes to a creepy man for $60. ''Ew, foot fetish much?''
· Ryan hurled the Egg at Seth, touchdown-pass style. ''This never worked in P.E.,'' Seth warned, before running with one of those slow-motion ''I'm gonna be a sports hero'' faces for the second Tom Cruise Diving Save of the night.
· Sandy auctioned off Trey and Zach. ''They clean! They mow the lawn! They look good in suits!'' It wasn't clear what exactly will be expected of them by the winner, but something tells me if Julie Cooper had been there, she would have placed the highest bid.
Okay, that didn't even do it justice. Everything was hilarious, right down to the zoom-in on clueless Zach standing there while holding the ottoman, Sandy's collection of different Sandy Faces, which never fail to amuse, and what sounded like the actual music from Risky Business, which played during the final moments. I rewound the whole sequence at least four times, just because I could . . . and because I like to procrastinate. Go ahead, do it yourself. You know you want to.
What do you think? Should Ryan and Trey trim their matching mini-mullets? Should Marissa have given that money back to Kirsten instead of to Trey? And will the threesome's graphic novel fare better than the ill-fated comic book?