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The Escape
September 16, 2003
Big plans

Seth plans a trip to Tijuana to end the summer, with a reluctant Ryan in tow. Needless to say, they're not revealing their real destination to his parents. Sandy will be going into his own den of iniquity - a corporate law firm wants to interview him. Ryan is alarmed that Sandy would turn his back on the poor and downtrodden, but Kirsten scoffs at the idea. Sandy has been sticking it to "The Man" for 15 years. He's not going to sell out now.

Uncomfortable issues
Seth says the trip will help Ryan get over Marissa. Ryan bristles - he's over it, he says. Next door, Marissa is singing the same tune to Summer. Summer is more interested in hearing about Marissa's tryst with Luke. Marissa was under whelmed. Summer graphically urges her to get back on that horse. Ew.

Moving out
Jimmy begs for Kirsten's help - Julie is kicking him out, and he has no apartment. Kirsten helps him find a place, but wants to know how the girls are taking it. Yeahthat. Not really had that conversation yet. Kirsten tells him to tell Marissa or she'll never forgive him. Marissa knows something is up - she tells Luke that she thinks she should stay to help her dad.

At your service
At the Crab Shack, the cool kids plan their trip to Tijuana while Seth eavesdrops. Luke and Marissa enter, and Marissa snips at Ryan. She still hasn't gotten over the in-bed-with-granny incident at last week's party. Seth hasn't gotten over Summer's impromptu kiss - he's convinced that she's finally in love with him. When Marissa announces she's out, Summer is left stranded. Seth jumps at the chance to offer her a ride.

Road trip!
Summer begs Marissa to join her in Seth's car for the trip to Tijuana. Marissa refuses, but when she tells Jimmy she'll be around for the weekend, he freaks. Looks like Marissa is going. She's not thrilled to be trapped in a car with Ryan, and neither of them is happy to hear Summer and Seth bickering the whole way down. That bickering is interrupted when Summer and Seth tussle over the steering wheel, sending the car off the road. The four of them end up at a seriously grotty motel while the car gets fixed.

Working it
Sandy meets Rachel, an old (and hot) rival of his, at the snooty law firm. Rachel reveals that the firm was impressed by the way he handled the Jimmy Cooper case, and they really want to hire him. Kirsten can't believe he's seriously thinking about it, but Sandy says he'll be able to do pro bono work and bring in a monster paycheck. Sounds like Sandy is tired of being a kept man.

Stay or go
Ryan asks Marissa if she's gong to stay mad at him forever. I'm not mad, Marissa says, furiously. She barely starts thawing to Ryan when Jimmy calls with the news that he and Julie are divorcing. Marissa is devastated. When they find out about the divorce, Summer convinces Marissa she doesn't want to be at home. On to Mexico. When they get to Tijuana, they go searching for the cool kids - after a pit stop in a pharmacy so Summer can pick up some prescription painkillers for her step mom.

At the new apartment, Jimmy asks Kirsten if she's ever had any doubts about her marriage, and if she's ever thought about what would happen if she's ended up with Jimmy instead of Sandy. Kirsten admits she and Sandy have their issues, but doesn't go into detail. Jimmy takes that as his cue to kiss her. Kirsten flees. Back at home, Sandy reveals that he's taken the corporate job - he's going to be one with "The Man" now.

The cool kids are getting toasted. Holly sluts over to Luke and entices him out onto the dance floor. Luke doesn't fight too hard. Our heroes wander into the club, and, after the obligatory alcohol, find Luke and Holly with limbs - and tongues - entwined. Marissa and Summer blame Holly. Holly blames Luke - he hooks up with everything that moves! True, but your timing on that little revelation sucks. Marissa flees. Summer eventually finds her in the hotel room. With her dad moving out, and Luke outed as a big ho, Marissa feels like she has no one to turn to. She steals Summer's pain pills and runs away again. She washes down a handful of pills with a hefty shot of tequila, and then staggers out into an alley. The boys and Summer find her there, unconscious and maybe dead.

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The Rescue
October 29, 2003
Back from the dead

Casa Cohen is getting ready for registration week at the Harbor School, the ritzy private school that everyone who is anyone in Newport attends. But everyone is distracted - they're waiting for word on Marissa. Finally Jimmy calls - she woke up, is aware, and will pull through ok. If they hadn't gotten her out when they didJulie is not pleased that the Cohens are there, and is particularly bitter towards Ryan. If he tries to see Marissa again, Julie threatens to get him thrown back into juvie "where he belongs."

School days
Ryan is agog as the facilities at the school - Swimming pools? Tennis courts? Ocean views? They just had a basketball hoop in Chino! There's also a lot more pressure - he needs to write essays and take tests just to get into the school. Dr. Kim is enthusiastic - is Ryan really Harbor School material? Kirsten accuses her of being more concerned about the other parents' reactions. Ryan takes it as a challenge - he'll take whatever placement tests she can throw at him.

OC Law
Meanwhile, Sandy is getting used to his similarly luxurious new digs. There's a huge office, an eager staff and really silly cases about Botox gone awry. He dives right in and sets up court dates for several cases. Rachel, his former adversary who got him the job, is horrified. That's not the way the firm works - they settle everything they can so they can turn over cases - and bill clients - as quickly as possible. Sandy looks out of his depth.

Back to normal

Summer and Seth bond about Marissa's misadventure, but that's interrupted by a trio of cheerleaders. Summer flees - she doesn't want to sully her reputation by being seen with a nerd-boy. Now Seth is even more bent on getting Ryan into Harbor School - he doesn't want to spend another year alone.

Family smackdown
Julie reads Jimmy the riot act - when she's not blaming Ryan, she's accusing Jimmy of destroying the family. She's suing for sole custody of the kids. Marissa overhears them and is devastated. She calls Ryan for support. Ryan goes to see her, but hides when Julie comes back to the room. Marissa tries to tell Julie her overdose wasn't Ryan's fault, but Julie isn't listening. "Before that boy came here, you were happy." Marissa is incredulous, but Julie refuses to listen. What's more, Julie wants Marissa to go to a "recovery center" - that's nuthouse to you and me - in San Diego. Marissa calls Summer for help.

Multiple-choice test
Ryan is taking his placement test when Summer and Seth burst in with Marissa's plight. Dr. Kim is not amused. If Ryan walks out on the test, he's not going to the school. No contest - Ryan leaves. At the same time, Marissa is being quizzed by the therapist that Julie picked out. The therapist recommends Marissa get more treatment, and Julie seems hell-bent on making sure Marissa gets shipped off. Jimmy objects, but Julie goes behind his back to make the arrangements - she can drive Marissa down tonight.

Compromising positions
Jimmy comes to Casa Cohen to ask for Sandy's legal advice. He doesn't want to come in when he finds out that Sandy's at work - he's still freaked by the kiss he foisted on Kirsten in his apartment. Kirsten tells him to get over it. They find Sandy and Rachel at a restaurant getting way too cozy. Kirsten is perturbed.

Summer breaks the boys into the hospital and they smuggle Marissa out. Luke interrupts them, but instead of blowing the whistle, he directs them down the stairs. They go to Jimmy's house, who is horrified at Julie's deception. He doesn't want to jeopardize any custody arrangements, however, so he plans to turn her over to Julie. Marissa sneaks out the back.

Sandy calls Julie to Casa Cohen. There, Ryan lays it out for her: Marissa doesn't want Julie's life. She doesn't want to go to San Diego, and she doesn't want to live with Julie. Marissa tells Julie she wants to live with Jimmy. Julie is teary, then turns Mommy Dearest again. "This isn't over."

Happy ending

Ryan pleads his case with Dr. Kim. He's in, but Dr. Kim will be watching him. Don't screw up, Ryan!

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The Heights
November 5, 2003
Back to school

It's the first day of school, and everyone is apprehensive. Seth is convinced he's in for another year of social torture, Ryan is just worried that he won't fit in, and Marissa is convinced everyone will be talking about her overdose, Luke's cheating, her dad's criminal activities. All their fears are realized when they get to school.

Working it
Sandy is all dolled up in a new suit for work. Kirsten jokes that he's got a new girlfriend, then jumps him. Sandy makes the rookie mistake of calling Rachel an "attractive co-worker," then backpedals furiously - "Only in relation to which she evokes amorous feeling in my far more attractive wife." Kirsten buys it. Before they can get too distracted, dad and Rachel call.

The other woman
Seth is continuing his fruitless pursuit of Summer when Anna arrives. Seth hugs her with glee. Summer is annoyed and stalks off. Anna mocks him for pursuing Summer, then offers to teach him how to woo women. Could she have an ulterior motive?

The big case
Rachel has a big case for Sandy - a great environmental battle over the Balboa Wetlands. It's a "policy-changing, career-making piece of legislation." The catch? Kirsten's dad's company is the plaintiff. Sandy can't decide whether to take the case - or when he's going to tell Kirsten about it. She finds out and is furious.

Something to talk about
Marissa wants to drop her position as school social chair, but Dr. Kim argues against it. People are going to talk about her no matter what - she might as well give them something good to talk about. She cancels plans to hang out with Ryan in favor of planning the school's carnival. She offers to save him a ride on the Ferris wheel at the carnival, but Ryan turns her down - he's afraid of heights.

Extracurricular activities
Ryan decides to get more involved in school by trying out for soccer, but is dismayed to find that Luke is the team captain. Marissa agrees to meet with Ryan after practice, but Luke gets there first. He tries to make up with her - even going so far to cry. Ryan overhears part of the conversation, but storms off before Marissa shuts Luke down.

Communication breakdown
Kirsten is livid that the lawsuit, and Sandy's part in it, is front-page news. Rachel dismisses Sandy's concerns - "If your marriage can't survive this, what kind of marriage is it?" Ryan tells Seth that he thinks Luke and Marissa have made up. Seth tells Ryan to ask Marissa about it, but Summer advises Marissa to keep the talk with Luke to herself. When Ryan goes fishing for information, Marissa dances around the issue. He's now even more convinced that Marissa and Luke are back together.

In biology class, Summer tries to talk Seth into being her lab partner - that way, she won't have to write up the boring lab reports - but Anna intercepts her. Seth is her partner, she announces. Summer watches jealously. Marissa stops by soccer practice, and Ryan gets pissy when he sees her talking with Luke. In a soccer drill, he takes out Luke in an illegal tackle. The team, the coach and Marissa are aghast. Marissa comes to the pool house to ask Ryan what happened, but Ryan lashes out at her. Sandy chews Ryan out the next day, reminding him that one mistake could be enough to get Ryan taken away from the family.

All apologies
Sandy brings flowers to Kirsten to apologize, but announces he's taking the case. She 's not surprised, saying she expects nothing less from the man she married. They make up, but are interrupted again by calls from their respective workplaces.

Kiss me you fool
Ryan asks Anna how long she's going to help Seth pursue Summer. He can tell Anna is into Seth, even if Seth is clueless. She responds that Seth is only interested in her as a friend. Ryan counsels action, then goes off on his own pursuits. He braves the Ferris wheel to apologize to Marissa, but gets freaked when they stop at the top. He finally chokes out an apology, and Marissa rewards him with kiss (or three or six or). Anna also lets Seth know how she feels by kissing him, but Seth manages to misinterpret even that, thinking it's part of the Summer plan. Dork. Seth runs after Summer, who finally starts talking to him.

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The Perfect Couple
November 12, 2003
Hot and heavy

Marissa and Ryan are spending some quality time together. In between smooches, Ryan laments that Marissa no longer lives next door. If she did, Marissa says, she'd have to talk to her mom something she's not willing to do yet. The two set a date for Saturday. Kirsten walks in on them. She's mortified and apologizes "This never happened with Seth." The next morning, Ryan walks in on Sandy and Kirsten making a date of their own. Looks like everybody's gettin' some but Seth.

Big plans
At school, Seth is quizzing Ryan about his sexual history when Marissa and Summer ask what they're talking about. Seth panics and starts blathering about what a great date Ryan has planned. Now Ryan is panicking. Seth tries to get intel on what sort of date Marissa would like, but ends up just getting more information about Summer. Anna finally yells at Seth for talking about Summer all the time.

Happy families
Rachel convinces Sandy to break his date with Kirsten and work on the settlement. Stupid Sandy. Kirsten finds Julie in Caleb's office. Caleb agreed to let Julie use his yacht for a children's hospital benefit and "the Julie Cooper comeback tour." Caleb is unimpressed that Sandy canceled on Kirsten. Marissa is pissed to find Julie at Jimmy's apartment. Julie comes over all teary and apologetic, begging Marissa to help her make them a family again.

Deer in the headlights
Marissa tells Ryan that his plans will have to be postponed she wants to go to the yacht party. Ryan is relieved until he finds out Julie is hosting the party. He protests, but gets freaked out when Marissa calls him her boyfriend. Rather than explain he didn't really date girls, he just slept with them, Ryan agrees to go to the yacht party.

Summer who?
Seth is incredulous that Anna thinks he talks about nothing but Summer. Ryan confirms that he does. Seth is appalled, but manages to turn that around to talking about Summer. At school, Seth promises Anna he'll never mention Summer to her again. He invites her to the yacht party. Anna agrees. Later, Summer discovers Seth is taking Anna to the yacht party. She's shocked, and storms over to a likely boytoy to get him to escort her to the party.

At the settlement conference, Caleb baits Sandy, contemptuously refuses the settlement offer and reveals that Kirsten told him about the missed date last night. He all but accuses Sandy of having an affair. At home, Sandy is furious that Kirsten "went running off to daddy" with their marriage woes. Kirsten storms off.

Who are you, and what have you done with Julie Cooper?
Marissa is showing Ryan potential dresses for the yacht party in her old room when Julie walks in on them. Julie apologizes to Ryan for being a bitch, then hugs him. Marissa is thrilled. Later that night, however, Ryan sees Julie macking on Caleb. She sees Ryan and gives him her patented Dragonlady stare.

Party of the week
Marissa tells Ryan that she thinks everything is working out between Julie and Jimmy. Ryan says nothing. Anna arrives at the house looking lovely. Seth is oblivious. Sandy, alas, is at work, and Rachel is showing off her charms. On the yacht, Julie is still playing happy families to her oblivious husband and daughters. She warns Ryan not to say anything to Marissa. Summer shows up with the boytoy, who's an idiot. She starts stalking Seth. Marissa finds her and mocks her for liking Seth. Summer denies it, but she just can't stop staring at them.

Bad news
Marissa is thrilled that Julie and Jimmy are getting along, and predicts that they'll be back together soon. Ryan tells her not to get her hopes up. Marissa dismisses him as cynical, but Ryan finally tells her about Julie and Caleb. Marissa is shocked and stalks off.

Romantic entaglements
At the office, Rachel flings herself at Sandy. With some effort, he tears himself away. On the boat, Anna tries to kiss Seth, but he panics and flees. Summer pounces on Seth and kisses him, then runs away in horror. Seth is confused. Marissa reveals Julie and Caleb's relationship to everyone at the party. Julie is livid, but tries to smooth things out with Marissa. Marissa is having none of it. Jimmy is disgusted. Kirsten is equally pissed at Caleb, and announces that they have nothing to say to each other outside the office.

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