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A Countdown To Remember
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Episode 13 "A Countdown To Remember"
 
It's sure to be a countdown to remember when Kirsten's rebellious sister Hailey comes to town.
 
Ryan and Marissa decide that they want to spend a low-key night together in the comforts of popcorn and movies, and Seth tags along since he hasn't received any better offers in light of his recent relationship woes. When Marissa gets invited to Oliver's New Year's shindig, it seems that their special evening together will be spent apart.
 
Fortunately, Hailey is about to spice up the night for everyone by getting Kirsten and Sandy out of the house so that she can throw a raging party for a few friends. As the clock ticks closer towards midnight, Ryan hopes that he can make it to Marissa in time for their first New Year's kiss together on the "The Countdown" episode of THE O.C. Wednesday, Dec. 17

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The Countdown
December 17, 2003
Three little words

Marissa and Ryan are making plans for New Year's Eve. After the drunken fiasco that was Christmas, Ryan lobbies a low-key holiday. "Stay in," Ryan says, "so I know you'll be safe." There is much smooching, until Marissa whispers "I love you." Silence. "Thank you?" Ryan replies. That went well.

Who's been sleeping in my bed?
Ryan mopes into the pool house muttering: "I love you. How hard is that to say?" He's interrupted by a half-naked chick, asking him what he's doing in "her" pool house. Ryan figures out this is Kirsten's sister, Hailey, and slinks off to sleep on the couch. Seth is thrilled his aunt is in town, but Kirsten and Sandy aren't pleased.

What are you doing New Year's Eve?
Hailey quizzes Seth and Ryan on their New Year's plans. They reveal they have none, now that Seth has alienated the two girls that like him and Ryan choked on "I love you." Sandy and Kirsten are planning their traditional out-to-dinner, back-for-Dick-Clark night, which Hailey mocks. They're in a rut, she claims - she knows a party where they can spice things up. Oliver invites Marissa to his New Year's party at the Four Seasons. She says that maybe she and her boyfriend will come. Ryan begs to differ - he thinks she wants to go just because he couldn't say you know. Marissa announces that if he changes his mind, he'll find her at the party.

You're still here?
Hailey is appalled that Seth and Ryan weren't joking about having no plans - they really mean to stay in and play video games. She tells them how they spend New Year's Eve is how they'll spend the next year, and paints an evocative picture of Marissa locking lips with Oliver. The boys resolve to go to the party but are interrupted when a party comes to them. Seems Hailey invited a bunch of booze-swilling, house-trashing, champagne-spraying "friends" over.

Ideal man
Summer and Marissa pledge to have a good time at the Four Seasons penthouse party, ignoring their boy troubles. Summer is not terribly convincing about being over Seth. Anna is there too - she knows the guy throwing the party, but doesn't seem to know Oliver as he swoops into grab Marissa. Interesting. Summer and Anna bond over being done with Seth, but are dumbfounded when they both think the same guy is interested in them. Summer drags Anna over to him to straighten it out, only to discover that Anna's ideal man, is, in fact, Seth Cohen.

Party Central
At Casa Cohen, the party is raging. Seth wants to shut it down, but he doesn't want to be the bad guy. He convinces Ryan to talk to Hailey. Ryan finds her talking to another OC skank who wants the $3000 Hailey owes her. Ryan threatens to call the cops, and Hailey begs that they just talk about it before doing anything rash. She then locks the boys in the pool house.

Wild and Crazy
Kirsten wonders if they're in a rut, and Sandy tries to prove they're not by defying the GPS lady giving directions. They go straight to the mysterious party Hailey mentioned, only to find it's a swinger's party. All the men deposit their watches in a bowl, and at the end of the night, each woman picks a watch - and a sex partner. Kirsten is so eager to prove they're not in a rut that she dares Sandy to deposit his watch.

The party's end
A woman from Hailey's past storms the party, looking for blood. Hailey releases Ryan and Seth for help. The boys shut off the power and announce the police are coming. The house still looks pretty trashed. Ryan runs to the hotel party, hoping to catch Marissa in time. Traffic conspires against him. Anna decides to leave the party before midnight. Oliver circles Marissa, getting in position for midnight. Kirsten and Sandy watch uncomfortably as the watches are drawn. Turns out Sandy cheated - he never deposited his watch. Kirsten is relieved.

Happy New Year
Ryan bursts into the party at the last possible second. He finally says he loves Marissa. They kiss. Oliver is left standing. Sandy and Kirsten are shocked to see their trashed house. Kirsten tells Hailey to grow up. Anna shows up at Casa Cohen - she and Seth make out. Summer ends up kissing the hottie at the party, but realizes she doesn't want to, since he's not Seth. Kirsten and Sandy get it on - I guess they like their rut.