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Episode 21 "The LA"

 
MARISSA AND SUMMER PARTY IN THE CITY OF ANGELS ON "THE O.C." AIRING MARCH 24 ON FOX

Sandy and Jimmy find themselves in a bind that only the unlikeliest of heroes can help them out of. Meanwhile, Marissa and Summer head out of Orange County and into Los Angeles looking for a good time.
 
Seth, concerned that Summer may have too much fun, decides to tag along. Ryan wants to keep Marissa far away from Julie and Luke's affair and encourages the group to make the drive into the city.
 
Marissa and Summer party in the City of Angels when "The L.A." episode of The O.C. airs Wednesday, March 24

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The LA
March 24, 2004
Angst-free week
Ryan and Seth go to the Mermaid Inn to retrieve Ryan's watch. Seth has big plans now that Ryan is free from female entanglements, Seth declares it the opening of "Angst-free Ryan month" or at least week, with an option to renew. It doesn't work out they spy Luke and Julie Cooper making out after one of their trysts. Ew. Seth delegates talking to Luke to Ryan. He subtly asks "So, you sleep with Julie Cooper today?" then demands that Luke break it off so he doesn't hurt Marissa.

On location
Marissa and Summer are wandering the beach, discussing how great it is for Marissa to be independent, when they stumble on "The Valley" shooting on location. Summer launches herself at Grady Bridges, the show's adorable geek hipster, and manages to wrangle invitations to his birthday party in LA.

TV Seth Cohen
Seth catches up on "The Valley," and realizes that Grady is basically a TV version of him. He's convinced Summer will dump him for his TV alter-ego and wants to torpedo the trip. No way, Ryan says they need to go and take Marissa so Luke has time to break it off with Julie. They just need to convince Kirsten and Sandy to let them go. Sandy immediately refuses, but eventually comes around (it helps that Kirsten loves Grady). The next problem: Marissa wants to bail, so she can declare her independence from Ryan. Ryan tap dances around the issue, eventually convincing her that to be independent, she needs to be comfortable hanging out with him. Nice trick.

Strange bedfellows
Jimmy reveals that the restaurant is dead in the water they're broke. They need a designer who will work for free. Kirsten suggests Julie, much to Jimmy's chagrin. Kirsten and Sandy eventually convince him it's the only way. Julie will do the designing for free, but they still need to pay for materials and that'll be well into six figures. They need a backer with money. Someone like Caleb. Sandy protests, but eventually gives in. Caleb wants to taste this food he'll be paying for. The gang agrees to do a test meal for Caleb and the board of Riviera magazine at the Cohen's house.

Not so Seth
The kids end up at a strip club for Grady's party, and Grady proves to be a self-absorbed Hollywood schmuck (they're planning to make a Golden Girls movie full of young hotties.) Paris Hilton, playing someone with a brain, insults Summer and hits on Seth. Summer is incensed enough by this to go off with Grady to watch an unreleased episode of "The Valley," then dailies of Grady "acting." They're finally interrupted by Seth when Grady lunges for Summer and by Grady's secret girlfriend from the show. Doh. Summer begs to go back to Orange County, where the "real people" are.

Surprise!
Ryan and Marissa have their own entertainment Hailey, who isn't teaching aerobics at Club med, like she told her sister. Nope, she's stripping in Hollywood. Ryan and Marissa try to convince her to leave, but get thrown out by the club owner. Marissa manages to bluff their way back in through the VIP entrance by convincing the bouncer Ryan is a TV star.

Dinner party
Luke tries to break up with Julie, but gets distracted by the sex. She runs off to the Cohen's dinner. Caleb starts pitching the restaurant as a glitzy place to make money, much to Sandy's chagrin. They almost come to blows when Caleb discovers the main course is Mama Cohen's meatloaf. He's interrupted by a phone call from Ryan, telling him where they found Hailey. Jimmy overhears and takes off to rescue her. He gets there just as Marissa, Ryan and Hailey get ejected from the club for a second time, and humiliates the club owner for acting like a schmuck. He takes Hailey home.

The aftermath
Newport's tastemakers love the meatloaf, so Caleb agrees to put up the money and keep his mouth shut. Jimmy returns with Hailey and lies to Kirsten telling her he just picked her up from the airport. Hailey and Caleb are grateful. Luke finally breaks up with a dumbfounded Julie, who immediately calls Caleb for a rebound date. Marissa and Ryan are giggling and hanging out together comfortably. All is well, until Luke bursts in while she's in the bathroom and says "I'm done having sex with Julie Cooper." Doh! Marissa runs off, appalled.