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Episode 1 "The Model Home"


Faced with the prospect of returning to foster care, Ryan attempts to run away from the Cohen house, but is thwarted when Seth discovers his intentions. Unwilling to lose his new and only friend, Seth devises a plan to keep Ryan in the O.C. offering to hide him in his mothers unfinished housing development.

They receive an unlikely accomplice in their scheme when Marissa joins them, taking on the challenge of proving to Ryan and Seth that she is not the shallow rich girl they believe her to be, and creating a deeper divide between her best friend, Summer, and her boyfriend, Luke, in the process.

The enclave the three of them have built is destroyed, however,when Luke and his cronies discover Ryan at the development, leading to a near fatal showdown when the house goes up in flames.

Concurrently, Sandy and Kirsten discover Ryan has disappeared and question Seth as to his whereabouts to no avail, while they continue to disagree about the appropriate way to deal with Ryan.


The Model Home
August 12, 2003
Act casual
It's Ryan's last night in the OC before being turned over to Child Protective Services, and no one wants to talk about it. Besides feeling like the bad guy, Kirsten also stressed out about a model home she and her father are building to kick off a new development - the contractors just disappeared. Seth doesn't help things by asking the obvious question - we've got so much room, so why doesn't Ryan stay here? Sorry, dude, not an option.

Late that night, Ryan decides he'd rather be anywhere than in a foster home. As he's preparing to run away, Seth finds him. Seth tells him running away is a crappy plan. You got a better idea? asks Ryan. Well, yeah see, there's this big empty house no one is using right now.

For this mission, Seth is dressed super-stealthy in a black turtleneck and other appropriate spywear. Hee. He's interrupted by his dad, who wants to talk, and share, and otherwise be the sort of caring parent that really can cramp a spyboy's style. Seth throws him off with the time-honored covers-up-to-the-neck "No, really, I was asleep" move. Outside, Marissa spots Ryan and asks what he's doing there. Ryan shrugs off the question, but Seth in all his stealthy glory gives the game up. Intrigued, she offers to blow off Summer's birthday party and drive them to their secret hideout.

Model home
The model home is isolated, half-finished, empty perfect. As Seth shows off his skillz in the empty swimming pool/skateboard arena, Ryan and Marissa bond over parental issues. They're interrupted when Luke calls looking for her. She's missing an empty, meaningless party that demonstrates how shallow and unworthy her friends are! We can't have that.

The next morning, Seth and Marisa want to make a supply run for Ryan. But Sandy has discovered Ryan is gone, and Kirsten called the cops. Seth claims he knows nothing - except maybe that Ryan ran off to Mexico to gamble on cockfights. Next door, Marisa is waylaid by Luke, who wants to spend the day with her. Marisa deflects him with tales of a bikini wax. Yeowtch. Meanwhile, her dad, Jimmy, is looking desperate among the paperwork. He tries to talk to his wife, but she pulls a "La la la I can't hear you!" and demands money. Nice to know Jimmy's getting the support he needs.

All the essentials
Seth and Marissa give Ryan their supplies - necessary stuff, like loofahs and putting greens and mix CDs. Bring any food? Oh, yeah that. They romp on down to the pier for breakfast, where they run into Luke and his cronies. Marissa tries to distract him while the boys sneak out back, but the plan is foiled. Luke insults Seth, Ryan defends him with his fists (and a pithy quote: "You know what I like about rich boys? [Wham!] Nothing."), and the whole low-profile thing goes out the window.

Kirsten and Jimmy meet at the model house to talk - not realizing the kids are hiding upstairs. They overhear Jimmy confess that he's in financial trouble and hit Kirsten up for $100,000. She agrees, and lets slip that the new contractors start tomorrow. Ryan's got to go. Back at the Cohen home, Sandy tells Seth Ryan's been spotted, and drags him out to look for him. Marissa's at another - or maybe the same - shallow-debauchery party, where she's increasingly uncomfortable with everything. She storms out when everyone starts talking trash about Ryan.

Bad things
Marissa runs to the model home, where Ryan is packing up by the light of many candles. She wants to stay the night, but Ryan kicks her out - if they do anything, he'll never want to leave, and they're from different worlds. She runs away crying, not noticing that Luke and his ganga had followed her. They storm the house and fight with Ryan - knocking over candles and setting the place ablaze. Ryan is knocked out, but Luke runs back in and pulls him from the flames. Ryan takes off hitching, but Luke finds him to make sure he's all right - and to make sure Ryan won't tell anyone what happened.

Unhappy ending
Seth confesses all. His folks are furious. The cops want to question him and Marissa, but before they can, Luke pulls up - with Ryan. The police cuff Ryan, but Luke confesses he was there, too. Both guys are hauled off by the cops.

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