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''The O.C.'': Undercover action

On ”The O.C.,” the teens pose as teens in order to bust the guy who distributed drugs at Marissa’s party; plus, Zach makes a move on Summer

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Benjamin McKenzie
Benjamin McKenzie: Art Streiber/FOX

”The O.C.”: Undercover action

OMG, Ryan and Marissa made out!!!!!!!!! I’m disappointed in him. Next topic.

Sorry, but why go into all the been-there-done-that when there are high school hoochies and board game bores to discuss? And Family Guy commercials — Stewie apparently loves The O.C. almost as much as he loves pancakes. I knew it.

Get this: Trey didn’t deal the drugs. He just took the fall for Marissa because of his Atwood DNA. Who knew? Um, everyone. Marissa and Ryan assumed 21 Jump Street identities to save Trey for saving Marissa, who helped save Trey a few weeks ago during all the risky business. Will they just make out already? Guess not. Trey seems to like newcomer Jess (whom I’ll be calling Skankalicious from now on), but it’s hard to tell whether he really likes her or he merely doesn’t mind when hot girls appear out of nowhere for no-strings-attached booty calls. Skankalicious’ reappearance sort of threw me for a loop. Come on, that girl had “one-episode extra” written all over her, possibly in tattoo form. Despite her general awfulness, she’ll be a much more exciting newbie than Lindsbree if she sticks around. She might even inspire Marissa to wear some revealing shirts! Oh, wait.

The episode, aptly titled ”O.C. Confidential,” took us all over the place. Kirsten and Carter went all Sideways on our asses by guzzling wine and almost hooking up in Santa Barbara. I found Carter hilarious for most of the episode, particularly his dig at American Idol and his comment that fast food chains should incorporate the bucket element into their meals. I was confused at first because all I could picture was a bucket of KFC, with four mouth-watering sides. Maybe five. And biscuits. I got so distracted I had to rewind. I eventually did get his joke, but just so you know, I’ve tried the spit-bucket method with Cadbury Creme Eggs and it doesn’t work. You just end up lunging back into the bucket for the discarded ”yolk.” Carter acted sort of sleazy there at the end, all overly confident that he was getting some. Luckily Kirsten came to her senses after chatting on the phone with the Incredible Surfing Lawyer (who should have his own graphic novel), but she definitely considered cheating. Big time.

We also got to go back to the Bait Shop, where, as Summer put it, ”the tickets are always plentiful and the bands never too loud to talk over.” That was pretty great. Seth missed the big Death Cab for Cutie concert, but 21 Jump Street and Summer were there in full force to try and score some drugs from Skankalicious. I loved Summer’s brief turn as a stoner, quipping, ”What’s from the earth is of the greatest worth” while holding a flower. I found it odd that this concert didn’t take up more of the show, but I was glad. No offense to Death Cab, but I really can’t stand the Bait Shop anymore. I mean, snaps for the self-referential call-out, but still. Yawn.

I never thought I’d link these two clowns together, but Zach and Caleb each showed their subdolous (sneaky, underhanded, not to be trusted) sides tonight. Caleb had Julie followed and photographed while kissing Lance at the Mermaid Inn. There’s something about Julie, that shady motel, and guys with monosyllabic names beginning with L. But Cal didn’t call her out on the kiss when she cried real tears and begged to stay married. Instead of, you know, killing him. He even walked away with a little smirk for our benefit. And so did Zach! He left Seth to be swallowed up by Team Graphic Novel while slyly smiling as he prepared to drive Summer home from the worst party in history. He even turned back around and shot the Caleb smirk for good measure! I had to do slow-mo, but it was there for about three frames. (Wow, I’m kind of a loser.) Remember how Zach convinced Seth that bringing Summer to the worst party in history would be a great idea? Zach Attack has an edge! It had to come out at some point. This could get messy.

Not as messy as the Atomic County debate, though. Seth and the Edge sat through a slew of proposed changes delivered by the world’s biggest tool, a militant ”marketing genius” named Damon. He wanted to change Cosmo Girl’s magic flask to a sports drink and thought Seth’s character, the Ironist, was ”too cerebral.” Hence the best line of the night: ”Is he being ironic?” Seth seemed to be channeling Chandler from Friends. Could he be more in trouble with Summer? Let’s see what the Edge comes up with next episode.

Little Miss Vixen earned about 50,000 bonus miles on my OCometer (her new personal best!) with her dead-on analysis of Team Graphic Novel. During the worst party in history, I had literally just typed out ”these people suck” in my notes when Summer came through with one of her “ew” rampages: “These people are annoying! Messy hair and dirty clothes that they bought that way. They play retro board games and drink wine for fun. Ew!” Love you, Summer. I also love drinking wine for fun, but I’ll let it slide. (For the record, my other favorite Summer line was back in season 1, when she told Anna, ”Sailing is, like, so not the fastest way to get anywhere.”)

What do you think? Is Skankalicious about to become a regular? Will Team Graphic Novel brainwash the Ironist? And is Zach really edgy or was he just having an off day?

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