On ''The O.C.,'' the couples flirt with forbidden love: Marissa almost kisses Alex, Seth almost kisses Summer, and Sandy almost destroys his marriage

By Annie Barrett
Updated February 04, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Mischa Barton: Art Streiber/ FOX

The O.C.

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”The O.C.”: Flirting with forbidden love

Apparently, you all got tired of the Alex-My Little Pony comparisons after only one week. You must excuse me, as I am not good at letting things go. Things like Julie Cooper, Summer and Seth as a couple, and the eggplant parm that is rivaling this column for my attention right now. Don’t worry, I won’t plague you by referring to Alex as MLP anymore. How ’bout I do something completely crazy and just call her Alex?

So. Alex. Let’s talk about that big kiss we were all expecting tonight! Oops, we can’t, because, much like Marissa throughout this episode, all that girl-on-girl promotion for tonight was a big tease. Not to worry. The coming attractions for next week’s episode really, really promise some action, especially during the Last Five Minutes. So we’ll just flip to Fox at 8:54.

Marissalex, who have been joined at the hip-hugging hot pants, are still inseparable at the beginning of the episode, until Marissa detaches herself long enough to walk away from Alex while removing her shirt. What? I’m sure guys found that really hot, but as a flirtation technique, I thought it was pretty pathetic. Dude, Alex knows you’re skinny. We all get it. Move on. Marissa then continues the cheesy-desperate theme with a suggestive line about how Seth was getting Alex ”ready for someone” (hint, hint!), which she immediately follows with something about wanting to eat ice cream together (liar, liar!), and we all roll our eyes. By the way, thank God that was Alex’s CBGB tank top and not Marissa’s. I saw it and cringed in fear that she’d was reverting back to that crimped-hair, punk T-shirt phase of hers back during the early days of Oliver. Yikes.

Later, at the nightclub, some pretty music performed by a piano-playing cross between Kathy Bates and Juliette Lewis (Rachael Yamagata) sets the mood for . . . the Marissalex hand-holding scene! The buildup was a tad too dramatic, but I’ll admit I got goose bumps during Marissa’s gradual creep towards her angel in blue-jean skirt. I actually liked how they made the most of the relatively tame hand holding by lacing the fingers slowly one way, then slowwwly the other. I guess this is the lesbian equivalent of the stuff networks usually show straight people doing. Still, it was really nice, and (bless me, Father, for I’m about to sin) Mischa Barton was actually believable in the scene.

Damn you, sweeps season — so much else happened that I haven’t even mentioned yet. Like Alex referencing Seth’s ”chicken arms,” which Summer has previously called ”bird arms” earlier this season. Haha. What kind of wacky animal’s arms will he have next? Perhaps more important, Caleb has a heart attack, Ryan and Lindsbree temporarily break up (she does it, but he probably would have as soon as he saw her play the oboe), Kirsten finds Sandy’s ex sleeping in his oceanside office, and Seth and Summer are in love. Not that that last one is news or anything.

It’s true: The Seth and the Summer are madly in love. Like, everyone knows except them. I actually got annoyed at the couple’s nonchalant banter in the school’s White Bread and Coffee Shop about how they really don’t like each other. Fortunately, Zach plops down to do his part in heightening the S-S sexual tension with a resounding, ”Cohen, you gotta nail Summer!” He means draw her. Of course. So Summer strips down to her superheroine skivvies so Seth can ”draw her,” which is O.C. code for ”trace her hot pink fishnet stockings and black rubber skirt with his trembling fingertips while trying not to sprout one.” Damn, that kid has some willpower. We all know where he was going after that scene.

Summer must really not be ready to face her feelings about Seth, the ”bobbleheaded geek in size 27 jeans” (hee!) if she can’t even share them with Marissa. Strange, I had forgotten they were friends. Marissa’s not completely honest with Summer either, though: She attempts depth by babbling about ”a moment” that’s ”just, like, charged” and hints at wanting to be with someone she never thought she’d be with. To which Summer responds by holding up her My Little Pony and asking, ”You mean, like Princess Sparkle?” Why, exactly! And I didn’t even have to call Alex MLP again. Thank you, Summer.

Kirsten and Sandy . . . Oh, it’s too horrible, I don’t want to talk about it.

Okay, I will. Sandy invites ex-lover Rebecca (guest star Kim Delaney) to sleep in a sort of extramarital affair couch cubicle (EACC) that he just happens to have lying around his office. Did anyone else notice how Rebecca’s face lit up after Sandy mentioned he didn’t get along with Kirsten’s father? Jackpot! Oh, and actual pot, which Rebecca also thinks will lure Sandy towards her. He turns it down in favor of ”just tequila.” Oh, that makes sense. Because people never do stupid sexual things when they’re drunk, but hit the bong hard enough and they’ll . . . I don’t know, fall asleep? Devour nachos? Rearrange furniture? I can’t quite grasp Sandy’s logic here, but he’s a lawyer with an office on the beach. He must know what he’s doing.

Roundup time. Ryan and Lindsbree: Eh. Does anyone care? Seth and Summer: It’s cute, but we’re getting antsy. Marissalex: Ditto. Caleb: I don’t believe he’s made the transition to Good. Sandy: I don’t believe he’ll make the transition to Evil. And Julie Cooper: I wish she’d come back already. Given her past treatment of Marissa’s boyfriends, I can’t wait to see what she has to say about Alex.

What do you think? Was the hand-holding a letdown or a good sneak preview? Will the water-polo demon make it into the O.C. comic book? And what’s your favorite Brahms concerto?

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