On ''The O.C.,'' Marissa shoots bad-boy brother Trey to save Ryan; meanwhile, Kirsten has to go into rehab after getting drunk at Caleb's post-funeral party
Mischa Barton
Credit: Mischa Barton: Art Streiber/ FOX
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”The O.C.”: Marissa got a gun

We knew the season finale would be good. Julie trying to attend her husband’s funeral in a coral sweater, a little equine toy fetish for Seth and Summer, maybe even a really embarrassing scene in front of the Newport elite at Camp Cohen, and bam! Season’s over. Check, check, check, and . . . oh yeah, Marissa shot a gun at Trey! Best surprise ever! She even shot it with one hand. I didn’t think that arm could even hold up a cheeseburger — in fact I’m positive it never has — and now a gun? Amazing. Marissa wins the season finale’s Go for It award for that move. I almost typed ”season 2” instead of ”season finale,” but Julie’s panic-stricken pool plunge kicked ass last week, not to mention I kind of hated Marissa until the last few episodes. So maybe she gets Most Improved Player, or at least Most Unexpected Cleavage. It’s a toss-up.

I should probably back it up in case people missed the ep and are reading this as a substitute. (If this applies to you, I say 1. How dare you? and 2. Are you crazy? Haven’t you noticed that all this column ever does is explore different variations on the name Skank?) Since Skankalicious apparently now runs the biggest drug ring in SoCal and Trey now cleans the restrooms at the Bait Shop, a $15,000 drug deal went down on the bar’s upper level while the Fabulous Four, who looked really funny and somber in their black funeral outfits, hung out down below. Come on, Skankula — even I noticed that all the bills in that guy’s bag were fives, and I’m not even a snow-snorting hoochie. Shape up or ship out. Actually, just leave. No one can stand you. After the drug guy admitted to not bringing sufficient funds, Hoobaskank’s gun came out, and it seemed like Marissa got shot. Nope, just a cut on the head to add to her vast array of visible wounds.

In the aftermath of the Bait Shop scene, Ryan visited Trey, and instead of doing something all first-season-Ryan like whaling on the bad guy, he simply asked him to leave. Like Marissa’s fake gunshot wound, this scene served mostly to foreshadow the final moments. Conveniently, Trey also got asked to skip town by the Skankiest Skank That Ever Skanked It Up. (I did not make that up — the morning after the first episode involving Jess, my mom asked me on the phone, ”Annie, is it just me or is that girl truly the skankiest skank to ever skank it up?” I applaud her for using the word as an adjective, noun, and verb all in one phrase. Maybe she should take over this column next season.) Either way, let’s hope Trey was packing up when Ryan knocked on his door after hearing from Seth, who heard from Summer, who heard from Marissa that Trey had attacked her.

This scene was amazing. When Marissa arrived on the scene, Trey yanked the phone out of the wall, either to smash his brother’s skull or to prevent Marissa from calling 911. He must have forgotten about the stray gun on the carpet (not to mention Marissa’s cell phone). Marissa ended up pulling that ”woman shoots the bad guy who’s too busy fighting the good guy to imagine her as a threat” thing commonly found in movies. I loved how everything got all slow-motion and set to music instead of dialogue after the shot was fired. Trey’s face looked Ashton Kutcher-y instead of Kevin Federline-y for a minute, but I think that’s because the blood on his mouth made his lips extra cherry-red. We also saw some blood seep through the front of Trey’s shirt, which suggests he might actually die. I wouldn’t put it past The O.C. to follow up one funereal episode with another. They’re quirky like that.

Speaking of quirky, though this episode was mostly action-driven, it still managed to squeeze in its fair share of self-referential nods. There was the obligatory North Shore joke made to Hailey, who left the show to star in — you’ll never guess — North Shore. Then Seth acknowledged the Oliver scare (we all thought he was going to make a guest appearance) by hinting that it might as well be Oliver after Summer rang the doorbell. Maybe Oliver will show up at Kirsten’s rehab clinic next season, but for now the threat of his annoying presence was yet another tease. This episode reeked highly of last season’s episode 3, ”The Outsider,” which featured a gunshot scene at a large gathering (Holly’s beach-house party) and multiple mentions of IMAX. Last season, Seth suggested that he and Ryan go see an IMAX movie and ended up lying to Kirsten that her car got totaled in the IMAX parking lot. I found it creepy when they said IMAX so many times last season, and I still did last night, but the fact that they brought back that reference is entertaining. And this time, it was Ryan who suggested an IMAX movie to Seth while floating in matching pool lounge chairs (something they also haven’t done since season 1). The IMAX-obsessed switch is significant, because right after this scene, Seth begged Ryan not to ”get all old-school Ryan Atwood” on him, and Ryan said, ”All year I’ve tried to be a different person . . . and I can’t do that,” before storming off to find Trey. I sort of wanted a theme song here, like ”Bad to the Bone” or even ”Eye of the Tiger,” but it’s okay.

The Atwood plot aside, I would have been reasonably satisfied by the drama surrounding Kirsten’s intervention and Caleb’s funeral. I noticed a lot more touching moments than usual, which makes sense given that someone died and all the typically catty people had to be on their best behavior. The women were particularly compassionate tonight, with Julie trying to help Sandy take care of Kirsten, Summer being incredibly cute instead of incredibly bitchy to Seth, and Marissa giving her mother an unprecedented hug. Ryan, who has been one big billowing hoop skirt of emotions this season, came through with the night’s biggest tearjerker when he told Kirsten, ”I don’t want to see that [raging alcoholism] happen again to someone I love.” Awww, Ryan! Stop making me pause and rewind to hear you say that again.

Fine, one more time. Ooh, I love how Ry Guy darted his eyes from side to side while saying the line, then glanced directly at Kirsten a second later. She visibly melted, but not enough to stop her from saying she was not going to rehab. But wait! There was Seth, right when she whirled around. He’d had a change of heart and decided to attend the intervention. ”Mom, please, you gotta do this,” he said. Cue group hug! That doctor must have been wetting himself with glee about this perfect timing after having orchestrated who said what in the intervention thus far. I almost expected him to shout out tearfully, ”I couldn’t have directed that any better myself! Cut! That’s a wrap, people. Can I have some of those leftovers?”

We have a lot of discussion questions to tackle. Did Trey die, or will he? With all the talk of a ”Cooper comeback,” will Jimmy still be interested in sticking around if Julie gets none of Caleb’s money after all? And if she doesn’t get the money, can the family at least fulfill my dream of turning Caleb’s stucco mansion into the largest Taco Bell in the universe? Why weren’t Zach and — um, hello? — Caleb’s daughter Lindsbree at the funeral? Can Seth and Summer keep it together? Can Ryan really manage the takeout menus all by himself? Oh, well. We have all summer to gab about it — maybe even longer than that, if the show decides to start in November as it did last fall. Boring Thursday ni-iiiiiiights, here we come. (Da-na-na-na-na. . . . )

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