By Annie Barrett
Updated November 03, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST
The O.C.: Michael Desmond

Welcome back to The O.C., lovely person! I’ve watched last night’s season premiere 27 times on MySpace and I think I’m finally ready to write about it! Here we go.

Because The O.C. is a lot like Greek and Latin poetry, shiz began in the middle. Oh, “Hey.” It’s Ryan, washing his hands in his decrepit troll cave. I actually loved that we got to see this scene twice — it made the haunting song extra goosebumpy, and I simply cannot get enough of dirty running water! The repetition also made Ryan’s Fight Club-esque rematch against the nasty bald beast more powerful. Before, Ryan was in peak glutton-for-punishment mode when he chose to go up against the beast — we can assume getting wailed upon has been a key part of Ryan’s pecuilar grieving process. But after the family’s intervention and some time to process what Julie wanted him to do about Volchok, Kid Chino the pugilist rallied for the win. (He got a good warmup from that uncharacteristic shove he gave Seth — WTF was that?!) So now that he’s reached inside to figure out how to nearly kill a guy, Ryan seems set to take it up a notch.

That comic book intervention scene was about 40 different types of cheese, and by that I mean awesome. It’s so fun when you know you’re gonna start crying in a few seconds, even though what’s on your screen shouldn’t really warrant it. But then, damn, Seth had to go and draw some classic moments, including the one with the bike and the skateboard and both guys’ maniacally New Friends on the Pier grins, and I was a goner. The comics were great, but my fave part here was when Ryan grunted, “I can read.” Sometimes we need a reminder! And the following Sandy-Ryan car scene was among that pair’s best. Did anyone catch when Ryan slammed the door and tried his best not to look back at Sandy but then tossed a slight full-body jerk his way just to show he cared? Wow, I’m sick.

addCredit(“The O.C.: Michael Desmond”)

Summer (Rachel Bilson, pictured) was on hand to help orchestrate theSave Ryan campaign, but not before we caught her fabulously clicheddorm room and new friend Che over at Brown. It took me a full minute toprocess that she actually made it to college, and another to fullygrasp the concept of Summer willing to associate with a chunky sweaterstriped in all sorts of earth tones. She flew back to Rhode Islandbefore having any sort of meaningful conversation with Seth (save “Givea hoot, don’t pollute”), but she’ll come around within a few episodes.Girl’s got to grieve. (If only she could watch this video of every time Marissa’s said “Hey” over the years.)

Speaking of which, the Cooper women really delivered last night.Julie’s oblivious “Oh, that’s nice” reaction to Kaitlin’s reminder thatshe wasn’t at school because it was Saturday night was my favorite lineof the night, and put me in an excellent mood just a few seconds in.The reincarnation of Season 2’s Yard Guy, Julie is acting just likecomic-book Kirsten, trapped inside an “impenetrable force field” withonly odd jobs and pills to keep her company. She didn’t even flinchwhen Dr. Roberts admitted to an affair with his ex-wife. Oh, and I lovethat after countless references to Summer’s “stepmonster,” we finallyget to see her and it’s just the back of her head.

Where is it all going? What does it all mean? How awesomely fake were Taylor’s photos of France? Discuss.