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The O.C. Episode Guide

The Proposal - 1.24
aired 4/14/04

Marissa, Ryan, Seth and Summer

By Jessica

The episode opens with Marissa, Ryan, Summer and Seth in a movie theatre. Marissa is crying over the movie, while Ryan looks quite puzzled over why she’s so emotional. She claims that she is emotionally stable, and points out that Seth is crying too. Seth tries to cover by blaming it on allergies, and then tells Summer they should watch football the next day. The gang then tries to figure out where to go next, as they all try to hide the fact that they don’t think Marissa is okay, but she says she is, even though “they guy [she] lost her virginity to had sex with [her] mom.” So then they head off to Java Juice, where they see Luke and Julie sitting at a table together, and Marissa storms off (as she does atleast a few times every episode). I actually felt a bit bad for Luke, because he took so much effort to get Julie to meet him and talk (their meeting was just to talk) and then they got caught.

We start off here with a bit of comedy, as Seth walks in on Ryan getting dressed, and starts babbling about how it never happened before, even though there is a mathematical chance. Ryan hints at something by commenting “crying during chick flicks, walking in on me getting dressed” but Seth ignores it. Then Ryan says he’s going to find Luke, and Seth points out that Luke happens to be in their yard at that exact moment (what a coincidence!) Ryan yells at Luke, who says he needs to see Marissa and tell her that he loves Julie, because he’s moving to Portland (which is what he wanted to tell Julie the night before).

Cut to Sandy who is nervous about the restaurant opening, and anticipating the worst. Jimmy wanders in and he and Sandy exchange a “secret handshake”. Then Hailey enters to show off her new dress, which makes Jimmy stare. Sandy opens his mail, and finds a letter from the Liquor Board revoking their license. Sandy decides to call the inspector, and leaves, while Kirsten leaves to get Hailey shoes. Hailey and Jimmy have a quick conversation turning “waitress speak” into sexual innuendo.

Over at Marissa’s apartment Summer comes to visit, and tries to get Marissa to go with her for some beauty treatment, but Marissa has plans to meet Ryan at the pier (just wondering, when did Ryan start liking her again?) Marissa’s phone rings, leading the two to Marissa’s bedroom – or rather a huge mess of unpacked boxes all over the place (where was she sleeping?). Marissa goes off to the pier, while Summer sneakily asks to stay behind.

On the pier Marissa whines about Luke and her mom, but Ryan defends him to her annoyance. She says she can’t forgive him, which is understandable. They both pause for a few seconds, then Ryan asks “you know what we haven’t done in awhile?” and they start making out. Now I’m a big fan of Ryan and Marissa, so I thought this was cute – a bit out of the blue, but cute. It’s nice for them to be together without Theresa or Oliver or someone hanging around.

Back to Summer, who’s called Seth over to assist her in her plan to surprise Marissa by decorating her room. Seth points out that a little feng shui won’t make Marissa forget that her mom slept with her ex, but Summer won’t be phased. She wants to go to the hardware store, and when Seth protests Summer brings up his recent feminine traits and says “next thing you’re gonna tell me, you walk in on Ryan changing!” Seth quickly decides they should go to the hardware store.

Over to the restaurant, where Sandy meets someone from the Liquor Board, and is told that the letter he received was no accident. Sandy is upset, since without a license they’ll never make a profit, because in Newport Beach “everyone is a borderline alcoholic.” Then he learns that the new commissioner holds a bit of a grudge against Jimmy over the whole losing all his money thing (like a quarter million dollars that forced him back to work, where his first case was for *gasp* Jimmy Cooper). So Sandy’s options are give up, or get Jimmy to step down.

Now to Marissa and Ryan, who are at Marissa’s apartment, and someone don’t run into Summer and Seth, or even hear them. Marissa asks Ryan whether we wants mac and cheese or mac and cheese for lunch, but he’s more interested in making out with her again. Just as they decide that lunch can wait – which means they’re planning on having a little fun instead – someone knocks on the door. Who could it be? It’s Caleb Nichol! Wow what a surprise. He wants to talk to Marissa privately, but she insists that Ryan stay because they have no secrets (aww!). Then Caleb tells Marissa her mother is “a wonderful woman” to which Marissa replies “she is?” He announces his plan to propose to her that night, infront of everyone. Caleb doesn’t really care what Marissa thinks, so he ignores her protest and goes along on his way.

Back at the Cohen house, Luke is waiting to talk to Ryan. He whines a bit that Marissa won’t see him, totally yelling at Ryan, and then says he’s in love with Julie, and Marissa needs to know (why would she want to know that?). Then Luke storms off – maybe he learned something from Marissa. 

Over to Summer and Seth, who are planning to show their faces at the dinner and then sneak back to Marissa’s (do they have a key now?) Seth comments on how stealth he is, and as they joke Summer finds last year’s yearbook. She wants to look at it, even though Seth protest (looking very uncomfortable) that they don’t have time. Summer notices some club pictures with Seth in them – and only Seth. He was the whole Sailing Team and Film Preservation Society, the President and only member of the Comic Book Club. As Summer points out these pictures, Seth grows more and more uncomfortable, finally saying “it was a long time ago, we don’t have to … it’s not fun” (or something like that). Summer finally seems to get it, and asks “was I really mean to you?” and in one of the saddest scenes I remember seeing on The OC, Seth says “No, that would have required you to speak to me. For anyone to speak to me.” (*tear*)  Summer comments how a lot’s changed in a year, and they notice a message from Luke to Marissa in the yearbook, and joke about how much feng shui Marissa will need, and then kiss. Just a note – I was really impressed that they brought up how Seth used to be treated, and I’m hoping that one day he and Ryan have a talk in which Seth mentions how much his life has changed for the better since Ryan arrived. So yeah, I thought this scene was super cute, and sad too.

At the Cohen’s Sandy is drinking and looking thoughtfully out the window. Kirsten comes in, and Sandy explains the whole license thing to her. Sandy assures Kirsten he’s not going to force Jimmy to step down, and she reminds him he has one more option – her father.

Cut to Luke, having a quick drink in the parking lot of the Lighthouse. Inside Sandy wanders around while Ryan and Marissa get some food. Seth comes over, asks some odd questions, and then starts doing some crazy sign language with Summer across the room. When Ryan catches him, he informs him he’s going to pee, for a long time, in case anyone asks. He goes off, leaving Marissa and Ryan confused. “He’s getting weirder.” Marissa comments. Ryan shakes his head, saying “I didn’t think that was possible.” Ok honestly Ryan and Marissa are so cute together. Just letting you know. They meet Julie, but Marissa brushes her off. Caleb goes to Julie and says he’ll talk to Marissa, as he can be quite persuasive (dun dun da foreshadow). Kirsten and Hailey watch in awe and disgust at how “whooshy” their dad is. Kirsten asks about Hailey’s love life, and Hailey just stares at Jimmy. Kirsten looks a bit upset, but doesn’t say anything. Jimmy and Sandy talk about how great everything is, and Sandy says he’s working on the liquor thing. Outside Luke finishes his drink, and purposefully strides toward the building. Ryan and Marissa have a quick happy moment, before Caleb gets everyone’s attention. Just then Luke comes in – whoa great timing. Ryan runs over to try to get rid of him, but not before Julie notices him. Then Caleb gets down on one knee, and we see everyone’s face. Jimmy is shocked, Hailey’s smile drops, Sandy gasps, Kirsten looks like she’s gonna be sick, and Luke is insisting on talking to Marissa, but distracted when Caleb asks Julie to marry him (with a large, green stoned ring – as Summer would say, eww!) Jimmy looks more upset, Hailey laughs bitterly, and Kirsten looks like she really will be sick, especially when Julie points out the ring to her. Luke pulls another Marissa, and storms out. Ryan tries to stop him from drunk driving, but Luke gets angry and goes to his car, and drunkenly drives away. Marissa comes out to see his car almost hit another one, and runs to Ryan, who wants her car to go after Luke. Marissa wants Ryan to take a side, and leave Luke to think about what he did, but then Ryan tells her Luke is leaving – tomorrow. Now I’m kind of amused that Luke, who started off as the mean, super popular jock, has been reduced to the point that the only sort of friend he has used to be his enemy, and partly stole his girlfriend. Ahh the irony. Well sort of. Back inside people are congratulating Julie while Kirsten gets drunk. But she has a reason, as “Julie Cooper is [her] stepmom.” Drink away Kirsten. She points out the irony that her ex-boyfriend’s ex-wife is going to marry her father (which makes Jimmy want to drink). She elaborates exactly how bad the marriage is – and I personally agree. 

Seth and Summer managed to sneak away, and are at Marissa’s. Seth manages to put a nail in the wall, and is extremely proud, as is Summer (sarcastically of course). Then he ruins it by putting a whole in the wall. The two have a few jokes about finding studs (Summer tells him to find the stud, he asks like she did? She says to get a studfinder, he thinks she is one, she grabs the hammer and waves it at him) and tools, and then he suggests a contractor. Summer clearly disagrees, and shows it by holding up two weapons (drill and a hammer). So Seth starts painting. Two points about this – first of all, how does Summer know all of this? You’d think the Summer we first met would have said “eww” to all kinds of building work. Second, Seth and Summer are soooo cute (as Summer would say). I know the two are dating in real life, and it shows. They’re totally natural together, and all their joking is adorable.

Now Luke is somewhere new, getting drunk. Ryan calls him from Marissa’s car. Luke says that he doesn’t deserve Marissa’s forgiveness –he’s scum. Ryan tries to get him to say where he is, since Luke can’t leave without saying goodbye, but Luke ends it with “goodbye”. Then he kicks his car for a while. I honestly felt bad for him – his life is totally messed up. He calls Julie and leaves a message about how he’s leaving and she owes him a goodbye. I think Julie owes him an apology – even though he was equally guilty of sleeping with her, she should have said no, as he’s a teenage guy and she’s Marissa’s mother.

Sandy and Caleb are back at the Cohen’s and Sandy asks Caleb for a favour. In an allusion to another episode, Caleb asks him to repeat what he said. I love how they always allude back to previous conversations. Caleb suggest dropping Jimmy, and then realizes Sandy is too soft, and advises him not to mix business and friendship. Sandy says that in the future he’ll do all his business dealing with Caleb. Kirsten comes in totally nauseous, which is made worse when Caleb says he wants to get back to his bride to be.

Marissa and Ryan are still driving, until they see and hear and ambulance. They get out of the car in time to see Luke being wheeled out on a stretcher, face covered in blood.

Cut to the hospital waiting room, where Marissa’s head is on Ryan’s shoulder, and Seth on Summer’s. Marissa tells Ryan that earlier she wished for something like this to happen, and Ryan says it’s not her fault (sounding a bit exasperated – probably from her constant theatrics). Luke’s dad comes in and says Luke is through surgery, but unconscious, and they can go home. Seth and Summer leave, but Ryan decides to stay, so Marissa stays too.

Over at the Cohen’s, Jimmy is there (he seems to live there lately). He and Sandy talk a bit (useless chatter), and finally Sandy explains the real problem with the liquor license. Jimmy realizes he has no escape from his past, but Sandy says he asked Caleb as a last resort.

Back to the hospital. Luke’s dad comes in and says he’s awake, so they can leave (why would they stay till he woke up, and not want to see him?) but Marissa asks him to tell Luke she’d like to see him. 

Again to the Cohen’s, this time Julie is there babbling about the wedding to Kirsten who looks tired and sick. Seth comes in and explains he’s awake because Summer is a slave driver, and asks if Ryan is still at the hospital. Julie perks up at the gossipy sound of it, and is shocked to hear about Luke driving drunk, which is so unlike him according to Kirsten (how does she know him?) Julie says he must not have recovered from his parent’s divorce, and Seth sarcastically says that must be it.

At the lighthouse Caleb comes in and asks for the “last drink they’ll ever serve.” He couldn’t get the license to work out therefore no restaurant. Caleb spouts off some random proverb and then smiles (which shocks Sandy and Jimmy) and then tells them to get drinks (so his isn’t the last apparently) so they can talk. Hmm he just sounds eviler as the show goes on.

In Luke’s hospital room he’s in the bed, face all bloody with stitches, hair spread out (it’s a bit long – he looks like a girl). Marissa comes in and they talk. He apoligizes for everyone, and says it was because he had no one. Aww. Then he says he’s leaving so things can go back to normal (ha normal – no such thing in the OC). He says before he leaves he needs to know if she can forgive him, and she says a tearful yes. She goes out, and Ryan comes forward. They have an interesting conversation – Luke starts off by saying “who would have thought when you came to town that I’d be the one to leave?” When Ryan says he can start a new life Luke make his first joke ever (!) and says “maybe I’ll show up in Portland and fall for the chick dating the captain of the football team.” Ryan adds “and he can kick your ass”, and Luke (in another allusion) says “welcome to Portland bitch!” They two have a laugh about that, and Luke says maybe he’ll come back to visit one time (opening the gates to appearances next season). Ok I thought the Portland thing was great – it really seemed to bring the Ryan/Luke thing full circle. I seriously love these allusions – btw that was to the very first episode in case you were wondering (Luke beat up Ryan and said “welcome to the OC bitch”). In the hallway Ryan and Marissa wander along (ok I need to say this – I hate her dress) and she says she doesn’t want to go home, since she hates her mother for trying to drive Ryan out, destroying her father, and almost killing Luke (isn’t her home with her dad? I guess she can’t go there and spoil the surprise yet). There’s something Marissa needs to do (is it change?).

Marissa goes to Caleb’s office, and tells him they need to talk about her mom. She tells him he has no idea what Julie’s like, or what she’s done, but he says he knows everything (?!) Caleb wants them to be a real family, and explains that he’s the only way to save her father. He’s going to buy the Lighthouse for a few million, since it’ll never open. He then blackmails Marissa, saying that if he were to change his mind her father would be bankrupt, and because she’s important to her mother, and Julie is important to Caleb. Basically she has to be part of the family, or her father’s life is ruined. She’ll have to move in with them, be part of the wedding. So, Caleb blackmails Marissa to keep Julie happy, even though it’ll make Marissa miserable, but she has to do it to save her dad. That is so incredibly evil.

Ryan takes Marissa home, and says she did what she needed to do. She agrees, and says she needs sleep. Just then they hear a loud noise, and Summer yelling at Seth. Marissa runs up, and sees her gorgeous new Paris themed room, and starts to tear. Seth confirms they’re happy tears, and Marissa is so happy she’s speechless. Seth confesses Summer did all the building, lifting heavy objects, and electrical wiring (wow she’s skilled for someone who wouldn’t seem to want to ruin her nails), but Seth painted. Marissa says it’s so cool, actually sounded her real age (she’s the youngest of the cast, as she’s only 18). Summer says they went through all her toys, and couldn’t find a plastic horse (haha) but they did find … Share Bear the Care Bear! Seth says she’ll watch over Marissa with her Care Bear stare, and Ryan wonders how Seth knows about the stare. Seth defends himself by saying “I painted that” and Summer says “yes you did” and the two sit together on the bed all cute and cuddled together. Ryan and Marissa are at the other side of the bed, also cute (but not quite as entangled as Seth and Summer). Marissa thanks them, and says she really needed this (doesn’t she remember she’ll be moving out soon?). The episode ends with the four of them joking around about Seth with a power saw, the Care Bear stare, and other stuff. I thought the ending was great – I love seeing them all happy together acting like real teens.


Photos from Screencap Paradise

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Updated 9/11/10 

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