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The O.C. Episode Guide

The Journey - 3.17
aired 3/16/06

Julie and Neil

By Kasey 

The Cohens try to decide what to do for Ryan’s eighteenth birthday, and try to persuade him to have a party. They finally convince Ryan, who insists that they keep it small. He also reminds them that he is broken up with Marissa, therefore, they might not want to invite her. 

Ryan and Marissa both look at their phones, and they both decide against calling each other. 

Summer tells Marissa how worried she is about her after breaking up with Ryan. Marissa assures Summer that she is doing better, but when Summer begins to break the news to her about Julie and Neil, she notices that Marissa is distracted by Ryan. Marissa rushes off, and Summer tells Ryan that he and Marissa can’t avoid each other forever. 

Kirsten tells Sandy that they should try to get Ryan’s mom to come into town for Ryan’s birthday, and she asks him to track her down. Sandy agrees to try. 

Summer tells Seth that they have to get Ryan and Marissa to either move on or get back together. Summer appoints this task to Seth, since she is busy strategizing about her dad and Julie. 

Julie and Neil talk about when they should be open about their relationship with their daughters. Julie says that she wants to know how serious they are if they’re going to tell their daughters, but after Neil gets a phone call, he says that they should wait for a while to tell Summer and Marissa so that they can be clear with them. 

Ryan visits Sadie, who says that Johnny’s mom’s house is getting put on the market. Sadie asks how Ryan and Marissa are doing, and Ryan says that they are very broken up, but he needs to know how he feels before he talks to Marissa again. 

Marissa notices that her calendar says that Ryan’s birthday is coming up soon, and she seems saddened. She notices something on the porch, and looks out and spots Volchok. He runs off on his motorcycle, even though Marissa calls after him. 

Seth tells Ryan that his party is going to be bigger than he wanted, and Ryan asks that Sadie be invited. Seth asks about Marissa, and when Ryan tries to pass the decision off to Seth instead, Seth insists that Ryan make up his own mind. 

At Summer’s house, Seth and Summer plan Ryan’s party, and Summer bemoans not being able to say anything to Marissa about the party. Seth points out that she still hasn’t said anything about their parents dating, either. Summer says that she has decided that she’s okay with Julie and Neil dating now, since Julie makes her dad so happy. The doorbell rings, and Seth goes to get it. 

Seth gets a delivery for Summer’s dad—two tickets for a lover’s cruise! Summer is shocked, and says that her dad is going to propose to Julie, since he popped the question to both of his former wives on cruises. Summer says that they have to put helping Marissa on hold, since her dad’s issue is now so urgent. 

Ryan invites Sadie to his birthday party, but she declines, saying that she is meeting a friend in L.A. She spots Marissa’s invitation, and Ryan says that Seth says that he is in a relationship limbo, and he needs to make a decision. Sadie agrees, and says that she recently went through the same thing. 

Marissa is making a mix-CD for Ryan when Summer comes over. Summer says that it is romantic, and that she needs to give Ryan a clear decision one way or another. Summer invites Marissa to Ryan’s birthday party, but Marissa says that she can’t go without Ryan’s invitation. 

Sandy tells Kirsten that he’s found Ryan’s mom and is now flying to Albuquerque, New Mexico to find her. 

Julie waits for Neil at the Roberts’ when Summer walks in. Summer tells Julie that she knows about their relationship, and tells her about the cruise, which Julie didn’t know about yet. Summer tells Julie that Neil proposed to his last two wives on cruises, but Julie assures her that she and Neil are nowhere near the engagement stage.  

Sandy visits Dawn (Ryan’s mom) in jail in Albuquerque. He tells her about Ryan’s birthday party, and Dawn begins to cry. It turns out that Dawn has been writing bad checks. Sandy tells her that he is going to look at her file. Dawn asks how Ryan is doing, and Sandy tells her that she can be very proud. 

Matt meets Marissa on the pier and gives her the paperwork from the police investigation. Matt steps aside to take a phone call, when Marissa notices Volchok watching her. She confronts him, and when Volchok grabs her to try to talk to her, Matt steps in. Volchok and Matt begin to argue, and then a cop steps in. He tells Marissa and Matt to head off, and asks Volchok for his ID. 

Ryan stops by Marissa’s trailer, but instead of leaving her an invitation, he decides to leave. 

Seth wishes Ryan a happy birthday. Ryan tells Seth that he didn’t invite Marissa, and Seth urges him to tell Sadie where he stands to see if she’ll change her mind about coming to the party. Seth also tells Ryan that there is going to be a surprise at the party. 

Julie and Marissa get breakfast together and Julie tells Marissa that she is seeing Neil. Marissa is shocked, but supportive. 

Sandy waits for Dawn to get cleared out of jail. He tells her that he has made restitution for all the people she’s defrauded, and the charges against her have been cleared, as long as she enrolls herself in a substance abuse program and comes to Ryan’s birthday party. Dawn isn’t sure about coming, but Sandy reassures her that Ryan will want to see her. She leaves to get changed. 

Sadie gives Ryan a hammer for his birthday that she’s had engraved for him. Ryan tells her that he didn’t invite Marissa to his party, since he wanted something else. Sadie, taking the hint, tells Ryan that she still can’t come to his party because she is meeting her ex-boyfriend in LA. When Ryan asks what that means, she says that it means she is going to have to make a decision. 

Marissa goes to the beach and tells a surfer that she needs to find Volchok. The surfer says that after Johnny died, Volchok has been acting weird. He gives Marissa contact information of a guy that Volchok has worked for. 

Neil meets Julie at a restaurant. She tells him that the girls know about their relationship, and that she is excited about their cruise. Neil is surprised that Julie knows about the cruise, and before Julie goes to the bathroom, she lays a huge kiss on Neil in front of everyone. Neil looks very confused and conflicted throughout this whole meeting. 

Kirsten is shocked when she hears that Ryan hasn’t told Marissa that he wasn’t inviting her to the party. She reminds Ryan that Marissa has been a part of his life for two years. Seth comes in and informs Ryan that he is leaving to set up for the party, and reminds him again that he has a huge surprise for him. Kirsten reminds Ryan to think about what she said, and tells him that since he is now eighteen, he should start acting like an adult. 

Sandy comes to the hotel to find Dawn, but she is missing. All that he finds is a note that she left for Ryan. 

Ryan goes to Marissa’s house with her invitation. When nobody answers, he lets himself into the trailer, where he spots Marissa’s CD. 

Marissa goes to find Volchok, and is alarmed to see how much the home he is working on restoring looks like the model home that Ryan accidently burnt down when they first met. She goes inside, and spots Volchok upstairs. She apologizes to him for Matt’s overprotectiveness. Volchok gets in trouble for smoking inside, and his boss reminds him that the model home has already burnt down once before. Marissa realizes that this is indeed the same home that Ryan had hid out in when he first came to Newport. She passes out, falling down the stairs in the process. Volchok calls for help. 

Meanwhile, Ryan listens to a song on Marissa’s CD, but stops halfway through the song and leaves, turning over a picture that Marissa had out of the two of them in the process. 

Seth shows Ryan around his party. 

Volchok takes Marissa home, and she thanks him for helping her. She also tells him why she passed out. Volchok tells Marissa that he is having a hard time dealing with Johnny’s death. He leaves his phone number with Marissa in case she needs him. Marissa goes inside and sees the invitation that Ryan left her. 

Neil tells Summer that he had purchased the tickets for the cruise months ago as a way of salvaging things with her step-mother. He had even purchased a ring. Summer is stunned. Neil tells her that he cares for Julie, and leaves to go on the cruise.  

Sandy tells Ryan that he saw his mom in Albuquerque, and delivers her note to Ryan. Ryan goes outside and reads it. Marissa spots him from a distance, and decides to leave. Sadie comes up to Ryan, saying that she decided on a different choice. 

Ryan introduces Sadie to Sandy and Kirsten, acknowledging that they are his family. 

Neil and Julie prep for the cruise, and Neil tells Julie to go ahead while he gets the lights. After Julie leaves, Neil looks at a ring! 

Marissa and Volchok meet at the beach after Marissa called him. Marissa asks Volchok to sit with her. He offers her a drink, and this time she accepts.  

Seth announces Ryan’s birthday and introduces a Journey tribute band. After Seth leaves, Sadie reminds Ryan that the band is actually a Foreigner song—Ryan knows. Later, Seth tells Summer that he intentionally got a different band, since he thought they were better. 

Julie and Neil excitedly drive to their cruise. 

Marissa and Volchok sit on the beach together, while Marissa wears Volchok’s jacket. She puts her head on his shoulder.

Photo from Screencap Paradise

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Updated 1/5/11 

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