Five months have passed since the season finale and Marissa’s death. In
the opening scene of this episode, the season premiere, Ryan (Benjamin
McKenzie) is standing at a sink in a small dim room. He is washing his hands
and even in the dim light, it is clear that his face and lips have been
badly bruised. As he finishes at the sink, his cell phone rings and he digs
inside a backpack to find it and answer it. Though the caller on the other
end is not identified, Ryan tells whoever it is that he will be right there.
Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) pulls his car into a parking garage and walks
past several young men, who regard him with suspicion and/or disgust. Sandy
ignores them. Moments later, he is making his way through a crowded bar. He
asks a nearby bartender, “Is he there?” but the bartender ignores the
question. Sandy is not discouraged, however, and heads over to a nearby
door. The door, it turns out, is the door to Ryan’s room, where he is once
again standing at the sink. Sandy pleads with Ryan to open the door and talk
to him because he misses him and just wants to say hello. Ryan’s facial
expression turns to anger, and he grabs his jacket and bag. When Sandy opens
the door and lets himself in, Ryan has already exited out the back door and
climbed into his car.
Julie Cooper (Melinda Clarke) is in her bathroom, standing before the
medicine cabinet. She looks very tired and her hair is a mess. She reaches
for a bottle of pills, opens it, and pops one into her mouth. Down the hall,
Kaitlin Cooper (Willa Holland) is trying on a pair of leather boots. Julie
asks Kaitlin why she is not in school, and Kaitlin tells her mother that it
is eight o’clock at night. Julie doesn’t seem fazed by this information at
all, and tells Kaitlin that she is going out. Kaitlin gives Julie a strange
look, and asks her where she’s going, reminding her mother that she is no
longer supposed to drive at night. Julie’s only reply is, “Great boots,
baby.” Kaitlin looks worried and offers to go out with her mother.
Outside of a seedy hotel called the Mermaid Inn, Ryan walks across a parking
lot and knocks on a door labeled with the number 14. When the door opens,
Julie Cooper is standing behind it, and she invites Ryan inside. Julie
quickly glances outside to see if anyone has seen him entering and then
shuts the door.
After the opening credits, the scene changes, and we revert back in time to
events that happened 36 hours earlier. Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) is sitting on
the floor in his bedroom, talking on the telephone to Summer’s (Rachel
Bilson) answering machine in her dorm room at Brown. Seth gives her (and the
audience) an update on the various people in his life: Ryan has his own
place and is making some new friends, some of whom look pretty questionable.
Sandy is still “fighting the man” and “sticking up for the little guy.”
Kirsten (Kelly Rowan) has been having parties with the other women of
Newport, which Seth has started to attend. He describes these experiences as
“not that bad.” Seth also mentions that he has been bonding with Summer’s
dad. He says that he has been doing a lot of bonding with adults since she
has been gone. He does see Kaitlin from time to time, but it seems that she
is always half-naked and flirtatiously waving at him, which seems to make
Seth pretty uncomfortable. Kaitlin has befriended Luke’s younger twin
brothers, who seem to be a lot like Luke. Seth has also heard from Taylor,
who is in Paris.
In Summer’s dorm room, the answering machine beeps and cuts Seth off because
he has exceeded the time limit. Summer stares thoughtfully at the machine,
indicating that she been listening to the entire message. An earnest-looking
hippie-type student named Che (Chris Pratt of Everwood fame) makes his way
down the hallway of the dorm and a moment later, knocks on Summer’s door. He
tells her that they need to get out on the quad right away because “this
thing is going down right now.” Summer asks Che what they are supposed to be
protesting this time, and Che reminds her that it is “the chickens.” Summer
asks him for one second, and even though Che is concerned that they could be
losing more and more chickens with every second that passes, he gives her a
moment. She grabs her bag and a sweater and, glancing quickly at the
answering machine, deletes the message from Seth, and then leaves the room.
Back in Newport, Seth is now at work at a comic book store. A little girl
stands by the counter, and he berates her for asking if he has any comic
books based on The X-Men movie. The little girl runs from the store,
obviously upset. As she exits, Kirsten enters, carrying a brown paper bag.
Seth recognizes it as a care package for Ryan, as this is not the first one
of these that Kirsten has prepared, but he tells his mom that he doesn’t
think Ryan is going to want this one anymore than he has wanted the others.
Seth says simply, “The guy’s changed.” Kirsten suggests offering Ryan an
invitation to dinner, but Seth says that if he didn’t go to Marissa’s
funeral, he’s definitely not going to want to have dinner with the Cohens.
Kirsten looks upset, but does not argue with Seth’s logic.
Summer’s father, Dr. Roberts, enters the kitchen of his house with a
newspaper and a cup of coffee. He is about to sit down and read the paper
when he hears the sound of an electric saw. He looks out the window and sees
that someone is in fact cutting the hedge. Julie emerges from behind the
bush wearing goggles and a hat, and carrying the saw that was making the
noise. After a pause, she starts in on the hedge again, which causes Dr.
Roberts to make a face. He heads outside and interrupts her work. Julie asks
if she is making too much noise, but then goes on to say that she was
surveying the yard and thought more work could be done on it. Dr. Roberts
asks her to stop and pleads with her to talk to him. Julie ignores his
request for conversation and says that she will start the process for hiring
new landscapers. Dr. Roberts stops her and says that he understands that all
this busywork is her coping mechanism, but begs her to let him in and let
him help her deal with her grief. Julie seems to hear him, but does not give
in. Instead, with tears forming in her eyes, she announces that he can go
ahead and call the landscapers because now she is going to go inside and
plug in the glue gun, in order to finish the sea grass placemats she started
the day before. She then picks up her saw and heads inside, leaving Dr.
Roberts alone in the lawn.
Kaitlin Cooper is inside the house and has witnessed the conversation
between her mother and Dr. Roberts. Dr. Roberts comes in and offers to drive
Kaitlin to school, and in reply Kaitlin tells him that Julie’s behavior is
nothing personal. Julie has been ignoring Kaitlin too. However, from
Kaitlin’s point of view, this is a good thing.
At Ryan’s place, Seth knocks on the door. Ryan calls out, “Seth, go away,
I’m sleeping.” Seth says he doesn’t see how that would be possible, unless
Ryan is talking in his sleep. Ryan opens the door, takes the care package
that Kirsten sent out of Seth’s hands and goes to close the door. Seth
catches the door however and asks why he’s not being invited. He says, “So
the utility closet is the new pool house. Things change. It’s the Seth/Ryan
time that counts.” Ryan sighs, obviously annoyed, and says that he is tired
because he works nights. Seth says that while he knows this is true, he has
checked with Ryan’s boss, and he is not working tonight. Therefore, Seth
thinks that Ryan should come over for dinner. Ryan begins shaking his head
in protest, but when Seth says it would mean a lot to him and his parents,
Ryan says okay. Then Seth asks what Ryan is doing, and wonders if he wants
to go get some ice cream, but when Ryan gives him a look, Seth shuts up and
On the Brown campus, Summer and Che attend their protest. While Che makes a
speech about the defenselessness of chickens, Summer hands out fliers to the
students passing by their table. Summer’s cell phone rings. It is Taylor,
calling from Paris. They chat for a few seconds, and Taylor says she misses
Summer. However, when Che calls to Summer, asking her to come and photocopy
some more fliers, she tells Taylor that she needs to hang up. Taylor says
that she understands, says, “Vive la France” into the phone and hangs up.
However, as she hangs up, she puts on a pair of dark sunglasses, and it
becomes clear that she is sitting alone in a diner.
At the Cohens’, Seth sets the table for dinner. He sets out four place
settings and then comments on how weird that feels. Sandy cautions Seth
against expecting any miracles and tells him that tonight will probably be
weird in general. Kirsten and Sandy say that all they are expecting from
Ryan is a few grunts and maybe the occasional shrug. Seth says that it will
be just like old times, then, and Sandy says he is looking forward to it.
Kirsten says that Ryan will be there any minute, and she removes the pasta
from the stove.
Ryan, however, is not on his way to the Cohens’. Instead, he walks into a
dark crowded room where people are fighting in cages. A man approaches and
tells Ryan he’s glad he made it, and that he was worried when he heard him
making plans with Seth. But Ryan tells the man he would never miss this. The
man tells Ryan he is going to be fighting a particular person, and points at
him. But Ryan has someone else in mind: a bigger, taller person that is
standing a few feet away from where the man has pointed. The man asks Ryan
if he is crazy, but Ryan is insistent, and the man says, “Alright.” Ryan
looks thoughtful, as he watches the men in the cage fighting. He then looks
across the room at the man he chose to be his opponent. They make eye
The Cohens have finished dinner, and Sandy paces the floor. Seth says that
he thought dinner was excellent, but Kirsten is worried that something
happened to Ryan, and asks Seth what he thinks. Sandy calls Ryan and leaves
a message, saying that even if he doesn’t want to come over, he should at
least call and let them know he is okay. Kirsten suggests calling the police
and the hospitals, but Seth says that he is sure Ryan is fine. Kirsten says
that even if Ryan didn’t want to come, he would have called, because he
always calls. Sandy doesn’t say a word. He just picks up his car keys.
Kirsten asks him where he is going. Sandy says he is going to talk to Ryan,
but Seth says that he doesn’t think Ryan will be in the mood for one his pep
talks, “as inspiring and motivational as they usually are”. Seth stands up
and says that he will go. Sandy and Kirsten both want to know if he is sure,
and Kirsten suggests that Sandy go along with him. But Seth simply says,
“No. I got it.” Kirsten and Sandy watch with concern as their son leaves the
Kaitlin and the Ward twins are sitting outside in a crowded location,
deciding whether or not to smoke pot. The twins are worried because there
are a lot of cops around, but Kaitlin calls the rent-a-cops and says that
what the twins gave her is barely pot anyway. The twins apologize, saying
that the guy who gave it to them said it was all he had. Kaitlin says that
they can blame it on their dealer all they want, but that it will be their
fault if she doesn’t get an A in Chemistry. She tells them to stop whining
and get back to her lab report, which they are apparently writing for her.
Kaitlin looks over toward the parking lot and sees that Dr. Roberts is
getting into a car with a blonde. She asks the twins who she is and they
identify her as Gloria, Dr. Roberts’ former wife, and Summer’s stepmother.
Kaitlin’s mouth hangs open as she says, “So that’s the step monster.”
Seth looks for Ryan. He asks a big, tattooed man if he has seen him and the
man just shakes his head. Seth then takes out his phone and calls Summer.
Summer’s dorm room phone rings and rings, but she does not answer because
she is in another room, playing music with her hippie friends. Seth tells
the answering machine that he is trying to hold it together. Then he says
that he knows he is supposed to give Summer her space so she can do the
college thing, and he hangs up just in time to hear a conversation between
two men passing by. The first says, “I hear that kid from the bar’s gonna
get his ass kicked.” The second one replies, “Yeah, just like last week.”
Seth watches them walk off and with a concerned look on his face, follows
Inside, Ryan is now fighting his opponent inside the cage. Seth makes his
way through the crowd and approaches the cage just in time to see Ryan being
flung against it. Ryan and Seth make eye contact. Seth looks disgusted and
worried as he watches Ryan’s opponent beating him. Ryan lies on the ground,
bleeding and exhausted, while the crowd cheers around him.
Summer returns to her dorm room. She turns on the answering machine and it
is Seth, who says that he hopes she is having a good time, but that he is in
a sketchy neighborhood looking for Ryan. However, Che enters the room then,
and Summer turns of the message. Che asks if Summer is okay, and she says
that she is, but that when she left to move to Brown, life at home was kind
of a mess. Che says that it is about to get worse, too, because if the polar
ice caps melt, all of Newport Beach is going to be underwater. Summer says,
“Right, well, it’s a little more than that.” She says that not everyone has
moved on like she has, and she thinks her friends might need her. Che looks
concerned, but then says, “Summer, wherever you go, there you are.” He then
places one hand on his heart and the other on Summer’s forehead, breathing
deeply. After a moment, he removes his hand and then walks out of the room.
Summer nods slowly, and then starts the answering message again. Seth talks
about how worried he is for Ryan. Summer just sighs.
Julie is trapped underneath a fallen bookcase. Dr. Roberts comes running to
help her, asking if there has been an earthquake. Julie says there hasn’t,
and then helps Dr. Roberts pull the shelf off of her body. She says that all
she was trying to do was rearrange the furniture using some helpful hints
from HGTV. She says that she had no idea that this piece of furniture was a
built-in. Kaitlin comes running in and checks on her mother, and then says
that she wonders why Dr. Roberts wasn’t there to help her. Julie turns to
him and says, “Yeah. Neil, where have you been?” Dr. Roberts says he had a
procedure and Kaitlin nods knowingly as she says, “Emergency tummy tuck.”
Julie says she has no feeling in her extremities, and Neil says he is sure
Julie has a pill for that. Julie tells him to back off and says she was
nearly killed by his “heinous furniture.” Julie leaves and goes upstairs.
Kaitlin just stares at Dr. Roberts.
Ryan gets paid for his fight, and his boss congratulates him for drawing in
a crowd. Ryan doesn’t accept the money. Seth comes up to Ryan. Ryan quietly
apologizes for missing dinner. Seth shrugs and says that he should be
apologizing to his parents, and asks which one of them is going to tell
Sandy and Kirsten about Ryan’s new job. Ryan says that he’s not going to
tell them about it, and neither is Seth. He says that they just have to
forget it. Seth says that since he has a really good memory, that’s not
going to be so easy for him. Ryan says that the Cohens are better off
without him, because of all the trouble he brings into their lives. He cites
Trey and Volchok as examples. Seth says that none of what has happened is
Ryan’s fault, and that they are not better off without him. Seth says he’s
not going anywhere until Ryan goes with him. Ryan says, “What are you gonna
do? Are you gonna fight me?” Seth starts to reply, but Ryan shoves him with
one hand and walks away. The lights go out in the room and the scene fades
Kirsten and Sandy make Seth’s favorite breakfast foods in an effort to bribe
him into talking about Ryan. Seth has told them only that Ryan was working
and is busy and forgot to come to dinner, but they want more details. Sandy
wants to know how he looked. Seth tries to explain how he looked, saying
that he has looked both worse and better, and that he might have cut himself
shaving. Kirsten is alarmed and asks if he was bleeding, but Seth says that
he had stopped bleeding. He then excuses himself to go work and says that he
will tell them if he hears anything else. As he leaves, Seth says that it is
probably best just to give Ryan a little more time. Kirsten worries that if
they give him much more time, he won’t be able to be reached anymore. Sandy
promises to check in on him right after work.
Seth walks to work, and looks up toward the comic book store. Standing
there, calling his name is Summer. Seth slowly begins to smile and asks what
Summer is doing there. She says he got his message and it sounded like an
emergency. Seth tries to blow it off, and they share an awkward kiss. Summer
says she is there to help. Seth says he is so glad she came home for him,
and she says she came home for Ryan. Seth says that is what he meant. They
hug, but the hug is just as awkward as their kiss.
Dr. Roberts works out at home. Kaitlin stands in front of him, staring him
down. Dr. Roberts says he is trying to keep in shape, and Kaitlin says that
she has heard that sex is a really good form of exercise. Then she says that
she doubts Dr. Roberts has been getting any sex from her mother. Dr. Roberts
tells Kaitlin that his personal life is personal. Kaitlin says that she is
really only interested in the personal life he has with women other than
Julie. Dr. Roberts stops his workout, and begins lecturing Kaitlin, calling
her “young lady”, and saying he doesn’t know what she is talking about. He
gets up to leave the room, but Kaitlin stops him, asking if he always does
his consults down by the beach like he did the day before when she saw him.
She goes on to ask if the lady he was with was the blonde he used to be
married to. Dr. Roberts tells Kaitlin that what she thinks she saw is not
really what was happening, and that adult relationships are too complicated.
Kaitlin says that she would be perfectly happy to ask her mother about these
complicated relationships, but she doesn’t want to upset her after all that
has happened. She says she was also going to ask her mother about some boots
she saw at the plaza. She then hints to Dr. Roberts that the only way to
keep Kaitlin from talking to her mother about his secret is to buy the boots
for her. She lets him know her size, and then heads outside, where the Ward
boys are waiting for her once again.
As Kaitlin exits her house, Kirsten Cohen heads up the driveway and up the
front steps. The Ward twins comment on how attractive she is. Kirsten asks
Kaitlin how her mother is doing, and Kaitlin says she is still recovering
from her run-in with the built-in. Kaitlin says that Kirsten is welcome to
just go right in, since it’s not likely that Julie will know she is there
Summer and Seth walk around the plaza. Summer is disgusted by the high
prices of shoes, as well as the lack of recycling receptacles at the plaza.
Seth suggests that they call their local councilman. He is being sarcastic,
but Summer doesn’t get it. Seth explains that it was sarcasm, but Summer
says she doesn’t do sarcasm anymore because she is “post-ironic.” Seth says,
“You mean earnest?” but Summer changes the subject, saying she isn’t there
to save the environment, she is there to help Ryan. Seth says that Ryan
doesn’t want their help, and instead offers to take Summer home so she can
drop off her bag. Summer says she doesn’t want to do that, that she is only
going to meet her dad for dinner and then come right back to the plaza. Seth
asks if Summer is going to go home at all, and the question seems to make
her uncomfortable. First she says that she’s not going home, but then she
changes her story and says that of course she is. She says that she just
doesn’t know if they’ll have enough time, since they have so much work to
do. She says that traveling 3,000 miles at 30,000 feet gave her a lot of
time to think, and she now has a plan. She tells Seth to round up his “geek
Kirsten knocks on the door at Julie’s house. Inside, Julie is lying down in
the dark with a mask on her face. Kirsten lets Julie know that it is her
outside the door, and Julie tells her that today is a bad day. Kirsten says
she knows that most days are bad for Julie, but that staying in the house
isn’t going to make them better. Before Julie can reply to that, her phone
rings on the bedside table. She removes her mask and answers the call,
saying, “Oh thank God it’s you, I was beginning to think you’d forgotten
about me.” Outside the door, Kirsten offers to sit outside with Julie so
they can talk. Julie glances at the door, and then whispers into the phone,
“Can I call you back?” Julie then goes to the door and tells Kirsten that
her concern is very touching, but everything is fine. Kirsten is confused,
since Julie just told her it wasn’t a good day, but Julie says that she
meant it wasn’t a good day for visitors, because she has been so busy. She
thanks Kirsten again for stopping by and gives her a hug. Kirsten looks very
confused and a bit suspicious. Julie compliments Kirsten on her shirt and
then shuts the door.
Summer and her father meet for dinner at the Newport Bay Yacht Club. Dr.
Roberts requests a table for two, and Summer excuses herself to go and use
the bathroom. As she walks to the bathroom, however, she sees Taylor at the
bar, asking one of the waiters to hurry up. She accepts her bag of takeout
from the waiter, who says he will put it on her family’s tab. Taylor says
that she has no money other than Euros, so he will have to. She then turns
around and comes face to face with Summer. She is so surprised to see her
that she drops her bag of takeout on the floor. Summer says that she thought
Taylor was in France, since she just talked to her. Taylor points out that
Summer was also in Rhode Island at the time and comments that the world
works in funny ways. Summer asks Taylor why she has come back to Newport, a
question that seems to puzzle Taylor. Summer suggests that maybe Taylor is
here to meet her mom, but Taylor says her mom is out of the country. This
explanation is disproved however, when her mother walks by. Upon seeing her
mother, Taylor tells Summer to pretend she never saw her, and she rushes out
of the restaurant.
Alone once again in her house, Julie picks up the cell phone and dials.
(What follows is a montage of the scenes from the beginning of this episode.
As this scene unfolds, “Running Up That Hill” by Placebo plays in the
background.) Julie is calling Ryan, who is standing at the sink in his
apartment. Julie asks Ryan to meet her. She says it is important. Ryan then
finishes at the sink and sneaks out the back door, just as Sandy opens the
door and enters his room. Kaitlin puts on her new boots and watches as her
mother leaves to go out. Ryan knocks on the door and enters the room where
Julie is waiting for him.
Once Ryan is safely inside, Julie throws a red folder at him. Ryan wants to
know what it is. Julie says the folder is the reason she needed to see him.
Julie says that after “it” happened (“it” being Marissa’s death), she hired
a private investigator to find out where Volchok went. The private
investigator has located him and all of the information is inside of that
red file. Ryan looks at the folder, then back at Julie, who tells him she is
not going to share the information with cops. Instead, she is going to give
the folder to Ryan. Julie says that he is the only person who can understand
how she feels, and that she wants Ryan to do whatever he wants to Volchok.
She holds the folder out to Ryan, who regards it nervously. After a moment,
he says, “I don’t want it.” Julie is surprised. Ryan says he doesn’t care
about any of it, including him. Julie says that she knows Ryan, and she
knows that what he’s saying is a lie. Julie says that even if he didn’t come
to the funeral or visit her grave, he still cares. Julie and Ryan stare at
each other for a moment, and then Ryan pushes past Julie and goes right out
the door. Julie sits down on the bed, stunned.
Back in his apartment, Ryan sits on his own bed. He appears to be lost in
thought. He reaches under his bed and pulls out a box of mementos from
Harbor, including a sweatshirt and some pictures of him and Marissa. He goes
through the pictures and studies each one. Then when he is done, he takes
the entire box outside and empties it into a dumpster.
The next morning Seth is with his geeky friends and Summer, supposedly
working on the plan. He is drawing, but his friends and Summer are sleeping.
He claps and throws things at them to wake them up and get their attention.
They wake up, and Seth offers to take Summer home so she can shower. Summer
says that is okay, she will just take a sponge bath in the ladies’ room.
This surprises Seth, and he says that he remembers her being pretty rigorous
about her bathing in the past. Summer then says that she is going to get
Ryan. Seth is concerned that Summer hasn’t been home yet, but Summer tells
Seth what Che told her: if the polar ice caps keep melting, Newport will be
under water anyway, so what is the point of going home? Seth nods, but seems
trouble by Summer’s new attitude.
Summer waits in the bar for Ryan. When he comes in from outside, she is
sitting at the bar. He greets her, and then warns her that he doesn’t want
to talk. Summer is okay with that. Summer tells Ryan that she likes what he
has done with his face. He gives her a dirty look, but Summer doesn’t give
up. She tells Ryan she needs him to come with her, but he says he has to
work. Summer says that she doesn’t think wiping the tables is all that
important. Summer starts to say that she just flew 3,000 miles to help him
out, but Ryan cuts her off, saying, “I didn’t ask you to.” She admits that
it was Seth who asked her to come. She says that Seth is worried about Ryan,
and that he is not protecting the Cohens by staying away from them, that he
is actually hurting them. Summer says that Seth keeps leaving her endless
whiny messages, and they are clogging up her voice mail. Ryan listens and
nods. Summer tells Ryan to take a deep breath and let her do what she does
best, which is give orders. She tells him, “Just do what I say, Atwood, one
last time.” Ryan looks pained by this request, but he does not say no.
Julie sits at her kitchen table, working on the placemats she has been
making. She sets down her hot glue gun and then, in a fit of rage, throws
the entire contents of the table onto the floor. Then she sits back down in
her chair and takes a deep breath, just as Dr. Roberts enters the room. Dr.
Roberts observes that Julie is giving him the silent treatment, and he
guesses that Kaitlin has spoken to her about him. Julie has tears in her
eyes, but she does not look at Neil as he tries to explain himself. He says
he didn’t mean for this to happen, but that he needed someone to talk to. He
says that at first, all they did was talk. He pauses then, saying that he
doesn’t think Julie is listening to him. Julie turns her head in his
direction. “What?” she asks, and Dr. Roberts gives her a knowing look and
Ryan and Summer walk in the plaza, in the direction of the comic book store.
Ryan wants to know why they need to go there, and Summer says it is because
she said so and he agreed to it. Ryan starts to say that he doesn’t want to
talk, but when he opens the door of the comic book store, Sandy, Kirsten,
Seth, and Seth’s geeky friends are all standing there. Sandy tells Ryan that
he doesn’t have to talk or listen, and as Seth’s friends lower a movie
screen on the wall behind her, Kirsten adds that all he has to do is watch.
As the lights go down, a comic book cover appears on the screen. The
character on the cover resembles Ryan, and the title of the comic book is
“Atomic County.” Ryan is skeptical and says, “You made me a comic book?”
Seth explains that this isn’t an ordinary comic book, it’s an origin story.
He says that Ryan may never save the planet, but he did save Seth and his
family. Seth begins telling the story of how Ryan came into their lives. He
sees that when Ryan first came to live with them, Seth had the power of
being invisible, but he didn’t want it. Kristen appears as the prisoner of a
force field, in which her cell phone was her only link to the outside world.
And Sandy describes himself as “The Litigator”, a lawyer who was burdened by
too much work, and never had time for his family. Seth begins reading the
next page of the comic book, where “The Litigator” first brings the Ryan
character home with him. Ryan stops him, saying, “It’s okay, Seth. I can
read.” The comic book pages that follow show all of the things that Ryan and
Seth have gone through together. This includes a scene of Seth and Summer
kissing, which Summer seems somewhat sad about. Ryan watches the images go
by, but his face never changes and he doesn’t say anything. Seth, who looks
like he might cry, and his parents both look over at Ryan.
Sandy drives Ryan back to his apartment at the bar. Sandy thanks Ryan for
taking the time to come to the comic book store and letting them all make
fools of themselves. He says that it meant a lot to Seth and Kirsten. But
then he says that he isn’t a softie, so it didn’t mean that much to him.
Sandy tells Ryan that he’d better get going because he doesn’t want to be
late. Ryan jokes that he hopes they don’t fire him. Sandy says that he’s
sure they have great benefits, especially the accommodations. Ryan inquires
about the pool house, wondering if it is filled with boxes. Sandy tells him
that the pool house is exactly the way he left it, but that it is a little
too empty. Ryan looks at Sandy and slowly nods. Ryan says it wouldn’t take
him too long to pack. Sandy shrugs and says that Kirsten has some leftovers.
Ryan simply says, “Thanks.” Sandy adds that he might be going too far, but
that Ryan is never going to get over being with Marissa when she died. But
he says that Ryan will get used to it. Sandy tells him to let himself feel
what he needs to feel, even if it hurts. Ryan tells Sandy that he needs to
take things one step at a time, and Sandy holds up a hand and promises to
shut up. Ryan says he is going to give the guys in the bar some notice and
pack his toothbrush. Sandy says he’ll buy him a new toothbrush. Ryan gets
out of the car and then says, “See you at home.” Sandy smiles as he watches
Ryan walk away.
At the Cooper/Roberts household, Seth tells Summer that it seems like Ryan
really went for their comic book presentation. Summer agrees. Seth tells
Summer he couldn’t have done it without her, and she takes credit for her
idea and the fact that they pulled it off. Seth thanks her. Summer takes off
her bag and puts it down on the couch. Seth and Summer stand in silence,
looking at each other and shifting their weight nervously. Finally, Summer
suggests that Seth go home and find out if Ryan is there. Seth goes to leave
and then turns to ask Summer one last question: would she like to meet for
breakfast tomorrow morning? Summer nods and says, “Sure.” Seth gives a weak
smile and a small wave, and then exits the house. Summer then goes into
Marissa’s bedroom alone, sits down on the bed, and looks at everything
around her. While she is sitting there, she has a brief vision of Marissa
fixing her hair, and quickly runs around the room, closing every door, and
then rushes out of the room altogether. (Beginning here, “A Bad Dream” by
Keane plays in the background, until the end of the episode.)
Ryan packs his bag in his room at the bar. He then reaches under the bed for
the box, which still contains his Harbor sweatshirt. He holds the sweatshirt
and just stares it for a moment, before he is interrupted by a knock on the
door. The man at the door lets Ryan know the person Ryan fought the night
before is looking for another round, if Ryan is interested. Ryan looks over
his shoulder at the man.
Summer is in a cab. She leaves a voice mail for Seth, letting him know that
she won’t be there when he gets back. She says that she forgot about an
important protest and had to get going so she could check on Heather Mills
McCartney, who will be at the protest, and see how she is doing after the
divorce. She apologizes and says that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away.
She then says, “I love you. Give a hoot, don’t pollute, bye.” As she hangs
up, Summer looks very sad.
Ryan visits Marissa’s grave. As he stands at the grave, Julie approaches it
as well. Julie tells Ryan that she has been wondering when he would finally
come. Ryan thanks Julie for meeting him, and Julie turns to him and says
that she is there every day. Ryan asks Julie, “Do you have it?” and she
produces the red folder, which Ryan now accepts. As he opens the folder and
begins looking through it, Julie asks him what changed his mind. Ryan thinks
of the fights he participated in while he was living at the bar. As he
closes the folder and hugs it to his chest, he pauses for a moment. Then he
says, “ I just realized…I have to do this.” The screen then fades to black.
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