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O.C.'s Second-to-Last Episode EVER!

Before I watch it, I want to say that I am hoping “The Night Moves” will be the best of the season.  The one that blows all the others out of the water and points out just how crappy the rest of season 4 was, however much fun I had with it.  I was mostly having fun while yelling it and rolling my eyes, after all.  But here there be the potential for a return to serious drama.  I’m sure it was there in the middle part of season 1, with Oliver, and in season 3, with Charlotte & Johnny.  And while I did not see it, I hear that Marissa went out in a fairly dramatic fashion. So when did this show devolve into the antics of season 2 foolishness and silly side plots and annoying minor characters?  I don’t know.  But tonight is going to pull it out of that tailspin and be my reward for the idiocy of the past year.  I hope.

I feel like I should do something better than a rantview for this episode.  A well-thought-out and rational bunch of paragraphs, like I do for all the other shows.  But I have trouble breaking habit.  So what we’re going to have is a list of points that may or may not take time outs and break into thoughtful paragraphs.  Off we go!

  1. First of all, we will not be discussing any songs used in this ep due to the terrible sound quality caused by using my crappy TV to record this show while the good TV caught CSI.
  2. And the first 2 minutes of teaser are basically non-existent because I was cussing out my crappy TV and trying to fix the horrible reception, and it kept going to fuzz.  I finally made it bearable, but it’s still hard to tell what’s going on in the darkest scenes.
  3. *gasp* RYAN’S BLEEDING!  EEEEH!
  4. Sandy is amazingly calm and nonchalant about this whole earthquake business.
  5. Awww, stroking Kirsten’s hair…*loves Cohen parents*
  6. Um.  Uh, Ryan, exactly why can’t Seth tell Summer?  I can understand your desire to avoid letting Taylor know you’re hurt, since she will freak out like mad and be of absolutely no help whatsoever, but surely Summer would be a good person to have on hand.  To calm Taylor, if nothing else. 
  7. Rabbits =/= rodents.  They are lagomorphs.  But mentioning Pancakes was a very, very deft way for Seth to get Summer to keep going with him.  Almost as good as just telling her what’s going on.
  8. Damn.  Julie DIDN’T break up with Frank.  I want him to die now.
  9. Ewww, the ice cream kid is the nerdiest nerd ever.
  10. You know, in retrospect, if my boyfriend had had a cabinet with glass doors fall on top of him, I’m not sure I’d take his word that he was totally fine.  I think I’d want to check him out myself. 
  11. Radio: *reports news of a fatality* 

      RS: Please be Frank. 

  1. And Taylor is now insisting on a half-baked scheme to go check on her mother and make sure she’s all right.  I hate people who claim to be annoyed by family members but then get all desperate and weepy when their lives are in danger.  You either love them or you hate them, it can’t be conditional when circumstances change.  For example, were my brother to go missing in an earthquake, I wouldn’t even think about him until I’d at least secured my dog.  My mother, on the other hand, I have never ever claimed to dislike for more than about a day at a time.
  2. Berkley 1989!  Great, give the fanfic authors more scenarios to ponder.  That’s sarcasm, as I don’t think there need to be any more stories about Sandy and Kirsten in college.
  3. Kirsten: “There is nothing sexier than your husband calming an angry mob.”  Hm.  This is true.  See also: reasons to love Horatio Caine.
  4. Damn it, Frank’s alive and well.  If at least one person we know does not die in this episode, I’ll be seriously P.O.ed.
  5. Love the looks exchanged between Seth and Ryan.  I love unspoken communication.  And it’s especially nice to see Ryan reaching out to Seth instead of the other way around.
  6. “Seth!”  Ryan.  I love that part too.  The girls are rightfully exasperated.  Especially Summer, because if Seth mentions zombies again, I’m going to kick him in the groin.
  7. “Look, we’ll be fine.  Just stay here, lock the doors, and don’t open them.”  Ryan sounds very, very mature and reassuring right there (not unlike Sandy).  It’s very hot, and hotter still when you realize that he is able to keep calm and say all this without ever letting on that he’s bleeding and in pain.
  8. “Pancakes needs you right now,” says Seth, trying to sound the same.  But it falls kind of flat, because honestly, I might be just the teensiest bit more worried about my boyfriend’s safety than comforting my rabbit.   
  9. Oh no!  Pancakes is gone EEEEH!  Okay, finding my escaped rabbit would take priority over worrying about my boyfriend’s safety.  My thought process would go ‘He’s with Ryan, they’ll be fine.  PANCAKES!!!’
  10. Outside, I love Ryan’s cautionary “Don’t freak, okay?  I need you to not freak.”  And I love that Seth clearly wants to freak, but manages to refrain from doing any more than going a little pale at the sight of the gigantic piece of glass embedded in Ryan’s body.
  11. Okay, the slow fades checking in on each location after every commercial break are starting to annoy me.  Stop reassuring me everyone is fine.  I don’t want fine!  I want dead!
  12. Words cannot express how much I love this scene with Seth and Ryan in the car.  Quotes might help, though.

Seth: Hey, so you’re a little on edge.  A giant glass spear in the back will do that to a guy. 

Ryan: It’s not a spear.

Seth: What is it, more of a spike?  Or a skewer?

R: Dude, you’re doing a terrible job.  I was trying to keep my mind off the pain? You’re supposed to talk about something else, not the thing causing the pain.

S: True.  But the real question is, what are you doing to keep my mind off of your pain, because right now you’re not looking too good and I’m starting to feel--

  1. Ack!  What is it?  What’s happening?  Did they blow out a tire?  I CAN’T SEEEEE!  Stupid reception.  Seth thinks they hit something.  Whatever happened, they’ve got a tire out of commission. 
  2. Mmkay, no karaoke, thanks.  Bye.  *skips ice cream store scene*
  3. Seth: “Ryan.  You’re asking me to use tools and exert myself physically.  I think we both know where this is going.”  Ohh, poor sweet Ryan, talking Seth through changing the tire.  This bonding scene is absolutely my favorite part of the episode so far.  And Ryan looks like he’s starting to fade now, growing tired.  So Seth redoubles his efforts to keep Ryan alert and engaged by…
  4. MAKING LISTS?!  *mind shoots to a drabble she read recently* Did we previously know that was a habit of his, or was the author of Thinking Small just that awesome?  Either way, it tickles me pink.
  5. I want to hug them both so badly right now.  Ryan looks at him for a minute, then offers, “You want to make a list, Seth?”  “Huh?  Oh, you know, whatever; I mean sure, if you want to.” 
  6. HAHAHAHA!  “We could start with everyone you’ve ever punched in the face…”  Now that is some good material.  See, show, you can be funny without being ridiculous.  *cough Taylor’s ex-husband*
  7. Dear God, Taylor is being the voice of reason.  “Summer, do you really think Pancakes is in the attic?  Like, he pulled down the ladder, hopped up, then put it away?”
  8. “Well, we’ve checked everywhere else,” Summer replies.  I dunno, there were a lot of broken windows and upturned furniture he could have climbed onto; perhaps the bunny HOPPED OUTSIDE.
  9. YAH!  Okay, the skeleton scared me.
  10. Oh, stop whining about your mommy issues, Taylor.
  11. How did the bunny get in the vent?  Oh well. 
  12. I was wondering if there were ever going to be any aftershocks.  But OUCH for the look on Ryan’s face as he squeezes his eyes shut against the pain when the car rocks forward off the jack and comes down hard against the road.
  13. Back to the mall.  Right here, another fantastic scene for my golden couple.  Kirsten’s voice on “Sandy” kills me.  The look in his eyes kills me more.  This is my new favorite part.
  14. Okay, TIME OUT to talk about the Cohen baby.

When I first heard about it via spoilers, I was annoyed for reasons I have already linked to multiple times (check the last rantview if they’re slipping your mind right now).  I made up my mind right then and there that if Kirsten’s exhaustion wasn’t due to cancer, her baby had better not be fine.  I offered several options for ways to make this end in tragedy that would result in emotional distress for the couple, as emotional distress is generally my favorite thing to see couples go through.  Number one on my list was that it go the way of the Jack/Anne lovechild.  Or rather, I wanted a miscarriage.  Heck, I still want a miscarriage, as that results in blood & panic (as opposed to the baby simply dying in utero, which removes the panic element), but does not require subsequent questions about naming and burial as with a stillbirth.  It’s just a life that almost was.  There’s nothing to do but mourn privately.  So right here, with Kirsten whispering “something is not right”?  Frustrates me because predictable or not, this would be a perfect time to fulfill my wishful scenario.  On the bright side, I can pretend that’s what happened.         

 

  1. But either way, she looks so pale and fragile right here that for the moment, I am placated.  Especially as what she means sinks in, and he moves his hand to cover the one resting on her abdomen. 
  2. Would everyone please stop mentioning zombies as if this is an actual serious threat?  It’s just stupid.  Though I do like Ryan’s look of semi-panic at the thought of being left out here alone while Seth tries for help on foot.  While it’s probably not good for him to be walking around, there’s also the chance that something could happen to Seth (I mean, he already nearly got mowed down by rescue vehicles while on that bike), and then nobody would know where either of them were. 
  3. Ohhh, I love the arm over the shoulders.  Seth doesn’t panic and Ryan doesn’t protest, they just do it and keep discussing the list of Ryan’s punching victims.
  4. *narrows eyes* How dare you joke about punching Johnny’s pretty face.  I loved Johnny.  I need a 10-minute break to go cry over him some more, and then remind you that his death is the reason I stomped away from what had been up to that point a fantastic third season.  (coincidentally – or not - after his death, the season turned to crap.  My opinion apparently differs from that of EVERYONE ELSE IN AMERICA, but I stand by it.)
  5. I think Ryan’s speech is starting to slur.  That’s not good.
  6. Kirsten’s in ER!  And they’re totally too busy to see her!  Byebye, baby!  I am so going to hell.
  7. Besides, the way she describes it – she fell down and “feels” different, but there isn’t any bleeding and she’s otherwise fine?  Yeah, the doctor has a good point.  She’s not going to take priority over the people with broken limbs and gaping wounds and pieces of glass stuck in them. 
  8. Which incidentally, does not prevent me from swooning a little over Sandy when he comes up to plead, “Excuse me, doctor?  My wife would never complain, she would never put her needs in front of anybody else’s, but I am not that proud; I am not that selfless; I am begging you please, please to give her and our baby priority.” 
  9. The doctor remains sympathetic but unswayed, as well he should, but a random guy in a neck brace offers to give up his spot for her.  Idiot.  I hope he dies and Sandy feels horrible. 
  10. *skips ice cream shop again*  But my VCR moves slowly on FF, so I can see that Nerd Boy is apparently choking to death.  Kaitlin is giving mouth to mouth.  The boy sits up, smiling and perfectly fine.  Ew, ew, ew.  Also, stupid.
  11. The hunt for the bunny is getting on my nerves… *eyebrows shoot up* But I loved this part of it: Taylor wants to know why Summer isn’t worried that the boys aren’t back yet.  But she is.  In the rawest outpouring of emotion I’ve heard from her in a while, she stresses, “No!  I’m not worried!  I’m freakin’ terrified okay, that’s why I’m focusing on just finding Pancakes and not on the fact that my boyfriend could be laying on the side of the road” – it’s nice to get some confirmation that she still loves Seth and is worried that he might be seriously hurt – “ravaged by zombies.”  *slumps* And then you lost it.  Why, why, why.
  12. *skips another ice cream store scene*  Ew, Frank’s fine.  And kissing Julie.  EW. 
  13. Okay, I watched the last few seconds of it…that little idiot.  He essentially boils down to “Hee hee hee!  I am a nerdy little ice cream store employee!  This earthquake will be the perfect opportunity to trap a hot girl in my store and convince her to make out with me!” This entire stupid side plot is absolutely crippling my appreciation of the episode as a whole.  HOW and WHY are you still making time for idiotic theatrics DURING AN EARTHQUAKE?? 
  14. *sighs* I bet if Chris Brown hadn’t had to cut his 8-episode run down to 3 in order to work on his album, he’d be here right now instead of this nerd.  I would have been happy.
  15. Oh please.  Oh please be an abruption.  I WOULD LOVE YOU SO MUCH.  It might not be fatal, but at least it’s serious.
  16. Okay, see this whole scene, with Ryan beginning to stumble, Seth’s voice fading in and out?  This is touching.  This is what I *expected* the *whole* episode to be like, not wasting time hunting for rabbits in attics or dealing with nerdy ice cream workers.  Though I should probably be grateful that at least I’m getting to see brother bonding and not Taylor hovering about her beloved.
  17.  “I’m not gonna go alone!” There’s a little note of panic in Seth’s voice now, which I think is less about continuing alone and more about Ryan’s worsening condition now leaving him too weak to walk. 

R: “I need help, man, I need help. Just…just set me down, okay?”

And the way he says “I know” when Seth warns he’s coming right back makes my lip wobble. 

  1. Dear God, how does someone as unbalanced as Taylor Townsend get a GUN?!  I am damn scared right now. Oh, I see.  It’s a flare gun stolen from Jimmy Cooper’s boat.  That makes…sense…*shifty eyes*
  2. Mmm, shot her own mother.  (kind of)  I don’t know what to say, I have trouble remembering which Townsend I hate more.
  3. Oh good GOD.  Is your bunny bleeding?  No.  Is he moving?  Yes.  If he can still limp, HE IS FINE for the time being.  I hate when Taylor is the voice of reason twice in one episode.  
  4. Also, enough with the fucking zombie talk.
  5. Veronica deserves to die just for suggesting the making of a bunny-fur vest.
  6. *skips yet another ice cream scene, as it is STUPID*
  7. Sandy, stop babbling about empty nest syndrome.  THE DOCTOR DOES NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS. 
  8. Daryl the Homeless Guy?  Daryl the Homeless Guy?  Why the FUCK are you bringing back stupid characters.  You do this every year.  Every year, it fails.
  9. (as Summer rushes into the ER, cuddling Pancakes and begging for help) Wait, isn’t that the same doctor that Sandy was talking to?  Okay, I’m pretty sure that if a pregnant woman doesn’t take priority, then you shouldn’t have time for a rabbit, even if the bunny is cuter.  And yet the doctor says “okay” anyway.  Huh.
  10. SHUT UP, FRANK. 
  11. SHUT UP KAITLIN, DO NOT APOLOGIZE TO FRANK.  *hates her again* 
  12. Veronica - no way does a damn broken toe get priority treatment.
  13. I do not care about a wibbly-wobbly exchange of I love yous between the Townsends.  Could we please focus on Ryan more?  Thanks.
  14. Let me explain to you how this episode should have been written.  Mostly, it involves everyone being in mortal peril and then actually killing someone at the end.  It’s an earthquake.  Earthquakes kill people.  You killed Johnny in the middle of the year for no good reason; surely you could whack a main character now, considering the series is basically over?
  15. Ooh, Ryan!  TIME OUT #2

Would someone explain to me why we had to waste all that time in the ice cream shop, looking for the bunny, etc., but don’t get to see the Coopers pick up Ryan from the side of the road and bring him to the hospital?  Think of all poignancy they could have gotten out of a scene like that.  I expect he would have slumped unconscious by that point; there would have been panic and possibly worry that he was slipping into shock.  Here there would actually have been some purpose to having Frank around – think of the reaction at seeing his son, the son he’d only very recently reconnected with, like that.  Think of Seth’s look.  Think of Kaitlin’s look.  He’s her brother too, in a manner of speaking.  I genuinely want to know what all that would have been like.  Or how about them approaching the Cohens and breaking the news?  Moving on, how about seeing Seth give blood?  I know, I hate needles, but I would have liked to actually see him step up and selflessly volunteer for something he hated doing, but would to save his brother.  Hell, since I’m spinning out into my fantasy rewrite of the episode, they could have made his injury a little more serious and shown doctors working on him.  Anything other than what they did – cut from Seth cruising down the road in his shopping cart and being spotted by Frank & the Coopers, to Ryan recovering in a hospital bed. 

  1. BUT.  I am thrilled that Seth is sitting by his bed. No Taylor in sight, just Seth.  This is the core of the show, and this is what I always want to see.   
  2. And I love that they’re literal blood brothers now.  I love it. 
  3. *dies laughing* Ryan: “That’s weird…all of a sudden I have this strange urge to listen to Death Cab and read comic books…” “Really?” “No.”
  4. I love the tone of this scene, walking a nice balance between the typical joshing and no-talking-about-emotions thing that boys do, but still managing to convey how strong the bond between them is, and Ryan’s heartfelt gratitude. 
  5. “Is it bad?”  *rolls eyes as insulated bubble of Seth/Ryan cuteness is interrupted by reminders of the Cohen baby* Of COURSE it isn’t.  Because everything’s always fine these days.  The little brat is perfectly healthy. 
  6. Having had my hopes at a miscarriage dashed, I present to Josh and/or fic writers three alternative scenarios for fetal tragedy.

1)      Stillbirth.  See also, ER -- Kem and Carter’s baby.   

2)      Premature birth with multiple complications strung out over a matter or days or weeks.  See also, ER – Luka & Abby’s baby; Grey’s Anatomy – Meredith’s half-sister’s baby.  Amend the ending in each case so that the baby does not survive.

3)      SIDS.  A normal, healthy delivery, a happy healthy baby, bundles of joy for a month or two, and one day she stops breathing in her crib. 

  1. Oh, and the baby’s a girl.  Great.  No, this is not an opportunity for Ryan to be a cute older-brother figure.  One, he’ll be so much older that he’ll be more like an uncle.  And two, Ryan already has a little sister, THANK YOU.  Her name is Kaitlin.  And as for Seth, he’s not cut out to be an older brother at all.  His job is to be the baby of the family, doted upon by his parents as opposed to being an independent loner like Ryan.   
  2. The ending montage with all the families greeting and smiling at one another is nice, but it does not make up for your lack of showing me the scenes I described in point 69.
  3. Oh for GOODNESS sake’s, Seth, would you at least hug your girl?  Look.  Taylor’s hugging Ryan.  Everyone else has their arms around each other.  Where’s my S/S contact?
  4. So hey, how did Theresa and her little kid fare in the great earthquake?  I’m just curious.  These are the kinds of characters I’d like to see in place of another second with Daryl.
  5. *sobs* NO!  You ruined Casa de Cohen!  Now they’re gonna have no reason not to move to Berkeley!  FUCK!
  6. I am going to go out hating this show with a burning ball of fiery and passionate hate, aren’t I?  Next week’s series finale, rather than do something cool like show the aftermath of cleaning up after the earthquake (something I feel could sustain the show for multiple episodes), is going to jump ahead a few months in time.  Basically destroying my hopes for deciding my own future-canon. Let me explain the things I don’t want to see, and yet feel I’m probably going to have to endure anyway:

-The new Cohen baby is not to be born.
-If he/she is, Sandy & Kirsten are not to have moved out of Seth's childhood home Newport.  Change is bad. 
-No one is to be getting married, unless Bullit's back.
-Frank is not to appear.  Unless it's to die.
-Ryan and Taylor are to be broken up
-Seth and Summer are NOT to be broken up

Thank you and goodbye. 

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