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'The O.C.' nostalgia recap: Save it for a rainy day

Season 2 | Episode 14 | “The Rainy Day Women” | Aired Feb 24, 2005

Nostalgia freaks, can you contain yourselves? We have arrived at perhaps the most famous episode of The O.C. of all time — aside from the season 3 finale (for spoilery reasons) and the season 1 carnival (for Core Four shipping reasons). Finally, it’s the rainy-day episode. The episode with tearful goodbyes, triumphant reunions, and the kiss that gave Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst a run for their money.

“The Rainy Day Women” marks a conscious shift in The O.C.’s season 2 narrative. Where the first half of the season tested the characters by tearing them apart, the second half will test their capacity to live in relative harmony once more, as triggered by the drippy weather reflective of their current emotional states (shout out to Seth for explaining the concept of a motif).

The weather is drippiest for Sandy and Kirsten, who lies bedridden and ices out her husband in light of his strangely undying alliance to Rebecca. Even with Kirsten as upset as she is, Sandy meets Rebecca (these Cohen boys don’t know how to stop when they hear “when”) and tells her to come back. Bad luck leaves them stranded in the rainstorm. Rebecca puts the moves on Sandy, but he rebuffs her with a reminder that he’s married. Who are you reminding, Sandy? You or Rebecca?

The truth is that Sandy was never going to cheat, and he never would. And viewers don’t want to see Sandy and Kirsten, the moral center of The O.C., on the brink of divorce. That’s no fun for anyone. So, Rebecca heads for the hills after Sandy’s car swerves into a ditch and a kind eyewitness calls 911 for them. She can’t get caught, after all. She ducks out into the shadows and out of the Cohens’ hair forever. Peace restored … for now.

Lindsay could also potentially be on the move, as she’s prepared to move to Chicago with her mother for a fresh start. Considering her recent paternity drama, she could use one. But Ryan won’t let her, suddenly becoming a cheerleader for the divisive DNA test. Lindsay isn’t sure she even wants to know if she’s Caleb’s daughter. Can you blame her?

Ryan accompanies Lindsay to her DNA test, and she’s on board with moving in with Caleb should the test proclaim a match. Everyone huddles in the doctor’s office for the results like some sort of dysfunctional clown car. As it turns out, yes, Lindsay is Caleb’s daughter. Lindsay has a dad, but does she want to abandon her mother? Ryan finds her packing, but not for Caleb’s. (Another guest star bites the dust!) Marissa runs into him sulking in the rain at the pier. She offers him comfort and cover. Are these exes about to reunite?

Warner Bros. TV/CW Seed/screengrab

Warner Bros. TV/CW Seed/screengrab

It’s entirely possible. Despite coming clean (not a Hilary Duff pun re: rain, but it totally works) to Julie about her relationship with Alex, Marissa’s in over her head. She moves in with Alex in spite of Julie’s stoic shock, but she doesn’t get the life she expected. For the first time, Marissa has to deal with rent, close quarters, and taking out the trash. Could it be that she actually — gulp — misses her mother and the easy life she provides?

That’s up for debate, and according to Julie, so is Marissa’s latest relationship. She’s convinced Marissa’s knee-deep in an experimental phase. As she tells it to Kirsten over scotch and cigars, Marissa’s lesbianism trumps Sandy hanging out with Rebecca? Like gayness is somehow worse than a latent affair? Let’s get some perspective here, people.

Maybe Marissa is experimenting and Alex is just a phase, or maybe Marissa has unlocked a part of her sexuality that was previously dormant. Either way, she should have been supported. Now she’s second-guessing herself because she has to do a sink full of dishes.

Summer’s lost in some second-guessing, too, brought on by one Seth Cohen. He knocks on her door while wearing his Spider-Man mask (foreshadowing!) as a shield from the rain. Once again, Seth sings the same old song about being hung up on Summer as she prepares to leave for Italy, but this time she calls him out for being emotionally redundant and tells him to “advance the plot.” So meta.

He wallows to Boyz II Men (as does Summer), but Ryan helps him gain motivation to make a grand romantic gesture. For some reason, he thinks re-purchasing his boat will do the trick. Realizing he doesn’t have money, he asks Alex for his job back and an advance on his paycheck. She (questionably) agrees, and he buys back the Summer Breeze Gimmie Sex. It’s the thought that counts?

Seth begs Summer for one last chance before she flies off to backpack with Zach, but she’s steadfast in her decision. However, they haven’t reached the end of the road just yet. He leaves Summer a voicemail that makes her realize she can’t go to Italy with Zach. On the roof to fix the satellite dish (#tbt), Seth slips and falls, and Summer finds him dangling upside down in his Spider-Man mask. And like Peter Parker and Mary Jane, they share an iconic, storm-soaked kiss.

Now no one has anything left to save for a rainy day. Sandy and Kirsten are back on the straight and narrow, and Seth and Summer are back on. Marissa’s relationship with Alex is public knowledge, and Ryan’s lost his latest love. But what will happen once the sun comes out?

Episode Mixtape:

  • “No Rain” by Blind Melon
  • “In Every Sunflower” by Bell X1
  • “Save It For A Rainy Day” by The Jayhawks
  • “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men
  • “No Easy Way To Say Goodbye” by Joel Evans & Friends
  • “God Killed the Queen” by Louis XIV
  • “Champagne Supernova” by Matt Pond PA

All four seasons of The O.C. are available to stream on CW Seed and Hulu Plus.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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