Screened February 11
The lives of a group of friends and families have been forever changed by the arrival of an outsider to their affluent oceanside community of Newport Beach in Orange County, California. When Ryan Atwood was taken in from the streets of Chino by then public defender Sandy Cohen, the Cohens had no idea how Ryan's arrival would affect them and those around them. Initially resistant, Kirsten opened her heart to accept the outsider just as she had accepted Sandy, another outsider, into her old-money Newport Beach family. In Ryan, their "adorkable" son, Seth, found a friend and brother with whom he could share his quirky way of looking at the world. Seth also struggles with the trials and tribulations of winning the heart of Summer Roberts, his lifelong crush.
Last year, Ryan fell in love with the girl next door, Marissa Cooper, the daughter of Kirsten's high school sweetheart Jimmy Cooper and his former wife, the notorious Julie Cooper-Nichol. Ryan and Marissa's romance, however, is constantly tested by the young lovers' inability to escape from their pasts. Embarrassed by her disgraced ex-husband and her daughter's love for the boy from Chino, Julie recovered her standing in Orange County by marrying Caleb Nichol, Kirsten's father and the wealthiest man in The O.C.
As summer ends, Kirsten's anxiety over Seth reaches a breaking point. His parents know that Seth spent the summer teaching sailing and living in Portland, Oregon, with his former classmate Luke Ward and Luke's father, Carson. But they have so far been unable to convince Seth, who is bitter because Ryan moved away, to return home, even though it is almost time to begin school again.
Both Summer and Marissa try to forget their ex-boyfriends. Summer sadly returns Seth's belongings. Marissa copes with her loneliness and frustration by abusing alcohol and alienating her mother. Nonetheless, Marissa captures the attention of the Coopers' sexy gardener, D.J. Caleb becomes increasingly paranoid about his business--and Sandy risks getting tangled in Caleb's problems as well. Also, the Cohen house is in disarray as builders renovate. And, living on a boat while he rebuilds his stock market investments, Jimmy seems to be finally improving his situation.
Meanwhile, Ryan lives a suffocating domestic existence with his pregnant girlfriend, Theresa, in Chino, working on a construction site. After finding Ryan and giving him an airplane ticket to Portland, Sandy travels there but fails to assuage Seth. As Sandy is leaving, however, Ryan arrives, the last hope of bringing Seth home.
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