The O.C. - Season 3 15

The O.C.

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The O.C. Season 3

Welcome to The O.C., where the lives of a group of friends and families have forever been changed by the arrival of an outsider to their affluent ocean-side community of Newport Beach in Orange County, California.

In season three, Kirsten befriends a mysterious woman in rehab. Strapped for cash, Jimmy returns to Newport Beach and even tangles with Julie again-but he's in way over his head this time. After the shocking events at the end of her junior year of high school, Marissa finds herself in the role of a princess who has definitely been knocked off her pedestal, further straining her relationship with Ryan. With Marissa temporarily brought low, Summer's got some new competition for social chair. And although his marriage with Kirsten may be on the mend, Sandy may have to embark on a brand-new career as a result of the changes in Kirsten's life.

Episode guide

  1. 01 - The Aftermath

    The lives of a group of friends and families have forever been changed by the arrival of an outsider to their affluent ocean-side community of Newport Beach in Orange County, California. When Ryan Atwood (series star BEN McKENZIE) was taken in from the streets of Chino by then public defender Sandy Cohen (series star PETER GALLAGHER), the Cohens had no idea how Ryan's arrival would change their lives and the lives of those around them. Initially resistant, Kirsten Cohen (series star KELLY ROWAN) opened her heart to accept the outsider just as she had accepted Sandy, another outsider, into her powerful old-money Newport Beach family. Their ""adorkable"" son, Seth (series star ADAM BRODY), found a friend and brother in Ryan to share his quirky way of looking at the world--and the trials and tribulations of winning the heart of Summer Roberts (series star RACHEL BILSON), Seth's lifelong crush.

    Early on, Ryan fell in love with the girl next door, Marissa Cooper (series star MISCHA BARTON), the daughter of Kirsten's high school sweetheart Jimmy Cooper (recurring guest star TATE DONOVAN - "The Pacifier," "Murder at 1600") and the notorious Julie Cooper (series star MELINDA CLARKE), who is now divorced from Jimmy. Ryan and Marissa's romance, however, is ill-fated, constantly tested by the young lovers' inability to escape from their pasts.

    Ryan, Marissa, Seth and Summer are about to begin their senior year at The Harbor School. But while everyone else celebrates the last days of summer, a dark cloud hangs over the foursome. Two months after being shot, Ryan's brother, Trey (recurring guest star LOGAN MARSHALL-GREEN - "24," "The Great Raid"), still clings to life, and the cops want to know who really shot him. Will Ryan take the fall for Marissa?

    Meanwhile, Julie and Jimmy are determined to protect their daughter at whatever cost. And as Seth, Ryan and Sandy try to fend for themselves at home, Kirsten continues recovering in her plush rehab by the sea and forms a friendship with fellow recovering alcoholic Charlotte Morgan (recurring guest star JERI RYAN - "Boston Public," "Star Trek: Voyager"), who--like all things in the O.C.--may not be everything she appears to be.

  2. 02 - The Shape of Things to Come

    Chaos reigns in the Cohen kitchen as Sandy, Ryan and Seth continue to cope with Kirsten's rehab. When Sandy encourages Kirsten to come home to her family, Kirsten's attachment to Charlotte (recurring guest star JERI RYAN) raises concern in Sandy. Meanwhile, at The Harbor School, Dean Hess (recurring guest star ERIC MABIUS - "Eyes"), the new Dean of Discipline, arrives and makes a decision that changes Marissa's life forever. Summer trumps her cardigan-wearing, goody two-shoes nemesis Taylor Townsend (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) when planning the annual Kick-Off Carnival. And Jimmy (recurring guest star TATE DONOVAN) offers Julie a surprising proposal.

  3. 03 - The End of Innocence

    Although they are finally happy with each other, Marissa and Ryan are forced to stay apart by their parents, Julie and Sandy. Dean Hess (recurring guest star ERIC MABIUS) pressures Seth and Summer into showing Harbor school spirit, which leads them to devise a covert plan to bring Marissa and Ryan together. When the scheme works, Marissa and Ryan have a night to remember, and Seth and Summer get caught by Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER). Meanwhile, Caleb's will is read, leaving Julie stunned and Jimmy in dire straits.

  4. 04 - The Last Waltz

    Marissa adjusts to life in her new surroundings and makes some new friends at Newport Union, while Ryan wonders how their separation will affect their relationship. Seth's feud with Dean Hess (recurring guest star ERIC MABIUS) lands Summer in trouble, but some startling new information about Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) may turn the tables once more. Kirsten's friend Charlotte (recurring guest star JERI RYAN) lands in Newport with some big ideas, while Sandy mulls over the future of the Newport Group. Meanwhile, Julie may no longer be a Newport Beach socialite.

  5. 05 - The Perfect Storm

    Ryan makes a life-changing decision that Sandy surprisingly supports, and Marissa turns to her new public school friends for help with Ryan. The Harbor School's Dean of Discipline, Dean Hess (recurring guest star ERIC MABIUS), continues his crusade to ruin Ryan's future, and Summer and Seth go on their own crusade to reveal Dean Hess's secret. Meanwhile, Charlotte (recurring guest star JERI RYAN) makes Julie an offer she cannot refuse.

  6. 06 - The Swells

    Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) ruins Seth's night when she throws a Harbor School event that keeps Summer at a distance. Marissa's new friendships at public school worry Summer, and she enlists Ryan's help. Meanwhile, Sandy works on a plan for the Newport Group and forms a new partnership. And Charlotte (recurring guest star JERI RYAN) convinces Julie and Kirsten to edge back into Newport society.

  7. 07 - The Anger Management

    When the gang heads to The Bait Shop to see the British rock band THE SUBWAYS (themselves), Taylor's behavior causes a major rift between Seth and Summer. Determined to end the potentially explosive conflict between Ryan and Kevin Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET), Marissa watches out for Ryan. Meanwhile, Matt (recurring guest star JEFF HEPHNER), Sandy's Newport Group partner, goes above and beyond the call of duty. Julie reigns supreme as the only bitch in Orange County, and for once, Ryan must control his anger.

  8. 08 - The Game Plan

    As seniors at Harbor School and Newport Union prepare their college applications, Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa decide what to do about their futures. Will they go to college? Unable to make a decision, Marissa attends Johnny's (recurring guest star RYAN DONOWHO) surf competition instead of completing her college application. Meanwhile, Julie is forced to return to her roots, and Kirsten, eager to get back to work, asks a friend for help. Sandy invites an old friend from UC Berkeley to dinner with Seth and Ryan. Alternative rockers THE SUBWAYS perform. Former series star TATE DONOVAN makes his directorial debut.

  9. 09 - The Disconnect

    Ryan takes an internship working for Sandy and Matt (recurring guest star JEFF HEPHNER) at the Newport Group, but he ends up working harder to save Matt's reputation. Determined to get accepted to Brown University, Summer and Seth do whatever it takes to stand out at Harbor School. Johnny (recurring guest star RYAN DONOWHO) finally tells Marissa how he really feels about her. After a stressful weekend, Ryan and Marissa cross paths and end up telling each other the truth about their time apart.

  10. 10 - The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah

    After the teens spend hours picking out the perfect Christmas trees, they devise a special plan to help a friend in need. Meanwhile, missing her mom, Summer feels even more somber during this holiday, and Johnny's (recurring guest star RYAN DONOWHO) sudden misfortune forces him to take matters into his own hands. Kirsten tries to put the past behind her and make amends with Julie. Reminiscing Seth vows to put a little "mukkah" into Ryan's "chris," and Ryan gets "Bar Mitz-vahkkahed" on the third annual Chrismukkah episode.

  11. 11 - The Safe Harbor

    Summer, Seth and Ryan launch a campaign to get Marissa back into The Harbor School, and Johnny (recurring guest star RYAN DONOWHO) struggles between a friend's happiness and his own feelings. Meanwhile, Sandy must make an ethical decision that could change Marissa's fate, and Summer's father, Dr. Neil Roberts (recurring guest star MICHAEL NOURI), and Julie are apprehensive about admitting to the lies they have told their daughters.

  12. 12 - The Sister Act

    Fourteen-year-old Kaitlin Cooper (recurring guest star WILLA HOLLAND) returns to Orange County during her winter break from an exclusive Montecito boarding school--bringing a lot of attitude and a few secrets. Much more in the mold of her mother, Julie, than her sister, Marissa, Kaitlin turns heads as she tries to get closer to her family in the only way she knows how.

  13. 13 - The Pot Stirrer

    While Marissa does all she can to get to know her sister again, Kaitlin (recurring guest star WILLA HOLLAND) just stirs up trouble for the gang as she prepares to celebrate her birthday. Meanwhile, Sandy encourages Seth about college, but Seth finds a better alternative. Sandy and Matt (recurring guest star JEFF HEPHNER) work together to secure a contract for the new hospital. And Julie continues her quest to put her family back together.

  14. 14 - The Cliffhanger

    Summer discovers the truth about Seth. Sandy and Matt (recurring guest star JEFF HEPHNER) encounter an obstacle to their hospital project. Kirsten and Julie take their matchmaking business a little too far, causing Julie to go into hiding. Marissa finally tells Johnny (recurring guest star RYAN DONOWHO) how she truly feels. And Kaitlin (recurring guest star WILLA HOLLAND) wonders which Cooper Johnny really likes.

  15. 15 - The Heavy Lifting

    Tragic news forces the friends to sort out their problems and face the reality of the situation. After Johnny's cousin, Sadie Campbell (recurring guest star NIKKI REED), arrives in Newport, Ryan helps her move and get rid of Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET), causing Ryan to question his and Marissa's relationship. Meanwhile, Kaitlin's (recurring guest star WILLA HOLLAND) winter break is over. Just as she gets close to her family, she once again has to say goodbye. And in the wake of Newport's latest events, Kirsten and Julie press on with their Valentine's Day party.

  16. 16 - The Road Warrior

    Sadie (recurring guest star NIKKI REED) and Ryan go on a road trip to find one of Johnny's relatives. Although Ryan returns to his old "Chino" ways, the trip brings him and Sadie closer. Could this mean the end of Ryan and Marissa's relationship? Meanwhile, Marissa is implicated in Johnny's death, and Seth and Summer discover Julie and Dr. Roberts' (recurring guest star MICHAEL NOURI) secret. Musician TOM VEK performs.

  17. 17 - The Journey

    Ryan struggles with the decision of whether or not to invite Marissa to his birthday party, and Sandy wants to include one of Ryan's relatives in the celebration. Meanwhile, Julie and Dr. Roberts (recurring guest star MICHAEL NOURI) come clean with Summer and Marissa. Also, Ryan and Sadie (recurring guest star NIKKI REED), along with fellow new couple Marissa and Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET), grow closer.

  18. 18 - The Undertow

    When an old nemesis returns to Newport, Ryan gets caught up in helping her, causing a rift between him and Sadie (recurring guest star NIKKI REED). Seth and Summer are faced with a new problem that Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) tries to solve. Meanwhile, Marissa finds herself all alone in Newport with no one to turn to, and Sandy grapples with business pressure.

  19. 19 - The Secrets and Lies

    Julie and Dr. Roberts (recurring guest star MICHAEL NOURI) announce their engagement, and the Cooper ladies move in with Summer and her dad. Meanwhile, Marissa drifts away from Summer and the group when she seeks solace in the company of bad boy Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET) and his crew. Ryan tries to move on with Sadie (recurring guest star NIKKI REED), but Seth's concern for Marissa gets in the way. At the Newport Group, Sandy's woes with Matt (recurring guest star JEFF HEPHNER) continue. And Kirsten surprises Seth with a night out.

  20. 20 - The Day After Tomorrow

    The kids receive their college acceptance and rejection letters, forcing them to make some life-altering decisions. Ryan and Sadie (recurring guest star NIKKI REED) try to decide what do after high school, and their decision concerns Sandy and Kirsten. Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) throws a college sweatshirt party at Harbor High School, and Marissa and Summer patch up their friendship. Meanwhile, the drama surrounding Sandy's job intensifies and starts to affect the Cohen household.

  21. 21 - The Dawn Patrol

    Ryan leaves Newport to visit his mom, but before they meet, he has a steamy encounter with her co-worker. Meanwhile, Seth is keeping secrets, and Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) and Summer devise a foolproof plan to figure out what's going on with him. When their plan backfires, Summer is devastated. Julie Cooper visits a surprised Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET) and gives him some stern advice. Later, Marissa confronts Volchok's friends and saves a girl from an intense situation at a raging party. Meanwhile, Sandy puts an end to the trouble with Matt (recurring guest star JEFF HEPHNER) but leaves Kirsten at home alone.

  22. 22 - The College Try

    With graduation just weeks away, Ryan, Seth, Summer and Marissa leave Newport to attend their respective pre-freshman orientations at Berkeley and Brown. While dropping the boys off at the airport, Kirsten is surprised to see Theresa (recurring guest star NAVI RAWAT) and her familiar-looking baby boy. At Brown, Seth runs into Anna (recurring guest star SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG), and they instantly connect. Meanwhile, Kirsten and Sandy attend a hospital benefit where Kirsten vents her frustration and falls back into an old habit.

  23. 23 - The Party Favor

    Harbor School's senior prom brings out the best and the worst in everyone. Taylor (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) has a great time, while Summer doesn't enjoy herself with her surprising prom date. Seth and Anna (recurring guest star SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG) come up with a plan to win Summer back for Seth. Meanwhile, Marissa convinces Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET) to go to the prom with her, and Ryan brings an unexpected old flame. When one of the girls is elected prom queen, it truly becomes a night to remember. Later, when Taylor's prom funds are discovered to be missing, Ryan returns to his old ways, and prom night turns brutal. LISA TUCKER ("American Idol") guest stars as herself.

  24. 24 - The Man of the Year

    Dealing with the repercussions from prom night, Ryan must make a deal with Volchok (recurring guest star CAM GIGANDET). Meanwhile, although Sandy is named Man of the Year by a magazine, the district attorney continues to investigate his unique involvement with the new hospital. After she receives a call for help from Kaitlin (recurring guest star WILLA HOLLAND), Marissa visits her little sister at boarding school. Ryan's bloodied hands force Theresa (recurring guest star NAVI RAWAT) to make a difficult decision. And Seth's actions ignite even more trouble in Newport.

  25. 25 - The Graduates

    The end of senior year is finally here, bringing the excitement of graduation and the anticipation of new lives in college and beyond. But for Seth, Ryan, Marissa and Summer, it's also a time to look back on the amazing journey that has brought the four of them this far. Seth must confront his recent misdeeds or deal with the wrath of Sandy--and the police. Ryan's proud mom arrives with a surprise for him. Marissa receives an astounding proposal that may radically change her plans. And Summer, facing the prospect of going away without Seth, can't stop crying and hugging her best friends as they say their farewells. But even amidst the speeches and toasts, nothing is ever simple in Newport. Sandy shocks Kirsten by making a big decision after visiting his old public defender's office. Kaitlin (recurring guest star WILLA HOLLAND) returns and moves into Julie's home, vowing to become the next Cooper to rule Harbor High. And to Taylor's (recurring guest star AUTUMN REESER) joy, the "core four" turns into the "fab five." However, although the kids may be ready to move on to bright futures, unresolved issues from their past could ruin everything.