The Party Favor

The Party Favor

Infobox Television episode
Colour = #ffaa44
Series = The O.C.
Title = The Party Favor

Caption = The cast poses for a picture before attending their Senior Prom.
Season = 3
Episode = 23
Airdate = April 27, 2006 (FOX)
Writer = John Stephens
Director = Michael Lange
Production = 2T6273
Prev = The College Try
Next = The Man of the Year

"The Party Favor" is the 74th episode of the FOX television series, "The O.C.". The episode was written by John Stephens and was directed by Michael Lange. It originally aired on Thursday April 27, 2006.

Guest starring


The school year at Harbor is coming to an end, and with it, the senior prom is looming on the horizons of our main characters. Similar to last season's prom episode, "The O.Sea", Seth and Ryan are having a bit of trouble finding dates. Ryan again suggests that they stay home this year and relax, to which Seth memorably replies "I love you, but if I have to spend my senior prom with you playing video games, I'm gonna kill myself". Seth refuses to be talked out of going, describing the senior prom as "mythic" and "a romantic capstone to your adolescence".

However, Seth (naturally) wants to attend the prom with Summer, but, as a result of the events of the previous episode, the two are not on speaking terms (see "The College Try"). Ever the schemer, Seth leaves a message on Summer's phone, saying that he (masquerading as a Brown Admissions Officer), would like to meet her for breakfast the following day. Seth convinces Ryan to consider asking Theresa, so that they may all go together.

Ryan thanks Seth for not suggesting he go with Marissa, but Seth replies that she would prefer to go with the "surf Nazi". In an odd twist of fate, the 2 then see Volchok kiss an unknown female in their proximity.

The following morning, Summer shows up for breakfast with the Browns Admissions Officer, but he is nowhere to be seen. She spots Seth in a nearby booth, and demands that he leave. Seth confesses to his deception, and asks that she have a seat. A nearby waitress places a plate in front of Summer, with the word "Prom?" spelled out in chocolate chips on top (presumably Seth's doing). Summer tells Seth that there is no possible way she would ever consider attending prom with him, and even goes so far as to say that if the two of them were stranded on a deserted island, she would "take the nourishment that your meager body has to offer and feed your bones to the sharks".

After this, Seth calls Anna, and the viewer learns that Anna is helping Seth with a plan to get Summer to be his prom date. Anna states that Summer's reluctance to attend prom is due to her appearance with Seth during his visit to Brown, and says that he must tell her the truth about being rejected from Brown. Seth states that the last time he lied to Summer, he was forced to write a list confessing every wrong thing he had ever done, and if he ever lied to Summer again, it was her right to give it to his parents.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Theresa are discussing their sordid history as a couple, when Ryan pops the question to Theresa (to attend prom with him). She seems reluctant at first, presumably because of Daniel, but eventually gives in, saying that she will ask her mother to watch her son for her.

During this same period, Marissa goes to visit Volchok at his place of residence, and asks him if he would like to attend prom with her. He also does not say yes at first, saying he is not a "staunch supporter of the prom institution". Marissa eventually forces him into confessing that he did not stay in high school long enough to ever go to prom. Using this lack of an important life experience, Marissa convinces Volchok to attend prom with her.

At Harbor, Taylor hunts down Summer and hands her tickets for prom, which Summer promptly hands back. Taylor tells Summer she has to go because she was last year's queen. And what's more, Taylor has a date for her. Jung Nom, who is a cousin of Sung Ho, Taylor's new Korean boyfriend. He's a model and a big star in the K-pop scene, a singer in his band, Big Korea. Besides, what better way to make Cohen miserable than taking a hot boy to prom? Summer agrees.

Ryan spots Marissa in the lounge. Prom talk ensues, and they learn that Theresa and Volchok will both be at the ball. After school, Seth is leaving a message for Summer when Anna shows up. In a lesser part of town, Ryan has dropped by Volchok's loft for a little chat. Ryan wants to ask about the girl he saw Volchok with last night, but Volchok claims he's can't remember that far back. Then Marissa pops out from the bathroom and asks what Ryan is doing there. He then tells her Kirsten is having a pre-prom photo party tomorrow.

The next morning, Anna lays out her multi-phase plan for fixing things between Seth and Summer. Phase one, tell Summer nothing's going on. If that fails, phase two involves Seth taking Anna to the prom. Over at Summer's, Marissa is examining her dress while Summer dejectedly listens to some of Jung Nom's K-Pop. She doesn't think it's going to do the trick on Seth. And that's when Anna drops in.

Anna tries to tell Summer the whole story, but Summer cuts her short with boasts of Jung Nom. Oh, so then Summer won't mind if Anna goes to prom with Seth then? No, why would she? In a pique after Anna leaves, Summer takes Seth's extensive napkin confession from earlier and places it in a purple envelope intended for Sandy and Kirsten. Now they can read every single thing their little boy has ever done wrong.

In the pool house before the dance, Seth explains Anna's master plan to Ryan. Simply seeing Seth with another woman will drive Summer insane and make her realize a life without Seth is not a life worth living, "a life without sunshine."

Later, the entire group assembles at the Cohens. Ryan and Theresa, Marissa and Volchok, Seth and Anna, Taylor and Sung Ho, Summer and Jung Nom and assorted parents. Sandy hands Taylor $100 for Ryan and Seth's share of the after party expenses, $50 each, and she adds it to the $5,000 wad already in her clutch. Volchok takes note of the cash. As the group heads outside for photos, Summer slyly drops the confession envelope on the desk in Sandy's office.

Volchok is absent prior to a big group photo. Ryan goes inside to look for him, finding him just before he steals Taylor's money. Not wanting to be nicked stealing cash before the dance, Volchok covers by pouring booze into his flask. Which is less offensive, apparently. Ryan warns Volchok that if he ruins this night for Marissa, an ass kicking is in his future.

Prom time! Summer is already envious as Seth and Anna enjoy their time together. She asks Volchok for his flask to help ease the pain. Volchok, totally missing the buzz his flask should be providing, asks Marissa if she wants to smoke up. Marissa replies that she'd rather enjoy prom, but another girl at the dance definitely would like to smoke up, and offers to take Volchok somewhere private. As they walk out, Volchok hungrily eyes up Taylor's purse 1 more time.

Elsewhere, the Cohens are having a nice, quiet dinner with Julie Cooper-Nichol and Neil Roberts when the doctor gets up to take a call. It's from somebody who knows Sandy and has some news for him.

Back at the prom, Summer is still guzzling booze while couples slow dance. Seth wants to go talk to a drunken Summer, but Anna won't let him. Her plan is working perfectly! Taylor gets onboard the pirate ship to announce the prom queen, and wouldn't you know it's Summer again. "Way to go, Sum," Marissa cheers. Summer staggers to the stage to accept her tiara, then introduces Jung Nom to the crowd and kisses him in an attempt to drive Seth crazy. Then she accidentally plunges off the ship. But she's O.K.

Marissa thinks this would be a good time to head to the after party, and suggests as much to Ryan. But she can't find Smokechok. That is, Volchok. Ryan offers to hunt him down as Marissa attends to Summer. As Ryan roams the hallways, he finds Volchok making out with his new friend. Before he can say anything, Marissa comes up and sees the same thing. Volchok tells his new friend to beat it so he can handle Marissa, who slaps him. Kevin then decides this whole scene is beat, man.

As Kirsten and Julie clear the table after dinner, Kirsten confesses that she had a drink last week after a fight with Sandy. Julie advises Kirsten to tell Sandy, but she doesn't want to use alcoholism as a bargaining chip. If Sandy can't see on his own that they're in trouble, what's the point?

Over at the after party, kids are openly drinking and using bongs. It seems that Taylor thought bored, rich teens could be trusted to police themselves. Marissa, disgusted by Volchok's behavior, treats herself to a drink-or drinks. Seth and Anna check up on Summer, who's holding onto the Earth to prevent being flung off. Anna informs Seth it's time to ratchet it up to phase three, which is where Seth tells Summer the entire truth. Anna slips out and Seth does indeed tell Summer he was rejected from Brown and lied to her about it so she would still go. Summer is touched by the sentiment. Then realizes she gave his confession note to his parents. Either that thought or the copious amount of booze makes Summer vomit. But at least they're back in love. "Uh, we can kiss later," Seth says, as Summer retches over the side of the couch for a second time.

Neil Roberts pulls Sandy aside to discuss the phone call he received earlier. It was a friend of his from the hospital who's been hearing some whispers of impropriety between Dr. Griffin and Sandy. Come Monday morning, they're going to suspend the development and launch a criminal investigation into both men. Sandy is stunned.

Marissa stands at the end of the pier staring out into the ocean and drinking tequila straight from the bottle. Dangerous combo. Inside, Ryan and Theresa are having a moment, talking about their relationship and how prom didn't mean they were going to start dating. They seemed about to kiss when Taylor lets out a high-pitched scream in terror. The money is missing from her purse. Ryan comes to the rescue, and he has a prime suspect in mind. He heads straight to Volchok's.

Volchok invites Ryan in, closes the door and offers to settle this once and for all. But Ryan's not interested. He just wants the money. Volchok goads Ryan by pointing out that he could get Marissa on her back on his mattress whenever he wanted to, and the battle is finally on. "How does that make you feel?" he taunts.

Volchok isn't very mellow for a guy who smoked up earlier and starts throttling Ryan. Ryan turns the tables and starts punching Volchok until he's laying motionless on the floor. And then it was over.


*"California" by Phantom Planet
*"Getting Hit On At The Bank" by The Briefs
*"Earthquakes and Sharks" by Brandtson
*"Oregon Girl" by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
*"One Day" by Bratsound
*"To All Of You" by Syd Matters
*"Random" by Lady Sovereign
*"I Can't Come Down" by Embrace
*"Gotta Reason" by HARD-Fi


*Lisa Tucker makes a cameo appearance at the prom.

*This marks the last appearance of Anna Stern portrayed by Samaire Armstrong.

*This is the second year in a row that Rachel Bilson's character (Summer Roberts) is named Prom Queen.

*Summer's date is said to be in a "K-Pop" band called Big Korea. This is a play off of the name of Big Japan, which is an indie band that cast member Adam Brody is a member of.

*Upon seeing Summer's prom date, Seth makes a reference to an anime character when he remarks, "he looks like the guy from Fullmetal Alchemist." A joke on the earlier reference of Summer's date being a "K-Pop" singer who's had anime characters based on him.

External links

* [ Full Cast & Crew] at the Internet Movie Database
* [ Recap from Official Website]
* [ Recap] from Television Without Pity

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