The Ties That Bind (The O.C. episode)

The Ties That Bind (The O.C. episode)

Infobox Television episode
Colour = #ffaa44
Series = The O.C.
Title = The Ties That Bind

Season = 1
Caption = Here comes the bride.
Episode = 27
Airdate = May 5, 2004 (FOX)
Writer = Josh Schwartz
Director = Patrick Norris
Production = 176526
Episode list = "The O.C." (season 1)
List of "The O.C." episodes
Prev = The Strip
Next = The Distance|

"The Ties That Bind" is the 27th episode and first season finale of the FOX television series, "The O.C.". The episode was written by Josh Schwartz and was directed by Patrick Norris. It originally aired on Wednesday May 5, 2004. Jem made a special appearance singing at the wedding reception.

Guest starring


At the pier, Seth spits out a few potential names for Theresa's baby on the way. Ryan is not amused as the reality of the pregnancy sets in, although he does remind Seth that it may not be his child. Back at the Cohen house, Kirsten and Sandy discuss the impending wedding between Caleb and Julie, and Kirsten asks that Sandy forgive Caleb for the dirty dealings Caleb had exhibited with the Balboa Lighthouse restaurant. As Sandy agrees, and Kirsten leans in for a kiss, the two are interrupted by Ryan, Theresa, and Seth, having just returned from the doctor. They told Kirsten and Sandy that Theresa was pregnant. Shock.

Later, at school, Ryan tells Marissa that it is too dangerous at this point to do a paternity test, so there won't be a way of knowing who the father is until the birth. Marissa is upset that Ryan slept with Theresa after having broken up with her for a week. Ryan apologizes and says he wishes he could take it back, and that he'll understand if Marissa doesn't want to be with him anymore. Marissa assumes that if Ryan's the father he will be the one to leave her, but Ryan counters by saying sincerely that he plans to help Theresa out but really wants to make things work with Marissa. Across campus, Summer and Seth discuss the turmoil they have all been though during the past year, and that adding a pregnancy is not fair. Summer then tells Seth that they won't be having sex for a while.

Over at Caleb's office, Sandy tries to make peace with Caleb before the wedding. He voices his disgust for the dirty dealing Caleb took to buy the restaurant away from him and Jimmy at a reduced cost, only to turn around and sell it to Robert Campbell for a huge profit. Caleb tells Sandy that selling the restaurant would have been the act to save his company, and Kirsten's company, the Newport Group, from going bankrupt. Sandy is obviously shocked. It turns out the Newport Group is successful in residential dealings, Kirsten's branch, but it is failing in other investments and debts. Sandy wonders why Caleb can't just sell the restaurant to someone else, but Caleb says Robert Campbell owns most of the coastline and wanted the restaurant to complete the puzzle, the property isn't nearly worth as much to anyone else. Caleb is still furious that Sandy sabotaged his attempt to sell to Robert. Apparently, the DA is all over Caleb once again.

At Jimmy's, Marissa is packing and preparing to move in with Caleb and Julie. Jimmy offers to return the money Caleb gave him in order to keep Marissa there. She declines and says she doesn't want to see him have to move away, which he will have to do if he has no money. Back at the Cohen's, Ryan is beginning to realize how "real" the baby is, and Sandy doesn't try and sugar coat the severity of the situation. Theresa stops by and tells Ryan that they are not ready for this baby, and that she wants to have an abortion. Ryan seems shocked.

Kirsten goes to see Theresa at the pool house and Theresa tells her about the abortion appointment that afternoon. Kirsten insists she drives her and be with her. Theresa accepts. At school, Marissa asks Ryan how he is handling the abortion decision, and he says he is nervous, sad, and disappointed. Marissa asks about what their summer should consist of, and neither can think of an answer. Over on the waterfront cliffs, Caleb reveals the castle he and Julie will live in, to Julie. She is thrilled, and decides she will live there forever.

Over at the docks, Seth and Ryan uncover Seth's boat, named "Summer Breeze", which hasn't been used since last summer, and decide it's been too long and it must be sailed. Ryan asks Seth why he never went to Tahiti, and Seth says it is because Ryan showed up, and he had no reason to leave anymore. When Kirsten goes to the bakery where Theresa works to pick her up for the abortion appointment, they discuss Theresa's options about whether to have the child or not. Theresa thanks Kirsten for the support. Kirsten tells Theresa she only wishes she'd have had someone there for her when she was in the same situation, hinting that she too has had an abortion. Later that night, Theresa tells Ryan that she didn't have the abortion, and that she is going to have the baby. The next morning Theresa packs and leave Newport, but not before asking Ryan to come with her. He doesn't answer.

Over at the Nichol castle, Jimmy, Hailey, and Marissa arrive with her belongings, and run into Julie. Hailey, Jimmy, and Julie bicker over how much they hate one another, and Marissa flips out, saying Julie is getting what she wanted by her moving in with the Nichols. Julie is surprised to find out Marissa didn't want to move in. Back at the docks, Summer sees that Seth's boat is named "Summer Breeze", but doesn't make the connection. Seth is planning on selling his boat and giving the money to Ryan and Theresa.

It's the night before the wedding, and everyone is gathered at the Cohen's for dinner. Sandy tells Caleb that he talked to the DA, and found out that it is over for Caleb and the Newport Group. He points out how ironic it is that Julie left Jimmy when he was broke, and now Caleb will find himself in the same position. Inside, Marissa finds out from Ryan that Theresa will be having her baby, and that she's left for Chino. At dinner, Caleb proposes a toast, and asks that everyone celebrate the uniting of the Cohen, Cooper, and Nichol families. He makes comments about the importance of family and the joys of being a father, which cause Ryan some evident discomfort. The kids of the O.C. take off and go for a walk on the beach. Seth reminisces about when Ryan first arrived last summer. Ryan then announces sadly that he will be leaving, to go back to Chino. He needs to be with Theresa and her unborn child, even if it isn't his. He can't let her do this by herself. Everyone is shocked.

The next day, Seth finds out the buyer for his boat backed out, so he will keep his boat. At lunch with Summer and Marissa, Seth proposes that they all get jobs to help pay for an apartment for Theresa and Ryan, and the new baby, to prevent Ryan from leaving. When Marissa shrugs off the idea, Seth gets angry and accuses her of making Ryan miserable. Marissa suggests that Seth has simply been using Ryan all year. Summer is shocked at both her friends' remarks and tells them to stop. Later, Ryan is preparing for the wedding, and Sandy tries to convince him to stay. When Ryan refuses, Sandy tells him that he may be leaving, but he'll never let him go.

Next up, the wedding, which finds all of the O.C. gang in one place in harmony, witnessing Caleb and Julie get married. The wedding goes off without a hitch, and the reception begins. As everyone dances on the floor, Ryan and Marissa discuss his departure. Marissa tells him she understands why he has to go, but that she wishes he didn't have to. Ryan looks her in the eyes and replies "Me too." She tells him she loves him. Ryan doesn't say anything, but is clearly hurting. Over on the grass, Seth sits alone, depressed. Summer goes over to see him and tells him that Ryan isn't going too far away. Seth is in disbelief that his best and only friend is leaving. Seth reveals that his life was hell before Ryan came to town, and that Summer wasn't enough to keep him happy. Seth then tells Summer that his boat was named after her.

After the reception ends, Ryan has packed, and is ready to leave the Cohen home. He says goodbye and thanks Kirsten and Sandy. In a complete 180 from 9 months previous, Kirsten asks Ryan to stay, but he has to go. Last up is Ryan's goodbye to Seth. Seth is in his room, and is not happy. He tells Ryan that if he needs a nanny he'll work a graveyard shift, but Ryan says he can manage, which is not what Seth wanted to hear. Ryan tells Seth he can come to visit, but Seth is unresponsive, and Ryan feels awkward, but gives him a gift - a map of Tahiti. Then the doorbell rings downstairs, Theresa is there to pick Ryan up. Seth puts his earphones back on.

As the day ends, Ryan and Theresa drive out of the Cohen lane, past Marissa, who stands at the end of the Cooper driveway, where she and Ryan first met. Ryan looks back at her one last time, as the Nichol limousine dives up to take her away. Seth packs and leaves letters on his night stand. One for his parents, and one for Summer. Marissa stands on the balcony of the Nichol mansion, alone, looking over Newport, and taking a drink for the first time since her recovery. Kirsten cleans the pool house, and cries as Sandy comforts her. Theresa and Ryan drive out of Newport as Seth sails off into the sunset and the open waters.


*"Flying High" by Jem
*"Orange Sky" by Alexi Murdoch
*"The Sea and the Rhythm" by Iron & Wine
*"Maybe I'm Amazed" by Jem
*"Hallelujah" - Jeff Buckley
*"Montserrat" - Orquesta del Plata


*Adam Brody doesn't like boats, so when he sails away, he is not in the boat at all. It is a 40-year-old stunt double in a wig that is actually sailing the boat.

*In this episode, Kirsten hinted she had had an abortion. In a flashback to 1985 in "The Case of the Franks", it was revealed that she aborted Jimmy's child.

*When asked about what he thought the audience would think of the first season's finale, Josh Schwartz said, "I think people will be upset, but they won't be disappointed."

External links

*imdb title|0663925|Full Cast & Crew
* [ Recap from Official Website]
* [ Recap] from Television Without Pity

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