The Pot Stirrer

The Pot Stirrer

Infobox Television episode
Colour = #ffaa44
Series = The O.C.
Title = The Pot Stirrer

Season = 3
Caption = Marissa and Ryan
Episode = 13
Airdate = January 26, 2006 (FOX)
Writer = John Stephens
Director = Norman Buckley
Production = 2T6263
Prev = The Sister Act
Next = The Cliffhanger

"The Pot Stirrer" is the 64th episode of the FOX television series, "The O.C.". The episode was written by John Stephens and was directed by Norman Buckley. It originally aired on Thursday, January 26, 2006.

Guest starring


Sandy, Kirsten, and Ryan watch as a spacey Seth stumbles into the kitchen in his bathrobe. Turns out a Brown University rep wants to interview Seth on Sunday and his head is still spinning. He's had his watch set to east coast time for months now, but when he found out about the interview, it hit him. He's really leaving Newport. And suddenly he's feeling really nostalgic about the old place.

At school, Summer gives Seth the good news. She got a Brown interview too! Seth has a hard time rising to her level of enthusiasm. He wants to know if she's feeling any anxiety about leaving all her friends and family. She was, but then she talked to her boot camp instructor who gave her the following advice, "You can either ride change, or change rides you." Good point.

Sandy and Matt pitch their proposal to build a new hospital with equal access to the affluent and less affluent neighborhoods, thereby serving the entire community. The board looks, well, bored with their proposal. After the meeting, Matt lets Sandy know that he saw the competition's proposal and it's really good. Not only that, but the Brea Group had been wining and dining Bill Merriam and the board for months - dinners, concerts, cruises. Sandy reminds Matt that they provided bagels at the meeting. Matt somehow doesn't think bagels are going to be enough to outshine the competition. Sandy's determined to win over the board with intelligence, not expensive wine.

Kaitlin and Johnny walk along the pier as she reminisces about birthdays past - games, ponies, and petting zoos. But her favorite part was always the after-party when the family would sit around watching 'The Sound of Music' and sing along. Johnny never even had a clown at his party. He asks Kaitlin if she's told Marissa that they've been hanging out. No, and apparently he's not going to either.

Dr. Roberts is late to meet Julie for drinks. A procedure ran late. But he's just happy to finally be sitting across from her after she cancelled twice. Oh, that. Julie explains that she got to thinking about their situation - their daughters are best friends, she's a recent widow and he's a recent divorcée. So, what made her change her mind? Um...she felt something. He confesses he felt something too. Unfortunately, if she doesn't leave now, she'll be late to pick up Marissa from school. How 'bout dinner Sunday night? Julie tells the good doctor it's a date.

Seth's in his room having a heart-to-heart with Captain Oats, when Sandy comes in to check on him. Seth tells his father he's freaking out. He doesn't feel like it's the beginning of anything, he feels more like it's the end of something.

Marissa and Julie return to the trailer with take-out Thai. Then Julie pulls out an Armenian menu for Marissa and Kaitlin to order from on Sunday night, while she's at her "business meeting." Marissa tries to subtly remind her mother that they have plans Sunday night, but Julie doesn't know what she's talking about. "Remember, we were going to order in food, watch The Sound of Music..." Huh? Suddenly she catches on. But it's too late, Kaitlin's already lost her taste for Thai.

In the kitchen, Kirsten's making dinner and Sandy's moping around. Turns out Bill Merriam called and it looks like the board's going with the Brea Group. Kirsten wonders if it's not too late to take another shot? But Sandy doesn't want the contract if it means he has to buy some guy with Kobe beef. Kirsten thinks he's selling himself short and encourages him to find another way to woo Bill.

On his clear-his-head walk, Seth runs into Kaitlin at the pier. He's surprised to see her, but more surprised to see that she's smoking a joint right out in the open. She offers him a hit to take the edge off. But Seth 'just says no.' His dad smoked pot at Berkeley so that pretty much ruined it for him. So why does she need to take the edge off? Her mom forgot her birthday. Fueling Seth's fears, Kaitlin tells him that when she was away at school, she kept telling herself that she was being paranoid, that they wouldn't really forget about her, but they did. Then she asks Seth to imagine what it was like growing up with Marissa Cooper as her big sister. Her birthday was the one day she could count on people actually noticing her.

Julie stops by Dr. Robert's house to see if he can have dinner tonight instead of Sunday. Unfortunately he has to work. Is she cancelling? Well, it's Kaitlin's birthday. She can't believe it slipped her mind. But she wants to have a little party for her, obviously it'd have to be little since she lives in a trailer. Dr. Roberts offers up his house. That way she can have a big party and he can still see her.

In the pool house, Ryan helps Seth and Summer prepare for their big interviews by quizzing them on possible questions. But when Summer gives an honest answer, they both cringe a little, and offer her an acceptable alternative. Summer decides that instead of memorizing other people's answers, she's just going to be herself. Because if she gives an answer she doesn't believe in, and gets in, she'll end up with the wrong life. Can't argue with that.

Sandy tells Matt to give Bill Merriam a call. They're going to take him out after all. Great! Matt wants to know if he should set up a tee-time? Make dinner reservations at the Arches? Nope, they're dining at El Pavo Loco - a burrito stand next to the hospital site. Sandy wants to take Bill on a walking tour of the underprivileged area that their hospital will serve. Matt hopes he's kidding. Nope, he's just being Sandy.

Ryan and Marissa are hanging out at The Bait Shop, when suddenly Kaitlin shows up with Johnny. "Oh, Marissa, I totally forgot you said you were gonna be here." After Kaitlin watches Marissa lose it a little, and after she makes sure to work it into the conversation that she and Johnny have been hanging out, and they went for a midnight swim together the other night, she claims she's not feeling well and asks Johnny to drive her home.

Before Kaitlin gets out of the jeep, Johnny tells her that he wants to continue hanging out as friends. Kaitlin tells him that'll still make Marissa mad. He thinks he can live with that. Johnny takes off and Kaitlin heads up the stairs to the front door when suddenly she sees someone lurking in the shadows. It's Seth. She had a feeling he'd come around.

A little later, Seth is sitting at his desk staring at a baggie with 3 joints, when he hears a knock on the door. He shoves the stash into his desk drawer as Sandy pops his head in to see if Seth's ready for his big interview, and to invite him downstairs for some pancakes. Seth declines the pancakes, claiming he's not hungry and has a little more preparation to do. Sandy leaves and Seth begins his preparations, which apparently include sealing off the door with a towel, opening a window, and lighting up.

At the Roberts' McMansion, Kirsten helps Julie set up for the party. Julie's already coming up with re-decorating ideas for the place. Kirsten thinks since they haven't had a first kiss yet, re-decorating might be a little premature.

On the walking tour of the prospective hospital site, Sandy realizes he's losing Bill. He gives Matt the O.K. to do it his way. Sandy realizes the tour worked better on him than on Bill. He's not going to rob the community of something it needs just so he can sleep easier.

Back at the Cohen's, a mellow Seth is hanging out on his bedroom floor, partaking in a little more pot, when Ryan knocks on the door. Seth sprays the room with air freshener, then opens the door. While Seth is incoherently babbling on, Ryan is following his nose straight to the ashtray with the joint.

Summer's heading down the hall for her interview when she receives a call from Ryan, asking her to stretch it out as long as she can. Why? Ryan just needs a little time to bring Seth back down to earth.

Ryan escorts Seth to his interview, and Seth assures Ryan that he only used marijuana because he's stressed out about losing everything he has in Newport. Then he confesses that he got the pot from Kaitlin. Summer comes out of her hour-and-a-half-long interview and tells Seth that if he screws it up, their future together will be ruined. Seth waits for Ryan and Summer to head out, then he heads out himself.

At the birthday party, Kaitlin leads Johnny up to Summer's room. He's not sure what they're doing up there, but Kaitlin tells him she's looking for her presents. Your presents are downstairs. Not all of them. Johnny tries to use the age excuse, but Kaitlin isn't buying it. She thinks it's because he's still in love with Marissa. Johnny denies it, so Kaitlin gives him a chance to prove it. Just 1 kiss. Then she leans in and takes what she came for.

Downstairs, Ryan tells Marissa about Kaitlin's pot stash, just as Seth shows up, looking higher than ever.

Meanwhile, back at Matt's bachelor pad, Bill Merriam is enjoying drinks with a few very sexy ladies. And by the way, Sandy's got the contract. Really? Yep, Sandy's taking care of him, he'll take care of Sandy. It's business. Caleb would be proud.

Back at the party, Kaitlin and Johnny are trying to make a quick getaway, when Marissa runs out the door after them. She's concerned about Kaitlin's recent string of illicit activities: stealing cash from a fraternity, giving Seth pot, what's next? Kaitlin tells Marissa to spare her the concerned sister act. She knows this is really about Johnny. Marissa denies it, but Kaitlin says she can tell Marissa still likes him. In fact, everyone can tell including Ryan. Kaitlin adds that if Marissa really doesn't like Johnny, then she won't mind that Kaitlin just made out with him upstairs. Marissa looks shaken.

Inside, Marissa tells Julie that Kaitlin took off, and Julie blames Marissa. How could she do this to her little sister? On her birthday? Then she reminds Marissa how important this party was for all of them. Marissa lets her Mom know that a party isn't going to fix what's wrong with this family. Then she takes off. And now Dr. Roberts is the one having second thoughts. Maybe their lives are too complex after all.

Then Seth drops by Summer's room, where she's excitedly flipping through the Brown course catalog, and he lies to her about his interview. And at the same time, Kirsten comes down to Sandy's office and congratulates him on getting the hospital contract his way. And he doesn't say a word. Seth continues to smoke pot in solitude in his room.


*"Insomnia" by Electric President
*"I Only Have Eyes For You" by Martina Topley Bird
*"My Favorite Friend" by Diefenbach
*"Stay In The Shade" by Jose Gonzalez
*"Low Happening" by Howling Bells
*"Brand New Delhi" by The Tao of Groove

External links

* [ Recap from the official website]

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