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October 6, 2015

The OC: The Groundhog Day

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 26th 2007 10:16AM

Willa Holland as Kaitlin Cooper on 'The OC.'(S04E12) Was anyone else slightly disappointed with this episode? It just felt kind of so-so to me. Plus, everything that was meant to be a big shock wasn't all that shocking. I know it's selfish to expect a masterpiece week in and week out, but this was the fifth to last episode. In this instance, I think we're justified in hoping for more.

All that being said, it was still a decent episode. Plenty of funny moments involving groundhogs, mail trucks, and the return of Bullit. Bang!

The big shocking moments? Kirsten is pregnant and Julie has been seeing Frank Atwood. Neither revelation really caught me off guard. The second Kirsten went to a doctor and said she was feeling funny, pregnancy was the safe bet. Same goes for Julie when she was making secret phone calls. Frank seemed to be the obvious choice considering the circumstances in which we last saw them. I'm not saying I dislike either of these developments, but I just didn't see the point in making them the big reveals at the end of the episode because they were fairly easy to figure out early on.

Now here's something I've only just started to notice, and it was only after I read this that it started to jump out at me. Summer and Seth barely share any scenes anymore and it's starting to feel awkward. I can accept the fact that the Bilson/Brody break-up is adding an extra level of onscreen tension, but c'mon. Suck it up and give us the stuff we want for the final four episodes. Ché has essentially become a buffer between these two and after the whole "let's go free the Newport groundhog" fiasco, it's reaching its tipping point. I did love how Newport County has their own rip-off of Punxsutawney Phil though.

Elsewhere, we're starting to get an idea of the things that will play a role as the series comes to an end. Obviously, Kirsten's pregnancy will have an affect. I think we can assume that Will is going to return and make a play for Kaitlin. It's foolish to think that Seth and Summer won't end up together but it looks like we'll have to keep dealing with them barely interacting. Quite the opposite seems to be the case for Taylor and Ryan, who have patched things up. And of course, Julie has to choose between Frank or Bullit.

Little things are still what makes this show for me though. Especially how certain things make a return. Case in point? Sandy, the mail truck, and how he and Kirsten lived in one during college. There's something we haven't heard about for a while. Stuff like that is fun and I always enjoy when things from past episodes make a return. I wonder if anything (or anyone) else will make an encore appearance in the final four episodes?

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I liked that they keep rounding off Seth's character with the Oldboy reference. Then just as I smiled, I got turned off by it being described as "South Korean shock cinema". If Seth's that much of a fanboy, he wouldn't have used that phrase to describe that film.

All it ended up to me was the writers thinking they were cool enough to know about these things but not truly understanding them.

January 30 2007 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree that both stories were too obvious, but I liked how they were told. It's amazing that Kirsten's and Kaitlin's stories (to characters not that important this season) are a lot better than the rest of the cast. Ché is really pissing me off. He's just ridiculous,like the stupid things he does.

January 27 2007 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I always like the little cultural throw-ins, like the I Ching, and Che saying "The Grasshopper lies heavy tonight" which I took to refer to Phillip K Dick's novel The Man in the High Castle, in which a novelist writes a book called "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy" using the I Ching.

January 26 2007 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Even just an average Season 4 episode still beats just about everything from Season 2/3.

January 26 2007 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Melanie, I was hoping it was Jimmy too, and that she was keeping it a secret from Caitlin so she wouldn't get her hopes up.

January 26 2007 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
matthew m. barnes

that's funny. i loved this episode and was waiting for your review just knowing you were going to start it with something like...

"i can't believe how good this show is getting right before they're about to cancel it!"

well, that's how i feel anyway. it does make me sad that it's coming to an end.

January 26 2007 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And Wikipedia's always right!

Weirdly, I was hoping Julie would be seeing Jimmy. How awesome would it be to see Jimmy come back for the last few episodes? :D

January 26 2007 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kevin Sorbo's name was in the opening credits, so that's how I figured he was the one Julie was seeing.

I wish they would bring Oliver back.

It's a little sad seeing the previews and the number of remaining episodes at the end of each episode.

January 26 2007 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael G.

According to Wikipedia...Alan Dale will be returning to his role as Caleb Nichol! Otherwise it's sad to know there are only 4 more episodes left to this great show.

January 26 2007 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I get the feeling that the writers are starting to phone it in a bit as the end comes near. This whole episode felt it was forcing people to pair off as we move toward the setup of some sort of dreadful "everyone's happy" series finale. I'm just praying that the series doesn't end with a quadruple wedding of Seth/Summer, Ryan/Taylor, Julie/Frank/Bullit and Che/Groundhog Girl... maybe Sandy/Kirsten will renew their vows while the priest is there... and Katilin can get a promise ring from Will.

I'm fearing an ending as rediculous as whatever show ended a couple seasons ago with the triple pregnancy.

January 26 2007 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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