Up until this point, I don’t believe I have mentioned how angry I initially was with Ryan’s mother, Dawn. In fact, part of me almost wanted to go as far as to nominate her for California’s Most Irresponsible Mother. Not that such an award exists, of course, but…come on. The woman more or less abandoned both of her children. First Trey (who appears to be a hopeless case) and now Ryan, who could have undoubtedly ended up following in Trey’s footsteps if not for the interference of the Cohens. But this episode…this episode changed my feelings on a lot of things. The ending scene brought tears to my eyes, and while I am still fully convinced that Ryan is much better off without his mother, I could not help but pity the poor woman from the very bottom of my heart.
After rescuing Ryan from juvie once again and welcoming him back into the Cohen household, Sandy seeks out Ryan’s mother and finds her working at a Laundromat in a nearby city. At first she appears to have no concern for her son, but eventually Sandy convinces her to come back and stay with his family for a while so that she and Ryan can talk things over. Like Ryan, Dawn is in awe when she first sees what kind of community the Cohens live in, and it is clear as she gapes at their house that she is thinking exactly what we all are thinking: He’d have a much better life here. Yes, yes he would—a life better than she could ever hope to give him. Sad, but true.
Meanwhile, there is yet another prestigious event soon to take place in Newport—Casino Night. Kirsten and Sandy both insist that Dawn join them at the event, and after much hesitation she finally agrees, promising Ryan that she will keep her drinking to a minimum.
When the big night finally arrives, Marissa and Ryan continue their usual flirtations, and this understandably begins to piss Luke off even more. In addition, Seth is still in pursuit of Summer, but with very little success. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Poor, poor Seth! It kind of makes me want to punch Summer in the face, honestly. Girls? Nerds are the best boyfriends. I’m telling you, they really are. If only Summer knew how much she is admired…maybe then she would stop treating Seth like dirt.
Of course, Dawn ends up doing what we all knew she would do from the very moment that Ryan mentioned her bad drinking habits. She has one too many glasses of wine (Or is it champagne? Hell, I don’t know; whatever it is it’s probably of the highest quality, since these people can afford just about anything.) and she ends up making a complete fool of herself in front of everyone. The Cohens take her back to their home, assuring her that everything is okay, but the poor woman will hear nothing of it. She decides once and for all that Ryan is better off without her in his life, and the next morning she tries to make her escape, but is intercepted by Kirsten and Ryan. She tearfully explains to Ryan that she can’t take care of him, and that it’s better for him (and for everyone) if she just leaves. She then runs away before anyone can stop her, and waits until she is inside the taxi she has called before breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably. This is the part where I cried, as I now realize that Dawn is not a bad woman. A lousy mother? Yes, but by leaving Ryan with the Cohens she is acknowledging that has failed as a parent. Now I’m not a mother, but I imagine that that has got to be a hell of a difficult thing to do. Props to Dawn–she did the right thing.
Despite this heartbreaking scene, however, I highly doubt that we have seen the last of Dawn. Or Trey. In fact, I know that we will see more of Trey later on…but I won’t say anymore, for those of you who (like me) have never seen the show. The only reason I know Trey comes back is because I’ve looked at some spoilers online—and because one of my friends told me about his return. I’ve really got to stop looking at those damn spoilers…
There is no doubt that I am totally hooked on The O.C. by now, and I am dying to review the next episode; I’ve already seen it, and it is most definitely my favorite so far! See you all on Thursday for “The Debut.” Peace.
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