Granted, I haven't exactly been plum pudding with the course that the S.S. OC has taken thus far in Season Two, but one email I received among the rest gave me hope that everything shall soon be, in the parlance of the day, aight: "Don't worry about it, dude," wrote Inappropriate Dude X from Middlebury College. "It's just like a girlfriend that puts on ten pounds, and now we're waiting around for a bit to see if she'll go rexi and lose the weight." Nicely put, X.

But agreed. Tonight's episode was make or break. To advance X's analogy, either the O.C. would get off the IV and start eating some solid food, or end up in the toilet along with this morning's breakfast (Yes, I know I'm going to hell. But eating disorders are still kind of funny). Rather than wait till the end of the show to write an analysis, I decided to change things up a bit this time and write a stream-of-conscious running diary. Kind of like Jack Kerouac and his "spontaneous prose," sans the whole talent thing. In any event, here we go:

8:01: 1) It's""gasp!""raining in OC land! 2) Blind Melon's "No Rain" is playing in the background. 3) This is very cute. Especially the playful bickering between Seth and Ryan over whether they should rendezvous in the pool house or the real house. Could these guys have a gayer dynamic? The writers really missed the boat on picking the right gays for the show.

8:03: "Maybe it will all work out," says Seth. Cue lightening, ominous glances, and discussion of fate/divine intervention. Alas, if God were actually watching the show, he would have knocked off Lindsay and Zach long ago.

8:08: Sandy: "As long as you stay, Rebecca, we have a shot at getting you off, blah, blah, bliggity blah, I want to touch you with my pee-pee." A girl friend of mine just threw a half-empty carton of white rice at the TV in disgust. Sike! I only watch the O.C. in an ice-cream and sushi-fueled homoerotic orgy of boyz.

8:10: Marissa and Alex kiss. Tongue sightings to date: 0. Marissa just drops the "Alex is my girlfriend" no, not girl friend, grrrlfriend" bomb to her mother. Over-under on how much longer this gig lasts: 2 episodes.

8:10: Idiot Lindsay plays a "sad song" on the oboe, arguably the most idiotic instrument of all time. Too bad it's not for her funeral.

8:12: "I might be thinking of going to Chicago," she says. Stop thinking, bitch. Go! Do it now!

8:13: Ryan, you inarticulate, Neanderthal meatstick, shut the hell up and stop convincing her otherwise. You're ruining EVERYTHING. When are you gonna find out you have a little bundle of joy waiting for you in Chino, anyway?

8:14: "Seth," groans Summer, "are we really gonna to do this again, or did you come here to advance the plot." Man, these writers really love knocking down the proverbial 4th wall between audience and performer. They are so clever it's adorable.

8:20: "Let's get you out of these wet clothes," Alex tells a drenched Marissa. Cut to next scene. Damn you, FCC.

8:24: Sandy and Rebecca get stopped en route to Newport Beach by a "road flood." What a convenient test of morality. I love the artificial constructs of television. PS, there is absolutely no way that he'll cheat.

8:28: Seth walks in on Marissa and Alex, they who have just gotten freaky off camera. Hilarity ensues. This 3-minute scene is easily the best payoff of this lesbian debacle to date. By the way, if this was premium cable, a threesome defiantly would have broken out. Seth would have been the one that got eaten out, too. I mean Boyz-to-Men? You've gotta be kidding me.

8:30-8:37: My laptop froze and had to be re-booted. Too lazy to write by hand. Sue me.

8:38: Summer calls Seth out for being a gay ("Whatever we had clearly wasn't as good as what you and Ryan had.")

8:39: Houston, we have a Caleb-Lindsay paternity match. Absolutely devastating.

8:42: Sandy regains both his conscience and his eyesight; tells Rebecca he's gotta get back home to be with Kirsten and company ASAP. He then drives into a ditch. Police are on the way. So is a commercial. Finally, the slightest hint of drama up in this piece.

8:43: Is anyone else considering watching "Stars Without Makeup" next? Man, I love Fox.

8:47: Just like that, Rachel Bloom vanishes into the ether. And with her the only fat, unattractive woman on the O.C. Good eff-ing riddance.

8:49: This whole moving-in-with-the-girlfriend thing is getting way too real for Marissa. Paying rent? Ewww. That's, like, for poor people. Evidently, so is lesbianism. She'll be straight and back in her old house in 2 weeks, tops.

8:50: Hey, God? Remember me? It's Neel. Long time no see. I don't ask you for many favors, but you could really help me out of a bind here by getting Lindsay out of my hair. Hope it's not too much to ask"

8:51: Thanks, big guy. I owe you one. See you in Hell, Lindsay.

8:53: Oasis "Champaign Supernova" cover. "You can't fight fate," says Zach. But you can fight effeminate skinny Jewish boys. Stand up for your woman, dammnit. I want to see a fist fight.

8:55: No such luck. Are they seriously parodying the upside-down Spider Man kiss, erect nipples and all, instead?

8:56: They are seriously parodying the upside-down Spider Man kiss, erect nipples and all, instead. I gotta admit: part of me is a little giddy. Part of me is also gay, which explains that. The alpha male frat boy part of me, though, is kind of nauseated. The cheeze factor just hit an all-time high.

8:57: Ryan and Marissa, together on the pier. Quality foreshadowing. The wheels are in motion for a return to the original fearsome foursome. Alex, it was nice knowin ya.

9:05 recap: Real mixed bag. On the plus side, we got rid of three hideously annoying (worse""unattractive) characters in one swoop. On the negative side, though, it wasn't all that entertaining of an episode. This does not bode well for next week's" mall episode? What the fuck is that about? Honestly, when the coming attractions don't look promising, you're in some serious trouble. I think we may be in serious trouble.

Send your best shots to neel.shah@dartmouth.edu. I don't think there's a new episode next week, so maybe we'll run a mailbag or some crap.