I never really had the quantitative mind required to be a math or science major (ahh, the liberal arts: every idiot's best friend), but while watching yesterday's episode, I somehow managed to derive an "OC Mathematical Formula for Success." Even Descartes would be proud:

[Beach Party Coefficient (calculated by dividing the number of grinding bikini-clad teenagers by the number of references to cocaine and/or Candy Flipping) * (# of punches thrown by the Atwoods)^2 * log(probability that Julie Coopers or Jess Sathers will slut out)] / (Kirsten ruining my "perfect wife" fantasy) MINUS (the exponentially increasing annoyingness of the Seth/Summer saga) EQUALS, well, nothing, because this formula doesn't make any sense.

But if this formula actually did yield some sort of quantifiable result, yesterday's show would have scored pretty highly. Not Jess Sathers on X high (is she not the perfect typecast character for a show like this? Hot, morally unburdened, and sexually further unburdened. Gotta love it), but high nonetheless. Sure, the sting operation went off a little too cleanly, and Summer is quickly becoming downright intolerable (your boyfriend is about to publish a comic""err, "graphic novel"""and you're complaining about being at some party for an hour or so? Shut up), but some interesting setup for the remainder of the season. Namely:

1) The photographs of Julie Cooper "kissing" Lance, presumably taken by private investigators hired by Caleb: Awesome, especially in light of Julie's continual vacillation between conniving gold-digger and, um, conniving gold-digger with a modicum of a conscience. I can't believe I actually feel sorry for her. Something tells me that Lance and the pills may just come back into play.

2) Marissa and Ryan: Have they or haven't they? Seriously. Does anyone know the answer to this question? I always assumed they had""Ryan's already gotten one girl preggers, and Marissa's a drunken floozy. Then I got an email from Kathleen Dunphy of UCLA Law School arguing, quite persuasively, that they hadn't (Ryan brushing Marissa off after the whole Oliver thing, despite her claim that they'd "waited so long" "). And then there was yesterday's episode, in which Marissa declines the invitation to fog up the car windows for the more comfortable confines of the pool house. Ostensibly to have sex, but how do we know? Why are the show's writers so vague about this? Why can't we see some goddamn Ryan-on-Marissa action? And who in high school says no to car sex? Someone please explain these things, for I have nothing to offer.

Other random comments from the show, without particular attention to order, relevance, or import: Why was Damon the "marketing genius" dressed like a gay Nazi? Hipsters dress like homeless people, not homosexuals. The answer, in keeping with today's scholastic theme, can be stated as an 8th grade English lesson plan: "How to Construct Dramatic Irony in Two Easy Steps," by the writers of the OC: 1) Have a character (Summer) point out her disdain for hipsters (to paraphrase, "I'm sick of all the people at this party with their intentionally messed up hair and intentionally dirty clothes"). 2) Put a Bloc Party song in the next scene. Well done""ridiculing your target demographic always makes for good television. On that note, I'm late for class. Till next week.

Send all Ryan/Marissa sexual conspiracy theories to neel.shah@dartmouth.edu