"California... here we come!" And with that, baseball's a thing of the past. (Love the game, but the season? Too. Long.) Finally we can get back to the drama at hand. I've got my November-sweeps beret on, so you know I'm expecting a big, big episode. I didn't get one, but that's okay. It was a nice, solid effort from The O.C. folks. Dean Mess decided to mess with Ryan's collegiate future. So what does the troubled boy do? He cancels the tutor, drops out of high school and faster than you can say Perfect Storm, he goes all George Clooney on us and signs on for fisherman duty. Ryan can thank Marissa's new public-school pal Johnny for the offshore gig. The two do seem to get along now  now being the operative word.

Remember a long, long time ago (before the baseball play-offs), when Summer spied some extracurricular goings-on between terrible Taylor and Dean Mess? Well, this bit of good fortune, plus some Seth and Summer sneakiness, plus Sandy's big bluff and blackmail maneuver, was just the perfect storm needed to get Ryan back at Harbor. OK. If your name starts with an "S," you rock. If it starts with an "M" (that means you, Marissa) not so much. Calling your boyfriend a coward when he was really going through something  well, let's just say that wasn't the least bit supportive. But really, who needs Marissa when he's got Sandy on his side?

Meanwhile, Psycho Charlotte's still around and now she's busy luring Julie Cooper into her plan to get Kirsten's cash. My favorite part was when her scruffy accomplice asked: "Are you sure about this, Julie Cooper?" He apparently got the memo that says everyone is required to call Julie Cooper "Julie Cooper" at all times. Glad to know everyone's on the same page.