When Fox's The O.C. wrapped its first season last May, Julie and Caleb tied the knot, and Ryan packed up his wife-beater tees and moved back to Chino with his knocked-up lover, Teresa, prompting his distraught adopted bro, Seth, to set sail for Tahiti in the Summer Breeze. Here, series creator Josh Schwartz previews what's in store for the teen soap's second season, which kicks off in November.
TV Guide Online: How will you resolve those cliffhangers? We know Ryan can't really stay in Chino with Teresa....
Josh Schwartz: Teresa's gonna be in the show when we come back. Ryan's still trying to do the responsible thing [where she's concerned], but it hasn't been easy. It's been a long summer between them. He's trying to make the best of it, but it's kind of grim. Seth has not returned. His parents know where he is, but he's decided he ain't coming back. Sandy and Kirsten have not had a good summer living in this empty house without the kids. It's put a lot of strain on their marriage. And Marissa comes back in a really dark place. She spent most of the summer hating her mom, living as a prisoner in [Julie] and Caleb's house and drinking. And there's someone named DJ that she may have kept herself occupied with all summer.
TVGO: What about Seth's dream girl, Summer?
Schwartz: Summer's not too happy with Seth. She's spent the summer in therapy. And she's met a new guy. We've cast newcomer Michael Cassidy, and we'll first see him in Episode 2. He's pretty perfect. He's dependable, trustworthy and selfless — everything Seth, in Summer's eyes, is not.
TVGO: Marissa and Ryan, Seth and Summer.... The young core couples are broken up.
Schwartz: Yes, the Breakfast Club has been scattered to the four corners of the earth. It's a new era in Orange County. How we left last year is not at all how we're coming back this year. And everybody's gonna have to get used to that.
TVGO: Seth has to come back eventually. When he does, what will he be up to?
Schwartz: He gets a new job at a place called the Bait Shop, which is like an all-ages club off the pier. So we have lots of good, live music coming on the show, like the Walkmen perform in Episode 3 and Modest Mouse in Episode 7. And there's a very pretty bad girl who works there named Alex, played by Skin's Olivia Wilde.
TVGO: Is Caleb going to jail?
Schwartz: Caleb's in a paranoid state. The DA kind of rattled his cage right before the wedding and since then, all has been silent. So he's started going a little batty waiting for the other shoe to drop. He's worried about losing his money and going to jail. And Julie, of course, is worried about Cardiobar and making sure Caitlyn gets to her pony lessons on time.
TVGO: Any truth to rumors that Luke might return this season?
Schwartz: He may be coming back. I'd love to get him back at some point this season.
TVGO: Most importantly, how many fistfights will there be in the first episode?
Schwartz: Zero. I think we had our fair share last year. We might have a couple punches this year, but certainly no melées are planned. It's a whole new show!