The Ex-Factor

The Ex-Factor

Infobox Television episode
Colour = #ffaa44
Series = The O.C.
Title = The Ex Factor

Season = 2
Caption = Ryan, Seth and Lindsay talking at school
Episode = 9
Airdate = January 20, 2005 (FOX)
Writer = J. J. Philbin
Director = Michael Fresco
Production = 2T5109
Episode list = "The O.C." (season 2)
List of "The O.C." episodes
Prev = The Power of Love
Next = The Accomplice|

The Ex Factor is the 36th episode of the FOX television series, "The O.C." The episode was written by J. J. Philbin and was directed by Michael Fresco. It originally aired on Thursday January 20, 2005. The Thrills made a special appearance playing at The Bait Shop.

Guest Starring


After Kirsten orders too much food for dinner, Seth drops by The Bait Shop to see if Alex wants to join the Cohens for dinner. Though she would love to, it will have to be another time as her ex is visiting from out of town. Alex refuses dinner and tells Seth that she has to deal with her ex being in town and it might be best to stay away from her until she has the chance to work things out. Seth doesn't like that, and leaves hurt. After he leaves, Alex's ex Jodie comes out of her office and kisses her- it's a girl.

At school the next morning, Seth is still upset about the situation, wondering who Alex's ex could be. Lindsay and Ryan run into Marissa, who is fashionably dressed, as usual. Turns out Lindsay admired Marissa's beauty and style, and that she has noticed that Ryan hangs out a lot with her. She isn't jealous, but maybe a bit self-conscious. Ryan suggests that she try and be friends with Marissa to try and reduce the awkward vibe between them.

At home before work, Kirsten asks Sandy to try and help her improve the image of The Newport Group. He has an idea to have them fund a new low-income housing development downtown. Kirsten likes the idea.

At school, Zach surprises Summer with a 6-month anniversary cupcake. Summer had no idea it was 6 months already but they both think its amazing, as neither has ever been in a relationship that long. Zach asks Summer to go to a celebratory dinner. Later, Summer tells Marissa that she refused the dinner. Turns out she is feeling old, and is a little weirded out that she's been in a relationship that long. She and Marissa decide to have a girl's night out to forget about the boys and being old.

At the Newport Group, Kirsten meets with Julie to tell her about Sandy's idea to save their company's image. Julie has other plans though, and she reveals a giant magazine cover with her face on the cover. She plans to launch a new magazine about Newport life, entitled "Newport Living". She thinks it is more appealing to the Newport elite, and Kirsten agrees that she has a point.

Ryan has to attend a comic book meeting with Seth, so he drops Lindsay off to spend lunch with Marissa and Summer. They both invite her to join them on their girl's night out. After the shock of seeing them eat greasy fatty foods without worry, Lindsay agrees to go. Inside, Seth takes a club-member's advice and decides to call Alex to tell her he will agree to give her some space to work things out with her ex. Zach and Ryan stop him from doing that though, to which Seth defiantly decides to go and see her in person to "pick up his pay cheque". Ryan stops him from doing that after he offers to go for him to scope things out.

That night, Sandy greets Kirsten with excitement about Newport's involvement in the low-income housing project. Kirsten breaks the news to him that Julie had other plans, and that her proposal looks pretty solid. Sandy passes it off though, and assumes she will toss Julie's proposal. Over at The Bait Shop, Ryan shows up looking for Seth's pay cheque. Instead, he meets Alex's ex, and is shocked to see that it is a she- long haired brunette Jodie.

The next morning, Seth asks Ryan if he saw any guys with Alex, and Ryan says he definitely didn't see any guys. Before Ryan can explain what he meant by that, Zach arrives and tells the guys that Summer was acting weird earlier and that she has planned a girls night out versus spending time with him. To heal the pain, Ryan suggests having a guys night out with him and Seth. Inside the main house, Caleb meets Sandy to ask that he join forces with himself and Kirsten to nix Julie's magazine plans.

That night, Ryan drives Lindsay to the Nichol house to meet Marissa and Summer for the night out, and along the way, he talks of how he and Marissa first met. While talking, it is evident that Ryan still has feelings left for Marissa, and Lindsay can see it. When Ryan drops her off, Lindsay gets even more uncomfortable when she and Marissa have nothing to talk about.

After Summer arrives, the girls head over to The Bait Shop, where Lindsay accepts some alcohol from Marissa to loosen up a bit. When it's too strong for her, Marissa offers to go up and get some Tonic. At the bar, Marissa overhears Alex having a fight with Jodie. When she returns to Lindsay, Lindsay tells her that she's not that scary after all. Marissa reassures her that she has nothing to worry about- that Ryan cares for her now.

Back at the Cohen's, Seth finally pulls the truth out of Ryan- that Alex's ex is a girl. With that revelation, the guys gear up to join the girls at The Bait Shop. Ryan and Zach don't think it's a big deal that Alex dated a girl, but Seth is determined to prove to Alex that he is the person she needs.

At dinner with Julie and Caleb, Kirsten tells Sandy that she did some research and that Julie's idea for a magazine might actually be a good idea. Sandy is furious and leaves dinner. After putting Julie in a cab, Caleb returns to the table to let Kirsten know that he will give his support to Julie at the board meeting. Kirsten thinks that is a good idea, but for her marriage's sake, she will put her support to Sandy.

When the guys arrive at the club, they split off in separate directions to find each of their girls. Ryan finds a very drunk Lindsay and takes her outside for some air, Seth confronts Alex about her ex, and Zach finds Summer standing with Matt Miller, a guy from the water polo team.

When Ryan hears that Lindsay hasn't eaten anything for dinner, he leaves her on the beach and runs into the club to get some fries. Seth tells Alex that he doesn't want to be walked all over anymore, and that he's finished with her. When Ryan returns to the beach with fries, he finds the beach deserted, and one of Lindsay's shoes floating in the water. He jumps into the water screaming for her and swimming between the pier pillars. Seth sees him from on the pier and goes down to get him, telling him that Lindsay made it inside safely.

Back inside, a very wet Ryan is furious with Marissa for allowing Lindsay to get so drunk. He screams at her, telling her that she can't pull Lindsay down with her like she tried to do to him last year. Marissa is shocked, and Ryan leaves without Lindsay after Alex says that she will take care of her.

At a diner nearby, Summer bumps into Zach and they share a milkshake. Summer tells Zach that she is sorry for being bitchy over that last few days, and that she is just trying to get used to their relationship. She is still settling down from all the dramatic events that occurred when she and Seth were together, so she wants Zach to take things really slow. He agrees, and they sip their milkshake together.

At the poolhouse, Seth and Ryan decide they were both too hard on Alex and Marissa, and they decide to go see them. Inside, Kirsten apologizes to Sandy for the way their dinner went. Sandy doesn't care so much about which project the Newport Group ends up going with.

At Alex's, Seth and Ryan meet their girls once again. Alex stays with Seth outside while Ryan goes inside to see Marissa. Ryan tells Marissa that he thinks it might have been a mistake to try and get her and Lindsay to be friends. She has no problem being friends with Lindsay. The truth is that Marissa is still not quite over Ryan, and she admits that things will be strange for a while. Ryan apologizes, and so does Marissa. Outside, Seth apologizes to Alex as well, and promises to wait for her to figure things out with Jodie. Alex thanks Seth for coming by, and apologizes too.

Back inside, Alex sits down with Marissa to watch a horror movie. When they decide that they are cold, Alex reaches over Marissa to pull a blanket over them. As she leans over and pulls back, they share a glance at one another, and it is something Marissa has never experienced before.


*When Ryan and Lindsay head out to Marissa's for girl's night out, he tells her about his first meeting with Marissa on his first evening in Newport. While he recounts about this scene, it looks as if there was a reflection in the middle of the windshield, but if you look a little closer you may recognize that this reflection is some sort of special effect inserted by the O.C.'s producers. Actually, this reflection is a little part of the scene from the "Pilot" when Ryan meets Marissa first, lights her cigarette and falls in love with her.

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