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"The Road Warrior"
The O.C. episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 16
Written by Mike Kelley
Directed by Michael Fresco
Production no. 2T6266
Original airdate March 9, 2006 (FOX)
Episode chronology
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"The Heavy Lifting" "The Journey"

"The Road Warrior" is the 67th episode of the FOX television series, The O.C.. The episode was written by Mike Kelley and was directed by Michael Fresco. It originally aired on Thursday, March 9, 2006. It was seen by some fans as the turning point (bad to good) after what they thought was a disappointing season thus far. [1]


Guest starring

Actor / actress Character
Michael Nouri Dr. Neil Roberts
Jeff Hephner Matt Ramsey
Autumn Reeser Taylor Townsend
Johnny Lewis Dennis "Chili" Childress
Cam Gigandet Kevin Volchok
Nikki Reed Sadie Campbell
Morena Baccarin Maya Griffin
Rodney Rowland Jack Harper
Tom Vek himself


Seth, Summer and Marissa have a hot tub session and the girls pretend they're interested in a threesome. Seth, barely able to handle 1 female, let alone 2, squirms away, wondering where Ryan is. So where's Ryan? Well, he's with Sadie at Johnny's mom's house, trying to fix the kitchen pipes. Naturally, he twists the wrench too hard and water begins spraying everywhere, leading to a damp, flirty moment.

Then someone knocks on the door and Sadie sees it's the police, leading to a dry, scary moment. Seth calls Ryan about jumping in the hot tub, and Ryan assures him he'll be home. Sadie then tells Ryan the cops think Johnny's death maybe wasn't an accident, so maybe Ryan should go home.

At the trailer the next day, Summer suggests a gathering with the four of them this weekend. But Marissa sees right through her scheme to get Ryan and Marissa back in close quarters. Just then, Marissa gets a call. But not from Ryan. The same Ryan who has brought Seth down to Sadie's to see what's what. Sadie tells him that with Johnny's death now a question, the life insurance claim has been frozen. Bad timing, since the bank is about to foreclose on her aunt's house. But Sadie assures Ryan he has nothing to worry about. The cops are more interested in another repeat offender-Marissa.

At the Cohen's, Kirsten tells Julie that they've already burned through their ad budget for New Date, so maybe they'll have to call in a favor from a publisher friend. Julie, however, is more interested in coffee after another late night in the backseat of Dr. Roberts' Maserati. Kirsten wonders if maybe it's time for Newport's latest power couple to go public. Julie explains that with all the kids are going through, the adults don't want to make any waves.

Meanwhile, back at the Newport Group, a caller reminds Matt that he forgot to send out some permits. Fortunately, his new squeeze Maya is holding them. This pleases Sandy, since they need to get the proposal to Maya's father by Monday. But things are going well with Maya and he doesn't want her to think he's using her. Which he sorta was, until he realized he was way into her. Sandy tells Matt he has to come through.

Over at Harbor, Summer is still trying, with no luck, to catch up with her wildcatting father. As Summer complains to Seth, Taylor plops down between them and tries to get all caught up. And when she does, she can't believe Seth and Summer don't have a plan of action. Taylor suggests a hot date to take Summer's dad's mind off the misery of his new divorce. Perhaps Kirsten could even take.

After school, Ryan drops by to help Sadie with a little spackle job, only to catch Sadie heading out to smack some sense into her uncle in Brea. Ryan asks if she needs a ride. She does not, as Volchok is going to chauffeur her. After thinking it over, she chooses Ryan instead. Volchok is cool with that. Especially since Volchok says this means Marissa will be alone for a couple of hours. Well, that's a twist Ryan didn't appreciate.

As Sadie speeds through the desert, Ryan opens up about his rough Chino past. Family member in prison, eh? These kids have more in common than they thought.

Back in civilization, Sandy suggests a dinner date - the Cohens, Matt and Maya. Sandy offers to bring the proposal up to Maya to save Matt the social awkwardness. Then Marissa drops by looking for advice on handling the cops in regards to Johnny's plunge. Sandy agrees to help her reschedule her statement to the police, and to have it set in a familiar place.

That night, the ladies are pouring over the New Date roster when Summer shows up, hoping to find her father a lady friend. She's desperate to help, because, as she explains, on his own, her father will fall for the first gold-digging slut that gets into his backseat. Summer has helpfully crafted a look book and a long list of demanding characteristics that a woman must have in order to share common interests with Dr. Roberts. Of course, Julie, who is currently entangled with Dr. Roberts without meeting any of the characteristics beyond female, has to stand there and listen to it all.

After nightfall, Sadie and Ryan finally reach Brea. Uncle Jack's yard is strewn with debris - a good sign for this mission. An even better sign comes when Uncle Jack doesn't answer the door. Instead, it's just some random dirtball. Not the specific dirtball they were looking for. Although, this random dirtball also hates Uncle Jack. He reports that Uncle Jack moved to Indio and that's all he knows. to Indio? Sadie isn't sure, because it's so far. But Ryan loves long drives that could potentially end in disaster.

That night, Julie waits for Dr. Roberts at a restaurant while dressed like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and doing a crossword puzzle. Two of Summer's stringent demands. Coincidentally, Taylor is in the lobby of the same place picking up a to-go order. She spies Dr. Roberts and heads his way, only to see Julie vamping.

Elsewhere, Summer implores Marissa to call Ryan. The same Ryan who's currently shacked up in a desert motel with Sadie, who's just getting out of the shower. Ryan asks if she wants to play poker, and indeed she does. But only if the betting involves clothes coming off. Just as Ryan shuffles up and deals, Marissa calls. Seeing her name on the ID, Ryan lets it go to voicemail.

Morning arrives and Sadie is ready to continue the mission. Luckily, she thinks she found Uncle Jack's new business in the Yellow Pages. Ryan calls Seth to see just how much trouble he' avoiding. Seth, who's rolling around in Ryan's bed so it would look rumpled, assures Ryan that he's being covered. After the call, Taylor swings into the pool house with a Level One emergency. That being the news of Julie and Dr. Roberts. Summer then pops in and it's about 4 seconds before Taylor gives her the dirt. When Seth expresses doubt about this relationship, Taylor reveals that she knows of the next meet-up.

Which turns out to be Dr. Roberts teaching Julie the finer points of the golf swing. Julie, having already mastered the fine art of the golf outfit, doubts her athletic ability. Seth and Summer pull up to the edge of the driving range in a golf cart and immediately spot Julie and the doctor working on the fine art of the kiss. Summer is disgusted and frightened.

Ryan and Sadie arrive at Big H Bail Bonds in Indio. They ask for Jack inside, but he's on a job.

In an equally miserable place, Marissa stands on the cliff Johnny plunged off of, reliving the statement she made to the police earlier in the day. As she turns to leave, Marissa sees Volchok standing there. Being the friendly sort, he offers Marissa a sip from his flask. Marissa isn't interested, and Volchok says if she ever changes her mind, ever wants to talk about Johnny, look him up.

At home, Kirsten worries to Sandy about what Maya will think when she's clobbered with the hospital proposal. But Sandy says it has to happen.

Back in Indio, Uncle Jack finally shows up. Sadie asks him for the child support he neglected to pay over the past three years, but Uncle Jack disagrees about the amount owed. He considers it to be somewhere around 0. So Sadie grabs a pipe from the back of Jack's gleaming new truck and smashes the side mirror off. Suddenly it's Sadie and Ryan vs 4 big guys who are all licensed to carry firearms. This couldn't have been the original plan. Fightin' Ryan Atwood holds his own for not very long and Jack leaves him lying in a heap on the concrete. Every time he crosses the Newport county line, he gets punched.

At a diner, Sadie ices Ryan's wounds. He assures her that it's not that bad and then stealthily grabs the car keys and drives off when she isn't looking. Sadie is stranded.

The Cohens are out with Matt and Maya, enjoying sophisticated conversation. Sandy then tells Maya the Newport Group totally revamped their proposal based on her father's suggestions. Maya, admiring Sandy' pluck, says she'll be happy to review it and pass it along whenever she gets a chance. But Sandy points out that the board is meeting on Monday. They need to do this now. After a mild case of tension, Maya agrees to do it, then excuses herself from the table. Matt chases after her.

At Summer's house, Seth and Summer are smooching, but Summer is distracted by the thought of Julie and her dad. Then, speak of the devil, the doctor comes home, full of life. Summer comes close to mentioning Julie, but when she sees how happy her father is, she lets it go.

Someone who's not happy right now, however, is Ryan Atwood. He's back at the bail bonds place. But he just wants to talk. He tells Jack that his father made a lot of the same mistakes. And the biggest one was abandoning them. Without money, they had no shot. Jack has an employee give Ryan the old heave ho. But as Ryan dusts himself off, Jack drops an envelope at his feet and tells him to never show up again. Then, in some felicitous timing, Sadie arrives in a cab. Ryan hands her the envelope full of money.

Back from the restaurant, Sandy tells Kirsten that Matt just called. Good news, Maya loved the proposal and is going to show her father. Bad news, she dumped Matt to move back to New York. Kirsten is perturbed. Mostly because Sandy Cohen has become a changed man. A business man.

Wrapping things up at The Bait Shop, Volchok spots Marissa all by her lonesome. Marissa spots Volchok ogling her and takes off. And Sadie and Ryan cruise back from the desert. Back in the pool house, safe from physical punches, Ryan submits himself to some mental punches by calling Marissa. They both admit that their relationship is getting off script. So maybe that's that. But Ryan will be fine, as Sadie just showed up at the pool house looking for another round of strip poker.



This was the first episode, beside the Premiere, to not have the opening recap voice-over saying "Previously on The O.C". Instead, Mischa Barton's voice-over says "If you haven't watched The O.C. in a while, here's what you've missed." Followed by a recap/montage of the fifteen previous episodes from this season. It is about 50 seconds long. This was probably because the episode was first aired after a one month hiatus.


  • In the conversation between Sadie and Ryan, Sadie says, "Stake-outs are so much cooler in movies" and Ryan replies, "Yeah, that's cause they always cut to the part when the guy shows up." That is when Jack Harper shows up, which is a reference to the show itself.
  • This episode marked the end of Ryan and Marissa's relationship in the series.
  • When Ryan and Marissa are breaking up over the phone, the song Forever Young by Youth Group is played. This song was established as Marissa and Ryan's song in The Last Waltz.


External links



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