The Model Home

"The Model Home" is the 2nd episode of the FOX television series, The O.C.. The episode was written by Josh Schwartz and Allan Heinberg and was directed by Doug Liman. It originally aired on Tuesday August 12, 2003.

Guest stars

Guest starring

Actor / actress Character
Melinda Clarke Julie Cooper
Rachel Bilson Summer Roberts
Ashley Hartman Holly Fischer
Shailene Woodley Kaitlin Cooper


Ryan and Seth float in the pool, doing nothing really. Kirsten talks to Caleb by phone about the model home. Sandy worries Ryan is too old to have someone to adopt him. After the kids finish the "swim", they eat along with Sandy and Kirsten, making jokes about how bad Kirsten's cooking is. But life isn't always laughable. After lunch, Ryan signs the papers and officially becomes "government property". Seth doesn't understand why his rich family doesn't adopt Ryan.

Ryan doesn't want to go to Child Service. He leaves. But Seth doesn't let him go. Instead of Ryan's "thoughtful" plan, Seth at least has a real one. Marissa catches Ryan and Seth when they leave the Cohen's. She offers them a better transportation, a car instead of a bike and a skateboard.

The plan is revealed: the model home. The model home that Kirsten worries about not being finished. This looks like a cool place for Ryan to stay. Seth skates in the pool, Ryan and Marissa talk. Marissa is concerned about her father, while Ryan has a dad in jail. The kids promise each other not to talk about the model home to anyone else.

Morning. Julie and Kaitlin want a check for a pony, instead of sharing Jimmy's problems at work. Meanwhile, Seth and Marissa go to visit Ryan with survival supplies after temporizing Luke and the cops. They have tissues, Kiehl’s apricot moisturizer, candles...but not food. But, Marissa makes Ryan the "Model Home Mix", a cd with a "little bit of everything", a reference to an earlier line in the episode. This cd is mentioned again in season 4, in "The Journey".

Sandy tells Kirsten why he was so enthusiastic about helping Ryan - he saw another Sandy, a troubled young kid with potential - if someone helped. Kirsten has a call to catch; it turns out it's Jimmy, who has problems and needs Kirsten to help.

Ryan, Seth and Marissa go to a diner, Ryan plans to get a job in Texas. But the waterpolo three are also there. Ryan and Seth cannot leave, after clumsy Seth provokes Luke unintentionally. Ryan gets into a fight with Luke again.

Ryan, Seth and Marissa come back to the model home. But besides them, the model home has other guests. Jimmy and Kirsten go to see the unfinished work and recall old memories. Jimmy asks for a $100,000 loan. Kirsten is happy to help. But hidden Marissa is not happy for what she hears.

The new contractor will arrive tomorrow. Ryan has to leave. Seth uses a computer to book a bus ticket for Ryan, but Sandy needs him to find Ryan, whose whereabouts is exposed after the diner incident.

Marissa goes to Holly's swinging party, but cannot tolerate what others say about Ryan. She goes to the model home again, wants to hang out with Ryan for a night, which is too much for soon-leaving Ryan. Ryan refuses her request claiming that they are from different worlds. Marissa cries and leaves.

Luke, who followed Marissa, sees her leaving. He asks Ryan for what happened. They provoke each other and punch each other again. During the fight the mansion catches fire, due to candles Ryan lit before. Luckily Luke has a conscience not to let a beaten Ryan die in a burning model home.

Jimmy is watching ESPN Classic with Julie recalling the basketball game as well as their love story. Jimmy tells Julie he took care of the problem. Desperate Marissa comes back home and Jimmy comforts her although does not know what happened. Obviously Marissa falls for Ryan. Jimmy says to Marissa they can share everything. "Do we?" Marissa asks back, referring to Jimmy's hidden financial trouble.

Sandy receives the news that the model home was burnt. Seth tells him everything.

Ryan sees Luke again. Ryan asks for a ride to the Cohens. When Luke and Ryan arrive there, the cops arrest Ryan. Luke defends Ryan, ending up in jail with him.



  • Chris Carmack as Luke Ward is promoted to the main cast in this episode.
  • Benjamin McKenzie signed his real name instead of Ryan Atwood when he signed an official paper.
  • Jimmy mentions that the Lakers/Pistons NBA final game was in 1986. In fact this game was in 1988, 1986 was Rockets versus Celtics. The mistake was argued to be made by the character, not the script writer. Also, Jimmy states the game coincides with Marissa birth, which would make her 17 during the timing of the episode whereas Marissa's age is 16 this episode.
  • Throughout the series, the characters refer to ESPN Classic as "ESPN Classics."
  • The set changed a lot compared to Premiere. Notable changes include different posters on the walls in Seth's room; different decoration at Cohen's house and pool house; different mailbox. This was probably because Premiere was shot in a real house and others shot at closed studio.
  • The titular model home plays another role in season 3. Marissa faints in it after meeting with Volchok. In The Graduates, this is the final meeting place of the Core Four.
  • The two boys and Marissa hanging out in the empty pool is an ode to Rebel Without A Cause.
  • The episode reached 7.9 million viewers in the US Nielsen ratings.


General Official Recap. FOX. Retrieved on 2008-07-29..Specific

External links

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