oc_gambit2 (oc_gambit2) wrote in ocitagain,

I raise my coffee cup with Cohens + one to the "New Era"

How pathetically cute is Seth, ‘shopping for girls on the quad’?  

It was still fresh; Adam did not yet seem to be ad-libbing as himself.  What makes it for me when the banter does work, is the dynamic between the guys.  Then enter spunky, fresh-faced Lindsay straight out of a Breck commercial.  Somebody’s fic that season referred to Ryan ‘being unable to keep his hands out of her shampoo-commercial hair’; I hope my inability to immediately locate the credit is overcome by the compliment that the line itself has stayed with me 2+ years- shout out if you’re reading!

[Hey- do they still make that shampoo?]  

While I’m thinking hair:  It was when Ryan was walking across the quad in this scene I first noticed the slightly overlong back and how it curled up across his neck.  I was totally sold on this look.  One, good for a typical guy his age who might not immediately attend to haircuts.  Two, I’ve never been able to resist the thought of running my fingers through that.  Now my advanced age is entirely obvious; cute as Ben/Ryan is with it short, when I was dating, guys typically had some hair down to their collar even if they kept it trimmed.  This whole obsession with the ‘shaggy bowl cut’ is a complete throwback to my not-too-misspent youth!

ANYway, when she’s not being tortured with elbows and icy coffee or furious at being paired with an apparent moron for physics lab, our feisty redhead strikes a nice balance between feminist self-assurance, biting humor, and perhaps even kindness.  I like her more and more- is it because she notices Ryan’s rather forlorn face that she says
less tartly, “I’ll see you in class” than she did “No”?

But then I want to choke Ryan as he passively agrees to try to set her up with Seth, if for no other reason than that he’s obviously doing something massively uncomfortable/ unnatural [like being caught 'girl shopping' by Lindsay, wasn't *snort*].  ‘Noooo, boy, you just made nice with her and uncomplicated your lab partnership, don’t go pissing her off NOW!’  But he never listens to me.  *le sigh*

*or he’d be over here, right now*
*I didn’t mean to type that out loud….where’s that darn bus?*

Um.  Yeah.  What was I saying?  I’m surely not the only one to notice Ryan seems to protest too much, to make a few too many excuses why Seth shouldn’t date her.  It’s almost like he was thinking already that he might like her, but since Seth who spoke first….tough to say if he felt obligated or just wanted to avoid the persistent onslaught that disagreement likely would’ve caused.

After all, why get his hopes up?  He got the same firm ‘No’ Seth just did.  What’s it going to hurt to let her repeat Seth’s ‘No’ later in class?  That scene was so beautifully played, tension and hope and teen awkwardness at its best.  Shannon gave Lindsay’s expression just the right touch of hope and surprise, almost shock,  as Ryan asked her out.  Uh, for Seth.  Yeah, that’s Lindsay:  so like Ryan with the integrity.  She said she would, so she’ll follow through, and mask any personal feelings that get in the way.

We could also read the surprise on Ryan’s face that she was saying yes.  But “girls!  They’re crazy” as we’re about to hear quite often in the next episode.  Didn’t she say an hour ago that she wouldn’t go out with him?  Or
Seth?  And she didn’t know when she said it that he was asking for Seth….sooo.  What was she doing on the quad?  A pre-emptive strike since neither appeared interested at that point? [Hey, Linds, remember you were busy chastising them at the time, they were too busy looking embarrassed-]  Perhaps because she didn’t want to condone a demeaning way to hook up?  But when he was looking up from beside her desk, the look on her face said ‘joy’ and ‘wow’ and ‘yes-yes-yes’ before her lips did.
The sight of Ryan crouched down by her desk:  I just flashed forward to S4 next to Taylor’s therapist’s car.  So cute, either time.

The whole ‘group hang’ was the essence of awkward.  Kudos to all the players.  Between having such a horrible time with Seth [whose babbling is even stupider than usual] and walking out on Ryan with the very good excuse of being overloaded with talk, I was convinced Lindsay would never see him again except in class.  I adored Alex ‘not feeling the spark’ [great delivery] and practically ordering Ryan to tell Lindsay his feelings.  The ‘honest conversation with a girl’ line is a classic.

Then Alex coming on to Seth?  Despite the earlier easygoing flirting, I really didn’t see the kiss coming.  The U2 montage was exceptional….I’d never heard the song before and was awed at how appropriate it was, showing them all settling into their new respective/prospective couples.  And a week later, mr. gambit was asking why I’d purchased an album a CD about dismantling an atomic bomb….

*try and stay in the current century, gambit, an album is currently something one makes a scrapbook in!*

Both the writing and enactment of the bus stop scene were excellent.  Perfectly in character for Ryan to try one more time to be the gentleman; also for Lindsay to stubbornly refuse the ride.  When the ‘Rover moved out of the scene, I figured that was it.  I spent the rest of the episode staring at the screen open-mouthed, at least over those two.  Lindsay blurting and vulnerable that she’s admitted she wanted to go out with Ryan; Ryan utterly perplexed as awareness slowly dawns; and ‘an idiot you’d go out with some time?’ *gambit loves!*  Even if that had been it, I’d have been simply squirming with delight at the exchange of smiles closing that scene.

When the montage returned to them, talking and laughing easily, Lindsay with the animated hand gestures and wiggling her very-practically-shoed foot, Ryan comfortably slouching down on the bench right beside her, I was totally enamored with this pairing and all its potential:  so much in common, he can TALK to her, my God he’s even smiling and laughing out loud!

Too bad it only took a few more episodes for them to blow it.  We could’ve learned so much more about Ryan through Lindsay than they gave us, even in asides around the ‘daddy drama’.  Sigh.


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