Friday, February 16, 2007

Like spinning plates

I realized during last night's episode (the second to last ever for The O.C.) that I'm actually going to miss this show. I like to make fun and all, but occasionally it makes for inspiring television, specifically the use of music. Take for instance the opening, which used Radiohead's uneasy "Like Spinning Plates" to illustrate the post-earthquake wobbly foundation the characters find themselves on. It conveys beautifully both the tension and liquidity of the surroundings, and represents a bold music choice, considering it's inherent inaccessibility. The song crops up again following the aftershock, reminding us again that we can't be that sure of our footing.

Elsewhere, Sufjan Stevens' instrumental "The Incarnation" provides the right tension in multiple situations, and this song fades impressively into the next song used, Silversun Pickups' "Rusted Wheel," which also has an eerie tension associated with it. Finally, Bloc Party's "Kreuzberg" provides some resolution to this tension, uplifting the mood as the gang all bonds together for whatever comes next. Even as the mood lightens, lyrically, the song has us braced for change:
I have decided, at twenty-five
Something must change
Recognizing the end of the show has been one of the bright points of these last few episodes. Jokes about The Bait Shop ("how does such a small venue get such big name acts?") and other unanswered questions have dotted the path, and last night was no different. To help Ryan deal with his pain, Seth counts down all the folks that Ryan has punched in the face ("How about Johnny...did you hit him? Because I know a lot of people were pulling for that to happen.") Then later when Ryan finds out Seth donated blood for him, Ryan jokes that he has a "strange urge to listen to Death Cab and read comic books." To which Seth quips:
Ah, it's too bad (it's not true) because if we could've turned this into a body swap comedy, we could've squeezed another year or two out of this.
Maybe The O.C. could take a page from Buffy and extend the series through comic books. Kid Chino and The Ironist could swap bodies and... oh, never mind.

Playlist: The O.C. - Episode 415
Title track: "Night Moves" - Bob Seger

1. "The Sad Song" - Fredo Viola (MySpace) - A recap of the last episode.
2. "Like Spinning Plates" - Radiohead - The beginning of the episode as the characters are dealing with the initial aftermath of the earthquake. Again later as Seth and Ryan are walking down the street trying to stay focused by listing everyone Ryan's punched in the face.
3. "I Turn My Camera On" - Rock Kills Kid - Seth rides Summer on his bike handlebars, on their way to the Cooper's house.
4. "The Incarnation" - Sufjan Stevens - Taylor and Summer look for Pancakes. Again later while Sandy talks to a Doctor, and Seth looks for help.
5. "Rusted Wheel" - Silversun Pickups - Seth and Ryan are driving and get a flat tire.
6. "Kreuzberg" - Bloc Party - The end of the episode... everyone is together and thankful.

Previously: Love's fault (Episode 4.14)

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