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The O.C.

Season 1 Episode 3

The Gamble

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Aug 19, 2003 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
552 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Sandy comes to Ryan's rescue once again, after he has a difficult stay in Juvenile Hall. Seth makes Kirsten aware of his anger over Ryan's situation, and Kirsten makes a compromise. Ryan's mother, Dawn, makes a surprise visit to Newport, and things don't go quite as she and Ryan may have planned. The monetary secret involving Julie, Jimmy, Kirsten and Sandy comes to a head.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the oc ryans mother makes a suprise vist to newport and ryan does not really want to talk to her and ryan goes to live with them afte he leaves juvilie hall becasue of the fights ryan is having and so its vegas night and ryans mother is tring to fit in and the kristen is trying to help her and they all go to the vegas night and its really nice and ryanas mother starts having a good time and winning but she drinks to much and falls down and julie learsn that they borrowed 100,000 from the cohens and is really upset and sandy learns of this for the first time tonight also. this was a good ep and ryans mother leaves and he stays with them from now on. thi wsas agood epmoreless
  • Another newport event is being held - Vegas night! This of course brings drama along with it!

    Brilliant! Julie was so funny when she was talking to Sandy at the start, she said he's locked up yes, and was so sarcastic to Sandy. Marrisa is stupid to go back to Luke but of course she does anyway. Summer was great when she started calling seth Sid or Stanley. Dawn at first seemed to be a new person but that went out the window. I think Ryan is better off without his mother and i'm glad Kirsten finally lets him stay.moreless
  • Tearjerking!

    The first two episodes were fantastic. The third is even better! Every corner, every scene is just molded so well and is thoroughly well thought out. The whole drama between Ryan and his mother was like poetry in motion. Ryan has been portrayed as the bad boy of the series but in comparison to his mother, it's not hard to see how Ryan ended up the way he did. The scene where they were working things out in the pool house was just so sympathetic to watch, but the part where Ryan was escorting his drunk mother out of the Casino and telling her he loves her nearly brought a tear to my eye. The execution was just so perfect that if this episode alone were a movie, it would be a great drama. Though that wasn't the only battle that was ensuing. The Cohens and Coopers are in a verbal war over Kirsten loaning Jimmy 100 grand and the number of disses that Julia and Sandy were exchanging were just so clever and amusing to watch. With Ryan officially a staple within the Cohen household, it'll be interesting how future episodes will be able to maintain its intensity and excitement.moreless
  • Awesome epsiode.

    Sandy comes to Ryan's rescue once again after he has a difficult stay in juvie hall. Seth makes his mum, Kirsten, aware of his anger over Ryan's situation. Kirsten invites Dawn to accompany Ryan and the Cohens to Casino Night, but once there, Dawn is unable to resist the temptation of alcohol and gambling and fails Ryan once again; Dawn and Kirsten both agree that Ryan will be better off in the Cohen household. This episode was amazing, I felt so sorry on Ryan, when his mum started shouting at everyone when she was on the fall after drinking too much. Ryan didn't know what to do. I was so happy that Ryan could finally stay at the Cohen's house. And when he said the line "I'll unpack later" It was so cute. Amazing acting from everyone. Can't wait to watch the next episode.moreless
  • The end of the trilogy...

    The beginning starts here.

    This episode establishes the new road ahead and pushes forward more plot lines. After today, Ryan is officially staying with the Cohens. It was a neccessary and well-executed episode.

    The episode deals with Ryan being in jail after the last episode's debacle. Luke is released quickly and is not seen much for the rest of the episode. Neither is Marissa. She just appears for a few minutes to tell Seth that she can't see Ryan.

    Sandy gets moving trying to find Ryan's mother. Seth is unhappy over his parents reluctance to let Ryan stay with them. Kirsten is struggling to make a decision regarding Ryan.I felt that Kirsten was the most interesting character in this episode. She just shines as the over-protective motherly figure without being too overbearing or too unlikeable.

    The episode also introduces many other aspects of the OC universe,such as the Newpsies,Julie Cooper's and Ryan's past. The Jimmy Cooper plot gets juicier and by the end of the episode, two more charaters know of the loan.This plot is definitely getting better and I hope we get a good and satisfying conclusion from this.

    Afterwards, Kirsten gets Ryan released into the Cohen's custody and Sandy finds Ryan's mother,Dawn. Dawn gets drunk at a Newpsie event and embarasses the Cohens and Ryan. The episode ends with Dawn symbolicaly handing Ryan over to Kirsten.

    I felt this was the best scene in the episode.The last few moments with Dawn and Kirsten.Daphne Ashbrook gave a unique angle to the character of Dawn, not playing her as a horrible junkie, but as a woman who is in way over her head. To quote the episode she's just "not cut out" to be a mother. I can't help but sympathise with her. And the act of giving Ryan up makes her look noble instead of irresponsible. Looks like we won't be seeing her for a while.

    And with this episode ends the "Where will Ryan Go?" question which has been hanging around the first two episodes.Now it is the time for Ryan to really immense and adapt himself to the way of the OC. And I can't wait...

    "Ryan's going to stay with us now"moreless
Francis Capra

Francis Capra


Guest Star

Devin Mills

Devin Mills


Guest Star

Kimberly Stanphill

Kimberly Stanphill


Guest Star

Rachel Bilson

Rachel Bilson

Summer Roberts

Recurring Role

Melinda Clarke

Melinda Clarke

Julie Cooper

Recurring Role

Daphne Ashbrook

Daphne Ashbrook

Dawn Atwood

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • It is revealed that Julie is from Riverside, CA

    • Episode punch count: 4

    • Goof: When Ryan is in jail and the scary guy threw him down in the cafeteria, he throws him on the table with two hands, however the next second he has a fork in his hand, it would not be possible for him too grab a fork that fast

    • Goof: In the first episode, Ryan ordered a seventy-seven and it was in a tall glass with ice and something that looked a lot like mint. It was clear. In this episode Dawn orders exactly the same drink but what she gets looks a lot like whiskey in a short glass.

    • Goof: In the last episode... Ryan clearly has visible bruises from his punch up earlier in the night. You see them as he gets arrested. However, the next morning (presumably) when Sandy his attorney shows up all his bruises are gone.

    • Goof: In the coffee shop which seems quite small inside, it seems silly that the ladies who are talking rather loudly about Sandy, do not even notice him sitting two feet away from them.

  • QUOTES (27)

    • Ryan: I used to want to be an architect.
      Kirsten: What do you want to be now?
      Ryan: 17.
      Kirsten: Me too.

    • Sandy: I got an early court date. I'm in and out of the office.
      Kirsten: I have to set up for Casino Night. What about Ryan?
      Sandy: I got two calls in to the private investigator about his mother.
      Kirsten: Yeah, but what am I supposed to do with him?
      Sandy: Take him with you. Spend some time together.
      Kirsten: With all those women there?
      Sandy: Sure, they'll love him.

    • Kirsten: (to Seth) Where do you think you're going?
      Seth: What are you doing here?
      Kirsten: Taking a Newpsie break. Where are you going?
      Seth: I'm not going anywhere.
      Kirsten: Seth...
      Seth: ... I'm going to juvie to visit Ryan.
      Kirsten: No. No, you are not. No way.
      Seth: Okay, bye.

    • Julie: Well, I think it's an absolute embarrassment that the fundraiser is two days away, and we still don't have a theme.
      Taryn: Well, I thought it was Casino Night.
      First Newpsie: I thought it was Monte Carlo Night.
      Second Newpsie: No, it's Vegas Night.
      Julie: See, this is a travesty.

    • Seth: If anything happens to Ryan, then it's all on you, so I hope you can live with that.
      Kirsten: What I can't live with is if something was to happen to you because of him.
      Seth: Like I meet someone who doesn't suck?

    • Kirsten: (to Rosa) ... Now all we need are the Bellinis. Can you make mine a double? Sandy: Wow, you're all set up for your Newpsie convention. Hey, when do these vultures land? Kirsten: Soon, and I bet I have a doily out of place somewhere. Sandy: Good. Gives them something to talk about.

    • Seth: I'm going to visit Ryan. I thought, you know, maybe you'd like to come. I'm sure he'd love to see you.
      Marissa: Uh, what's that, Seth? Did you say you need a ride to a Star Wars convention?
      Seth: Star Wars convention? I'm sorry, her top was off. You couldn't at least have said X-Men for me?

    • Sandy: It's gonna be okay.
      Ryan: My mom ditched me. I burned your wife's house down. How is this going to be okay?

    • Marissa: Look, Luke and I got in a fight last night, okay?
      Julie: So you got into a fight. You've had fights before. You guys have been together forever.
      Marissa: Maybe that's the problem. I mean, what if there's someone else out there?
      Julie: Like who, that boy from Chino? Marissa, do you want to end up like your Aunt Cindy, with four kids in a trailer park? She broke my mother's heart. I will not let you break mine.
      Marissa: Oh, so now this is about you?

    • Sandy: Well, I should be off. Got to find the next kid to jeopardize the community. Maybe a black kid. Or an Asian kid. Bye, ladies.

    • Ryan: What are you even doing here?
      Dawn: I came...for you.
      Ryan: Why? What do you want from me? You left a note. A note.
      Dawn: Okay, let me explain--
      Ryan: You abandoned me. You threw me out. You just took off.
      Dawn: I know, honey. I was...and AJ, and...the drinking, and...It's going to be different now.
      Ryan: That's what you said when we moved from Fresno after dad got arrested.

    • Dawn: (about why she left Ryan) I didn't know what I was doing when I married your dad. I was too young when I had your brother. But with you...You were always the smart one. You know? The good one. When you got arrested...I knew I'd failed, and...you were my last hope. I should go.

    • Kirsten: You can't do this. You're his mother.
      Dawn: I'm a mess. Not a mother.
      Kirsten: You have a responsibility.
      Dawn: I'm being responsible. I'm not wired for this. I can't care for anybody else. I don't have what you got. The way your husband looks at you. And your kid looks at you. Even my kid... Like, no matter what, you're going to make everything okay. You hold your family together. I tear mine apart.

    • Seth: By the end of the night, she might know my first name. Duty calls.

    • Jimmy: So, how's your mother?
      Seth: Er, just... married.

    • Summer: (to Marissa) God, he loves you. He got in a fight, and burnt down a house for you. That's hot.

    • Dawn: I'm an embarrassment to my son.
      Kirsten: Welcome to my world.

    • (after finding out that Seth is her good luck charm)
      Summer: You're not going anywhere Sid.
      Seth: Seth.
      Summer: Whatever.

    • Marissa: You can't just not talk to me.
      Luke: Watch me.

    • (while she is drunk)
      Dawn: You hate me.
      Ryan: No, No I don't hate you, I love you mom.

    • (about Ryan to Kirsten)
      Dawn: Take care of him ok, he deserves it.

    • Kirsten: Ryan's gonna stay with us now.
      Seth:That's awesome. Thats awesome right? (to Ryan) come on let's talk about stuff.
      Ryan: I'll unpack later.

    • (About Kirsten taking Ryan out of Juvie)
      Sandy: Never knew you to be an impulsive shopper.

    • Summer: Still hasn't called you back? He was in lockup. Maybe he's into dudes now.

    • Julie: You will not believe what Sandy Cohen just said to me. He basically called me white trash! He said I was from Riverside!
      Jimmy: Honey ... you are from Riverside.
      Julie: It was his tone.

    • (after Julie finds out Kirsten lent Jimmy a loan)
      Kirsten: I love your dress
      Julie: You do? It's yours!

    • Sandy: (as he meets with Ryan in the Juvy visitation room) We've got to stop meeting like this.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music:
      "I Wanna Be Happy" by Brooke
      "Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)" by James Horner,
      "Rain City" by Turin Brakes,
      "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" by Less Than Jake


    • Kirsten: I know that I am not the perfect Carol Brady mom.

      Carol Brady was the mother character on the late 60s - mid 70s American sitcom. She was seen as a perfect mother, as their family was sort of seen as a perfect family, that did everything the traditional, "good" way.

    • Sandy: Do you mind? (while taking some of Julie's muffin)

      Melinda Clarke (Julie) apeared on a Seinfeld episode titled "The Muffin Tops" where Elaine sells just the tops of the muffin. When Sandy takes a piece of Julie's muffin, he takes the top.