What was shaping up to be an especially angsty episode instead turned out to be FUN!! Ryan put on his leaving-town hoodie (he must have misplaced the leather jacket), so we knew he was feeling so many feels despite his gruff exterior. I never really got what Ryan saw in Lindsay except maybe for her extreme normal-ness, but nonetheless he was really upset about her leaving town so he booked it for the bus station to go win her back. Seth went to talk him down, and before the opening credits were over that crisis was averted and instead the gang got locked inside the mall. Bottle episode! Secrets were revealed, relationship statuses were re-evaluated, a Mighty Ducks re-enactment happened, and it was a lot of fun!
Early on, Seth spoke aloud our greatest fear: "maybe now that Lindsay's out of the picture, Ryan and Marissa will get back together!". Noooo, shut your face Seth Cohen! Don't tempt fate like that. Sigh. We all know Marissa and Ryan are doomed to happen again, but surprise of all surprises, in the end they were actually incredibly adorable and not-irritating while throwing french fries at each other! The waitstaff was probably irritated, though, because that's just plain rude. Also, Ryan actually had some really great comedic timing this episode, which threw me for a loop. You don't do funny, you do emotionally charged side-eyes! But I'll allow it.
Meanwhile, in adultville, Kirsten was still throwing a hissy fit over Sandy trying to help his old lovah beat a rap. She "lost" her wedding ring and flirted a ton with Billy Campbell. Get outta here, Billy, there ain't room for two raven-haired DILFs on this show! Sandy was desperate to win her back even though he hadn't really done anything wrong, and he and Caleb had some bro bonding time over their lady troubles and carnival games. Those guyyyss. Cute.
Also, Julie had a little secret: she was the saddest little amnesiac in some hilariously '80's porn! But seriously, the guy blackmailing her was super scuzzy, and basically it's really uncool to blackmail someone over porn they only did to pay their mom's hospital bills. Wah wahhh. I was surprised by how much I liked Julie this episode, mostly due to all the hard truths she was throwing down about Marissa, her spoiled spawn.
All in all, really great episode. No episode is a perfect ten, but I thought it deserved better than a 9.5. On an OC weighted scale, obviously.