|← S1||The OC Season 2||S3 →|
|#01||"The Distance"||#09||"The Ex-Factor"||#17||"The Brothers Grim"|
|#02||"The Way We Were"||#10||"The Accomplice"||#18||"The Risky Business"|
|#03||"The New Kids on the Block"||#11||"The Second Chance"||#19||"The Rager"|
|#04||"The New Era"||#12||"The Lonely Hearts Club"||#20||"The O.C. Confidential"|
|#05||"The SnO.C."||#13||"The Father Knows Best"||#21||"The Return of the Nana"|
|#06||"The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't"||#14||"The Rainy Day Women"||#22||"The Showdown"|
|#07||"The Family Ties"||#15||"The Mallpisode"||#23||"The O.Sea"|
|#08||"The Power of Love"||#16||"The Blaze of Glory"||#24||"The Dearly Beloved"|
Seth and Zach squabble over who should take Summer to the prom and who will meet George Lucas for dinner over the publishing of the graphic novel. Meanwhile, Sandy takes drastic actions with a recovering Kirsten. Ryan starts to piece together what happened between Trey and Marissa and runs into his old girlfriend Theresa. Also, Julie decides to murder Caleb to avoid going broke. But her attempts to poison Caleb take a surprising turn.
Seth wakes up Ryan to talk about how much he wants to take Summer to the prom, but their conversation is cut short by a phone call from Sandy informing them of Kirsten's car accident. At the hospital, a police officer tells Sandy that Kirsten had been driving under the influence of alcohol. He agrees not to take it any further on the condition that Sandy gets help for his wife. Julie calls to see Sandy for legal advice about her pre-nuptial agreement. She has discovered that if Caleb divorces her before they've been married for a year, she gets nothing. At school, Summer tells Seth and Zach that one of them will be taking her to the prom and they have to decide who it will be.
After coming home from the hospital, Sandy suggests that Kirsten should go into rehab, but Kirsten says that there's no need. She says that the car crash scared her and that she won't be drinking anymore. She then decides to tip all of the alcohol in the house down the sink.
Ryan asks Marissa what's going on between her and Trey. Marissa tells him that there's nothing going on, but he's still suspicious because he saw Trey leaving Marissa's house. Marissa gets angry and tells Ryan to ask Trey what happened. Ryan calls to see Trey, but he's not home. Seth and Zach meet with Reed at the diner, and Reed informs them that George Lucas is interested in their graphic novel and is thinking of making it into a movie. George Lucas wants to meet for dinner to discuss it, but Reed is only allowing one of them to meet him. Seth and Zach decide that one of them will take Summer to the prom and one will meet George Lucas, but they can't decide on who will do what. They decide to toss a coin but not until right before the events so that neither has a chance to back out. Caleb calls to see Kirsten and is angry and concerned about her drinking problem. Kirsten then gets angry at her father and tells him that he will die alone. Later, Caleb calls home to pick up his sleeping pills, and Julie asks if he'll come over for one last date tomorrow night. It is then revealed that Julie has kept a load of his pills. Ryan apologises to Marissa and tells her that he believes nothing happened between her and Trey. He then asks her to go to the prom with him. However, a conversation with Jess makes Ryan suspicious again. Jess also tells him that Trey has gone to Chino. Ryan goes to Chino and finds Trey in a bar. He asks him what happened between him and Marissa and Trey says that Marissa came on to him when she was drunk. Not sure what to believe, Ryan phones Marissa and says that he can't take her to the prom because he's not feeling well.
Later, while still in Chino, Ryan sees Theresa, who tells him that he should believe Marissa.
When Theresa goes into her mother's house, it is revealed that she's got a baby boy, but not who the father is. After the coin toss, Zach shows up at Summer's house to take her to the prom and Seth goes to meet George Lucas for dinner. Seth asks Lucas if he went to his prom, and he says that he didn't and that he regrets it. At the prom, Zach worries that Seth is going to mess things up in his meeting. Summer tells Zach that if he's worried, he should go to the meeting. Zach leaves to meet George Lucas, and Seth leaves to go to the prom. Since both are now dateless, Summer and Marissa decide to leave the prom. However, before they have a chance to go, it's announced that Summer is the Prom Queen and Zach is the King. Summer goes onstage but is on her own since Zach left. Seth then arrives and gets onstage with Summer and declares his love for her. Ryan also arrives at the prom in time for one last dance with Marissa. On their date, Julie puts the contents of Caleb's pills into his drink but then stops him from drinking it and tips it away. While she is preparing a pill-less drink for him, Caleb has a heart attack. Sandy discovers that Kirsten has kept a bottle of vodka and confronts her about it right before Julie phones to inform them that Caleb is dead.