Title: A Sorta Fairytale
Author: Anna (aphroditesflesh)
Spoilers: Lots but only about Ryan and Theresa (some Ryan/Marissa) regarding season 1 and the beginning of season two.
To make a long story short the concept of “The O.C” is that Ryan the boy from Chino gets arrested. His lawyer ends up being Sandy Cohen. Sandy gets him out of jail. His mom kicks Ryan out of the house. Ryan has nowhere to go. He calls Sandy and sandy comes and get him. Ryan later ends up staying with the Cohen’s for good. Drama ensues!
The Story and Relationship
I really did believe that writing this would be easy. I was wrong, of course because how do I put into words my complete love for a couple?
If I were to explain why it is I love them together I would usually fall into a jumble words about how Theresa is the only person who ever really knew Ryan and who accepted him for what he was, although still inspiring him to be a better person. The truth is, deep down I’m really in love with Theresa. As a girl from the wrong side of the tracks I respect her for always trying to do the right thing and for giving up the things and people she loves to let them have a better life. Theresa would do anything and everything to protect Ryan and as much as people like to believe Ryan’s life was so terrible in Chino, I believe Theresa was the one good thing he ever had, also the one thing he missed after moving to Newport.
Both Ryan and Theresa grew up on Larch Street in Chino, California. The street being described as so dark, “Even the California sun couldn’t make it bright”. Neither one of them have been many places. The next town over was an adventure. At night Ryan would sit outside with Theresa, talk and smoke cigarettes. Even after having had a romantic relationship they were still able to maintain a friendship because they were always friends first. When they were younger they’d pretend to run from the cops while helicopters flew over their heads, searching for someone and then they’d run back to Theresa’s house where they’d fall asleep together.
Ryan had even spent the night before getting arrested with Trey at Theresa’s. He also had Theresa on his mind when he got arrested. He kept thinking about how she was going to be alone in the morning and wonder where he was. Also that he wanted to buy her a breakfast sandwich from McDonalds to make up for leaving without saying anything. Even his first night at the Cohen’s was spent thinking about Theresa, wondering if he should call her. He’d turned up a cigarette in his pack because Theresa always talked about luck and use to turned a cigarette up in his pack of cigarettes when he wasn’t looking. It turned out the cigarette he’d turned up because of Theresa he ended up giving to Marissa when he first met her.
So although Theresa isn’t mentioned until “The Homecoming” she’s still somewhere in Ryan’s mind, which might explain his awkwardness when seeing Theresa again after five months. Ryan probably wouldn’t have even went to Theresa’s house or even Chino if it hadn’t been for his brother Trey asking him to come visit him and then ends up needing Ryan to visit Theresa’s brother Arturo about a car that can pay off Trey’s debts. Ryan doesn’t exactly know how to approach Theresa and apologize for leaving. It’s also quite obvious he feels weird going to her house with his new girlfriend Marissa. While Ryan is outside talking to Arturo, Theresa and Marissa are inside. Marissa finds a picture of Ryan and Theresa at the winter dance that sparks some information about Ryan and Theresa’s relationship to Marissa.
Marissa: (picking up a photo) “Oh that’s a really pretty dress”.
Theresa: “Yeah that’s when me and Ryan went to the winter dance together last year. That was a crazy night. We use to get into all kinds ‘a trouble..... He just left...you know that. He was there one day, next day his house was empty”
Marissa:” I don’t think he planned any of it”
Theresa:” He coulda called. You know someone your whole life; you grow up next to them. I guess I didn’t know him at all.”
It’s clear that Theresa is still hurt by Ryan leaving and not getting in contact with her. I think she has every right to wonder if she knows him at all. This ends up playing a large part in their relationship later on in the first season. Before leaving Ryan apologizes to her and hangs around her doorway a little longer than one would unless they still felt something for that person.
Ryan and Marissa’s relationship takes a dark, annoying turn when Oliver shows up and obviously wants to dig his claws into Marissa. Ryan is the only one aside from Luke who sees this and warns Marissa including everyone else about Oliver being crazy and obsessive. No one believes him. Marissa breaks up with him, ends up going to Oliver’s where Oliver pulls a gun on her and Ryan comes to save the day. Marissa wants the relationship to go back to the way it was but Ryan isn’t exactly into being in a relationship where the other person doesn’t trust him.
When Ryan is still ringing over the fact that no one believed him about Oliver being crazy, Theresa shows up in “The Heartbreak,” and ends up being the only person he can talk to about what happened between Marissa and himself, along with the Cohen’s. She doesn’t sugar coat how he should feel or try to make him feel bad about his feelings. She basically has an understanding that he should feel betrayed at least a little bit. Theresa ends up being his form of comfort during that adjusting time period where his new life basically screwed him over and where his old one is still there waiting for him. There is a genuine bond between him and Theresa that has come from years and years of growing up together and seeing the bad sides of one another but knowing the good even more.
Theresa’s the one that used to invite him into her bed when he didn’t want to be at home because his mother was drunk and fighting with one of her boyfriends. Ryan’s the one that would buy her cigarettes and listen to her talk about luck. To a trained eye the relationship Ryan shares with Theresa meant more during his younger years than the one he had with his own mother, simply because Theresa was always there to clean up the mess his mother would make out of him. She was the first girl he ever had sex with, along with make love to. And although he never mentions these things in his early months in Newport, it’s mostly because he’s trying so hard to forget that life knowing how much pain he has caused Theresa by not getting in touch with her. It’s said in The Outsider that he contemplates calling her but never finds the courage.
Theresa, while being in a new relationship with Eddie wonders if Ryan is the person she’s supposed to be with and calls him at the beginning of the “The Telenovela” to let him know she’s going to be in Newport for a job and would like to hang out with him. While Ryan is trying to figure out things between him and Marissa he ends up having to figure out his feelings for Theresa as well. The episode juggles a lot between the two; their past relationship and the fact that they find it easy to be friends. Ryan learns from Eddie himself that he proposed to Theresa and then Theresa ran away to Newport. Ryan doesn’t admit to Eddie that he knows where Theresa is, wanting to keep Theresa’s confidence. He then goes to see Theresa where they get into a heated argument about her being too young to get married and about Ryan leaving Chino. It’s rare when a couple can fight with so much passion and intensity and end up smiling afterwards.
Theresa doesn’t pretend that she doesn’t still have feelings for Ryan. She seems to be the type of girl that wears her emotions partially on her sleeve although doesn’t give too much away. She has or rather had a magical view on love.
Theresa: “In the church where my mom goes there’s this stained glass window of Theresa of Avila...her hearts being pierced by the arrow of an angel. Her eyes are closed and even thought it hurts her to love that much she has the most beautiful smile. I remember my first communion I was wearing a white dress and gloves and I looked up at that window and I thought some day someone would pierce my heart and I would walk down the aisle in a real white dress and understand why she’s smiling. I know it sounds lame but I guess life’s not really like that, you cant get all caught up in wishing for something that’s not gonna happen, you gotta hold onto the next best thing.”
Now this made me fall in love with Theresa although I think it was only a matter of time. But her idea of love, dream of love is so honest, so real. For a lot of girls they dream of having someone who will love them in the fiercest amount and leave them with some sort of fairytale. I admire Theresa for holding onto that dream for so long and than letting it go because she realizes that no matter how much she loves Ryan, being with him just isn’t an option and so she has to settle for second best. But what’s so amazing about that scene is that only a few minutes after saying this, Theresa gets on the phone, calling Eddie, Ryan shows up, breathless and sad that she’s packing. He tells her he doesn’t want her to go, moves in and kisses her.
But the relationship can’t last, mostly because they’re both from different worlds now. Ryan has a different life that Theresa doesn’t want to intrude on or cause complications for and in order to protect him from her life, she leaves in the next episode after Eddie shows up and he and Ryan get into a fight. She feels embarrassed, horrified even. I believe that Theresa loves Ryan but will do anything to protect him from pain and suffering because she believes that he deserves a good life. Ryan doesn’t see Theresa again until he shows up at her engagement party where they get into a heated argument about how she ran away from Eddie and she’s still concentrating on the fact that he left Chino in the first place.
Ryan gets back together with Marissa in the next episode.
For me the most painful and emotional scene between the two is when Theresa comes back in “The Shower” with a bruise from Eddie hitting her. Ryan can’t understand how he didn’t know about Eddie being abusive and is upset that Theresa didn’t tell him. She makes it clear that she didn’t tell him because Ryan would go insane and want to kill Eddie. She doesn’t try to explain not telling him or needing Sandy’s help and she doesn’t once say that she won’t go back to Eddie. In fact at that point she’s given up on the idea of having a happy life to begin with. She turns to Ryan and tells him she’s tired of crying. It breaks my heart because as much as she doesn’t want help she does need Ryan’s help in some form. Later Ryan finds out that she’s trying to work things out with Eddie and will probably go back to him. He starts to drive to Chino but turns around to see Theresa who is packing to go back. They have an argument about how things won’t change for her and he invites her to stay at the Cohen’s who greet her with open arms.
In the coming episodes Theresa finds out she’s pregnant and that it could be Eddie’s or Ryan’s. At first she decides to have an abortion but after a talk with Kirsten realizes that she can’t do that and will have the baby. When she tells Ryan she’s leaving, he asks her to stay. I think this is where a lot of people get the relationship misconstrued. She’s accused of being a home-wrecker, breaking Marissa and Ryan up but she was always very supportive of his relationship with Marissa. She was never cruel about it. Theresa only asked Ryan to come back to Chino with her after he asked her to stay. She felt that she couldn’t impose on the Cohen family any longer and decided that she had to leave. Ryan made a decision because he loves Theresa and cares for her deeply that he wasn’t going to let her raise the baby alone. Yes, he gives up his pretty, well cared for life but he doesn’t do it because she forces him. He does it because he knows it’s the right thing for him to do. She was the person that was always there for him. He owed it to her to go back and help raise a child that could be his.
In “The Distance” Theresa seems whiny, too willing to please Ryan and getting nowhere. Now that was not the Theresa I love. I think sometimes the writers have to write out chemistry between two characters to make you not want them to be together. Personally that didn’t work for me. I loved them, regardless. I think Theresa was pregnant, hormonal, and sad that Ryan was acting as if he was doing her some big favor by being there when she never expected him to take on a serious role in her choice. Ryan ends up going to Portland to see Seth and Theresa calls him, telling him she’s lost the baby but as the audience you learn that she didn’t lose the baby. She told Ryan a lie to give him a better life, to not keep him staying with her out of some form of obligation she may have instilled in him.
For me there was no couple on “The O.C” that I could feel passionate about until Theresa showed up. The chemistry is there. The history is there. If someone were to ask me exactly why I ship them I would have to say it isn’t about first love. It’s about just knowing someone. They know each other. Theresa did what one does when they love someone else. They give them up if that’s what the person wants and needs. Theresa is enough to make me love the ship in it’s self. But Ryan with Theresa is a Ryan that is sweet, caring, romantic, and still somewhere locked in his past, which isn’t such a terrible thing.
I do think everyone should ship them a little bit. They’re honestly such a beautiful ship and not just because of the things they’ve been through but because of where they could go together and what they could do for one another. Theresa will shape every relationship Ryan has and I am eagerly waiting her return to the show.
So if you’re interested in getting into Ryan and Theresa I suggest reading The Outsider where the hours before Ryan’s arrest are explained along with the rest of the beginning of the first season. Usually I would tell you not to read these kind of books but this one isn’t too bad. A lot of cute scenes between Ryan and Theresa at the beginning.
You should check out The O.C for episode guides as to last season and recent episodes.
Fan Forum - The Peanuts Gang
A Ryan/Theresa Shipper site
The ones I would start with are
Last Summer - A Pre Newport story, regarding Ryan and Theresa's relationship in Chino.
This is the burning dream - Theresa reflects on Loving Ryan. Another one of my favorites.
She doesn't remember her dreams... - Theresa spends the summer with Ryan to then start a new life.
Lists - Theresa remembers her past.
Raven - Takes place years after Theresa finds herself pregnant.
Others I would read
Special - Theresa remembers her first kiss</a>
Unattainable Tomorrow - Missing Scenes from Ryan/Theresa episodes.
Through the Rain - Theresa reflects on Ryan and Marissa's relationship.
Superstitions - Theresa remembers what Ryan was like.
Finishing Stages - Theresa's thoughts while driving home in "The Goodbye Girl"
Hotel Paper - One of the first stories with a happy ending, very refreshing.
Perfection Can't Exist - Theresa has a mythic idea of love.
The Move Out - A Missing scene from "the distance".
Broken Promises - Missing scene from "The Goodbye Girl"
Missing You - Takes place during "The Homecoming".
Lolita's Kisses Not finished but takes place before Ryan moves to Newport.
Ryan/Theresa A Sorta Fairytale
I’m not sure how good I was at this because it’s hard for me to express my love for certain ships but I hope this at least helped people understand the relationship and not dislike it. If you have any more Ryan/Theresa stuff to show me I will gladly enjoy it.