The show opens with Ryan packing a bag and looking at the file Julie gave him. He calls her up, he tells her that he doesnt need anything. Meanwhile Seth is on his cell phone with Summer and gets cut off, so he picks up the house phone. He hears Ryan talking to Julie about going to find Volcheck. Seth goes to confront Ryan about why hes up so early. Ryan says hes going to the gym. He asks Ryan to drop him off at the mall, but Ryan says its the other way. Seth knows where he is really headed and says he cant let Ryan go. He says what he will do, kill Volchek or get himself killed? Seth jumps in the car with Ryan and says hes coming with him. Ryan says no way. Seth says he wont get in the way. Seth isnt going to take no for an answer. Ryan says Seth has to do everything he says. Seth says hes the boss. Seth asks where they are going? Ryan says Mexico. Seth says perfect, he needs some chitlins.
At Brown, Che is holding yet another protest as Summer walks up. He sees her and yells to her. He says its good to see her, where has she been. She says she had to go home, it was an emergency. He tells her she has an amazing spirit, in a past life she must have been an eagle. She asks what is going on, he says hes protesting the plans to cut down this majestic tree. Summer asks what the plan is? Che says they have a petition and if that doesnt work then revolution. He gives her a hug and says hes so glad she is back and the earth loves her very much.
Summer returns to her room where she finds Taylor sleeping in her bed. Summer asks why she is here and what is she wearing? Taylor has on some hideous lingerie, the only thing she had to sleep in. Summer asks Taylor what is going on with her. Taylor tells Summer to sit down, shell explain everything. Taylor says something huge happened in France. She says she came home to tell her mom and then got scared. She came here to tell Summer as she would understand. She then notices Summers legs are like a forest and her toenails, she has hobbit feet! Summer says shes not into that stuff anymore. Che then interrupts, two guys with chainsaws have shown up to cut down the tree! Summer tells Taylor she has to go, theyll talk later.
Julie meets with Dean Torress, the new Dean of Discipline at Harbor. They are talking about Kaitlin, who is in big trouble. The Dean asks how things at home are. Julie says good . . . okay things have been difficult. She says Neil left this morning for a conference in Seattle. She says Kaitlin and Neil are friends and things are good. The Dean asks how things between her and Kaitlin are? Julie admits not that great, but hey shes fifteen. The Dean says the school is having a clothing drive, she wants Julie and Kaitlin to work it together.
At the Cohens, Sandy and Kirsten discuss the odd note Seth left. They cant make it out and they cant get in touch with either Seth or Ryan. Seth then calls home to let his dad know what is going on. Hes at a phone at a rest stop. Sandy is not happy to hear Ryan is going after Volchek, this wasnt in the note at all. Seth tells his dad not to freak out, they are in Mexico. Sandy demands to talk to Ryan. Seth says he has to go, hell call him later.
Ryan catches Seth on the phone, he asks what he told Sandy, did he tell him about Volchek? Seth says he didnt tell him much. Ryan says he will be watching him from now on.
Kaitlin is watching Eric and Brad shave their chests for water polo. She finds it bizarre and makes jokes. They ask if she talked to Neil about the ex wife. She says no and hes in Seattle now. Julie walks in is puzzled by the boys and what they are doin. Julie then tells Kaitlin that thanks to her, they are both working the clothing drive for school. She also tells Kaitlin to stop hitting on one of her teachers.
Kirsten is packing things up for the clothing drive. Shes upset, Seth hasnt called back. Sandy says he will call back and theyll get some real information. Kirsten asks Sandy to call her if he hears anything, shes taking the clothes over to the school.
Down in Mexico, Ryan and Seth check into the motel from hell. Once there, Ryan ends up ditching Seth.
Ryan shows up at a bar looking for Volchek. The guy there says Volchek was fired and nobody knows where he is. They warn Ryan that Voclheck is gone and he should be too, thats a hint. A waitress is looming about and listening.
At Brown Taylor waits for Summer to return. She meets Summers roommate Amber. She asks Amber how into this green planet thing Summer has gotten? She wonders why Summer has no photos of any of her friends up on the wall. Amber has a whole wall of guys photos. Amber says only one is her boyfriend. They discuss how Amber has slept with many of them, which makes her a slut by their society and unfair considering a guy is regarded as a slut. Taylor says she cant help but notice Summer doesnt even have a photo of her boyfriend. Amber says you mean Che? Taylor asks who Che is?
Seth goes looking for Ryan and ends up getting mixed up with a crowd of drunk marines. The ring leader is Steve-O from Jackass. He demands Seth do shots with them and then get a tattoo.
Julie and Kaitlin are working the clothing drive. Kirsten shows up, she talks about how the boys went to Mexico without telling them. Julie says Seth went to? She quickly tries to cover that she knew Ryan was going. Julie then gets a cell phone and walks off. Its Ryan. Ryan tells Julie that Volchek isnt here, he got fired and nobody knows where he is. Kirsten can see how upset Julie appears after her call.
Back at Brown, Taylor is searching for Summer. She finds her camping out with Che, who has chained himself to the tree. Taylor drags her off and asks what is going on with her and Che, she doesnt like what she hears or sees. She knows Summer is ignoring Seths calls. Taylor calls Seth and demands Summer talk to him right now. Some Mexican guy answers his phone, Taylor talks to them in Spanish.
Back in Mexico, Seth is hammered with his new marine friends. He talks to the bartender, who Ryan talked to earlier. When he mentions Volcheks name hes told to leave. A waitress follows Seth out of the bar and says his friend was here earlier. She asks if it is true that Volchek killed a girl? Seth says yes. The waitress says she knows where he is.
Sandy and Kirsten finally head to Mexico to look for the kids. She wonders how much longer they keep running to their kids rescue.
Seth is back in the hotel room attempting to make a phone call. He calls the front desk and asks if his friend came in last night by chance. They havent seen him. He asks to place a call to America.
At Brown, Taylor is talking to the guy in Mexico who has Seths phone. Hes having girl drama. She has decided to go to Newport, her problems wont be solved here. Taylor tells Summer that shell support her wanting to be a hippie, but dont push away Seth for Che. Summer says Che is just her friend, this isnt a love triangle. Taylor asks why she wont talk to him them? She says call him, write him a letter, tell him what shes going through. Summer lashes out at her saying shes the one with the secret and shes avoiding her secret by telling her what is wrong with her life. Taylor tells Summer she will lose Seth and she will tell her I told you so. Taylor says she was planning to tell her how she went to France, got married and now she has to get a divorce. She says she would have found it tres interesant. She then walks out.
Ryan returns to the hotel, he couldnt find Volcheck. Seth knows Ryan plans to kill Volchek no matter what he says. Seth says he knows where he is, if he promises not to kill him then hell tell Ryan. Ryan demands to know where he is. Seth hands over the information, Ryan takes off.
Kaitlin finds her mom mindlessly watching Cops on the TV. Kaitlin asks her mom if everything is okay? Julie says the world is a human toilet bowl waiting for a big flush. Kaitlin is headed out to the clothing drive and she tells her mom that she needs to suck it up, some of them are still alive.
Back in Mexico, Ryan shows up at some other bar or motel. We see Voclkek in some back room drinking and smoking. Ryan has some big club and approaches the door, on the other side Volchek has a knife. Ryan ends up breaking into the wrong room at the place though, Volchek isnt there. Ryan is in an empty room. Seth however has found the right room. He tells Volchek they need to talk.
Volchek asks Seth how he found him. Seth says the girl he worked with at the bar. Seth says Ryan is here, he almost told him where he was but gave him the wrong address. Volchek asks why hes looking out for him? Seth says hes not, he doesnt want Ryan to ruin his life by killing him. Volchek begins packing up his stuff. Seth says Ryan will keep hunting him, does he want to spend his life running? Seth says he should turn himself in, let his dad help him. Seth knows Volchek didnt mean to kill her. Volchek says shes dead and that is all that matters.
Sandy and Kirsten found Ryan. Ryan realizes Seth set him up. They want him to come back with them. Ryan cant, he says Volcheck is here. Seth shows up and says no he is gone.
Summer goes to the airport to talk to Taylor, who is waiting for her flight. Summer says shes sorry, Taylor says she is too. They hug. Summer tells Taylor she is welcomed here any time. Summer also admits she has pulled away from Seth. Taylor says she understands and Seth will to, just try to talk to him. Summer asks about the married thing. Taylor says she doesnt get it either, she married some novelist on the spur of the moment. Shes not sure how it happened herself. She says it was Paris, it seemed like the thing to do. Taylor has to go, but she warns Summer that her roommate is a big slut. Summer says she knows.
Julie shows up to help Kaitlin work the clothing drive. She says what Kaitlin said earlier struck a nerve, she inspired her to come help. The Wards are helping Kaitlin as well. The Dean also shows up and asks to talk to Julie. The Dean tells that someone has been stealing clothes from the drive and selling them at a local thrift shop. Julie realizes it is Kaitlin, Kaitlin realizes shes busted.
Summer begins writing a letter to Seth, which she starts over and over and over again. She falls asleep saying she loves Seth but she just cant . . . .
Sandy and Seth are driving home. Sandy tells Seth he did the right thing, sooner or later Ryan will realize it. Ryan is driving with Kirsten. Kirsten talks about how this was always her worst nightmare, that Seth would follow him somewhere and get hurt. She says now she realizes they just have two children to worry about.
At Brown, Che tells Summer that the tree wont be cut down, they won! Summer and Che have a little picnic celebration outside with the tree.
Back in Sandy and Seths car, Sandy talks about how Ryan could have found where Volcheck was. Sandy has been giving it thought. Sandy says it had to be a PI, which took money, which leads him to one person.
At home Julie is reaming out Kaitlin for stealing the clothes and selling them. Kaitlin says those kids dont need all those clothes, they have mountains of donated clothing waiting for them in a warehouse in New Jersey. Julie says she made that up. Kaitlin says she did, but it sounded good. Julie says she cant keep this family together while she runs around like Mrs. Clockwork Orange. She tells Kaitlin that she needs her help. Kaitlin offers to make her mom some ice cream, Julie says that would be nice. Julie then gets a call from someone and says shell be right there. Julie tells Kaitlin that she has to take a raincheck. Julie leaves, we see Kaitlin has about a million more tops on that she stole from the clothing drive. One by one she takes them all off.
Julie meets with Sandy. He says Ryan and Seth are back and Volchek is gone. He says he knows she told Ryan where he was, she sent Ryan down there to kill him. Sandy says he could have her arrested for that. Sandy lectures her saying she put both his kids in danger. She points out to Sandy that he still has two kids. He walks off leaving her to sit alone.
Seth has a talk with his mom about Ryan. He then heads to see Ryan. Ryan locked the pool house door. They look at one another through the window, Ryan then closes the shade leaving Seth standing outside the door by himself.