After troubled teen Ryan Atwood is sent to jail, public defender Sandy Cohen, to the dismay of his wife Kirsten, invites Ryan to stay in his guesthouse. Their son Seth takes Ryan sailing, where the two get a chance to know each other. The Cohens take Ryan to a fashion show fundraiser planned by the beautiful girl next door, Marissa Cooper, and Summer invites Seth and Ryan to a Newport Beach house party. At the party, Ryan protects Seth from Luke, Marissa's boyfriend. From the trouble he gets into it's clear that Ryan may not be able to stay at the Cohen house.