“One Tree Hill” returned last night, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that series creator Mark Schwann has been reading this blog. (But really, if you’ve been watching OTH for any length of time at all, you should have a feel for the ebb and flow of events, and how the waxing and waning of tragedy and euphoria are about as consistent as the tides.) It was an episode of turning points for numerous characters in OTH.
As the episode opens up, Brooke storms out of her bedroom in a robe, looking disturbed, telling Julian that “she doesn’t do that.” It’s a full minute before we find out that what she doesn’t do is say “I love you, too” to Julian. (Aww …)
Millie comes back from New York to get her stuff and her car, when Mouth comes into the apartment. As it turns out, Skills tricked both of them into coming to the pad at the same time in the hopes that they would talk. And they do: Mouth tries to get her back, and Millie tells him goodbye forever.
Nathan and Haley are in some random house in Charleston, because he has to be there for work, but she turns the living room into a little cozy nest for their anniversary. (Aww …) She tells him about her being suspended for publishing Sam’s essay in the school newspaper. And she waylays him with a radical plan to move the family to Charleston. Then Nathan gets to talking about HER aspirations, and tries to talk her into going back on the road, and bringing Jamie with her — because the road life of a rock ‘n’ roll musician is the PERFECT, distraction-free atmosphere that helps a child to focus on things like math, spelling and general child development.
As Nathan and Haley celebrate their anniversary, Deb is babysitting Jamie … when Dan Scott stops by — at Jamie’s invitation. (Taking a lesson from Skills, no doubt.) They put up and shut up all night as they entertain Jamie, and when Dan puts him to bed, he tells him a story about Dan and Nathan visiting Disneyland when Nathan was young. (Nathan was afraid of the rides, so they spent the whole day riding the tram that took people to their cars.) A lovely OTH moment overall, burnished by the scene immediately following, with Deb strolling down memory lane via Nathan’s and Haley’s photo albums. And then a picture of Keith comes up and ruins the whole thing. Dan insists that he regrets the moment of weakness that led him to take revenge against Keith for sleeping with Deb, but that he’s paid his debt to society. And then — AT LAST — we get the return of the EVIL Dan Scott, as he insinuates that he knows that it was Deb who tried to poison him and set him aflame at the car dealership all those years ago. (This will be the plot line to watch in the future.) Deb hurls back how much she hates him … and then in comes Jamie with Grampa Dan’s flashing pager, and he tells Dan that it’s time to “get better.”
The big event of the night, though, is Peyton’s falling to the floor with abdominal pains. They go to the doctor and find out that very probably, having the baby will kill her. They come back home, and Lucas tries to dissuade her from checking out the big surprise he’d prepared for her … that he’d done the entire baby room as a surprise, complete with “I love Mommy” and “I love Daddy” onesies. Peyton is crushed, but resolved to have the baby anyway. Lucas argues for her to terminate the pregnancy, saying that he can’t face life without her. For a few minutes, things get really ugly. Lucas tries to “guilt” Peyton into having an abortion to save her life. Peyton’s not having it. They discuss the whole question of fate, their story that became “The Comet,” etc. Lucas argues that he “can’t accept that our story doesn’t have a good ending.” Suddenly Peyton sits down and feels the baby kicking up a storm, puts Lucas’ hand on her (virtually non-existent) belly, and says, “We are gonna live happily ever after. All three of us.”
As we cut back to Mouth, he admits to Millie that he was the one who screwed up their relationship — and presents her with a bill detailing $300 in text-message fees he accumulated via Gigi as evidence. He makes a compelling case for why they should stay and work out their troubles, grow together and take another shot at their relationship now that they’re wiser and more experienced — including uttering the memorable line, “I didn’t love you for your glasses” — but she’s resigned to walk out the door, and does. At episode’s end, we see Mouth open a drawer only to find it empty … except for Millie’s glasses. Meanwhile, Millie is crying through her newly Lasik-ed eyes all the way back to New York — probably because she knows it’s gonna cost her a FORTUNE to park that car in the city.
At Brooke’s house, Julian checks out whodatedwho.com to check out Brooke’s past and playfully taunts her with it before confronting Brooke on her inability to let anybody in. And it’s not long before Brooke realizes he’s right — that she hasn’t opened up to anybody since … Lucas. Julian rolls his eyes and gives it to her straight: “I’ve already been in a relationship that had the STENCH of Lucas Scott hanging over it.” Brooke tries to hide behind her responsibility to Sam (who’s not even in this episode), but Julian doesn’t let her get away with it, and presses her to admit to herself that she’s still not ready for love. And after finding a picture of Brooke and Lucas with the baby she’d fostered last season, he pretends he has to go somewhere on film business, and ditches her.
It’s really hard to feel sorry for him, isn’t it? Even if he’s being completely sincere, Julian comes off as a total shyster whenever we see him.
And one more thing — what was with the “Frasier”-style title cards at the beginning of each scene? As if this series isn’t silly enough …
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Credit: Fred Norris