Two bonus episodes in the post to close out the season. I figured it would be best to push not have them dangling on their own or tacked on to the front of season 2. I’m thinking season endings will be like that. Either short or long depending on where those cut off lie.
Season 1: Episode 16: “The First Cut Is The Deepest”
Haley meets Sheryl Crowe!
Ok that’s probably the least important part of the episode. Nathan decides to get himself emancipated because he learns that Deb had an affair and left Dan for a while. Tired of being a pawn he strikes out on his own.
I love this storyline and soon we get the Nathan apartment. Which I also love.
Lucas sneaks out to the bar that he went to with Brooke and meets Nikki. (Ugh Nikki.) They have sex on a merry go round and then eat omelets and then she disappears. It’s all really dumb. While he’s missing Karen calls Peyton to find him and she and Brooke go looking. Brooke is being really pissy about it. No one blames her.
Also, Peyton babysits for Jenny and she and Jake are adorbs. Then Nikki shows up and we learns that she’s Jenny’s mom. (Ugh, Nikki).
Keith sells his shop to Dan to cover Lucas’s hospital bills. Terrible decision. Also, Skills gives Lucas a pep talk, and Lucas apologizes to Whitey for being a shit head about his rehab.
Season 1: Episode 17: “Spirit In The Night”
God, this is another episode that I just absolutely love. The team is playing in a tournament away and there’s also a cheer competition at the same time. Of course, everyone’s still a little mad at each other, but the weekend goes a long way towards mending a ton of fences.
Brooke is obsessed with winning the competition, so she’s acting more than a little crazy. It’s good because we get to see Bevin for the first time. (I forgot about Bevin, because I love her.) But when they get there Theresa gets the chicken pox so Haley steps in. Haley on the squad is always fun, but it’s not until season 3 I think that this becomes permanent? Anyway, she’s having trouble learning the routine and then Mouth tells them another squad is using their song. So Brooke makes a new routine and Peyton makes a new mix and it’s the best.
Whitey assigns Lucas to help Nathan with his shooting, and Nathan is kind of a dick about it. They also share a room at the hotel, and they sort of bond. Also Haley basically tells Lucas to cut the shit and that Nathan is a part of her life. And it’s the best.
There’s also some pretty awesome Peyton/Jake flirting. And Peyton’s Dad and Karen, which is a thing that I totally forgot about.
Season 1: Episode 18: “To Wish Impossible Things”
Another OTH episode structure that I love. A bunch of little stories circling around a bigger event. In this case the event is a “boy toy” charity auction. The team is being auctioned off for the evening.
Haley buys Lucas so that they can hang out for the evening. They have a water balloon fight on the roof of the cafe. Then he sees her new tatoo (Nathan’s Jersey Number 23! GASP!) and he gets pissed. They talk it out and Haley admits that she’s in love with Nathan but isn’t sure how he feels about it.
Haley asks Peyton to buy Nathan, and they spend the night swimming at his new apartment. They talk about their relationship and I note again how little romantic chemistry these two have but how fun they are as a pair of friends. Lucas sees them kissing at the end of the night. He lies to Haley and says that weren’t home.
Nikki buys Jake. (Ugh, Nikki) They talk about what went wrong in their relationship. She gets creepy and says that she’s always going to be a part of Jenny’s life. Jake says he won’t let her hurt his daughter the way that she hurt him.
Brooke gets Mouth and they go to strip club and then a bar. And a beautiful friendship is born. She winds up crying with him about how hollow she feels, he confides his insecurity about his looks and girls to her, and everything about them is the best and will continue to be for 8 seasons. I assume. Like I said, I didn’t watch the last two.
Meanwhile, Karen and Larry go on a date, and then Keith shows up after they kiss and proposes to her.
There’s also a whole thing with Deb and Tim that’s stupid but sort of funny.
Of course the big reveal here is that Brooke thinks she’s pregnant and tells Lucas that.
Season 1: Episode 19: “How Can You Be Sure”
Brooke and Lucas are dealing with Brooke’s “pregnancy.” They’re both royally freaked out and it’s actually one of the most emotionally honest showings of anything on this show every and I’ve kind of always loved this episode for that. They go to Planned Parenthood together and Dan sees them. Brooke tells Lucas that her test came back positive.
Meanwhile, Nathan and Haley talked about having sex and still don’t. Nathan tells Haley he’s OK with waiting because he’s in love with her and they are the best and you will never tell me otherwise. Naley 4 EVA!
Karen tells Keith she won’t marry him and he tells her he’s decided to leave Tree Hill.
Dan tells Lucas that Brooke should get an abortion, like he wanted Karen to do. Dan is a terrible person, but we all knew that. When Lucas goes to Brooke and tells her that he’ll support her no matter what. Then she tells him that she’s not actually pregnant, she told him that to punish him. It’s hard.
Season 1: Episode 20: “What Is And What Should Never Be”
Haley decides to throw a party at Nathan’s apartment and things get out of hand. They get out of hand in a very specific Nikki related way. (Ugh, Nikki). She and Brooke get drunk and crash. Then Nikki and Peyton get into a fight and trash the place.
Nathan gets arrested and has to call Dan to bail him out. Dan threatens Lucas and tells him to ask Karen what kind of father he is. Lucas is confused and angry, but I love, love, love this moment, because it’s Nathan and Lucas standing together and becoming friends and it’s the best.
Dan and Deb have sex when he comes to pick up their stuff and reminisce about when they were in love. Then he agrees to give her the divorce. Keith gets a job as a shop teacher in another city and he and Karen get ready to say good bye.
Season 1: Episode 21: “The Leaving Song”
Keith is getting ready to leave Tree Hill. Karen is really angsty about it. Lucas decides to go with him, to get away from all the mistakes he’s been making, when Peyton reminds him that he was once a good guy, and Nathan a bad guy, and now they’ve traded places.
Nathan’s journey to being a good guy is complete in this episode, when he and Lucas begin training together for the play offs and they become buddies and it’s adorable. But also, Haley finds his porn stash and confronts him about it. They have a fight about it and it’s all pretty stupid but I also love, again the emotional honestly of how a seventeen year old girl would feel. It only gets worse when she finds pictures from Peyton’s web cam saved to the computer.
Lucas learns that Dan came to Karen when he was a baby asking for joint custody and she turned him down. He talks to Keith about it and Keith is really angry because he believes that if he’d known that he might have been able to salvage his relationship with his brother.
By the way, I am definitely with Keith here, although you also see Karen’s side of her being 19 and freaked out and alone trying to figure out how to be a mom.
Seriously, I forgot how complex the relationships on this show were at one point, before it became straight melodrama. It’s nice to revisit.
Season 1: Episode 22: “The Games That Play Us”
Nathan and Haley get married, after they have sex and it’s not quite the best yet because really we just found out about it, but that’s also the last moment of the whole thing. So much happens in this amazing season finale that I love so much.
Anyway, Lucas and Keith are saying their goodbyes but not before Dan totally ruins everything the Ravens have built that season by coaching in his usual Dan bullying style and undercutting everything they’ve learned from Whitey. They lose because Lucas misses a crucial shot.
Peyton and Brooke cement their friendship again by helping Jake take Jenny to Savannah, by distracting Nikki (Ugh Nikki) and telling her that Jake is going to Seattle. It’s an awesome little heist.
Keith goes to say goodbye to Deb and they have sex. Dan finds them and freaks out and then has a heart attack. The first mention of the Scott family heart condition that will eventually consume all of their lives.
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
This really is a brilliant season finale. That’s almost all I can focus on. Except that I also love that all of the Brooke/Lucas/Peyton whiplash has ceased. The triangle is still there, it’s an integral part of the show, really until the middle of season 4. But the real thing these episodes have is the foundation of Lucas and Nathan’s friendship and that’s pretty much the best part of the show so I’m really, really, into these episodes.
Season 1 In A Nutshell
Not exactly a nutshell, but I really do love this season as a whole. Watching it again was super rewarding, in a really big way, especially for reminding me how great the show once was. I’m going to have to hold on to that when I get towards the end.