Season 3: Episode 6: “Locked Hearts And Hand Grenades”
First of all, awesome emo song title.
Second of all, this is the “fantasy boy draft” episode. Which is contributing in a lot of ways to a thesis that I’m building up. That thesis being that One Tree Hill is probably the most feminist teen soap of them all. (This is also if excise Veronica Mars and Buffy as primarily genre shows.) While Gossip Girl was predicated on a more feminist stance, being that it’s two main characters were girls, it still pitted them against each other and treated them much more superficially. One Tree Hill is pitched about two boys, but by this point in the series it’s clear that the most compelling narrative is centered around the three girls.
Peyton is not in a relationship this season…at least not yet. She dates Pete Wentz later. But at the moment her primary concern is whether she should reach out and connect with Ellie. I’ve already praised how much I like Peyton as a character, but really, her being unattached (and not striving to be attached btw) at this point is another thing that’s really revolutionary about her.
Haley is fierce here. She’s fighting for Nathan. She’s fighting for Lucas. She’s fighting to build a life she wants with the people she cares about. It’s exceptional and not something that you see that often. In other soaps the Haley style character would have to be “distracted” by her crumbling marriage. But not Haley. She’s still an honor student. She’s still trying to be a musician, and she still wants her man.
And then there’s Brooke. She’s flawed, and trying her best. She loves Lucas but doesn’t want her heart to be broken. So she organizes the “fantasy boy draft,” which is the kind of objectifying and ridiculous premise that would (probably) be applied to girls in real life, but in One Tree Hill, the power is given to the girls. They choose which boys they want and set the rules of interaction. It’s a fantasy and fun one.
Rachel, meanwhile is still trying to be friends with everyone, and now Karen is running for mayor against Dan and it all leads to shenanigans. Also, Lucas is trying to overcome HCM with the power of will because Lucas is kind of an idiot!
Season 3: Episode 7: “Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For My Sham Friends”
Another awesome Emo Song Title. Seriously, it’s the gold standard of Emo Songs. (Not the song itself but the title. The gold standard emo song is either “The Black Parade” or maybe something from Brand New’s self titled album…)
It’s time for the fantasy boy draft chickens to come home to roost. The boys demand dates. Because of course they do. Well, actually Tim demands a date and considering that no one drafted him. Brooke is furious, because this means that Lucas is going to have to go on another date with Rachel. (Any mention that she did this to herself, is met with a frustrated grunt, because Brooke is annoyed not oblivious.) So, Haley is super excited to go on a date with Nathan, but when Chris shows up and Brooke refuses to go out with him, Nathan takes it as a chance to bail. Brooke wants to be a good friend to Haley so she goes.
They first go to where Nathan and Haley got married, which is being paved over. Then they go to the mall and everyone is miserable until they see some clothes that Brooke designed in the window of Suburban Filth. So they get a bottle of champagne and head back to the apartment and get drunk. Well, Brooke and Chris get drunk, Haley and Nathan have a few touching talks that make me cry.
Rachel tries to convince Lucas to give up on Brooke. It does not work, but it’s fun, because Rachel is fun. He goes to the apartment to talk to Brooke and finds her in bed with Chris, because of course. Bevin and Skills watch The Notebook because it was 2005, and the world was obsessed with that movie…Peyton and Mouth go to see his grandpa who’s in a home with alzheimers (and is Tom Bosley! This leads to a convoluted headcanon where Mouth is actually Richie Cunnigham’s kid…look, I don’t know why the Cunninghams moved to North Carolina and changed their name to McFayden…and why The Fonz is not an active presence in Mouth’s life…but whatever…)It’s a sweet little B plot and convinces Peyton to reconnect with Ellie.
Karen and Deb deface one of Dan’s billboards and this plot is confusing to me right now because I’m also rewatching The West Wing, so I’m wondering why Karen isn’t better at political PR.
Season 3: Episode 8 “The Worst Day Since Yesterday”
It’s game day in Tree Hill, and no one is thinking about basketball, like at all. Except for Dan, but mostly he’s thinking about it from a controlling Nathan standpoint. Nathan is actually pretty focused and that’s always been one of the cool things about him, like, the game means a lot to him and he works hard at it.
I love this show.
Anyway, Lucas is being all pouty about Brooke sleeping with Chris. Brooke is heartbroken because she knows that Lucas will never forgive her for this. Peyton and Haley try to cheer her up and tell her that she should talk to Lucas, but he’s freezing her out. Also she learns that Suburban Filth owns her designs and she’s getting bupkis for them.
Not Brooke’s day.
Peyton tries to convince Lucas to forgive Brooke, but he’s being a butt about it, so he doesn’t. He does paint his bedroom door black, because as much as he insists that Brooke is the one for him, he and Peyton so deserve each other. (Huh, almost like they’re endgame?) Anyway, she does wind up forgiving Haley though, so all the girls are friends again, which is pretty great.
Since the theme of this post is the ladies of Tree Hill being the best, Rachel also kicks Lucas to the curb, telling him that she’s done being used, and also that she doesn’t want to hook up with him anymore. I love Rachel.
Karen goes on the radio and owns Dan. Dan puts Nathan into a locker and Mouth films it. Also, after the team loses the game, Nathan walks home with Haley to feel better, rather than by himself. Oh, also Peyton slaps Chris, because she’s the best. Also, it appears Dan and Chris have joined forces. Or something.
Season 3: Episode 9: “How Resurrection Really Feels”
It’s the birth of Clothes over Bros! Brooke, Haley and Peyton get arrested for stealing the clothes from Suburban Filth and in order to lift Brooke’s still Lucas free spirits. (He bailed them out, but let Brooke sit a while, because he’s still pissed) Haley suggests that she start her own clothing line, complete with a website. Brooke runs with it. And the clothes are adorable. Seriously, I still dream about the sundress that she makes for Bevin.
Chris comes to Nathan and tells him that he lost the money he gave him for Haley’s studio time in a poker game. They go on a road trip to win the money back and they do not. But in the end Chris explains that he kissed Haley and he took money from Dan to seduce her. Nathan punches him a bunch but in the end he sells his guitar so that Nathan can own the masters and demos of Haley’s songs. When Haley comes over to talk to him, he tells her that he loves the song and they have sex!!! Naley back together!
Lucas is still stewing about Brooke and both Haley and Peyton have kind of had it. Brooke finally breaks and gives him the letters that she wrote and tells him that she loves him. He says he loves her too and they get back together!
Peyton has been having visions of herself as the Angel of Death which is a manifestation of her guilt about Ellie, who she’s pretty sure is actually dying. It’s election night and Dan wins. Also we learn that Deb is the one who set him on fire. I think because Lucas and Karen figure it out.
Season 3: Episode 10: “Brave New World”
Everyone is back together! Except Nathan and Lucas both get mysterious phone calls first thing in the morning and have to leave Haley and Brooke in bed and that doesn’t look great. Lucas at least explains that he’s going with Peyton to see Ellie, but Nathan just flees.
It turns out it’s to see Deb in a motel, she tells him that she’s leaving Dan, Nathan asks why she can’t do that and stay in Tree Hill and she explains that because she tried to kill Dan. Nathan’s mad about it, but they sort of resolve things when she goes off. He also goes back to Haley and I love that they’re back together! I love it so much.
Peyton and Ellie bond over music and Peyton suggest that they produce Haley’s record together, she also suggests that Ellie’s dying. Ellie gets annoyed by all of this and they fight and Peyton leaves but then Ellie shows up and movies in with Peyton and they’re going to create Red Bedroom Records…and I didn’t remember Clothes Over Bros and Red Bedroom happening one right after the other like that.
While Peyton hangs out with Ellie, Lucas visits an old friend who’d moved and they talk about how their worlds have changed. The girl, who’s name I can’t remember, recalls a Lucas who used to stand up to bullies for his friends, and wonders whether he’s still that guy or if he’s forgotten it. This becomes very important later. In the end Lucas takes Brooke to the river court for a game because it’s important for him to remember who he is.
Speaking of Brooke, the demand for her dresses has outstripped her supply and she sets up a sweat shop with the cheerleaders and is a major bitch all day. In the end she sends everyone home. But the most important part of this plot line is that Rachel and Mouth start bonding and OMG SO GREAT!
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
This season really is so great, but in particular I love this run of episodes because it’s so much about allowing the girls to become full, three dimensional characters, but not at the expense of Lucas and Nathan, who have great stuff here too. I mentioned in it’s episode write up how much I love the inversion of things with the fantasy boy draft, and that the crux of this whole arc is Brooke, Haley and Peyton finding projects that they’re passionate about, all without losing the people that they love. It’s pretty spectacular and ridiculously singular in this genre of show.