Season 3: Episode 11: “Return of The Future”
So Keith is back! And it’s great, because Keith is really the best. He shows up at the Raven’s second game, which they lose, because Lucas and Nathan are refusing to engage with each other or, really the rest of the team. Remember when Tim was a character on this show? Anyway, as punishment Whitey sends them to an old beat up gym that they have to get into shape to play in for the rest of the season. Nathan is being a jerk about it, because of course he is. But he’s really being a jerk because when he and Haley had sex they didn’t use protection.
He confronts her about it and they fight a lot about it. But in the end they make up and have an actual conversation about their future and it’s lovely.
Brooke finds out that she’s going to be in a big fancy fashion show called Rogue Vogue and she thinks that Lucas submitted her so she decides to reward him by them finally having sex. Or having sex again. Whatever, it winds up not happening because of the Naley fight and also because she learns it wasn’t Lucas who did the submitting, it was Rachel. They do agree that Lucas is now going to write her as many letters as he wrote him. And it’s great.
Ellie and Peyton go to see Nada Surf to convince them to put a song on their benefit album. They succeed. They also bond more and it really is beautiful. I love this plot so much.
Keith tells Karen that he was planning to go after Dan the night before he left, but Deb beat him to it. After they decide to give their relationship a try, Dan has him arrested for attempted murder.
Season 3: Episode 12: “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”
I hold this episode very close to my heart because it was the very first episode of One Tree Hill that I watched. It was on Soap Net and I was 20 and I fell head over heels for the show, and spent the next few months getting caught up on it.
It’s also an example of my favorite kind of OTH episode, the excuse to stare straight into the camera and talk about your feelings. The gang are going to see the guidance counselor to talk about college and it’s pretty great. Haley wants to go to Stanford, but Nathan wants to go to Duke. They need to work that out. Lucas isn’t sure what he wants, except he thinks he needs to stay close to home, would like to keep playing basketball and wants to study literature. Peyton doesn’t even really want to go to college. Brooke wants to go to FIT, but also doesn’t want to leave high school, the world she knows and is good at.
Meanwhile, the Ravens have a game coming up. They have to win, now, for real. Lucas and Nathan are ready for it, but Nathan gets benched when he cuts a class that Dan is the guest speaker for. It’s unfortunate because there is some big scout at the game, but in the end, Lucas makes sure that Nathan at least gets to talk to the guy.
Karen and Keith go on their first date. It’s ADORABLE! Dan is really jealous and Keith tells him off. It’s all perfect and wonderful.
Also, Peyton and Ellie decide to call their album, “Friend With Benefit,” and Oh god, I just love it so so so much. Also, it turns out Rogue Vogue and The Sparkle Classic are the same weekend, which is why Rachel submitted Brooke’s designs. She also starts spending time with Mouth which causes a rift between Brooke and Mouth which is just really, really sad. Brooke decides to do both and I really love this storyline because I love Brooke and Lucas as a couple and I love empowered Brooke.
Season 3: Episode 13: “The Wind That Blew My Heart Away”
Ellie dies. But it takes a minute to get there, but it’s all very moving. Ellie and Peyton finish working on Friend With Benefit and she’s getting ready to leave but when a hurricane knocks out the power they get one last night together. Peyton tells her how much she hates that they don’t have deeper conversations, talks to her about Jake, and all sorts of things, Ellie tells her that she needs to live life, and then leaves and dies.
Lucas and Brooke stay at her place. Lucas brings another letter and it turns out he used the same phrase he ended it with when he wrote a note to Peyton and Brooke freaks out about it. They kiss in the rain. It’s wonderful.Speaking of kissing in the rain and being wonderful…Nathan and Haley hang out at the big house, eating junk food and talking about good memories. They also talk about college a little bit. Haley says they should go to Duke because it’s Nathan’s dream, he says that they should go to Stanford because it’s hers. They run out and kiss in the rain to the Tyler Hilton version of “Missing You,” and everything about it is perfect.
Mouth spends the night with Rachel and I always wish the show had gone there with them. They compliment each other so well, but as it is, Rachel tries to get Mouth to be meaner to girls, and he says he just wants to meet someone to love and she wants to make out and he thinks she’s just trying to make Brooke jealous, but she does actually like him, she just can’t be vulnerable, and OMG I love it so much, and I wish that these two had gotten together, truly.
Also Karen and Keith finally have sex and it’s perfect.
Season 3: Episode 14: “All Tomorrow’s Parties”
It’s time for Rogue Vogue! And also the Classic! Brooke is determined to do both, but when her show gets moved to the second day, she has to make a decision. She decides to do the fashion show, it means too much to her not to. She makes friends with a fifteen year old model, and they go out on the town together. Brooke realizes that she’s not ready for this grown up world yet and decides to skip the fashion show and head to the classic.
Peyton is having trouble dealing with all of the Ellie fall out, but she’s just bottling it up and winds up getting drunk with Rachel who deposits her in Lucas’s bed. This would be remotely surprising if anyone wasn’t paying attention for a little while. She manages it because Bevin has arranged for everyone to trade rooms so that she and Skills can share a room.
Nathan and Lucas meet up with one of Nathan’s friends from High Fliers and spend the evening with his really awesome family. They pledge to be better fathers than Dan when the time comes. This will not be difficult for either of them, since Dan is, just the absolute worst. Nathan gets back to the hotel and he and Haley have lots of hotel sex and it’s adorable.
Keith and Karen get engaged and the kids end the episode by having a massive dance party. You just know things are about to get bad in Tree Hill, because everyone is way too happy right now. And they really are about to get terrible…
Season 3: Episode 15: “Just Watch The Fireworks”
Someone opened the time capsule and everyone saw how angry everyone else was in season 2. Seriously, I understand the need for this episode from a prelude stand point, but God, it really is just a reminder of how awful season 2 is. Brooke also flashes the whole school, which she of course manages to turn into a marketing campaign for Peyton’s benefit concert. That’s about the only good part.
Haley is worried about performing after seeing how hurt and angry Nathan was, afraid that it will trigger him into it again. But when she does perform, they’re mostly just still in love and kind of perfect and amazing.
But then there’s the big one. Jimmy Edwards, who used to be good friends with the River Court guys rants on the time capsule about how awful Tree Hill High is, and it’s really, really brutal. Mouth and Lucas try to reach out to him, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and it leads to a fight at the benefit and also Rachel being a huge bitch to everyone.
Lucas does make a crack about The Outsiders though and Nathan doesn’t understand and Lucas assures him that he’d be a soc. This is painfully obvious to anyone with eyes. Also, Keith decides to adopt Lucas and I’m really, really not ready for what’s coming next, like at all.
Overall Analysis of This Arc
I love it so much because everyone is so happy, and I hate that it doesn’t last and OH GOD, it’s just so awful what happens next and I’m trying to not get overly invested in it, but I know that I’m going to cry so so hard. UGH!