We’re into the back half of season 4. Which is the fun half, even though it’s basically basketball free and that’s usually the kiss of death to One Tree Hill. But this one time, it actually works, and it’s pretty awesome.
Season 4: Episode 11: “Everything In It’s Right Place”
So Peyton and Lucas are a couple but she’s nervous about it. Because Peyton fully understands the way this show works and that the minute anyone is happy, that happiness gets snatched away from them in horrifying fashion. Lucas assures her that they’re not going anywhere and she smooches him. But during one of these conversations, she does let go my favorite One Tree Hill line of all, “I think dreams are like, email for ghosts.” Once upon a time Mark Schwan and JJ Abrams were working on a pilot together. I bet that show would have had all the ghosts.
Anyway, Nathan tells Haley the truth about how he probably killed Daunte. She moves into Karen and Lucas’s because she’s afraid she can’t trust him. Nathan mopes until he gives her speech and then she takes him back.
Brooke and Rachel break into the school in a pair of fabulous catsuits to steal Brooke’s calculus test, but when they get caught wind up having to join Clean Teens, which is the best. Because it leads to things.
Dan is in jail for “killing” Daunte, but he’s considering it for Keith really. But in the end he gets out because it turns out that Daunte died before the beating. Also Deb breaks out of rehab. Did I mention Deb was in rehab? Whatever, it’s the worst. Dan comes home to Karen and a collage calling him murderer. The adult storyline is getting interesting again, which is good.
Also, the show is entering a happy period and this time, no one gets shot to end it. Which is why I like season 4 better than season 3.
Season 4: Episode 12: “Resolve”
So much happy. Seriously, on any other kind of show I would hate this run of episodes, because not a lot happens, but on this show those are my favorite kinds of episode. In this one, Lucas and Peyton make cookies, Nathan, Mouth and Skills win a stripping contest. Haley worries about being to fat for prom and Brooke goes on a date.
There’s not much there and yet there’s everything there. I love it so much.
Oh also, Deb tries to commit suicide, but that’s adult storyline, which is still really slow at this point. Honestly, without Keith, the adult story lines are really not worth much even with Dan trying to make up with Karen, which is vaguely interesting but since he killed her fiance and the father of her child, there isn’t much of a chance for it to actually go anywhere.
But we do get to see Shelly and Mouth meet. (Shelly and Mouth!) And we meet Chace and he and Brooke go on their first date and it’s magical and we MEET CHACE. When I think about latter day OTH and Chace is an absolute bright spot and I love his and Brooke’s relationship and I’m really excited to be starting it.
Season 4: Episode 13: “Pictures of You”
This is my favorite episode. In seasons 2 and 3, I mentioned loving the excuse for the cast to simply speak to the camera episodes, but “Pictures Of You” is better than that. It creates character interactions, interesting scenes and lets us into the way these characters are thinking right at this point in their story, when things are quiet (well, relatively) and good for them.
Haley and Skills talk about their fears for the future. Peyton and Nathan reflect on their shared past and their repeated patterns. Brooke reveals her insecurities to Chace. Bevin schools Rachel. Mouth and Shelly connect over their misunderstood reputations. And Lucas gives Glenda the first draft of An Unkindness Of Ravens. His memoir. The show always calls it a novel and this always bothers me. Lucas did not write a novel, as far as we can understand it. He wrote a memoir. So, moving forward, I will refer to An Unkindness of Ravens as a memoir. I hope everyone is on board.
But really this is my favorite episode because it gives me my favorite episode from the show.
I love this image of Brooke, for all the reasons that I love Brooke. She’s a symbol of everything good about teenage girls. All the innocence and bravery and brazeness. And here she is, standing in defiance of all the things that teenage girls are told about themselves and it’s perfect.
Season 4: Episode 14: “Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers”
The bomb is about to go off, but at least it’s an emotional one this time. It’s time for the fairly small and personal plots that have been building to hit the fan in a big way, and like I said, I guess that needed to happen. It really is exceptional how tight the story telling is in this arc, I kind of love it.
Anyway, Deb is getting out of rehab and asks Nathan and Haley to move in with her. They decide to do it, but before she comes home they throw a party in the big house and that’s where most of the action goes down. Because Rachel switched calculus tests with Brooke, she’s about to get expelled and Haley gets fired from the tutoring center. So Haley slaps her and throws her out of the party.
Mouth and Shelly have sex and she breaks up with him. It’s all really dramatic and lovely and I LOVE them, not quite as much as Mouth and Rachel, but a lot. Lucas and Peyton also decide to have sex for the first time, but it gets interrupted by the most emotional of all bombshells.
THE NATHAN AND BROOKE SEX TAPE!!!!!
Season 4: Episode 15: “Prom Night At Hater High”
Oh Prom, that magical night senior year when your friends all get together and have a really fun time. Or, if you go to Tree Hill High, no one is talking to each other because of a sex tape.
Nathan is doing an apology tour, first he goes to Haley, who isn’t having it and asks him ot make a list of the girls he’s had sex with. So that’s pretty fun. Then he goes to Brooke, who shrugs it off. He’s changed since then, they’re all good. Next is Lucas, who basically says the same thing, but is much more concerned about Haley. Finally there’s Peyton, who’s basically trying to play it cool by how hurt she is by all of this. And by cool I mean, COLD, like she doesn’t care, but it’s clear that she’s very very angry.
Especially since she tells Lucas as much and then winds up beating the snot out of Brooke and crying. Then she tells Lucas that she’s not going to prom and he’s pretty disappointed about it, but tells her that he’ll come get her no matter what.
Meanwhile, Peyton has painted the word “Whore” on Brooke’s prom dress so it shows up in black light. Brooke is thrilled because this means that Peyton cares. Also Rachel leaves town, after being expelled for the test stealing thing. Haley and Nathan make up, and she reveals that she doesn’t need her boot anymore. It’s kind of the best thing ever.
When Peyton decides to go to the prom after all and answers the door expecting Lucas, it’s actually Psycho Derek.
BUM BUM BUMMMM!
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
Seriously, I love this one. I mean, it ends with soapy goodness, the return of Peyton’s stalker and the explosion of the Brooke and Nathan sex tape, but until then, it’s just all really good character stuff, and that’s the stuff I like the best from One Tree Hill, it is in fact, what OTH has over it’s peers. I love The OC’s sense of humor, Gossip Girl has better style and suds, but OTH has the strongest characters and character relationships, and that really shines in this arc. It’s smallness highlights how wonderful it is.