Quick Schedule Change due to getting in later than I planned yesterday! But this is an important stretch of One Tree Hill anyway.
Season 3: Episode 16: “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept”
It’s the episode. The one that changes everything. The one that, in the big book of TV history, it will be the episode of One Tree Hill that people talk about.
The school shooting episode. Where Jimmy Edwards brings a gun, holds Mouth, Haley, Skills, Nathan, Rachel and two other kids we’ve never seen before hostage in the tutoring center after shooting Peyton in the leg. In the end he kills himself, and Dan finds the gun and then kills Keith.
I didn’t watch the show when it aired, but I remember hearing about it. I was a teenage girl and there were things that were just talked about. And the shooting episode of One Tree Hill was one of those things. I still cry every time. I still think this is an important, if somewhat didactic episode of television.
Season 3: Episode 17: “Who Will Survive, And What Will Be Left Of Them”
This is the episode that really breaks my heart. The funeral episode. While everyone parses out what they feel about Keith’s death at what they all think is Jimmy’s hand, Lucas goes through the stages of grief, quite literally, and quite explicitly. Like punching a locker for anger kind of thing.
Anyway, it’s the power of friendship and Brooke love that brings him back, and not the illegal party that Rachel and Brooke throw to heal the school in the same hallway where the shooting was.
Look it’s a really good and emotional episode and when Lucas and the river court guys decide to go to Jimmy’s funeral anyway, I just start crying like a baby. And it doesn’t let up because Karen’s anger and grief are some of the best acting that I’ve seen out of Moira Kelly.
Overall these episodes are hard to watch again, which is why I included them in a weekend binge rather than at lunch, because the sobbing would have been awful.
Oh, also Dan is being haunted by the ghost of Keith as a child, because, I mean, these episodes are intense and emotional, but it didn’t stop being One Tree Hill, which means, at it’s core, it’s a completely ridiculous soap opera.
Mouth and Rachel finally kiss, but right after she confesses that she’s the one who leaked the time capsule and he walks away, because seriously, that was a shitty thing to do and also it caused one of his best friends to (as far as he knows) murder his best friend’s father.
Also, Peyton hooks up with Pete Wentz because this is One Tree Hill and that’s the kind of thing that happens there.
Season 3: Episode 18: “When It Isn’t Like It Should Be”
It’s time for everyone to start healing, so Rachel decides to assuage her guilt by inviting everyone up to her family’s cabin. The weekend of relaxing and fun is decidedly good for everyone, and there are shenanigans galore, mostly based around two very specific events.
Nathan has decide to repropose to Haley so that they can have a real wedding in front of all of their friends and family. So he wants to get her ring, but every time he gets a hold of it, Haley freaks out because she lost it. So things go around and around, until he does finally managed to propose. It’s a really sweet little story and this episode is such a nice exhale after the last few.
The other shenanigan is Peyton and Pete, who comes on this weekend with a bunch of high school kids, even though this was the spring of 2006 and Pete Wentz had a couple of top ten singles, one of which my entire high school was obsessed with because the music video featured Katrina Bowden, later of 30 Rock, but that year of my Women in Literature class. Anyway, they do a bunch of making out and his acting is terrible, but Hilarie Burton is really charming here, and so believably awkward even though she’s definitely at least 30.
There’s some small stuff between Brooke and Lucas which is nice. Rachel and Mouth make up, and Bevin and Skills provide the comic relief. Also, Karen confronts Dan for being a terrible human being, but we all knew that was inevitable.
Season 3: Episode 19: “I Slept With Someone In Fallout Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me”
Everything is starting to settle in to new Status Quos. Naley is back in the apartment and Brooke moves in with Peyton. Lucas and Karen are both really depressed although Lucas is starting to come out of it. He still can’t bring himself to play basketball and in the end he even tells Whitey that he has HCM and that he can’t play at all anymore.
Peyton is dealing with what it’s like to date a rock star and to be honest it’s not as great as she thought. They never see each other and he’s not really around and he only calls late at night and her dad is kind of sick of it. So is Peyton to be honest. They have a really nice talk about what she should be looking for in a guy and Larry tells her to follow her heart, which of course leads her to going to visit Jake…and I cry.
Brooke foudn an old picture of Rachel, when she was chubby and awkward and had a different face and printed posters of it to put all over school. She explains the situation to Mouth who basically tells her that he just likes her more now because they’re amazing and I hate the show for never going there, but I’ve made that clear.
Also Cooper is back in town and shacking up with Rachel, because she told him that she was a 26 year old model and not his nephew’s classmate. He also gives Lucas some good advice about honesty or dealing with the darkness, or something.
Nathan and Haley are getting ready to renew their vows and go to a pre marriage counseling class. Also Haley decides they should not have sex again until their second wedding night, and it’s all kinds of adorable.
Season 3: Episode 20: “Everyday Is A Sunday Evening”
Lucas and Karen are on a road trip. They’re healing and everyone gets that.
Peyton is in Savannah, spending a weekend with Jake and Jenny, and it’s really, really, sweet. They talk a lot about what their lives look like, why they can’t be together, why they should be together, and then they have sex and Peyton proposes. And I love them and it’s perfect and wonderful.
Brooke and Mouth figure out that Rachel’s older boyfriend is Cooper and scheme to clue him in to Rachel’s lies. Basically it happens by accident, after the Ravens game.
And about the game. This episode has one of my all time favorite Nathan moments, when he sinks a free through while smirking at the crowd to show up a jerk he met at High Fliers. It’s just such a fun moment. It’s also so great to see Nathan and Haley happy, which is pretty much what the next few seasons are showing. Or the next season. Look, I just love when they’re a team.
Deb and Nathan also give Dan a restraining order. This just leads to a lot of scenes of Dan standing around outside of buildings, but he’s not talking to Keith’s ghost so that’s at least something.
Season 3: Episode 21: “Over The Hills And Far Away”
One of the best things about One Tree Hill is that it’s got so much tied into feelings. It’s about love and friendship and family, and this episode gets to the heart of that in a big way, and I love it for that.
Brooke is throwing Haley and Nathan a rehearsal dinner, complete with a series of skits acting out their interactions in season 1. It’s completely beautiful and funny and delightful and it’s so telling that Brooke, who spent the first two seasons learning how to open up her heart is so invested in their love. It’s beautiful.
Peyton and Jake talk about getting married and why that would work for them. But as they fall asleep, Peyton starts talking about loving Lucas. So she decides to go to Tree Hill and finish high school, and decide what she wants to do regards to her heart. After acting in a skit with Lucas she realizes that she still loves him. She tells Brooke as much and that’s going to be dramatic.
Lucas is back and happy to be home. He’s decided that since basketball isn’t in his future he’s going to study literature, and they learn that Keith had been saving a college fund for him and SHUT UP YOU’RE CRYING.
Haley decides to invite Dan to the wedding because Nathan wishes things were better. Rachel is dealing with Cooper sleeping with her one last time and then ghosting on her. And this plot sucks because she really should have gotten together with Mouth instead of Cooper and the show is terrible about this sort of thing.
Season 3: Episode 22: “The Show Must Go On”
It’s the Naley wedding! I love this episode because it’s everything that One Tree Hill does well. It’s beautiful emotional moments. It’s great music of the acoustic pop variety. It’s a ridiculous cliff hanger. It’s large semi literary speeches. And it’s another hit at the greatest love triangle of all of time. And it’s some weird supernatural mumbo jumbo.
Brooke is dealing with the fall out from Peyton telling her that she loves Lucas. She asks Lucas to stay away from Peyton which of course he can’t do. So she gets really mad at him but then they have a very sweet talk and I’m pretty sure that this is when they break up? But it’s not made clear. I just love it so much. Brooke does, however, unequivocally break up with Peyton. She ends their friendship and Peyton is devastated. And honestly? That’s what I love about this show and about this triangle. It’s so much more about Brooke and Peyton’s friendship than about either girl’s relationship with Lucas and it’s such a rare thing in narrative. It’s about how this boy causes them to hurt each other, not how they hurt him or he hurts them. He’s secondary.
Rachel gets drunk at the reception and makes a scene about Cooper and then steals the limo. This becomes important later. Nathan has been having visions of Haley drowning and is really worried about it. While Cooper and Rachel rush back to the ceremony and Nathan and Haley drive off contented to start their honeymoon, the almost crash into Rachel and Cooper who wind up driving off a bridge and the season ends with Haley screaming after Nathan when he dives in to save them.
Also, Deb tells Dan she tried to kill him, so he starts seeing Keith’s ghost again, because of the guilt. Also, Karen is pregnant, and Brooke, Haley or Rachel might also be. (Hint, it’s the married girl…)
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
I cried like seven times watching these episodes. That doesn’t mean a lot, because making me cry is fairly easy, but for the most part, I’ve managed to keep myself at a non emotional critical distance during this rewatch, but not here. Also, I did not realize I was attached to Rachel and Mouth as an OTP. I mean, I know that next season Mouth gets a few girlfriends, but I really do love the romance of that relationship.
Overall Analysis of This Season
Season 3 is held up as the best season of the show by a lot of fans and it really is. The storylines are tight, (Dating Pete Wentz not withstanding…), the characters are at their best, the music is fantastic and the School Shooting arc is so brilliantly handled. (Only show that did it better was Degrassi…) Seeing Keith and Karen get their happiness snatched from them is heart breaking, but seeing Nathan and Haley figure it all out is wonderful. The Brooke and Lucas relationship remains my favorite in just about any show and they are so wonderful here.
Peyton and Ellie’s story is an important one that I think should be talked about more. Their reconection, her death and Peyton’s grieving are beautiful and such a unique take on an adoption story that it makes everything worth it.
It’s a good season, objectively, I agree it’s the best. But it’s not my favorite. My favorite is coming up. Get ready for season 4 you guys because it’s the best!