I told you that I’d get it done! And in getting it done, I remembered why I love watching this show and doing these posts, and now, the plan is to finish Season 4 this weekend and get back to the 1 episode a day thing. (Though probably at not on my lunch break, because good weather means walking and the weather has been delightful). Anyway, here’s this week’s post, thanks for dealing with my reshuffling.
Season 4: Episode 6: “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?”
Peyton is not dealing well with having been attacked. She’s not sleeping, she’s really timid and just being generally un-Peytony. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve come to appreciate during this rewatch, it’s that Peyton Sawyer is a badass. Anyway, Lucas is trying to break her out of her funk but when he can’t do it. So he goes to Derek, real awesome Derek, who is a marine, and the best, to ask for help. So, Derek brings Peyton to his base and teaches her to box, and during the boxing lesson we get an awesome montage of all the things that have tried to knock Peyton down. It’s pretty great. In the en he tells her that he’s leaving her alone but actually he watches her overnight, just in case she needs him.
The only thing that isn’t great about this storyline is that it really underlines how patronizing Lucas can be and how much he infantilizes Peyton. It’s pretty gross. But Lucas has never been my favorite character either.
Nathan and Haley are having money problems. Haley is really freaked out about it and so is Nathan but he’s mostly handling it by going down to the river court and shooting hoops, because and I repeat, Nathan is the most realistic character on this show. Anyway, he winds up borrowing the money from Daunte, who is a sketchy ex Raven who’s kind of stalking Nathan but also is RICK FOX! WAHHH!
Brooke is now dating Nick, who it turns out is the new English teacher, and this plot is so tired and sketchy that I really hope no one ever does it again. (Seriously, teen shows need to stop, they’ll never beat Pacey and Tamara and they should QUIT IT). Also, Mouth and Gigi decide to date, and it’s fine. Gigi is basically a stop over between Rachel and Shelly and it’s sort of a bummer, because she’s a fun little weirdo. (And they ruin her when she comes back as an adult.)
Lucas is back on the team and The Scott Brothers + Skills is an unstoppable team! They make states! Everything is awesome. (Except for the lack of money and Nathan borrowing from a lone shark, but you know OTHERWISE everything is great!)
Guys, RICK FOX!
Season 4: Episode 7: “All These Things I’ve Done”
A bit of table setting this episode, but I love it just the same. The two main stories are Brooke and Peyton based, with quick asides for Nathan and Lucas and Haley. (Can you tell that Game of Thrones is back, so I’m more used to character juggling these days?)
Peyton is skipping school because going outside gives her panic attacks. Derek confronts her about this, and while his version of “help” is “be really mean to her for no actual reason,” it winds up working. It actually makes a lot of sense. Peyton really isn’t a girl who’s been told “no,” or “sack up” a lot in her life, for all that she’s dealt with a ton of misery. So, he brings her a punching dummy and she beats it and agrees to be in her life as long as she needs him. Seriously, Derek is the best person ever.
Brooke, meanwhile, has her fashion show which is going really well. She’s having buyers approach her and the model’s are all into Mouth, who’s about to go on his first date with Gigi. Meanwhile, she’s still sleeping with the English Teacher, and ahhhhgggg I hate this plotline so much and if no teen soap ever does it again I’ll be thrilled. (It was only ever any good from a drama perspective on Dawson’s Creek anyway) Rachel gets wise and decides to end it, because it may be twisted but Rachel does have a code and she knows it’s wrong. So she calls Nick out, and he may come on to her? Or she comes on to him? But she then goes to the principal when Brooke won’t end it. Brooke denies the affair and goes to see Nick and finds him with one of the models. This plot is (mercifully) over.
Season 5: Episode 8: “Nothing Left To Say But Goodbye”
Nathan is starting to realize that he made a HUGE mistake with all of this Daunte business. He’s now being asked to throw the state championship, or Daunte will hurt Haley. Nathan is conflicted. So conflicted that when he learns he’ll be the receipient of the MVP award, and goes to Dan for help. Dan tries to help, but in the end tells Nathan that he has to lose the game to protect his family.
Brooke has a realization after breaking up with Nick that she might miss Lucas so she goes to see him and then finds that Peyton’s been sleeping over, because of her whole thing with the panic attacks and the PTSD. She freaks about this less than she thought she would, and Rachel points out that she’s not in love with Lucas anymore, so who cares?
Guys, I’ve decided that Rachel is us, we are Rachel. Also Mouth and Skills.
So Brooke asks Lucas to go with her to the senior awards banquet and he says sure and then Peyton decides (with encouragement from Derek) to ask him too, and then Lucas looks all whistfully at her and says he’s sorry but he’s going with Brooke and wouldn’t it be great if they could all be friends again and go together?
Lucas is such an idiot, but the idea of a Brooke/Lucas/Peyton triad, something that would never have occurred to me back when I first watched the show, stuck in my little bubble of heteronormativity, is very appealing, mostly because Brooke and Peyton are a better couple than either of them ever were with any guy.
Anyway, Peyton winds up going with Derek and then he gets called up and she actually handles him leaving well, because of character growth. (Seriously, I don’t know why I’m so in love with Peyton these days you guys…I hated her the first time around.)
Whitey also gets a lifetime achievement award, and makes a speech and everyone, including me, cries. Oh, and Dan and Karen are kind of dating, but it’s weird and I actually love the nuance of this story, and I’m very into Moira Kelly this watch as well.
The episode ends with Peyton telling Lucas that she’s in love with him, once it’s made absolutely clear that he and Brooke are 100% done. What will his answer be?
Season 5: Episode 9: “Some You Give Away”
“The Tree Hill Ravens are champions at last, and there’s not a dry eye in the house.”
Much like Nathan and Haley’s wedding, I believe that this episode, where the team plays in the state championship game is a nearly perfect episode of this show. It so perfectly hits on what the show does right, without any clumsy or sour notes. It’s framed around a recording of an announcer from the State Championship that Dan sat out. It’s a good device.
As the team prepares for the game, Nathan confesses to Lucas that he’s going to throw it. Lucas lectures him about it and continually gives him shit. This is one case where Lucs’s self righteousness is absolutely the right way to go. Nathan needs to be guilted right now, even though he’s also in an impossible spot. Dan tries one more time to reason with RICK FOX but it doesn’t work out.
Haley is tutoring Rachel and it’s going pretty well, but as the girls wait for the game to start, while Brooke and Peyton bitch at each other, she starts having stomach pains. The rest of the squad rushes her to the hospital, where they band together to best the mean desk clerk, who hates them because they’re cheerleaders. Haley learns that not only is she going to be fine, but she’s going to have a boy. While they’re waiting Peyton and Brooke talk a little, and Peyton explains that she’s done trying to fight for Lucas because it’s clear he doesn’t want her. This makes Brooke think.
Lucas and Skills decide to freeze out Nathan so that they can win without him, but at half time, when Haley tells Nathan they’re having a boy (and Whitey calls out the team for not being their best) it makes him realize how important this game is to him and he’s back in. The Ravens win and Mouth gives a rousing speech about the power of sports to unite us.
I’m in love with this speech and I think it’s actually one of the best pieces of writing from television of that decade, that frequently gets ignored. Anyway, after the win, Brooke goes to Lucas and basically tells him to go to Peyton. He does, they kiss, everyone goes to celebrate. But of course, this is Tree Hill, no happiness lasts long and because Lucas wasn’t taking his heart meds he collapses on his way to Peyton’s after the after party, and Daunte hits Haley with a car, and Nathan beats him to death? Or almost does and then Dan finishes the job? I don’t think it’s ever made clear. Oh, also, Rachel reveals that she was only getting tutored so that she can steal the test for Brooke, who’s actually failing. This plan is so needlessly convoluted.
So, the episode ends with Lucas and Haley in the hospital and everyone else crying. It’s just really, really good though.
Season 5: Episode 10: “Songs To Love And Live By”
Uggghhh, the It’s A Wonderful Life episode. The only episode worse than this one (that I remember) is the film noir episode, which thanks to Agent Carter I will probably now find adorable/sad (RIP Agent Carter…) but ugh, I was not looking forward to this one except that Keith comes back as Lucas’s Angel.
Mainly because the conceit of It’s A Wonderful Life is specific “what if I’d never been born,” so “what if I’d been a bigger dick than I am?” doesn’t really work as a take on that. Also, it’s just an excuse for Luke to learn that Dan is really the one who killed Keith rather than Jimmy, which is important, I’ll grant you but the episode is still pretty stupid. He sees a dead Peyton, a Goth Brooke and a record smashing Nathan, nothing special. In the end, he chooses to be alive.
Oh, there is a really nice moment where Peyton and Brooke ask their comatose friends to take care of the other one. Peyton asking Haley to take care of Brooke, “we can’t leave her with Rachel,” and Brooke asking Lucas to take care of Peyton. It’s really sweet. Oh, and we see the first appearance of show creator Mark Schwan as “Record Store Guy,” at least, I don’t think we’ve seen him before.
I don’t have much to say, because I really do hate this episode, which I hate to say because Keith and Lucas bickering about how Keith is a terrible spirit guide is fun, but the rest of the episode just blows.
Overall Analysis of This Arc
I love the playoff and championship stuff and the Derek stuff. Also the Nathan and Haley stuff. Actually I just love this arc, I think it’s wonderful! I love this whole season, actually, and I’m really excited to plunge forward into more of it. I’m really excited about the Lucas and Peyton as a couple stuff, because I do like them, a lot.