Episode 1: “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Part 1”
This is another episode that’s very dear to my heart. It’s the first episode I watched in real time! Lucas has a series of fantasies of what his life will look like in a year, with each of the girls he might marry. Living the fabulous life in New York with Brooke, casual adorableness with Peyton or preppy perfection with Lindsey. He chooses Peyton and they’re off to Vegas to get married.
Nathan and Skills are working with the Ravens and everything about this makes me want to cry, because OMG Q!!!
Victoria returns and she’s threatening to take the company away from Brooke. Brooke is ready to fight, and she also catches a shop lifter! Guys, Sam! I’m so excited about this. As she closes up she gets attacked. And that’s the end of the episode.
Oh, also Carrie is the one who hit Dan with her car and she’s holding him prisoner because Dan might as well be on a different show all together.
Episode 2: “One Million Billionth Of A Millisecond On A Sunday Morning
I was dreading this episode. I mean, it’s a good episode, it’s just, so hard to watch knowing what happens next.
Deb and Skills are still sneaking around and everyone is noticing that they’re both acting weird, Jamie even sees them kissing but they convince him that they weren’t. (Or do they?) They’re well on the train to relationship town now, which is pretty great. I forgot how much I really like them together.
Nathan’s back is bothering him, and his doctor tells him to slow down a little bit, which he does, because as he tells Haley, as much as he loves basketball, he loves her and Jamie more. Aww. Anyway, during a workout with Q, he stops early, and they talk about the comeback.
Lucas and Peyton tell everyone that they’re engaged. Everyone is happy but also not even vaguely surprised. Brooke is dealing with being attacked and robbed, but the only person she tells is Deb. She tells everyone else that she fell down the stairs. Deb takes her to the shooting range, as she requested. Jamie asks Haley if they can make a superhero cape like his for Q, and they do.
Carrie reveals her full plan to Dan, which is to kill him and kidnap Jamie, for which he would be a prime suspect. He points out that his need for a new heart is a flaw in her plan and she kind of freaks out about it. Haley notices that Dan’s car has been outside of Jamie’s school again and gets nervous. Seriously, this all feels like it’s a completely different show from the quiet drama about the high school sweethearts getting back together. It’s great, just, a good reminder that the whole show didn’t go off the rails yet, just this one weird outlier storyline.
But after leaving practice Q stops to get something at a convenience store, which is in the middle of being robbed and is shot. Lucas wakes up to a phone call telling him that Q is dead.
Episode 3: “Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly”
The Quentin funeral episode is one of the more emotional episodes of the show, in a very heartfelt way, though not quite as effective. Haley and Nathan struggle with telling Jamie about it. He seems to only half understand death, and insists on finishing the cape that he started making for him. He also befriends Q’s little brother Dre, and his mother praises the gang for working so hard to keep Quentin from drowning especially Haley.
Brooke is dealing with the aftermath of being attacked by going down to the shooting range and it’s cool to see Sophia Bush with a gun so long before Chicago PD, and her intensity in this storyline is insanely good and a huge switch up for the show. Her refusal to tell anyone what happened is awesome, but nothing quite beats Nathan’s speech to her about how they’re the two of the group who have the most in common.
The Carrie And Dan show continues to not really make a ton of sense, but the pieces are starting to fall together, we learn that Carrie lost a young son and is now looking to replace him. Dan assures her that there’s no way to fill the hole of a lost child.
Deb reveals that she and Skills are together so that she can be there for him. It’s actually very sweet. We also get another quick moment with Sam, who wrote an essay about Q’s death even though she never really knew him. Sam is a much better writer than Lucas.
Episode 4: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Everyone is still dealing with losing Q but, given how these people deal with their breakups, they’re taking the unexpected and violent death of a young man they cared deeply for very moderately. Haley is probably the most shaken and Nathan is doing that thing where he takes an outside issue he can control rather than dealing with the thing he can’t. In this case, he takes on Skills and Deb’s relationship.
He basically throws Deb out of the house because he can’t deal with it. Everyone tells him he’s being ridiculous. Deb eventually breaks up with Skills over it, who then goes to Haley asking her to intervene with Nathan. She does, and Nathan basically agrees that the whole thing is none of his business.
Carrie breaks into the house to get some of Jamie’s stuff, for you know, when she kidnaps him? It’s weird and again, just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the show right now. It kind of bugs me.
Lucas and Mrs. Fields give very nice speeches to The Ravens about remembering Q. The team also plays a man down in order to honor Q. They lose but everyone feels pretty good about it. Peyton spends the day with a man named Mick, who knew Ellie and is quite obviously her biological father. Haley tries to reach out to Sam. It doesn’t go well.
Brooke goes to therapy and then confronts Victoria about the attack. Victoria swears that she didn’t do it, and they have a looonnnnggg talk about how Victoria never wanted children and never loved Brooke. What’s amazing about Victoria as a character is that somehow, in the later years, this show managed to create a parent you actually hate more than Dan. That’s hard.
Episode 5: “You Dug Your Own Grave, Now Lie In It”
A bunch of storylines get resolved here. Brooke has given her company to Victoria and is figuring out her next step. Nathan is interviewing with a B level team, but it turns out that they want him for coaching instead of playing. He turns them down.
Lucas goes to New York to figure out the next step with his book and also to tell Lindsey about him and Peyton. It does not go great. She kind of freaks out, but then she’s really nice about it. This is the last time we see her. Bye Lindsey, it was nice knowing you!
Peyton tries to get to know Mick better but he flakes on her. She’s very sad about it, and pouts into some candles while Elvis Costello play.
Carrie puts her plan into action. She calls Haley pretending to be a hospice nurse and says that Dan is dying. Haley brings Jamie to see him and say goodbye, when she realizes what’s happening. There’s a horror movie style chase and in the end Dan shoots Carrie and kills her.
The thing about the Carrie plot that I don’t like, aside from the fact that it doesn’t feel like it belongs with the rest of the show, is that it’s not as good as Psycho Derek, so the horror movie pay off doesn’t quite hit as well. But, Deb, smashing a bottle of champagne on her face is pretty damn effective, I’ll give the episode that.
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
I didn’t realize how disjointed the show feels at this point. The Dan and Carrie stuff is the biggest bit, but the Lucas and Peyton and then the Brooke story feel completely different than the Nathan and Haley stuff. It’s kind of a bummer, because individually it’s all good stuff, it just feels like none of it goes together.
Quentin’s death is handled quite nicely though. I live in a small town that’s had a couple of very bad years when it came to losing high school and college kids. Everything about how this story was handled felt very real and very on point. I was actually watching these episodes the day after the anniversary of my friend Lacey’s death at 19, the day before what would have been her birthday. Everything about them felt right. So I have to give the show credit for that.