Episode 6: “Deep Ocean, Vast Sea”
Brooke is so very done with Alex. She fires her and lays down the word with Julian that she’d rather not deal with Alex’s shenanigans in their relationship. This is, of course, after an immature outburst that leads to her measuring a semi nude Chase, because she’s decided to extend Clothes Over Bros to Clothes For Bros as well.
The half naked Chase scene just leads to Chase and Mia being adorable. Because they are. I almost don’t want to move forward, because I’m so afraid that they’re going to break up. They’re just an oasis of adorable. They’re not even in most episodes, they’re just the best.
Haley is really starting to believe Renee, who is now working with Dan and Rachel to talk about her story. Nathan is feeling a little put out, because he’s losing his endorsements, and Clay is sort of checked out, and Haley doesn’t believe that he didn’t get another woman pregnant. His point that him abandoning a child he fathered makes him like Dan, and that’s what stings the most about all of this, that Haley believes he’s anything like his father.
Millie starts taking diet pills, because she thinks she’s too fat to be a model or something. Also Mouth does another “sports news should be pure and not report on my buddy’s supposed love child” broadcast. I don’t think Mouth understands how the media works, like at all. Also, Nathan and Quinn fight about her and Clay hanging out and Clay leaves Tric with a mysterious blonde, and I still don’t care. (OK, I’m starting to care a little) (Also, I know that the mysterious blond is Clay’s wife Sarah, who’s dead, and this is her ghost.)
Episode 7: “I And Love And You”
So. Many. Flashbacks.
I think I’ve put my finger on what annoys me about the Quinn and Clay storyline. Actually, I’ve known it forever and it was what turned me off of the show. For all of it’s bonkers plotting and on the nose dialog, One Tree Hill never, before this season, used to use shortcuts on the characters. The characters earned your love. Here, they’re trying to tell us that we love Quinn and Clay without earning that love.
This episode does a lot to alieviate that. Showing Quinn’s disillusionment with her marriage to David, as well as Clay’s happier than actually possible marriage to Sarah, through flashbacks, and Clay’s conversation with Sarah’s ghost. So, I’m backing off on the “Quinn and Clay Ruined the Show” stuff for the moment. They may yet prove me wrong. I’m just saying the flashbacks worked.
Brooke and Julian have a very nice, very honest conversation about their future. It’s sweet and disconnected from just about everything else that’s going on right now with the show. But it’s very nice and I like it a lot.
Meanwhile, in, what’s everyone else doing? Dan has Renee on his show, and hooks her up to a lie detector to prove that Nathan is a cheating scum bag. But then, PLOT TWIST! Dan actually uses the lie detector to prove Nathan didn’t father Renee’s baby, and now that lying whore can go away forever! (This statement is satirical. But I’m pretty sure Renee does go away forever…) Also, it turns out that Dan had a heart transplant! WHAT? MORE DAN CENTRIC PLOT TWISTS! Also, Haley and Nathan talk about how their love will see them through whatever happens. It’s adorable. And unnecessary, as it turns out that nothing happened.
Also, better story telling would have been having Clay be the baby daddy. I’m just saying.
Episode 8: “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight”
It’s this season’s hang out episode! And it’s a doozy! So, the guys (except Clay) go off on a camping trip. Julian doesn’t want to go, having not yet bonded with the other dudes, and pointing out to Brooke that he’s never really been friends with dudes. Brooke tells him that this is all silly and that he should go. So he does. He’s such an awkward dork, and it’s so cute. His movie nerddom does not fit in with Nathan and Skills’s jock vibe, which is complimented by Mouth’s sports nerddom. But he endears himself to the group by saving Jamie’s dignity a few times, and scaring the pants off of Chuck. Also, he and Nathan talk about having shitty fathers.
Speaking of Nathan’s shitty father, we get yet another flashback to Dan’s super sketchy and illegal Mexican heart transplant, that I’m pretty sure is really racist. Anyway, Dan’s feeling guilty and seeing the ghost of the young Mexican boy who’s family Rachel bought his new heart from. Anyway, after they fight kind of, Dan decides that they should go home to Tree Hill.
Quinn makes some pot brownies, and then doesn’t eat them so she gets to see the hilarity that is Haley and Brooke high. (Brooke high, BTW is me high. I get very paranoid, and then angry and forgetful. I hate weed.) She also calls a psychic, who tells her to go to Clay, who’s spending the weekend with his wife’s ghost, who is kind of really into him boning Quinn. They wind up spending the night on the beach, talking about his dead wife.
That is the least sexy thing to ever happen on this show.
Oh, right, and Julian learns about the Nathan and Brooke sex tape. Guys, I miss that era of the show so much…
Episode 9: “Now Lift Your Eyes To The Sun”
Rachel and Dan are back in town, and of course a bunch of stuff hits the fan along with that. Jamie is ready to forgive Dan, and Nathan is starting to waffle. Haley isn’t involved in this because she’s having a surprise show to try out some of her new material at Tric. Miranda isn’t thrilled about it, but also, like, I feel like that’s a fairly normal thing to do? I don’t know, I don’t understand the resistance there. But the show goes well.
Rachel goes to see Mouth who, in the way only he can, tells her that she needs to make things right with Brooke. She attempts to, kind of, by paying Brooke back for the money she stole, but she also, doesn’t really apologize, and Brooke doesn’t take that well. But as usual, Rachel gets all the good lines. When she says hi to Jamie and tells him, “I remember when you were a rumor in third period,” I nearly died laughing.
Millie’s been taking diet pills, and is quickly going down the Jessie Spano manic drain. She’s mean to Mouth and Brooke, and is acting more and more like Alex. It’s not attractive. In the end, she steals some coke from Alex, and that’s going to be a thing now.
Alex, afraid that she’s going to use again, calls Julian to talk her out of it. But when the vial she’s staring at turns out to be empty he storms out, really angry, because this friendship is straining his relationship with Brooke and now it turns out Alex is a liar.
She’s not a liar, but that’s sure to come out eventually.
Quinn and Clay continued to live out their Nicholas Sparks movie, by finally sleeping together, I think? There have been like four or five fake outs with them. But they also volunteer at a youth center together, and Clay befriends a kid playing basketball.
Episode 10: “You Are A Runner and I Am My Father’s Son”
Oh boy, are things ever about to get nuts. Clay has stopped communing with his wife’s ghost and is full on with this whole Quinn thing, to the point where he messes up Nathan’s contract. Because of this, Nathan, kind of rightfully, fires him as his agent. Look, I’m not saying that Nathan using Clay’s relationship with Quinn as part of his justification for it is fair, but Nathan wanted to stay on The Bobcats, and Clay didn’t get that done, so you know, fired.
Speaking of people who are behaving weirdly. Millie’s doing loads of coke and just generally acting like a garbage person. (A garbage person is a person who’s made of garbage, the worst kind of person. A garbage person is not be confused with a sanitation worker, who is usually a hard working individual who keeps our streets clean) She’s demanding Brooke pay her lots of money for the modeling…which, I mean, again not unreasonable, but the way she’s going about it is just not cool, and is clearly not going to jibe with Brooke. She’s getting drunk with Alex, who’s supposed to be sober, and also stealing from her, even when Alex tries to explain why she can’t be around people who do coke. She’s lying to Mouth and taking him for granted. Katherine once warned me that they totally ruined Millie. I see this now.
Rachel has the brilliant idea to film Dan’s show from the hallways where he killed Keith. Dan thinks this is a weird idea. Dan’s instinct here is right on. Dan then just wanders around town dispensing unsolicited advice to different people, namely Mouth and Clay. With Mouth, he says that he was right to stand up for Nathan (ehh) and with Clay, he “baptizes” him in the ocean, (nearly drowns him), telling him to get his shit together and get Nathan a job. (What?)
Skills takes a job with a sports coordinating company in LA, which means he has to move out there. Brooke, in addition to being shit on by Millie for a few scenes, and interacting with a very drunk (and hilarious) Victoria, confesses that she recently learned she can’t have children. Julian, being perfect, hugs her and tells her that he’ll do whatever it takes for them to have a family.
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
In general? I like what’s going on here, but, like most of latter day OTH, it all feels quite disconnected. There’s no real reason for Brooke’s storyline to connect with Nathan’s which barely connects with Quinn and Clay’s, and that’s a real failing for a show that was once so thematically sound on an arc to arc and episode to episode basis. While I get that’s necessary as the cast grows and the storylines escalate, it’s just really disheartening.
Alex remains the best. She’s like Rachel but better. And Rachel’s around, and is probably the most consistently written character in the show’s history, so that’s cool.