Episode 1: “Asleep At Heaven’s Gate”
GUYS! The opening song is back. This is almost as exciting as the fact that Quinn and Clay are currently bleeding out on his bedroom floor, because Crazy Katie shot them, and living in a sideways universe where Quinn runs around topless on the beach. So that’s what’s going on with my least favorite characters.
Let’s talk about my favorites!
Alex has decided she wants Chase. I am all for this. Because I love Alex and I love Chase. I also love Mia who also wants to get back together with Chase. I support this plotline because Love Triangles is where OTH is most comfortable. (And family drama) Also because everyone should want to be with Chase, because he is adorable.
Speaking of adorable, Brooke and Julian are having adorable Grease 2 themed sex. (Julian’s obsession with that movie is the kind of bizarre detail that I can’t get enough of!) That is until Brooke is arrested because Clothes Over Bros has been misreporting their profits, or something. That the Tree Hill cops would arrest her for that and not like, federal officers, really breaks this plotline for me.
Haley’s running around telling everyone she’s pregnant, and Jamie asks where babies come from. Nathan and Haley do a terrible job of explaining it and it leads to him and Chuck googling pictures of vibrators. Or something. Also, Nathan is about to go back to training camp and is worried about Haley’s depression. She’s also keeping a journal, which is SOOOO therapy that I can’t even deal with it.
Episode 2: “I Can’t See You, But I Know You’re There”
Wow, this episode is just a whole mess of hot garbage. I get the feeling that I’ll be saying that a lot. Even Grey’s Anatomy never tried to pull off multiple episodes of dream world watching yourself in the hospital. (Or maybe the have, I haven’t watched that show in a while…) Anyway, Quinn and Clay are hanging out in their naked beach dream world, but now they know that they’ve been shot and Clay is dying and Quinn is unconscious and OMG, I just, I can’t, it’s horrible garbage and I can barely stand to watch anymore. BUT WATCH I SHALL!
Alex and Mia are in full compete for Chase mode and I wish that this was the whole episode, but instead it’s only like five minutes. But it’s a delight.
Julian watch Jamie while everyone else is at the hospital and they go to the batting cages and the arcade and they talk some more about what a nerd Julian was, and Jamie, the spawn of the rock star and NBA player who were also the best couple ever in high school has no frame of reference for this.
Haley, meanwhile, writes another journal entry/letter to Lucas and this plot device needs to DIE because it’s just a reminder that all of this shit has gone down for Haley and Lucas hasn’t come home for any of it, and it’s just really bad. Like, storytelling wise. Nathan comes home and he, Brooke and Haley sit around and talk for like a minute. Brooke is dealing with the fact that Victoria and Millie signed her name on documents lying to investors and now she might go to prison.
Seriously, Brooke is on another completely different and largely way better show. Oh, also Sideways Quinn and Clay cry about the fact that Quinn is going to live.
Episode 3: “The Space In Between”
Well, Clay spends this episode alternating between talking with a new ghost, a dude named Will, who I like a lot and wish wasn’t a ghost, and crying about how he just found love again and now he’s going to die. Oh, also, Quinn wakes up and Nathan contemplates giving Clay his kidney. But in the end, Clay gets Will the ghost’s kidney.
Ghosts really do make this show a good deal better. Anyway, because of the new Ghost, who I wish we knew better because he seems like a cool dude, Nathan doesn’t have to give Clay his kidney, not that he could have anyway, because he’s not a match.
Brooke and Julian take Jamie for the day and they play baseball and also Jamie comes up with a bunch of adorable scenes for when Clay wakes up. One of them includes confetti.
Oh, and Victoria is going to prison, and Brooke’s in the clear, but she’s still way sad that she can’t have a baby.
This episode included exactly zero scenes about the Alex/Chase/Mia triangle, and it’s really the worse for it.
It did however feature a ghost, so I guess that’s a point. Also, Millie and Mouth got back together, or at least had sex again, and then Mouth frames the whole episode with a podcast about sports movies.
Episode 4: “We All Fall Down”
Quinn is ready to come home, and she moves back in to Nathan and Haley’s. Haley is in full caretaker mode with Quinn and she’s also working at a crisis hotline and it’s all very important. She’s annoyed at the hotline though, because no one who’s called has been depressed enough for her. Also, she’s still writing letters to Lucas, saying she’s having trouble dealing with the fact that they aren’t facing the future together.
Brooke realizes that she can’t declare bankruptcy after an angry investor yells at her about losing all her money. She decides that she’s going to leverage all of her assets and pay back her investors. Victoria, meanwhile, is thriving, running the business from prison.
Something’s going on with Nathan, who has now decided not to play basketball. He thinks it’s too big a risk with his back and he’s probably right.
Oh, also, we learn that Jamie’s really good at baseball. I like this as a plot point because physically Jamie’s much more likely to be a baseball player than a basketball player, but it keeps him as a possible star athlete someday.
Also, Julian is making a documentary and he has an awkward conversation with Haley. I’ll get into that later. Also, Chase and Alex play golf and it’s pretty damn adorable.
Episode 5: “Nobody Taught Us To Quit”
Brooke and Nathan both have to quit their dream jobs and they’re both really sad and nervous about it. Also, we learn that Julian’s documentary is about “what comes next?” You know, because when you’re 25 and you’ve already gotten to be the best at everything you’ve ever done, it’s hard to move on or whatever.
The only person who I feel like gets this sort of quarter life crisis right is Mouth. Who, in his unemployment is just hanging around his apartment in his pajamas and “needs to consider it” when Chase offers him a job at the bar.
Anyway, at least Nathan’s crisis is coming from an external source. Jamie is worried that if he’s not playing, Nathan is going to turn into the fuzzy alcoholic sleep on the couch guy again. In order to prevent this, Nathan and Clay become partners. Nathan is going to be a sports agent! This is just further proof that Nathan is the dream vessel of many dudes I grew up with, who wanted to be pro athletes and sports agents. Nathan does both! I should note that a couple of said dudes did become pro athletes and sports agents. But most of them wound up working in insurance or banking or becoming teachers and moving into shared apartments in the frat house on the Hudson that is otherwise known as Hoboken.
Oh, also, Quinn and clay move back into the beach house…but I barely care.
Overall Analysis Of This Arc
BOOOOO. Look, I get it, this era of the show was during a weird time when The CW knew that it was no longer The WB, the network of Dawson’s Creek, Felicity and Gilmore Girls, but before it found it’s true identity of The Network Where All Greg Berlanti’s Super Hero Dreams Come True, (Seriously, they only have 10 hours of programming, and 4 of said hours are going to be Berlanti super hero shows this year. AND I WILL WATCH IT ALL!) and One Tree Hill as it was, a quiet family and friends drama steeped in pop music and basketball didn’t fit on it’s new identity of OOOH SHINY (Gossip Girl really was the perfect show for them at this point. It was such a mess from day one that it reflected the network well.) But the show just seems lost at this point and it’s sort of depressing.
But, if there’s one thing that I really like about this arc is how they illustrate that Julian just isn’t really one of the gang and probably never will be. It’s such a realistic touch. Like, he’s friendly with everyone, but he’s not a part of this group and doesn’t have the blood tie like Quinn does. He’s with Brooke, who loves these people, so he’ll be around them, but he’s not ever going to go full Raven, and that’s fine.
Also, I love the cover versions of “I Don’t Wanna Be” that’s before each episode, if only because this feels like a cover version of the show.