Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 9: Episodes 11-13

It’s here, the last batch of episodes. I’m sad, but also, not really sad at all. This is going to leave a hole in my life, but I’m definitely glad I finally womaned up and finished the show, but we’ll get there.

onetreehill_s9Episode 11: “Danny Boy”

At long last, the redemption and death of Dan Scott. Honestly, Dan’s arc over the past 9 years could not have ended any other way.

I should note that the B plot is about Brooke realizing she can’t have a relationship with her father, and with Julian deciding to adapt Ravens into a TV show. AH the meta. Also, Clay decides to become a stable force in Logan’s life.

After saving Nathan, Julian and Nathan rush the dying Dan out to the hospital. He is stabilized, but it’s clear he isn’t going to make it. He has various flashbacks to the copious amounts of awful that he perpetrated in the first four seasons of the show, even without Keith’s murder being invoked.

But as the episode progresses, he talks with Jamie, Haley, Deb and Nathan. And they each forgive him in turn. Jamie, who forgave him long ago, tells him that he doesn’t want him to die. Haley promises that Lydia will know that her grandfather heroically saved her father and brother. Nathan admits that at the end of it all, he loves his father, despite the pages and pages of reasons not to.

This is all very emotional, but I managed to hold it together. I started sobbing when Dan, shuffling loose of the mortal coil, has a vision of Keith, who says simply “Hi Danny,” and whisks him off the hallway of Tree Hill High, where they talk about Dan’s attempt at redemption, his constant jealousy and finally, Keith forgives him.

It’s over.

I swear, I’m really OK. (I AM NOT OK)

Episode 12: “Anyone Who Had A Heart”

Second to last episode wraps up a few emotional beats that need wrapping up, which leaves me to wonder, what the hell is left for final episode? I mean besides Nathan.

Anyway, Julian is pitching his TV version of Ravens, which, it seems will be less Ravens and more, “Julian’s self inset fanfiction of Ravens,” but you know what, I’m OK with it (kind of), because Julian’s a great character. He sells the show, and writes the script with the help of Brooke’s diary from high school. He also yells at her parents, who are back together. Same parents also agree to run Bakerman with Brooke. Brooke gets what she always wanted the love of a family, both from her parents and from Julian and their children.

Chase is fed up with the direction his life has taken, but after a few conversations with Haley and a pair of surly twins, he realizes that in the end, Tric is his home, or something, so Haley and Karen decide to sell the bar to him.

Skills gets Mouth’s old job on the morning show with Millie, while Mouth is going back to being a sports reporter. Clay and Quinn get engaged, and bond with Logan, and they’re a little bit adorable. Specifically that Clay proposes with Logan’s Green Lantern Power Ring. (FUTURE HUSBAND TAKE NOTE! I WILL SAY YES TO A POWER RING…so long as a real diamond is forthcoming.)

Episode 13: “One Tree Hill”

“This is your home, Jamie Scott, there’s only one Tree Hill.”

So it’s the finale, and everyone gets a happy ending. And for that. I thank Mark Schwann, because it would have been easy to back out of that. But in the end, this is a fairy tale, and fairy tales have happy endings, even if they’re dark and twisty along the way.

Julian makes the Ravens TV show, and Brooke launches Baker Man, Julian also buys Brooke her childhood home, so they can fill it with love and magic. My heart is swollen for love of Brooke Davis, but I’ll get to that in a little while.

Haley hosts the 10th anniversary of Tric, where she, Chris, and Gavin DeGraw all perform. Chris is offered a big label signing, but opts to sign with Red Bedroom instead. At long last, these two creative soulmates will work as one. Nathan also buys Chris back his old guitar, the one that all the way back in season 2, Chris sold to buy back the master recordings of Haley’s album.

Clay and Quinn get married and officially adopt Logan. Bevin helps them with this process and this somehow leads to Bevin and Skills getting back together, though we only see that in the eventual flash forward to Jamie playing for the Ravens. I don’t really care too much because I love Bevin, and I love Bevin and Skills together, so WHEE!

I only cried once and it was at Mouth’s storyline. Dan left Mouth half a million dollars, and he uses it to start a scholarship fund in Jimmy and Keith’s names for college bound students interested in sports careers. Not athletes, but coaches, physical therapists and broadcasters.

As a producer and critic, this broke my heart in two. There’s not a lot of outward support to the people who’s faces don’t get out there and seeing this show that I love so much gives them credit just made me explode with emotion.

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

The Logan stuff pays off well and “Danny Boy” might be the best episode of the show’s second half. Everything wraps up cleanly, which I appreciate.

Overall Analysis Of This Season

This is a very good season of television and a passable season of One Tree Hill, Huzzah! Overall, I think an abbreviated final season was a very good plan, it didn’t allow Schwann, who is a very good writer and show runner to indulge in his more, well, shall we say, ridiculous tendencies. The Nathan kidnapping is absurd, but it being only 5 episodes long rather than 1o is a huge blessing.

I Don’t Have To Be Anything Other Than Me: What did this all mean in the end?

The only thing that I keep thinking is that in a just world, if young women got back from media what they put into it, which is, in many cases, nothing short of their hearts and souls, there would be more young female characters as vulnerable, good, complicated, smart, and interesting as Haley, Brooke and Peyton. In fact they’d probably be on just about every show. But they aren’t there, and that makes me sad.

This isn’t the full take away from this project. I grew to appreciate characters that I hadn’t loved the first time I watched the show (Peyton, also Quinn a little…), realizing how terribly toxic others were (Lucas, OH GOD, Lucas…) and seeing how tightly and beautifully written this story was for five years. I still maintain that the four year time jump was one of the greatest decisions in any show.

Overall though, this project was about Brooke, and the show, in the end was about her, which is crazy since she was supposed to be a one off character. I love her, I love her story and her constant quest to be better. She’s inspiring and important and I wish that more people gave her and One Tree Hill more credit.

So that’s it. I’m done. I’m going to spend the next few days evaluating my options about what’s going to go into this spot…I have some strong contenders.

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 9: Episodes 6-10

We’re in the home stretch! I think I’m ready to say goodbye, but it’s going to be really weird to not have to watch this show anymore.

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Episode 6: “Catastrophe And Cure”

Haley has Dan arrested and when he says he didn’t have anything to do with Nathan’s disappearance, by recapping his role in the entire show, he gets let go. But now even Jamie hates him and is sure he had something to do with it. In order to both clear his name, and fix his family, he rents out Julian’s studio and makes a list of anyone who might want to hurt him. Julian decides to join him, since, apparently the whole, “leave the baby in the car” incident has given him a death wish, and Brooke is kind of done with the supporting him thing.

I dislike this development, as completely dedicated to Brooke’s happiness is the only acceptable way for Julian to be used.

Brooke is still feuding with Tara and steps things up by asking Chris to play at Karen’s Cafe, initially, Chris doesn’t want to cross Tara, but then he learns that Tara and Chase are sleeping together. He decides to play. This leads to a big confrontation, which ends with Chris declaring Chase his best friend, which is actually terribly sweet, and then them at a strip club, which most certainly is not.

I kind of hope we’re now done with Tara, but since we’re down an Alex and Brooke is now a responsible Mom, I guess we need a wild girl.

Mouth also decides to help Dan find Nathan, Quinn believes Dan, and Clay is still in the loony bin, hanging out with that adorable kid who I am still not completely convinced isn’t Clay’s Tyler Durden-esque projection that is the person he becomes when he dissociates.

Oh right, and it turns out that Nathan was kidnapped by the Russian mob, because of poaching Eastern Bloc basketball players which is just, so stupid, I mean really. But now they’re going to ransom him. Or something. Whatever. I know this plot was just because James Lafferty wanted a lower commitment, but still, it’s not great. Haley worries and yells, and also, she watches Lydia take her first steps, and cries because Nathan is not there.

That moment actually kind of got me, you guys, I’m not going to lie.

Episode 7: “Last Known Surroundings”

LUCAS IS BACK! This is one of those episodes that I actually watched when it was on, because I mean, it’s the return of Lucas. He’s taking Jamie and Lydia so that Haley can freak out over Nathan’s disappearance appropriately. She manages to tell a cop what she was thinking about Nathan’s disappearance but it turns out PLOT TWIST, he’s in on the kidnapping, so that’s fun, I guess. Nathan tries to escape, but now he can’t. Also, it’s probably my favorite detail that the Russian thug is talking like one of Lucas’s old voice overs.

Haley and Lucas have an optimist/pessemist conversation about it and it really is remarkable, how many times they’ve traded off on those roles throughout the series.

Brooke learns that Xavier, Jack’s Creepy Brother, is up for parole and she is called to testify at his hearing. She goes to see him first and he apologizes to her, but refuses to come clean about killing Quentin, she testifies that he shouldn’t be let out.

Meanwhile, Julian and Dan analyze a video of Nathan for clues and Dan sees a symbol that means something to him, and not a good something.

Episode 8: “A Rush Of Blood To The Head”

Ooh boy. Things are getting fun now. Everyone seems in on Dan’s “let’s find Nathan” plan, so that’s good. It comes together because Haley has to go identify a body that turns out not to be Nathan and you know, the police can’t investigate since that dumb cop is hiding all the evidence, or whatever’s happening there.

Oh, also Deb is around. It’s good to see Deb.

Lauren’s pregnancy is finally addressed and Skills thinks that it’s his. It’s not, it’s actually GASP! Quinn’s ex husband David’s, because I mean, sure why not. Why wouldn’t David hook up with Skills’s ex girlfriend. This is Tree Hill and there are like six people that live here! Also why is David in Tree Hill? Like, he and Quinn didn’t live there together. It really doesn’t make sense.

Xavier is stalking Brooke. It’s weird and gross but has a bitchin music cue. Chuck’s dad is beating him and Chase has to go back to the air force, and is worried, so he goes to the house and beats the snot out of Chuck’s dad, which is great, but means he’ll be kicked out of the Air Force, so that’s not great.

Oh, yeah and it turns out that Logan, the adorable child is not a Tyler Durden-esque manifestation of Clay’s broken psyche, but Clay’s son with Sarah, the memory of whom he has surpressed for the past few years. I swear to God, Clay is on a completely different television show than everyone else. That show is both infinitely weirder and nowhere near as good as One Tree Hill. 

Oh right, and it turns out that Dan may have been in prison with Demetri, who is responsible for Nathan’s kidnapping. Or something. I don’t know. I’m going to finish this show soon.

Episode 9: “Every Breath Is A Bomb”

Oh boy, things are definitely nuts. So, Xavier is definitely stalking Brooke, he winds up with a job at Tree Hill Cafe, and Brooke is righteously freaked out. To the point that she even goes to his PO, who is frankly unconcerned about this psycho. He winds up threatening Brooke and even breaking into her house and creepily holding one of the boys.

Remember back when I called him a poor man’s Psycho Derek? I take it all back! Xavier would eat Psycho Derek for breakfast.

In other bonkers news, Haley tarts up to tail one of Demetri’s men and then she and Dan kidnap him and torture him for information on Nathan’s whereabouts. This plot is so goddamned weird.

Clay and Quinn decide that they’re going to try to be a part of Adorable Logan’s life, but Logan’s not interested. Skills and Mouth work out and go to visit Jimmy’s grave. Mouth remembers his friend and starts a sports blog.

Chase is being court marshalled, but in the end Chuck comes and talks about how Chase was just protecting him. He’s still discharged, but not dishonorably, and he’s probably not going to go to prison. HOORAY!

Episode 10: “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will”

OK, so we’ve found Nathan. And Dan and Julian and Chris are going to get him. But first, Dan has to berate them both about their reasons for helping Nathan.

I want to talk about Chris Keller here though. Dan points out that by finding Nathan, Chris will lose any chance with Haley, but also if he doesn’t go, he’ll have let Haley down. Chris accepts that he never really had Haley. This, my friends, is an important character beat on One Tree Hill, and it turns Chris Keller, of all people, into a sort of Sidney Carton, tis a far far better thing he does, and all that. He loves Haley, he’s always loved Haley, but he wants her to be happy and that means she should be with Nathan, he’s always known this. Since back when he dressed up in the same Halloween costume as Nathan and kissed her, all the way back in Season 3. When I didn’t have to make ham fisted literary comparisons to be able to write about the show.

Anyway, while rescuing Nathan, Dan gets shot, and Nathan kills Demetri, and Julian bonks the stupid cop over the head. Nathan then holds a bleeding Dan in his arms, begging him not to die.

Meanwhile, Xavier attacks Brooke and it’s real gross. He’s definitely going to rape and kill her, but then Tara shows up and tazes him. It’s much more exciting than I’m making it sound, but really, it’s also deeply unnecessary. I return to my opinion that he is Diet Psycho Derek, he doesn’t even bring a photo collage, or an auto tuned pod cast, and there’s not a bloody prom dress in site.

But the Tara rescue is pretty great.

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

I can see the light, you guys! The long tunnel that has been post season 5 is ending and I can see the light. There’s only a week left.

Anyway, I actually am really enjoying this season, it’s bonkers but it’s pretty fun. It’s worth noting that this is much more modern CW than anything the show’s done before, except that the Russian mobsters don’t have weird ties to any ninja groups, no one has super speed and Malcolm Merlyn makes Dan Scott look like the world’s best dad. Oh, and the shooting happens with guns instead of arrows.

But otherwise,this arc would be right at home on Arrow.

Guys, I’m going to be done next week. I’m interested in seeing how the show ends, but also, OH MY GOD I AM SO READY FOR THE SHOW TO END.

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 9: Episodes 1-5

OK, we’re in the final season! 3 more weeks! WE CAN DO THIS! (Actually, I’m pretty into this batch of episodes, if I’m being honest.)

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Episode 1: “Know This, We Noticed”

So, it’s time fore the final season. Which I did watch a few episodes of, including this one. We open on a raging fire and a voice over from Nathan. We then see Dan and Chris Keller (!!!!) loading guns and Dan saying to leave the killing to him. Then Clay and Quinn are fighting, Brooke is wrecking the diner and still with the fire.

Then we flash back and we see that the twins are keeping Brooke and Julian up, Quinn and Clay are quite happy, though Clay is sleep walking, so that’s what they’re dealing with. Nathan is in Europe for sports agent reasons, and Haley and Brooke are doing very well running the diner.

Haley is hiring someone (Chris Keller!) to run Red Bedroom, and it’s Chris Keller! I’m so excited to see him, and also, he looks very, very good. He decides to pull his specific Chris thing on Alex, you know, telling her that her song is good, but she’s making it suck. You know, the same thing that he did to Haley. Chase is not thrilled about it because it makes Alex too annoyed to have sex with him, but in the end they fix Alex’s song and Haley agrees to let him run the label.

Brooke has taken to driving the boys around late at night when they can’t sleep, and also, when they are baptized, her father comes. (I love Brooke’s dad, Ted, he’s fun!) Also, Dan asks Haley if he can stay with them because his diner/house burned down. Haley says he can, but then Nathan comes home and nopes that plan right in the butt.

Episode 2: “In The Room Where You Sleep”

So, guys, we need to talk about Chris Keller, and how much I love him.  Right now, he’s pulling the same stuff with Alex that he pulled with Haley, except Alex isn’t married, nor is she 17, so it’s a little bit less sketchy, but it’s like, not cool, but really endearing, and his stupid speak in the third person thing is great, and he befriends Chuck (much to Chase’s annoyance) and he sings a heartfelt song about addiction and wrong choices at the end. He also tells Haley that he’ll be there for anything she needs, which she interprets as him being inappropriate, but I think was him actually trying to be nice?

Whatever, I love him. He’s great and I’m very glad they brought him in for this season, because it gives the show an energy shot in the arm.

This other thing that works? Both Nathan and Brooke reconnecting with their fathers. Brooke gleefully and Nathan reluctantly. Haley has decided to make the “Dan stays with them” thing semi permanent, which works out because Nathan is headed to Europe on a business trip that Clay can’t go on because of his sleepwalking or something. (I remember this. DON’T GO NATHAN!!!!!)

Also, Mouth got fat and Millie is worried. And Clay doesn’t want to talk to a shrink, because of reasons? I don’t know.

Episode 3: “Love The Way You Lie”

Oh boy, so I’m going to knock the Clay plot out right away. Turns out he’s been using cocaine, (possibly heroin?) because he never learned to manage his pain without meds. Considering how this is like, a thing that happens a lot where I live, I’m not in on this plot. When it happened, I said, “NOPE TOO REAL!” But also, it’s a Clay and Quinn plot, so I can probably just ignore it.

Chase continues to be thwarted by Chris Keller, who also continues to be a thorn in Haley’s side, and guys, I just love him. Chase and Chris wind up at a strip club, for reasons of whacky. He also almost sets the café on fire.

And speaking of the café, Dan takes over as cook there and it goes really well, until some people yell at Haley for employing a MURDERER! And she also asks him not to come back, even though things seem to be going well, because you know, it’s pretty disrespectful to Karen.

Fair.

Brooke realizes that she can’t make her father be someone that he isn’t, but she does get him to invest in Baker Man, the baby clothes company she wants to start, so that’s nice. Julian is still having trouble renting out his studio and space and he loses Jude, and the episode ends!!!

WHAT!!!! JULIAN LOST A BABY! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS????

Episode 4: “Don’t You Want To Share The Guilt”

Clay’s sleepwalking, as it turns out, is the reason he’s buying drugs. He doesn’t remember it, he’s been doing it while sleep walking. Dan throws him in the ocean again. This still doesn’t make it any sense. So, I’m going to continue to ignore this plot for the most part, becasuse it sucks.

Julian is feeling really guilty about forgetting Davis in the car (Davis is fine) and Haley has a long wise talk with him and with Brooke about how parenting is all about every day choices. Also, Haley and Brooke decide to take on Tara, the owner of The Tree Hill Cafe.

Speaking of Tara, she’s apparently dating Chris and sleeping with Chase. So that should be fun.

Episode 5: “The Killing Moon”

Nathan never made it home and Haley is worried. She figures out that he did in fact land in Tree Hill, but never got home. She assumes that Dan is to blame and freaks out at him. This is actually a fair assessment. She winds up locking her door and calling the cops on him. SIGH.

Because Haley is trying to find her disappeared husband, Brooke is running the café and gets further into a fight Tara, who gives her a cockroach infested plant as a fake peace offering, and Brooke tells Chase that he’s dead to her. (heh) Also, Chase continues to feel guilty about sleeping with someone else’s girlfriend.

Mouth decides to go on a diet when Skills repeats Millie’s point that he’s fat. And Clay befriends a child while in the loony bin.

Overall Analysis of This Arc

I like this version of the show. I like Chris, I like that Haley and Nathan are in conflict about Dan. I like that Dan is around. I like that Julian and Brooke are functional but not without problems. I like that Karen’s Cafe is back. I still don’t care about Clay and Quinn. (I know it’s been 3 seasons. I just can’t bring myself to car) The Mouth and Millie stuff feels off. They’re trying to draw a paralell between this and Millie’s de-frumping, and it’s just not there. Millie wasn’t actually overweight, she was just shy and didn’t have any confidence…Also Victoria as grandparent are amazing

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 8: Episodes 17-22

OK, we’re at the end of season 8! AT LONG LAST. Only thirteen episodes to go before I move into the next phase of things here. (To drop a hint it may involve a family of witches…)

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Episode 17: “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get”

OK, so Haley is testing everyone’s baby preparedness. It’s hilarious the first few times and then it just gets old. Although Clay and Nathan hearing about the test and thus not paying attention when Haley actually goes into labor was pretty funny.

Meanwhile, everyone is obsessed with toaster strudel. Or something. It was a weird runner. Brooke gets to know Chloe, her and Julian’s baby’s biological mother a little bit and something comes very clearly into focus.

Nathan gets an A on a test and Kellerman asks him to stop representing Ian. He decides to dig his heels in and he and Clay get Ian to sign a contract that includes a morality clause.

Guys, Ian is very obviously the father of Chloe’s baby and the reason why Kellerman doesn’t want him around Nathan is that he’s happy Chloe is giving the baby up, and he doesn’t want them to change their minds, because Nathan and Haley make young parenthood look so awesome.

Also, Chase and Chuck bond some more, and Millie does a story about street signs, almost gets fired but then doesn’t. Or something.

Episode 18: “Quiet Little Voices”

Lydia is being born and everyone is reflecting on the past. My theory about Ian as the father of Chloe’s baby was way off, but, she wound up not giving to Brooke and Julian, because the father really was just some dude.

Serious missed opportunity for some convergence there.

Anyway, I enjoyed watching this episode since large swaths of it were made up of clips from season one, and I really, really miss season 1.

Anyway, Lydia is born, everyone tells Jamie how great Haley is and Brooke and Julian don’t get Chloe’s baby.

And that’s the episode.

Episode 19: “Where Not To Look For Freedom”

Nathan found a bottle of bourbon in Kellerman’s car, which is the same car that crashed into Brooke and Jamie. He and Julian decide to confront Kellerman about it, and he winds up taking responsibility and quitting his job. Of course this turns out to be premature because Detective Nathan eventually puts together that it was Ian who crashed the car, not his father.

Quinn is running Tric and Red Bedroom while Haley is out on maternity leave. She books Owen and The Moon and Alex opens for them and kicks all of the asses. She and Chase flirt some more and I’m totally trying to be open to them getting back together. Who am I kidding I love them together.

Clothes Over Bros offers Brooke a job in New York as Vice President. She decides, after consulting with Victoria and talking it over with Julian that this would be a good move for her. She’s having trouble dealing with losing the baby, and it would be a clean start so she decides to take the job.

Oh and someone is building a bunch of condos on the river court. Millie is going to do a story on it.

Episode 20: “The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul”

So, with the new found knowledge that it was Ian not August who was in the car accident, Nathan agonizes over what to do next. He even considers talking to Dan. He does talk to August and learns that he’s sober, so you know, whoops? Anyway, Nathan, Clay and Julian confront Ian, who is basically a sociopath, and completely remorseless. They wind up shoving him into the river for reasons, and that relationship ends. Also, Professor Kellerman goes away on a boat, and Nathan does not talk to Dan.

In the most contrived plot in the history One Tree Hill, Chase asks Alex to pee in a cup for a drug test so that he can join the Air Force. (He accidentally smoked pot with Kid Cudi, so he can’t pass the test.) The results come back and whoever’s pee it was is pregnant! Turns out it’s Brooke’s! Brooke is pregnant! YAY! She also decides to stay in Tree Hill, because she doesn’t want to raise a kid in New York.

In Quinn needs to do a thing I guess. (I feel bad, she’s a useless character…) she’s getting ready to go to Puerto Rico to shoot some supermodels, so she works out a bunch and gets a silly spray tan.

The episode is framed around Jamie’s first baseball game, at which he recites “Casey At The Bat” in his head and then hits a home run. It’s very nice.

Episode 21: “Flightless Bird, American Mouth”

So, I don’t quite understand how there’s one more episode after this, but, you know whatever. Quinn, Brooke, Alex and Lauren (hey! Lauren!) all go to Puerto Rico for Quinn’s photo shoot. They party a lot, especially Lauren, who has to be put to bed early. This is exactly like almost all of my friends who are elementary school teachers. Meanwhile, Alex continues to cover for Brooke, as they go out for sushi and drink a lot of alcohol. Things that Brooke can’t do because she’s pregnant.

The guys go to camp out by the river court and find an endangered bird that might save it from being turned into condos. They find a nest and also, Chuck drives a bulldozer after throwing a fit when Chase tells him that he’s moving away to join the air force.

Haley and Brooke decide to re open Karen’s Cafe, which is incredibly sweet and nice and I guess gives them a way to actually stay together and being connected story wise, which they just haven’t been lately.

Episode 22: “This is My House, This is My House”

OK, I see the point of another episode. This is yet another perfectly serviceable series finale if they hadn’t gotten those extra 13 episodes. We see everyone’s lives tracked over the course of a year. Brooke and Julian have twins, Haley and Brooke get Karen’s Cafe working again. Chase and Alex drift apart and come back together. Jamie learns how to be there for Madison. Quinn and Clay talk about their future together. (I kind of love that they’re not married, this show is very happily ever after minded and that they just kind of are is pretty special. But they are otherwise useless…)  Mouth and Millie have a morning show.

The twins are born, Nathan goes to see Dan and gives him a picture of Lydia and the ball from Jamie’s first hit.

I think there’s nothing better though than the wrap around narration of Jamie talking about how Tree Hill is a magic place and he was born in a magic time. My heart, it can’t take it.

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

I liked this stretch more than any other in the post Lucas and Peyton era. There was a lot of heart and love injected and the cast was actually interacting beyond their typically assigned units. In general I’m not into how comedic this season was though. It was one thing when the show was incidentally funny, but this is more, like, trying to be funny, and it’s never been as good at that as it’s mirror twin The OC, so it all just lands kind of flat.

And Quinn and Clay really don’t have much to do and that makes it very hard to invest in them.

Overall Analysis of This Season

This season is tough man. It’s unbalanced, it’s not great but in the end it pulls itself together. I am definitely ready to finish up the show though. I’ve decided on 3 more weeks for the remaining 13 episodes. Two blocks of 5, then 3, a sum up of the arc, season, and what this project has meant to me.

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 8: Episodes 6-12

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Decided to do the long post in the middle this time! Just because!

Episode 6: “Not Afraid”

It’s the Halloween episode, which opens with a lengthy dream sequence where Quinn hallucinates everyone as Zombies, except herself, Brooke and Julian. I love that even in other people’s fantasy, those two are just the best.

Everyone else is taking stock of what’s past, namely, Clay is trying to convince Quinn to take a job in South Africa so that she can clear her head, because she’s having nightmares a lot. She eventually does.

Nathan takes Jamie, Chuck and Madison trick or treating, and he realizes that he’s right where he needs to be hanging out with his kid instead of worrying about basketball, he also talks to a quarterback about signing with him and Clay.

Chase is being kind of a jerk to Mia, who’s trying to reconnect with him. Also, the Halloween party at Tric is an open mic, and Erin, who’s been calling Haley at the crisis center, shows up. Also, Mouth tells Millie that he doesn’t want to get back together and she does not take it well. She goes home with someone else, and he’s really hurt about it.

Julian’s mom shows up and offers to pay for his and Brooke’s wedding and also it turns out that they’re creepy close. So that’s good to know.

Episode 7: “Luck Be A Lady”

OK, so Julian is going to attempt to bond with the guys because he needs a best man for the wedding. Alex suggests that he throw a poker game. It does not go well. Mostly because everyone’s mad at eachother and also Julian is bad at talking to people who he has nothing in common with. Oh, also, Skills buys a manican and names him Lucas. Because of hilarious.

So why is everyone mad? Well, Skills and Mouth are still not quite past the Lauren thing. Clay sent Nathan into a contract negotiation before Nathan was really ready for it, and Nathan was really pissed about it. So there’s that. Fergie and Junk are mad because no one can seem to remember which is which.

Oh also Chase is a collolsal dick to Alex, and it’s an exceptionally bad look on him. Alex winds up crying wishing that he’d just forgive her. She and Julian talk about that and feeling disconnected lately, it’s all very sweet.

Meanwhile, Brooke and Julian’s mom go to a bridal expo, and Mom forces Brooke to do all kinds of tacky bride things that are very un Brooke. She calls Haley to come help, but the vast gulf between what Haley likes and what Brooke likes, plus Haley’s pregnancy hormones, makes that no good. But Julian’s mom also gets really drunk and Brooke has to take care of her.

So there’s something going on there.

Episode 8: “Mouthful Of Diamonds”

OK, so Julian is filming everyone for his documentary. He’s asking them all about their next steps. Jamie’s gotten braces and is really embarassed about it. So Haley’s being really goofy to cheer him up. It’s fine.

Nathan signs the football dude to the Atlanta Falcons. It’s really sweet and it’s nice that Nathan has learned to do a thing, I think. I mean, nice for Nathan, and Clay, who is still have trouble since he was shot and is talking to Will, the ghost who gave him a kidney’s grave worrying about wasting his life.

Mouth and Chase are cleaning out Tric, and it’s a nice little moment. Also, one of Mouth’s friends from the TV station is trying to get him his job back, so that’s nice. Chase also apologizes to Mia for being a dick. Good for you Chase.

Brooke and Julian’s mom continue to feud about wedding planning. After losing everything, Brooke wants to keep it simple. Julian’s mom is willing to pay for a lavish wedding though. In the end they talk it out, at Julian’s encouraging. It’s all very sweet, and it’s nice to see another flawed but loving parent on OTH, we haven’t had one of those since Karen flew the coop. So that’s going to be good I think.

Episode 9: “Between Raising Hell And Amazing Grace”

It’s Thanksgiving and of course everyone’s dinners get messed up, so they all head to Nathan and Haley’s and a comedy of errors begins. Sylvia (Julian’s mom) begins drinking heavily, and she invited a fresh out of prison Victoria with her. Add into the mix a squabbling from Alex and Mia, plus Erin feeling bad about her own family drama and you’ve got an adorably light hang out episode.

There is a touch football game in what I guess is supposed to be Nathan and Haley’s back yard, but doesn’t look like their backyard, but is definitely the Leery’s back yard.

Really, not a lot happens, so I don’t have much to recap. Nathan does admit that he didn’t finish college so he can’t be a full agent, so Clay tells him to finish up. Also, Quinn comes home and it turns out that she’s been stalking Crazy Katie, so that’s something, I guess.

Oh! And Chase keeps Tric open by himself and has his own little pity party. Meanwhile, the whole time was just humming, “What’ll It Be?” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “It’s 5:55 on Thanksgiving, not one customer’s walked through the door…”

Episode 10: “Lists, Plans”

OK, so we’re back to the plot. We open with Brooke having a nightmare about her hillbilly wedding. It’s actually a reasonably adorable scene, which once again takes place in a spot that seems way more Dawson’s Creek than One Tree Hill, but I’ve told myself that I can’t watch or indulge in any further Dawson’s recollections until I push myself through this. When she explains to Julian how sad she is that they’ve had to scale back her dream wedding. Then they find the bucket list that Millie made for Brooke and Julian creates low budget versions of all the things and it’s the cutest thing to ever happen.

Mia and Alex have a bartending competition at Tric, while Erin opens for Kid Cudi. It is also ridonkulously adorable. Alex also tells Chase that she wants to get back together, but not to tell Mia, since they’ve just become friends. Oh boy.

Nathan starts college and his professor is unimpressed by him, and has a chip on his shoulder about athletic scholarships. His professor, by the way, has a point about this, but you know, we’re on Nathan’s side. So while everyone else is at the concert, Nathan stays home and studies with Jamie, who is preparing for a spelling bee. It’s completely adorable.

Quinn tracks down Dan and asks him for murder lessons because she wants to kill Crazy Katie. This seems like, not  really in Dan’s wheelhouse, since when he killed Keith it was a split second crime of passion, not a premeditated murder. But he talks her through it with an aim to get her to reconsider. After all that, she decides not do it and throws her gun in the river. But you know, Katie’s back and coming for her. A storm is also coming.

Episode 11: “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”

Partially to spare myself later in the season, I tacked this episode on, and partially, because Springsteen.

So does this bit of melodrama live up to the title of a song that I once describe as close to prayer? Of course not! But it’s still pretty good, as latter day OTH goes. Anyway, a hurricane is passing through town, on the night of Jamie’s spelling bee, which he loses to Madison. He also blows off Nathan and Haley, to ride home with Lauren, Madison and Chuck.

Brooke and Julian are having a fight about staying in Tree Hill or moving back to LA. Brooke storms out and drives into the storm.

Quinn is home alone, and Katie shows up. They have an epic horror movie style battle. Much like Carrie and Jack’s creepy brother, it just does not deliver the way that Crazy Derek did, but, I mean, whatever. It’s fine. Quinn wins and Katie gets carted off. It’s over, probably. I mean, Derek and Carrie came back, so maybe not…

Brooke comes upon Chuck standing idly in the middle of the road, he says there’s been an accident, and it turns out that Lauren’s car has flipped. Chuck clearly has a concussion, Lauren is unconscious and Madison and Jamie are very scared. Brooke gets Madison and Lauren out, and starts cutting Jamie from his place when Julian finds them and then something blows up and the wind up in the water. There’s a split second once they get out where Brooke isn’t waking up and then Julian revives her and everything is fine.

Overall Analysis Of this Arc

Bro, I don’t even know anymore. I mean, it was good to see Dan again, I guess. And Julian’s mom is sort of fun, and Erin’s alright. I just don’t care anymore. I’m trying, really hard, and I refuse to quit, but oof, it’s just that there’s so much, and I don’t have a lot of time. But I’ll finish, I’ll do it, if it kills me!

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Watch: Season 8: Episodes 1-5

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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.

GARBAGE

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.

 

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 7: Episodes 17-22

Next mega sized post! And we’re through Season 7. So close to the end here!

Season 7

Episode 17: “At The Bottom Of Everything”

Haley is not ready to accept that her mother is dying. She’s researching treatment, and even gives her medical records to Nathan’s doctor. Her mother is just not interested in treatment at all, even though she’d also terminal, there’s nothing to be done. So the James clan, minus Taylor, has one last Christmas together, because that’s what Jamie thinks would be best.

Mouth and Lauren continue to bond, this time playing video games together. Also, Millie runs into Owen at an NA meeting and Mouth gets jealous, and so he asks Lauren out and I actually like the idea of them as a couple.

Brooke and Julian come close to getting back together. She gets all dressed up to meet him at a hotel and walks into his room and finds a naked Alex in bed and she’s really, really mad about it. Alex didn’t in fact sleep with Julian, but with Alexander. Brooke misunderstood. Or something.

Clay goes to recruit a tennis player. It turns out she looks a lot like Sarah.

Episode 18: “The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance”

So, Haley’s mom dies, like for real, she collapses and in the hospital, she shares memories with Haley and Quinn and wishes that they’d make up with Taylor. So Quinn goes to see Taylor, who then has a confrontation with her mother about being a disappointment. Turns out that their mom sees more of herself in Taylor than her other children and it’s all very sweet. Haley teaches herself how to cook her mom’s chicken and dumpling soup because what else is she going to do? Quinn makes a slideshow.

Lauren and Mouth decide to go for it and kiss, but then it turns out that Skills comes home whoops!

Brooke punches Alex in the face, because she thinks that Alex and Julian slept together. When she realizes what actually happened, she tearfully goes to Julian and they get back together. Also, it turns out that Alexander is also sleeping with Victoria, so, that’s kind of fun.

Oh, and that tennis player Clay went to sign? She’s crazy, and wants to marry him after hanging out with him twice. She tells her roommate, Iris West, that she’s exactly his type. She dies her hair blonde so that she looks even more like Sarah, and it’s so creepy and weird and great. Her roommate Iris, should totally call her foster brother/love interest, The Flash to trap the crazy lady.

Episode 19: “Every Picture Tells A Story”

Quinn is opening her gallery, and it’s been a while since we had  a party full of drama in Tree Hill, so I’m pretty happy about that. Haley is not doing well dealing with the death of her mom, and also she’s pregnant.

At Quinn’s show, Crazy Katie, who has decided she’s going to replace Sarah, buys a portrait of Clay. It’s bonkers and kind of great.

Victoria gives Alexander a blow job and gets caught, because Lauren and Mouth get caught by Skills, who tells Lauren that he moved back for her. Guys, it’s been so long since we had a best friend centered love triangle. It’s nice to see that back here.

Magical Bartender and Miranda continue to be adorable, but it turns out that she’s being deported. So, that kind of sucks. But they’re adorable, and his name is Grubs, which I now remember.

Oh, also Alex and Josh, the guy in Julian’s movie, made a sex tape and it might be getting leaked.

Episosde 20: “Learning To Fall”

So the sex tape thing hits the fan. Turns out Josh leaked it himself, because he’s gay and he’s trying to stay closeted. That’s really it. Alex agrees to pretend to be his girlfriend because she’s sick of everyone thinking she’s a big slut. So, that’s an arangement that’s going to work out.

Brooke tells Mouth to talk to Skills, as Mouth often encouraged her to make up with Peyton. Lauren says the same to Skills. They do make up and I guess that Mouth and Lauren are a thing. Also Millie and Mouth have a nice moment about all of this.

Haley is just, kind of a train wreck, and it’s pretty great. I mean, it’s not great for Haley, but it’s great for the show.

Grubs keeps asking Miranda to marry him so that he won’t get deported. That’s a thing that’s happening. It’s incredibly adorable and I can’t get enough of them, even if they feel like they belong on another show.

Not belonging on another show? Crazy Katie. Who I adore. Her roommate, Iris West, comes to see Clay and it turns out that Katie is off her meds, and has been collecting picturs of Sarah. She also comes to see Quinn and threatens her. I’m really excited about this story, it feels old school. And also it involves Iris West. (I know that Candace Patton is not actually Iris West, but I’m just so excited to see her!)

Episode 21: “What’s In The Ground Belongs To You”

Haley is really not doing well. She sets her piano on fire, and she’s fantasizing about drowining herself to “The Sounds Of Silence.” Everyone is just trying to protect Jamie, but you know what? After seven seasons of Nathan’s moping, I think it’s her turn to be a teensy bit dramatic. But it is unsettling. Even more unsettling is that she’s leaving long sad messages on her mom’s voice mail.

Not that it doesn’t cause for an adorable B plot with Quinn taking Jamie on a treasure hunt and a lovely scene between Brooke and Nathan where Brooke teaches him about laundry. Seriously, can’t get enough of when those two are friend-y.

Chase is back, and it turns out Mia broke up with him via text. Then she shows up and they have a tough heart to heart conversation. Also, Miranda and Magic Bartender break up, and the whole thing is very heart breaking.

Crazy Katie shows up again, but also it might have been Sarah’s ghost, Clay isn’t sure and it’s starting to make him feel crazy. Iris West does not show up in this episode.

Julian sells his movie to a film festival.

Episode 22: “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You”

Everyone’s off to Sundance (that isn’t Sundance) to see the movie premiere and try to sell it. This episode harkens back to the cabin episode from season 4, but isn’t as good, because season 7 isn’t as good. But everyone is also using the trip to help cheer Haley up. She’s in therapy at least, after trying to drown herself “to feel something.” Also, Haley tells Nathan that she’s pregnant.

Julian is in full freak out about the movie and can’t even watch it. However, Brooke is being really supportive and sweet. Eventually, he sells the movie and then they go for a walk in the snow and he proposes! HOORAY!

Skills and Mouth decide that it’s time to be friends again, and Skills wears a ridiculous coat. Alex hits on Chase and Josh decides that he’s going to come out, but he wants to go see his parents first. It’s very nice. Clay and Quinn have some fun sexy times, and Quinn and Haley talk about their mother. When they’re settled back into the beach house, Crazy Katie shows up and shoots them! IF ONLY HER ROOMMATE IRIS WEST HAD GOTTEN THE FLASH TO STOP HER! (This headcanon is going nowhere). We have a cliff hanger.

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

It’s blurry. I watched it all very quickly last night and this morning. But I liked it. There’s not a lot of depth here. Even Haley’s depression seems too broad and it’s kind of a bummer to me. But overall it’s fine. It’s a perfectly fine show. I’m just not hooked like I used to be.

I was super psyched to see Candice Patton though, like, REALLY psyched.

Overall Analysis of This Season

I’m running in place here you guys. I wanted to enjoy this season, and I didn’t hate it, but the show is at the moment, a pale shadow of itself. Only Crazy Katie and Alex are really worth watching at this point, even though I love Brooke and Julian, I just don’t care enough about these storyline. But I’m pushing through, I’ll get there, I promise.