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.
Episode 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.
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.