Season 4: Episode 16: “You Call It Madness But I Call It Love”
It’s the torture Peyton episode! (Pshysically, for once) I remember being squicked by this episode back in the day, and now knowing more about the politics of this kind of thing I’m…still pretty squicked. The whole Derek plot line works because they make Peyton stronger by it, and rather than having it be a way for Lucas to save her, it’s about her having the strength to stand up for herself. That doesn’t stop this episode from being remarkably horrifying.
Psycho Derek has Peyton tied up her basement, and keeps talking about how when they’re done dancing to his weird autotuned versions of her pod cast, he’s going to take her upstairs and rape her. Brooke shows up, they fight him, then they go back to the prom and Brooke wins prom queen. I’m skipping the details because they’re pretty upsetting and largely ridiculous.
Lucas winds up spending the night hanging out with Glenda, which is great, because Glenda is a really great side character. Mouth and Rachel decide to run away together, and Oh My God, I love it so much. I wish we got more information on their little trip, but still, just the thought of it makes me really, really happy. Oh also, Dan and Karen go together and this plot is really boring. And Nathan and Haley are adorable, trying to be normal for the night. It does not work.
Lucas also finally remembers that there was someone watching the day that Keith was shot. So Lucas is about to solve a mystery.
Season 4: Episode 17: “It Gets Worse At Night”
It’s the second Prom episode! This time the gang goes on a roadtrip to find Mouth, after he’s been abandoned by Rachel. He’s luckily been abandoned in Honey Grove, Texas, a town who won a sweepstakes to have an episode filmed there. It’s actually pretty great.
Mouth is arrested for sleeping in a park, and befriends everyone else in jail, by telling them his story. He learns that he’s lucky and he’s happy being himself, which is pretty great too.
While the gang is driving down to Honey Grove, their car breaks down and they have to hitch a ride on a passing tour bus. Guess who’s tour bus it is? Why yes, it is Chris Kellar! So Chris is in for all the dressing in thrift clothes and prom crashing shenigans, and it’s the best. The gang has the prom they always wished they could. Peyton and Lucas have sex, Nathan and Haley talk about their future, Brooke even tells Haley the truth about stealing the test and Haley forgives her.
So everyone is friends again, the couples that should be together are together and now we just have to heal from the attempted rape and wait for the whole point shaving thing to come home to roost.
OOH and graduation! So much fun in this season you guys.
Season 4: Episode 18: “The Runaway Found”
Nathan confesses to point shaving. Well, it takes a bit of way to get there. It turns out that Lucas is under invesitgation for it, and is about to take the fall for his brother, but in the end Nathan can’t do that, so he calls a press conference, delivers a very realistic speech that a guy like that would and waits for the fallout.
Lucas meanwhile, goes on a quest to find Abby, the girl who saw Keith’s murder. She’s been traumatized and lost her mind, according to her mother. But actually she knows the truth and tells Lucas that she saw Dan kill Keith. Lucas, appropriately freaks out.
Brooke and Peyton decide to confront Psycho Derek, AKA Ian Banks. They learn that he was in a car accident that killed his girlfriend on prom night, and Peyton looks like her, hence the fixation. It’s really bad ass and helps them to get over what happened, but what I love about this show and this story line in particular is that it doesn’t fix them, that takes time and care, but it gives them a starting point. And that’s pretty great.
I really didn’t mean to skim over the Lucas knows Dan killed Keith stuff, but it’s definitely just, not my favorite thing. Lucas VS Dan is pretty much the least interesting part of One Tree Hill to me. Though that Dan and Karen kiss in this episode is almost exciting.
Season 4: Episode 19: “Ashes Of Dreams You Let Die”
It’s yearbook day and everyone is reminiscing, except for Lucas, who is in mystery solving mode (as previously stated.) He goes to the police to report that Dan killed Keith and everyone thinks he’s crazy. Dan even suggest to Karen that Lucas see a shrink. Karen is considering it, because she is very worried about her kid. This plotline is endless. I really hate Lucas VS Dan, it isn’t even remotely interesting. Anyway, he winds up getting a hold of Deb’s gun and pointing it at Dan and Karen collapses. DRAMA!
Haley is working on her valedictorian speech when the school decides that she’s not going to make the speech because of the whole point shaving business. She does her best to not be terribly disappointed but Nathan makes an passionate speech on her behalf to the principal and she winds up getting the speech anyway. Yay! Go Haley!
Brooke write’s in Chace’s yearbook how she feels about him, and he writes something trite, but then comes back and they get back together. Mouth and Gigi organize a memorial to Jimmy with his yearbook to give to his mom and it’s very nice. Peyton reveals that she got an internship with a record company and is moving to LA, Brooke is psyched that they get to spend the summer together. I am also psyched for this. Even though I know how things turn out.
Nathan also learns that he’s not going to Duke. Whitey decides to go to bat for him. Another outcome I love that I’m just very, very excited for. YAY!
Season 4: Episode 20: “The Birth And Death of The Day”
It’s graduation day and everyone is genuinely freaked out about a lot of things. Karen is in emergency surgery to deliver her baby. Haley has her valedictorian speech and Brooke decides to come clean about the whole stolen test thing, so that Rachel can get her diploma. Bevin and Skills introduce one another to their families. Nathan takes a factory job so that Haley can go to college.
The baby is delivered healthy, and a girl. Everyone is happy about that, but Karen is still unconscious. Lucas is prepared to skip graduation, but the gang talks him in to going anyway, and it’s a really sweet scene. Karen’s gift to him is a bound copy of An Unkindness of Ravens, which is again referred to as a novel.
Deb tells Nathan that she believes Lucas is right about Dan killing Keith, so Nathan confronts him about it. Dan comes clean to Nathan who immediately banishes him from his life. It’s actually heart breaking. Nathan was the last person to believe in his father and it’s just so sad.
Anyway, everyone graduates. Haley goes into labor in the middle of her speech. It’s very dramatic.
Season 4: Episode 21: “All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone”
This is an episode that without fail will always make me cry. Every damn time. The final river court game, Karen’s dream of heaven where she has to choose between raising her daughter and staying with Keith, her speech to Dan about how she’ll never let her daughter know anything other than love from her father. It’s so beautiful.
The kids all go to a party and they say goodbye and they drink and they dance and virginities are lost, and kisses are had and Lucas reads his book to Brooke and he and Peyton promise to always love each other and then they all go to the River Court and play a quick pick up game, and then. AND THEN Lucas and Nathan play one last game against each other, just like they did in the pilot, except now there’s no weird sexist Peyton bet, and everyone’s smiling.
What I love most about this episode is that it would have been a beautiful series finale, but we got five more years of show. (2 good ones)
Overall Analysis of This Arc
I think my favorite part of this arc is that there isn’t really an arc. It’s mostly resolution and beautiful moments and for that it deserves all the praise in the world for that, which I feel I’ve given it. I’ve also given it my tears, and my love and plenty of attention.
Overall Analysis of This Season
I love season 4, and I was glad once I finally got a chance to sit down and get into it, how quickly it breezed. I’ve given this season the most attention in the past, because it’s always been and will probably always be my favorite season. It’s the only one that I own on physical DVD. (As opposed to all of Dawson’s and the first 3 seasons of The OC.) It’s the best. And it will always be the best.