This is a 22 episode season, so I’m splitting the last two entries on it into six episodes each. To keep myself on the track of finishing this season without a seven episode post.
Episode 11: “You Know I love You…Don’t You?”
Oh, the drama. So, Nathan gets an offer to play on a team in Spain, while Haley has to decide if she wants to go out on tour. Torn, she breaks her, “not talking to Quinn” rule, so that she has someone to talk it out with. Quinn tells her that she’s always loved that Haley was a caretaker but that she needs to take care of herself. Which is why in the end, Nathan and Haley agree that she and Jamie will go on tour and Nathan will go to Spain and everything will be fine, because Haley deserves to have her dreams too. AWWW.
Speaking of dreams, Brooke and Julian are dealing with the fallout that she can’t have children. Julian says he’s fine to Brooke but then tells Alex that he really wants kids. Alex then brings Brooke a bunch of fertility brochures and Brooke freaks because, you know, Julian confided in Alex instead of her. So then she confronts Julian, Julian confronts Alex, Alex slits her wrists in a bathtub. You know, the usual thing.
Meanwhile, Millie still continues to be the worst. When Mouth and Alex try to talk to her, she’s just bitchy to them, and when Victoria bails her out of jail. She just goes to McKenna to get more coke. It’s all awful and I hate everything about it.
Dan gives Rachel a bunch of money to leave, because Jimmy’s mom comes to yell at him about exploiting his crime and her son’s death. Dan seems to have grown a conscience and it’s very strange. Rachel is not happy about it.
Clay goes to Arkansas to sign a quarterback, who is meant to be his Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire, but then realizes that he can’t give the kid what he needs and decides to leave Tree Hill. He does this leaving a very pretty, crying Quinn in his living room. Skills gets that job in LA, by submitting a video of a recreation of White Men Can’t Jump with Jamie and Chuck. Jamie and Skills have a very sweet talk about grown ups needing to leave the town where they grew up. (I too have been thinking about this a lot…)
OH RIGHT AND ALEX SLIT HER WRISTS!!!!! DON’T DIE ALEX! THE SHOW NEEDS YOUR SASSY ATTITUDE AND DRAMA ADDICTION!
Episode 12: “Some Roads Lead Nowhere”
Alex’s suicide attempt leads Julian, Brooke and Millie to all reevaluate their situation. Julian fights to get their movie financed, explaining to Brooke that he sees a lot of his mother in Alex and he wants to save her. Brooke sort of gets this but is still pretty annoyed by it. Millie enters rehab and she and Mouth break up. But then she immediately runs away from rehab. SIGH.
Dan decides to end his show and give all of his money to charity because you shouldn’t profit off the cold blooded murder of your brother. Then he gives Rachel divorce papers and goes to see Jamie who says that he forgives him. It’s pretty sweet.
Skills is moving to LA and he and Lauren break up. It’s fairly low drama but still pretty sad. Also, Quinn helps Clay with some Shenanigans that lead to him getting Nathan a deal with The Kings, so that he can at least stay in the US. Then he tells her that he’s falling in love with her and they go swimming in the ocean.
Meanwhile, Nathan, Haley and Jamie get ready to say good bye to Tree Hill, by being whacky all over Tric. Also, it turns out that the magical bar tender is actually an amazing musician, and Miranda signs him.
Episode 13: “Weeks Go By Like Days”
It’s been six weeks and everyone seems pretty happy. Except Brooke, Julian and Millie. They’re pretty miserable, so let’s dive into that first. Brooke is working on her men’s line along side the vaguely Hemsworth-ish Alexander. By this I mean he is good looking, blonde and Australian. He is, however, not even close to Liam, the least of the Hemsworths in terms of charm and perfection. Anyway, she and Julian haven’t spoken in six weeks and when Julian sees her and Alexander together he totally misinterprets it and they get into a fight. Then Julian tries to explain that he can’t be with Brooke if she won’t open up to her and they break up and it’s awful.
Meanwhile, Millie goes to court and it’s the worst. Victoria then offers her another job. She also then goes to McKenna’s party, and then Alex pulls her out of it and tells her that she’s not going to let her go down the road she went down. It’s pretty sweet and Alex really is my favorite late era OTH character.
Quinn and Clay have their first official date, eating whatever junk he has in his fridge and going to see Haley’s big show, the finale of her tour back in Tree Hill. Jamie is bragging about the tour and it’s annoying his friends, so Nathan gives him a little talking to about not being a dick when you get to do cool shit. It’s a very nice dad moment. Everyone’s all happy and junk but then Taylor turns up in town with Quinn’s ex husband David!
JAMES SISTER DRAMA!
Episode 14: “Family Affair”
One Tree Hill really is at it’s best when it’s dealing with drama between family members, and that’s one of the reasons why this is the best episode in a while. Haley is in full form freak out over Taylor and David’s coupledom, and Quinn is trying to pretend that she’s totally OK with it. Taylor is not helping the situation, by being herself. They all (James sisters and their respective men) and Haley isn’t even trying to hide her anger. They wind up having a huge pool hurtling physical fight and everyone agrees that Taylor is the worst, but also that David and Taylor are free to do whatever they want.
Mouth and Lauren clean up the Mouth/Skills/Millie/Lauren apartment (didn’t Fergie and Junk used to live their too? I mean what happened to Fergie and Junk? Did Millie kill them while in a cocaine fueled rage? I need that fic…) which was trashed, I assume when Millie threw a party. They do a cute little CSI bit about it too, and talk about how much it sucks to be alone.
Brooke and Julian sort of negotiate a peace and he’s decided that he’s going to direct the movie, mostly because Brooke encourages him to, which is adorable, and because who they originally had, a douche who kept hitting on and triggering Alex.
Oh, also, Brooke and Millie make up and I really hope she’s through her the worst phase.
Episode 15: “Don’t You Forget About Me”
This episode manages to pull off what “We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me,” could not. By exploring a couple of thematic connection and direct homages to John Hughes, we get to play with these characters in some great ways. Plus we see some kick ass 80’s fashion, and Cheap Trick is there.
The action hinges on an 80’s themed fundraiser that Haley and Quinn are throwing for the high school. Haley gets the 16 Candles plot, with it being her birthday and everyone forgetting it. Until the end, when Nathan shows up with a red corvette and then they get home and Jamie made her a birthday cake and they reenact that kiss.
Nathan and Clay get Planes, Trains And Automobiles, as they try to get to the dance after Clay’s car breaks down. It’s very cute.
Mouth, Fergie and Junk (HEY! They didn’t get murdered) riff on Weird Science, summoning Kylie as an internet date for Mouth to get him out of his breaking up with Millie haze. Then Mouth and Fergie get a Home Alone riff with Jamie. Which is adorable.
Meanwhile the saga of Brooke, Julian, Alex and Alexander continues. Alexander and Brooke go to the dance together, and Alex drags Julian. Brooke and Julian wind up chatting and decide to try to be friends. Also, Haley and Brooke reminisce about high school.
Here’s a thing that’s annoying about this episode though. Julian, Alex, Alexander and Clay are all at this party, but Junk and Fergie, who you know actually attended Tree Hill High, are on Jamie duty? Like, ask Julian to babysit, he loves Jamie.
Overall though the episode is very sweet, and Julian’s monologue about what made Hughe’s movies special really is quite sweet. And Cheap Trick is in his episode. CHEAP TRICK!
Episode 16: “My Attendance Is Bad But My Intentions Are Good”
Hey more James Family Drama! I mean, I guess after 6 seasons of the Scotts, it’s worth it, but also, like, who cares? Anyway, Haley’s mom shows up and we learn that her father died a few years back. (RIP Huey Lewis, who is not actually dead…but on the show, oh, you follow), and now she’s checking in with her girls (yes, Taylor is still around. Yes, she and David also already broke up) and as it turns out that she has terminal cancer and she isn’t seeking treatment. All three girls react differently, but Taylor packs angrily, gets into a fight with Haley and leaves. Quinn and Haley wind up coming around to it and decide to enjoy this time with their mother.
Alex is determined to get Julian and Brooke back together and has decided to set her sights on Alexander. Also Millie goes to an NA meeting after very nearly using again after some girls see her working in the C over B store and recognize her from the “Zero Is Not A Size” campaign and she freaks out.
Most of the run time is dedicated to the James girls, which is a nice change, but also, as I said earlier in the season, I just don’t care much. I never liked Taylor, and while I’ve come around on Quinn, I still think they’re taking emotional short cuts when it comes to her and it offends me that a show that once had a storyline as long, slow, satisfying and emotionally mixed and Peyton and Jake would ever take an emotional short cut.
Also, like Lucas and Peyton wouldn’t run home learning that Haley’s mom was dying! It just strains credibility at this point.
Oh, right and Miranda and The Magical Bartender who’s name I can’t remember are totally in love and it’s sort of adorable. Miranda is probably my second favorite new character after Alex, so I’m into it.
Overall Analysis of This Arc
Look, I’m in this for the long haul. I’m going to finish. But it’s getting hard. Like X-Files season 9 hard. The storylines are meandering and disconnected. The characters are boring. The big set pieces are starting to outweigh the emotions. Brooke and Julian are still great, but beyond that, I’m just not really getting anything from the show right now. But I’m giving it the chance to come back around. I mean, X-Files sort of did right? (But then it got awful again.)