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 12-16

Quick schedule change this week because I’m going to see Hamilton tonight and I don’t think I’ll want to write about anything else for tomorrow!

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Episode 12: “The Drinks We Drank Last Night”

It’s the court mandated Hangover episode. It’s the day after Brooke’s bachelorette party and the group must piece together what’s gone on the night before. They know it involves Brooke losing her engagement ring, Silvia crashing the party, Haley leaving early (hence no one remembering, as pregnant Haley wouldn’t have gotten blackout drunk), Dave Navarro and a skateboarding dog.

They track down the ring, and as it turns out at one point in the reveries, Brooke called Julian, kissed him (a waitress pointed out that she made out with someone, turns out, it was her fiancé) and he took the ring for safe keeping. The dog belongs to Nathan’s cranky professor and Dave Navarro is playing somewhere and they had a water filled condom fight with him. Oh, also Millie got a tattoo and drank a bunch of alcohol out of an old boot.

Peyton calls Brooke and tells her that she’s not going to make it to the wedding because Sawyer is sick and so Brooke asks Haley to be her maid of honor. (I have never been OK with this development, as it was reported to me by Katherine when it happened. I understand why, but it’s still a major, UGH.)

Episode 13: “The Other Half of Me”

It’s Brooke and Julian’s wedding day and thus we get all kinds of good stuff. The episode opens to a scene from Brooke’s childhood, where sitting outside her big house with the red door, hiding from an argument her parents are having and a bride driving by tosses her a veil. This comes back later, where Victoria comes by Brooke’s house while she and Haley get dressed and gives Brooke the veil as a gift.

Julian, meanwhile, relates a story about a childhood crush and a belief in love brought about from the exact situation of Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That,” (The barbeque stain on a white tee shirt is in fact left out…but otherwise). Jamie then uses this story in his best man speech and it’s adorable. Haley, meanwhile, recounts to events of “Every Night Is Another Story,” which reminded me of a time when this show was the best instead of mediocre.

Meanwhile, Skills has taken it upon himself to make sure that none of the Tree Hill wedding disasters come upon Brooke and Julian. Thus, he makes sure that Julian is who he says he is by running a background check (Keith and Jules), that all people entering the church are invited (Lucas and Lindsey) and that no one interrupts the ceremony with objections, (also Lucas and Lindsey). Brooke isn’t pregnant so her going into early almost deadly labor is not a factor. He arranges alternate transportation so that no one can steel and then drive the limo off of a bridge (Nathan and Haley).

Also there’s some drama with the Alex/Chase/Mia triangle and I can’t believe I don’t care about this. Clay and Quinn are in the episode, as is Nathan, but they basically do nothing.

Everything is lovely, I cried a few times, and it’s a perfectly serviceable. It’s just not blow you out of the water great, as this show once was.

Episode 14: “Holding Out For A Hero”

So Brooke is bored and has been watching Kick Ass and thus decides that she, Haley and Quinn should become superheroes. Look, we weren’t fully into Berlanti-Land but I’m pretty sure Arrow had hit by now, so I guess it makes sense. Either that or the show predicted the network’s future, either way, this plot is bananas, but it does get the girls dressed in super cute costumes and Brooke’s superhero identity of B-Dazzler is kind of completely genius. Anyway, they wind up defending a girl who’s getting bullied, so that’s a thing.

Julian and Mouth make a commercial for a community college and it goes really well, and it’s all terribly sweet. Nathan is still having trouble with his dickish professor, and Clay comes and saves him with some speech about integrity and how theory alone doesn’t cut it in the real world or whatever.

Chase has volunteered to be a big brother and gets assigned to Chuck, who is such an asshole kid, but whatever. Turns out Chuck’s home life is kind of a dumpster fire, and Chase is going to be there for him. It’s very nice.

Episode 15: “Valentine’s Day Is Over”

It’s Valentine’s Day and everyone’s getting sexy, except Nathan and Haley. Brooke and Julian spend the whole day role playing sexy scenes. It’s adorable and funny and really just an excuse to get Sophia into some killer lingerie. It’s very cute and the whole thing ends with Julian saying that he thinks that they should look into adoption. Considering they got married like 5 seconds ago, I mean, I guess they should jump right to having kids.

Chase continues to big brother Chuck, who, as it turns out is a musical theatre genius. He wrote a perfectly serviceable show tune song about lost love and longing. Also, he helps Chase transform Tric into a romantic date spot exclusively for Clay and Quinn. After Clay pretends that he’s just not into Valentine’s Day.

Nathan and Haley agree not to do anything, but it’s also a fake out. This is cute, but not exactly revelatory. Jamie takes Madison to a carnival…which I bet is a move he got from Julian. Mouth and Millie make an audition tape for him to try out for a field reporter position.

Episode 16: “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”

Haley is going a little stir crazy, and she’s bugging Quinn a lot. And Quinn and Brooke are trying to organize a surprise baby shower for Haley, so this is a problem, I guess? Anyway, at the shower, everyone sends love at Haley and Haley feels good, and then everyone starts asking Quinn when she and Clay are going to get engaged. I feel sort of bad for Millie in this scenario, since Quinn does not want to talk about it, and Millie drops a big giant, “HEY! I MIGHT GET ENGAGED SOON TOO! I AM ALSO IN A LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP HERE!” convo bomb and everyone sort of ignores her.

Clay and Nathan have been scoping out a baseball player to sign and he’s the son of Nathan’s dick wad teacher, and has a season 1 Nathan size chip on his shoulder. He does come to Jamie’s baseball practice and teach the kids some stuff though, so that’s pretty fun and cute.

Brooke and Julian meet with a pregnant girl who might give them their baby. They try to come off as perfectly normal and stable people, and while they are stable, they are not normal and the girl, Chloe picks up on that but decides she likes them anyway. Yes, Brooke and Julian are the best people ever.

In the end Quinn and Clay go to a garden that they both dreamed about when they were in their weird sideways coma world. So, you know, that’s fun.

Overall Analysis of This Arc

I will get through this series. I will get through this series. I only have a few weeks left. I will finish. I’m ready.

I am actually excited to see the Brooke and Julian start a family stuff. They are the best. I’m deeply over all things Naley, which makes me sad, because they used to be the best.

 

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.

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 7: Episodes 11-16

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.

Season 7

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.)

Anything Other Than Me: One Tree Hill Rewatch: Season 7: Episodes 6-10

Season 7

Episode 6: “Deep Ocean, Vast Sea”

Brooke is so very done with Alex. She fires her and lays down the word with Julian that she’d rather not deal with Alex’s shenanigans in their relationship. This is, of course, after an immature outburst that leads to her measuring a semi nude Chase, because she’s decided to extend Clothes Over Bros to Clothes For Bros as well.

The half naked Chase scene just leads to Chase and Mia being adorable. Because they are. I almost don’t want to move forward, because I’m so afraid that they’re going to break up. They’re just an oasis of adorable. They’re not even in most episodes, they’re just the best.

Haley is really starting to  believe Renee, who is now working with Dan and Rachel to talk about her story. Nathan is feeling a little put out, because he’s losing his endorsements, and Clay is sort of checked out, and Haley doesn’t believe that he didn’t get another woman pregnant. His point that him abandoning a child he fathered makes him like Dan, and that’s what stings the most about all of this, that Haley believes he’s anything like his father.

Millie starts taking diet pills, because she thinks she’s too fat to be a model or something. Also Mouth does another “sports news should be pure and not report on my buddy’s supposed love child” broadcast. I don’t think Mouth understands how the media works, like at all. Also, Nathan and Quinn fight about her and Clay hanging out and Clay leaves Tric with a  mysterious blonde, and I still don’t care. (OK, I’m starting to care a little) (Also, I know that the mysterious blond is Clay’s wife Sarah, who’s dead, and this is her ghost.)

Episode 7: “I And Love And You”

So. Many. Flashbacks.

I think I’ve put my finger on what annoys me about the Quinn and Clay storyline. Actually, I’ve known it forever and it was what turned me off of the show. For all of it’s bonkers plotting and on the nose dialog, One Tree Hill never, before this season, used to use shortcuts on the characters. The characters earned your love. Here, they’re trying to tell us that we love Quinn and Clay without earning that love.

This episode does a lot to alieviate that. Showing Quinn’s disillusionment with her marriage to David, as well as Clay’s happier than actually possible marriage to Sarah, through flashbacks, and Clay’s conversation with Sarah’s ghost. So, I’m backing off on the “Quinn and Clay Ruined the Show” stuff for the moment. They may yet prove me wrong. I’m just saying the flashbacks worked.

Brooke and Julian have a very nice, very honest conversation about their future. It’s sweet and disconnected from just about everything else that’s going on right now with the show. But it’s very nice and I like it a lot.

Meanwhile, in, what’s everyone else doing? Dan has Renee on his show, and hooks her up to a lie detector to prove that Nathan is a cheating scum bag. But then, PLOT TWIST! Dan actually uses the lie detector to prove Nathan didn’t father Renee’s baby, and now that lying whore can go away forever! (This statement is satirical. But I’m pretty sure Renee does go away forever…) Also, it turns out that Dan had a heart transplant! WHAT? MORE DAN CENTRIC PLOT TWISTS! Also, Haley and Nathan talk about how their love will see them through whatever happens. It’s adorable. And unnecessary, as it turns out that nothing happened.

Also, better story telling would have been having Clay be the baby daddy. I’m just saying.

Episode 8: “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight”

It’s this season’s hang out episode! And it’s a doozy! So, the guys (except Clay) go off on a camping trip. Julian doesn’t want to go, having not yet bonded with the other dudes, and pointing out to Brooke that he’s never really been friends with dudes. Brooke tells him that this is all silly and that he should go. So he does. He’s such an awkward dork, and it’s so cute. His movie nerddom does not fit in with Nathan and Skills’s jock vibe, which is complimented by Mouth’s sports nerddom. But he endears himself to the group by saving Jamie’s dignity a few times, and scaring the pants off of Chuck. Also, he and Nathan talk about having shitty fathers.

Speaking of Nathan’s shitty father, we get yet another flashback to Dan’s super sketchy and illegal Mexican heart transplant, that I’m pretty sure is really racist. Anyway, Dan’s feeling guilty and seeing the ghost of the young Mexican boy who’s family Rachel bought his new heart from. Anyway, after they fight kind of, Dan decides that they should go home to Tree Hill.

Quinn makes some pot brownies, and then doesn’t eat them so she gets to see the hilarity that is Haley and Brooke high. (Brooke high, BTW is me high. I get very paranoid, and then angry and forgetful. I hate weed.) She also calls a psychic, who tells her to go to Clay, who’s spending the weekend with his wife’s ghost, who is kind of really into him boning Quinn. They wind up spending the night on the beach, talking about his dead wife.

That is the least sexy thing to ever happen on this show.

Oh, right, and Julian learns about the Nathan and Brooke sex tape. Guys, I miss that era of the show so much…

Episode 9: “Now Lift Your Eyes To The Sun”

Rachel and Dan are back in town, and of course a bunch of stuff hits the fan along with that. Jamie is ready to forgive Dan, and Nathan is starting to waffle. Haley isn’t involved in this because she’s having a surprise show to try out some of her new material at Tric. Miranda isn’t thrilled about it, but also, like, I feel like that’s a fairly normal thing to do? I don’t know, I don’t understand the resistance there. But the show goes well.

Rachel goes to see Mouth who, in the way only he can, tells her that she needs to make things right with Brooke. She attempts to, kind of, by paying Brooke back for the money she stole, but she also, doesn’t really apologize, and Brooke doesn’t take that well. But as usual, Rachel gets all the good lines. When she says hi to Jamie and tells him, “I remember when you were a rumor in third period,” I nearly died laughing.

Millie’s been taking diet pills, and is quickly going down the Jessie Spano manic drain. She’s mean to Mouth and Brooke, and is acting more and more like Alex. It’s not attractive. In the end, she steals some coke from Alex, and that’s going to be a thing now.

Alex, afraid that she’s going to use again, calls Julian to talk her out of it. But when the vial she’s staring at turns out to be empty he storms out, really angry, because this friendship is straining his relationship with Brooke and now it turns out Alex is a liar.

She’s not a liar, but that’s sure to come out eventually.

Quinn and Clay continued to live out their Nicholas Sparks movie, by finally sleeping together, I think? There have been like four or five fake outs with them. But they also volunteer at a youth center together, and Clay befriends a kid playing basketball.

Episode 10: “You Are A Runner and I Am My Father’s Son”

Oh boy, are things ever about to get nuts. Clay has stopped communing with his wife’s ghost and is full on with this whole Quinn thing, to the point where he messes up Nathan’s contract. Because of this, Nathan, kind of rightfully, fires him as his agent. Look, I’m not saying that Nathan using Clay’s relationship with Quinn as part of his justification for it is fair, but Nathan wanted to stay on The Bobcats, and Clay didn’t get that done, so you know, fired.

Speaking of people who are behaving weirdly. Millie’s doing loads of coke and just generally acting like a garbage person. (A garbage person is a person who’s made of garbage, the worst kind of person. A garbage person is not be confused with a sanitation worker, who is usually a hard working individual who keeps our streets clean) She’s demanding Brooke pay her lots of money for the modeling…which, I mean, again not unreasonable, but the way she’s going about it is just not cool, and is clearly not going to jibe with Brooke. She’s getting drunk with Alex, who’s supposed to be sober, and also stealing from her, even when Alex tries to explain why she can’t be around people who do coke. She’s lying to Mouth and taking him for granted. Katherine once warned me that they totally ruined Millie. I see this now.

Rachel has the brilliant idea to film Dan’s show from the hallways where he killed Keith. Dan thinks this is a weird idea. Dan’s instinct here is right on. Dan then just wanders around town dispensing unsolicited advice to different people, namely Mouth and Clay. With Mouth, he says that he was right to stand up for Nathan (ehh) and with Clay, he “baptizes” him in the ocean, (nearly drowns him), telling him to get his shit together and get Nathan a job. (What?)

Skills takes a job with a sports coordinating company in LA, which means he has to move out there. Brooke, in addition to being shit on by Millie for a few scenes, and interacting with a very drunk (and hilarious) Victoria, confesses that she recently learned she can’t have children. Julian, being perfect, hugs her and tells her that he’ll do whatever it takes for them to have a family.

Overall Analysis Of This Arc

In general? I like what’s going on here, but, like most of latter day OTH, it all feels quite disconnected. There’s no real reason for Brooke’s storyline to connect with Nathan’s which barely connects with Quinn and Clay’s, and that’s a real failing for a show that was once so thematically sound on an arc to arc and episode to episode basis. While I get that’s necessary as the cast grows and the storylines escalate, it’s just really disheartening.

Alex remains the best. She’s like Rachel but better. And Rachel’s around, and is probably the most consistently written character in the show’s history, so that’s cool.