The day is finally here. The series finale of One Tree Hill. Oh there’s still the occasional question of would there be a new generation or a reunion down the road and such but we all know the show is over. The cast and most of the crew have moved on, booking other shows, movies, or writing books. It all ends tonight. Several months ago the cast said goodnight to Tree Hill and tonight we do the same. I won’t pretend that I’m okay with this. Hell, my eyes are watering just writing this post. (A post that has taken me about six months to nail down completely so you’ll have to put up with its serious length). I started watching One Tree Hill about halfway through S5. When the show first started it just wasn’t on my radar. I tried giving it a shot in S2 and was like oh hell no. (I know now that was a bad idea. Not that S2 is totally awful, it’s just not a great selling point.) And then a friend insisted I watch and so I agreed. I, like so many other people I know, hated it at first. I thought wow this was boring, stupid, and just awful. And then something changed. I know that it was around Nathan & Haley’s first kiss that I found people to care about. But to this day I can’t pinpoint what made me go from “this isn’t so bad” to “I have to marathon all 5 seasons in a week and then rewatch it several times over.” One Tree Hill sneaks into your heart and ensures that you’ll never want to leave.
There are a few things that I will love most about One Tree Hill and its characters.
1) I love the way this show can take a character that I hate and turn it into one I love. Nathan Scott, Quentin Fields, and Chris Keller are prime examples of these. I couldn’t stand Q for the longest time. And then of course, he started to become a better guy, not a teenage asshat and I started to like him. Especially during his interactions with Jamie. Talk about adorable! But when he died in “Have Cape, Wear Cape, Fly”, I bawled my eyes out. I didn’t realize how attached I’d been. Ever since, I grow a little more attached to Q early on and end up crying that much harder by the time his death returns.
2) On a related note, I equally appreciate that One Tree Hill isn’t afraid to let their villains stay villains. Some shows need to find humanity in their bad guys. The show that immediately comes to mind is The Vampire Diaries. But that’s a show about vampires, who are often struggling to find a balance between the human and the demon, both of which are a part of them. We know there’s always a danger in the vampire aspect so we never fully trust the human. But in non-supernatural shows, I find too many work so hard to make the villains relatable that they forget to have consequences to actions or continuity in how characters react. OTH has long kept bad guys bad but this season with Dan Scott has been an absolute stellar example.
You see, Dan Scott is a bad guy. He’s a very interesting bad guy, but he’s still the villain of the series really. Season 9 worked a masterpiece with the character though. While Dan has bizarre ways of showing it, there is nothing he won’t do for his son Nathan. Over the years since Dan killed Keith, he’s been trying to prove that he loves Nathan and his family. But it’s never quite been enough. That’s understandable. For one, Dan’s efforts aren’t squeaky clean. Sure he proved that Renee was lying but he did it on a show about him getting a ‘miraculous’ second chance, when he’d lied & stolen his way to that second chance. And the examples go on. Then came Nathan’s kidnapping. And Dan, in his own ‘I picked up way too many tricks in prison’ sort of way, started searching for his son. The beautiful thing is that not only did Dan never forget that he’s not a white knight, neither did anyone else. I absolutely loved when Haley lit into the customers for judging who she hired in her cafe but then ended the day by telling Dan that was it. She might believe in second chances, but there’s only so far she’s willing to trust Dan. Even as Dan died, he wasn’t forgiven and absolved of Keith’s murder. He was forgiven for some things and loved in the end but it wasn’t a whitewashing of his sins. One Tree Hill may have its fair share of flaws, but character continuity isn’t one of them.
3) Brooke Davis. While I technically identify more strongly with Nathan, Brooke has always been one of my favorite characters. I love Naley best but when those two are considered as separate people, Brooke soars ahead as my personal favorite. I love her growth over the years and her desire to be a better person. One of my absolute favorite things though is the way Brooke desires to be a wife and a mom, but especially a mom. We live in a world where the idea that a woman might actually dream of having a family (whether alongside a career or instead of it) is frowned upon. There’s this mistaken idea that feminism means you can’t want to stay home. You have to have a career drive if you’re a woman. I’ll try to stay off my soapbox but actually, feminism, in its truest form, is the idea that any woman should have the freedom and opportunity to pursue her dreams and goals. Those include having a family. Brooke’s fashion career has always been important to her as well but her family takes priority. It’s why she returned to Tree Hill after being in New York and why she chose to reopen Karen’s Cafe with Haley once she found out she was pregnant. And Brooke has never been looked down on because of that. Oh sure her mother judges, but the show never acts like Brooke is crazy to want kids. Instead it’s been about encouraging that; from her bond with Jamie to taking in Sam as a foster kid and ultimately to being blessed with twin boys of her own. There’s a lot to love about Brooke Davis but that is the part I love the most.
4) Nathan & Haley. Oh you know I won’t forget them. I’m also going to beg your forgiveness as I name my favorite Naley moments a wee bit later. At the end of S1 and then about midway into S2, Nathan and Haley seemed destined to be a teen TV cliche. A couple who got married in high school, only to ultimately get divorced and be bitter and miserable. I live in Idaho where that happens a lot. But what also happens a lot around here is that young kids jump into typing the knot and then have to work really hard to make their relationship work, but they ultimately come out stronger. That’s been the case with Nathan and Haley. It hasn’t been easy. And when they’ve had problems, none of it is overcome in a matter of weeks. Things are constantly and steadily worked at throughout the show. Just as Dan’s story was brought full circle this season, I think an underlying (and recurring) theme in Nathan & Haley’s relationship was hit on brilliantly in Haley’s ice cream speech. (In case you forgot, like you would [sarcasm], Haley noted that for years she had thought that Nathan’s favorite ice cream was mint chocolate chip. And it wasn’t until Jamie was 2, that she learned he loved rocky road. He just always got mint chocolate chip because it was her favorite). I think that brings up an interesting point. You see, Nathan Scott, when we first met him and for years after, is a selfish guy. It’s his greatest struggle. He has always been taught that he goes after what he wants and gets it, no matter how that affects the people around him. Over the years, that’s still been a struggle for Nathan. He has to work often at balancing his personal desire for a basketball career, with whether that coincides with his family. Nathan’s also learned that his family is more important to him and that means putting their needs above his. The concept of him choosing Haley’s favorite ice cream no matter what, says that he learned to no longer be selfish, focusing on himself, and instead learned to be unselfish, striving to make his loved ones feel cared for. Haley’s biggest struggle has been trusting people not to abandon her. Or perhaps a better description is that Haley’s deepest desire is for someone to put her first, to want her more than anything. Early on the show established that Haley’s the forgotten member of her family. She loved her mom and sisters and father deeply, but she was never the priority. And when she first started dating Nathan, she wasn’t his priority either. Just as Nathan was learning to focus on someone else, Haley was wondering if she would ever be someone’s first choice. Does she take priority? And so when she struggles to trust Nathan, I don’t believe it stems from a desire to attack him or belittle him. I think it comes from her belief that she’s not really anyone’s top priority. She craves that. It’s a fascinating dynamic because Nathan’s biggest personal growth comes from fulfilling Haley’s deepest desire. Haley in return fulfills Nathan by believing that he is good and amazing and wonderful no matter what trophies or accolades he wins. In her eyes, he is perfect. And all Nathan has ever desired is to be perfect in someone else’s eyes. To be loved unconditionally. It’s truly a masterpiece of character writing, even more so when you consider how many writers have passed through the halls of the One Tree Hill set.
5) The music. Oh how I love the music of One Tree Hill. It takes a very special show to understand just how perfectly music can speak to a scene. Music manipulates the audience, evoking or strengthening certain emotions. Most of us hardened TV watchers know this. Bad shows are the ones that use a song to make you feel a certain way (I’m looking at you, Glee). Good shows use the story to bring about a specific reaction or emotion but use music to enhance those feelings. One Tree Hill (and Grey’s Anatomy) are two of the absolute best shows I’ve ever seen at being able to pull this off. I think the best use of a song is when a show incorporates it in a way so that no matter where you are when you hear it, you’ll always be brought back to that moment. I love a number of songs from One Tree Hill but a few stand out so much because the only thing I think about when I hear them is that Tree Hill moment. “Always Love” By Nada Surf is used in S3. Tyler Hilton’s “Missing You” will always be my Naley song (and yes, I see the irony in that). “Wish You Were Here” by Kate Voegele. The library song is so poignant in the way it separates the girls yet still connects them. I could go on but those are my top three.
6) The continuity. I challenge you to give me a show that nails continuity better than One Tree Hill. I doubt you can do it. Does One Tree Hill like to go batshit crazy with it’s plots and characters? ABSOLUTELY. But the way those characters are still consistently woven into the stories are fantastic. Take the reintroduction of Chris Keller. Chris was brought back this year to help out with Red Bedroom Records. Is anyone but Chris currently recording? Nope. (Okay Alex for like 5 minutes but seriously, RBR has never been a hopping company). But still, it was established that the company exists and that there are artists who have fought (Mia) to stay with the studio. Most are “on tour” right now but it is still a viable company. Most shows would just drop the record label after Peyton left, or at best assume you know it’s there but they don’t have to mention it. One Tree Hill keeps it as a vital part of the show, acknowledging that one doesn’t just start a business only to have it disappear a season later. References to past characters from Jimmy and Keith to crazy Nanny Carrie are brought up constantly. These various events, crazy as they may be, impacted the lives of our characters. Just as past events and people in my life still impact me today, so should happen with fictional characters. A lot of shows like to forget this. Luckily, One Tree Hill is not like other shows.
9 Favorite Moments: I cheated hardcore with this. But I also included video clips so hopefully that breaks things up. I have my 9 favorite moments for Brooke, Naley, voiceover quotes and 9 overall favorite moments regardless of character.
9 Favorite Overall Moments:
When it comes to overall moments, I love the group ones the best. Or ones that get an emotion across more than a plot point. The boys showing up to Jimmy’s funeral, even Lucas, even as they think he shot Keith breaks my heart. Or the dance at the Sparkle Classic as Brooke realizes she still wants to be a kid for just a little bit. The adorableness of Nathan & Lucas playing walkie talkie or the difficulty of the library scene as so much anger is unleashed. I even love the scene at Rachel’s cabin when the “go brooke yourself” is coined because it reminds me of all the getaways with my friends in high school. I know I could think of a lot more favorites. But these are definitely at the top.
1- Dance at the Sparkle Classic.
2- Go Brooke Yourself
3- Do You Have Your Wish?
4- The Boys at Jimmy’s Funeral
5- The Library Scene
6- Sam’s Letter About Quinten Fields
7 -Nathan Scores the Winning Shot Without Even Looking
8- Just Playing Walkie Talkie with my Brother
9- Clay Gets Nathan His Contract With the Bobcats
9 Favorite Naley Moments
I love Nathan & Haley. Absolutely adore. And while some of my favorites are most people’s, I also love quieter moments between these two. The ones where they both clearly understand each other on a deeper level. James and Joy are really good at conveying these little moments. Like I love #4 because it shows that their son is a priority for both of them but the smiles say how much they love each other. I can’t even picture #6 without bawling my eyes out. It was just that good. Or #8. Sure Chris may have kissed Haley but Nathan saved her. Because even when he’s angry, he protects his girl. The last one is technically a Naley & Jamie scene but it’s just so cute!
1) You Have a Serious Ass, Haley James.
2) You are My Husband and You are So Damn Sexy to Me
3) Nathan Walks Haley to Class in Season 3 (Also couldn’t find the clip except in fanvids)
4) Jamie. Jamie. (The beginning)
5) You Make My Heart Race (Both Versions. Though I couldn’t find either video)
6) I’m in the NBA.
7) We Can’t Answer the Phone. We’re Having Sex.
8) Batman Saves Haley. (The moment starts at 3:25 but feel free to enjoy one of my fave Lucas/Haley scenes first).
9) I’ll Protect You Too. (Starting at 2:05)
9 Favorite Brooke Moments
As I said above, Brooke Davis is my favorite character. These are just a few reasons why. #3 is actually a deleted scene that I wish had stayed in. I found it incredibly poignant and powerful and Sophia nailed it. Also I want to note that I think Brooke has some stellar moments with Lucas, just none are favorites. Words cannot accurately express my love for #1. Sophia Bush was absolutely incredible. I won’t comment on all of the scenes as I think my love speaks for itself but this will always win. #6 is a fave because it is so true. There was no way for Brooke & Peyton to go back. But they could go forward. The sacrifice Brooke made for Haley in hiding her pregnancy was so selfless. It showed the true heart of Brooke that was trying to fight it’s way out.
1) The Little Rich Girl Thinks She’ll Stay Awhile.
2) He’s Just a Boy, Julian. (Couldn’t find the video for this one. Lots of fanvids though)
3) You should Be Ashamed of Yourself
4) Brooke Breaks Down as Jamie Puts Q’s Cape on His Coffin
5) You are Grounded (Starting at 3:50)
6) Like Before is Gone (Starting at 2:16)
7) I Can’t Be Pregnant Anymore (Starting at 0:55)
8) Brooke Asks Haley to be Her Roommate (The first scene)
9) I Am Not Going to Kill Furry Woodland Creatures
9 Favorite Quotes
1)-“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. But omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves — or lose the ventures before us.” — William Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar”: It is perhaps One Tree Hill’s most famous quote and yet when I first heard it I squealed out loud. “Julius Caesar” is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and that is one of my all time favorite literary quotes. It’s a quote that in many ways, still sums up the series.
2)-“And Hansel said to Gretel, ‘Let us drop these breadcrumbs… so that together we find our way home. Because losing our way would be the most cruel of things.’ This year.. I lost my way.”
[ Voiceover Done By: Lucas ]
“And losing your way on a journey is unfortunate. But, losing your reason for the journey… is a fate more cruel.”[ Voiceover Done By: Nathan ]
“The journey lasted eight months. Sometimes I traveled alone, sometimes, there were others who took the wheel — and took my heart. But when the destination was reached, it wasn’t me who arrived…it wasn’t me at all.”[ Voiceover Done By: Peyton ]
“And once you lose yourself, you have two choices: find the person you used to be… or lose that person completely.” [ Voiceover Done By: Brooke ]
“Because, sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you’ve been. And remember the person you were meant to be. The person you wanted to be. The person you are.”
[ Voice Over Done By: Mouth ]
I’m a sucker for the group voiceovers, especially ones about choosing who you want to be.
3)-“At this moment, there are 6 billion, 4 hundred, 71 million, 8 hundred, 18 thousand, 6 hundred, 71 people in the world. Some are running scared.. some are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day.. others are just now facing the truth. Some are evil men at war with good, and some are good.. struggling with evil. 6 billion people in the world, 6 billion souls — and sometimes.. all you need is 1.” Another classic One Tree Hill voice over. I’ll never stop loving this quote.
4)-“Stepping up. It’s a simple concept. It basically means to rise above yourself; to do a little more, to show you something special. Something like this. Lucas is gone, but that doesn’t mean the season is over. As a matter of fact, I say it’s just beginning. You might want to stay out of my way for a while. Life’s funny sometimes; can push pretty hard like when you fall in love with someone but they forget to love you back, like when your best friend and your boyfriend leave you alone, like when you pull the trigger or light the flame and you can’t take it back. Like I said, in sports they call this ‘stepping up’. In life, I call it ‘pushing back”.’
“You know it’s been said that we just don’t recognize the significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. We grow complacent with ideas, or things or people and we take them for granted and it’s usually not until that thing is about to be taken away from you that you’ve realized how wrong you’ve been that you realized how much you need it, how much you love it. God, I love this game.”
“You ever heard the expression ‘The best things in live are free.’ Well that expression is true.’ Every once in a while, people step up they rise above themselves sometimes they surprise you and sometimes they fall short. Life is funny sometimes. It can push pretty hard but if you look close enough, you can find hope in the words of children, in the bars of the song and in the eyes of someone you love. And if you’re lucky, if you’re the luckiest person on this entire planet, the person you love decides to love you back.” I absolutely adore this quote. It’s Nathan’s. A lot of the quotes are ones that I love but I can’t always picture the scene. Not this one. This scene is absolutely perfect.
5)-“There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days. And, of course when faced with the unknown, most of us prefer to turn around and go back. But, once in a while, people push onto something better. Something found just beyond the pain of going it alone. And just beyond the bravery and courage it takes to let someone in. Or to give someone a second chance. Something beyond the quiet persistence of a dream. Because, it’s only when you’re tested that you truly discover who you are. And, it’s only when you’re tested that you discover who you can be. The person you want to be does exist; somewhere on the other side of hard work and faith and belief. And, beyond the heartache and fear of what lies ahead.”
6)-“You can choose to blame your circumstances on fate or bad luck or bad choices. Or you can fight back.” This is basically my life quote. True story. In fact, I’m working really hard to fight back right now. And I think I’m finally starting to win.
7)-“Peyton: “Name a wish, place it in your heart. Anything you want, everything you want.
Lucas: “Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true.
You never know when the next miracle can come from, the next smile, the next wish com true.”
Peyton: “But if you believe that it right around the corner.
And you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the serenity of it.”
Brooke: “You just may get the thing your are wishing for.”
Nathan: “The world is full of magic you just have to believe it.
So make your wish. Do you have it?”
Haley: “Good. Now believe in it with all you heart.”
8)-“it’s been said that there is one word that will free us from the weight and pain of life. And, that word is love, and I believe that. It doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been hard or that it won’t be. It just means that I found a stillness and bravery in myself with you. You make me brave and I will love you until the end of time. This I vow today.” Let’s just say that my future husband better be okay with me stealing Haley’s vows for our wedding.
9)-““It’s been fifty years, fifty long years since I’ve done this. Looking back on what I said all those years ago, all the hopes and dreams I had, I’ve come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to is the measure of a successful life, then some would say that I’m a failure. The important thing is not to be bitter over life’s disappointments. Learn to let go of the past. And recognize that every day won’t be sunny, and when you find yourself lost in the darkness and despair remember it’s only in the black of night you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or stumble and fall, cause most of the time the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wish for. Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.” Whitey is perfection.
So as we look to the end and say Goodnight One Tree Hill, I’m not thinking about the naysayers. People can complain all they want. But for me, while I may be saying goodbye, I know I’ll always have a home in Tree Hill. Love and heart and dedication are always there to inspire me. So is One Tree Hill ending sad? Yes. It will affect me greatly. “But for now, I say goodbye to this chapter of my life. And I look forward to what comes next.”
*A big thanks to onetreehillweb.net for having all the quotes available for easy access.*