In the aftermath of Quentin’s tragic death, One Tree Hill is all about dealing with both literal and figurative ghosts. Just how haunted can one town be? Well, when that town is Tree Hill the answer is always very. Very, very, very.
The below spoilers are dealing with ghosts of their own, thank you very much.
After last week’s emotionally affecting episode where all of the characters interacted and spent time with each other like real friends, it’s back to normal this week with many of our usual suspects off in worlds of their own to deal with the ghosts in their lives. There are some great interactions, however, most notably with the family Scott as they deal with their literal ghost, the loss of Quentin, as well as their more figurative ghost, the revelation that Deb’s secret lover is none other than Uncle Skills. Haley, Nathan and Lucas all start the episode by seeing Quentin’s literal ghost, or at least having their minds trick them into seeing him in places where he would be if he was alive. Haley’s vision is most depressing, as she sees him standing in front of the gas station where he died. Sniff. When Haley takes Jamie to the cemetery to see Quentin, they walk by Keith’s grave and see Dan’s gigantic headstone sitting there next to Keith’s, just waiting for Dan to die. I thought that headstone was just in one of Dan’s weird nightmares, and the fact that it’s real and it’s just sitting there while Dan is alive is awesome. I do love Dan. This causes Jamie to worry that Dan is dead, too, and Haley promises him he’s not and even takes him to the beach house to see Dan. When they arrive they see Dan’s papers piling up and see his door is unlocked. Haley, worried, calls Dan’s doctor and finds out he never returned their page for his donor heart. Will Haley and Nathan finally realize something’s rotten in the state of North Carolina?
(Haley also had a storyline where she tried and tried and tried to help out new bad girl in town Sam Walker, and Sam didn’t want to hear it. I hate this story already. Do we really need another story about rehabilitating a bad high school kid?)
As for Nathan, he’s more preoccupied with his new knowledge that Skills is banging his mom that he can barely think of anything else. When Deb finally confronts him about it, he hilariously replies, "Mom, you told me you were screwing one of my friends at a funeral. I figured that meant you didn’t really want to talk." Ha! Deb reveals her true feelings for Skills but Nathan doesn’t want to hear it, and kicks Deb out of the house and fires her as Jamie’s nanny. Skills uses Haley to soften Nathan up a bit, and even little Jamie tells his dad he thinks it’s cool Skills is going to be his grandpa, but Nathan doesn’t truly soften until Skills finally confronts him face to face and honestly pours his heart out, saying his feelings for Deb are deep. In the end Nathan comes around, hiring Deb back as nanny and giving Skills and Deb his blessing. Good thing, too, because Jamie’s already calling Skills "Grandpa" when he sees him. Hee.
As for Lucas, his ghosts are all about Quentin seeing as he has the unenviable task of motivating the basketball team in their first game without Q. To do this he brings in the big guns, having Q’s mom and brother there to cheer the kids on and give pep talks before the game. Right before tipoff Q’s number is retired and Lucas reveals to his players that they will be playing with four men for the game, in order to leave a spot open for Q. They lose the game (but only by a few points) and after it’s over the team decides they want to play the rest of the season with four guys. Now, come on. I understand that it’s symbolically significant and all, but would Q really want them to throw away their entire season to leave a spot for him? And wouldn’t Lucas sort of get fired for basically losing a bunch of games on purpose? Oh, whatever. This entire story was worth it for the very nice moment after the game where the entire gym stayed until the players emerged from the locker room after the game to give them a standing ovation.
Brooke’s ghosts are of the parental variety, specifically the very witch-like Victoria. It seems her breakdown at Q’s grave last week shook something loose in her and she decided to see a therapist. She opens up and seems a lot more like her old self during her session, admitting that she thinks her mother hired her attacker and talking through her relationship with her mother. All of this talking makes her realize she needs to confront Victoria, so she goes to New York and does just that, complete with a gun on the table in case either of them wants to use it. Victoria denies ordering the attack, but it’s tough to believe her when she shows her true colors to Brooke, admitting she never even wanted children and really just wanted to be a career woman instead. She only had Brooke because her husband wanted a boy, and when her husband didn’t get one she secretly had her tubes tied so neither of them got what they wanted in the end. That Victoria’s a peach, you guys! So cuddly and warm. Brooke tells her she’s divesting all of her shares in Clothes Over Bro’s so Victoria can get what she’s always wanted, "a company and no daughter." You tell her, Brooke! Brooke then goes back to Tree Hill and back to her real family. Aw.
Peyton is off in her own world this week, so far in her own world that it almost seems like she’s on a different show. The ghost she’s dealing with is the one she’s shouldered for several seasons: the unending saga of her biological parents. This time she’s searching for her father. (Or perhaps her father just ends up in her lap? It remains to be seen.) Peyton arrives at her recording studio just in time to catch guitar legend Mick Wolf playing up a storm. She immediately starts fawning all over him and does so until he reveals that he knew Ellie and her father. They end up spending the day together, enough that Peyton gets up the nerve to tell him she thought he might be her father. His response is very vague, so it’s a definitely possibility. What I want to know is — will Peyton’s adopted father ever return, or is he just destined to sail the Atlantic Ocean indefinitely? I mean, he never calls, he never writes…just like all of the other random parents we’ve lost over the years, I suppose.
And finally, we have Crazy Nanny Carrie. It’s a bit of a quiet week for her, as all she does is cozy up to Deb a little bit at the park and discreetly break into Casa Scott to steal a few of Jamie’s things and idly threaten Chester the bunny, as crazy women are wont to do. It’s all a big setup for next week, however, which (if the previews can be believed) is looking like a mishmash of every horror movie ever made. Hey, it’s been one whole week since someone has died on this show. I suppose it’s time for more violence and destruction.
What did you guys think? Will Nathan’s support of Skills and Deb last? Will someone finally figure out Dan is missing? What will Brooke do next? And is that rock "legend" really Peyton’s father?