'One Tree Hill': Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian ... Alex Dupre?

one-tree-hill-every-picture-tells-a-story.jpg" One Tree Hill" returns from a long hiatus, bringing its familiar blend of camp, soap and melodrama back with it.

Hey, remember when Haley's mom died? And Alex slept with her co-star, who secretly taped it? And Brooke and Julian got back together? And Clay met his dead ex-wife's crazy doppleganger? And Mouth macked on Lauren? And Grubbs got a record deal? Yeah, I don't really remember the last few, either. But they all happened. Let's see what's in store next for our Tree Hillers, shall we?

Brooke and Julian are back together, schmoopy as ever and acting as if all of the ridiculous childishness of the last six episodes or so never happened. I am perfectly OK with this, as I have already blocked it out completely. On the last day of principal photography of Julian's film, Alex's co-star Josh's computer -- which has the illicit sex tape on it -- gets stolen. Whoever did the stealing is now blackmailing the producers for $1 million in order to keep it quiet. OK, I highly doubt normal producers would pay to keep the tape suppressed. It's free publicity! Julian then confirms my cynicism by mentioning the publicity thing himself, but Brooke very maturely urges him to help Alex out of this situation. Josh turns out to be the one behind the entire scam, though, so Alex just might be beyond Julian's help this time.

Haley takes a pregnancy test, but it turns out negative. Nathan wants a baby and says they can try again, but from the look on Haley's face a baby is the last thing on her mind considering her grief over her mother's death. She then completely shatters my heart by breaking down in anguished tears all alone in the middle of the night. Poor Haley.

Quinn is busy this week with her big gallery opening. Everything is going well until Crazy Doppleganger Katie buys Clay's portrait from the show, causing him to drop his beer right on the ground in horror. Don't waste beer, Clay. Even with the threat of getting your bunny boiled, that's just uncalled for. Operation: Crazy Stalker is officially underway, with Katie texting Clay about how Quinn is all wrong for him. He tells her under no uncertain circumstances to leave, and later comes clean to Quinn about the entire situation, even showing her a picture of Sarah so they can both be creeped out by the resemblance. Hooray for honesty!

Skills is back in town and wants Lauren back as well, but she's more interested in her new thing with Mouth than going backward with Skills. Lauren decides to tell Mouth she is only interested in him while in front of a camera that is set up to randomly take pictures and then display them in a slide show during the gallery show. Which, of course, Skills sees; he hen proceeds to punch Mouth right in the, well, mouth. Lauren and Mouth are not very smart, y'all.

Grubbs' record is coming along, but Miranda the producer's visa gets revoked and she has to leave the country. Grubbs' solution is to ask her to marry him. These people have their own storyline why?

Victoria and Alexander are still sneaking around together. Alexander wants to either tell Brooke or end things, but before that can happen they get exposed (literally) in front of the whole gallery opening crowd. Whoops! Brooke is appropriately disgusted.

Random thoughts:
  • CHASE! the bartender works Quinn's gallery show. I guess now that Grubbs has an actual storyline, they need someone to pour the drinks.
  • Let's all just pretend that KISS/Guitar Hero sequence with Jamie and Nathan never happened, OK? We'll all be so much happier if we just ignore, ignore, ignore. (I mean, seriously. What. the. heck?!?)
  • Why are there characters named Alex and Alexander on the show at the same time? They couldn't come up with anything more original?
  • I hate to say this, but with "Life Unexpected" so capably filling this time slot for the past few weeks I really didn't miss "One Tree Hill" much at all. What do you guys think? "One Tree Hill" or "Life Unexpected"? Or both?
Favorite quotes:
  • "Look, you stick to doing your job -- checking for hairs in the gate and keeping my trailer stocked with Red Vines and lube." - Josh
  • "Here's what I don't get: Why would you make a tape of yourself having sex when you suck at it?" - Alex

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Photo credit: The CW

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