One Tree Hill delivered one of the most thrilling episodes of the season, arguably the series this week with “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.” Even the soap opera nature of the Xavier story line can be overlooked given just how much these scenes kept our hearts racing. Father and son were reunited. A mother and wife found herself all alone with a maniac. And one man finally found closure. What a phenomenal episode!
“He’s not dead. Well, I guess he could be dead by now.” – Dan
Dark as this episode was, there was plenty of comedy to keep us laughing along the way.The boys sure brought the laughs this week. Who would have ever guessed that Dan (Paul Johansson), Julian (Austin Nichols), and Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton) would make such a dream team? It also must be pointed out what a fine drinking game there was this week, as many times as Chris Keller used his name in the third person. It never gets old on this show. And in all of its nine seasons, have we ever heard Dan Scott say his name in the third person prior to this week? I’d say that’s a win. But getting to their mission at hand… saving Nathan (James Lafferty). It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Nathan and with the series finale nearing, the anticipation for Nathan’s safe return home rose to its highest. Finally, Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) will be reunited with Nathan next week… and we cannot wait! Their time apart has been so heartbreaking and the pieces are finally going to be put back together. Get ready Naley fans! All that the boys did to get Nathan back was worth every moment of discomfort.
Troubled as Dan is, he will do anything for his sons and now with a renewed heart. Watching him force Julian out of the mission was a great moment because this act showed that Dan is not willing to let others die for his fight. Julian played his small part but as a family man, was not put in anymore danger than necessary and for that we are forever grateful. Dan’s injury comes as no surprise. It was only a matter of time until the villain turned goody guy had his fall as the good guy. It’s almost necessary, don’t you think? Live or die, it feels right and is so poetic. What a beautiful delivery.
Meanwhile, there’s Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) who can never catch a break. Once again, Karen’s Cafe has been vandalized. Finding out that Tara (Chelsea Kane) wasn’t to blame for this was just as surprising as it was expected. Just when we think that we know her limits, she surprises us so there really is no box to fit her in. But it was indeed Xavier going on the attack. He threatened her before and she backed off, so what was the purpose of breaking into her home, holding her baby, and now vandalizing her store along with attacking her again? If he wants to forget his time in jail, he had better stop giving people a reason to put him back there. Talk about a jaw dropping step here of Tara saving Brooke. Tara may allow herself to be any level of cruel that she wants to be towards Brooke but there’s more in this world to be threatened by. Tara has acknowledged that and won’t stand for it, especially when a life is at stake. Great job giving this character a heart and then sending her on her way!
There was a lack of Mouth (Lee Norris), Chase (Stephen Colletti), and Skills (Antwon Tanner)… all of whom many would rather have seen than Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten). As important as Clay’s recovery is, giving this story line so much more meat than the stories and characters we’ve been more invested in all of these years just doesn’t make sense. Last night’s episode was rather dark, so it may have seemed more fitting of all of the story lines for Clay’s to make the cut here. That said, we’ve had our closure with Clay and his wife. We had it before he did. So more time could have been spent on Haley worrying at home or the guys saving Nathan or even Brooke trying to keep calm at the cafe. As fantastic as this episode was, there was clearly a distracting story line here. Still, overall, this episode made for one of the most exhilarating episodes this season, just what we need and want before the series finale. I like the way things are coming together. How about you?
“It’s okay, son. I’ve got you.” – Dan
“I lose what I never had but you had it.” – Chris Keller
“Oh my God, that guy is creepy!” – Tara
Watch One Tree Hill Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.