What a moving introduction last night on One Tree Hill. There was so much anxiety, anger, and then warmth. In the words of a fellow One Tree Hill viewer, “I’m about to cry and I don’t even cry over television shows. This is too sad.” “Danny Boy” was undoubtedly the most emotionally draining episode of the season. It reminded me of the season three finale, all of that emotion in the final moments coming like a sudden flood. Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) seemed to have tears flowing in every scene, making us all wrecks throughout. Bethany Joy Lenz was phenomenal. Danny’s death was inevitable but even knowing what was coming, what a heartbreaking episode this was. The villain turned hero met his with loved ones surrounding him.
“Am I in hell?” – Dan
“Not yet.” – Deb
As disappointing as it was for Lucas not come and visit Dan (Paul Johansson) on his deathbed, as Dan said, he was the one who robbed Lucas of the only father he really knew, Keith. But Dan did have Nathan (James Lafferty) and Deb (Barbara Alyn Woods). The dialogue between Deb and Dan has always been my favorite. Glad to see that was still the case years later. Woods and Johansson have such great chemistry. Whatever beat they are on, it’s always entertaining. And Haley letting Dan hold Lydia before saying goodbye to James (Jackson Brundage) was such a moving moment. It wasn’t too long ago when seeing this day seemed impossible. Oh how far Haley and Dan have come. Seeing their relationship end on good terms was very important. On that note, it was slightly disappointing to find that Dan did not find closure with at least one person. This is Dan Scott we are talking about. Perhaps the flashbacks were enough though, seeing him almost choke the life out of more than a handful of people and so on. Did we even get any positive Dan flashbacks?
Dan was redeemed. What made this episode even more special was the lack of supporting characters. There was no room for Mouth (Lee Norris), Skills (Antwon Tanner), Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton), or any of the othersMouth (Lee Norris), Skills (Antwon Tanner), Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton), or any of the others. We did get to see Clay (Robert Buckley) but it line up wonderfully with the journey at hand, a father searching for and achieving redemption. He is so lucky to have such a supportive girlfriend in Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) and such open and understanding ex-in laws.
There’s one father who didn’t come out on top… but he wasn’t looking for redemption to begin with. He was looking for a deal. Money. Material things still matter more to Brooke’s (Sophia Bush) father than the love of his daughter. Coming to town to check up on Brooke, saying “You’re my little girl” was so cheesy. We were able to detect his lies instantly. Brooke was never his little girl and never will be. While it hurts to see Brooke’s story close this way, sometimes closing the door on the relationship that hurts the most is necessary while that person gets it together. You can’t help or change someone who doesn’t want it for themselves first and Brooke’s father is having none of it. So until he reaches a place of love, that heartless man can take a hike. Julian’s (Austin Nichols) comment to her about not knowing how to write someone who doesn’t love Brooke was so sweet. So beautiful. Every single moment of this episode was classic One Tree Hill. And Julian turning Lucas’s book into a television show… how fitting. Makes sense. Talk about a full circle moment.
Speaking of, the music this week was the best that it has been all season long. Mark Schwahn and the writers have given us the greatest gift ever in this episode. Who else was completely gutted watching Nathan and Dan not only talk on the river court but play on the river court in Dan’s dream before meeting Keith (Craig Sheffer) in the after life? “Danny Boy” had the feeling of series finale all over it and with only two episodes left, I can only imagine the amount of tears that are coming in the next two weeks. What a phenomenal episode, best of the season, bravo!
Watch One Tree Hill Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.