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Published on March 22nd, 2012 | by Melody Simpson


'One Tree Hill' Season 9 Episode 11 Review: Danny Boy

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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.

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  • Molly

    This was a great episode. And I have to say, this season is a definite turn around from last season. It’s a great rap-up to the entire series. I’m so happy that I stuck around for the ending. It’s really worth it. And although I love Keith and know his death will never be justifiable, I also think Dan has come a LONG way!!!!

    P.S I loved the way they brought back old sayings and things from previous one tree hill seasons. Things like:
    -“always and forever”- haven’t heard that from Naley in awhile
    -the Rivercourt in general- that is where everything started
    -unkindness of a raven- excited to see what they’re doing with this
    -the part where Haley says “when Lydia grows up and asks about her Grandpa Dan, i’m gonna tell her how…..” which was originally a hate saying by Karen to Dan about Lily not growing up with a father. Love the switch
    -and there are more I just cant think of them right now!

    Some great and touching scenes:
    1. Of course Naley reuniting
    2. The whole ending scene with Dan and Nate
    3. The whole Dan and Keith scene
    4. Dan and Deb scene
    5. And one scene I boo-hooed on was the scene where Brooke and Julian were talking about how her dad doesn’t love her. For some reason that scene was really touching. I really felt the emotion from Brooke and the wisdom from Julian.
    6. And my last and favorite scene of this episode was the Haley and Dan scene. Just the fact of her bringing up Lucas was very realistic, because we all know Lucas is never gonna forgive Dan. And it was just an all around unexpected scene. Haley’s relationship with Dan has been so complex and I think she’s finally come to terms on how she wants to perceive Dan. When they showed her crying during his death, that actually touched me the most because I was just imagining the things that were going through her head. 

    OVERALL GREAT EPISODE! sad to see one tree hill go (and Dan), but I’m glad they’re going out with a BANG!

    also, this was a nice tribute to Paul Johansson’s (Dan) mom who died from cancer recently. This is a really good time and a great opportunity for people to get involved in Relay for Life and support cancer patients!

  • Sarasmith

    one tree hill changed my life

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