“One Tree Hill”: The Slippery Slope NEVER ENDS 8.5

Posted by: haro1d

First of all, if you’re reading this blog and you’re old enough to vote, I hope you’ve cast your ballot already. If not, get out there and make a difference! Lucas would expect it of you!

Another slow night on OTH. To recap:

The episode opens with Brooke having it out with Sam over the ruination of last week’s party at Brooke’s store. Brooke is getting a taste of what it’s like to do tough-love parenting. (Pretty weird when you think that Brooke is supposed to be what — 22 or 23? — and Sam is 15. Not a lotta years in between.)

Owen shows up at Brooke’s door, promising her a gift every day until she decides to take him back. After a few days, Owen does the patented OTH “surprise-I’m-nude-in-the-backseat” thing to Brooke. She kicks him out and he ends up getting arrested for indecent exposure. After a few weeks of gifts and attention, Owen stops by at Brooke’s to tell her that he’s done humiliating himself for her. (In the end, she surprises Owen in the backseat of his vehicle — fully clothed — and tries to tell him that Sam is her current priority and that she needs time.

Sam, meanwhile, is proving to be a ratty influence on young Jamie, teaching him how to scam from the vending machine at school and profit by selling snacks to his friends. Jamie takes this enterprising knowledge to Dan Scott, who gives him $10. When Jamie is caught selling snacks to his buddies on the playground, Haley makes him give all the money back, even though his intention all along was to buy a trophy for Nathan, who doesn’t earn a trophy for his participation in slamball.

Speaking of which — Mouth interviews a slamball rival of Nathan’s, Jerome Garrett, who vows to return Nathan to his wheelchair. After an intense game — at the end of which Nathan slams home the winning basket — Jerome blindsides Nathan through the protective glass. Nathan is OK, but when Jamie asks him not to play slamball anymore, he agrees, in a family-friendly Hallmark moment.

Slowly, we start seeing that Julian is the guy with whom Peyton fell in love after Lucas’ failed proposal to Peyton out in L.A. Peyton wants to tell Lucas about all of this, but Lucas is so buoyed by the belief that his work has “merit,” she apparently decides to keep up the deception until he can finish the script. (The classic OTH mistake.) Peyton meets with Julian to tell him that whatever shenanigans he’s up to aren’t going to work, but Julian swears that it’s strictly business with him and Lucas. Julian has asked Lucas to write the scene in which Keith was killed. Lucas broods over the task (as if he ever does anything else), even violently assaulting Dan Scott’s headstone with a spade over the issue. He consults the oracles — Peyton, Haley and Nathan — about what he should do, and everyone encourages him to just do it honestly. In the process of his discussion with Haley, he lets slip that he feels that Dan doesn’t deserve a place in Jamie’s life. (This might come up again later, or it might not — OTH is famous for threads that are never followed up, as you’re no doubt aware …)

Lucas asks Nathan what his best memory of Dan is … “Michael Jordan basketball camp,” Nathan says. At camp, when Nathan was a youngster and nervous about meeting Michael Jordan, Dan introduced him to Jordan in a way that gave Nathan confidence, resulting in Nathan’s getting to play one-on-one with Jordan — one of the best days of Nathan’s life.

Lucas, ever brooding, wonders if Dan ever had a soul. Nathan says yes, but that he sold it a long time ago. He encourages Lucas to write the man the way he is — evil. (“That’s what he deserves.”)

Eventually, Dan shows up as Lucas broods at the outdoor court, and Lucas asks him what happened in that hallway. Dan, of course, presents his own revised version in which he’s not quite the villain he actually was. The scene gets written — but we have to wait to see exactly how it plays out on the page.

While at Julian’s to submit the draft of the script, Lucas discovers a photo of Peyton with Julian from her time in L.A. Peyton, after reading Lucas’ script, was about to tell him, but Lucas beat her to it, asking her what the hell about her relationship with Julian.

In flashback, we see that Julian left Peyton because of her inability to get past the book that Lucas wrote for her. As such, we see the seeds of destruction — the pact with the devil that Lucas inadvertently signed when he let Julian option his book. (There might not be too much about this next week, with the USO gig coming up in the plot, but it’s certain to come back with a vengeance before the end of the season.)

The Gigi and Mouth situation appears to be headed for no-good territory. She blatantly offers herself to him, no strings attached, and he isn’t thrilled, but he’s not completely dismissive, either. (The preview for next week shows a clip of Gigi being discovered by Millie only partly clothed in Mouth’s and Millie’s bed, but OTH preview clips don’t mean anything, as you well know.)

At episode end, Sam is with Brooke at Tree Hill High when Sam breaks into the vending machine and leaves a sign saying “Free Food” inside, and leaving the door ajar. She even admits disabling the security cameras. Brooke guffaws at Sam’s brazenness, but can’t help herself, taking a bag of chips from the machine even as she storms off in pursuit of her foster charge.

Simple, isn’t it? The world of OTH never fails to disappoint. No one ever really learns, whether it’s Peyton trusting Lucas with her past or Dan Scott to let anyone know what he’s really thinking. Somehow — SOMEHOW — Dan has to get back on top of his game and get all of Tree Hill under his thumb once more, if only for a little while.

Here’s hoping for more Dan Scott mayhem next week …