We’re in the home stretch, folks, and the plot turns keep on comin’. But we must have a ways to go, because they have to get to Peyton going into labor in the season finale so they can create the “live or die” syndrome that will keep up the suspense in the off season … unless they decide that she’s going to be pregnant and on bedrest for the rest of the series.
Anyway, here’s the rundown of last night’s disasters:
The episode opens with Peyton going stir crazy from being on bed rest. Lucas comes to check on her, and she guesses from his demeanor that he’s up to something good on her behalf. (She’s right: He’s secretly fixing the Comet in the garage, because he’s Superman. Oh, wait — wrong CW series …)
Victoria and Sam come into Brooke’s store looking all friendly, and Brooke has difficulty with the fact that she and Sam apparently are getting along, and confronts her mom about it, feeling certain she’s up to something.
Haley goes to see Peyton while she’s on bed rest, and after they gush about Mia’s new work, Peyton tells her that “the label” called to say they’re interested in buying one of Haley’s songs.
In the Charleston Chiefs locker room, as Nathan looks on, Devon begs Coach Irons to stay on the team, but Coach lays it out for Devon — he’s out. Afterward, the coach does tell Nathan that scouts have been sniffing around, checking him out.
Back at the Tree Hill Clothes Over Bros store, Victoria shreds letters from Sam’s birth mother, presumably so that Sam won’t have a chance to exit their lives. And at the same time, she’s being a complete @#$% to Brooke’s vendors via telephone. … But being very friendly to Brooke and to Sam, even complimenting Brooke on her latest designs. (She’s definitely up to something, and I still wonder why she and Dan Scott haven’t gotten together yet. Partners in crime and all that …)
Cut back to Peyton in the Peyton/Lucas bedroom, where Mia is dropping in for the moment. Peyton loves Mia’s new song, and says she loves Chase for inspiring her. Then it comes out that she kissed Chase way back when — twice. Mia freaks out a little, but when Peyton mentions that he lost his virginity to Brooke, she’s really taken aback — because, we find out later, she feels like everyone knew but her.
The river court is full of kids, and as they play, Jamie and Skills make plans for going to Jamie’s school dance … because he’s smitten with Jamie’s teacher, and Jamie has a crush on classmate Madison.
As Lucas continues to work on the Comet, he begins finding things in the car that remind him of good times past — like an expired ticket to a Cure concert from right after their graduation. He reminisces about that evening, when she told him that with those tickets, he’s definitely getting into a lot more than a concert. (This is what’s referred to as Too Much Information, I take it?)
Coach Irons is on the phone with Nathan, telling him that he’s got an offer on the table — from a European team … but he only has 24 hours to make up his mind. Nathan really doesn’t know what to do, and has to talk to Haley about it.
We see Victoria and Sam on the street going shopping, and as they’re about to enter a store, Sam admits that she can’t go in because she once shoplifted from it. After a brief lecture on the catastrophic ripple effects of shoplifting, they go into the store. The clerk recognizes Sam and follows her and Victoria around the store, at which point Victoria chews out the clerk for suspecting them instead of the skank about to pinch a clutch purse in the corner. She makes Sam apologize, and they go on their way. Upon leaving the store, Sam confronts Victoria, asking why she’s such a @#$% to everybody.
Brooke goes to see Peyton to talk to her about the situation with her mom and Sam. Peyton fails to see what the problem is — it should be a good thing that Sam and Victoria are getting to know each other. But Brooke maintains that Victoria never took HER shopping, which leads to the difficult-to-escape conclusion that Brooke is jealous … but Brooke intuits that there’s more to it than she knows.
Jamie asks Madison to the school dance, but classmate Chuck has already asked her, leaving him pretty upset.
Next on the list of items found in the Comet is an old map that Lucas finds, as he continues his drive down Memory Lane.
Nathan obviously has doubts about his career, and goes to ask Coach Irons flat out if he’s good enough for the NBA. Coach says he is, but indicates that offers like the European league one on the table doesn’t come often, and he recommends to Nathan that he take it. Nathan still isn’t sure.
At the studio, as Mia and Haley take a break from working on the album, Nick Lachey shows up to talk to Haley about selling one of her songs. Haley is taken aback. She doesn’t want to sell it, period, even when Nick tells her his flight was terrible, etc., she denies him. But she asks him for an autograph for Jamie.
Meanwhile, Lucas’ reminiscence continues, as Lucas changes the tire on the Comet while Peyton talks about Nathan and Haley’s then-impending parenthood …
At Skills’ apartment, Jamie pouts on the couch. “What’s Chuck got that I don’t got?” he asks. “A date with Madison,” says Skills. Jamie says he’s not going to the dance, but Skills urges him to go, and they decide to make the most of it. Cut to the two of them in formalwear, they walk in, in slow-motion, looking like the Men in Black, purposefully and as if they’re going to own the place. Then they cut to the two of them standing sheepishly by the punch bowl, as neither has the nerve to ask their would-be dates to dance.
Devon talks to Nathan — he’s just had another little girl. And Devon realizes he’s missed his shot at bigger things, and tells Nathan that he only gets only one chance, and if it comes along, not to miss it, which of course really unnerves Nathan.
Somehow, Victoria managed to leave the half-shredded letter from Sam’s birth mother in the shredder for Brooke to find, which she does. And with that, the pieces of Victoria’s scheme fall into place for Brooke, and she goes to talk to Sam.
Peyton is horrendously bored in the house as Lucas continues to remember their dine ‘n’ ditch attempt (that he actually paid for and tipped the waitress an extra $5 to chase after him) while on their road trip to see The Cure. Unfortunately, in the faux hustle, Lucas dropped his ticket to the gig on the ground.
At the school dance, as they sit sobbing and drinking their punch, Jamie goads Skills into asking “teacher” to dance.
As Haley and Nathan talk about the Europe deal, she tells him that she knows that it’s the NBA he wants, but that they’ll support him whatever his decision is. And with that, the proverbial ball is in Nathan’s proverbial court.
At Tric, Mia confronts Chase about not telling her about Brooke … as Nick Lachey sits at the bar, complaining about the drink Chase just made for him. Nick Lachey can’t believe it and makes snotty comments, prompting a “shut up, Nick Lachey” from Mia. Eventually, she tells Chase that HE should have told her about Brooke. Mia asks him he loved her. He says he did at the time, but that was before he met her.
Brooke confronts her mom about having a half-@#$%ed do-over with Sam, and Victoria claims that she destroyed Sam’s letters because “they could lose her.” Brooke is naturally offended at her use of the word “they,” and calls Victoria out for being her usual conniving, narcissistic self.
Nick Lachey goes into the studio to talk to Haley, and Haley has the instrumental track already cued up and ready to go, and tells him to get in the booth. After Nick Lachey pulls off a perfectly polished vocal track (with effects!) in one take, she agrees to let him record the song — if she can produce. He happily agrees. (Fantasyland, kids — this is where he’d either have strong-armed her or enacted step two of his plan to screw her out of her rights and royalties. Golden opportunity missed by the OTH writing staff, but there’s still time …)
Nathan decides to pass on the European league, but tells Coach that they should take Devon instead, and he’ll continue to wait for the NBA. Coach smiles at the wisdom in Nathan’s decision, and encourages him, hanging up to call Devon with the good news.
Brooke tells Sam about her mother’s letter, and asks why she spent all of that time hanging out in the diner, and wherever her real mother worked. Sam says that she just wanted to know, “Why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t she love me enough?” Brooke suggests to Sam that her mom is the only one who has those answers, so she takes Sam to see her, and stands back as Sam enters the storefront where her biological mom is closing up shop.
Fortune holds out for Jamie and Skills at the dance — Skills and Jamie’s teacher talk about their recent breakups, and when Skills asks her to dance, she says, “No, but I could really use some rebound S-E-X.” She’s kidding, and they go dance. In Jamie’s corner, Chuck comes over to tell him that Madison’s been talking about Jamie all night, and she’s waiting for him on the other side of the room. He goes over and sits down next to her, and they hold hands. (Now they’re engaged, right?)
At home, Nathan broods, “What if I just gave away my last chance?” to Haley, but Haley reassures him that he did the right thing. (Well, yeah — since it would have taken her away from her current producing gig.)
The episode ends with Lucas giving Peyton the unused Cure ticket he found, and she remembers their road trip, and how it all ended, on the hood of the Comet, with the two of them getting all mooney-eyed at each other on their last night together before she headed to L.A. (All while a Cure song played in the background … which the producers must have paid a fortune to use.)
And that’s the scoop, kids. Things keep happening on OTH this season, which is more than I can say for many of them. But still, it doesn’t get any better, does it?