It had to wait, but here’s the synopsis of Monday’s One Tree Hill for those of you still following this series to its death. Is the show really so much more anemic without Lucas and Peyton? It’s really hard to tell, from this writer’s perspective. But here’s more evidence for you to mull over in the meantime:
As the episode opens, Nathan is standing on the pier overlooking the water. Clay approaches him — he’s been missing training and is worried about both his contract and the trouble with Renee, the woman who’s blackmailing him.
At the grocery store, Quinn, Haley and Jamie are shopping for cereal. Haley asks Quinn about what’s going on with her and David. He wants her back, but she says she needs more time to figure things out. When Jamie presents a box of bran flakes, Haley approves, but Quinn makes Jamie put it back. When Haley says that the cereal has everything he needs, Quinn counters that it may have everything one needs, but not everything one wants. (I applaud the allegorical use of cereal in this instance, btw.)
It’s Brooke’s big day for her fashion show. At home, while he’s burning a sandalwood incense stick that’s giving Brooke a headache, Julian reassures her about her work. Meanwhile, he’s looking over Alex’s script. He doesn’t like it, but he says there’s something there to work with, and that Alex is a good actress when she needs to be. He tells Brooke she looks beautiful (Awww …) and she goes out the door.
Millie goes to pick up Alex, anticipating having to wake her up and get her ready, but before she can even knock on the door, Alex opens it and is ready to go. She tells Millie she’s hot, and receives the same compliment in return as they head out the door for Brooke’s fashion to-do.
Poolside, Nathan is weight training as Clay sits by and checks his phone. As they talk about what time they’re going to Brooke’s big deal, a call comes in — the story broke. Nathan asks, “Where?” … and the answer is at the grocery store, where Jamie is holding a copy of the National Informer with a big, ugly picture of Nathan and Renee with the headline, “EXCLUSIVE! Nathan Scott: A Basketball Star’s LOVE CHILD.” Haley sees it and is ready to snap.
Back at home, on the kitchen counter, we see stacks of National Informers — Haley bought every copy she could find, to keep them from being visible. Nathan comes in and apologizes once again, and asks where Jamie is. Haley says that he’s at the park with Quinn, spending time with his friends. Unfortunately, his friends are reading the article in the Informer to Jamie and taunting him about it. At the same time, Quinn is pouring her heart out to a 6-year-old girl.
Mouth’s boss comes in with a copy of the Informer and brandishes it at him, accusing him of not looking into the Nathan Scott scandal. Mouth tells him that there is no story, and reporting rumors and innuendo isn’t his job, and not what he does. The boss counters that what he does is what he’s told to do — and that if he doesn’t like it, he can go lower the ratings at someone else’s station.
As Brooke and Millie go over details for the gift bags at her fashion show, Brooke breaks it to her gently that she’s brought in Victoria to help. Victoria immediately gets unpleasant, of course, second-guessing the promo materials Millie picked for distribution and saying that if she’s already picked them, they’ll just have to do.
At the Red Bedroom office, Miranda tells Haley that the woman her husband slept with is quite pretty, and that the baby will be adorable. Haley is shocked, of course, and asks why she would say something like that. Miranda guffaws that Haley questions the reliability of the Informer and walks out. And of course, in walks David, Quinn’s husband, and asks her to tell Quinn that he misses her.
Chase comes in and hands a bouquet to Millie, saying that they just came for her. Victoria doesn’t recognize Chase and suggests to Millie that she put her flowers in her car, out of sight. Alex comes over and opens her mouth wide, insulting Victoria that Millie told her all about her, and how she’s an evil b@#$%, embarrassing the hell out of Millie.
Quinn shows up at the Red Bedroom office with photo samples of her promo materials for Brooke’s show, crediting her work to her maiden name, Quinn James. Haley stops her and confronts her about talking to her husband and telling him how she feels, because all she’s doing so far is talking to Haley and everyone except the person who needs to know.
Preparing for the big fashion show at Tric, Brooke gives Jamie a job to do to keep his mind occupied, and talks to Nathan about her experience dealing with the lies of the tabloids. Nathan puzzles over what to say to a 7-year-old child. He takes Jamie home and reassures him with a photo of their family and the image of how it’ll always be, for him.
In the Red Bedroom offices again, Miranda presses Haley to do an interview to help the label, in the face of the controversy. Haley tries to snivel her way out of it, but Miranda is tough on her, saying that the label needs the exposure. Five minutes into the interview, the reporter blindsides Haley with a question about Nathan’s alleged affair and forthcoming child — and Miranda terminates the interview and slings her out. Suddenly, Haley gains a glimmer of respect for Miranda’s no-nonsense ways.
Then we’re witness to an uncomfortable meeting between Victoria and Julian. Victoria insists that Julian isn’t good enough for Brooke, and almost in the same breath, suggests to Julian that he “Say hello to Paul [Julian’s dad] for me,” suggesting, “if he’s ever in search of a lover …” (Ew.)
As zero hour for Brooke’s show approaches, Millie, with Alex in tow, is about to walk backstage, when Brooke’s star model, McKenna, stops her and says, “This is where the pretty people play.” For some reason, Millie actually takes her guff and turns around and walks out. But after a minute or two of McKenna’s sucking up to Alex, Alex gets calculated revenge on the ego-inflated model, giving her a number of pills, which McKenna takes and promptly passes out.
Finally, after a lot of hedging, Quinn goes to talk with David, her husband. He senses what’s coming, obviously, and offers to change for her in any way that she wants, but when she says that she doesn’t want him to change, but to stay the wonderful person he is, he knows the end has arrived — she asks him for a divorce.
As Brooke’s unveiling of her new line is about to start, she realizes that she’s short a girl — and finds McKenna out cold. After a moment of panic, Alex suggests Millie as a replacement — a suggestion Brooke immediately approves, and orders Millie to change clothes. Alex volunteers to help keep the show going while they make the necessary last-minute changes, and when she hits the runway, where Noisettes are doing their thing, she breaks form and starts dancing with the band onstage. Unfortunately, Millie isn’t small enough to fit Brooke’s signature dress that McKenna was to wear, so Brooke has an idea: When Millie finally hits the stage, she’s wearing a completely different outfit — but when she approaches the edge of the catwalk, Alex pulls the jacket from around her, revealing a T-shirt that says, in bold black marker, “ZERO IS NOT A SIZE.” Everyone cheers, instead of wondering, “WTF?” like they probably really would.
All the while, Chase has been managing the bar at Tric, and has been up to some cocktail mixing, serving his latest creation, a brain hemorrhage. When Clay tells him that there’s already a drink by that name, he quickly changes the name to brain “buster” … but it doesn’t really matter, because the blue solution — which supposedly contains Jaegermeister and sambuca, among other ingredients — is absolutely horrible.
Nursing his drink so as to not have to actually imbibe it, Clay advises Nathan to respond, “No comment” to any reporters asking questions regarding the alleged blackmail.
After the show, the press asks Millie what happened at the end of the show, and Victoria jumps in to stop Millie from providing an answer that would start a scandal, embarrassing McKenna and taking the focus from the business at hand. But shortly afterward, Victoria stumbles on Alex with her arms around Julian, who’s just told her that although her script isn’t all that good, there’s something there to work with, and he’s willing to give it a go. But Victoria doesn’t trust Alex, whatever her intentions, and warns Brooke that she’s probably ruined a few good men in her day.
Quinn approaches Clay at the bar and asks him who he really is. He tells her to order a drink — one of Chase’s brain busters — and they start to get chummy. But David shows up at the bar, a bit drunk, and tries to insist that Quinn go with him. When she refuses, Clay steps in, wheels David around and punches him out. Nathan steps in to stop the scuffle, cursing out Clay for being so stupid in the presence of the press at this time.
After another song by the Noisettes, Haley approaches Miranda to thank her for stepping in and backing her up during that day’s interview. Miranda isn’t exactly effusive, telling Haley that she called out the reporter in the same way that she called out Haley for trying to get out of the interview in the first place. Then she admits to hating that reporter in the first place.
In one of the evening’s tougher plot lines, Mouth’s refusal to report the news of Nathan’s affair causes him takes it on the chin. While reporting the news, the story of Nathan’s affair scrolls up on the teleprompter and Mouth refuses to read it, signing off. (A little unrealistic, given that this probably would have LED the sports news, but we’ll suspend disbelief for the moment …) After he walks out, his editor tells him to keep on walking.
After seeing Clay punch out David, Alex offers to take care of his hand “and any other parts of him” that need attending. Clay refuses.
The press finally catches up with Nathan, asking him to comment on the allegations against him. He tells the press what a great job Brooke did and refuses to comment on anything else.
Mouth, who’s downcast after losing his job, naturally calls up Millie — just as she’s being cajoled by Alex to come out on the town for the after-after party. Millie thinks about it for a good few moments, but shuts off her phone and says yes to Alex’s offer … a shame, because the message from Mouth says he’s going to wait up for her.
As we head into the closing montage — to the third Noisettes song of the night — we see Jamie asleep with a photo of mom and dad. Julian tells Brooke that he’s thinking of setting up Victoria with his dad, and that he might help Alex make her movie. David tells Quinn, who’s determined to leave him, “Nothing you do is going to make me give up hope.” She responds that he’d be better off letting her go, as she gets in Clay’s car and tells him to go to his place. Clay asks if she’s sure, and says, “He’ll never forgive you.” (Which, of course, is what she has in mind.) Right at the end of the night, Renee, the blackmailer, shows up as Haley is getting into her SUV. Haley calls her a slut, and Renee counters that it was her sluttiness that Nathan found attractive. Haley slaps her, and out of nowhere, a flurry of paparazzi flashbulbs capture the moment, clearly staged by this new OTH psycho … and it looks like Haley will find that she’s “in the rotogravure.” And next week, it looks like she’s goin’ to jail!
We can’t wait. Or can we?
Photo Credit: FRED NORRIS /The CW ©2009 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.