Well, we’ve made it to the Season 1 Finale! The episode is one big flashback to game day, game day, and then the day after that. The kids were busy the night before the game and then on game day and then after game day. I’m not actually always sure what day is what or what event happens at what point on what day. I mean, it seems like they should be at school, they aren’t. I just wish I knew what time the first bell rang and the last bell rang because I really don’t understand the timeline half the time. But I’ll try my best!

We begin with what I guess is a raven flying around the sky. Lucas has a voiceover that says what people think about ravens. Some believe ravens guide travelers to their destinations, others see a solitary raven as a sign of good luck, some think an unkindness of ravens predicts trouble ahead and a raven met before battle promises victory. Well, I guess that bodes well for the opposing team.

We’re gonna skip over Mouth’s commentary and really, Mouth altogether. In the locker room Dan says if they win they’ll be on their way to being legends, but if they lose they’re just a bunch of Keiths. You know, losers. Great pep talk, Dan. Before the games starts a player from the other team threatens Lucas’s bad shoulder. As the game goes on the Ravens trail, but they go into halftime with a 5 point lead off of a 3-pointer by Lucas. The player that threatened the shoulder goes and bumps Lucas’s shoulder real hard which sends the teams into a frenzy. Lucas can’t stand the pain. Ouch. In the lockeroom, Dan gives another great pep talk. Jerk! He asks the trainer about Lucas’s arm, but out of earshot of Lucas. The trainer tells him that Lucas’s night is over. Dan doesn’t like that answer. Dan goes and talks to Lucas and lies that the trainer said he can play. Lucas says he wants to play. Dan leaves. Nathan goes and talks to Lucas and Lucas says his arm feels weird, but that he can play. Aww, Nathan’s concerned. They repeat what they’ve repeated the whole episode about it all means nothing if Lucas can’t make the shot. They go back out there and play. They trail in the 4th, but have a chance to tie it up or win. Dan tells them to inbounds the ball to Nathan and Nathan should take it to the hole and tie it up, great players make great plays.

Ok, so as I mentioned, throughout the game we flashback to the day before the game and some the morning of the game. I’m going to present the vignettes out of order.

WHITEY: Whitey is getting ready to go into surgery. Before he goes to the hospital, Lucas and Nathan go and visit him to present him with a basketball signed by the team. He tells them that he’s been around basketball a long time, but never had the talent that they do. He says to play it with all of the heart they’ve been playing. Don’t let Dan take that from them. He tells them, “Take your shots. No regrets.” That’s important!

BROOKE & PEYTON: They scheme against Nikki the night before. Peyton and Brooke have  a heart to heart and Peyton’s not sure if she can tell Brooke where Jake is. Brooke assures Peyton she can trust her because if something’s important to Peyton, it’s important to her. Later at a bar, Peyton tells Brooke that Jake is in Savannah. They’re whole setup is weird. It’s interspersed with them taking a couple nights to play Nikki. They want us to think Brooke is playing Peyton in order to hurt her. She’s not though. Eventually she lets Nikki know where Jake is and Nikki takes off. Peyton comes up to her and asks how it went. Brooke says just as they planned it, Nikki’s going to Seattle. I guess they let her know after the game at some point, but I don’t really care because their whole storyline is basically about Jake and we all know he just needs to shut up, especially when he’s not even around.

DEB: Dan walks in on Deb signing the divorce papers. He’s tacky to her. She tells him she was having second thoughts and then she remembered what a monster he’s been for most of their marraige. He takes this as an opportunity to be even more tacky. He tells her the story of when he came to tell her he was leaving college. She thinks it was for the fake knee injury, but he tells her that’s not the real story. Of course it isn’t. He tells her that he was leaving to go back to Karen, but then he didn’t tell her that because she told him she was pregnant. She’s like, I didn’t know about Karen. He says, no, but she knew he’d do right by her and Nathan so that’s what he’s been trying to do ever since and if that makes him a monster then so be it. Shut up, Dan. You’re not a monster because of that, you’re a monster because you’ve been a real Jerkface meanybutt since even before that so whatever. Seriously, though, when Paul Johannson was hot hot, he was HOT! So, I can see why Karen and Deb were so blind to his flaws, they’re only human!

KEITH & KAREN: Karen goes to see Keith at his packed up apartment. He does blame her for why he’s leaving. He can’t look at her without his heart breaking. He knows she loves him but not the way he wants her to. He tells her she hasn’t been in any relationships since Dan. He tries to sound like he’s not being a total jerk to Karen right now by telling her he doesn’t need her to love him, but that she should open her heart to someone so they can see how staggering and great she is. He can’t bear the the thought of her living the rest of her life alone. Shut up, Loser. You do need her to love you, remember how you’re throwing this hissy in which you are LEAVING TOWN?! Stop making her feel bad because you waited 15 years to make a move and you’re no longer Nightbreed hot. This is why I love Lucas and Haley’s friendship. She thinks about her conversation she had with Lucas. She tells Keith that she’s allowing Lucas to go because she does trust him again. They have adult angst.

DAN: Dan spends the WHOLE episode being a big Jerkface baby! He’s a mean coach. He visits Deb and makes her feel bad about herself. He goes up to Haley at school and tries to intimidate her, telling her that he’s noticed her part in all of this. Lucas goes to see him before practice to tell him that he’s sorry he’s hated him and he’s thankful Dan rescued him. Dan tells him to go do various conditioning drills. Lucas looks all butthurt. Lucas, you’re dumb. Dan, you’re the DEVIL! I don’t care how many meaningful stares you give when no one is looking.

NATHAN & HALEY: The morning of the game Peyton drops Haley off at home. It’s POURING rain. Nathan is waiting on her front porch steps in the pouring rain. This scene has varying degrees of success. It’s pretty much a rehash of their first big kiss. Nathan did something dumb the day before that made Haley upset. Then he thinks of a reason why she shouldn’t be upset and why he should apologize. In this case he tells her that the pictures were from when he and Peyton were still dating. He knows he should’ve erased them. So they weren’t fresh pics, we were fooled! 😉 He tells her that he thought maybe he should leave Haley to deal with her issues, but he knows he didn’t want to do that because he loves her. Haley wonders why he couldn’t have thought of that earlier. They kiss. It would all be really romantic except for um, I think they were cold and wet and the water kept getting in Joy’s eyes and she seemed really uncomfortable. But don’t worry, rain becomes like a Naley thing so they get better at acting in the rain. Later they are inside and Nathan is sitting on her bed shirtless. She takes off her shirt. Don’t worry, she has like an undershirt thingy on underneath. Haley looks like she’s ready to do it. Of course, they don’t. Instead they have these cryptic conversations that could be about doing it or about something else. Whatever it is, Haley thinks that it might tear them apart and Nathan is seriously serious about wanting to go through with whatever it is. Well, whatever it is, it’s going to happen after the game. And if it’s tonight after the game, then why are they not at school?! Or maybe it’s a Saturday game. That could make sense. It’s a playoff game so it could be a Saturday. The world will never know.

LUCAS: The day before, Lucas and Nathan are practicing at the River Court. He misses a shot. Nathan tells him he’s wasting his time if he doesn’t make the shot, all of this extra training is for nothing. Lucas makes the next one and then asks him what’s really going on. Nathan’s having a hard time because Haley still isn’t talking to him. Lucas goes to visit Dan at the coach’s office. He goes with Nathan to visit Whitey. At some point he visits his mom and tells her some crazy mumbojumbo about how he needs to do this for him and for Keith. That Keith shouldn’t be alone right now. Whatever Lucas, you should definitely wear the Scott patch on your jersey now, all of you throw epic hissy! He meets up with Haley the night before the game. She’s looking for him at night in the cemetery. He jumps out from behind a headstone and she punches him in the gut. It’s actually pretty funny. They’re using the cemetery as a shortcut, but it’s never revealed to where. He tells Haley he has to tell her something. She thinks it’s about a girl. He tells her that he’s going to live with Keith in Charleston. Haley is upset about this bit of business. She asks him a series of questions that reveals how much fun they have together that we don’t get to see. They go thrift store hunting, they go buy bad music, and the best one…they go to the campus Lost & Found to claim dumb stuff. How awesome would that have been if they showed that every now and then?! Lost & Founds can be really interesting, people lose and don’t go look for some really cool stuff! Innyway, he tells her she has Nathan for all of that now. He says he’ll still see her, just not everyday. He’ll miss her and she’s his best friend and always will be. They hug. Yay, friendship and only ever friendship between a male and a female on a TV show! Unfortunately, scenes like this between the two of them become rare.

Back to the game. The boys want to go for the win. They code talk to each other that it’s all for nothing if he can’t make the shot. So instead of going for the tie Nathan passes outside to Lucas who has a wide open three and MISSES IT! They lose. Devastation! You know, I think they did a great job with the pacing of the game. It was a real nailbiter. I knew the outcome and I was still anxious about it. Good job.

In the lockeroom Dan is a complete jackhole as you might imagine. He tells Nathan to take off the jersey because he doesn’t deserve to wear it. Nathan does. Dan asks Nathan why he passed to Lucas when he knew- Nathan cuts him off and says when he knew just like Dan that Lucas shouldn’t’ve been playing. Lucas takes the blame and Dan starts on him saying he doesn’t even deserve to be there. Nathan says at least Lucas took a shot and tried all game. It’s more than Dan, Lucas was there, he didn’t bench himself like Dan did that one time to prove a point. Then Dan says another wildly inappropriate thing. He tells Tim to go get security and tell them Nathan’s just been beaten to death. OMG. WHAT? I mean that’s pretty awful to say, but if someone’s been beaten to death, wouldn’t you call the cops? Lawless town. Nathan tells Dan that the team played hard and lost and they have nothing to be ashamed of except their coach. Then he rips off the Velcro name from his jersey and drops it to the ground. Dan stares at him all upset. Nathan tells Lucas, “No regrets,” and leaves. Dan leaves in a huff. The team just sits there in a vague form of fatigue and disbelief at what they just witnessed.

Dan is in the coach’s office and Keith goes to tell him that he’s leaving town. Dan looks up with shocked face. He’s totes bummed that his easiest target won’t be around as much. He asks what Keith did with the ring. He assumes correctly that the only reason Keith would leave town is that Karen turned down his proposal. Keith bought and ’89 Land Cruiser with it. Dan says he could’ve gotten a better deal and Keith considers that Dan’s goodbye. Keith’s on his way out when Dan calls him back in, but then Dan tells him nevermind. Dan gives meaningful stare as Keith leaves.

Haley meets up with Lucas in the hallway. She wanted to make sure he was ok. Aww. He tells her he’s leaving tomorrow. She’s sad face. She wanted to spend his last night with him, but Nathan’s waiting. He tells her to go that he has to go get his shoulder checked out anyway. He says that he’ll find her in the morning before he leaves. They exchange I’ll miss yous and a hug. Aww. She leaves and gets in Nathan’s car. His what? Where did that come from, they don’t have a car! She starts to cry and he tells her not to, they don’t have to do whatever it is tonight. She says she wants to, no regrets. They drive away.

Keith shows up at Casa de Scott. Deb is burning Dan’s stuff and he did say he’d help her do that. He tells her that normally he sits with Whitey after every home game win or lose. Then why are you not at the hospital? He tells her he’s leaving town with Lucas. She says she tried escaping like that once, it doesn’t work. She asks how they became so broken. He says, and I quote, “We fell in love. And at some point the people that we love forgot to love us back.” OMFG! I’m sure Deb’s mind is saying that that’s the case for her. But for Keith? Karen loves you, just not the way you want her to. She’s been nothing but good to you and there for you. You ungrateful LOSER! Ugh!

Lucas is at the hospital to get his shoulder checked out. The doc says even if he had another game his season would still be over. Karen thinks maybe he should stay in Tree Hill. Lucas tells her it’s time. What? He goes to see Whitey. Ravenshoops.com had a live webcast so Whitey knows exactly what happened at the game. He tells Lucas it was a good look and to let it go. Whitey’s right, it was, not even the best players to ever play are 100% in shots or in wins. The doc says the eye thing is a bit more complicated than originally thought. Lucas is concerned. He tells Whitey he’s grateful for the support. Whitey tells him to take care of Keith because he’s a good man. Lucas says Whitey is too. They hug and Lucas leaves.

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Dan walks into Casa de Scott to find Keith and Dbe under covers by the fire place. They did it. Now, I would say that it’s something that just happened except for they have a quilt under them, a quilt on them, and pillows. That’s a lot of effort they went through! Dan doesn’t say anything and leaves all dejected. Keith goes to see Dan at the beach house. He tells him that it just happened. He wants to assure him it’s not an ongoing affair, it was a one time even. Dan gets really angry and says Keith is no longer his brother. Then he does this messed up thing where he turns around and punches out the window of his car. What?  Why not Keith’s window? I would say his face, but Paul Johannson or the stunt guy goes around so hard to punch that window that I’m pretty sure that punch would’ve put Keith in a coma. Seriously. Keith’s a loser, but he doesn’t deserve that. SPOILER ALERT: He definitely doesn’t deserve the worse that he gets. Dan goes inside. Keith is left outside, we see him through the broken window. The window cuts across his face on a diagonal. I appreciate stuff like that.

Lucas is at the River Court. Nathan walks up and tells him that he was wrong about what he said about missing the shot making it all for nothing. He says he heard Lucas is leaving town. Lucas said he was there to tell the guys bye. He says he needs a change and he knows he’s leaving Haley in good hands. Nathan says he never would’ve thought back during the one on one game that he’d be back at the River Court feeling like he’s going to miss Lucas. Awwwww! Nathan tells him to do what he’s gotta do but he doesn’t want him to leave because he’s one hell of a basketball player and he’s his brother. He tells Lucas to take care of himself and Lucas tells him to take care of Haley. They hug and Lucas tells him, “I’ll miss you too, little brother. OMG. TEAR! Nathan walks off and Lucas watches with a smile, so proud. The Chad is so cute!

The next day Lucas is finishing up packing. Karen tells him that she hopes he finds what he’s looking for, but that the answers are in his heart. She tells him that Tree Hill is his home. She loves him, he loves her, they hug and cry. It’s beautiful. Even if you don’t watch the whole episode, at least find that scene on YouTube. It has to be there. Oh, here it is. [Thank you TheLk49]

Keith is all packed, he just leaves a pic of him and Dan hanging on the wall. Brooke is sleeping over at Peyton’s. They think it’s a beautiful morning. Brooke wants them to do something great today. An envelope addressed to the both of them is waiting for them in the door handle. They have no idea it’s there yet. I bet it’s from Lucas!

Dan is staring at divorce papers I guess. Deb has wasted 10cents texting Dan to call her. He’s about to sign the papers when his hand goes to his heart and he hits the floor. Now, this is an accurate portrayal of how a man can have a heart attack. I remember PJ mentioning it in an interview or a commentary how he looked it up because he wanted it to look as real as possible. We go to Whitey in the hospital. He’s about to hear some news, but we’ll have to wait for what it is. Oh look, unecessary shot of Nikki driving to Seattle. Karen is sitting on Lucas’s bed looking super sad face. Deb walks into the beach house and sees Dan on the floor. She runs over to him. He’s dying, but he manages to get out, “Deb, you better hope I die.” The DEVIL!

Lucas goes over to Nathan’s looking for Haley. She walks across the hall in a towel and then comes out in Nathan’s sweatshirt. Lucas is all, um, I thought you were gonna wait until you got married. Haley is confused because she did. She tells him they did wait and they flash their rings. They got married after the game. What? She laughs, but Lucas is not amused!

Lucas is in the car with Keith and they are on the road to Charleston. The voiceover from the beginning plays again. He looks up to the sky and sees what I assume  are a ton of ravens flying overhead. See, the single raven from the beginning wasn’t alone! The voiceover reminds us that a group of ravens means trouble ahead. And Roll Credits. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait months and months to know what happens next. We won’t have to agonize over how they’re going to have a show without Lucas and whether the Naley marriage will work. In our world, Season 2 starts tomorrow!

Episode Notes:
PLOT: Against the backdrop of the first playoff game we learn of our kids’ shennanigans.

BEST PART: Haley and Lucas in the cemetery. She punches him and it’s funny. It’s also a really great friendship scene and I’m a sucker for those. Honorable mention to the last River Court scene between Nathan and Lucas. They call each other brother and that’s a pretty big moment.

LESSON LEARNED: You can’t win ’em all.

BEST LINE: “There is only one Tree Hill and it’s you’re home.” – Karen Roe to Lucas Scott Moira for the win! Tear.

Until next time…tooda loos!

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