One Tree Hill: Last Good-Bye

ONE TREE HILL: 9.13 “One Tree Hill”

I said it was the end of an era. But you know, after the credits rolled last night (and I wiped my ridiculously wet face down with a towel), I realized that very few shows make it nine seasons. Very few shows last that long. You know, at least those that aren’t procedurals.

What else? Well, this is really the only show that was really two. I saw someone on Twitter afterward claim that, though they haven’t seen the series, the last 15 minutes was too cheesy for them, and does anyone revere high school this much? Well, OTH was distinctive. Why did it revere high school so much? Well, because it was a high school show…until it wasn’t. I can’t really name a show that went from a high school drama to a post-grad drama, without the awkward attempt at college in between. It truly made OTH unique, and that’s why you were forced to pay attention to that high school nostalgia. Because you needed to link the end of the series with the front.

Ultimately, One Tree Hill did a great job at closing the series. I realize this even more as I just caught the last five minutes of the Friends finale. One Tree Hill didn’t make some drastic change. No one moved away. No one died. No one really did anything. Instead, they just…moved on with their lives. They remembered. And then they grew up. And wasn’t that what OTH was about in the first place?

I have to say kudos to the OTH throwbacks throughout: the copy of Julius Caesar from the beginning of the series, the reference to Felix, the secret box that was Lucas and Haley’s — heck, even the water balloons. If last year we thought we were passing the torch to Jamie in the faux-finale, this year it was ever so much more present. It wasn’t just Jamie taking on the life of a Tree Hill resident, but we had Davis and Jude, Lydia, and even the ever-adorable Logan. In fact, the only complaint I have with the episode was the casting of the pubescent Logan who lost every adorable feature that adorable little creature had to offer.

And man alive, when he called Quinn “Mom,” my heart melted. As did my tearducts.

Ok, let’s go family by family, because even I’m getting lost in my thoughts!

Nathan and Haley: Nothing really happened with Nathan and Haley in this episode, but I think that’s more than we could ever ask for. After all they went through this season, just having normalcy is what they needed most. And you know, the bracelet didn’t hurt. But they did set up Jamie for his life outside of our TV screen. Nathan’s not Dan, and he made sure of that. Jamie will have expectations, but Nathan’s not the one that’s adding some of that pressure. Nonetheless, we find out that even Jamie ended up on the wall of that old gymnasium. I couldn’t be happier that we didn’t see the grownup Jamie’s face.

Meanwhile, Haley passed her own torch with the secret box of dreams. “Tree Hill is your home,” the same line Karen told Lucas back in the day.

Quinn and Clay: Dear God, I can’t stand how happy I am with them. In one day, Quinn became a wife and a mother, and it was perfect. I had said I wanted a wedding episode, but if we weren’t getting that, this was the perfect substitute. Quinn had said that she and Clay just take what they get and enjoy it, well, here we go. Perfection.

And seriously, he’s the cutest kid.

Chase…and Chris? Ha. I love this. I’m so glad Chris Keller came back in this episode (I really was wondering what happened to him), and his glasses/beard was fantastic. Really, these two do really well together, and they both got happy endings. A bar and a record deal. Who could ask for anything more?

Mouth and Millie: “What you do matters.” If you thought we’d get through this episode without Jimmy’s memory coming to the surface, you were wrong. With all that’s been nagging at Mouth, it’s no wonder that it resurfaced. In the end, he sponsored a scholarship for those going into the field of athletics — beyond the athletes. Mouth has always taken a stand on things throughout the series, right or wrong, and it’s good that someone realized that. Now other kids will, too. But most of all, it’s one step to fix the shadow that Jimmy left behind that no one in Tree Hill — or anyone watching it — has ever forgotten.

And then, of course, Millie is pregnant in the big jump forward. While I’m still not the biggest fan of Millie, you can’t help but be happy for them.

Skills: Skills is Skills, and definitely enjoyable. In fact, he might’ve just gotten back with his girl from high school

Brooke and Julian: Brooke and Julian really took the trip down memory lane throughout the episode, walking through the old sets. Man, isn’t it strange to see Peyton’s room all over again, even if it was an TV set? We may not have gotten Peyton, but we got the memories. I’m a little surprised that her old house came back into the picture, as until last week we never realized how important it was to her, but even she got her family and home. And Baker Man! A store and a site. Who can’t be happy?

Overall, the episode was filled with closure, but a closure knowing that these stories live on, even if we don’t see it week to week. There’s just something nice to think of them all clustered together, chatting, happy, and enjoying life at Karen’s Cafe in Tree Hill, watching the next generation grow up.

Here’s to you, One Tree Hill. Thanks for the memories.

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