One Tree Hill: Rescue Mission

ONE TREE HILL: 9.10 “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Freeeeedddddooooooommmmm!

Well, Nathan’s finally free after quite a while. And I have to say, with Nathan’s voiceover mid-episode, I really did start to wonder if he’d make it out alive. Fortunately, with the help of Dan and his babbling comrades, he did.

Actually, considering the gravity of the episode, I’m surprised how comedic it was. I truly regret that Chris Keller and Dan Scott didn’t have more scenes together. Sure, it was great seeing Dan and Julian team up a few weeks ago, but Chris and Dan make the perfect odd couple.

And somehow it worked. Dan went on his mission while Chris provided his end of the bargain, a distraction that took one mobster’s life. If there were more than just a few episode of the show left, I would wonder how Chris would deal with his first kill, but personally I prefer to think of him cowardly making skid marks as he ran away from…literally making skid marks. Meanwhile, Julian came through and saved the day after Dan was shot (we’ll get to that in a moment) — a surprise appearance after Dan left him in the woods. Every once in a while, Dan does surprise you with a good moral moment, even if Julian didn’t listen to him.

Adding to the momentum of the episode was Brooke’s attacker attacking again. Xavier’s claim that if Brooke left him alone he wouldn’t hurt her was clearly a lie, since he was stalking her through a parking garage. Tara came to the rescue, and it was nice to see she and Brooke share a moment, despite their mutual dislike. In fact, I keep chuckling at Tara’s statement, “I need to sell the coffee shop. It makes me such a bitch.”

Honestly, between this and the rescue mission, there was a lot of tension in the air in this episode, which I really liked. It’s almost unfortunate we had to interrupt it with Clay’s visit to Sarah’s grave, which slowed down the entire episode and was, frankly, boring. We should have left this one in the past — or in another episode.

But the real question here is what’s next? Dan’s been shot, and he doesn’t look good. All along, I thought Dan wouldn’t make it through the rescue mission (or the season). I originally thought he’d make a heroic save, only to die and he’d end up under the sheet Haley saw in the season opener; I was wrong about that. But he may still not make it.

This is an absolutely fantastic storyline, really. Since the beginning, every season of OTH has left you wondering if someone was dead or alive, and many of those finales involved Dan’s potential death. Putting his life on the line at the end of the series is only fitting — especially when you have to decide whether you really want him to die, given his precarious balancing act of good and bad deeds. Will you forgive him for Keith’s death on his deathbed? He did save Nathan after all. But what about the emotional abuse? But he’s been so kind to Jamie.

Really, it will be a fantastic last few episodes as I see it, and Dan’s fate certainly isn’t looking good. How will it end?

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