As I write this, there is only one episode remaining in Season 7 of One Tree Hill. However, as the credits rolled following last night’s show, it was quite clear that there are still more stories to tell than can possibly be finished in one solitary episode. And yet, we’re all in a holding pattern, wondering if we’ll see these stories come to fruition, or if, after being faithful to this great show for seven years, its completion will be left to our imaginations.
As I’ve already covered in my last two posts, there are a million reasons to love One Tree Hill, and I don’t think it’s presumptuous in the least to say that The CW Network owes us a season 8 and a proper conclusion befitting the legacy of our show. So far, they’ve avoided giving any clear answers, either afraid of the fallout if they deny our request, or they are enjoying the game a little too much. It disappoints me, but I don’t want to dwell on it here.
As promised, this third and final blog in my “We Are One” series, is to discuss the stories yet untold – the things I would like to see happen in Tree Hill before the show’s ultimate coda. I’d like to hear your ideas as well. So, let’s tell our stories.
“When archaeologists uncover lost civilizations and they unearth their worlds that have long been since been destroyed, you know what they find most often? They find stories, ancient languages, words, inscriptions from people who have been gone for thousands of years, because chances are, like you, they wanted to know, “What’s the point?” And they wanted us to know that they were here, you know? They told their stories, and they tried to make sense of their lives and their worlds and their tragedies. So that’s what we are gonna do.”
Mark Schwahn and the rest of the One Tree Hill writers have given us a lot of stories in seven years. We’ve certainly been dealt some twists and turns along the way – shocking moments we never saw coming, heartwarming scenes that got us a little choked up, and hilarious one-liners that we’ve done our best to work into everyday conversation as often as possible.
But even after seven years, the well hasn’t run dry. One Tree Hill is still telling great stories, and there are many more that haven’t even been touched yet. I have every confidence that, given an appropriate amount of time, the writers and producers of the show will not let us down. We just need a little more time to get to that “happily ever after” conclusion that we deserve. For me, that includes a number of things:
• Dan. I know some people have said that season 4 had a storybook ending. Others point to the finale of season 6 and say it offered the picturesque conclusion we needed. I disagree. Those two seasons didn’t have any splashy cliff-hangers, but that doesn’t mean they were sufficiently wrapped up, either. (Hence why the show has continued!) My reasoning all points back to Dan. While not generally named with the original “Core Five” of the cast, I tend to think that One Tree Hill began with at least SIX key players. Without Dan Scott, there would be no One Tree Hill. And further, without Dan Scott, there can’t be a proper ending. We have seen Dan do a lot of evil, unspeakable things. We have even seen him be kind and vulnerable in unexpected ways. Ultimately, we have seen him reach for redemption and forgiveness, but despite valiant efforts, he’s never grasped it. I do understand that some characters (and some viewers) will never excuse him, no matter what he does. For my part, I would like to see at least two things happen before the show ends. First, before One Tree Hill goes off the air, Dan should finally breathe his last. Bear in mind that I love Dan, so I envision this happening about one episode prior to the series finale. That is the only true closure Dan can have. We know he’s not going to turn into the model of perfection, and he can’t just go back to being evil at this point. But, he can still die in peace. I’d rather like to see him die a hero. And not alone. Nathan has said time and time again that he will never forgive his father, no matter what he does, and despite some pretty spectacular displays of love and support from Dan, Nathan has only barely tolerated him, and even then, it was only in service of Jamie. But as Jamie told Nathan at the beginning of season 7, “I think you’re good enough to forgive him.” I think Dan can accept being ostracized from everyone else’s life, but the rift between him and the son that he raised has tormented him for years. And Nathan, as the veritable hero of the show, has the capacity to heal that breach, even if only so his father can die in peace.
• Brooke. When all the original characters finished pairing up, Brooke got the shaft. Regardless of whether you’re pro-Brucas or pro-Leyton, I hope we can all agree that Brooke certainly deserves to find some happiness. She loved Lucas, but he chose her best friend – a scenario which Brooke (eventually) was able to handle with class and dignity. After that initial heartbreak, what followed was a litany of failed attempts: Felix, Chase, all the Nicks (not the Knicks) of New York City, Owen, to be capped off with a rather tumultuous, on-again, off-again relationship with Julian. I may be in the minority here, but I am not convinced that their love can (or should) stand the test of time. In addition to romantic turmoil, we’ve seen Brooke dream of motherhood since she returned to Tree Hill at the on-set of season five. She took care of Baby Angie long enough to get attached just before having to send her home to her parents. Then, she bravely stepped up and took in Sam – passing up an opportunity to adopt an infant – only for Sam to leave her as well. Now, her dreams have been utterly crushed by the news that she’s infertile, and after so many disappointments, the spark in her eyes has all but died. Now, we know Mark Schwahn to be a sucker for a happy ending, so I have to believe there is one in the cards for Brooke – as long as he has time to tell the story. Now, as I said, I’m not a big advocate of Brulian, and believe Brooke met her soulmate in season five. Remember the sweet and adorable Dr. Ethan Copeland? The one who operated on Baby Angie? Yep. Him. There were sparks flying between Brooke and the good doctor, but every time they had a nice moment together, along came Lucas to mess it up. So, if Brooke could run into him on the street somewhere, I have a feeling they would finally hit it off, and chances are, he either knows a few fertility specialists through his work, or he’d be more than happy to adopt a lot of Baby Angies with Brooke.
• Whitey. I love Whitey. He added so much heart to the first four seasons of One Tree Hill, being essentially the father that Lucas and Nathan never had, and offering his sage wisdom (and crotchety attitude) to any and everyone that needed a little bit of guidance. I squealed with joy when he appeared for the flashback episode in season five, and again at the end of season six, wherein I cried like a baby to see him offer encouragement and a loving embrace to perhaps his most bitter enemy. We have not seen anything of Whitey this season, but I would dearly like to see him again before the show ends. In my mind, he certainly must visit Nathan, Haley, and Jamie from time to time. I can’t imagine he made such a tremendous impact on Nathan’s life (and career) only to disappear into oblivion and not keep in touch. The scene at the end of season 6 supports my theory, and I would be over the moon to see Whitey show up for at least one family dinner at the Scott House. Can you imagine the epic cuteness of a scene between Whitey and Jamie? I must see that. And I would not be even remotely opposed to seeing more of Whitey and Dan. Perhaps Whitey could help with that Dan/Nathan reconciliation I mentioned earlier.
• Nathan and Haley. Aside from one or two *slightly* cheesy lines in the course of seven years, I have zero complaints regarding the way my favorite couple has been written. I was hooked on them from the very beginning, and their stories have never disappointed me. There is no other couple in TV, movies, or literature that I enjoy more. (Darcy and Elizabeth are a distant second.) All that being said, I obviously think they should stay together all the way to the end (and it would be preposterous if they didn’t, so I don’t really have any worries there). But the one thing my Naley-loving heart desires is another baby. They got their son, so taking what Nathan said to Haley in “The Desperate Kingdom of Love,” they’re still due “a little girl, just like you [Haley].” And I want to see it happen! They can even throw in some cheesy lines (“Now I know why they call it true love”) and I swear, I won’t even wince. Plus, given the present state of season 7, One Tree Hill simply cannot end with Haley in the midst of (or even beginning to recover from) a very dark and serious depression. It’s a great storyline, but it’s not the stuff of “happily ever after.”
• Lucas and Peyton. Now, I know what you’re going to say, because I’m usually the one saying it: they’re not coming back. And hey – you know what – I can accept that. But if One Tree Hill got (at least) one more season, I figure that only increases the odds that they might be willing to make a guest appearance in the eventual series finale, which would be a nice nod to the fans that have been around since day one. (And the Leyton fans would be ecstatic, obviously.)
• Chris Keller. I had a fierce hatred for Chris Keller for obvious reasons, but darn if he wasn’t just so funny that he grew on me after all. Plus, Tyler Hilton is fantastic. And – it just so happens that when last I saw him, he said he’d love to come back to One Tree Hill for a series finale. So, there must be a way to let this fellow drop by Tree Hill. He and Nathan were almost kinda sorta friends the last time we saw Chris in season 4, so I see no potential problems there. And wouldn’t it be hilarious and awesome if Chris Keller returned to town on the arm of the love of his life, and let’s say her name is Taylor James. Oh, that’s what you call a win-win, folks.
• Levi Weaver. Now, I suppose none of you remember that character. Which makes sense, since there never was any such character in Tree Hill. Rather, Levi Weaver is a musician – a darn good one, whose songs would go so nicely with the always-fantastic One Tree Hill soundtrack, and come to think of it, the man himself would probably look pretty well at home on the set of Red Bedroom Records. One Tree Hill has done some great things for independent artists and acts that deserve a second look. The integration of Mike Grubbs in season 7 to launch the extremely noteworthy music of Wakey!Wakey! is only one example. One Tree Hill has changed the lives of a lot of musicians by giving them an avenue to get their music out there to the public. Radio simply doesn’t do that anymore – it’s TV’s arena, and One Tree Hill does it best. And for an independent musician like Levi Weaver, a song placement in a TV show with two million plus viewers can make a huge difference in a career – and in whether he can afford to keep making brilliant music. I am constantly awed by the song placements on One Tree Hill (Lindsay Wolfington is a genius, by the way), so I don’t suggest this lightly. I hear Levi Weaver’s “We’re Tornadoes When We Dance,” and I think of Nathan and Haley. “Drink, Drink, Drink” is reminiscent of Dan Scott – did I mention I love Dan Scott? And “You Are Home” – well, that kind of fits the show as a whole, doesn’t it? “Oh, you are home. And no matter where I go, you’re in my bones. And no matter where I sleep, I never rest outside the place I keep my soul.” So, yes. This is my wish list, and it absolutely includes hearing a song by my all-time favorite artist playing through the coda of my all-time favorite show.
I could go on and name a million different storylines, but then this blog would never end. And I’ll leave the writing to Mark Schwahn, since the last 7 years of stories have come from him, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Still, I’d like to hear your ideas in the comments. What stories are important to you? And what do you need to see before you’ll feel like One Tree Hill is complete? Here’s hoping that we get to see all those stories play out on our TV screens, and we get all the things we wished for.
To The CW, I’d like to reiterate another relevant One Tree Hill quote:
“Regret comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, like when we do a bad thing for a good reason. Some are bigger, like when we let down a friend. Some of us escape the pains of regret by making the right choice. Some of us have little time for regret, because we’re looking forward to the future. Sometimes we have to fight to come to terms with the past. And sometimes we bury our regret, by promising to change our ways. But our biggest regrets are not for the things we did… but the things we didn’t do.”
Don’t let canceling One Tree Hill be your biggest regret. And don’t let it be ours, either.