What a satisfying and moving end to the paternity drama surrounding Nathan. His character was called into question, and as fans, many of us didn't appreciate that one bit. But thanks to an unlikely hero- his estranged father, Dan- Nathan was able to walk away from this with his dignity intact and his bond with Haley stronger than ever.
I thought the writers did a fantastic job in bringing this saga to a close in a creative and unpredictable manner. I had an idea that Dan would expose his son's accuser, but it was done in a way that did not demonize her, but rather shed light on what happened, showing the feelings that motivated her to deceive were not unlike those we have all felt at one time or another. I guess this is consistent with who Dan has become and the purpose of his show. Here, Dan acted as the prosecution and defense for both the accused and the accuser in a way that brought tears to my eyes. Some of the things he said gave me pause, and I appreciate the writers for giving me words to grow on. I don't know if this is enough to redeem Dan in Nathan's eyes, but I do think it was a way for Dan to show Nathan he has truly changed and truly cares for him. Yes, he has done horrible things that justify his son's animosity towards him, and unwillingness to forgive him, but Dan showed that he is still his father, and has only wanted the best for him...always.
When Dan, in the midst of stating the truth and apparent lies, said that he loved his wife, it made me wonder whether he loved her in the same way he did Debbie, or if he loved her with the same "love for all" mentality he does everyone else now. When Rachel asked him how he knew Nathan was innocent, he said he knew the type of person his son was, and that "it takes a con to know a con." Rachel proceeded to open Dan's shirt and run her fingers down his chest, telling him she loved him, to which Dan replied "Mm-hm," supposedly in agreement. I think the "con" comment was a loaded one, indicating that Dan knows Rachel is using him. Rachel thinks she is able to control and manipulate Dan with lust, but doesn't truly understand that Dan has been at the (con game) a lot longer than she has, and is allowing her to think she is in control. Perhaps he does care for her, and is doing this to help her change into a better person. I don't know, but I'm interested in seeing where this is going.
Ghosts of Loves Passed
So we found out Clay's mystery woman is the love of his life- his dearly departed wife. She was sweet, and the moments they shared were precious...I had tears in my eyes when she died in his arms. I enjoyed watching their little love story and was glad we got more character development for Clay. Robert Buckley did a wonderful job conveying the character's feelings of sadness and loss, but also of delight when he was with his wife. We were also shown Quinn's love & loss through flashbacks of when she & her husband were young and in love, to when she realized the love was gone. Her husband did not appreciate who he was when they met, and in seeking to become someone who could give Quinn the things he thought she deserved and really wanted, unwittingly, distanced himself from the character and qualities that made her fall in love with him. I personally feel that had she been honest with him, he may have been willing to reconnect with that part of himself that made him who he was. This may have, not only, restored their relationship, but would have helped him in his own personal journey, because he is obviously a little burdened with an unhealthy bit of self-loathing. I actually still believe this scenario may be possible if Quinn were to tell her husband the truth about her "night with Clay" and that the man he seemed to despise was the man she fell in love with. But then again, I guess she feels that ship has sailed and no longer has the motivation to try. Too bad.
Where Do We Go From Here?
We found out that Julian has chosen to continue working with Alex on her screenplay, despite her disrespect for Brooke & her relationship with Julian. This, along with her misunderstanding about what he meant by telling his father they weren't getting married, led to her having conflicted feelings regarding the longevity of their relationship. She told Julian about her proposal in the sand, letting him know that while she was sincere when writing it, she wasn't sure now because she was uncertain about how he truly felt. Julian consoled her, letting her know he was sorry he hadn't known about the proposal, but he loved her with all his heart, and though he fully intended to be with her forever, they could take their time because forever is a long time. It will be interesting to see whether their paths diverge due to their career choices and associations, or whether they grow closer together, and their bond stronger.
If only the portrayal of Quinn was as interesting as that of Clay's wife, all would be well on One Tree Hill, and I would probably be on board with the Clay/Quinn relationship. But alas, she is not, and it seems tptb is determined to have her stay...sigh...
James Lafferty did a fantastic job in directing this epi. I look forward to seeing Sophia Bush's directorial debut.
I already mentioned Robert Buckley, but I was also impressed with Paul Johansson, James Lafferty, and Bethany Joy Galeotti in this epi...actually, they're always good, but this was one of those epis that allowed you to truly see how good they are. Their portrayals really help you connect with their characters and empathize with them.
I'm glad the show's sentimentality is still intact, and I look forward to seeing the journey the characters take this season. If this epi was any indication, we should be in for a treat.