I love it when TV characters surprise me, so color me impressed at the end of last night's One Tree Hill when Haley, the kind former teacher, laid a vengeful smackdown on Rene, the other woman claiming Nathan knocked her up. You go, girl!
It's rare when I'm in agreement with most of the characters on One Tree Hill, but last night I found myself saying "You go, girl" to most of the show's residents, even the men. But Haley deserves the gold star for doing what everyone wished she would by slapping the crap out of Rene. Of course it was a set-up and the paparazzi were there to capture only Rene's side of things, but I'm sure the satisfaction of slapping her was worth whatever punishment is coming.
But Haley wasn't the only one to do something bad that was actually good. That was the theme of the episode.
Alex and Millie
Usually drugging another model into a catatonic state would be a bad thing, but Alex did it so Millie would get her chance to shine, and shine she did. I'm glad One Tree Hill finally decided to stop pretending that Millie was the nerdy girl and let her be hot.
Miranda and the Reporter
Blackmailing a reporter and calling her a fat cow might not be the best move, and while Miranda claims it was for the sake of being consistent, she stepped in and saved Haley a little embarrassment, which is more than anyone expected from the cold new owner of Red Bedroom Records.
Victoria and Julian
The oddest pair of the night was, without a doubt, the ice queen Victoria and Julian. As always, Brooke's mom came in and stole the show thanks to her gold medal in Passive Aggression. But as weird and bitter as these two are, they work well, and there was even hope that Victoria will take Julian's father as a lover. That would be a nightmare of a double date.
Quinn and Clay
So not only does Clay get to punch out Quinn's husband (what does he think this is, The O.C.?), but then he gets to take her back home for a night of good loving. Clay was definitely a bad boy, and somehow that gets rewarded. Good for him, I guess.
Mouth and His Boss
This is a strange storyline, because as far as I'm concerned, both sides were both right and wrong. Mouth shouldn't refuse to report on a story just because it's bad for his friend. After all, this is the same guy who made headline news out of a high school basketball game. That's not a good journalist, but it is a good friend.
On the other hand, his boss was right to fire him, but he was wrong to run a story based solely on allegation. The copy in the teleprompter made it sound like there was a sex tape of the liaison. Much like with any scandal, there were no winners here.
Chase and Tric
Finally, in the storyline that made me the happiest, my favorite character ever Chase returned, and somehow in the last 14 months he's managed to become the owner of Tric. But he's still behind the bar, making terrible, terrible drinks and forcing his friends to have them.
One Tree Hill was on fire, thanks to the fact that it's living up to the promise of all primetime soaps. We want to see good people behaving badly, and between the drugs, catfights, knockouts and hook-ups, we got plenty of it.