Oh man, you guys! I think I might have been more excited for One Tree Hill's return than Gossip Girl's, if only to see how the show was going to deal with the departure of two of the show's principle characters. Would we learn that Peyton, Lucas and baby died in a fiery car crash? Perhaps the always sickly Peyton got cancer (after all, it's in her genes) and died, only for Lucas to off himself out of grief (then Brooke gets a baby, yay!)? Nah, they've just gone off to some indeterminate place, too far away apparently to attend Jamie's b-day, but free to come crawling back to The CW once Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton realize that One Tree Hill was as good as it was ever going to get for them career-wise.
So how is Tree Hill faring without Lucas and Peyton and now that 14 months have passed (thanks Dan Scott, narrator for the night)? Read on and find out:
Haley James Scott
Life is not too shabby for Haley James Scott - she's married to a pro-basketball player, operates a record label (I guess Peyton gave it to her as a parting gift?) and is making music again (which also functioned as the song for the obligatory OTH extended opening montage). But...nothing can be too perfect, as looming troubles include the label being in danger and a scandal involving her husband.
"Who is that skank with her hands all over Nathan Scott?!" Oh, phew. It's just a body spray commercial...because Nathan has made it big now and does things like make body spray commercials. However, his first year as a pro-baller is up (convenient that all of Nathan's pro-ball time was off screen) and his contract has not yet been renewed. Luckily he has obtained his very own Jerry Maguire who is on top of things, but will a woman claiming she slept with him on the road ruin everything?
"Peyton used to say people always leave. Who knew she was talking about her stupid ass? - Brooke" But where did she go?!?!
Brooke (and Julian)
Brooke was a little less central to this episode than usual, as she was relegated to rolling around on the beach with Julian, then pining over his absence, then rolling around on the beach with him once more. But she did have the best exchange of the episode:
Julian: You coming or what?
Brooke: That's what she said.
Also, Sophia Bush looked absolutely gorgeous.
Man. While this show was trimming the fat, I really wish they had done away with Dan Scott. I just don't think he has anything left to contribute to the show beyond sheer absurdity (like this). But no such luck. Dan is alive and well, and now a motivational speaker.
Haha. They must have filmed this episode before this happened. Funnily, Skillz announces in this episode that he's starting a business. We should warn him that selling fake social security numbers is illegal...
Did. Not. Need. To. See. That.
Whoa! Millicent is smokin' hot and powerful within the Clothes Over Bros empire now. Clearly the previous barrier between Millie, power and hotness was her glasses.
Quinn - Haley's sister
We are introduced to Quinn (yet another sister of Haley's who has materialized out of the woodwork) in the beginning montage, who apparently is one of those creepers that likes to take pictures of random children. Turns out though that Quinn's a legitimate photographer, so I guess that makes it ok. More on Quinn: She's totally hot (naturally) and we later learn, is married (bummer!), but has left her husband (score!). This means that she's free to eventually hook up with...
Clay - Nathan's agent
A welcome addition to Tree Hill, Clay (played by Robert Buckley of Lipstick Jungle), is Nathan's agent and apparent new BFF (as he comes to his son's birthday party and brings Jerry Rice as a present, who, btw I had to Wikipedia...oops...guess I really am the OTH demographic). Not only does Clay appear to be good at his job, but he talks to his Mom on the phone (awww) and oh yeah...is smokin' hot. Why he only went half-shirtless in this episode is a mystery to me.
So...what did everyone think of the premiere, the newbies and how the show dealt with the absence of Lucas and Peyton?
Overall, I didn't feel as though the show had some sort of gaping hole because Lucas and Peyton were gone. In fact, I hardly noticed (or cared) that they were missing. Much like in real life, people move away and the world continues on. And...as I mentioned in previous reviews, Lucas and Peyton - kinda dull - so maybe this cast shift and introduction of new characters is just what this show needs to breathe some new life into it. What do you think?
Miss the season premiere? Watch One Tree Hill Season 7, Episode 1 "4:30 am (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad) Online Now