This episode has the first scene that was partially shown to the audience in the opening montage of the season 9 premiere. You will recall that Episode 901 began with Dan and Chris Keller with guns about to go to some sort of confrontation, Haley identifying a corpse in a morgue, etc. Clay’s sleepwalking continues. Since Quinn is understandably worried about Clay’s problem, she installs a tracking app in his phone to be able to find him the next time he goes in to his sleepwalking state. She has become increasingly worried since answering his phone and finding out that he did not pick up his pills from the pharmacist which the doctor had prescribed to help him.
Quinn discovers to her horror that Clay is buying drugs from a shady drug dealer and catches it on camera. She follows him again to find him buying drugs from the same drug dealer at night. She then brazenly decides to go confront the drug dealer on her own nearly getting hurt in the process. Lucky for her, Clay is nearby and intervenes. This scene was very exciting. The drug dealer pulls out a semi-automatic and threatens to kill them both if they cross him again. With this episode we now move into what Mark Schwahn probably meant when he referred to season 9 being in many ways “old-school One Tree Hill” (i.e. similar antagonists and harrowing events to what happened in seasons 1-4). We now have new psycho characters and antagonists entering the lives of the characters in Tree Hill. This drug dealer character is one of the new antagonists kind of like the psycho Derek character from season 4. This scene then leads to the scene of Quinn and Clay fighting about what just happened when they are back at home; the same scene we saw a clip of in the season 9 premier. Clay’s problem is clearly revealed to be much worse now than we have seen in the previous 3 episodes.
Another new antagonist character enters the picture in this episode. Her name is Tara (Chelsea Kane), aka “Not Alex.” She is revealed to be the owner of the new rival cafe across the street from Karen’s Cafe. Chase meets her in an unusual circumstance and is quite taken with her, especially since he is hurt from Alex’s sudden departure to go on tour with her music. But surprise, surprise. Tara is Chris Keller’s girlfriend as Chase finds out when they both arrive at Tric where he bartends and is bar manager (as he frequently has to remind people).
A great scene in this episode is Dan’s confrontation with the drug dealer after he finds out that the guy had a run in with Clay and Quinn. He threatens to kill the guy if he catches him near any of his family again. This is Dan Scott talking so we know that he is not engaging in bravado or hyperbole when he says that. He means it. However, as fans who have been with this show from the beginning know, Dan is not an evil character. He has a dark side but the murder of Keith happened in a moment of rage when there was a gun present and when he believed that Keith set his car dealership on fire. He didn’t pre-meditatively decide to commit murder before. Dan truly loves his family. He can’t be close to them now because of the mistakes he has made but he still is going to look out for them and will go to great lengths to protect them.
This scene is followed by another scene that I really enjoyed. Dan finds Clay on the beach and gives him a second “baptism.” It is humorous in a way because it is a throwback to season 7 when Dan did the same thing to Clay. Quinn watches the whole thing from a distance on the beach. It is a touching scene because we see Dan’s compassion and concern for all of them. He wants them to be safe and he particularly wants to make sure his grandchildren, Jamie and Lydia, are safe.
The episode wraps up with Clay checking into a special hospital for psychiatric disorders and Julian and Brooke reconciling over Julian accidentally leaving the baby in the car. The coda also ends on an ominous note as Nathan does not arrive home. However, Lydia’s stuffed animal toy he was carrying with him is seen in the airport gutter indicating that something bad has befallen him and dark times lie ahead in future episodes.