One Tree Hill has really delivered the dramatic goods thus far in the 9th season! Only 2 episodes in and the dramatic tension is as huge as the boulder chasing Dr. Jones in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the season premier, Chris Keller returned to Tree Hill to oversee Red Bedroom Records for Haley and began producing Alex Duprey’s (Jana Kramer) “What I Love About Your Love.” They got off to a hilarious start with Chris telling Alex point-blank that her song was “crappy.” In reality, he felt her acoustic track just needed to be produced. After laying down the other instrument tracks overnight, he played a produced version of her song for her, much to her surprise. Alex decides to take Chris’ advice and go on tour and consequently leave behind Chase. So for now, Alex Duprey has left Tree Hill and possibly this is Jana Kramer’s exit from the series. We shall find out later this season if her character returns or not.
Nathan arrived home to find his father Dan Scott temporarily staying under his roof. Episode 901 ended excitingly with Nathan walking into his daughter Lydia’s room to find Dan holding and cuddling her. Nathan was not happy and long-time fans of the show who have watched this strained father-son relationship unfold over the seasons certainly understand why. It creates an awkward situation for the characters and wonderful dramatic tension for the audience. Jamie (Jackson Brundage) loves having his Grandpa Dan around. Haley and particularly Nathan arent’ thrilled about it. Haley agreed to let Dan stay in their house until Nathan returned home from traveling for his and Clay’s sports agency Fortitude. Now that Nathan is back, he wants Dan out.
Brooke and Julian are enjoying/suffering through the trials and tribulations of early parenthood replete with sleepless nights seemingly without end. However, one morning in the beginning of this episode, instead of the sound of baby cries, they wake up to the sound of…well, nothing! Alarmed, they jump out of bed and storm into the kitchen to find Brooke’s mother Victoria (the wonderful Daphne Zuniga) tending to the twins and making breakfast for everyone. It is a warm familial scene Julian and Brooke stumble upon, one Brooke wryly remarks was wanting in her childhood. Brooke is soon off to meet her father at the golf course for what she believes will be some quality father/daughter time and a discussion of their future business partnership in Baker Man baby clothing.
Clay was supposed to do the traveling the next time around. The plan was for Clay to go to Europe to look for potential athletes. With Clay’s drug addiction and ongoing sleepwalking problem, he is not in any position to be traveling far from home. So once again, Nathan is going to have to leave for an extended period of time. As the episode ends with Nathan driving out of sight, Dan and Jamie are standing on the front porch watching him leave. “I thought you had left,” Jamie says. “Don’t worry Jamie,” Dan replies. “I’m not going anywhere.”
What is Dan up to? He appears to have transformed into a much more caring person from the Dan Scott of earlier seasons, particularly since he murdered Keith in season 3. Is Dan up to something? This episode ends with a close-up on Dan with a knowing look in his eye, as though he knows Nathan is not going to be back any time soon. How does he know that? Has he conveniently arranged for someone to detain Nathan from returning home soon? If so, is it because he really is a nicer guy now but is doing what he feels he has to do in order to be in his grandchildren’s lives? We shall find out soon!
What I particularly enjoyed in this episode were the scenes between Dan, Nathan, Haley, and Jamie in the Scott household. Dan is back this season and I am stoked about that because as I mentioned in my review of episode 901 and my article about An Evening with One Tree Hill in L.A., Dan Scott is one of my favorite characters on One Tree Hill. He always adds a compelling dynamic tension to the drama in each plot that he plays a significant part in. As Mark Schwahn mentioned at the L.A. premiere, we will be seeing a lot of Dan this season. I also enjoyed the scenes between Victoria and Brooke quite a bit. They have been great to watch each episode and it was fascinating watching their characters go from an adversarial relationship to a happy mother/daughter relationship over since season 5. If any of my readers are fans of the show or just want to share their thoughts about this episode or the season thus far, please feel free to comment in the comment section below!