I had a very short window of time at home last night to watch anything on TV so the only thing I watched was One Tree Hill (sorry, Chuck! I know you needed the live-view ratings but it couldn't be helped this time - I love you and all, but my Grandma has to take precedence).
We pick the action back up a very short time after it left off. Brooke and Julian are back together and happy as clams. Haley is pretending to be just fine after the death of her mother. Quinn is opening a studio and gallery (because that takes about 5 minutes to pull together in Tree Hill). Skillz wants Lauren back. Skeevy Actor's computer with the sex tape of he and Alex has gone missing. The movie is wrapping. Details? I have a few.
For starters, let's talk about the sex tape. So that super creepy, not at all attractive actor that Alex had sex with when she was trying to distract herself from "loving" Julian surreptitiously taped the two of them in bed and then made a big stink the next day about how his laptop was missing.
At the same time, Julian and Brooke were all aglow with the happiness of the recently reunited. They love each other, they wish they'd never been apart, they're basically nauseating. Oh, and Brooke is back to calling him "boyfriend" like it's his name. It's probably a good thing she doesn't have a pet because she'd just call it "dog" or "cat" or "hamster."
And Lauren and Mouth are all awkward about how they want to date but now Skillz just showed up out of the clear blue telling Mouth how he wants Lauren back and is fully prepared to quit his job and move back to Tree Hill to be with her should that be necessary.
Meanwhile, Dead Ringer (get it, because she's a dead ringer for Dead Wife? God, I crack myself up!) has gone blonde and relocated to Tree Hill so she'll be better able to stalk Clay and annoy me. And Clay has come clean to Quinn that he sometimes sees and talks to Dead Wife, even though she's, you know, dead.
Haley is deep in the middle of a serious depression since her mom's untimely death (me too, Hales - I loved your mom!) but instead of telling her husband, her sister or her best friend (I know, I barely remembered Brooke and she were besties myself), she is pretending to be fine and sulking when she's alone. Apparently there aren't any TVs in Tree Hill so she doesn't know that that kind of behavior leads directly to substance abuse. It's a real shame too, because while she's pretending to be fine Nathan is busy being an awesome father, spending a father-son night with Jamie and making sure Jamie knows that mom is sad about grandma and that he needs to help her any way he can. Oh yeah, and Haley takes a pregnancy test that we never see the result of with our own eyes which will turn out to be important at the end of the episode.
As Quinn's studio/gallery opening kicks off, every one's troubles come to a head. Paul tells Julian that they're being blackmailed to the tune of a million dollars to keep Alex's sex tape out of the press. Julian is pissed and done with Alex and her shenanigans but Brooke - Famous Original Brooke - notes that a sex tape is devastating (remember how it was difficult for her to deal with that time her sex tape with Nathan came out? But then, like, a couple of episodes later the whole world had already forgotten about it - just like they would with Alex's!) and Julian has to do whatever he can to spare Alex the humiliation. I like FOB and all, but it pisses me off that they have her doing an about-face now when all I wanted was for her to act this way - like the real Brooke would - where Alex was concerned all along. Ditto Millie. But whatevs.
Skillz tells Lauren he wants her back, she shoots him down then tells Mouth all about it. Then they have a sweet moment where she touches his arm and they smile at each other, that gets captured on camera and fed to a monitor in the gallery as the "performance art" piece and Skillz sees and punches out Mouth. Shameful.
Victoria is spending all of her time making out with Boy Alex and he's a bit on the fence about continuing the relationship because she's making him feel weird by keeping it all secret. But she can't keep it in his pants so at the gallery they go behind some tarp for a quick, naked romp and when she's got him down to his shorts, their tryst is revealed by Mouth, crashing through the tarp post slug to the mug.
Brooke and her unflattering, too-short outfit give the two grown adults a dressing down (as it were) about...well actually it's about how Brooke thinks that Victoria is reeling from being stood up by Paul and is getting back at him by fucking the young, firm help. But when they set her straight about how it was really Boy Alex that stood her up because they've been dating for a while now and that Paul never had anything to do with anything, then she just kind of stands there agog like the rest of us, realizing that it's actually a little bit awesome that Boy Alex and Victoria make each other happy. I hope those two crazy kids can make it work, I really do. And then I hope he puts some of his focus back on fashion and tells Brooke that her short, tight, high waisted wardrobe this season is doing her legitimately awesome figure no favors. Because that's a truth she needs to hear!
And Dead Ringer buys a portrait of Clay then pretends for the sake of Quinn that this is the first time she's ever met Clay and at first Clay is all taken aback and he goes along with the creepy ruse but then she texts him some shit about Quinn being all wrong for him and he pulls it together and tells her to get gone in a hurry and then tells Quinn who Dead Ringer is and shows her a picture of Dead Wife so she can appreciate the length of Dead Ringer's crazy train.
Julian and Paul decide to pay the million to keep the sex tape out of the public. (A portion of which may or may not end up in the grubby hands of one Creepy Actor who is complicit in this whole scheme.) Julian rescues Alex from herself (and impending shots) once again but tells her that it was really Brooke. And then he almost proposes to Brooke - telling her he loves her and they'll always be together for the rest of their lives, blah, blah, blah - but then doesn't. Boo.
And finally, after a night of complete boyish silliness between father and son (including a shaving tutorial that included the following, awesomely hilarious exchange: Jamie: "When will I be able to shave for real?" Nathan: "If you're anything like me? When you're about 22." Hee!), Nathan welcomes his wife home with a smile and a hug. She tells him that he's a good dad and wonders where he ever learned decent parenting skills and he notes that it was from her (aw! And also true, because he sure as shit didn't learn it from his good-for-almost-nothing parents).
Then he tells her that he wants to have another kid and she tells him that she actually took a pregnancy test that very morning but it was negative. He says that's a bummer but that they can keep trying. Then they hug and she makes a face that tells me that she might be lying about...something. Later, they're in bed and Nathan is asleep but Haley looks like she's about to crawl out of her skin. She slides out of bed and out to the back yard where she has such a hysterical crying breakdown that I cried a little too. And I don't even know why because I kind of think this "Haley is despondent" storyline is ridiculous. But Bethany Joy Galeotti really did a believable and affecting breakdown there and it got to me. Which is why I decided only to mention that Haley's hair is greatly improved over the beginning of the season and say nothing about what she wore to the opening (because it was well and truly fugly!).
In a story that was completely removed from every other thing on the show, Miranda is being deported and Grubbs ain't havin' it so he asks her to marry him. Also, Chase makes an appearance.
Next week: turns out that creepy actor guy is gay. Doesn't make him or that shit he's always pulling any less creepy. Probably other stuff too, but the boy on boy smooch is all I remember from the promos.