One Tree Hill: Oh, Danny Boy

One Tree Hill S09E11: “Danny Boy”

Melodrama, thy name is One Tree Hill. But since I would expect nothing less than the finest of melodramatic flair from this vintage series, and I love having my expectations met, I’m okay with that. It’s Season 9. It would be silly to change form now.

So rip my heart out and stomp on it some more, C-Dubs. It’s okay. I’m ready.

I told you Dan was a goner.

In other news, Clay tried to be a real dad to Logan, Brooke’s dad continued his long tradition of being a douchebag aaaaand I don’t care. This week, OTH was The Dan Show. See? The writers even put it in the episode title for us.

There was a lot of forgiveness flying around in the aftermath of Dan’s death sentence, except in the case of Lucas, who refused to fly down to Tree Hill for his Official Dan Scott Deathbed Apology because I’m assuming Chad Michael Murray was busy the week they filmed this episode. Don’t worry, everyone else made it.

Highlights from the Official Dan Scott Deathbed Apology Tour:

1. Dan apologized to Nathan for putting him a position where he was forced to take a life by not rescuing him sooner.

2. Dan apologized to Haley for shooting Keith, trying to ruin her marriage, and generally just being a Monster-In-Law.

3. Dan apologized to Deb for being a bad husband. Also for shooting Keith.

4. Dan apologized to Nathan (again) for being a bad dad. Aaaand for shooting Keith.

Actually, the scenes between Nathan and Dan Scott were touching as they imagined themselves on a basketball court, having their heart-to-heart, and just playing the game without regard for the score. Dan was finally letting go of his insatiable competitiveness. He admitted that he killed his brother, Keith, back in Season 3 out of jealousy and misplaced suspicion. Nathan responded, “There’s a lot of people that you need to say sorry to...but I’m not one of them,” in a fine demonstration of the sort of unconditional familial love that TV enjoys snuggling up to as a soapy drama winds down.

Cheese-tastic, but effective. Nathan and Dan’s relationship came full circle. How else could it have ended? Dan has come a long way since his slimy days of Seasons 1 through, well, all of them, and it’s important that we send him off with an acknowledgement of that fact. I poke fun at One Tree Hill because it’s part of a genre that I spend a large chunk of my time avoiding like an overly friendly internet stalker, but the characters who inhabit Tree Hill are delightfully nuanced, complicated and human. You don’t get to stay on the air for nine seasons with cardboard cut-outs.

I was 14 when One Tree Hill debuted and since I was that angry 14-year-old who got sent to the principal’s office for refusing to remove her spiked choker, I didn’t get into the series until much later, but there are certainly legions of loyal fans who have been watching the whole time and who essentially grew up alongside the Tree Hill Ravens. The series hasn’t been about high school in a long time and I’m willing to bet that a good chunk of the original viewers who tuned in back in 2003 have long since tossed their mortarboards.

It’s taken Dan a little longer than most to grow up, but he has grown, and out of the wreckage of his train-wreck life, Dan Scott’s friends and family (whose existence he openly doubted in the beginning of “Danny Boy”) will craft a legacy that he can be proud of. Holding his granddaughter, Lydia, Dan remarked, “It’s too bad she’ll never get to know me...then again, maybe that’s a good thing.”

Maybe.

Dan has done terrible things. Terrible things. As a fan who essentially worked through the series backwards, I was heartbroken when I realized that Dan Scott spent most of One Tree Hill being a jackass. His apologies don’t erase his actions. Sacrificing himself for Nathan doesn’t magically bring Keith back to life or undo all the pain and damage that he spent years inflicting on those around him. But at the same time, his sacrifice isn’t for nothing.

Haley had the most telling line of this episode, deftly summing up all that Dan is by assuring him, “When [Lydia] asks about her Grandpa Dan, we’ll tell her about how much he loved his grandchildren.”

She didn’t deny the darker side of Dan or pretend that he didn’t do things that hurt her, but she acknowledged the good that he brought to her family in recent years. Her children don’t have any bad memories of their grandfather and she is an awesome enough mom to understand that it would be cruel and unfair to burden them with her own baggage.

Of course, the final stop on the Official Dan Scott Deathbed Apology tour could only be one person.

I literally screamed, “HI KEITH!” at the television.

And then I groaned a little because really?

Really. One Tree Hill got a little supernatural to send Dan into the wide blue yonder when dead bro Keith showed up to make sure Dan didn’t take the wrong exit. Forgiveness hogged the screen time as the two Scott brothers walked into the white light (yes, also really) shoulder-to-shoulder. Behold the power of cheese.

So, did you blow through an entire box of tissues or just bask in the glow of a well-told story that was nine seasons in the making?

What do you mean there’s two more hours of this?!

I’m gonna have to buy more tissues.

Comments (22)
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I screamed Keith as well lol.
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it is sad to see another WB/UPN show end i guess they all have to end some time now the only ones that are left American Next Top model from UPN and Supernatural from the WB but personally i never watched the show
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im so glad they did this episode. i always felt kinda bad for dan. he may have done a truely awful thing but i knew he had that redemption in him. the only part that made me teary was when jamie came into dans room after finding out that he wasnt going to get better. im glad it wasnt the final episode tho we need some closure for the other characters too. its been a long journey can't believe its ending soon.
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episode couldnt be anymore perfect it was really well written and really well acted out the emotional part was covered oh so well its funny many of the comments have said weve spent years hating dan scott but nobody expected to be weeping at the end of it

end of the day in a little town called tree hill there lived a nasty man named dan scott who when needed he made the ultimate sacrafice for his son and if that dont earn respect then dont know what would

ty producers for one of the best episodes of the series
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I have hated the show for the last 2 seasons because of lack of L/P and just the general decline of a show that has been around as long as OTH, but last night's ep was pretty great. I love how full circle Dan's journey was. The story line I most care about right now is the Clay/Logan one because that kid is just so damn cute!
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This was one of their best episode. Definitely up there on my list of "last episodes" for a tv show I've followed since the beginning. They are doing something not a lot of shows can do, they are closing the circle. The writers are doing a really good job and most of the actors are just plain awesome. Lets hope that they get new jobs when this thing ends.
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I've watched OTH since the beginning.

Dan has always been a hard character to like & respect. Frankly speaking, I've been waiting for the SOB to die since Lucas discovered he'd killed Keith.

So, never in a million years did I expect to cry when he died. I think having Keith be the one there when he did die was beautiful & incredibly moving.

Season 9 has been the best season in a long time. I just wish it had been this good after Lucas & Peyton left.

I'm glad that OTH will go out on a high note.
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Dan did redeem himself, but I have to be honest, I am really happy he's dead... I think that his true redemption could only happen through the sacrifice of his life.
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this episode was perfect although Dan Scott was a bad guy i couldn't help crying over his death it was so moving
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I'm on of the loyal fans who've been with the show from the beginning. When it premiered I was 16 and a junior in high school just like the kids in Tree Hill. Now I am 25. I have literally grown up with these people and I will definitely miss them. And after all these years of hating Dan Scott, I find myself feeling like I'm going to miss him, too. And that's what makes One Tree Hill so great.



I hated Dan for so long and on many occasions hoped he would die, but throughout this season I grew to love him and though I figured he would die I didn't want him to. I've cried over the deaths of many other Tree Hill residents (Jimmy, Keith, Q, Lydia), but I never thought I would cry over the death of Dan Scott, but I did. And when I think about it I cry all over again. This episode was perfect and classic One Tree Hill. This whole season has been amazing and it's the reason I have watched all these years.



And I loved seeing Keith. It was the perfect way for Dan to move on and get the redemption he needed. I'm with Lucas in that I still can't just forgive Dan for taking Keith away, but despite all the bad he has done, I love him anyway.



Only 2 to go...I'm not ready for this.



RIP Dan Scott
More+
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i loved it too. Good send off for Dan.. Loved the ending when Dan told Keith I know where your going but where am I going.. I will say i did get a little teary eyed at the end. A bad guy finally became a good guy.
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this episode was EPIC I LOVED seeing Craig Shefier i think that was the best part eventhough they had to was the last possible 3 minutes to do it but it was worth it i just LOVED it... it was AMAZING... one of the best shows since season 6 when Nathan found out he made it to the NBA i loved it.. it was just absoutely amazing... i know i sound like a broken record but one of the best episodes ever...
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This should have been the final ever episode of OTH. Dan Scott was the man he was what the show was all about. He was the patriarch. RIP Dan Scott.
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yeah it would have made a good series finalie. really Nathan got saved and Dan became a good guy at the end and forgivien so what's the next two episodes going to be about? I will miss OTH..
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Really loved seeing Keith again. The rest of the episode was very cheesy and over the top but whatever, Keith!!! It was especially good because I wasn't expecting it.
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You have to stop putting spoiler photos on the sites main page, I hadn't seen the episode, and only by opening the main tv.com page I knew that Dan didn't die or at least that he didn't die right after the shot.

I will stop using this site.
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Zap2it had a much more obvious photo - and that went out in their email, THAT's the site to be angry with!
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I see your disappointment, but after the show airs, it's up to you to NOT USE THE INTERNET if there is anything you don't want to see. I'm just saying, at least the episode details were not spoiled BEFORE the show aired.
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Yep. I think on a site like this, you have to expect photos after shows air. To be honest, they're not spoilers after the episode has been on at least once.
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Seriously? Neither of you couldve figured out that Dan and/or Q would die? I could see both of them coming from a mile away! Theyve only been wanting to kill off Dan since the s4 finale and with Q, they kept mentioning what he wanted to do in life and redeeming him, the episode that he was shot- a clear sign that he wasnt going to make it. I figured it was pretty obvious. Guess not?
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So true! I was pissed when I saw Dan alive and kicking on the main page. Some people DVR their shows, you know? It wasn't the first time though. I still remember when Q got shot and their was a video link on the main page saying something like how the OTH characters deal with Q's death. I would never have guessed that he would die, especially in the last seconds of that episode.



NO MORE SPOILER PHOTOS!
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This episode was so beautifully written and emotional. I've been watching this show from the beginning and it unreal that it's about to end now but it's for the best. At the beginning of the season I was hoping for Dan to die but the writers made me change my mind and took him anyway :( I love this show so much. I can't wait to see how they will wrap things up now that all of the heavy dramatic stuff is resolved.
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