One Tree Hill: There Is Only One

One Tree Hill S09E13: “One Tree Hill”

In the past, the opening voiceovers on One Tree Hill sometimes made me cringe. Okay, more often than not, they made me cringe.

Not tonight.

To paraphrase Nathan Scott, “One day, you’re seventeen... and then someday it’s today and this is your life.”

There wasn’t much story left to tell when One Tree Hill kicked off its special two-hour series finale tonight. The writers did a nice job wrapping up most of the big storylines before the finale, leaving cast, crew, and audience with a nice chunk of TV time to simply celebrate the highs and lows of the past nine seasons.

And oh, what a party it was! Tric celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Clay and Quinn tied the knot during city hall’s lunch hour, and Julian surprised Brooke with a very special gift: her old house. There was much aww-ing, just as there should've been. You can’t end One Tree Hill without copious amounts of aww-ing.

I have to say, though, that precocious Jamie Scott stole the show. Between the party at Tric—which was, surprise surprise, an entirely fitting Gavin DeGraw concert—Jamie got a lot of quality time with the parental units. First, bonding with Papa Nathan over their shared kidnapping experiences in an exchange that was funnier than the subject matter would lead you to believe:

Nathan: “Mind if I kidnap you? Oh wait, you’ve already been kidnapped.”

Jamie: “So have you!”

They agreed that feigning another kidnapping to explain to an irate Momma Bear Haley would be both repetitive and, well, a bad idea.

Later, on the roof of Tric, Haley shared the secret wishbox hidey-hole with an utterly enchanted Jamie and encouraged him to add his own dream to the stash. He said he wanted to beat Nathan’s high score record at Tree Hill High. Remember that. It’ll be on the final exam.

During the introductory retrospective featuring anecdotes from the cast and crew, creator Mark Schwahn said that One Tree Hill was at its best when it was a “quiet ally,” and went on to explain a point that I touched on briefly in my own retrospective this week. Over the course of its nine seasons, One Tree Hill found itself wearing many different hats. Sometimes it was silly. Sometimes it was shocking. Sometimes it was exciting. And sometimes it was touching.

We all have our preferences and we all have, in our own minds, an idea of the kind of place the fictitious Tree Hill, North Carolina is, and what kind of people inhabit it. My Tree Hill is very similar to the town I grew up in, despite the fact that in actuality, coastal North Carolina and coal country Pennsylvania have very little in common. When One Tree Hill wore the quiet ally hat, it allowed us to thrust whatever traits we wanted upon its silent presence. It was a versatile presence. One Tree Hill often transcended genre to be whatever its audience needed it to be at a given time.

Tonight, One Tree Hill was a goodbye, but not the sad, sucky kind. And perhaps that’s the final message our quiet ally means to pass onto us. Goodbyes don’t have to be terrible, heartbreaking traumas. On the contrary, sometimes they can be timely and quite beautiful.

True, there were moments tonight that bordered on cheesy. I got some serious Harry Potter epilogue vibes during that time jump right there at the end, and I haaate the Harry Potter epilogue, but it worked for One Tree Hill. That’s how One Tree Hill rolls.

SPOILER ALERT: Jamie totally beat Nathan’s scoring record.

Of course everyone’s story ended on a happy, sappy, greeting card rhyme. There is only one Tree Hill, after all. We couldn’t leave it in ruins.

Comments (35)
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I read several times that it was a 2 hours final but the episode just last 1 hour. Did I missed something?
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caaww! Totally gonna miss this show! :)
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So sorry its nearly ended over here (2 more to go next week on monday) but i do miss Lucas and Peyton - i have enjoyed every minute of it - thanks again USA - whereabouts is it supposed to be situated ?????
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Grew up with this and cant believe it has actually finished. I agree that they should have had lucas and peyton in the finale and i didnt really see the point of the nathan kidnap saga go on for how long it did considering it was the last ever season of OTH. But it has been an amazing series and am sad that it has ended but all good things must come to an end.
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gonna miss it for sure :'(
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I can't believe it's over! :(
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Great article! Only thing... it was not on the roof of tric. They were on the roof of Karen's Cafe.
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i am really happy about Brooke being "the girl behind the red door" again. and they should make a spinoff with all the children like when they grew up and started to highschool or something. we already see jamie :D baker twins are young though but it woud be like jamie, lilly (lucas's sister) , peyton and lucas's child, chuck, jake's daughter and so on. that would be so cool :D
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Except you'd have to have the parents on the show and that would never happen lol.
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yeah i assumed they figured something out we didnt see brooke's hayley's and peyton's parents that uch when they were going to highschool,although except peyton's mother drama which was boring as hell :D but your statement is more realistic of course mine is just an idea :D
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LOL what's with the NOFX sticker?? That seems outta place even though those guys are total jokers and completely full of crap haha. Still, it struck me as odd.
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Peyton had that sticker on her binder the first time she met Lucas. It was the shows way of incorporating her into the finale. They did the same thing with the Julius Cesar book that used to be Lucas'.
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That was a nod to Peyton and is supposed to be on her locker
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touching.... but truth be tols Leyton be missed...
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Word.
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amazing end to a great show!! but i don't agree with the not sad part, i started balling when Gavin Degraw started singing i don't wanna be lol
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and the U2 song in the end was just PERFECT!
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Awesome ending to an awesome run, great job OTH staff
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One Tree Hill was a goodbye, but not the sad kind: are u kidding me?????

I started sobbing as soon as I heard the first notes of "I don't wanna be" cuz I knew they were coming as soon as I saw Gavin Degraw on my tv screen!!!!

Not much happened in this finale and at the same time was quite moving for me :(

Luv u Brooke & Nathan & might even start to like u Chris Keller :)

Will never forget u OTH, you'll always have a special place in my heart cuz you've mostly been good throughout the years, farewell....
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now my main thought is: we another GOOD teen drama, even though OTH stopped being one quite some time ago!!!!

ps: I mean a thoughtful soapy drama like OTH early years not PLL, TVD, TSC which are alright BTW
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One Tree Hill is love. Always and forever!



Perfect finale! Perfect ending! I totally loved it, but it made me so sad. I mean I spent eight years watching this show and now it is over. This is sad. I totally cried, because it is the end and it was so perfect that I totally couldn't imagine the better ending for this show! Just watching it grow and be more mature than in the beginning it was amazing. Sometimes weird and stupid, but it was the same One Tree Hill I used to love and there always be a place in my heart for this show!
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I missed Lucas and Payton on this finale... Why they never thought on bringing Jake again!?
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Amazing Finale for an amazing show.
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it was beautiful how they had gavin degraw make a reappearance, and sing that famous song of his, and have them all sing along.
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Great episode i did get a little teary eyed at the end. Were we suppose to see some familiar faces but all we saw Bevin unless I missed anyone else?
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This episode was perfection. Only thing missing was Lucas and Peyton, I really wish they would have pre-filmed some shots of Lucas when they made episode 7, that they could've used in this episode. Most of the scenes gave me goosebumps (the good kind), seeing Bevin again was wonderful! Logan calling Quinn "mom" was so great. And even though they used this ending in season 4, it could have been even better using the River Court in the ending scene! Julian playing basketball with the others would be hilarious!

Like many of the others said: One tree hill will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe it's not the best show made, but unlike most others it had a special feel to it, that warms my heart. The writing is special and the characters are relatable. I will always remember One tree hill and how it made me feel.
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Staff
I agree, Lucas and Peyton's absence was a big hole. I would have liked to see them too. Bevin was a nice surprise though!
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loved the episode and when the cast sings in the end, it reminded me of the finale of Beverly Hills 90210 but it still was a great moment and a great show
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That was a good finalle.

Did anybody sing with David Degraw and the cast the theme song? :'D
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oh, yeah!! I was so happy that it was included. I knew it would be, but it was still very touching :)
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I did!
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One Tree Hill will forever hold a special place in my heart <3
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So it was a really nice way to end this show with a great season and a last episode a little bit slower but with all the ingredients that have made this show so special to me...
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Staff
Agreed!
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RIP One Tree Hill! I'll miss it so much :(
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