After reading through the thread I feel like I have the unpopular opinion. I didn't like the finale.
First what I did like: I loved seeing Gavin come back to sing and hearing U2's One Tree Hill. Bevin coming back was also nice.
ETA: Naley kissing in the rain was cute.
What I didn't like: Too many live performances. It felt like the OTH musical hour with flashbacks and references to past seasons. It was too heavy handed; if they had put less of it (live performances, references, and flashbacks) in, I would've like it a lot more. Maybe they could have had Haley and Chris perform in the second to last episode. I felt like almost nothing happened in the episode because of it, and I would have liked more plot.
Chris and Chase spying on the girls was creepy, not funny.
It needed some Lucas and Peyton. I know Hilarie wouldn't come back but having Chad even do something small like have a short scene with Nathan or Haley would have been great, and could have been filmed ahead when Chad was filming scenes for the other episode. I even would have accepted a flashback of Lucas and Peyton, since they were an important part of the show for a long time (ETA: It seemed I missed the flashback. I don't remember in the final scene, where I expected it to be. Where was it and what was it of?)
I didn't appreciate the flash forward. It came off too cheesy and I don't like Jamie much so it was just UGH. However ending with basketball was a good idea, and it was executed so much better in the season 4 finale. I would of loved a parallel scene to the season 4 one with Lucas and Nathan playing basketball, with their friends, and their older kids making fun of them on the sidelines.
On a funnier note I expected a car to crash as the camera zoomed out from the cafe; but then I remembered that we got our car crash this season when Chris pinned the mobster against the wall.
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