'One Tree Hill' Season Premiere Recap: Old Friends (And Enemies) Return

Wed, January 11, 2012 9:51pm EDT by 22 Comments
Courtesy of The CW

Sex, corpses, and endless emotional montages — Tree Hill hasn’t changed one bit!

One Tree Hill returned for its ninth and final season Jan. 11, and it was all sunshine and rainbows from start to finish — well, as long as you don’t count the arson, vandalism, arrests, assaults and dead bodies. I almost forgot about those.

The big drama, at least immediately, came from Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and Nathan (James Lafferty), who are carrying on a long-distance romance while he’s on the road. Fortunately, Haley has someone to keep her company — and I’m not talking about Jamie (Jackson Brundage.) That’s right, Dan Scott (Paul Johansson) made his long-awaited return to Tree Hill, and he’s shacking up at Chez Scott. What could possibly go wrong there?

Meanwhile, Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Julian (Austin Nichols) were waist-deep in cuteness — but hey, what else is new? Besides juggling their respective careers, they also had to deal with 2 a.m. wake-up calls from the twins. On top of that, Brooke’s dad (Richard Burgi) finally decided to show up, which should make things interesting for Victoria (Daphne Zuniga.) Based on their scene together tonight, it was clear they had a less-than-amicable divorce… which means I give them two more episodes before they’re doing the nasty.

But the Bakers weren’t the only ones with issues this week. Clay (Robert Buckley) has somehow started sleepwalking, while Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) appears to have turned into a raging insomniac. An insomniac who also has an obsession with Angry Birds. But while things might seem calm with the couple now, their little flash-forward at the beginning of the episode revealed there’s some serious drama coming their way. What could Quinn possibly do to Clay in the future that would cause him to kick her out of the house?

And in case you were wondering how Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton) was going to mosey back into Tree Hill, it should come as no surprise that he did it by lying. He used the oh-so-clever pseudonym “Harry Johnson” to score the job of running Red Bedroom Records, and much to Haley’s dismay, he’s here to stay!

Equally unhappy about Chris’ arrival was Alex (Jana Kramer), who was understandably pissed when he called her song “crappy.” And I really felt bad for her when she had to drown her sorrows in bed with Chase (Stephen Colletti.) Poor, poor girl. And speaking of Chase, didn’t Mark Schwahn say something about “tighty whities” being in this episode? I know briefs when I see ’em, and those were definitely boxers. Anybody else feel cheated?

This may not have been the most exciting episode of One Tree Hill to date, but it definitely set up some interesting scenarios I’m looking forward to seeing play out over the remaining 12 episodes.

What did YOU think of the ninth — and tragically final — season premiere? Do you think Clay and Quinn will really break up? And who could possibly be the corpse Haley identified in the flash-forward? Hit up the comments section with your every thought!

— Andy Swift

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