'One Tree Hill' Series Finale: What Fans Will (And Won't) See

Tue, April 3, 2012 1:49pm EST by 28 Comments

Creator Mark Schwahn tells HollywoodLife.com about the wedding, the ‘surprises,’ and the moment that gave him ‘chills.’

One Tree Hill airs its final episode April 4, drawing nine years of small-town drama to a close; but how do you properly wrap up a show with such a complicated — not to mention fan-frenzied — history? If you’re creator Mark Schwahn, you don’t. You simply give the viewers exactly what’s kept them coming back every week for nearly a decade.

“I wanted it to feel like a quintessential One Tree Hill episode,” Mark tells HollywoodLife.com of the two-hour finale. “It can be very heartfelt, but funny and romantic and sweet and have great music. Everybody needed to have signature moments.”

And could one of those “moments” be the wedding of Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten), who became engaged last week in one of the most impossibly adorable scenes of the season?

“That story line is front and center for those characters in the finale,” he reveals. “I think it would have been a shame not to comment on that story line since we set it up.” As for the actual wedding, Mark tells me “there’s a hint of it.”

OK, so we probably shouldn’t expect to see Quinn parading down the aisle in a big white dress. But will the final episode give viewers a glimpse into the future, much like last season’s finale fast-forwarded through Brooke’s (Sophia Bush) pregnancy, Chase’s (Stephen Colletti) tour in the Air Force, and the re-opening of Karen’s Café?

“Yes and no,” Mark says, laughing at my desperation. “I’m a fan of shows that leave, but give you the sense that ‘We’re still here. We just won’t see you every week.’ I like that tone, and I like that feel. So I kind of wanted to leave the fans with that, like Tree Hill will always be here. And I think that’s a nice place to be.”

Though Mark admits there is “one” returning character, and there are a few “events” and “surprises” in store, the finale is more about celebrating what we’ve all been through — both the characters and the fans — rather than what’s ahead.

“It wasn’t as much about surprises as it was about spending one last night with the people you’ve known and loved over the years,” he explains. “There’s actually a voiceover in the beginning that speaks to that. When I sat down to write it, I wrote the opening voiceovers, and my eyes teared up. I got chills. The voiceover essentially says, ‘If you had one last chance to say something to somebody you loved, or to spend time with them, what would you say? What would you do? I felt like that was the challenge for the last hour of the show.”

And it’s not like Mark doesn’t have plenty of practice writing finales. He notes that, during One Tree Hill‘s nine-year run, “probably seven” of the season finales were designed to double as potential series finales, had the network decided to cancel the series.

“Jamie [Jackson Brundage] dribbling over the bridge last year — had that been the ending, that would have been great,” Mark admits. “Had Lucas [Chad Michael Murray] and Peyton [Hilarie Burton] driven out of town with the baby, that would have been fine. And when they all went to Utah, the year we shot Quinn and Clay, we would have ended with them all walking up the hill when they were sledding together as a group. Jamie said, “It’s a long way up,” and Haley [Bethany Joy Lenz] said, “It’s just a hill; we’ll climb it together.'”

The series finale of One Tree Hill airs April 4 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

OK, fans, let’s talk: What do YOU hope to see on the series finale? What will you miss most about the show? We’ve got less than 48 hours until it’s all over, so let’s hug it out in the comments section below.

— Andy Swift

Follow Andy on Twitter for more One Tree Hill scoop

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Posted at 1:15 PM on June 13, 2012  

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Jim giblin

Posted at 9:41 PM on May 22, 2012  

I loved show too sorry see go want list after show is or not made yes is it
Or not don’t know but I Stell love show one tree hill great show . If
On next season I will watch ti for share . Big fan Jim love show say see ti
Go Go if list season is not then next wait see is share , season .

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Posted at 2:54 AM on May 2, 2012  

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C MATSON

Posted at 8:28 PM on April 24, 2012  

I ONLY STARTED WATCHING OTH COUPLE OF YEARS AGO BECAUSE MY SON GOT ME INTO IT I HATE TO ADMIT I WILL MISS IT ITS BEEN MY GUILTY PLEASURE

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Posted at 12:27 PM on April 12, 2012  

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Gina

Posted at 7:20 PM on April 4, 2012  

I really hope that Lucas and Peyton come back. They were a huge part of the show, and personally my two favorite characters. I rooted for the from the beginning of the show all up until they left. If they are not brought back I think it will be a major letdown for many of the viewers who have watched this show from the pilot, one of many of my favorite episodes. Going to miss this show, it’s like the end of an era.

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Abbie yule

Posted at 1:00 PM on April 4, 2012  

Im crying reading this I dont want it to end:( the fact that mark said “we’re still here. We just wont see you every week.” makes me so emotional

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Jenna

Posted at 12:48 PM on April 4, 2012  

I’m sad to see one tree leave…i hope Lucas & Peyton come back for the finale…they are 2 main characters that helped build the show into such great success…

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Jamiegirl

Posted at 3:05 AM on April 4, 2012  

I have grown up with one tree hill. This show is such an inspiration. This show is the reason I fell in love with music and became the person I am today. It is and will forever be in the hearts of many. One tree hill has taught us to be strong in the face of danger, to stand up for what we believe in and to always have hope in our hearts. The hope I have is that one day I will be as great of a parent as Nathan and Haley, even when it gets tough. No matter what, I will always remember oth as a collection of life lessons I have gained from watching it.

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Hodgey

Posted at 2:55 AM on April 4, 2012  

It’s got to be everybody together at the rivercourt, playing basketball how it started… But everybody there, Hayley Nathan Brooke Julian chase dan whitey Karen Lucas peyton the children! That would be the best ending ever <3

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prettygirlalex

Posted at 11:51 PM on April 3, 2012  

I Will Miss Everything,I Grew UP On OneTreeHill,9Years Of The Hardest Times Of My Life Were Worked Through With One TreeHill,I Grew With All These Characters,Relating To Peytons Dark Times,Lucas’s Love For Writing&Poetry,Haleys Mother Side,&Brooke Everything Else,she’s Definetly The Strongest&Deserves Julian Despite How Much I Loved Brucas,This Show Will Be Missed Greatly&Its Sad To See 9Years Of My Life Coming To An End,There Is No Show I Will Miss More Then My H.s. Years@Tree Hill High..I Hope It Ends As Mark Says With Us Feeling As Though Tree Hill Will Always Be There&Not Just In Our Hearts.
PrettyGirlAlex<3

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Lizzy Patel

Posted at 10:36 PM on April 3, 2012  

One tree hill is my favorite show on tv and I’ve been watching it every week for years. It’ might sound weird, but OTH is my favorite hour of the week, It’s what I look forward too. That one hour of inspiration, of courage, of art, and music, I believe has changed lives. At least it has changed my life. Tomorrows going to be a sad day, it’s my birthday and my favorite shows ending. I am so greatful for this show, but ” people always leave”. OTH always and forever.

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anna

Posted at 9:53 PM on April 3, 2012  

definitely i wanna see the whole gang together, haley and chris keller perform at tric or karen’s cafe. leyton make a surprise visit. lots of naley scenes too. One tree hill is the best show ever written, and I hope Mark Schwahn will continue to be successful with his new show, which im going to definitely tune into.

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B Dazzled

Posted at 9:52 PM on April 3, 2012  

My heart is just broken. I cried all day knowing that in 24 hours from now, One Tree Hill is over. It was what I grew up with. When I was sad, angry or lonely I watched One Tree Hill. This series helped me go through some very rough times in my life. It feels like the end of a chapter in my life. One Tree Hill will always stay in my life. No matter what. I am so thankful for the crew, the cast and all the other fans in the world. It has been a true honor and pleasure to have this experience with you guys. April 4th is gonna be a sad day. I will cry my eyes out. But thank you for this amazing time. I truly love you, One Tree Hill.

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Hannah-Lynn

Posted at 9:39 PM on April 3, 2012  

I don’t want it to end! :( One Tree Hill has been my childhood. It has and always will mean do much to me and for that I will be forever grateful. There is only One Tree Hill. And in the eyes of us fans it will live on forever.

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Ashleyy

Posted at 6:35 PM on April 3, 2012  

My fav couple Is haley&&Nat<3 Imaa really gotta be Cryinqq The wholee..Show This kinda Breaks my Heart!! but i can always watch the old Ones of One tree Hill,Ima never gonna Get tired of it i Lovee one tree Hill,

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Tayler

Posted at 5:43 PM on April 3, 2012  

WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSE TO DO WITHOUT ONE TREE HILL?!?!?!
haha. Seriously though, I’m going to miss it. so much.
I grew up with this show, I feel like the characters and I grew up together.
It’s going to be very sad to see it go. :/

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Kristin

Posted at 3:53 PM on April 3, 2012  

I’m not a Leyton fan, but I would like to see them back in the fold, on the finale episode. I think the season 4 ending was amazing, so something along the lines of that, except for all THEIR kids running around with them, would really be poetic, and speak volumes for a series ending. A kind of; Look where we’ve been, look where we are, we made it kind of thing.

Since Leyton will not be back, I’d just like to see the whole group together again. It seems that since Leyone left, the goup gatherings have been less and less, and then this season you didn’t get a whole lot of the entire group together. So yeah, I’d like to see them all hang out, be together. And their children, we don’t get to see enough of Brooke’s boys, and I don’t think thats fair, seeings how it took MANY years to us to finally see her as a mother!!

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Mai

Posted at 3:29 PM on April 3, 2012  

First off, I’m totally going to cry!!!! Love tis show and been watching since season 1….. BUt I want to see my favorite couple!! Lucas and Peyton!!! and Sawyer!! (their daughter) Love the music from OTH!! Have lots on ipod!!! Time to get DVD”S!!

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lori harrington

Posted at 3:27 PM on April 3, 2012  

I know it’s NOT happening-but I wish Peyton and Lucas would be back and the final ending would be the original cast playing basketball at the Rivercourt the wat season 4 ended.

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Andy Swift

Posted at 3:50 PM on April 3, 2012  

At least we’ll get to see her room one last time :-/

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Jim

Posted at 3:07 PM on April 3, 2012  

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Ashlee..

Posted at 3:03 PM on April 3, 2012  

imaa gonna cry cuz i love this show! alot

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Josekun

Posted at 2:35 PM on April 3, 2012  

Nobody wants the end of OTH!

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Hiddenjewel

Posted at 4:42 PM on April 3, 2012  

I agree, at least not the TRUE fans

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