Who knew a flashback episode could be this good? I was expecting this installment of
The College Years to be informative, in terms of filling in details from the missing years, but I was surprised by how emotional it was. First there was the nostalgia factor, with an actual basketball game and a proud Coach Whitey there was just something so cozy about that bus-ride scene, with Whitey giving advice to Nathan and reminiscing with Lucas. Then there was Peyton absolutely glowing in the first half of the episode I can't remember the last time we saw her that happy. And then there were the broken hearts.
Let's jump right to the heartbreaking scene in a room at the Beverly Hilton, since it's a scene so pivotal to this season's current love triangle: Lucas went all Naley on Peyton (to paraphrase Brooke). Lucas, what the hell were you thinking?! Unmarried and childless, Lucas apparently felt he was running out of time to start a family. At the ripe old age of 19. OK, I get that "there are more important things in life than basketball" as Whitey said. Sure, Lucas was lonely that Peyton wasn't right by his side to celebrate the Cobras winning the championship. Boo-hoo. She was there in spirit, sending him that song. She had commitments, couldn't he understand that? And I get that Lucas was envious of Nathan, Haley and Jamie's happy threesome as they basked in their familial glow. But as Haley admitted to him after the game, he was very much a part of their family, and they couldn't carry on day-to-day without his help.
So Lucas was by no means alone. He had Nathan, Haley, Jamie, Whitey, and I'm sure he had some new college friends as well. He had his studies, writing and coaching. He had a loving (albeit long-distance) girlfriend, and both of them were trying to pursue their dreams. But by all means, let's not only stir that pot and shock Peyton with an out-of-the-blue marriage proposal, but tack a now-or-never ultimatum onto it as well!
I think Peyton's answer was perfect: "I'm not saying no. I'm saying not now. I want to marry you
someday." But "yes" was the only answer that Lucas wanted to hear. I guess he didn't hear how much sense Peyton was making, about how hard things were for Nathan and Haley since they got married so young; about how she and Lucas would resent each other if either gave up his or her dream and moved across the country for the other one. (I hope he at least heard how funny she was when she said, "For me Tree Hill is two dead moms, a psycho stalker and some really bad memories. I actually had to move to Hollywood to get away from all the drama.") In general, Lucas displayed a rather disrespectful attitude toward Peyton's job while he was visiting her: He showed up uninvited at her place of work and nearly got her in trouble, then he dismissed her mail deliveries and coffee runs as menial and didn't understand how she was trying to work her way up (too bad things didn't work out for her at that L.A. company as she planned, but she had to try). To make things worse, he left behind the special CD she made for him. Icy cold, Luke.
Brooke also made a lot of sense with the helpful advice she gave Lucas, telling him that he needed to understand that Peyton was busy and that he should throw himself into his work. Seems like he only took the latter part of that advice though. Their New York reunion was fun, especially when they scared Brooke's mom with Lucas' proposal reenactment. (I loved Victoria's bag-dropping reaction and threaten of annulment: "Maybe teen marriage is all the rage in Hicksville, North Carolina..." She is so amusing.) But their carriage ride through Central Park was bittersweet when they faked being an engaged couple and talked about their future married life it brought back memories of the days when they were a couple. This seemed to resonate with Brooke, when she mentioned that Lucas might have been the one boy for whom she would have given up a lot. Meanwhile a very drunk Lucas crossed the line and kissed her simply because she was there. But Brooke remained a true friend to him (and Peyton) that night and stopped things at the kiss, walking out of his hotel room. Then she took her own advice and threw herself into her work, making a deal with the devil I mean with "don't call me mom" Victoria.
And Lucas threw himself into writing, working very closely with his new editor. So, Lindsey's dad owns the publishing company at which she works. It was nice to gain some insight into her and it was funny to discover that Lucas was the one who initially gave her the lucky bamboo. Her boss's comment about Lucas' imprisoned father being the "kind of hook" they needed was also very interesting...was that emphasized in marketing? Will it play a part in his second book? Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's foreshadowing.
I liked the flashback foreshadowing Nathan's accident, with his temper at a heckling fan nearly getting the best of him and Whitey warning him about regret and possibly turning into Dan. And I loved the flashback-within-a-flashback to high school, with Lucas telling Peyton that he wanted her next to him when all his dreams came true. Does he regret that ultimatum he gave her back in college? He didn't say "no" in the present day when Brooke asked him if he still loved Peyton. But he didn't say "yes" either, only that he had to get back to Lindsey. Like Brooke said, "This is gonna get interesting."
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Who knew a flashback episode could be this good I was expecting this installment of One Tree Hill The College Years to be informative in terms of filling in details from the missing years but I was surprised by how emotional it was First there was the nostalgia factor with an actual basketball game and a proud Coach Whitey there was just something so cozy about that bus-ride scene with Whitey giving advice to Nathan and reminiscing with Lucas Then there was Peyton absolutely glowing in the first half of the episode I cant remember the last time we saw her that happy And then there were the broken heartsLets jump right to the heartbreaking scene in a room at the Beverly Hilton since its a scene so pivotal to this seasons current love triangle Lucas went all Naley on Peyton to paraphrase Brooke Lucas what the hell were you thinking Unmarried and childless Lucas apparently felt he was running out of time to start a family At the