In almost every season finale of One Tree Hill, we loyal viewers have been left with a cliffhanger to keep us guessing all summer long. For once, this was not one of those episodes.
The opening scene, set appropriately to "War Sweater" by Wakey!Wakey!, begins with Lucas carrying a blood-soaked Peyton through the emergency room doors. It soon flashes to a somber, alcohol-drinking Nathan; Dan (who's back) staring at his grave; and then a replay of last week's scene in which Julian tells Victoria he's in love with her daughter.
Cut to the present day, and Lucas is watching over his new bride as he's joined, one by one, by his close friends. For just a second Peyton awakes, just before she's put back out. And then the relieving sound of a baby's first cry lets us all know at least one of the Scotts is OK.
But it seems while the newest Scott to join the Tree Hill clan is healthy at home, Peyton is still in a coma, with Lucas at her side. "[Our baby] needs you.... She doesn't even have a name," he tells her before she opens her eyes and mutters, "Sawyer. Her name is Sawyer, OK?" With that, Karen (glad to see her make an appearance) brings in the gorgeous baby girl who Peyton tells, "I'm gonna love you forever."
Julian is still in town and has been comforting Brooke as she waited for her best friend to wake up. But he needs to get back to his movie that he describes as "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl." Wait, is he talking about the movie or his own life? The two hug — which turns into a kiss, and before we know it they're in Brooke's bed. "I love you, Brooke Davis. I love you so much," Julian avows. But Brooke's still not ready for it. "Don't say it, just kiss me," she responds. When Brooke wakes up from their memorable night together, Julian is gone.
Nathan returns to his Charleston basketball team but when he gets back to practice his stuff is gone. "Bobby wants to see you," an assistant coach tells him. Later that day, Nate has gone back home to tell his wife Haley that he wants to take her and Jamie on a trip to Charlotte. "Maybe we could see a basketball game. I kinda have to be there anyway ... considering I'm the new point guard for the Charlotte Bobcats." They both cry as he has finally made it to the NBA. "Thank you for believing in me," Nathan says to his wife. "Thank you for being worth it," Haley lovingly responds.
Things aren't going so well for the other Scott. Dan, beard and all, shows up to a ranch where another familiar face has returned: Whitey. "I bought this gun hoping to see your face again," Whitey says. Not such a warm welcome. Dan begins telling him how his High School State Championship is where it all went wrong for him. In his dreams, he takes back his refusal to play in the fourth quarter (which apparently would've lead to a life of love, happiness, and kindness?). Doubtful. But alas, he's "sorry for that day and everyday since." Including murdering his brother Keith.
"Did you ever love him?" Whitey asks. "Not enough." From remorseful to reckless, Dan loads the gun and hands it to Whitey to pull the trigger. Instead, his former coach gives him a big old bear hug and tells him, "Maybe you're still here for redemption." As Dan walks out, his son Nathan walks in, there to share the NBA news with Whitey.
Things are wonderful with Mouth and Millicent, who has decided she wants to remain in Tree Hill to be with her boy. Luckily her boss and friend, Brooke, is supportive and wants Millie to run Tree Hill's Clothes Over Bros. The camera then cuts to a sign on the store's wall: "Somebody told me that this is the place where everything's better and everything's safe." This was the sign from Karen's Café that Brooke kept last season, when she opened her store in the old café. I like the nice nods to seasons past.
Speaking of Clothes Over Bros, Victoria is headed back to New York as there's "nothing left" for her to do. She lists off a bunch of things Brooke needs to get done, the last being "fly to Los Angeles and tell that boy you love him." Victoria finally opens up to her daughter about how she once let a boy go. So why has she never shared this before? "Because I've been a terrible mother," she admits. "If this boy Julian loves you and you love him, that's all that matters. The clothes can wait." And then she hands Brooke the company, all 100 percent of it.
As Victoria walks out, Brooke calls out, "Mom, I want you to stay on and run things from New York." They hug and Victoria finally tells her, "I love you so much and I'm so proud of you." Something Brooke deserved to hear a long time ago.
Brooke follows her mother's advice and shows up to Julian's movie set.
"You told me that someday I'd be ready to let someone in. I think today might be someday," Brooke confesses.
"If this was a movie you'd kiss me right now," Julian responds.
"No, I'd say I love you and then I'd kiss you."
And then she says those three little words. I loved this scene and considering Julian is now a series regular, I guess we'll be seeing him a lot in Tree Hill.
And on the subject of love, newest couple Mia and Chase, though faced with her upcoming tour, are not letting anything stand in their way. Mia assures him that her heart's not going anywhere and when he shows up to one of her signings, she writes a message short and sweet: I love you.
"Believe that dreams come true everyday, because they do," says the voiceover. And for many of the characters in this episode, that exact thing happened. Brooke made peace with her mother and was able to open her heart to Julian, Nathan made it to the NBA, Millicent moved to back to her boyfriend Mouth, and finally, Lucas and Peyton got married and had a healthy baby girl.
In the last scene, Lucas is finally able to reveal his surprise for Peyton: The Comet. In the front seat he says, "Take a ride with me, Peyton Sawyer." "Don't you mean Peyton Scott?" she says. And with that and their adorable baby in the backseat, they take off.
What did you think of the finale? Are you happy with the way the story ended for Peyton and Lucas (who are not returning for Season 7)?