Luke bounces his ball past Peyton, who's still sitting down by the bridge. He sees her, takes one of his earphones out, and says, "Hey. I've been thinking about you." She snits, "Try a cold shower." He sighs. She quips, "Teed yourself up for that one." They start to walk together. He asks how she's doing. Peyton says, "I broke up with my boyfriend. My mom's dead. And my dad's away on a job." Holy cow, it's like my life has come alive before my eyes. Throw in a sibling and that's pretty much how I grew up too. Minus the whiny artistic crap and the sawdust she needs for air, of course. Luke asks what her father does for a living. He's the captain of a drudging boat -- I don't know what that is exactly, but it has email, because he sent Peyton a note about the death of her mother. She says, "I read your article. Makes it seem like you guys are just one big happy family." He tells her that it's "moronic," then he offers to erase Dan to bring back her mom. He wishes he could change it for her. And considering how he feels about Dan, that's not really a heck of a sacrifice. Tossing someone you hate into the fire, making your life a heck of a lot better because the bane of your existence isn't around, and bringing the mom of the girl you like back to life? Seems it's all working in your favour, Luke. Regardless, Peyton's touched; she doesn't want him to talk any more and "ruin" the moment, so she walks away. Blah love triangle blah.
Dan's sitting in the room where he usually watches the game tapes. Deb comes in and asks him if he's excited about the game tomorrow. Apparently, it's like Christmas Eve to him. She steps into the room: "And have you been naughty or nice?" Dan grabs her and says the word "naughty." I avert my eyes. Ew. He grabs her and pulls her to his lap. Ew. They kiss. Ew. She says, "Honey, I know this is important to you." Blah Nathan's talented, blah he pushes him too far, blah reasonable conversation blah. She's worried that Nathan might not be enjoying playing basketball anymore. Dan insists he does enjoy it -- his rationale? If he doesn't, he'll "regret" it when it's gone. Does Dan? Yes, every day. Apparently, there's nothing like it: "Walking into the arena, hearing the cheers of the sellout crowds, knowing it's your night." Blah sports blah. He wishes she could have seen him in high school. Blah he regrets his life, blah better days blah. The game the game the game. He smiles: "And I was good." She touches his face. Her hand doesn't burn. That shocks me. He continues, "It was the best it ever was for me." Deb's one heck of an understanding woman: "Better than your life now? Better than knowing your son or me?" He doesn't say anything for a moment. Then he replies, "It was different."
Peyton's painting when Nathan comes into her room. He asks, "What do you call that?" She snaps, "Love." Here's the kicker -- it's a canvas completely covered in black paint. Oh. So. Symbolic. You know, it's one thing to make Peyton an artist, but to make her a completely predictable and mediocre one is another thing entirely. Anyway. Nathan steps into the room after she asks him what he wants. He replies, "It's what I don't want. I don't want this for us." She says, "Maybe you should have thought about that sooner." He knows. He too has been thinking about the past. He reminisces. He wants to get back to the good old days. He begs. Peyton tells him that she's had a lot going on lately. So she hasn't really been thinking about him too much. Nathan doesn't ask; instead he says, "Me too. My dad's been going crazy about this father/son game, and my mom, ever since she got back she's been wanting to hang out." Peyton gets all pissy: "I really can't hear this right now." He nods and then asks her to come to the game so they can hang out afterwards. Peyton turns back to her completely black canvas. Pours more of her angst into her "art." Nathan steps forward and tells her that he misses her. Then he leaves. She concentrates on filling every inch of the canvas with the black, black essence of her tortured soul. Yawn.