Previously on One Tree Hill: Nathan turns himself into the supreme Boy Toy. He rips off his shirt. He flexes. Women fawn. Haley begs Peyton to keep him away from the hoards of screeching teenagers. Nikki shows up, buys Jake, and then ends up threatening him unless she gets to see Jenny. Lucas finds Haley's "23" tattoo. He freaks out. She tells Luke she's in love with Nathan. Dan walks in on Deb and Dim, and comes to his own conclusions about what (read: nothing) happened. Luke sees Nathan kiss Peyton, and also comes to the wrong conclusion. Keith asks Karen to marry him. She looks shocked. Brooke shows up at the River Court and tells Luke she thinks she's pregnant.
And we're back to the same old boring credits.
The wind blows, like so many other things on this show. The weather has taken a more, ahem, dramatic turn as Luke says, "What do you mean you think?" A weepy-eyed Brooke replies, "I mean I'm late, like late." Luke asks a logical question: "Did you take a test?" Brooke shakes her head. I guess in her mind it's better to worry about it than to really know, because the truth would change your life completely. Oh, by the way, welcome to the conclusion of the "cliffhanger," where this aptly drawn-upon staple of television will be abused, tortured, and hung out to dry for the next forty-odd minutes. Yeah, so Luke says they need to know, maybe it's just a false alarm (you think?), that the drugstore's still open (it's after midnight, remember), and they need to take the test together.
Keith stands at Karen's door, asking for her hand in marriage. Her eyes open wide and she can't really speak. He says, "Marry me." Again. As if she didn't hear it the first time. That's never a good sign. Karen shakes her head: "I don't know what to say." Keith: "Well, yes would be a good start." Karen: "This just seems so out of the blue." Um, yeah, because fifteen years of unrequited love totally equals "out of the blue." Good grief. Keith says, "Karen, when you left for Italy we had a future." Pause. "We're still the same two people who stood at that airport." He confesses his undying love. Karen turns her head to the side and tells him that she loves him too -- wait for it, wait for it -- he's her best friend. Oh, and she throws in a little "he's been a wonderful father 'figure' for Lucas." None of this is adding up to a rousing "yes," by the way. Karen: "But the time away, the distance. It gave me a new perspective." On us? "On everything. Tree Hill is such a small part of the world. And maybe it's where I belong, but there's so much more out there." See, Keith just felt the weather change there too -- meaning it's a cold day in Tree Hell that Karen will ever agree to marry him. She continues, "Italy was the first time since Lucas was born that I've spent any time alone. I realized I only know myself as Lucas's mother. I've got to find the rest of me." She tears up: "You mean the world to me, but I'm sorry. I can't marry you." They stand there and feel awkward. I mean, really, what kind of conversation can you have after someone asks you to marry him and you say no? "How's it hanging"? "What else is new"? "So, that's a nice ring, what are you going to do with it"?