Nathan and his father work out in their own gym. They are bench-pressing. Nathan's dad puts too much weight on. Nathan can't lift it. Are we all seeing the symbolism here? I guess this is how they bond, by trying to kill each other to see who can press more heat. Yawn. It's nothing like that scene from Unbreakable where Bruce Willis keeps lifting more and more weight. These guys only think they're superhuman. Nathan says, "What do you know about Whitey inviting your son to play?" Dan replies, "Don't call him that." Then he goes on to explain that the kid is not his son and that Billie Jean is not his lover. No, really he just tells Nathan that he and Karen were young, and the fact that Luke's last name is Scott is merely wishful thinking on her part. Dan piles more weight on the barbell. Nathan can't lift it anymore, so Dan physically throws him off the bench and starts doing it himself. Their relationship is a strange mixture of pressure and piles of crap. Masculine bonding that takes a very firm step into really bad parenting. And I quote: "I want you to go to this kid and encourage him not to play." How can he refer to Lucas as "this kid" like he's some sort of virus? I mean, really, how cold-hearted is Dan? ["He used to play John Sears on 90210. Enough said, I think." -- Sars] Nathan's response: "I'm not afraid of him, Dad." Not "wow, how cool is it that I've got a brother" -- nope, just "Luke's a social pariah and what's the best way to get rid of him." Dan: "We don't want anyone coming in now and disrupting the offense and taking away shots. Anyway, this has more to do with Whitey and me than you." Apparently, there's a bigger picture, and "this kid's" not in it -- what-freaking-ever -- Dan wins The Worst Parent in the World award hands down. Not only is he making Nathan do his dirty work, but the prodigal son laps up the holier-than-thou we've-worked-too-hard-to-let-a-little-result-of-my-sperm-offering-get-in-the way-of-our-success crap.
Hours and hours go by as Luke practices down by the river.
Back at the manor, Tim says to Nathan, "So your pops finally mentioned the bastard spawn, eh?" They raid the fridge. "They say he's got game." Nathan struts away: "Hey, man, I can get us to the state championship with three blind guys and a cripple, which is practically what I got left with you guys." Tim says, "Nice." I feel dirty just typing out that dialogue. The jock jerks set out for the park.
Rock, well, rocks in the background as Nathan arrives on Luke's home court. There's a lot of intimidation from Nathan: blah no one wants you on the team, blah my girlfriend doesn't want you, blah you're an outcast blah. Um, for all Nathan knows, Luke and Peyton have never met. He wasn't there when she almost ran him over. The most he might have caught on to was the fact that Luke looked at her in study hall. Dear writers: Please stop forcing storylines and relationships upon these characters before they've even had a chance to develop. Anyway. The end result? Nathan challenges Luke to a game of one-on-one. The stakes? If Nathan wins, Luke doesn't join the team. If Luke wins, Nathan quits the team.