Previously on One Tree Hill: Haley got all up in Lucas's grill about kissing Peyton. Lucas got all in a truck grill when Keith drove them into an accident; Karen got into Keith's grill over the brewskis he pounded prior to getting behind the wheel; Brooke dreamily/tearily declared her love for Lucas.
And now that we're all caught up, let me just share my excitement over recapping a show that doesn't have a dead body and a brain-dead one-liner kicking us to the credits. I am, however, a little thrown by the parents on this show looking the same age as their children.
Once the credits end, we see Lucas preparing to go home. Karen chides him to take it easy before he pops a stitch. Lucas grumbles that he feels helpless, and Karen shoots back, "You will be if you keep this up. What are you looking for?" Scruples? A quick and easy way to ditch his girlfriend for her best friend? His spleen? I'm only guessing. Actually, what he's looking for is Keith's make-nice gift to Karen; she finds it and tosses it on the bed. Lucas says, "I don't get it. Dan does one nice thing and you cut him some slack. Keith makes one mistake and you cut him out." Karen gapes at him instead of saying, "I don't get why you think that my personal decisions are somehow on the table for discussion, mister. You're grounded until you can collect Social Security."
A doctor comes in and makes some chit-chat, and after establishing that, indeed, he will never be able to vent his spleen again, Lucas asks, "What about basketball? Will I be able to get that back? The way it was?" Dr. Four-Lines says, "Your shoulder was pretty badly damaged. Recovery may not be possible." Wrong! It's entirely possible. It may not be probable. Anyway, Lucas pouts over it, and Karen checks his reaction, and then he looks at the floor because clearly he's all torn up inside. And I don't just mean from the accident.
Meanwhile, at stately Scott manor, Deb is puttering around the kitchen and ignoring Nathan until the phone rings. Nathan tells her, "It's him," clearly meaning that it's Dan, and Deb orders him, "Don't! Pick up." Nathan gives her a look. Deb twists a towel in her hands as she explains that "your father is refusing to cooperate with the attorneys, so this custody thing may end up in front of a judge. And when that happens, things could get ugly, sweetie." Dan not dealing with compromise and negotiation like a well-adjusted adult? Shocking plot development. Nathan looks mildly concerned. Deb finishes, "I want you to know, I'm only trying to protect you." The whole time she's explaining that Mommy and Daddy are about to gut each other like trout in a court of law, Dan's yelling, "Nathan? Deb? Pick up the phone! Pick it up, son! Come on, pick it up!" into the answering machine. Oh, Daddie Dearest, have a little dignity. Or hire flunkies to do that for you; this behavior's beneath your self-image as a master of the universe. Anyway, Nathan heads over to the machine and presses mute before turning to ask Deb, "How great is it that Dad has an off-button now?" Deb cracks up. Then Nathan tells Deb, "I think you're doing the right thing for yourself. And even for [Dan]." I take a moment to let this sink in: so the parents look as young as their children, and their children sound as old as their parents. No wonder I had a hard time figuring out who had purportedly parented whom on this show. Anyway, Nathan says that he thinks his parents splitting up is a good thing.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks --and if this house is anything like what the Other Side of the Tracks is like, I'm all for moving there -- Karen is busy stroking Lucas's ego by telling him he set a new record for the number of visitors who came by while he was unconscious. I can imagine the allure of face time with Lucas when he's passed out; he seems more upbeat then. Karen rattles off all the people -- Brooke and Haley and the guys from the river court -- but Lucas cares not for these folk. He asks if Peyton visited, and Karen says, "Once. I saw her holding your hand and talking to you." Rather than be content with a) the record-setting group of people who visited, and b) Peyton's little visit, Lucas mopes that she couldn't be bothered to come back a second time. Karen replies, "I don't think so. Why?" Before Lucas can non-answer her by sulking some more, they open the door to his room, and Brooke pops out singing, "Surprise!" "Aiiigh!" Lucas screams, popping his stitches. Oh, he does not. He just looks kind of skeptical. I don't blame him: with all the candles and the plants and the Brooke, there's kind of a Pier One Imports commercial vibe happening, and bracing for Kirstie Alley's impact is understandable. Karen is duly impressed with the Trading Spaces-style transformation. Brooke asks, "Bad idea?" Well, yes. I mean, it looks good and all, but rearranging and redecorating someone's room without bothering to run it by them first seems kind of hostile, actually. It's a passive-aggressive form of imposing your taste on them. Lucas stammers that he's just kind of surprised, and Brooke replies, "Then mission accomplished." She's either delusional, or she really did set up just to surprise him and figured that there was no difference between good surprise and bad surprise so long as surprise was the bottom line.