One Tree Hill
The Games That Play Us

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Anchors Away!

Previously on One Tree Hill: Whitey has to miss the Ravens' first playoff game due to eye surgery. Dan smells the first sign of weakness, and bribes the poor buggers over on the Athletic Council into letting him coach the team. Nikki takes Baby Jenny in the mall and tells Jake she's suing for custody. Jake promptly leaves on Peyton's dad's boat. Haley freaks out over Nathan's web porn. The Chad cuts his hair, shaves, and decides he needs a change; he wants to move to Charleston with Keith.

Oh, it's the last time Gavin DeGraw's going to be anything other than what he's been trying to be lately. All he has to do is think of his peace of mind. Wondering what's he's got to do, what he's supposed to do, or who he's trying to be lately.

The Chad narrates: "Some people believe ravens guide travellers to their destinations." A lone "raven" flies in the sky. Lord knows I can't actually identify it as such; I'm no birder. It looks like a raven, but it could just as easily be a crow. "Others believe that the sight of the solitary raven is good luck, while a group of ravens predicts trouble ahead." And the birds come crashing down from the sky under the weight of their symbolism. Fade into the first playoff game. The Ravens Cheerleaders are there, clapping and shouting: "Let's go Ravens." Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap. Basketball fans are packed to the rafters in the gym. "And a raven met before battle promises victory." Mouth talks into a microphone that's somehow attached to his web cam, and that's the feasible part, because who knew that the Tree Hill High gym ripped for WI-FI, honestly? How's it a "live" web cast if there's no camera and no internet connection? Anyway. Mouth says, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tree Hill Ravens Basketball, brought to you by web cast at Ravenshoops.com. I'm Mouth McFadden and the playoffs are finally here! So throw out the perfect record, if the Ravens lose tonight, the season is over." Is it wrong of me to assume that because the season's ending tonight, that Mouth's comment refers to more than basketball? Both Mouth and the fellow sitting behind him wear "Ravenshoops.com" t-shirts. It's too bad it's not the kid from the pilot; whatever happened to that kid?

Dan attempts to give the team his version of a "pep" talk: "Tonight's obstacle is Masonboro. Win, and you're one step closer to a state championship, an undefeated season, and greatness. Lose, and be losers." Wow, he's so inspiring! Maybe he should parlay this inspirational moment into a series of books and tapes called Dan's Hoop Dreams: The Way to Win on the Court. Step one in Dan's coaching manual: Badger and intimidate your team so much, they're more scared of you than they are of the other team. Step two: Never, and I mean, never, pander to that "how you play the game" bullshit, 'cause it's for pansies. We all know it's just about the win. Step three: Pack the team with your own highly talented offspring, then treat them so poorly they don't want to call you "Dad," but "Devil." Anyway. After calling the team "losers" if they lose, Dan floats away on a cloud of righteous indignation. Luke looks at Nathan; he twirls a b-ball in his hands and half-passes it on the floor of the dressing room toward his brother.

Flashback to the River Court, where Nathan tosses a ball to Luke. He takes a shot, and misses. Nathan catches the ball and chastises him: "You know, all this working out doesn't mean anything if you can't hit the shot." The Chad steps forward and says, "What's wrong with you?" Nathan: "I'm just saying. It's a waste of my time to get you ready for this game if you can't score when we need it." Luke looks at his brother with a mixture of sibling rivalry and determination: "Give me the ball." It flies through the air, hits a raven or two on its way over to Luke, and lands like a baby in his hands. Luke throws up a perfect shot. They switch places and Luke says, "Now, will you tell me what's really wrong?" Luke tosses the ball back to Nathan, who fiddles with it for a bit before telling The Chad that he's "dealing with Haley." Luke says, "She's still not talking to you, huh?" Nathan launches the ball and it glides through the net: "No."

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One Tree Hill

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