One Tree Hill
The Games That Play Us

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Cut to Haley surfing through images on her productively placed Cingular telephone. Somehow, Dan appears behind her: "Don't think I haven't noticed your part in all this. You know, Haley, if you're going to manipulate him, you should aim a little higher. Remember, payback is hell." Poor Haley. How stressful, seeing your boyfriend's estranged father hanging out at the school because he's now the basketball coach. Doesn't he have a business to run? And what's up with threatening the girlfriend? She's a sweet, smart sixteen-year-old girl. How manipulative is she, really? Someone needs to take the Sun Tzu manual away from Dan. Not everyone is an enemy. He turns back just before he walks away to get in one final jab: "Oh, by the way, nice tattoo. Real classy." I'll bet Haley's thinking, "Damn you, low-riders, for always giving away my secrets!"

Mouth narrates: "Just moments away from the beginning of this playoff game. Winners advance, and the losers, well, their season is over." Dan walks proudly into the gym as Mouth continues, "Dan Scott is standing in for Coach Whitey Durham, who's out with an illness." Dan glances up and sees Deb sit down in the stands beside Karen. To him, that's an unholy alliance, I would imagine; I guess it's one of the reasons he's so hard on Haley. Oh, hell, why am I trying to psychoanalyze the most sadistic man on television? Deb and Dan exchange a look that caws like a whole murder of ravens: there is definitely trouble ahead for those two. Karen stares at the court; she doesn't even notice. The boys warm up. Mouth states, "Not sure who signed off on that one, but let's hope Coach Durham gets well soon." Say it proud, my Irish brother, you couldn't be more right.

Cut to the evening, where Deb contemplates her divorce papers. She sees her name beside the flag indicating where she should sign. She picks up the papers, pen in hand, and cries as Dan comes in, mocking her: "Really, Deb, tears, on the eve of our divorce." She tells him she was actually sitting there having second thoughts. Wait for the "but": "Until I considered what a hideous monster you've been for most of our married lives." With that pre-emptive strike, she signs with a flourish and holds out the papers to him. Dan walks deeper into the room and says, "Well, since we're frolicking down memory lane, let's take a stroll back to the campus the night you told me you were pregnant." He sits down on a stool facing Deb and continues, "You know, I came to you that night to tell you that'd I'd made a decision, that I was leaving school at the end of the semester --" She cuts in, "Because of your fictional knee injury." He clarifies hurtfully, "No, Deb, that's just what I told you." Oh, man! He's not going to do it, is he? "I was leaving because there was a girl I left behind, a girl who was carrying my child, and a girl that I loved very much." Oh, he totally is; he's going to pull some revisionist history crap out of his back pocket just to hurt his wife. Deb looks coldly at him and whisper-cries, "Karen." Dan sort of half-nods and says, "But when I told you I was leaving, you told me you were pregnant." Deb half-moans, "I didn't know you were leaving for Karen." Dan insists, "No, all you knew is that I'd do right by you and Nathan, which is something I've tried to do every day since then, and if that makes me a monster, then so be it." Shall we call a spade a spade? See if Dr. Frankenstein wants to chime in? Those kids from Weird Science?

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One Tree Hill

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