One Tree Hill
With Arms Outstretched

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The Blame Game

The bell rings, and Luke chases after Brooke because she's delicious. She's wearing a reddish-coloured warm-up suit. I'm still wondering how jogging pants have become so fashionable these days. Brooke's red knapsack totally clashes with her outfit, but whatever. That's not important, right? What's important is that Luke was looking for Brooke, that he's got a book to give her (John Steinbeck's The Winter of Our Discontent) because, I guess, they were talking about it while they were looking after Peyton. Brooke's got her flirt on; after Luke says that he's got something for her, she replies, "I know you do, gorgeous." A caterpillar has manifested itself underneath Saint Luke's bottom lip. He hands her the book and says, "It's that book I was telling you about, thought you might want to check it out." Brooke says sexily, "Oh, I definitely want to check it out, I suppose I could read the book too, but what are you doing to do for me?" Luke's intrigued: "What do you mean?" She holds up the paperback: "If I read the book, you do something for me." Like what? "I don't know, something fun." He takes a millisecond to think about it and then agrees. Brooke jokes, "Should we shake on it or just make out now?" And just like that -- it's all about Brooke; Peyton's just a mere dusty memory in the back of Luke's, ahem, mind.

Okay. Karen has a freaking statue out in the front of her café. It's a truly horrible, fake-looking Grecian thing that should really be on someone's lawn in suburban Mississauga. Dan walks in as Deb fiddles with the coffee machine. She can't get the filter into the industrial coffeemaker. Dan says sarcastically, "Need some help?" First of all, I can't believe he has the balls to set foot in that place after how he's treated both Luke and Karen; second of all, he was such a jackass about Deb working there, I would have assumed he'd stay away purely out of spite. Oh. Wait. He's there to mock her, of course. Deb tells him that everything is just fine. Dan asks, "How about a cup of coffee?" He pulls out a bill and waves it around. She pours him one as he says, "I know you said [I should] think your taking over the café isn't some sort of payback." She insists that it isn't, that she just wants to help Karen. He takes a sip of the coffee and predictably winces: "By ruining her business?" There's that awesome sense of humour again! Three cheers for asshole Dan! "That's the worst cup of coffee I ever paid for." Deb purses her lips together and says, "If you've come here to mock me, Dan, save it." He tries to convince her that he's just trying to help, but we're not buying it -- because Dan's such a giving kind of guy. Luke walks into the café at that moment, sees Dan there with Deb, and promptly walks right back out again. For once, there was actually a glimmer of a strange emotion on Dan's face as he looked to Deb -- they both seemed to feel uncomfortable and troubled at the same time. Poor Luke; his home's not even his home now that his mom's gone away.

Later that night, Dan and Nathan are back to normal, meaning they're having a meal without Deb there. Dan asks, "How's your sandwich?" Nathan answers, "It's almost warm." They're eating take-out. Dan tells him that he'll start cooking again -- that is, until Deb "comes to her senses." Wow. Is it that hard for Dan to be supportive of Deb simply because she's his wife? Even if he doesn't agree with her decisions, he can still say, "Wow, good for you honey, taking on something that you've never done before, I'm really proud of you." Nathan says, "You know, just when I think things can't get any weirder around here, Mom takes over Karen's café." He jokes, "I think I'm going to invite Lucas over here to spend the night." And let the fireworks begin. Dan says, "Well, your mother hasn't exactly been herself lately." He takes a sip of his drink. "It might help if you tell her you're happy. She thinks I've ruined your life." Nathan's face drops, because Dan has essentially just blamed him for the problems between himself and Deb. Nice. Dan doesn't even notice; he pays no attention to how his words trouble Nathan. He just barrels onto his favourite topic: basketball. "Cove City game's coming up." Nathan says, "Yeah, Whitey claims that if we lose, the sun doesn't rise." Dan: "He might actually be right for once." Nathan laughs. Dan continues, "Of course, you know who scored the most points against the Cavaliers?" And so it begins. He says, "Forty-two," with a disgusting smirk on his face. Ah, yes, it's Dan's seemingly never-ending march down memory lane. He lives in the past so much, he might as well borrow Marty McFly's time machine on a weekly basis. Seems like that past is like heroin to Dan -- he just can't seem to live beyond it, needs a fix every few hours, and has track marks up and down his arm, only they're basketball scores and not needle marks.

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One Tree Hill




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