One Tree Hill Season Premiere Review: Back on Track?

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I really enjoyed this week's season premiere of One Tree Hill. Relatively speaking, that is.

You see, somewhere in seasons three, four and five of this show, it was clicking on all cylinders.  Then came season six, which was a muddled mix of good, decent and atrocious.  And then I couldn't stand anything about last season.  The stories didn't grab me, the music was way too overbearing and the characters were lost to me.

Therefore, compared to what I thought of season seven, "Asleep at Heaven's Gate" was a solid improvement.  I was intrigued by a couple of storylines, the volume of dramatic music was toned back, and that twist on the end there was enough to make me forget about a lot of the fluff that took up the middle 20 minutes.

Cute in Bed

Maybe you're all more in touch with what was going on at that beach than I was, but I was honestly surprised to see that the whole thing was a dream (or, possible, the pair on the road to death).  It's especially interesting since when Clay said to Quinn "Look, I just realized that I haven't seen a single person on this beach the entire day. I said to myself INCEPTION DREAM SEQUENCE!  Playing it off as Clay just wanting to go skinny dipping was a nice misdirect.

When this episode opened with Clay thinking that the shooting was the dream, I was ready to rip this show a new one. You've got to be kidding me?  Just gonna chalk it all up to a dream?  What a cop out?  So, I am very glad that they faked me out.  It made the ending to this episode great, and should make the entire beginning of this season better, as well.

While Clay and Quinn were skinny dipping and making out on a death beach, let's take a look at what everyone else was up to.

I'm glad to have happy Naley back.  Depressed Haley really put a damper on our favorite married couple last season.  They are the rock and I'd like for them to be the two that keep everyone else sane on this show.  With what might be complications with Haley's new pregnancy and Nathan's basketball career, that might be a difficult task.  Does anyone think that neither of their doctor visits foreshadow at least one serious problem?

Brooke and Julian's massive love fest through the first half of the episode was a little tough to take, but the legal trouble Brooke is now in more than made up for it.  By no means do I want to see Miss Clothes Over Bros go to prison, but if she loses the company over this, it would be nice for the show.  I miss the broke Brooke from high school that couldn't handle not having money.  She was interesting.  The rich, whiny Brooke from the past couple of seasons?  Not so much.

And finally we get to my favorite three characters on the show.  I love Chase.  I love Alex.  I love Mia.  Having all three of them in a love triangle?  Fantastic.  The only problem I see is that Jana Kramer, as Alex, is the only season regular.  I'm sure they will put this story on the back burner for many an episode while Clay and Quinn continue to bore me (and hopefully themselves) to death.

What's going to happen to the two gunshot victims?  Will the rest of the OTH gang find them in time to save them?  What went wrong with Nathan and Haley at their respective doctor's appointments?  Will Jamie ever figure out how the birds and the bees work?  A lot of questions to ask.

Other Thoughts:

  • So great to have the theme song, "I Don't Wanna Be" back before episodes this year.  I'm nostalgic like that.
  • The Jamie scenes are really tough for me at this point.  He was so cute and lovable in season five, and he's just become less and less cute as the seasons have gone on.
  • I enjoy when One Tree Hill forces stories to mirror each other.  This week we had the "I said no" by both Jamie and Millie, as well as both Nathan and Haley's doctors telling them they'd have to run some tests.
  • I like that they gave Lucas his due by having Haley writing to him in the opening of the episode.  For characters that were so crucial to the series, they should get mentioned a bit more.
  • I loved when Alex told Mia off.  No matter how mean she is, she always makes me smile. 
  • Check out this week's best One Tree Hill quotes now!



Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (62 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


The first episode of the 8th season was BORING AS HELL!!! How can you say that it was a big improvement? The same crying Brooke, the same 'makes you vomit' sweet couple of Clay and Quinn. The thought that they didn't die made me angry from the beginning. I can't stand this couple. They are just horrible. OTH was all about Lucas Peyton so where are they??? Why aren't they bringing them back and just coming out with more irritating character like Julian? Also Nathans son is big now and not that cute anymore so they should reduce his part as it's also annoying. EEEEEeeeeeech its really hard for me to find something interesting in this episode. I was hoping that they will come up with something interesting in the new season but it didn't happen :( What a shame!


at one point i didn't like the whole skipping college experience, but then i realized that skipping it was good because seriously how many more story lines could the OTH people come up with during college, which would probably very similar to the High school years. i reckon its good they moved away from the school aspect into the real life. why do you hate Jamie? i guess he was cute in the 5th season, but i reckon they could get some good story lines out of him. and i agree by bringing Dan and Rachel back and lucas and peyton for a little bit. i reckon whole chase mia thing is crap, just get with alex, she is awesome funny as hell. i love NALEY! but anyway everyone has their own opinion


For me, everything after season 4 sucked the soul out of One Tree Hill. I thought skipping the college years was a pretty huge mistake. Seeing Nathan and Haley act like they just got married yesterday was enough for me to almost throw up and fast forward through their scenes. I still hate Jamie. I agree with you that Quinn and Clay are the most boring...why introduce new characters when you could bring back Dan, Rachel, or maybe Mouth (yes, I'm that desperate) who was in the credits but not in the episode? For me the only redeeming elements of OTH are Brooke, her mother, and Alex. Though I do miss bitchy, slutty Brooke, lol. I guess I'm just that bitter fangirl who's gonna hate anything just because it's not in the high school setting :(


Since they brought back the opening credits and that Haley was writing too Lukas REALLY made it feel a little like old times! Hopefully CMM and HB will be back for the final episodes!


I was not impressed with this episode. I love, love One Tree Hill, but I was just so not digging this opening show. I hope it gets better in the next episodes.


I loved this episode. I've been a fan of the series since season one and have not lost hope in it, even though interest faded a bit during season 7. Season 8 is off to an amazing start and can't wait for more!


oh very good


I've been watching One Tree Hill since episode 1 of season 1!!! I love that they brought back the opening credits.... it feels a little bit more original again... OMG!!!! The Clay and Quinn storyline, typical OTH!!!! I love it, but so confusing!!!!!! Can't wait to see what happens. I hope everything is alright with Nate, he's had so much horrible stuff happen to him over the series, I hope the dust can settle for once and he can have a happy ending for a little bit.... Nice to see Julian and Brooke happy and together, I love Brooke when she's not sad.... Sad, whiny, crying Brooke is so annoying! Loving Alex as well, not that she is away from Julian.... Can't wait to see where this season goes...


renata Fuck You Bitch, Clay and Quinn are awesome. They have amazing chemistry


RNaley Fuck You bitch. Clay and Quinn are awesome. They have amazing chemistry.

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One Tree Hill Season 8 Episode 1 Quotes

This happens all the time. I sleep with a girl and then the next morning she's already planning the wedding.

Julian (to Brooke)

Haley: These aren't sad tears, they're happy tears.
Nathan: Alright, well how about from now on we do smiles for happy instead?

One Tree Hill Season 8 Episode 1 Music

  Song Artist
The search The Search Setting Fires iTunes
Theres a light There's a Light Jay Malinowski iTunes
All in a day All In A Day The Open Sea iTunes