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.


omg thats what i have to say i already bought it in itunes this was a really good episode ugh i loved the opening credits!!! and how they FINALLY mentioned peyton and lucas yay i hope the naley baby is gonna be okay and not handicap!! and i hope brooke gets her line store back. but other than that clay and quinn are really boring theres no chemistry and i hope they just leave ugh i cant wait for next weeks epiosde !! and one tree hill got higher ratings than gossip girl and 90210


Omg!! Just watched the episode!! Absolutely loved it!! Such a great start to the new season and loving the opening credits!!!
They ended last season with everyone happy and then dropped the whole shooting incident on us in 30 seconds and left us with 3 months to think about it and this episode gave more questions than answers.
-I knew something was off with Quinn and Clay the whole episode and really do want to know what happens with them. They must survive if they're in the credits!!
- Haley's baby, i have a feeling, will be handicapped or something along those lines. She won't lose the baby i don't think.
- Something is wrong with Nathan's back which will restrict his basketball playing, therefore he's around more to be a good father to Jamie and help Haley.
- Alex and Chase - much better! Gone off Mia.
- Brooke - ahhhhh!! She was FINALLY happy, perfectly happy. Why do they always make trouble for her. Let her be happy! How could victoria do this. No jail for brooke, but trouble's brewing and not sure what will happen.
But amazing first episode and can't wait for next week! xxxx


So happy the original opening credits are back, Loved how they opened the episode with a letter to Lucas from Hailey saying how much she misses him, (I definately miss CMM & HB) and Brooke taking about Peyton. Please bring them back it's just not the same without them, even if its for a few episodes.


I also liked the episode, but I had by no means the dynamic of the first seasons...
My thoughts:
- I hope Brooke gets back her bitchy and funny side instead of being this boring princess...
- I also think the baby could be handycapped.
- Jamie has gotten annoying. They keep trying to sell him as cute and adorable but hes just not! (Although I loves Naley trying to handle his questions ;))
- I like Mia and Millie, but both need to get back to the way they were in the beginning. Last season they were kinda lame...
- I hope Victoria stays mean. Shes more interesting that way and it will mean better drama for Brooke.
- I miss Mouth and Skills!!!


agree with everything you said :) And yes, I think the doctor's visit is foreshadowing something and because when Jamie said 'retard', I'm thinking that could mean a handicap with the baby. I hope not :(


Quinn and Clay are my least favorite characters... I'm kinda over their storyline already. LOVE BROOKE AND JULIAN, I think they are soo cute! The grease stuff was funny, I hope she gets to keep her line somehow, maybe she tries to make a name for herself, and have her struggle a bit trying to get back on top again. I love that they mentioned Lucas adn Peyton and THE CREDITS!! I really hope MS brings back CMM and Hilarie Burton at least for a few episodes. I still like the Jamie/naley dynamic, but what did they do to his hair? lol Mia snoozed and losed when it came to Chase, I think Him and Alex make a better couple but you know there will be a showdown Overall I was soo happy we got another season and I can't wait to see how everything plays out, I missed this show!!


I loved the opening credits also!

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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