All three holiday-themed episodes of One Tree Hill this season have been extremely enjoyable. Both Halloween and Thanksgiving were successes, and this week's "Valentine's Day Is Over" definitely did not stray from that pattern.
I usually start out with what did NOT work, so let's change things up and take a look at the positives: The Chase/Chuck dynamic continues to be a highlight. I once again give props to Stephen Colletti, but let me also mention what a great job young actor Michael May has done the past few weeks.
He has always portrayed the rude annoying little kid well, but making him a show tune lover that has a drunk for a mother and a father that ran away just ups the ante for this character and rising star.
It has been an enjoyable two episode arc, starting with Chase just wanting to be a big brother to someone, and now with him taking an active role as a father figure to Chuck. The way that he helped Chuck and his mother connect on Valentine's Day was great to watch, and I hope this story continues in the future.I guess there is a first time for everything, too, because I really enjoyed the Clay and Quinn story. Maybe I'm just a sap, but his way of keeping his big Valentine's plans a secret and then unloading a fury of romantic gifts and gestures was nothing short of beautiful. Nathan and Haley had a similar situation, but I'm always a fan of these two, so it was expected.
This isn't to say that I didn't have problems with both of these plots, however. I understand that the writers wanted to keep it a secret from both the girls and the audience that these guys were planning big Valentine's Day surprises.
Why, though, when the pair were chatting with each other in the baseball dugout did they both say they had nothing going on that night? Yeah, you can say that it was just their way of joking with each other, but I'm not buying it. It was just a device to throw the audience off the scent. That's called being manipulative, writers.
Also, the fight between Nathan and Haley - in which she complained about him having a necklace and flowers that he never gave to her - would have been a lost more intriguing if we hadn't just seen Clay give those things to Quinn. Of course, we all know that Nathan would never have some floozy on the side (this couple is our rock!), but it still would have made for a little more mystery before seeing that Nathan had, in fact, gone all out for his wife. And then you could have shown Clay giving his gifts to Quinn.
I will never have a problem with Sophia Bush wearing sexy costumes, so I am willing to forgive the fact that Brooke and Julian did nothing but role play throughout the entire episode.
It also helped that their story ended with a fantastic final conversation in which Julian proposed that the two of them adopt a child. Nathan and Haley may be the rock of One Tree Hill, but Brooke is still the heart of it. It was so great to see her finally get her dream wedding a few weeks back, and it will be just as fantastic to see her finally get a baby to call her own. As Julian told her, Brooke will "be an amazing mom."
What did you think of the episode? Were you as smitten with it as the characters were with each other? Which couple had your favorite Valentine's Day?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.