One Tree Hill Review: I Can See Daniel Waving Goodbye

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Dan. Effing. Scott. Whether you loved him, hated him, or loved to hate him, it is nearly impossible to argue that he didn't have one of the most intriguing and divisive character arcs of all-time. 

He tormented his sons, his wife and everyone else in town for that matter. He was hit by a speeding car, poisoned, lost out on a number of heart transplants and attempted to hang himself.  Dan Scott even murdered his own brother.

He also treated his grandchildren - we mostly witnessed this through his joyous moments with Jamie - wonderfully.  When it came down to it, and someone he loved was in extreme danger, he put everything (including his life on the line), saving Nathan Scott for his family.

Oh, Danny Boy

We got to relive so much of his journey over the course of these nine seasons of One Tree Hill in "Danny Boy," whether through spoken word or visual flashback, and it created for one Hell of an emotional rollercoaster.

While I merely proposed the idea back in my review of "Catastrophe and the Cure," with only two episodes remaining in the history of One Tree Hill I am now fairly certain that years from now my most vivid memory of the series will be Dan Scott's tumultuous beginning, his heroic redemption and how those two ideas conflicted with each other so effectively.

It was conflicting right down to the bitter end... to us, the audience and to so many characters on screen, including Dan.

He knew how awful he was. The man was not oblivious. Over the course of the past few seasons, we've seen him attempt to make amends; we've witnessed Dan strive to build a strong relationship with Jamie, and we watched him sacrifice his own life to save his son.

But Dan still couldn't even forgive himself for what he did to his brother, to his family, and to the entire town of Tree Hill back in season three. We heard it in his words, and we saw it in his face when he so earnestly apologized to Haley.

It was evident in his entire conversation with Nathan on the hallucinated River Court. That speech in which he left every last feeling on the bleachers they were sitting, was absolutely remarkable. Even in death, and after the ghost of Keith* forgave him for what he did, Dan still assumed he was going to Hell. This was a man who was truly for what he did in life, but even that may never be enough... for him, for them, for us.

*That guest appearance by Craig Sheffer was definitely surprising, especially since they slyly left him out of the opening credits.

Before moving on to a number of other characters who also had interesting developments this week, let's all take one more moment to recognize how wonderful Paul Johansson, the writers and the directors were at creating such a fascinating character.

Nathan returned home, safe from the European mobsters and free of that horrible story line, and it was a great reunion for Naley. As Haley wondered around the hospital hallway the anticipation grew bigger and bigger. The moment still grew larger until Nathan's quiet greeting and their extremely loud (emotionally) embrace.

That wasn't it for the two of them. They both endured major moments in dealing with the death of Dan. Like the rest of us, Nathan struggled with how to remember his father, ultimately forgiving him and reiterating the fact that he loved him. Haley, meanwhile, chose to let Dan's positive legacy live on in the Scott lineage, stating that Lydia would hear only of how much Grandpa Dan loved his grandchildren.

Over in Cutesville, Logan was putting me on cute overload with all of his cuteness. Seriously, even Jamie from season five couldn't compete with how cute Logan is. His "then why didn't you?" was filled with so much little kid anger that it might have been the cutest thing yet.

Seriously, though, it was nice to see the kid and the grandparents coming around on letting Clay in a little more. Clay, Logan and Quinn will slowly develop into a happy family. We won't get to see it happen with only two episodes left, but it will.

Finally we get to our lovely Brooke Davis, who like Nathan, was released from a horrid plot and given something with a bit more depth. She shut the door on Ted Davis, hopefully kicking him out of her house and her life for the last time. Maybe now she can help her hubby Julian cast for the new Ravens television show!

With how they brought it up, and the great promise it might hold for the viewers' imaginations, I expect Julian's idea for a tv show to be a focus of the final two episodes.

How else are they going to wrap up One Tree Hill? What do you expect to see in the final two episodes in the history of the series? What did you think of "Danny Boy?" And how will you remember Dan Scott?

Check out some One Tree spoilers on the series finale, read all the best lines in our One Tree Hill quotes section, and then sound off in the comments!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (143 Votes)

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


This was absolutely the best OTH episode ever. I can't remember last time I cried this much. I hated Dan in the first seasons, who didn't? But when he started to come around and started to hang with Jamie I got the soft spot for him and it even grew bigger and bigger. Oh, how I will miss Danny boy and just thinking about this episode makes my heart ache. I love you always Danny, R.I.P
(So happy Keith took a visit)
Naley reunion was perfect, Nathan is just where he should be. Logan is super cute and Brooke Davis showed her real Davis power today, good for her, all in all, BEST EPISODE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Must say, Deb's and Dan's dialogue was super funny!)


Ah that was one of the best episodes of OTH ever!! Cried my eyes out! And I was not expecting to see Keith - best surprise of the season!!!
Not surprised Lucas didn't come back, and didn't expect him too. Nathan never really knew Keith, but for Lucas, Keith was a father to him. I think it was okay for Nathan to forgive him cos Dan did so much for him and for him, it was the fact Dan killed a man. For Lucas, it was far more than that - Dan killed Lucas' "father" - I never thought Lucas would ever forgive for that so I'm not surprised he didn't come back. But still hoping for a surprise return of Lucas and Peyton in the finale!!!!
Brooke - that poor girl!!! PLease please please, give her a happy ending!! And the Naley reunion - you gotta love them!!! Can not wait for last 2 eps!!! I'm so going to miss this show!


Ok so let mestart off by saying i NEVER cry while watchin tv anymore. But i was crying from beginning to end of last nights OTH. I think it was a perfect goodbye to an amazing character and the shock of Keith standing there--i completely lost it. And for those saying that karen n lucas would or should have come back--im glad they didnt. This really was about his redemption. Bringin them back in a malicious sense would have taken away from the man Dan Scott became--he was tortured enough onhis own without them bein there to rub salt in the wounds. I LOVED this episode and cant wait for the final two.


I hated Dan Scott at times, mostly I loved to hate him and sometimes I even loved him. Paul was absolutely outstanding in this episode.
This episode was by far the best one of the season, hands down.
One problem I have since Lucas and Peyton left: I think they need to stop mentioning them. Like before Brooke's wedding and this episode, they put blame on them for not being there. They don't need to butcher the now gone characters. Lucas would have been there at the hospital, whether Chad couldn't make it or didn't want to, I don't like them mentioning it because it blames the character!
But such a good ep, looking forward to the last 2 eps, can't believe its over!


Jarrad, with regards to the blood loss, you can lose so much blood and your body can be so damaged that it cannot sustain the blood supply. Unfortunately, a transfusion would not have helped, so the writers were correct in writing the scene that way. Overall, I felt the episode was great. I would have liked if the actors did show more emotion in their scene (specifically Nate when talking with his father); I mean really this was probably the last scene Paul and James did together I would have thought there would have been real tears shedding. I agree that Paul Johannsen should get nominated for some award for those scenes. Excellent Work!! I loved to hate Dan Scott. He was evil to the core. I wish Hillary and Chad could have come back for the last few episodes. I would have loved to see Lucas talk with Dan. Lucas would have handled it the way Keith raised him. With technology, they could have done a "Skype" talk, how much time would have it taken for Chad to record that. Overall, I did enjoy the episode, especially seeing Keith at the end.


I was floored Dan has always been a monster to me from an overbearing(Nathan)/absentee (Lucas) father, abusive husband/boyfriend (Deb & Karen) to everything he did to Keith that did end with murder (anyone remember that monster head stone he put up for himself he put next to Keith's grave) and even when he was with Jamie I always assumed he had a motive that had not been revealed yet. When Haley accused him of kidnapping Nathan earlier in the season I agreed with her he seemed to have the most to gain. But after this episode I really think Dan has been honest about just wanting to be with his family with no uliteror motive. Even the scene with Deb was nice. It was really smart of the writer to bring back Ted Davis as a contrast. Where Dan has made a complete 180 leading to his death, Ted is still the same father we didn't see for 9 seasons the only difference is he can now make a profit off Brooke.
Where did this whole TV show idea come from after all everyone had been through when did Julian have time to pick up a book to get inspired. It sounds like a good idea for wrapping the show but couldn't he be inspired by stuff that has occured over the last few seasons and not digging up a dead project. And I agree Logan has kicked the adorable factor up a notch, Jamie was precocious which was cute but Logan is like one of the furry puppies rolling in soft towels kind of adorable. Last night was one of the first times that I wasn't annoyed with Clay or Quinn for that matter


OTH used to be one of my favorite shows, but I stopped watching because the storylines were way over the top sometimes. I checked out last night’s episodes and so glad to see I wasn’t the only one crying like a baby. Someone please give Paul Johansson ANY kind of reward-he was so amazing and if it were any other actor playing his role I probably wouldn’t have cared so much that he was dying. I wanted Dan to live, but understood that he still would have lived his life with so much regret and Keith showing up and forgiving his brother was powerful; it blew me away. I don’t understand why Chad and Hilarie could not come back for the last few episodes, but in this one, I just didn’t care about them. Paul and Bethany just knocked it out of the park and I hope I get to watch them on something else soon.


yes it reminds me of dawson's creek too, but that because they stole all the great things from dawson's creek which is such a shame. I love what they did with Dan but this episode was a disappointment to me, and so is this last season. They wanted to put too much in it and it doesn't really make any sense at all.


Dan dying is truly the saddest moment in One Tree Hill ever. Few problems however:
"Due to the blood loss and his bad heart" - Didn't Dan get a botched heart transplant in Mexico during season 7 when he was married to Rachael? And the blood loss? Ever heard of a transfusion. Wow. The writers on this show were honestly slack about how to kill him off.
"I'm sorry Dan, but Lucas isn't coming" - As much as Lucas hates Dan, it's obvious that Lucas would in fact go and would have last words for Dan whether they were caring or evil. I'm pretty sure that even Karen would go just to spit in his face one last time. The writers were once again slack in regards to guest appearances.
Loved appearances by Deb and (dead) Keith. With Keith making a surprise return, I wonder if the writers have anything planned in regards to more guest appearances?
Clinn bore me, but I like Clay and Logan. That's great, even though I am skeptical about the entire storyline to begin with.
No offence to Brooke, but the thing with her dad was really irrelevant.


This episode was so emotional, it was beautiful. I didn't really want Dan to do but he had the best death throught out One Tree Hill. The whole idea for Julian Ravens TV show is cool because the writers are usuing actual facts. One tree hill was originally going to be titled Ravens and it was going to be a movie, then it was turned into a TV show. Its a great way to keep the spirit of the show when it ends.

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One Tree Hill Season 9 Episode 11 Quotes

He'll be okay. It's Grandpa Dan.


You have now saved the two most important men in my life, and I don't know how to thank you.