One Tree Hill Series Finale Review: There Is Only One...

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Even after the 45 minutes of interviews and clips highlighting the best moments of all nine seasons, the aptly titled "One Tree Hill" took us all down memory lane once again with callbacks to moments, locations, and characters of the past in last-ever episode of this classic drama.

Everything wrapped up in a tight little bow in the series finale of One Tree Hill, and I'm perfectly fine with that. It is certainly better than the adverse, where the audience is left in the balance, not having any idea what is going to happen to the characters it fell in love with.

That definitely wasn't the case with this ending, as we know exactly what Brooke, Nathan, Haley, Mouth, and the rest of the gang will be up to for the rest of their adult lives.  They will be living out the happy and the sad moments in this town... this place that they still look at ever so fondly.

One Tree Hill Finale Photo

Things have come full circle on One Tree Hill. It all began with a majority of these characters living in this town as kids. Those that have stuck around are now grown, and have kids of their own. The difference – and one of the best takeaways from the series in general – is that they have all learned from not only their own mistakes, but the mistakes of their parents.

They weren't all as terrible as Dan Scott, but most of the adult figures in these characters' lives had their issues. Highlighted by Nathan's speech to Jamie about being able to live his life however he wants to, THESE parents are going to be different. This generation of Tree Hill moms and dads is going to be loving. They're going to be inspiring.

The whole thing might have been a little too over-the-top happily ever after, but it seemed like that was their plan after wrapping up the dark and twisted kidnapping story line a few weeks ago. I mean, there had to be one major life-threatening event that took the town by storm before they all could enjoy themselves for the rest of time. It wouldn't be OTH otherwise.

Are we supposed to believe it is all roses and chocolates from here on out for these people, though? I can't imagine why. After all, a lot of tragedy does occur in this town. The ever so present happy ending, however, does give off that feeling that even when the lumps come at these people, they will take it in stride, and overcome.  That's what nine seasons has proven to us.

While the macro side of "One Tree Hill" was more about celebrating and moving forward, the micro was still about wrapping up the final chapter for each of these characters.

As should be the case, given what these two have meant to the show over the years, Nathan and Haley were given one of the best send offs. They called back to their first moment, as Nathan once again gave Haley a bracelet out of a Cracker Jacks box and the two engaged in one final romp in the rain before skipping ahead some years to Jamie's basketball game.

Brooke, maybe the heart and soul of this series, was given a similarly fantastic ending. Her parents are finally there for her, she is getting to run her own company again, this time set up right across the street from Karen's Cafe instead of in it, and her man gave her a dream home. Sure, it was her old childhood home, but it answered everyone's dream that Brooke remain "the girl behind the red door" forever.

Clay and Quinn getting married and adopting Logan, Chris Keller signing with Red Bedroom Records, and Chase becoming owner of Tric, were all nice stories, but didn't carry nearly the amount of weight as the first two did, and rightfully so. Those characters weren't nearly as important to the series as Nathan, Haley, and Brooke.

The one send off that seemed like it was supposed to be carrying a good amount of weight, however, was Mouth inheriting the $500,000 from Dan Scott. I loved the call back to Jimmy, Keith, and that moment in the high school hallway that changed the landscape of the series forever, but I really couldn't connect with the story at all.  Mouth creating that scholarship was a nice idea, but it didn't hit me emotionally, which is probably because Jimmy was never a character they any of us got to know, including the rest of the characters on the show.

Last, but not least, the series finale did a great job of saying goodbye to Tric. Centering the hour around its 10th anniversary was a nice send off to the club that allowed One Tree Hill to do in its last ever episode what it did for so many years before... allow music to enhance emotions.

Just as slow ballads made the sad moments even more depressing, or pumped up bangers made the basketball scenes that much more exciting, the many performances in this finale allowed the viewers to feel the emotion that was in the air. It wasn't just the emotion of the characters.  It was the emotion of the actors, especially when Gavin DeGraw broke out "I Don't Want To Be" and the entire cast started singing along. That song – and music in general – was a major cog in what made this show successful. This played as a fantastic tribute to that.

After last week's penultimate episode, I worried that the series finale was going to be too narrowly focused on the making of Julian's show within the show. I worried for nothing, though, as that was just a minor detail in the conclusion of One Tree Hill.

Julian was making a tv show about these characters' high school lives week in and week out, but the ending of this series was about the fact that these characters that the audience has gotten to know over the years - some for nine, others for less - are going to be living out the rest of their adult lives in this town... this place that they still look at ever so fondly.

What did you all think of the last ever episode of One Tree Hill? Did it live up to your lofty expectations or was it an utter disappointment? How long will it take you to get over the fact that the show will never be on again?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (368 Votes)

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


Loved the series, thought the ending great, can anyone tell me the name of the song Haley was singing?


I have religiously watched this show since the first episode, this series originally started with Lucas he was the first character, he was the voice. I remember the first season revolving mostly around 5 characters: Lucas, Haley, Peyton, Brooke, and Nathan. It greatly saddens me that the last episode did not show these 5 people. I loved the Lucas-Peyton Love the Lucas-Brooke friendship the Lucas-Nathan brotherhood and the Lucas-Haley Friendship/sibling hood. These 5 characters in particular were absolutely essential to the show and I have dearly missed Lucas and Peyton. I think the last episode truly deserved Lucas and Peyton to come back.


yous are all moaners, it was amazing and has been for the whole 9 years.


Does anyone know who was the older actor who played as Jamie Scott in the last scene wearing the # 12 jersey. I'm curious to know what he looks like.


It was an ok finale, but left me wondering in the last scenes in the gym...
The kids, Julian and Brooke had two boys, but yet, When Julian looked over it showed a boy and girl(I could only assume Davis and Lydia) waving back to him.
Making that moment a bit puzzling. Also the inclusion of Chris Keller in the last scene, was not exactly needed as he wasn't in most of the series. Yes, they should have had guest appearances of Karen, Peyton, lucas, whitey and lucas's little sister whose name I can't recall right now. But good show and well written for making 9 years.


I was a little disappointed in the series finale that Lucas, Peyton, Coach Durham and Karen didn't make an appearance. I always felt the show went lacking after Lucas and Peyton were written out. I also felt the storyline change from the original concept after the departure of Lucas and Peyton. I will always have fond memories of the seasons with Lucas and Peyton. Clay and Quinn never found their place in the show for me. The friendship between Haley and Brooke never matched Peyton and Brooke. Dan Scott is what kept me coming back and it was sad saying goodbye to his character. All in all it was a good run for the show and a good time to end it after nine season. Based on the characters left, it was time to say goodbye.


Re: Season 9, Episode 4 - Air Date: 2/1/2012 "Don't You Want to Share the Guilt?"
Does anyone know what Dan says to the drug dealer on the bench?? I got the beginning part, but I cannot get when he asks the drug dealer a question. The drug dealer says – “well you know all kinds of losers, don’t you� Dan laughs and says something back.
Can someone please tell me what he says, because I cannot make it out.
I would really appreciate it.


The only thing I wish had happened, was if Peyton and Lucas had come home. Peyton & Brooke had a love story of their own (one of the deep love of friendship) and her absence from Tree Hill & especially Brooke's life was felt.

Miss andrea

OTH will always be my favorite tv show :') I'll miss them a lot! BEST SERIES EVER.


I can't believe I missed the finale!!! I have grown with Lucas, Nathan, Haley, Brooke and Peyton. through all the ups and downs ins and out and fallouts.. Ill miss them..

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One Tree Hill Season 9 Episode 13 Quotes

Dude, Chris Keller's on the lam.


That tasted like the devil's ass!


One Tree Hill Season 9 Episode 13 Music

  Song Artist
Blind pilot half moon Half Moon Blind Pilot iTunes
Song Blue Sky Bethany Joy Galeotti
Song Gun Is Loaded Amie Miriello