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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?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (364 Votes)

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

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Excellent article! They truly did a wonderful wrap up of the show- I laughed and cried throughout it. I will truly miss the show and the way they incorporated music..."Music is love in search of a word".

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cast from the past, Karen, Dan, Keith, Deb, Rachel and Whitey where was Whitey? would have left allot of people teary eyed) ALWAYS AND FOREVER THANK YOU OTH, THE CAST AND MARK, I was 13 when it all began I feel like it been apart of my life. There is only ONE TREE HILL!

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And the last moments of the show takes us on one final journey and play on our emotions, the sheer joy of hearing Gavin sing one last time that song we all love, and I for one was singing at the top of my lungs along with Gavin and the cast, the song it self sums up the whole show, and I loved how the celebration of Tric was a celebration of the show and audience in the crowd was us, the audience at home, and the whole cast were celebrating the show with us. And then we get a glimpse into the future, and the full circle of there lives begins a new chapter with the next generation of kids, which is what the show was all about, just kids trying to find their way in life, and of course we saw the infamous Scott B-ball jersey one last time. yes I was sad and left disappointed, that we didn't see Lucas and Peyton one last time, (they should have at least shown the characters flashbacks, it would have been perfect when we saw the whole group in the cafe if we saw a flashback of the whole cast from the past, Karen, Dan, Keith, Deb, Rachel and Whitey where was Whitey? would have left allot of people teary eyed) THANK YOU OTH, THE CAST AND MARK, I was 13 when it all began I feel like it been apart of my life. There is only ONE TREE HILL!

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The quotes of the show gives meaning's and purpose to which everyone can relate to, they are so powerful, that it makes us think what if, and it gives us belief purpose and meaning. Music plays with our emotions, we feel sad, we feel happy, we get pumped and then we come back to norm. Music takes us to the height of our emotions, and then back to reality. All three combined provide the foundations of our lives and we can relate.

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quietly, without you even noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this if your life.� “Make a wish and place it in your heart. Anything you want, everything you want. Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is gonna come from, the next smile, the next wish come true. But if you believe that it’s right around the corner, and you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it. You just might get the thing you’re wishing for. The world is full of magic. You just have to believe in it. So make your wish. Do you have it? Good. Now believe in it. With all your heart.� PERFECTION! Then we move on to the full circle of all the characters, everyone got what they always wanted nothing more nothing less, but what they wanted, it gave us hope as an audience, that life can be tough, but eventually you will get what you want, if you just believe. The music of the show has always been huge along with the quotes and basketball, we got to see all of it through the finale. Basketball (sports) gives us hope whenever we watch it, when our favorite team wins we cheer, when they lose we get sad, when one athlete does something great we are left speechless and amazed, from the underdog story's to the sheer dominance of one team and persons ability, for that one game for those few hours we experience every emotion known to mankind.

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AMAZING ending it was perfect, from the start with the Nathan, Haley and Brooke looking at them selves, and with Jamie on the river court (wearing Lucas's Kieth Scott Auto Shop hoodie) made it seem like Lucas was there on the court, and Nathan telling Jamie to do and be what he want to be (the complete opposite of the foundation of the show's main story line of Dan, Nathan and Lucas), the predication on the roof, the water balloons, Chris Keller's guitar, Chase and Chris and the twins showed the hope of new relationships which was important from the start, Logan calling Clay and Quinn mum and dad, the wedding, Mouth Skills getting what they always wanted, the Jimmy-Scott foundation made me smile from cheek to cheek, and the message, One Tree Hill has always had a life purpose I thought it fitting that the finale started off with “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 and planning for someday, and then quietly, without you even noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this if your life.� “Make a wish and place it in your heart. Anything you want, everything you want. Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is gonna come from, the next smile, the next wish come true. But if you believe that it’s right around the corner, and you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it. You just might get the thing you’re wishing for. The world is full of magic. You just have to believe in it. So make your wish. Do you have it? Good. Now believe in it. With all your heart.� PERFECTION! Then we move on to the full circle of all the characters, everyone got what they always wanted nothing more nothing less, but what they wanted, it gave us hope as an audience, that life can be tough, but eventually you will get what you want, if you just believe.

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I think i am on the fense with this one on one hand i did miss the peyton and lucas influence on this episode and they were a huge part of the series and find it sad that they were not included in someway but on the other hand their story had closure to it at the end of season six. One tree was never going to ever beat the first 4 seasons of the series and that was when it was at its best and i think the second problem i have always felt is although we love the characters of brook, haley and nathan the show never fully recovered from the loss of lucas and peyton they never introduced anyone that could replace them. I get that quinn and clay was suppose to replace them but it never really did and we didn't really care much about them so the show always felt a little off that there was space misssing. I was was ok with the ending in some abstract way it gave a nod to the begining of the series it started with two brothers and basketball and although lucas was missing it did seem to tie it all in and bring the show full circle back to the beginnig about this sport and the ravens and you could almost remember nine years ago the first episode was nathan playing for the ravens while across town his estraged brother played the same game on the river court and for me with out them even mentioning lucas it brought me back to the very first scene.

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I think it was a very good ending to the show! Everything was perfect, however I am a little disappointed on how Mark handled the Lucas and Peyton characters. I mean we cannot deny that they were the mains characters during the series and I don't think he made the memmories of these characters justice. I can understand that due to professional or personal obligations they probably could not make it, but he still could have made some sort of reference to their characters so that we all understand that they are still in each others lives. We never had any closure between Brooke and Peyton's friendship, are they still friends.. Do they talk... There are so unanswered questions. It could have been a phone call scene between each other. These two characters have been the center of the show for so many years that it was very disapointing to see how that was handled

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I loved it! I was crying from beginning to end, even in the 45 min before the show..... Your review made me tear up. I am one of those people that had been watching this show from the very beginning, I've been there for it all and loved every single second -even the second season that tore my heart out ...... It really is like loosing a friend, knowing that you'll never see those characters again, never again share in their life........ Sooooo bitter sweet - gonna miss it

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I love the series finale, it tears me up that after nine years of watching and looking forward to OTH episodes, it is over..=( I love how they decided to end the story with a happy ever after for each character=)This is the only series ever that I fell in love with all of its characters.=) Forever in my heart, One Tree Hill.