'One Tree Hill' Fan Columnist: To Kill or Not To Kill?
'One Tree Hill' Fan Columnist: To Kill or Not To Kill?
Joy Atkinson
Joy Atkinson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
After nine dull, meaningless episodes, I'm beginning to have an ember of hope for One Tree Hill. Though I've felt this season has been outdated and boring, "Lists, Plans" had a purpose, containing a balance of hatred and love and leaving me excited for the second half of season 8.

Voice of Reason

With most of the characters being relatively new to the show, it was great to see a face from back in the day of high school drama and state championships. Dan's return made me grin from ear to ear. I never thought I'd see the day when Dan would give me such joy, but tonight I really was genuinely excited to see him.

I originally thought Dan was the perfect person for Quinn to get advice on murder from because, in my mind, Dan is the perfect villain, the man I love to hate. I thought his reappearance was brilliant and much needed. Bringing Dan back added a darkness to the episode that no other character could provide.

At first Dan's superior knowledge of all things murder (e.g., cutting the victim into at least 20 pieces and burying them each five miles apart) totally freaked me out. I mean, Dan never had to do any of those things when he killed Keith. At the end of that monologue, I was wondering: What has Dan been doing since he got out of prison? But then I realized while some of what he said might be true (I wouldn't know as I'm not a serial killer); he was probably bluffing a lot because he didn't want Quinn to make the same mistakes he did.

Dan killed himself when he killed Keith. The guilt ate away at him until he felt he had to take the blame for a murder (Dante's) and pay for his sins. Even that didn't work, and he eventually gave in to his conscience and turned himself in. He went from mega-rich mayor to burger flipper. He did not want Quinn to suffer the same fate. In the end, Dan's purpose was not to teach Quinn how to off Katie, but to persuade her that murdering her attacker would cause her to lose a piece of herself she could never get back, turning him from the perfect villain to the level-headed hero.

Bon Voyage

Brooke can hear the wedding bells and taste the champagne; however, our newly poor fashionista cannot envision her wedding dress. The dress she had originally designed no longer fits her budget, and she spends all her time trying to find inspiration. While going through a memory box, Brooke and Julian stumble across a list of things Brooke planned on accomplishing when she was rich. Though she is confident she'll never be able to afford any of the items on her bucket list, Julian takes it upon himself to make Brooke's dreams come true. He gives her a French CD, so she can learn the language. He buys German outfits, so they can get drunk at their imaginary Oktoberfest while having a James Bond marathon. He rents a half motorcycle/half scooter mobile and jumps out of an airplane with her. And even though he can't get Brooke into space, Julian brings space to her when they stare into each other's eyes dreamily while the moon shines in the background. (Why don't guys like Julian exist in real life?) The end of the episode becomes a bit of a cheesefest, though, as Julian promises to make all Brooke's dreams come true, including giving her a baby. But all in all, life is good for the lovebirds.

Thunder will roll on into Tree Hill next week. Brooke will be in a terrible car wreck that threatens her life, and Katie comes back to complete unfinished business with Quinn (looks like that gun she threw into the river could've come in handy.) As the last episode of 2010, it's sure to have suspense and a cliff-hanger. Brace yourself; it's going to be awesome!

(Image courtesy of the CW)