One Tree Hill: Four Years Forward, Three Years Back

Last week on One Tree Hill, Peyton and Haley fired Kevin Federline's "problematic" "singer" in favor of signing his keyboard player to work as a solo artist. Lindsey headed back to New York, but not before laying a guilt trip on Peyton so that she wouldn't put the move on Lucas while she was gone. Brooke's mommy dearest tried to sabotage her Tree Hill store opening, but her mousy assistant Millie saved the day by purchasing a couture gown. Mouth continued his affair with his bitchy boss. Nathan cut off his Jesus hair and joined Skills and Lucas in coaching the Ravens.

This week, Lindsey's discovery of a photo from Lucas and Nathan's college basketball days sparked a flashback to three years previous. We learned that Jamie's first word was ball, and that Lucas lived with Nathan, Haley, and Jamie during that time to help with the baby. The fact that the team was preparing for a Division 2 championship game helped explain how Nathan went from a disgraced points-shaver to a coveted NBA draft pick. Whitey handed the game (and later, the whole team) over to Lucas to coach. They won, of course, and seeing Haley congratulate Nathan reminded Lucas of declaring his love for Peyton at the state championships the year before.

The question of whether we are now four years in the future, or if the high school seasons were four years in the past was answered when Lucas whipped out an iPhone on the team bus, to read a text from Peyton. Either the current season is four years in the future, or the set dressers/costumers/product placement people aren't too hung up about anachronisms. Looking at a photo of Peyton on his iPhone (which looks an awful lot like one of the ones her crazy fake brother took), while listening to Whitey talk about his dead wife made Lucas want to see Peyton, so he asked to be dropped off at the airport.

He found Peyton making copies at her record company peon job. She presented him with a mixed CD. He tried to present her with a ring, but work called and she had to go, and she stood him up for their planned rendezvous at a fancy hotel. The ring box fell from his limp hand as he fell asleep waiting for her. Oh my god, can you get any more emo than that? She came in while he was sleeping and found the ring, so his proposal was basically an answer to her asking what was going on. Peyton turned him down because she wasn't ready to leave LA, and Tree Hill still held too many bad memories. She didn't want him to resent her for making him leave his coaching job.

Rejected, Lucas left Peyton sleeping in the hotel room and went back to the Carolinas. He left her mixed CD on the bed and everything (the ultimate emo dis). While he was at the airport trading in his ticket, Lindsey called to offer to publish his book, and the rest is history. He headed to New York to meet with the publishers; Lindsey and Lucas hit it off, and grew closer while working on getting the book ready to publish.

Brooke showed up to see Lucas in New York and told him about her mom's plans to expand the company. The shared their concerns about handing their dreams over to other people, and Lucas told Brooke about the failed proposal. They continued to bond and catch up, but in a strictly platonic way, even though people kept mistaking them for a recently engaged couple. Until they got home that is; since they kept staging fake proposals to get free champagne, Lucas got pretty drunk and made a pass at Brooke, but she turned him down easy by encouraging him to focus on his work instead of losing Peyton.

Back at home, Brooke agreed with her mother's plan to expand Clothes over Bros. In Tree Hill (or whatever town the college is in), Nathan and Haley had some family time with Jamie. Peyton continued to have doors shut in her face (literally) at work, and Lucas turned out to be the one who gave Lindsey her first lucky bamboo. As the flashback ended, it was revealed that the ring in Lucas' underwear drawer is the same one he's been carrying around since proposing to Peyton. It's not intended for Lindsey as we were originally led to think. Lucas went to Brooke and Peyton's house looking for Peyton, but found Brooke, who guessed that he is still in love with Peyton.

Next week: Nathan and Haley's nanny goes all The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, just like we all knew she would from the minute she showed up.

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.