'One Tree Hill': Taylor James returns ... and is evil!

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" One Tree Hill" returns for its first episode in 2010 with an installment that starts out with more of a whimper, but happily goes out with a bang.

What is that bang, you ask? Well, after sitting through almost an entire concert, semi-rehashed relationship drivel and the blossoming of a tooth-decayingly sweet romance, let's just say it was nice to see good old Taylor James show up in the end of the episode. With sister Quinn's ex-husband in tow as her new boyfriend. And expecting to stay at Nathan and Haley's house with them and Quinn. Now that's the One Tree Hill drama we've all been waiting for!

Let's back it up and quickly recap what all of our favorite Tree Hill-ians have been up to, shall we? We pick up the show six weeks after we left off, during which time Haley (looking mighty fine, may I add) has been on tour with Nathan and Jamie in tow. Her final show takes place on the Rivercourt, and throughout the hour she sings at least four songs in full. Hey, less story equals less things for me to write about, so I approve!

Quinn, meanwhile, is still with Clay, who has been away scouting talent for the past six weeks. When he returns, they act ridiculously cutesy and have a "first date" picnic on Clay's floor. He even wraps up the hour by pulling out the classic "will you be my girlfriend yes/no/maybe" note. Seriously, y'all, they're going a little overboard with the saccharine. However, this sweetness is much more appealing than the drama-fest they used to be last year.

Not so sweet, however, is Brooke and Julian, who have spent the last six weeks apart and not even speaking. Brooke has been launching her men's line with cute Aussie codesigner Alexander Coin, and Julian has been preparing to start principal photography on he and Alex's film. (A 6 week turnaround from script purchase to principal photography? This movie is being made by time travelers!) As soon as they see each other again, the Alex drama ensues. Haven't we played this beat before, writers? Julian surprises Brooke and demands they talk, and they have the same conversation (again, some more) about how Brooke can't handle him working with Alex. Their scenes are very well acted and decently written, but listen. We've seen it before. This storyline needs some growth, and quick, before the audience abandons them as a couple for good. Remember the fun, loving Brooke and Julian from last season? I do, but barely. Julian finally can't take the drama and basically ends things, which sends Brooke into the arms of the Aussie. Ugh.

Alex returns to Tree Hill to start shooting the film, and generally acts like a normal person. Although my favorite Alex is snarky Alex from the beginning of the season, this version (version three, by my count) is much better than "psycho for Julian" version two. The best thing Alex does is help Millie to see the light and get back on track in her life. Their friendship has potential, given their common ground.

Victoria asks Millie to come back to Clothes over Bro's as her assistant. Millie takes the job, and gets an even better surprise when Mouth returns. Notice I said it was Millie's good surprise. Not ours. (Well, OK. Mine.)

Yeah, so how about that Taylor James shacking up with Quinn's ex, David? We knew she was trouble before (from season two, if I'm remembering correctly), but this is an entirely different level of crazy. I'm totally in!


Random thoughts:
  • The Scott family should not rap. Ever. None of them. Never, ever, never.
  • Did anyone else notice the really awkward extra behind Quinn and Clay during "We Belong"? He was so obviously trying to not look at the camera and clapping randomly. I couldn't even concentrate on the scene because all I could do was stare at the Awkward.
  • Do seven-year-old boys notice "hot chicks"? This show is so wrong sometimes.

Favorite quotes:
  • "I'm sorry, does that mean thank you in coke whore land?" - Victoria, to Millie
  • "I'm getting really tired of fighting." - Julian, to Brooke (amen, brother)

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Photo credit: The CW