Peyton (Hilarie Burton) may not be on One Tree Hill anymore, but the Jan. 18 episode provided so many opportunities for one of her classic “people always leave” speeches. Not only did Nathan (James Lafferty) fly off to Europe to pick up Clay’s (Robert Buckley) slack in the agent-ing department, but Alex (Jana Kramer) decided to take her music on the road. The question is: What are they both running from?
For Alex, it’s the c-word. You know, “commitment!” Chase (Stephen Colletti) got up the nerve to tell her that he loved her, but she didn’t exactly say it back, so maybe some time on the road will help her clear her head. At least her absence will allow for the bromance between Chase and Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton) to finally blossom.
Clay may not have physically left Tree Hill, but he did spend the entire episode running — from his problems, anyway. His sleepwalking is really starting to worry Quinn (Shantel VanSanten), and it’s beginning to create a rift between them. I guess even in the absence of dead ex-wives and psychotic look-alikes, these two will still find reasons to fight.
Our buddy Mouth (Lee Norris) is experiencing some health problems of his own, though his are less dire and more hilarious. We didn’t see much of him during the show’s most recent time jump, but apparently he spent it eating. A lot. Millie (Lisa Goldstein) tried to express her concerns about him becoming a super fatty this week, but he wasn’t really in the mood to listen. This storyline may have come out of nowhere, but I’ll admit I’m enjoying that the writers are giving him a whole new reason to be called “Mouth.”
And then there’s my current favorite couple on the show: bitter exes Victoria (Daphne Zuniga) and Ted (Richard Burgi.) Always looking for a fight — and never short on erectile dysfunction jokes — Vicki and Ted waged war over Brooke’s (Sophia Bush) next clothing venture, which she decided to work on with her dad after Victoria turned her down. She suspects her devilishly handsome (emphasis on the “devil”) ex-husband of no good, but time will tell what he’s really got up his sleeve.