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TV Review: One Tree Hill Episode 316

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One Tree Hill certainly cannot be criticized for being a fluffy teen drama. It tackles serious real life issues head on. We recently saw Peyton’s birth mother lose her battle with breast cancer. Discussions about sex and divorce have been a part of the show from the beginning. But is there a time where a weighty theme crosses a line into exploitation and something to be ashamed of? Or is addressing that factor enough that it can discuss a serious issue while raising awareness to the problems involved?

When I first heard the episode “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” would be about a troubled teen bringing a gun to school, I was not happy. I am a member of the club that believes there are some tragedies in life that need not be exploited to boost ratings. Sure, we live in a culture obsessed with tragedy and awfulness, but that doesn’t mean we should be competing in a game over who can get the most money from telling the worst story. That being said, I expected this episode to be yet another way for the media to cash in on the likes of Littleton, Colorado, or Jonesboro, Arkansas.

However, for the most part One Tree Hill did a pretty decent job. The writers made sure to show a human side to the troubled teen and didn’t make it full of the clichés alone—though there were plenty of them thrown in for good measure. Several characters commented that “he’s a good kid” upon discovering the armed student is Jimmy. If someone is going to turn on you in such a drastic manner, it probably won’t be someone you expect. Perhaps that was one of the points, that we should pay attention to the individuals around us. But at the same time, we cannot expect to pal around with every person with whom we come into contact.

I did enjoy that Brooke and Peyton, as well as others in the episode, made comments as to the media circus events like a school shooting become. When interviewed for the news, Brooke tells the reporter she should be ashamed of herself. Peyton comments on how all the so-called experts will come in and attempt to make sense of it all, that there will be reporters, psychologists, and analysts. They all make an extremely valid point. When was the last time someone doing something great made the national news? Sure, we know there are people doing good all the time; perhaps you are one of them. But something makes us tune in when the story reeks of calamity.

So why do I feel this episode of One Tree Hill was only pretty decent? Well, the ending ruined it. In fact, I feel as though the ending went against the entire point and purpose to the rest of the episode. The audience won’t be thinking about what Jimmy did and why or how they could make sure it doesn’t happen to them. They will be worried about Keith and if Dan killed him or not. And while Dan is definitely the villain in this show, he isn’t so demented as to exploit a school shooting to kill his brother and get away with it. So now, instead of wondering what the impact of Jimmy’s actions will have, the show’s audience is going to wonder if Keith will live to marry Karen and adopt Lucas or not. Keith had just come back to the show after a pretty long disappearance so I fail to see the motivation behind ending a pretty serious episode with an act of sibling rivalry to cheapen everything that took place before.

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About Cara

  • http://liberalmajority.blogspot.com/ Jatarheel

    While I had some of the same reservations you did, I felt the ending was actually fitting. One of the themes repeatedly referred to is that Jimmy should just hold on, things will get better. There’s the idea that after high school, after adolescence, social alienation and cruelty somehow just goes away. I think Dan’s act was a reminder that it’s not that simple. Things do get better for many people. But adults also do harm to each other. People cheat and get divorced and some people, often men, rather than merely walking away, exact violent retribution on those they feel wronged them. More people have been killed in domestic disputes than in high schools. That’s the reality…

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    I suppose that makes some sense. I still feel like it was a bit over the top. I think Dan doing something to Keith would have been fine, it would be fitting. I just think Dan taking Jimmy’s gun and shooting Keith wasn’t really fitting. It was too over the top, even for Dan.

  • amanda

    “for the media to clash in the likes of Jonesboro, Arkansas”… well i live in arkansas… and i was like wooooo… i know there are more places than ar, that would have people bring guns to school… ok and im not sure that was the point you were trying to make or not, but that’s kind of sad for me… to see my state’s name for something like that… and omg if someone here brought a gun to school… they are going to shoot someone, not like what happened on OTH!

    and i pretty much agree w/ the rest of the review, only i DO think dan would do something like what he did and use the school shooting to cover it up… he’s that mean…

    and i think the episode was more than amazing! i mean there are things i didnt like, but i dont like school…

    xoxo
    -manda

  • Joy

    I think that the the way the episode was done was great. Of course when I saw the previews I had the same thoughts. But the way the producers did it was very clever.

    As for Dan shooting Keith at the end I think it ties into the story line very well, in showing that things don’t always go away when you become an adult, and if you look at Keith and Dan’s positions in high school Keith was like Jimmy stereotyped as a “loser” and Dan like Nathan stereotyped as a “popular athlete”, and I think that this showed that even the one’s thought to be “all mighty” or “popular” can still struggle with the same feelings.

    Jimmy brought the gun to school after he was jumped at Trik and he shot at the guy that punched him. Dan thinks that Keith took all that should be his. Karen, Lucas–the life he is supposed to have, on top of that he thinks Keith tried to kill him. I think it definately fits Dan since he is a do anything to get my way type of guy–I don’t think it ruined the episode either. These are just my thoughts. I would however like to know when the next new episode will be on! :)

  • cody

    I think this episode was a little disturbing. And I also think that the ending did ruin it. I mean they should’ve saved that for the season fnale or something. I hope that Peyton doesn’t die. ’cause she is so HOT!!! So is brooke and Haley. They’re all so HOT!!! And I read that there are only gonna be like 19 episodes to this season and the season is gonn end on April 12th.

  • Cali

    I loved this episode! It was everything the episode should’ve been. I cried and everything! I hope that peyton doesn’t die. I really liked the episode so much I taped it! Hopefully the season ends happy. I don’t want it to end all sad and suspensfull.

  • Alex

    Hey..I just want to say that I totaly adore your show.. omg you are so gorgeous everyone… exept me.. me ugly me..see ya

  • amanda

    i thought there was gonna b 20-22 eps…

  • Jessica

    I tivo’d this episode and have watched it several times. I really feel that the writers of one tree hill did an excellent job of focusing on Jimmy and why he felt compelled to take the course of action that he took. I really felt involved in the episode. I’ve cried each time I have watched the show. I think the writers really made you feel what Jimmy was feeling at the moment he chose to shoot himself, and it almost chills you to the core in that realization. At the end, when Lucas is narrating it kind of ties in Dans actions. If you notice from the past several episodes you get that Dan has felt alienated and alone, much like Jimmy. Self brought on or not, Dan blames Keith for taking his life over which explains his desperation and his action.
    I was skeptical when I saw the previews for this episode originally as well. I’m from Arkansas and felt that it may cross the line in exploitation, but I honestly feel the writers and actors did a wonderful, purposeful job in the writing and acting of this episode. And lets not forget they put a help line number up at the end. Ratings may have played a part in their decision to write such an episode, but what is the point of having a hit show if you can’t use the show to draw more people in and teach a lesson all at once. Bravo to One Tree Hill! I love this episode, and if you missed it Watch it this Wednesday for the rerun!

  • manda

    yea i watched this ep over and over, and the most recient time i watched it i criiiiiiiiiiiiied! i knew how it was gonna end and i dont even lk keith, but the music in the background KILLED me!!! i luv the oth score! its always amazing and adds oh so much 2 my show!!!
    xoxo

  • Chastity

    Well I love One Tree Hill it’s a great show. I don’t care you other people think f@#% you it is a great show so Buz the f@*& off I’m upseesd with the show I hope It never ever gets off the air or I’ll will f@%& you up okay I always have to choose which show to watch on wesnday cause Amercia’s Next Top Moldel comes on same day and time even thow they show the reapet on tuesday I’ll stillwant to watch both in the same day well thats all for now Chastity signing off!!!!

  • Chastity

    oKAY OKAY SORRY FOR THE CUSSING BUT I LoOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOve one tree hill I cried when keth died they always have sad music in the back ground and it just gets to me like one epsoide brooke looked at the picture of her lucas and phaton and waz cring cause lucas cheated on her then the music came soo saddddd.. I bet thats what he did in real life thats why there not getting married I know how jimmiy fells when he gets made fun of I do but i would never ever bring agun to school ever also IHATE DAN for killing HIS BROTHER (BITCH) (sorry) well I hope broke puches whats her name emmm the gurl that betrayed mouth Rachel! yea and phaten she said to phaten on the prevew this wesday on the 26 of april you back stabbing two facted BITCH and slaps her I would of I bet Its cause she did something with Lucas well chastity signing off (sorry can’t spell good stilll a teen)! ?

  • Chastity

    Hi it’s me again um yea what dan did was not way over the top I’m not on Dan’s side rember I HATE DAN I’m saying dan alwayz hated his bro and wuz jelous so that did fit it I just hope they find out it waz not JIMMIY so they can KILL DAN!?

  • Chastity

    If I’m not mistaking I hope I didn’t read that ONE TREE HILL is over noooo

    NEVER OVER OKAY

  • chastiy

    okay can any one here tell me what happed on one tree hill when it said brooke and haley clash ona one tree hill I coudn’t watch it I forgot when I wuz watching Amercia’s next top moldel

  • Chastity

    nuber15 thats me I spelled my name wrong

  • http://ewfwef ewdew

    dude the writers of one tree hill sucks because of you we are not having 4 season thanks assholes my dog write better than ll the writers always is the same the third season started very well but then always the same you guys suck

  • amanda

    ewdew raaaaaaaaar!! retract the claws dude! there IS gonna be a season 4!!! so simmer down!!! and if u r this upset about there not being a s4 then obviously u lk the show… which… and i may b wrong here, butomg do the writers actually… i dunno, write the show that u seem so distraught about being over?!?!?! jesus!!

  • Chastity

    okay i justlove u guys for making the CW CAUSE NOW I CAN WATCH AMERCIAS NEXT TOP MOLDEL AND ONE TREE HILL!!!!! and there better be a season 5 and 100 i love this show sooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • one tree hill fan

    I would like to know who sing a song at the end of 316 episodes one tree hill when lucas talk in front of school after shooting please…