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Pilot - Recap

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Lucas dribbles the basketball across the bridge as Peyton is driving in her vintage car. Students rush into the Whitey Durham Field House as the Tree Hill Ravens warm up for their basketball game. Nathan tries for a three-pointer and his father, Dan Scott, tells him to take 20 shots, no less. Cut to the game where Peyton is cheering for the Tree Hill cheerleaders as the Ravens play. Nathan steals the ball and scores. Dan smiles in the stands as Nathan sinks another three-point shot.

At the river court, Lucas arrives and starts shooting. Mouth and Edwards commentate from the bleachers – Lucas is 137 and 3 going into tonight’s game. The river court players shoot for teams.

Whitey calls a timeout. He yells at the team for not playing as well as they should be, and Nathan tells him to relax – they’re up by 9. Whitey glares at Nathan and benches him. The crowd boos as Nathan sits down and puts on his jacket. Whitey tells Nathan “I don't care if we're up by fifteen or fifty, it's still my team." As Whitey turns away, Nathan mutters “Whatever you need to believe” under his breath. With Nathan benched, the Ravens begin to lose their lead. Reluctantly, Whitey puts Nathan back in. On the sideline, Nathan puts the ball back into play and Peyton tells him “Don't bother showering tonight” as he runs onto the court.

Back at the river court, Lucas is winning. Mouth and Edwards commentate on the game, and make jokes about Lucas’ lack of endorsement deals.

At Tree Hill High, the game is close with 10 seconds left. Nathan gets the ball and shoots. The Ravens’ commentator says “Scott for the game!” as everyone in the stands rise to their feet. Cut to the river court where Lucas takes a shot. Mouth says “Scott for the game!” as the ball leaves Lucas’ hands. Nathan’s shot goes in; Lucas’ shot goes in. The gym explodes with cheers and the team swarms Nathan.

After the game, Nathan is driving a school bus down the street. With music blaring and kids drinking out of a keg in the back, Nathan assures his friend they didn’t steal a bus – they’re just borrowing it. In her car, Peyton turns around to grab a different CD. Lucas is dribbling a basketball down the street with his hood up. The school bus barrels towards a railroad crossing and a train is nearing the intersection. A girl on the bus asks Nathan where Peyton is, grabs Nathan, and starts kissing him. The train blares its horn and one of the kids yells “watch out!” to Nathan. Nathan slams on his brakes and Peyton slams on hers. The bus screeches to a halt right before the tracks and Peyton stops just in time to not run into Lucas. The train passes and a police car is waiting on the other side to pull over the bus. Lucas takes off his hood, pulls out one of his earphones, and stares at Peyton. Peyton motions him on, Lucas puts his earphone back in, and jogs away.

The basketball players and their parents are at school with a police officer and the school principal. A flashback shows the cops taking the kids into custody after their joyride, but letting Nathan and Tim go. The principal tells the team that all involved in the incident have been suspended from the team. Those not involved, Jake, Ruben, Tim, and Nathan, get to stay on the team. Nathan looks shocked when his name is called, and Dan gives him a nod. Whitey leaves the meeting with the police and Dan follows him, complaining how Whitey just walks away even though half of his team was suspended.

At the river court, Lucas is shooting baskets with the river court gang. Skills and Lucas talk about the book that Lucas is reading, The Winter of Our Discontent, and Skills tries to pressure Lucas into reciting some of it for the guys. Peyton drives by the river court and the guys all stare. Junk asks the guys if they’ve seen her webcam and Lucas tells them how she almost ran him over last night.

Later, Lucas arrives at Karen’s Café and Lucas, Haley and Karen sit down for dinner. Karen gives Lucas a copy of Julius Caesar and the three talk about their days.

Keith arrives at Whitey’s office. Over a drink, the two talk about Lucas and Keith tries to tell Whitey that Lucas has talent. Whitey tells Keith that if Lucas had talent, he’d be playing in a real gym. Keith insists that Whitey at least take a look at Lucas. At the river court, Lucas is playing two-on-two with the guys with Mouth and Edwards commentating. Keith and Whitey watch the game from Keith’s truck. Keith tells Whitey that Lucas deserves a chance to know that he’s good. As they watch, Whitey asks Keith whether or not he and Karen are an item and Keith tells him they’re just friends. Whitey recalls when Dan told him that Karen was pregnant and how Whitey told him to take his scholarship instead staying with Karen. Keith tells him that he did both Karen and Lucas a favor.

Peyton is at her computer working on her art. Nathan walks in and asks her what she’s wasting her time on now. He looks at one of her records and tells her “I don’t know who listens to this crap”. Peyton turns to him and tells him how she waited for him after the game. Nathan gives her an excuse and they fight over how Nathan would rather hang out with the guys than with Peyton. After more fighting, Peyton tells Nathan, "How about you don't see me tomorrow," and Nathan tells her “Fine by me.” Peyton turns away and Nathan apologizes and the two end up making up.

Lucas, Nathan, and Peyton are sitting in study hall. Whitey comes in and hollers “Scott!”. Nathan gets up, but Whitey tells him “Not you. The other one”. Peyton eyes Lucas as he gets up. Whitey takes Lucas to the school gym where he talks to Lucas about the gym and how much it means to him. They talk about why Lucas quit playing basketball and how Whitey wants him to play basketball for him on the varsity team. Lucas turns Whitey down and leaves the gym.

The river court gang shoots baskets at the river court. Skills and Lucas talk about the opportunity that Lucas turned down and how Lucas has never belonged at the river court. Lucas tells the guys to just shoot for teams, but Skills tells him that “we ain't shooting for teams. We're shooting to be your excuse. And I ain't going to be a part of that." The guys leave the Lucas and the river court. At Lucas’, Lucas finds a package with his name written on it. Later, Karen walks by Lucas’ bedroom to find Lucas wearing a Ravens jersey. She tells him to take it off. Outside, Lucas walks to the porch and sits down next to his mother. He tells her about Whitey wanting him to play varsity basketball and Karen tells him that maybe he should take Whitey’s offer. They talk about Lucas’ first basketball and how Karen doesn’t want Lucas sitting out on his life in order to keep his mother from getting hurt again.

At Nathan’s home, Nathan and Dan are bench-pressing together. They talk about Whitey wanting Lucas to play on the team and Dan and Nathan argue over Lucas being Dan’s son. Dan tells Nathan that he has to go to Lucas and encourage him not to play and how Whitey wanting Lucas on the team is a dig at Dan, not at Nathan.

Later, Tim and Nathan talk about Lucas at Nathan’s house. They talk about how Nathan can single-handedly bring the team to the state championship and how they don’t need Lucas on the team. Tim and Nathan head out to the river court.

Nathan tries to intimidate Lucas on the river court. He tells Lucas that no one wants him on the team and Peyton definitely doesn’t want him. Lucas, however, doesn’t back down and takes Nathan up on a challenge – a one-on-one game. If Nathan wins, Lucas stays away from the team. If Lucas wins, Nathan quits the team.

Lucas and Haley walk around the town and talk about the one-on-one game. Lucas tells her that it’s not about him – he has nothing to prove. He just wants to show Dan that he made a mistake by not being a part of his life.

Peyton’s car dies on the side of the road. She opens the hood and smoke pours out.

At Keith’s body shop, Lucas and Keith work on a car while they talk about Lucas not wanting to play varsity. Keith tells him a story about the first basketball game he saw and how he sees the same kind of player in Lucas that he saw in the players during the first game he saw. The two are interrupted by the phone ringing.

Lucas pulls up to Peyton’s car in Keith’s tow truck. As he gets the car loaded up on the truck, he tries to talk to Peyton about NOFX, but she doesn’t keep the conversation going. Peyton calls Nathan to pick her up, but he refuses since he’s at the gym. Lucas offers her a ride, but Peyton tells Lucas to “have your dad call me with an estimate." “My uncle,” Lucas corrects her. As she turns away, Lucas asks her why she’s a cheerleader. “You’re about the least cherry person I know”, he says. Peyton just shakes her head. Peyton continues to wait for Nathan, but he never shows up. Lucas offers her a ride again and ends up telling her a story about his past with Nathan and Dan and why he quit playing basketball. Peyton agrees to let Lucas give her a ride.

Dan drives up to Keith’s body shop, gets out of his expensive car, and walks into the shop. Keith and Dan argue over Lucas and as Dan tells Keith that “I can't change the fact this kid exists. If I could I would. The truth is I told Karen I'd take care of it, she wouldn't—“ Lucas walks in and the conversation stops. Lucas throws Peyton’s keys over to Keith and storms out.

That night, Lucas heads down to the gym to tell him that he’ll take Nathan up on the one-on-one offer. Tomorrow night at midnight at the river court, but Lucas tells Nathan he wants something else if he wins.

Dan walks through his dealership and into his office to find Karen waiting for him. They argue about Lucas wanting to play basketball and how Dan has no right to think of Lucas at all.
Nathan walks out of his bathroom and Dan stops him to tell him not to play Lucas one-on-one, but Nathan tells him he’s going to, no matter what Dan thinks about it. As Nathan walks away, Peyton walks out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel. Dan shakes his head and walks away.

Keith and Karen are shelving books at the café. They talk about how fast time has passed and how good of a kid Lucas has become. On the roof, Haley and Lucas talk about the one-on-one and Haley tells him not to worry so much. Later, Lucas suits up for his game and Nathan warms up. Peyton asks Nathan if he’s threatened by Lucas. “No”, Nathan replies. He tells her he just wants to prove to everyone and his father that he’s the best. They talk more about the duel and Peyton stops dead in her tracks when Nathan reveals that if Lucas wins he gets Peyton.

A crowd has gathered at the river court. Nathan arrives and the crowd bursts into cheers. Both brothers warm up before the game begins. Mouth and Edwards commentate as the brothers take the court. The game is neck and neck until Nathan intentionally fouls Lucas by elbowing him in the jaw. Lucas refuses to call the foul and tells Nathan, “Besides, you won’t score again”. The game is tied as Nathan takes the ball. As Nathan holds the ball, he tells Lucas that “he’s never mentioned you. Not once in all these years”. “This is for my mom,” Lucas tells him. Nathan takes a shot, but Lucas blocks it. Lucas grabs the ball and shoots for the win. The ball hits nothing but net. The crowd swarms Lucas after his winning shot. Nathan glares at Lucas and leaves the court. Peyton walks over to Lucas and asks him what he bet. “I win, he stays on the team." Why? Because it's the last thing he wants, and anyway, it's not about him”. Nathan hollers at Peyton and as she turns to leave, Lucas tells her “I’ll be seeing you”.

Nathan arrives home to find Dan in the den waiting for him. “Don't worry, Dad, your dreams are still alive,” he tells him.

At Lucas’, he comes home and gives his mother a hug. In his room, he logs on to Peyton’s webcam.

The next day, Lucas walks into the gym for his first day of practice. As he walks in, the teams stops and stares at Lucas.

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Warning: One Tree Hill season 1 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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