Synopsis: What a difference 12 months make. In high school sophomore year, half-brothers Nathan and Lucas Scott were bitter rivals on and off the basketball court. In junior year, they bond as brothers. But there's drama, trauma, devotion, betrayal, twists and turns to come.
This DVD set containing all 22 Season Two Episodes plus Insightful E
One Tree Hill: The Complete Second Season
finds life in an uproar for virtually every major and minor character in the WB series set in One Tree, North Carolina. Basketball sensation Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray), illegitimate son of One Tree Hill
's resident J.R.-like figure, car dealer, and all-around monster Dan Scott (Paul Johansson), has left town with his Uncle Keith (Craig Sheffer) to start a new life. (Keith himself has split One Tree to nurse a broken heart after his marriage proposal to Lucas's mom, Karen, played by Moira Kelly, was rejected.) It's not long, however, before Lucas has second thoughts, prompted in part by Dan's recent heart attack and the mess he (Lucas) left behind with two girls, Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Brooke (Sophia Bush). Meanwhile, Lucas's half-brother, Nathan (James Lafferty), has married the former's lifelong best friend, Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz), a union approved by the bride's parents but not by Nathan's mother, Deb (Barbara Alyn Woods). (It should be mentioned that Nathan and Haley, as with nearly every other young person on this show, are not yet high school seniors. They only look much older.)
All that's just the first couple of episodes of season 2. In the remaining 21, Dan temporarily fools everyone into believing he's a changed man following his cardiac crisis. In fact, he's worse than ever, trying to wreck Nathan and Haley's marriage, attempting to buy Lucas's loyalties, driving Deb into a drug-addicted stupor, pulling the rug out from beneath Keith (who took over Dan's dealership during the latter's illness), and waging a war, of sorts, with basketball coach Whitey (Barry Corbin) for influence over Nathan's destiny. While all this is going on, Haley leaves Nathan to join a music group, Peyton finds success running an all-ages night at a new club opened by Karen, Lucas finds evidence that Dan is cheating the IRS, Brooke's once-wealthy parents go broke, and actress Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks) turns up toward season's end playing a mysterious visitor with a surprising connection to a major character's past. Whew. If One Tree Hill's first season succeeded in part because series creator Mark Schwahn kept, for a while, a tight focus on the early, rocky relationship between Nathan and Lucas, the second season works as a frenetic, ensemble drama with elements of camp and absurdity. The above-mentioned reference to Dallas villain J.R. Ewing proves apt in more ways than one. The final episode of One Tree Hill's sophomore season ends with its own, not-so-subtle variation on the classic who-shot-J.R. cliffhanger, leaving open to debate which of many possible One Tree candidates might have committed a foul (if understandable) bit of vengeance against a certain bad dude one loves to hate. --Tom Keogh