Goodbye, Tree Hill High. Graduation nears. And with its approach comes the realization that, for students and parents alike, life is changing forever. There are new loves to nurture, old scores still to settle. The longtime triangle of Lucas, Peyton and Brooke finally comes down to two. The memory of Keith - or is it his spirit? - inspires Lucas and Nathan, and haunts Dan. Peyton is terrorized by a stalker. Two expectant mothers are about to raise Tree Hill's population stats. Lucas begins to wonder what really happened the terrifying day Keith died. And the Ravens - led by Coach Whitey Durham - have one last chance for hoops glory and the state championship. Live for now. Make way for what's to come. Hello, future...
One Tree Hill: The Complete Fourth Season finds the dramatic final year of high school for the series' major characters full of grudges, pregnancies, partner-switching, big mistakes, and dashed hopes. But there are also renewals of friendship and new possibilities in love and independence. The season is overshadowed by the murder of Keith Scott (Craig Sheffer), uncle to brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott, neither of whom realizes that the killer was their own father, Dan (Paul Johansson), Keith's brother. While Dan is haunted by his conscience over his misdeed, Nathan himself feels Keith's ghostly presence during a season-opening crisis in which he dives into a lake to rescue Rachel (Danneel Harris) and Cooper (Michael Trucco). Nathan, struggling to understand the meaning of his experience, puts a strain on his new marriage to Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and becomes the target of Rachel's predatory sexual advances. Rachel's friend Brooke (Sophia Bush) breaks up with Lucas after the latter's close friend Peyton (Hilarie Burton) confesses she has feelings for him. (Brooke also turns her back on her old friendship with Peyton, making for several episodes of nasty, verbal volleys between the girls.) Lucas' sudden availability puts the possibility of romance with Peyton in play, but she's also busy dealing with the discovery of a brother she didn't know she had--a guy who isn't quite what he appears to be.
As if that's not enough, there are pregnancies and presumed pregnancies galore in season four: Haley and Nathan, for sure, plus Lucas' mom Karen (Moira Kelly), who is carrying Keith's child. Two other characters either believe or maintain they are pregnant. Meanwhile, Nathan's mom, Deb (Barbara Alyn Woods), develops a personality-altering drug addiction and carries around a loaded pistol; Lucas' pal Skills (Antwon Tanner) gets a shot at playing basketball for the Ravens; and Mouth (Lee Norris) gets drunk and complains that girls only want to be his friend. Everything heads, inexorably, toward graduation day, which finds several crises simultaneously overlapping with the joy of moving on. As with every One Tree Hill season, The Complete Season Four is easy to get hooked on, with a very good cast and audacious storylines.--Tom Keogh