See insert for instructions on how to download digital copies of all episodes (must be done in one session; code can only be used once; compatible with iTunes and Windows Media; offer expires 12/31/09).
Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray), following a well-received first novel, is facing writer's block on his second effort. But he fills his days as the new head coach of his old high-school basketball team, the Ravens, aided by his old pal, Skills (Antwon Tanner). Meanwhile, Lucas' brother, Nathan (James Lafferty), is lost in a dark hole of despair after losing his dream of signing with an NBA team. Barely able to move his legs, Nathan is almost crippled in a bar fight and spends his days and nights boozing and raging around while wife Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and young son Jamie (Jackson Brundage) try to survive his emotional torrents. Lucas is no longer with Peyton (Hilarie Burton), the latter having moved to Los Angeles to become a disgruntled assistant's assistant in a music recording company. Brooke (Sophia Bush), however, has hit the jackpot in New York as the celebrity founder of a designer clothes empire that has made her wealthy yet not quite free of her domineering mother (Daphne Zuniga). Everyone ends up back in Tree Hill, looking for roots and a future that involves support from one another. Friendship matters, but it doesn't inoculate this bunch from the pain of Peyton's ongoing love for Lucas (who is romantically involved with his pretty editor), or Brooke's emptiness after briefly fostering a child who then must leave her, or Nathan's slow crawl back from misery. In true One Tree Hill fashion, the characters' collective challenges come together in a critical mass during the season finale, ending with a very unusual cliffhanger involving four cell phones. --Tom Keogh