Review: 8.11 – Darkness on the Edge of Town

Posted by: Julie on December 25th, 2010

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Nothing sets the mood like a dark and stormy night, and this episode managed to make even an elementary school spelling bee seem foreboding!

The promos for this episode made it clear that Brooke would be injured, but I was surprised by the series of events. One minor complaint would be Brooke storming out (heh) after the fight with Julian. It seemed dumb as hell to go out driving in that. But then we wouldn’t have this episode, would we? I wasn’t expecting Brooke’s scream to be because of Chuck in the road. I thought Lauren was dead for sure until she woke up, but I’m glad they didn’t kill her off because it would be sad for Jamie. I don’t want to deal with more funerals, etc. Another thing I wasn’t anticipating was Brooke being the hero after the first accident. She was amazing! Brooke has been down and depressed and it was so great to see her snap into action. This is the strong, resourceful Brooke I’ve been missing for a while. The sparking wire was a good mislead. I kept looking at that very nervously. And then they lulled me into a feeling of safety when Julian showed up! The calm look between the two of them was such a great moment … until Brooke and Jamie got knocked into the river. I love how Julian just jumped in without looking — maybe not the smartest thing to do but how heroic. Who is this asshole hit-and-run driver? I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes up in a later episode.

And this is where the episode became really intense. (If I had to choose one word to describe this episode, it would be intense!) It’s not bad enough that Brooke and Jamie are stuck in the car. The levy breaks! Including Jamie in the accident was a really good idea that made the scenes much more … intense! It raised the stakes. Brooke saying “he’s just a boy” was really sad. The look on Julian’s face as he carried Jamie to the bridge said it all. The following scenes of Brooke underwater reminded me of a certain scene in Lost (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and you’ll know that it only made me feel worse to think of it). Jamie screaming on the bridge reminded me of Haley screaming for Nathan in the season three finale. How heartbreaking was it when Nathan and Haley showed up and Jamie said “Aunt Brooke is dead”? Holy crap. Now, I never thought Brooke would die. How could she? But they took it as far as it could go and I’ll admit I was a little worried by time she finally opened her eyes. I was so caught up in the drama that it didn’t occur to me that Nathan and Haley wouldn’t have known Jamie was also trapped in the car (and really, it’s a good thing they didn’t have to witness it, although I suppose they would have been in the water too). Julian saved both of their lives — great stuff.

As for Quinn and Katie, I think their scenes were a fun conclusion to the Psycho Katie storyline. But why would Quinn hide under the bed? You can’t defend yourself under the bed. The dirty fighting was fun to watch and the jump into the pool was great. The “I’m your storm” line was really cheesy (both times). The shooting was satisfying and should serve to make Quinn a more interesting character. Katie is by far the least interesting Tree Hill psycho. I think it’s because I’m not invested enough in Quinn, and maybe the identical twin thing is a little too cracky (even for OTH). I hope she’s gone for good now.

I was really looking forward to this episode because I’ve been waiting for Brooke to be in a car accident (it’s only fair), and I was not disappointed! I’m ready for some lighter storylines so I hope there isn’t too much emotional fallout but I am curious about the hit-and-run driver. I get the feeling this near-death experience may give Brooke the motivation she needs to jump back into her career. What will the shooting mean for Quinn? I’m not interested in more time being spent on the whole Katie/shooting storyline. I hope the closure will also allow Quinn to move on.

Random Observations
Yay for the original theme song! It makes me happy.
I loved the recurring use of the acoustic version of Gold Guns Girls by Metric.
Nice references to the good times Nathan and Haley have had in the rain.
Unsurprisingly, Nathan looks hot changing a tire in the rain.
Great choice in limiting the cast in this episode. The lack of Clay and other characters like Chase, Mia, and Alex focused the stories and made the episode more … yep, intense!

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