Such a good episode for Naley fans!!! But I won't spoil it just yet. That would be cruel. First we have to deal with the aftermath of last episode's shitshow created by Brooke Davis. A very hungover Brooke wakes up next to Peyton, who despite everything still takes care of her best friend. Brooke remembers absolutely nothing from the night before, so Peyton tells her what an absolute bitch she was. Brooke feels bad, I think, and decides to go on a nice streak to undo all her bad actions and hopefully receive some good karma.
In order to do this, she has to get Nathan and Haley back on good terms, or better yet, turn them into a full-on couple. She tells Nathan that she's gonna take care of all of it, and he seems very unsure. But, Brooke Davis is magical, you guys. She is so amazing when she wants to be, and this is an episode where she wants to be!
Nathan tries talking to Haley in the record shop when she's with Lucas. He tries to apologize, but she is so over it and him. She tells him she isn't going to tutor him anymore, and that while she accepts his apology she still doesn't want anything to do with him. A little harsh, Hales. A little harsh.
Brooke approaches Haley at the cafe, who is like "Get the hell out, bitch". Brooke accepts all the insults Haley throws her way, as she totally and completely deserves them, and begs her to make up with Nathan. She is unconvinced. Brooke tells her that Nathan will pick her up later and take her on a date. She really wants to punch Brooke in the face.
After doing what she thinks is appeasing the Gods, Brooke goes shopping with Peyton for clothes that they can wear to a college party at Duke later that night. This sounds like a great idea, said nobody. Brooke says she isn't going to drink (because of last night's disaster) and will instead being on hunt for college boys. She wants Peyton to have fun too. It's a bad idea, but baby P. Sawyer and B. Davis have so much to learn still.
Back in adult land, Karen gets a call that she has finally been accepted into this cooking school in Italy! She's dreaming of going FOR YEARS. Deb is all like, "Go, new bff/my husband's ex!" and Karen's all like, "I'd better not." Spoiler alert: She ends up deciding to go because Moira Kelly, who plays Karen, was getting real preggers at this time in the real life and took some time off. So they just sent her away, and left Deb in charge of the cafe. So weird, yet somehow believable? I don't know, I'm still processing it.
Nathan picks up Haley just like Brooke told him to, and the two of them follow the instructions she gave them. She sends them on a scavenger hunt throughout town, and it's really freaking cute. They have to tell each other three things they like about the other person and then they go into the clothing shop Brooke and Peyton were in earlier to buy each other something. Haley plays it safe and buys Nathan socks. He buys her a lovely nightgown. I don't think I'm stressing HOW ADORABLE ALL OF THIS IS.
They go to dinner and order one another their favorite items off the menu. Haley orders Nathan Mac & Cheese and ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH THEM YET? BECAUSE I AM. They are being so cute and the date is going amazing until Nate's basketball friends show up and he gets all weird. He says that it isn't a date, it's just tutoring, which leaves Haley confused and upset. She gets up and leaves. I don't understand why all of these characters start to redeem themselves and then turn right back into assholes.
Trigger warning here: At the college party, Brooke hooks up with a guy who says he's in college but actually is also in high school. She's mortified, and tells him it's super gross to go to a college party when you're still in high school (the irony). Meanwhile, Peyton starts flirting with this indie dude listening to her kind of music and it seems like they are getting along just find until he roofies her. He gives her the drink and she becomes confused and helpless pretty easily, and then he tries to force himself on her. Luckily Brooke, who has just dumped not-college-boy, runs into the room and rescues Peyton from being raped and gets her out of there as quickly as possible. A med student follows them outside where they make sure that Peyton is okay. This is some SERIOUS subject material from OTH, but it's also super important. Brooke calls Lucas who comes right away, and goes back into the party with Brooke to take the guys' drugs and swiftly punch him the face. Oh, Lucas. I'm so happy that this guy gets punched, but also, 16 year old Lucas Scott just walked into a college party and beat the shit out of a rapist? This show tends to go back and forth in its believability. However, because Lucas just punched an f'ing RAPIST, I'm okay with it. Screw you, indie music dude.
After taking Peyton home, Lucas and Brooke spend a lot of time bonding. Brooke feels really bad about everything that happened, mostly because going to the party was her idea. Lucas tells her that it isn't her fault, and that she's a great friend. I'm willing to argue here that she is BECOMING a great friend, but isn't one quite yet. They talk all night and this is where you can start to see Brooke really falling for Lucas as a person. She later visits him at the River Court and makes friends with Mouth (I love Mouth). It's super sweet, even if I will always be more of a Lucas/Peyton fan.
The next day, Nathan shows up to Haley's house and begs for her forgiveness (again). He's all like, "I'm bad at this!" And she's all like, "Well, I don't have time for you to be bad at being a good person!" (These are not their lines). Then somehow, miraculously, in a way that only Nathan Scott can, he does it. He redeems himself. He says, "I want to be somebody who's good enough to be seen with you." And then just as Haley starts telling him that there is absolutely nothing he can do to surprise her, he kisses her. It's their first kiss. It's a great kiss. It's a perfect moment.
Karen leaves for Italy at the end of the episode and when she does, she gives Keith a goodbye kiss because she "has good instincts". Two of the best couples kissing for the first time in one episode? Yes please. That's why this episode will always be one of the great ones.
Favorite line: "I want to be somebody who's good enough to be seen with you." Nathan Scott to Haley James. The cutest.
Best moment: THE NALEY KISS.
Scariest moment: Peyton getting roofied :(
Best character development: Brooke Davis. She's trying.
Random Observation: I'm really glad that they addressed such a heavy topic in this episode. It's so real and raw and scary. It also really shows the beginning of all of Peyton's struggles throughout the show. She goes through A LOT. Poor thing. I also love that in no way does anybody (besides Roofie McRapist) blame Peyton for getting roofied. It's not her fault, obviously, but this was FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. Blame gets placed on women all the time, especially in the past. I'm so happy that nobody makes her feel like it's her fault.
Next time: More drugs! I'm sensing a theme here.