An Open Letter From C.T. To ONE TREE HILL Creator Mark Schwahn

You brilliant, sappy, sadistic bastard.

Last night, you gave ONE TREE HILL fans a wonderful treat in which redemption was found, sanity was lost and a good time was had by all. You took us out of Tree Hill and put our favorites in a gorgeous mountain retreat so they could frolic in the snow and share emotional moments. You provided the cornyness we’ve come to expect (the owl), the emotional payoffs we demand (Julian’s proposal to Brooke) and, in what felt like a wonderful way for the series to end while still leaving us with the knowledge that life will go on in Tree Hill, another baby for Hayley and Nathan.

And then, you took it all away.

I suspected the happily-ever-after might come with a hint of “to be continued” when Chase got the text from Mia only seconds after officially launching his relationship with Alex.

But nothing could have prepared me for that final, brutal moment when first Quinn and then Clay were shot by his wife’s crazed doppelganger.

You brilliant, sadistic bastard.

Brilliant, because you achieved two things with the episode: Obviously, it got people talking and, with the show’s ultimate fate still up in the air, why not have message boards and twitter feeds light up with talk of the shocking cliffhanger? Secondly, while this may or may not have been in your mind at the time, with a little editing, the episode could easily be turned into a cliffhanger-free finale offered as an extra on the DVD. Edit the Quinn/Clay scene so we never see them go into the bedroom and get shot, clip out the text message from Mia so that Chase gets a happy ending with Alex, and then simply move the scene of Hayley sharing news of her pregnancy so it becomes your final shot.

As I said, brilliant. (And if I’m giving you too much credit, well, then I’ll allow myself to share the burden of being hailed as a genius.)

As for sadistic? Well, that should go without saying. Obviously, you rolled the dice. If the show gets renewed for an 8th season — and at this moment, things reportedly are looking good — you’ve set up a lot of great drama. But if the show fails to be picked up, it’s the viewers who ultimately lose. Even if you were to re-edit the episode, fans will know that Quinn and Clay do get off that couch, and that they walk into the bedroom and are shot down in cold blood. That’s not an easy image to shake.

But no matter how things play out, let me personally thank you for seven years of entertainment. Sometimes, I loved my weekly visits to Tree Hill, and occasionally I was left maddened by them. (Sorry, but I was a Brucas fan and just never got the Leyton thing!) I was mocked by many for my devotion to the show, but also understood their inability to see in it what I did. It was, at times, just a silly little show, and yet at others, it had the power to reduce me — a grown man — to tears.

While I’m hoping to see Julian and Brooke’s wedding, the birth of Jamie’s brother and the fallout from Quinn and Clay’s shooting, just in case that’s not in the cards, let me — on behalf of millions of fans — thank you for the show you obviously poured so much of yourself into.

As I said, you’re a brilliant, sappy, sadistic bastard… and we love you for having let us see that.

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  • Lynn

    “If the show gets renewed for an 8th season — and at this moment, things reportedly are looking good — you’ve set up a lot of great drama. But if the show fails to be picked up, it’s the viewers who ultimately lose”

    That's Mark Schawahn for you. After watching this show for 6 years (I gave up after Lucas and Peyton left), that's what I've come to expect from him by now. It's actually kind of insulting that he's still doing that stuff. He did the same things season 3, gambling with a cliffhanger and crossing his fingers and toes that they'd pick up his show. Cause if they didn't, he'd have very some upset fans (who have stuck with the show from SEVEN ridiculous years now) on his hands. That's not respectful of the very devoted group who have stuck it out this long, if you ask me.

  • rhiannestevens

    i am a recent One Tree Fan and have recently only watched all 6 seasons on dvd in under 2 weeks… (i found them that gripping that that was all i did and could talk and think about) and then i have watched the whole of season 7 on line and was gripped every minute of it
    and i am now a fully OTH addict, constantly checking websites and tweeting abiut it and updating my status finding all things OTH related … and i am now an addict
    i feel that the way you eneded it was great and got a lot of voewers watching and talking about it.. all of my friends have now watched is as i kept rabititing on about it
    and yes i do feel that if it is picked up for an 8th season it wil be amazing, with the aftremath of everything and what will hapen to haley as she has just got over her mothers death and now to contend with her sistersdeath (or do they not die?) as well has being pregnant, what happens there, also with the marraige of brooke and Julien, and the chase,Mia,Alex story, you have left it wide open for lots of gripping stories,
    and while if it is not picked up the fans will indeed be heart broken and left wondering however. not eveyone can live happily ever after
    so whilst i am rooting for a season 8
    i think the last episode was amazing and a great credit to you

  • Nick

    Dudes and dudettes, you *seriously* don't think Mark knew that OTH was being renewed? You're not that naive. It's the worst-kept secret in Hollywood. Lynn, it's actually insulting that you think he'd leave viewers hanging like that.

    OTH, its producers and stars are well-respected by The CW, and there was no way they'd let this series end without a proper sendoff…which last night would've been, had the execs given the stop light. It was a perfect ending…but fans who wouldn't let go kept crying on the boards saying they needed “more time, more episodes, another season for a perfect ending.” And thus….

    Another baby? Ugh. More crazies…count your blessings for them, one and all. Otherwise, we're left with sappy people frolicking in the snow. And nobody's watchin' that. Bring on the nutjobs, Mark! We love it.

  • SaneN85

    Well, even if it doesn't come back, I (a viewer from day 1) will not be shedding any tears. Any characters that I give a frolicking leap about had their resolutions. I'll just imagine that Quinn died and Clay (that's his name, right?) moved on with his life after recovering from the gunshot wound. I'm super happy that Brooke finally got her happy ending, and prefer for them not to come back and eff that up (which I'm sure they would). Also, I was so glad when Peyton finally left and was very dissapointed in the last half of this season turning Haley into the whiney, weak, self-absorbed twit that Peyton was. I'd rather not have to endure more of that and just pretend it was just a bad time for her.

    Just my .02.

  • Ace

    I don't watch OTH, but I just saw that OTH and LUX were picked up for next season (EW)! Yay!

  • Mavi

    Man i Hate what OTH has turn into… I have only continued to watch because I had invested so much time in the previous good seasons… but the last couple have been terrible, and I cant believe its coming back for more, I might just have to cut my losses, cause I don't give a **** if they die from the shooting and I don't care if Mia & barman (name Eludes me) get back together…
    I am sick of all the force emotion brought on buy the music that play constantly for the full episode. In fact I have just decided I am Done with OTH….

  • Dave

    AHHHHH I read and havent watch yet. ouch. oh well. I figured psycho women wouldn't be done that easily so not too unexpected. I'm fine with him ending the season that way even without knowing as i pretty much keep watching out of fandom and habit. When it doesn't return I don't think I will miss it much more then I miss the old OTH now. I would just not be able to watch if it ended.

  • Queren Fuentes

    I completely agree! One Tree Hill may seem to many as just another drama, but there were times when I could relate to one of the characters. I Love this show and I don't care what anyone says. I also want to thank Mark Schwann for 7 great years of comedy, drama and of course tears!!!!

  • Amy_D259

    Kind of wish he had just ended it without all the cliffhanger stuff and the show had just been over. Would have been a perfect ending to a good series.
    But no…it has to be given yet another season in order to milk it for all it's worth.
    First Supernatural and now this. Ugh CW.

  • Lynn

    The reason I think that is he's done it before. This is history repeating itself. I was very much”in the fandom” as they say around season 3 and I remember him waiting on the edge of his seat (with all of his fans) wondering whether or not they were going to be able to continue the show. When this years finale episode was written and shot, no, I really honestly don't think he knew whether or not it was getting picked up.

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  • Sophia

    Actually the network told the show whether or not they were getting another season before the finale aired, because they filmed two endings, the surprise one, and one that wrapped everything up, and the network told them before they made the official announcement, because they needed to know which to air, so they were never really gambling on it, you should do more reasearch.

  • Sophia

    you are so right, they said in an interview that they were going to find out before the network made the public announcement so that they would know how to end it, so he was never leaving anyone hanging, and I love the crazies too! Plus I highly doubt that either one of them will actually die.

  • Dad

    My youngest daughter finished college this year. High school and college Monday nights were filled with One Tree Hill. Last year we got an ending that had series ending quality although we expected the comet to get hit by a train.

    This year as we sweated out the possible end of the series we were slammed by two shootings as the season ended. Thank goodness in Sept. or Jan. when the season restarts we will learn the fate of our newest darlings. As for how the shooter escaped police custody and travelled to the snowy slopes?

    Hopefully they survive. At least the series has survived. Even this father cares to learn the fate of our two bleeding hearts. These were not flesh wounds. At least look-a-like Sarah (Katie) only put one bullet in each and did not check on them before walking away.

    Not nice to the fans. Maybe Dan will show up to intervene again. So many characters have left this show but it has been fun. 2 b continued……

  • Christine

    “birth of Jamie's sister” you mean, since Haley thinks it's gonna be a girl . . .

  • vickie

    i agree with all what has just bin put at the top.
    i live in the uk and we dont get one tree hill on the tv till like months after so i watch on the internet every tuesday. i have been an avid fan and love everythink about the show. i was so happy to here they where getting a season 8 and hopefully my get to go to north carloina and see the places i love in the show in real. one tree hill is amazin and deserved a season 8 cant wait for next season whoooooo

  • SG

    Agreed with it all! Especially the Brucas fan part!

  • Meaghs

    BL are amazing! BJu sucks though, I don't want a wedding. They're not as bad as LP though.

  • Lindsay Leavitt

    I am totally with you on everything!! Especially the Brucas thing. I never jumped on board with they whole Lucas Peyton either.
    And Clay and Quinn BETTER live!!

  • Essie

    I have watched this show from the beginning and it started my love for watching tv series and movies. OTH became my favorite show and still is! I was really sad when Hilarie & Chad left the show but Mark Schwahn has done an amazing job on keeping the show interesting cause I always thought Lucas was kinda the charachter the show was all about. The season finale was amazing and so out of the blue, I'm really happy there is going to be an 8th season and I would absolutely miss OTH when the it will actually end…

  • Katie

    Just to clarify to everyone, and I'm defending on Schwahn's behalf to some misinformed people, there were two different endings filmed. They were both fairly similar, but one (the one we saw) was going to be used if the show got picked and one ending was filmed as the series finale to leave us satisfied with the run of the show. Obviously they knew about the pick-up (Upfronts are when the public finds out, producers find out at least several days earlier, usually more) so they ultimately used the season finale ending for this episode.

    Don't hate on Schwahn and say that he is putting his fans at risk, because he is far too smart and compassionate for the well-being of his show and his fans to do that. Kudos to you Schwahn, for always having our best interest at heart. Great season finale… can't wait to see what you have to bring next year and with the series finale!

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  • Erin Thompson