The CW decided to reward its mainstay One Tree Hill — usually on the bubble each season, the show performed well this year — with a renewal for season 9. Mark Schwahn‘s bizarre soap gets only 13 episodes, which will start airing in January 2012. That’s a pretty good indicator that this will be OTH‘s final season.
This week’s season finale catapulted ahead in time, bringing us to a year later wherein Brooke had had twin boys; Haley had a beautiful baby girl and reopened Karen’s Cafe; Chase went to the Air Force but reunited with Alex; Mouth and Millie started their own morning show; and Jamie channeled season 1 Chad Michael Murray by bouncing a basketball across the bridge. So, what could be in store for our favorite Tree Hill residents in season 9?
Mia gets a stalker. These beautiful people seem to attract mentally unstable admirers, so we’re due for another. So far the stalkers have been the opposite sex of their prey, and we’ve had two women (Carrie, Katie) and one man (Derek) — which means that Mia, now that she’s a world-touring pop star, could rack up a too-friendly fan along the way.
One of Brooke’s babies gets sick. I’m not saying that Sophia Bush will be acting in a modern-day Sophie’s Choice, but Brooke gets the short end of the stick so often that she can’t stay happy forever. Plus, it would really divide her and Julian to have to raise two kids while one is ill.
Haley hooks up with a student. I was watching reruns the other day on SoapNet and realized that poor Haley has only been with one person since she was 16, and that’s Nathan. Plus, while Brooke briefly dated her teacher in high school, let’s see Miss Perfect Haley, perhaps suffering from postpartum depression, wanting to feel young again.
Lucas and Peyton return. At the CW upfronts, outgoing president Dawn Ostroff said that the new head of The CW, Mark Pedowitz, would talk to Murray and Hilarie Burton about returning for the final season. They seem to think that there being only 13 episodes left will be incentive to reunite beloved characters. (Plus, the gossip blogs will be busy following Murray’s latest teen conquest while shooting on the OTH set.)
Ditto for Nick Lachey. With all the secrets and betrayals that they’ll cram into half a season, you can’t not have the popstar butt in with bad advice. It’s been too long since someone has said, “Stay out of it, Nick Lachey!” on TV.
Millie has a wardrobe malfunction. OTH flirted with depicting daytime TV when Dan had his talk show, but I want to see Millie — who’s already gone off the deep end with her eating disorder and cocaine addiction — accidentally flash her viewers or something equally inappropriate on the air.
There’s at least one big party. In Schwahn’s world, everything is oh-so-glamorous and there’s always a fundraiser at Trik or the high school basketball team stripping for tournament money. You can bet everyone will put on their finest duds at least once this season.
Dan dies. Come on, you’ve spent eight years trying to dethrone this twisted patriarch, and nothing (fire, poison, dogs eating donor hearts) has worked. Series finales always include big deaths, and this is probably the biggest.
I also stumbled across what might be bonafide spoilers for the show. There’s no official word attached to it, but it’s detailed enough that it could be true. If you want to read the speculation for yourself, then hit the jump — and if you’re going to comment, please try to keep it spoiler-free.