'One Tree Hill' Series Finale Recap: Growing Up and Saying Goodbye

The two-hour series finale featured interviews with the cast and creator Mark Schwahn before the final hour brought the ninth season to a close.
Fred Norris/The CW

The CW’s One Tree Hill, with 187 episodes spanning over nine years, took viewers on a journey with the young residents of Tree Hill. On April 4, 2012, that journey came to an end, with the series finale.

The first hour was dedicated to interviews with the cast and creator Mark Schwahn about the past nine years on the show.

Scenes from episodes throughout the nine years were also shown, bringing past cast members back onto the screen one more time.

STORY: 'One Tree Hill' Creator Mark Schwahn and Star Sophia Bush Reflect on the Series Finale

Fans also got to revisit some of the most powerful moments of the show, from the Ravens winning the state championship to the school shooting storyline. Additionally behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of the final episode was also shown.

Some of the best quotes from the cast interviews:

Mark Schwahn: “Considering where we came from and considering the huge odds against us, there are not many more greater underdog stories than us.”

Sophia Bush: “For this to have been our job, to grow up here and evolve as people and as characters, it’s huge.”

James Lafferty: “From the conversations I’ve had with fans, the show has helped them through tough periods in their lives, and I think that’s a testament to where the heart of our show is.”

Mark Schwahn: “I feel like these characters sort of exist on their own now. Even though I’m not sitting down and writing ‘Fade In’ every week, it feels like they’re still there. I think it’s always going to feel that way.”

STORY: Sophia Bush on Directing 'One Tree Hill's' Penultimate Episode

As for the final episode, it featured many of the qualities that made the show so great in the first place, and a concert at Tric with amazing musicians (Gavin DeGraw is back!) anchored the episode.  

It opened with Nathan (James Lafferty) at the river court, reflecting on the past.

Brooke (Bush) and Julian (Austin Nichols) were back in the hallways of Brooke’s high school (or so it seems), shooting Julian’s new TV show. It turned out it’s just a set, which also included Peyton’s old room right next door.

“We did a lot of growing up in here, wishing and dreaming, figuring who we were going to be,” Brooke said, while standing in Peyton’s old room.

Brooke decided to open her Baker Man store across the street from Karen’s Café, so Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and Brooke would have their own corner of the world.

And by then end of the episode, Brooke’s life was complete; Julian bought her old house for them to live in and raise their family.

As for Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten), they become husband and wife and parents in the span of an hour.

Mouth (Lee Norris) received an unexpected gift allowing him to revisit the school shooting that so deeply affected him, and make some good come out from that tragic event.

Near the end of the episode, DeGraw played the show’s song, “I Don’t Wanna Be,” which has been as much a part of the show as any of the characters. The scene then moved from Tric to Karen’s Café, with the entire cast eating together.

After moving to a wide shot of the street outside Karen’s Café, time jumped again, and the group was reuniting back at the high school to watch a basketball game -- Jamie’s game. Millie was pregnant, and the other couples’ children were much older. The final shot was of the Tree Hill group, cheering in the stands.