"Racing Like a Pro" is the second episode of the fifth season of One Tree Hill and the 90th produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on January 8, 2008. Tensions run high as Lucas must face his past and choose his future, while he discovers the demands of being the coach of the Tree Hill Ravens. Haley's decision to hire a nanny brings much-needed help into their home, while her first day of teaching turns out differently from what she expects. Jamie sets his sights on a Soap Box derby race and enlists Antwon to help him out. Meanwhile, Marvin's excitement about his new job is tempered by his demanding new boss.
SynopsisHaving returned to Tree Hill, Brooke decides to visit Lucas and enters his bedroom, jumping on the bed. However she finds Lindsey sleeping under the covers and the two share a very awkward introduction. Lucas eventually joins them and happily reunites with Brooke. In Tree Hill, Skills and Jamie spend the day together and they see an advertisment for a Soap Box Derby, which Skills wants Jamie to race in. Elsewhere, Mouth walks into the broadcasting room of his new workplace. Taking a seat behind the desk, he is soon interupted by his new boss - Alice, who harshly tells him that the field reporter position he believed he was hired for isn't going to him, but instead he is an entry level logger, a job a "monkey could do." When Mouth asks if they are still looking for a reporter, Alice tells him that they are, but he "doesn't really have the face for it"
At Tree Hill High School, an upbeat and optimistic Haley starts to teach her first ever class on her own until a student, Quentin starst to make advances on her and causes trouble. She struggles to maintain control of her class as Quentin's disruptions result in all of the class rebelling. Out of options, Haley runs from the classroom and is forced to ask Principal Turner to cover her classes as she cannot face the class again. Meanwhile, on the River front, Brooke and Peyton discuss Lucas's new girlfriend Lindsey. Peyton protests that she isn't home for Lucas, and he is free to see Lindsey if he wants. Brooke procedes to ask her what happened after Lucas finished his book, forcing Peyton to remember Lucas inviting her to his book signing in L.A after a few months of absence. Peyton agrees to go and visit him, despite her reservations.
At basketball practice, Lucas and Skills introduce themselves to the new THHS Ravens and remind them of the legacy that they and Coach Durham left and they promise to maintain that legacy. Haley and Jamie then drop by practice and Haley tells Lucas about her trouble with her class - and Quentin. Seemingly begruding Quentin, Lucas tells him that he is late for practice. Quentin's arrogance, much like students before him becomes apparent when he says he can be late because he is the leading scorer and is assured a place on the team. Lucas, however, tells him that he isn't his leading scorer.
At the Scott house, Brooke and Peyton find Nathan alone and the friends are reunited, although Nathan (who is reliving his accident) still seems distant. Haley and Jamie also come out from the house and reunite with the girls, with Jamie meeting Aunt Brooke and Aunt Peyton for the first time. Meanwhile Skills, Lucas and Jamie try to build the derby car for the race where the two coaches discuss Quentin's arrogance. Elsewhere, at the Scott house, an argument between Nathan and Haley escalates where she accuses him of being selfish. As their bickering worsenes, Jamie leaves the house and is lucky found by a passerby, Carrie who returns him to his house. Haley then discovers Carrie is there to interview for a nanny position and she impresses Haley who is in desperate need of help. When Jamie enters the house and tells her that "he made mud", putting hand marks over the clean door. Haley then offers the position to Carrie, asking how soon she can start.
The following morning, Skills finds Brooke and Mouth asleep on his bed and takes a picture of him next to Brooke. This wakes her and she remembers that has to pick up Jamie for Haley, and she's very late. Rushing around, she fails to notice that Jamie is sat in the kitchen of Mouth's house eating breakfast. She eventually finds him and says goodbye to Mouth who is also running late for work. Jamie talks to Brooke about the race and how they aren't letting him have the car how he wants it (blue like the Ravens, and Grover). Brooke then encourages Jamie to take a stand and they leave to get some paint. Having arrived, Mouth receives a "strike two" from Alice for being late. While he tries to be nice to her and tell her he is honored to work for her she still responds that she "really doesn't like him." Meanwhile, Peyton takes Nathan to a hospital where they visit the terminal wing. Peyton forces Nathan to realise that there are many people who would die for his life and that he shouldn't take it for granted.
That night, at Tric, Brooke, Peyton, and Haley reunite and catch up and eventually get up to dance at Brooke's request. They then run into Mouth and, to Peyton's dismay, Lindsey. Brooke attempts to introduce Lindsey and Peyton but finds that Peyton has walked away. Lindsey and Peyton eventually meet and, among much awkardness, Lindsey tells her that from what she read in the book she seems brave and kind. After she leaves, Peyton tells Brooke she really didn't want to like her. At the bar, Nathan and Haley run into Carrie and she says she appreciates them taking a chance on her. Brooke then tells Haley that Carrie can't be their nanny because she is "way too hot" but Mouth stops them, saying it shouldn't all be about looks. Elsewhere, Jamie, Lucas and Skills do a test run of the 'Red Racer' (quickly renamed the 'Blue Bullet') using a mannequin for the first run. Jamie watches in horror as the derby car crashes and the head of the mannequin falls off.
Brooke and Peyton then revisit the River Court and Peyton tells Brooke it is okay if she needs to return to her busy life but Brooke protests that she is staying in Tree Hill as long as Peyton needs her. Peyton then tells her she came home because she is looking for inspiration, like what she felt hen they signed her name River Court. However, becoming "assistant to the assistant" drained her of all her inspiration and she know feels lost. Brooke, however, encourages her to start her own label with backing from Clothes Over Bros. However, Lucas walks onto the River Court asking Peyton is that's really why she came home. Brooke then leaves and the Lucas and Peyton talk properly for the first time since her return. Peyton tries to make conversation about her meeting Lindsey but Lucas straight out asks her why she didn't come to the book signing as he remembers looking out for Peyton before the signing begins. Lindsey distracts him by congratulating them both on finishing the book before giving him a kiss on the cheek. When she asks if he's ready to start, he looks out to the crowd and sees Peyton isn't there". Peyton, however, says that she knew they weren't meant to be and Lucas leaves to return home to Lindsey.
Returning home, Lindsey is waiting up for Lucas. She tells her that she met Peyton and asks how long her and Brooke are going to be back for. Lucas tells Lindsey that Peyton is planning on opening a record label at Tree Hill, to which Lindsey tells him to help her with it and she will try not to be too jealous. Haley goes to get Nathan to leave as everyone is waiting for him, but Nathan says he isn’t going as he doesn’t want anyone to see him the way he is, but Haley asks him if he ever thought that it wasn’t about him for once but his son, who is depending on him. She walks back in to find Brooke and Peyton as Jamie runs in wearing a racing jacket that Brooke made him. They all admire her work as Peyton notices her own sponsorship badge with writing on ‘Peyton Sawyer, Unemployed.’ Jamie then says that he is really excited to show his dad the jacket, as Haley lies that Nathan isn’t feeling very well and can’t go. Jamie’s excited mood soon fades away as Brooke, Peyton and Haley try to cheer him up promising he will have the biggest crowd there and they walk out the house for his race. As they leave, Nathan sits in the corridor, after listening to his son’s disappointment.
The girls and Jamie arrive at the soapbox race where Mouth and Skills greet him. Meanwhile, Brooke is on her phone next to Peyton telling Victoria to stop yelling and to listen to her. As Victoria continues to yell at her asking her to go back to New York and begins blaming boys for her staying in Tree Hill, Brooke loses her patience and throws the phone into the lake. She then asks to borrow Peyton’s phone and asks for Millicent to get her a new phone. As she talks, Peyton sees Lucas and Lindsey walking together holding hands and looks longingly at the image she wants to be in. Lucas arrives at the race to find Jamie about to start. The kids are called to their cars as Haley tells him to be careful and Lucas lifts him in. The children are told to put their hands on the steering wheels, and as he does, Jamie looks at the other racers, who seem scary and then looks at the big hill to the finish line, which is even more daunting. He remembers the dummy falling down the hill in the broken car as the dummy’s head falls off. Terrified, he puts his hands off the wheel as the race organiser goes to see if he is ok. Jamie says he doesn’t want to go and as Haley checks to make sure, Jamie asks to see Brooke. Brooke rushes over and Jamie tells her, as she told him, that it is his life and he is taking a stand. Brooke lifts him back out the car as Jamie apologises to Skills. As they laugh and leave, Skills tells the other racers that his racer his taking a stand and not being a follower, unlike the other 6 year olds in the race.
Haley gets back to find Nathan surrounded by his mess. She starts tidying up as she tells him that Jamie was too scared to race. As she tells him that his son needed him, she calls him Dan. Receiving no reply, Haley loses her temper and throws the dishes onto the floor demanding that he says something instead of sitting around pouting and crying. Nathan retaliates saying that she doesn’t understand that he was someone and now he is no one with nothing. Shocked, Haley tells him he has her and their son, but if he continues to be this version of himself for one more night, then he will have nothing. Peyton goes to Tric to find Lucas. He shows her a back room in the club and tells her that he talked to Karen and she wants it to become office space for her new record label. As Peyton tries to make excuses, Lucas has covered every option, but Peyton says that four years ago she would have jumped at the chance and as she tries to make an excuse, Lucas says that there is no excuse and the fact that it is not as easy as she thought, is just the way life goes and uses Mouth, Nathan and him not being able to write another novel as example. He leaves and asks her to think about it. As he walks off, Peyton tells him that she was at the book signing. She remembers getting to the front of the book queue and as she got there, she saw Lindsey kissing him and was so shocked she ran out. She tells Lucas how proud she was of him, but didn’t want to talk as they hadn’t seen each other in such a long time and she saw him with Lindsey. She then asks if he remembers what he said when he first went into the Raven’s gym about her art and as Lucas says ‘You’re art matters, it’s what got me here,’ Peyton agrees and tells him it is as though he touched her soul and the same happened when she read his novel a few days ago when she was nearly giving up. She tells him that his art matters as that is what got here her so he should have no trouble writing a new one.
Haley goes into her class and finds Quentin Fields disrupting the class again. She asks him to sit down, and as he ignores her, he asks for a break from the lesson. The class agree and as they get up, Haley says that any student who leaves the room fails the first quarter of the course. That includes extra curricular tasks including sport, i.e. basketball. She tells them it is their choice as Quentin walks out the room, much to Haley’s dislike. Even so, she begins her lesson. That night, Nathan throws himself off his wheelchair into the swimming pool and attempts to begin walking again. Mouth leaves his office and finds his audition disc in the bin. Skills puts up the basketball coaching team, and Quentin finds he isn’t on the team. He storms into practice and tells Lucas that if he is not on the team then they are going to lose every game. Lucas then says that he is wrong, but if he is right, then they will lose as a team. Quentin laughs and is about to walk out as Lucas says that he understands Quentin has been missing his English class, and he recommends that doesn’t continue. He then congratulates the new Tree Hill Ravens on making the team.
Brooke tells the label that she is taking a stand as it is her life and running the company from Tree Hill. She rips down the paper covering the windows and looks at her new store, formally known as ‘Karen’s Café.’ Peyton begins putting art work up in her new studio after accepting the offer. Nathan wakes Jamie up and tells him they are going on a surprise journey, but he will need his cape. Lucas and Lindsey are ready to go to bed, but instead he decides he is going to write something for a while as he stares at the framed photo of himself and the book on his wall. Jamie is back in his soap box as Nathan sits next to him in his wheelchair, he tells him it is ok to be afraid, but he must work through it or else he will miss out. He tells him they will do this together, and after three, Nathan and Jamie push themselves down the soap box race and put their hands in the air as they race down the hill.
- "You're late"
- "Yeah, I'm also your leading scorer"
- "No. You might have been a leading scorer on a team that won three conference games all last season. But you are not my leading scorer. Not yet."
- "Well, well"
- "Ah, don't look away. The second and third best nights of your life just walked back into your world"
- "You ever have a wine hangover?"
- "I have a fluffy-eared bunny named Chester"
- "Okay. You know what. First of all, shut up and now take a look around. You have a life that any one of these kids would die for and what's really sad is that most of them probably will."
- "Do all of your ex-girlfriends have to be so pretty"
- "Well, like all my current girlfriends"
- "All better mean one"
- ”Oh my goodness, look at this, this is a real racing suit”
- ”Mmm hmm. And, I even made you a sponsor P. Sawyer”
- ”Oh yeah? Oh, Peyton Sawyer, unemployed. Thank you very much”
- ”You hear that? My man is taking a stand, blazing his own trail, follower”
- ”Well he didn’t race, he was afraid. You might know something about that”
- ”We’re all afraid”
- ”Yeah, but he’s four, and he needed his dad, and his dad wasn’t there. Nice work, Dan. Are you gonna say anything or are you just gonna sit there like you have for the last four months? You gonna get drunk, maybe pout a little, cry?”
- ”You don’t get it do you? I used to be somebody. Haley, do you understand that? Do you understand what that means? I used to be Nathan Scott, and I was great. And, I should’ve walked away okay? I know that. But I didn’t, and now I’m nothing, and I have nothing”
- ”You have nothing? You have a beautiful son who is here. I am here. You have got to figure out who you’re going to be in this Nathan, because this version of you does not work for us. I cannot keep living like this okay? Do you understand what I’m saying? One more night like this, Nathan, and I promise you, you will have nothing”
- ”It doesn’t seem so cut and dry anymore? Cause it’s not. I wrote a novel and I can’t write a second one. Mouth’s boss apparently hates him. Nathan missed his dream by a breath. It’s life. So you couldn’t change the world from Los Angeles, change it here”
- ”I am Nathan Scott, and I have too much to lose”
- ”You know son, there’s gonna be a lot of times in your life when you’re afraid. Being afraid is okay, but if you don’t work through that fear, you might miss out on some pretty great things.”
- "The rest of your life is a long time, and whether you know it or not, it's being shaped right now. You can choose to blame your cirumstances on fate, or bad luck, or bad choices or you can fight back. Things aren't always going to be fair in the real world, that's just the way it is. But for the most part you get what you give. Let me ask you all a question. What's worse. Not getting everything you wished for or getting it and finding out it's not enough. The rest of your life is being shaped right now with the dreams you chase, the choices you make and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time and the rest of your life starts right now."
- - Haley James Scott (closing voiceover)
- "My name is Lucas Scott. Four years ago I graduated high school with my friends. Brooke Davis moved to New York City and found success. Peyton Sawyer went to Los Angeles, success didn't come so easily. I wrote a novel and fell for my editor, LIndsey. My brother Nathan saw his dreams vanish, leaving his wife Haley and their son Jamie more fragile than ever. Things have changed in four years, but in many ways this is just the beginning."
- - Lucas Scott (opening voice-over
- "Ripe" - Ben Lee
- "Forgive Me" - Group 1 Crew
- "Lawman" - Belasco
- "Thank You" - The Little Heroes
- "Neverlost" - Smashing Pumpkins
- "Bringa" - Channel Two feat. Apl
- "DJ Make It Boom Loud" - Richard Wolf feat. Timna
- "Let's Lie To Each Other" - The Magic Numbers
- "Gotta Be Somebody's Blues" - Jimmy Eat World
- "Think It Must Be" - Geoff Martyn
- "Will You Be There" - Richard Harris
- "Back When You Were Good" - The Hours
This episode's title originated from the song Racing Like A Pro, originally sung by The National.
- Dan does not appear in this episode.
- This episode aired as part of a double-bill on January 8, 2008 alonside the previous episode 4 Years, 6 Months, 2 Days.
- Peyton refers to the conversation she and Lucas had as he went back onto the court and rejoined the ravens where he said "your art matters, it's what got me here. ("The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most")
- When Brooke and Peyton reunite with Nathan they reference their romantic histories with him when Brooke says the second and third best nights of his life just walked back into it. ("Pilot") ("Crash Into You") ("Prom Night at Hater High")