"Songs To Love And Die By" is the tenth episode and mid-season finale of the fourth season of One Tree Hill and the 77th produced episode of the series. It was broadcasted on December 6, 2006. Lucas receives an unlikely visitor -- his supposedly dead Uncle Keith. Haley's life and the life of her unborn child are threatened when she experiences serious complications with her pregnancy and Nathan wrestles with the guilt and consequences of his dealings with Daunte. Dan tries to make amends for Keith's murder and Peyton and Brooke try to patch up their differences.
SynopsisThe film It’s A Wonderful Life plays on the hospital monitors as Nathan sobs as he awaits further news about Haley's progress. There is a flashback to Dante running over Haley with his car. As Lucas rushes to Haley's aid, Nathan drags Dante out of the car and hits him repeatedly. Dan arrives on the scene and pulls Nathan off Dante. He checks Dante's pulse and tells Nathan, "You killed him." As the police and ambulance arrive, Dan tells Nathan to run and punches the sidewalk several times to bloody his knuckles. When the police arrive, Dan takes the blame for Dante's death. Meanwhile, as Lucas is telling the paramedics about Haley's pregnancy, he suffers a cardiac arrest and collapses in the middle of the street. As Lucas lies in the street, he wakes back up to find no one else around him. He walks down the empty street in shock and confusion until he bumps into Keith. Keith tells Lucas that he is not exactly alive but refuses to explain further, instead telling Lucas that they need to hurry in order not to miss anything. Lucas finds himself in the hospital, watching his and Haley's bodies being rushed into the emergency room. Keith then takes him to witness Brooke informing Peyton about the accident. Lucas worries that Peyton will be crushed and laments that only bad things happen to her. "Good things happen too," says Keith, referring to Lucas. Keith explains that Lucas is not dead but Keith is a guide for him.
Lucas asks to check on Haley and Keith shows him Nathan speaking with a doctor. The doctor informs Nathan that Haley is not doing well and the baby has a slim chance of survival. Lucas becomes angry that good people like Keith, Haley, and Peyton have to suffer. With this in mind, Keith decides to show Lucas what life would be like if he was not a good person, opening the elevator doors and leading him to Tree Hill High.Lucas sees a Goth girl sitting at the table, and realizes it is Brooke. AT Keith's urging, he approaches her and attempts to ask about her appearance but she reacts angrily and storms off. Keith explains he is showing Lucas what life would be life if he was a selfish person. He assures him that the real world is still in existence. Meanwhile, in the real world, Dan is put into a jail cell as Brooke and Peyton arrive at the hospital to comfort Nathan. He sobs and blames himself for causing Haley's injuries. He wishes that he died in the water after his wedding. He has a flashback to being trapped underwater and hearing a voice encouraging him. At the bridge, he calls out to Keith and demands to know why he was saved. Lucas and Keith watch him, unobserved. Lucas asks if Keith really did save Nathan but Keith denies his involvement, saying it was Nathan himself. Lucas wishes he lost the game so Dante would not have hurt Haley so Keith returns him to the alternate world. In the alternate world, Nathan walks into the record store and asks for a copy of the latest Haley James record. When the shopkeeper hands him a promo copy, Nathan immediately smashes it and then walks out. Keith explains that since Lucas never went to New York to convince Haley to return to Tree Hill, her marriage with Nathan fell apart. Keith tells Lucas that all the conversations he have matter.
In the real world, Peyton seeks for a source of faith in the record shop. Max, the store owner, comforts her as she breaks down in tears. He gives her a record and urges her to believe in the music. Back in her room, she listens to the album to begin believing in hope again. At the hospital,. Haley still lies unconscious with Nathan by her side as Karen prays in the church chapel. Keith and Lucas observe her and Lucas wishes he took his medication sooner. Keith tells Lucas they are running out of time and leads him to the hallway of Tree Hill High where Keith was murdered. Lucas begs to be taken away but Keith insists that there are details about his murder that Lucas needs to know.As they stand in the corridor, Keith asks Lucas to remember what he saw. Lucas recalls Jimmy pointed a gun at Keith but admits he can't believe Jimmy was the killer. He blames himself for Keith's death and insists it was his fault--if he hadn't gone into the school, Keith wouldn't have followed him Keith sighs that Lucas still isn't understanding the point of his visit and takes him away again. In the real world, Brooke comforts Peyton under the bridge she sat at when her mother died. Peyton asks to be friends again and Brooke agrees, although she points out their friendship will not be what it used to be. Keith and Lucas watch them and Keith finally explains what caused Brooke's Goth appearance in the alternate world: because Lucas didn't go back into the school, Peyton died of her injuries. Brooke blamed herself for leaving Peyton behind and transformed into an angry Goth to cope with her loss.
Nathan goes to visit Dan in jail and offers to turn himself in but Dan refuses. The subject turns to Haley and Dan is overjoyed to hear that he will be having a grandson. Nathan tells his father that he loves him but Dan doesn't reply, instead urging Nathan to leave. Meanwhile, Keith takes Lucas to Keith's garage and they recall the first time he spoke to Peyton and complimented her artwork. Keith explains that Peyton needed someone to believe in her and because Lucas did that, it made her a better person.In jail, Dan is visited by Keith's ghost, who agitates him and tells Dan that the shame and guilt will get worse everyday. Dan protests that he is making amends by taking the blame for Dante's death but Keith points out that Nathan may not have killed Dante anyway. Keith continues to tease him and then changes tactics, telling Dan that he forgives him. Dan begs Keith to take it back but Keith refuses as his chest begins dripping with blood from his chest. Keith tells Dan that he may forgive him, but hell won’t. Simultaneously, Peyton visits Haley while Brooke visits Lucas. They both beg their comatose friends to wake up but to no avail. Nathan prays in the church for Haley's health and watching, Keith tells Nathan that everything will be okay. Immediately, Peyton bursts into the chapel to inform him that Haley is awake. He races to her room and embraces her. Keith and Lucas go to visit his grave and Keith admits the purpose of his visit was to help Lucas believe in himself as he has so many good things going on in his life. Lucas then asks if he can go with Keith but Keith urges him to return to real life. He acknowledges that it will be hard but eventually there will be happiness. Keith shows an older Peyton visiting Lucas's grave and explains she never let him go. Lucas vows to return and declare his love for Peyton. that that if there is a heaven, then he wants to go with him. Keith warns him if he does go back to real life it will be hard, but eventually there will be happiness. Lucas then notices a woman at Peyton’s grave and asks who it is. Keith is soon to correct him, it is actually Lucas’ grave and Lucas is soon to realize it is an older Peyton. He is in shock, as Keith tells him she never let go of him. Lucas then decides he has to go back as he never told Peyton he loved her. Keith says goodbye although Lucas begs him to stay. Keith assures him that everything will be fine and they will see each other again. When they hug, Lucas is taken back to his body in the hospital.
Also in the hospital, Haley receives an ultrasound to check the status of the baby. Much to her and Nathan's relief, the baby is unharmed by the accident. Brooke goes to visit Lucas but when she sees Peyton asleep by his bedside, she leaves. As Lucas sleeps, he remembers all the different moments he spent with Keith and finally, recalls Keith's death. Keith urges Lucas to open his eyes and remember the details of the day more closely. Lucas finally opens his eyes, taking Keith’s instructions.
- ”I don’t understand this, I mean, What are you Keith? An angel? A bad dream?”
- ”More like a guide”
- ”What’s the point in being a good person if this is how it goes?”
- ”And so you’re asking if you weren’t a good person, would it change anything”
- ”You know, considering apparently I’m lying on my death bed right now, yes”
- ”Well, let’s take a look”
- ”It should of been me, it’s all my fault”
- ”No it wasn’t, it was an accident, like the bridge...”
- ”No it wasn’t. And now Haley’s in surgery and even if she makes it, the baby could, she could still lose the baby and Lucas could die. My dad’s in jail...I wish I would’ve died under that water, none of this would have happened.”
- ”So it was you”
- ”No, it was him. Most people are stronger than they know, they just forget to believe in it sometimes”
- ”So, I heard about Lucas, how’s he doing?”
- ”He’s not so good. Haley’s not so good, Nathan’s not so good. Nobody’s good”
- ”I remember when I found you down here when your mom died”
- ”That was eight years ago. You know Ellie used to watch us down here? She told me that once”
- ”It’s not gonna be like that this time Peyton. You’re not gonna lose Lucas and Haley the way you lost Ellie and your mom”
- ”Or like I lost you? I miss you Brooke”
- ”You never went back into the school that day Luke. At least, the selfish version of yourself never went back. Peyton died that day, and Brooke never forgave herself for leaving her behind. So the next time you think that being the best version of yourself doesn’t matter, you look into Peyton’s eyes and every time you do, you’ll know that it has and that it does”
- ”Hey baby, you know how you’re always telling me you’re not going anywhere? Well, I need to hold you to that right now, okay? I just need you to come back to me. Listen, just move one of your fingers if you can hear me. Just move on of those beautiful fingers and let me know that you’re still here with me”
- ”Who’s that woman at Peyton’s grave?”
- ”Someone who used to know her, but it’s not Peyton’s grave...Well, Peyton lived because you saved her that day...It’s your grave Luke, if that’s what you choose”
- ”And the woman...Peyton”
- ”She lived a good life Luke, she never let go of you”
- ”I still don’t believe that Jimmy killed you Keith”
- ”Well then, why do you? Jimmy Edwards was your friend Luke, you knew him. You were kind to him. After everything we’ve seen, don’t you think that that kindness had an impact?”
- ”But if it did, then you would still be alive”
- ”Do you really believe that Luke. Look, look into your heart, okay? It may be flawed physically, but it’s a good one, and it’s what makes you, you. Luke, you’ve changed other people’s lives by opening it up. Don’t close that off. Luke , just look around this hallway, you were here that day, what did you see?...Open your eyes Luke, open your eyes the way you’ve opened your heart. Open your eyes, Luke. Open your eyes, Luke. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes, Lucas ”
- "Have you ever wondered what marks our timing? If one life can really make an impact on the world? Or if the choices we make matter? Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to go back. In this case, just a few minutes."
- Lucas Scott (opening voice-over)
- "Have you ever wondered what marks our timing? If one life can really make an impact on the world? Or if the choices we make matter? I believe they do. And I believe that one man can change many lives... for better, or worse."
- Lucas Scott (closing voice-over)
- "Recognition" - Susie Suh
- "Ebbing Seasons" - The Meeting Places
- "Forever And Ever Amen" - 8MM
- "Non-Believer" - La Rocca
This episode's title originated from the album Songs To Love And Die By, originally sung by 8MM.
- Deb, Mouth, Skills, Rachel and Whitey do not appear in this episode.
- This is the first mid-season finale to not feature Deb, Skills and Rachel.
- This is the second mid-season finale to not feature Mouth.
- This is the third mid-season finale to not feature Whitey.
- This is the second mid-season finale to feature Keith.
- Moira Kelly (Karen) appears without speaking lines.
- When the medic is giving Lucas CPR, he is pumping his stomach, not his chest where his heart would be. Pumping his stomach would do nothing in the case of Cardiac arrest.
- Used some scene from It's a Wonderful life with James Stewart.
- The plotline of Keith showing Lucas what life would be like if he was a selfish and bad person is also loosely based on the film.
- The school shooting is mentioned and shown various times throughout this episode.