"The Desperate Kingdom Of Love" is the first episode of the second season of One Tree Hill and the 23rd produced episode of the series. It was broadcasted on September 21, 2004. After Lucas and Keith learn that Dan had a heart attack and is still in the hospital, they decide it is best for them to return to Tree Hill. When Deb learns about Haley and Nathan's marriage, she grows hostile. Meanwhile, angry that Lucas left Tree Hill without saying goodbye, Peyton and Brooke try to mend their friendship.
SynopsisThe residents of Tree Hill gather at the funeral of Dan Scott. At the coffin, is Nathan who is miserable and is supported by Keith to leave his father as Lucas looks on from the background. Deb is next to face the casket. She walks up to Dan's body in tears mourning the loss of her husband. She puts her hand on the side of the coffin when Dan suddenly grabs her hand, waking up and telling her she is going to wish that she'd killed him. Coming out of the daydream Deb was in, Dan is lying in a hospital bed recovering from the heart attack he had after seeing Deb and Keith together. Nathan and Haley wake up at Nathan's apartment. They both smile as they realize they are now a married couple and ignore the many calls Deb has left Nathan to tell him about what has happened to his Dad. Meanwhile, Lucas and Keith are on the beach thankful they have had the chance to leave Tree Hill and start again, to reinvent themselves. As they walk along the beach, Keith's phone rings and he is forced to tell Lucas about the accident Dan has been in.
In Tree Hill, Karen is in the cafe and mistakes a young boy to be a younger version of her departed son, upset with the sight she closes the cafe. Brooke arrives at Peyton's as she is hanging up pictures of Jake. She tells her to come for a day out together as they are back to being best friends. Peyton agrees as she remembers the letter that she found on her door addressed to both her and Brooke from Lucas, the letter which she hasn't given to Brooke. They arrive at Brooke's father's boat for a day sunbathing at sea and Brooke forces Peyton on the boat. At the apartment, Nathan finds out about his father and tells Haley they have to go to the hospital. Haley suggests not telling his parents yet with the situation, but Nathan refuses to keep her a secret and intends on telling them straight away.
At the hospital, Deb asks the doctor if it would make a difference if she had rang sooner to save Dan, the doctor says it may have made a big difference, as she remembers Dan threatening her on the floor whilst having a heart attack. Under threat, Deb begins arguing back against him and refuses to call an ambulance. Just as she is about to walk away, Dan collapses and passes out and Deb calls the ambulance, but as she didn't ring immediately, she is racked with guilt and worry she has killed her husband. Meanwhile, Haley remembers the night she and Nathan got married, after agreeing to lose her virginity to Nathan, he asks her to marry him, which she sees as a joke, but Nathan doesn't see why they can't and start their lives together and Haley is soon swayed by the idea of marriage. Lucas begins thinking about Dan and how he is doing in hospital, as Keith wonders why he is thinking about him so much, Lucas asks if it is wrong to hope that he dies.
At Tree Hill hospital, Deb finds out that Dan has a genetic heart disease that could have been triggered at any time, possibly in moments of stress. Shocked, Deb remembers Dan walking in on her and Keith as he prepares to try and mend their marriage, seeing the two together, he walks out leaving the two of them. Karen goes to see Whitey at the hospital to see if he is okay. Whitey tells Karen that Lucas will have left not to make her lonely as she is, but to encourage her to start new things, Karen tells him she is thinking about joining a cooking class at the college, which Whitey encourages her to join. Meanwhile, Brooke and Peyton are sunbathing on the boat. Realizing Brooke is still quite upset about the departure of Lucas, Peyton tells her it is ok to miss him as she still misses Jake. The two laugh the serious issue off as Brooke flashes some boys passing their boat and they both continue the fun by going skinny dipping in the lake.
Lucas is still undecided whether to go and visit his father and reveals to Keith that the only reason he said he wishes Dan was dead was to please Keith. Keith decides to write him a list of reasons he should stay away from Tree Hill and reasons he should go back. The reasons they should stay away included Dan being a bad father, Lucas messing up the situation with Brooke and Peyton, Keith's teaching job, the fresh start they can have, Karen breaking Keith's heart and the apartment they have has a good view. Lucas continues to say Nathan, but as a reason to go back, as he is actually a good person and that he can go and see him and still protect Haley. Brooke reveals to Peyton that she is only upset as Lucas never said goodbye to her. Feeling guilty, Peyton reveals that she has a letter from him and Brooke falls out with her and drives the boat back to the shore. As Nathan and Haley arrives at the hospital to meet Nathan's parents, Haley remembers when they told her parents. It started with her mom and dad thinking she was pregnant and she asks the two to sit down as it isn't about her being pregnant. Realizing how much he wants to go home to see Dan, Keith tells Lucas he is free to go, but he won't go with him as there is something back there he done he isn't proud of.
After seeing Dan, Nathan and Haley find Deb at the chapel who is still really upset with what she has done to Dan. As the two comfort her, Deb notices the ring on Nathan's finger. She freaks out and begins shouting at the two of them calling Haley selfish and blaming Nathan for Dan's heart attack. She storms out the chapel and breaks down in the corridor as Karen passes her and takes her back to the cafe whilst Deb tells her about Dan and Haley and Nathan's marriage, much to Karen's surprise. Back when Haley told her parents, Nathan asks permission to marry her and the two parents start laughing, realizing they are serious they decide to talk about it. Brooke and Peyton arrive back at the dock. Brooke storms away from Peyton who explains to her the only reason she didn't give her the letter was because she knew it would come between them and wants it to go back to how it was before boys invaded their friendship. An upset Haley visits Karen at the closed cafe which she is shocked about, she apologizes for not inviting Karen to the wedding and is shocked by Deb's reaction but Karen tells her that it is different dating and marriage. When asked what she thinks, Karen tells her that love can fade and she hopes hers and Nathan's doesn't.
Asking about Dan, Lucas calls Nathan who tells him how he is. Also asking about how they got married, Nathan remembers the parents discussing the marriage. Haley's mom thinks it is okay but her dad is adamant that the marriage can't go through. As the two listen from the stairs, Haley's mom tells her dad that her parents thought they were too young to get married and twists Haley's dad's arm into allowing the marriage to go ahead. Brooke and Peyton make up and have a fire at the beach. Brooke decides to just hook up with boys from now on as relationships are too complicated for her. They then decide to not read the letter and burn it in the fire. Keith arrives at the school garage and sees a smashed car window, reminding him of Dan after he saw him and Deb together, Dan refused to be his brother anymore and smashes his car window before driving off furious with his brother. Snapping out of the memory, Lucas meets Keith who decides to go back but Keith is still adamant not to return to Tree Hill.
At the hospital, Karen goes to see Dan and when asked if she is immediate family, she says Dan is the father of her child, Whitey is seen by a surgeon telling him he has a tumor and it needs to be removed. Meanwhile, at Nathan's apartment, Haley brings all her stuff over and while putting the CDs in alphabetical order, she gets upset realizing there are no doubles so she is obviously making a mistake as they have nothing in common. Nathan arrives and calms her down, promising he is always going to be there for her. They both remember the vows they said to each other whilst getting married including Nathan saying that their love is 'always and forever.' Lucas returns to Tree Hill and greets an ecstatic Karen at his return. Deb finds the signed divorce papers by Dan which he signed just before the heart attack. As Brooke and Peyton play around the fire, they stop in shock as they find Lucas watching them, having returned. Keith also returns to the hospital to see Dan and comforts a devastated Deb by hugging her, as they hug, Dan wakes up watching the two in a very suggestive embrace.
"I had the strangest dream, I dreamed we actually got married yesterday."
"That's weird, I had the same dream... Oh that's right, we actually did get married." - Haley James Scott and Nathan Scott
"Peyton, look at us, look at this day, we are practically a beer commercial, it would be wrong not to take it." - Brooke Davis to Peyton Sawyer about going on her father's boat.
"I could love you forever... so why can't forever start today?" - Nathan Scott proposing to Haley.
"Did you climb though Haley's window or did you locate the front door this time?" - Lydia James to Nathan Scott
"Are you pregnant? With child? Bun in the oven?" - Lydia James to Haley James Scott when asked to sit down.
"Shut up Haley, you did this to your father, you're the reason he is here."
"Shut up, shut your selfish little mouth. You walked away from him and you helped him do it, you're both to blame." - Deb Scott to Haley James Scott and Nathan Scott.
"Remember when we used to get up every Tuesday morning and ride our bikes to the mall?"
"So you could buy some stupid CDs."
"Yeah, and you could buy make up your mom wouldn't let you wear, we'd spend half the day in my bedroom listening to music and putting on awful eye shadow and that was just the Tuesdays! We used to do a lot of really great stuff until guys got in the way."
"I was actually just going to the mall with you to check out a boy."
"Brooke, you were nine."
"What's your point?" - Peyton Sawyer and Brooke Davis
"Hos over Bros. I hope it wasn't money." - Brooke Davis to Peyton Sawyer after burning Lucas' letter.
"How can you be sure, because there is no one who thinks that this marriage can work."
"I do, I promise you, Haley, I will always be there for you, I will always protect you, I will always protect you, always." - Haley James Scott and Nathan Scott on their marriage.
"Always and forever." - Nathan Scott to Haley James during his vows.
"I, Haley, take you, Nathan, to have and to hold in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse. I promise that I will love and cherish you and will deny all those that would come between us. I make this promise for eternity, a promise that I will keep forever until the end of time. 'Til death do us part." - Haley James Scott
- "See Me" - Robert Giles
- "Empty Apartment" - Yellowcard
- "Take Your Mama" - Scizzor Sisters
- "She Will Be Loved" - Maroon 5
- "Silence" - Gomez
- "Just As Well" - Emily Sparks
- "Lie In The Sound" - Tresspassers William
This episode's title originated from the song The Desperate Kingdom of Love, originally sung by PJ Harvey.
- In this episode, Nathan and Haley get married during the daytime. However in the previous episode they got married in the evening, after the game.
- When Keith and Lucas are talking about the view outside, Keith mentions that there is no view like that in Tree Hill. However, the house Brooke goes to live in in season 5 has an almost identical view.
- In Nathan's vows, he says "always and forever," a phrase commonly related to the couple.
- In the first scene including Lucas, the producers were forced to write in a reason for Lucas shaving his head due to Chad Michael Murray shaving it in between seasons.
- This episode marks the second time "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 was played on the show.
- Number 23: The number 23 appears on the moving box where Keith writes the reasons to stay and go. This number appears frequently throughout the series, leading some viewers to believe it may have a hidden significance to the writers.
- When Haley says "well maybe so" in response to Nathan saying she's caving on waiting for marriage to have sex during the flashback, her lips are not moving. It's obvious that this scene was shot at least twice and the shots vary during the scene.