"The Games That Play Us" is the twenty-second episode, and the season finale, of the first season of One Tree Hill and the 22nd produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on May 11, 2004. Lucas and Nathan bear the brunt of Dan's abuse as he coaches them into the playoffs, pushing both of them to their breaking points. Haley is stunned after Dan threatens her, causing her to reconsider her relationship with Nathan. Meanwhile, Whitey learns that his medical condition may be more serious than he first expected, and Dan learns a shocking secret from Deb.
SynopsisIt's the night of the playoffs. Mouth is beginning to commentate as we see Nathan and Lucas begin the game. In a flashback, Nathan and Lucas are training together. Now obviously closer than what they were at the beginning of the series, Nathan confides in Lucas telling him about the porn Haley found on his computer. Meanwhile, at the highschool, replacement coach Dan Scott sits next to an uncomfortable Haley. He tells her that he knows what she is doing, manipulating Nathan and that payback is hell. Back at the game, Deb arrives to watch her son play basketball. She has been having 2nd thoughts about the divorce. She starts crying, but then realizes how evil Dan can be. Dan tells her that when he left college, before he knew she was pregnant, he was going to leave for the woman he loves with his child, Karen. But then Deb announced she was pregnant and from that moment on, all he ever tried to do was try to do right by her and Nathan. Back at the game, Nathan asks for Haley, but she doesn't seem to be at the gym. Nathan has been waiting for Haley on her doorstep and is soaked due to the rain outside. As Haley arrives home, he tells her that the pictures of Peyton was from when he was dating her and should have been deleted from it. Still unimpressed, Haley asks if that is it, but Nathan continues to tell her that he is going to stay out in the rain until she forgives him. As he apologizes, he kisses her in the rain and forgiving him, Haley kisses back.
Back at the game, Haley arrives in the crowd. The game begins as the Raven do their annual chant. As Tim says to do this for Whitey, Dan interrupts to tell them to forget about Whitey and do it for themselves. As they run on the court, Dan tells Lucas he has no name on his jersey, but Lucas says there is and points to the Ravens on the front. Lucas goes to find Dan in Whitey's office. He apologizes for resenting Dan and thanks him for saving him when he had his accident. Although this has taken a lot for Lucas to do, Dan throws it back in his face by being his usual self. As the game begin, an opposing team member tells Lucas to watch his shoulder as they begin the game. Along the cheerleading line, Brooke and Peyton, now supposed friends, smile at each other. Brooke is at a bar waiting to meet up with Peyton. Nicki arrives and sits in her seat. She asks Brooke where Jenny and Jake are. Brooke asks for a drink and then she might tell her. Asked if Peyton and her are friends, Brooke tells Nicki that as far as Peyton knows, they are friends. Keith goes to find Karen and asks her if she ever loved him. Not knowing what to say, an unresponsive Karen is interrupted by Keith telling her he is leaving as he can't look at her anymore without his heart breaking. He tells her she needs to let someone in, even if it isn't him.At the game, Nathan begins scoring his first point as the cheerleaders go wild at the Raven's first point. Back at the bar, Peyton is with Brooke. Brooke tells her to trust her and tell her where Jake is, unknown to Peyton, that she is reporting to Nicki, and by telling her, Peyton will give up Jake's hiding place. But Brooke is doing it 'to crush Peyton's heart.' As the Ravens score their second point, Karen is not happy with the idea of Lucas leaving town, but Lucas tells her he needs a chance to start over and doesn't want Keith to start a new life alone. She lets him go, but tells Keith the only reason he is allowed to go is because she trusts Keith with him. Back at the game, Lucas scores and halftime is called and on their way to the locker room, an opposing team member runs into his shoulder, forcing Lucas to fall over in pain as a protective Nathan starts a fight with the other team.
At the bar with Brooke and Peyton, Peyton trusts Brooke and tells her where Jenny is, in Savannah. Haley and Nathan arrive in his apartment soaked from the rain. The two begin kissing, and Haley begins to undress, a confused Nathan is told that she is ready for sex. Pulling out of it, Haley tells Nathan she is ready, and will, after the game. Back at the game it is halftime and the trainer is looking over Lucas' shoulder deciding it needs an x-ray. However, Dan pressures Lucas into continuing to play, even though he should be going to hospital and tells him to go for an x-ray after the game. Prior to the game, the boys are training together and Nathan tells Lucas about how his Dad pulled out the state championship out of choice in order to win an argument with Whitey and not listen to his orders. The two boys go to see Whitey and give him a signed basketball by the whole team. Whitey tells the boys to play with their hearts and don't let Dan take that away from them. Back at the game, the other team has begun leading as they score more points, putting the Ravens in a threatening position. Before the game, Haley is in the graveyard at Tree Hill. Terrified, she begins shouting for Lucas who jumps out from behind a gravestone. Lucas tells her he is leaving Tree Hill, and Haley is really upset that he is leaving. She doesn't know who will do all the stuff they do together, but Lucas says that Nathan will and when he visits he will too. Reminding Haley they are best friends and always will be, they begin hugging as Haley begins to cry.It is 12 seconds till the end of the game and Dan tells Nathan to get the ball and shoot even if he is double teamed, it is the best chance of them winning. The team go back out on the court and as Tim passes the ball to Nathan, he shows he has paid no attention to his father's instruction and throws the ball to Lucas, who shoots and misses as the whole crowd light out a sigh of disappointment at the Raven's loss. Back at the gym room, Dan is pressuring Nathan again telling him how stupid he was to pass the ball. Nathan blames it on his Dad as he knew Lucas had a bad arm and needs to go to hospital but he made him play. He then says that Lucas was better than Dan ever was as at least he took the shot rather than being a coward and sitting on the bench. Leaving his Dad in the locker room, Nathan rips off the Scott name off his jersey. Keith goes to see Dan after the game to tell him he is leaving. Dan throws it back in his face and insults him as well as mocking him. Keith walks out as Dan shows no capability to care about his departure. Lucas goes to see Haley and tells her he is leaving tomorrow. Devastated that she can't spend the night with him, Haley hugs him but Lucas tells him he will find her tomorrow. As she gets in the car with Nathan, he finds her in tears and asks if she wants to put off sex for another night, but Haley still wants to. Deb is burning Dan's stuff as Keith walks in. Telling her he is leaving, Deb tells him she tried to escape her life, but you can never escape it. They then ask themselves what happened to them, but Keith says that they loved someone who forgot to love them back. Lucas and Karen arrive at the hospital again and find that it is worse news than previously, Lucas can no longer play basketball due to his arm injury. Lucas goes to see Whitey in the other hospital room, who asks him to take care of Keith. Dan goes to see Deb after the game and finds her asleep on the floor next to someone. As she wakes up to see him, so does the person next to her, Keith. Realizing who it is, he walks out on them. Brooke meets up with Nicki and tells her she knows where Jenny is. She writes it down on a piece of paper and hands it to her as Nicki rushes out to get her daughter. After leaving, Peyton approaches Brooke and asks her if that was Nicki. Brooke tells her it was, and that their plan worked and she is off to Seattle to find her daughter, even though Jake is in Savannah. Keith rushes after Dan to apologize, but Dan tells him that he does not exist to him anymore after what he did. Nathan meets Lucas at the river court and has found out he is leaving. Lucas tells Nathan he needs the change, and he can now he knows Haley is in good hands. The two can't believe how far they have come as brothers as at one point they hated each other and now they are going to miss each other.
Arriving home, Karen tells Lucas that she is glad he is going to find the answers that he needs, but most of them may be here, in the people he knows and tells him there is only one Tree Hill and that is his home. The two hug goodbye as Lucas sets off to say goodbye to his friends. As Brooke and Peyton are upstairs getting along they way they used to, Lucas leaves a letter at Peyton's door addressed to the both of them. Dan is ignoring all of Deb's calls and finally signs the divorce she wants. As he is signing the papers he feels pain in his left arm and has a heart attack. Whitey gets his test results back from the hospital and finds out that it is worse than he first thought. As Nicki leaves Tree Hill, Karen sits in an empty house, alone now that Lucas has gone. Deb walks in on Dan finding him dying but the threatens her saying she better hope he dies.Lucas goes to his final call, Nathan's apartment to say bye to his best friend. Nathan answers the door topless as he shouts for Haley. Lucas sees Haley running around getting Nathan's hoodie, and realizes that she and Nathan consummated their relationship. Shocked, Lucas thought she was going to wait and tells her this. Haley reveals to him that they did wait and they got married last night. Even more shocked than before, Lucas walks out the door. Keith and Lucas leave Tree Hill as Lucas thinks about a conversation him and Haley once had about what a group of ravens mean, trouble ahead. As he looks up in the sky, a group of ravens are flying over the car.
- "Don't think I've realized you're a part in all this, you know Haley, if you're gonna manipulate him, you should aim a little higher and remember, pay back is hell, oh by the way, nice tattoo, real classy"
- "You know, my pride says "yeah that's it, just walk away and let Haley deal with the fact that she's clearly threatened by a sexual relationship," but my heart says "Just forget about your pride you idiot, you love this girl and even if you're gonna catch pneumonia, your ass is gonna stand out here, in the rain, until you convince her to forgive you"
- "Come on Hales, just meet me halfway here?"
- "Why should I?"
- "Because I'm sorry. Because I love you. And because you're lookin' really hot standing out here in the rain, and I'm thinkin'... I'm gonna have to kiss you."
- "You better watch that bad shoulder"
- "You better watch the scoreboard"
- - An opposing team member and Lucas Scott
- "I'm leaving cause I can't look at you anymore without my heart breaking"
- "You know, I've been around this game practically my whole life and there's never been a day that I was as gifted as either one of you, remember that. Don't let Danny take that away from you. Play with your heart. Take your shots, no regrets."
- "Do what? You cannot bring me out into a creepy cemetary and tell me you're leaving Tree Hill for good. That is not fair!"
- "Question, who is sexy, talented and knows where Jake is? Oh I know, it's me"
- "I gotta tell you, I never thought when we played that one on one game that I'd end up back here feeling like this"
- "Like what?"
- "Like I'm gonna miss you. You gotta do what you feel but I actually wish you weren't gonna leave because you are one hell of a basketball player and because you're my brother, take care of yourself man"
- "You take care of Haley, I'll miss you too, little brother"
- "I thought you weren't ready, I thought you were gonna wait till you got married and I just figured, look, I didn't expect you to..."
- "We did, we did wait."
- "What are you talking about Haley?"
- "We got married, last night."
- "Some people believe ravens guide travelers to their destinations. Others believe that the sight of a solitary Raven is considered good luck but a group of ravens predicts trouble ahead and a raven promises victory"
- - Lucas Scott (opening and voiceover)
- "Some people believe ravens guide travelers to their destinations. Others believe that the sight of a solitary Raven is considered good luck while more than one raven together predicts trouble ahead"
- "To You Alone" - The Beta Band
- "More Than Anyone" - Gavin DeGraw
- "The Way Yoy Talk" - Faraci
- "Evening Star" - All India Radio
- "Breaking Away" - Bosshouse
- "Nobody's Perfect" - Dioas
- "Stay" - Michelle Featherstone
- "Where Are We Runnin'" - Lenny Kravitz
- "NYC Weather Report" - Five For Fighting
- "Run" - Snow Patrol
This episode's title originated from the song The Games That Play Us, originally sung by The Blackouts.
- This is the only episode in season 1 to include a voice over at the start of the episode
- This episode uses two voiceovers, both at the start and end of the episode
- According to Bethany Joy Galeotti, the script for this episode said "Kiss Nathan, preferably with tongue." It is in the scene where Peyton drives Haley home in the rain and Nathan is apologizing for having pictures of Peyton on his computer.
- The scene involving Haley and Nathan kissing in the rain is a constant theme referred to when involving their relationship.
- This is One Tree Hill's first season finale.
- This is the episode where it shows Haley and Nathan as a married couple.
- The voiceover of this episode relates to a conversation had been Lucas and Haley after he joined the Ravens. ("Pilot")