"The Leavers Dance" is the twenty-third episode, and the season finale, of the second season of One Tree Hill and the 45th produced episode of the series. It was broadcasted on May 24, 2005. In the second part of the two hour season finale, things heat up between Lucas and Brooke when he finally tells her the way he feels, Peyton has a surprising visitor and Karen decides to spend the summer holiday in New Zealand. At the climax of Dan's numerous deceptions, someone sets the dealership on fire while he is still inside.
SynopsisThe day after Jimmy Eat World performs, Lucas is at home taking his medication and looking at the envelope that Andy left him, he goes into Brooke's room to find her packing to go to see her parents for the summer. Lucas asks if they are ever going to talk about the stuff that she found of Peyton, but Brooke says she doesn't mind as she was more relieved that he wasn't into her because it would ruin their friendship. She says that finding the box was like evidence of what happened to her and she was upset as her heart wasn't ready to find it. Meanwhile Deb is released from rehab as Whitey shows up and asks for a talk. Peyton is at Tric when a woman approaches her and asks for Peyton. As she realizes that she is talking to her, she introduces herself as Ellie and asks for an interview from the girl who got Jimmy Eat World and the Wreckers to play at her club night. But Peyton denies the interview as it was her last show. As Lucas opens Andy's envelope, he puts in the DVD and reads a note telling him to find the combination to the safe. He goes into the dealership and puts a tape from Dan's office in his bag as Nathan walks in accusing him of still spying on his father. He denies it so Nathan doesn't think he is up to anything.
Nathan gets up in his apartment to find his mom at the door. As she sees all his stuff packed away, she finds out that Nathan is moving home and is overjoyed and hugs Dan as she finds out they could be a family again. Peyton is still feeling down after Jake left. She gets a message on her IM from a stranger who is watching her. She covers up the webcam as Brooke shocks her as she walks in. Brooke asks if she stayed with Jake last night, and she breaks the news that Jake has gone to find Nicki. Brooke tries to comfort her but Peyton refuses as she'll start crying again. Then Peyton changes the subject to Brooke's road trip. Asking if it's going to get physical, Brooke tells Peyton that that one is up to her as she found a load of stuff leading her to think he is still into Peyton. Peyton apologizes as she knows she likes Lucas, but Brooke says she only missed what they had. She tells Peyton that she doesn't want to be that insecure girl that she was with Lucas.Karen is in the cafe and as she calls to see that Andy isn't home yet she thinks she sees Keith across the street. Deb then walks in the cafe to an overjoyed Karen. She asks to start work straight away. In the corner of the cafe, Peyton goes in to only see Ellie again. She compliments her jacket which is from Courtney Love. She tells her that she has to give the interview as Thud the magazine wants her to. Ellie guesses that Peyton is nursing a broken heart, putting Peyton on edge and immediately starting her interview to get it over and done with. Meanwhile, Deb goes to see Nathan at the river court and asks him why he isn't going to the camp. Deb tries to persuade him to go and Nathan reveals that Dan said she took the pills because Nathan left. Annoyed, Deb corrects Nathan in her vision and says she only wants them two as a family, she wants to get out from Dan. Meanwhile, as Dan leaves the dealership, Lucas goes in and uncovers the safe, and begins to try and figure out the code. Eventually, he uses the basketball jersey numbers used by his brother and father and, as the code requires two more digits, he is shocked to find his jersey number unlocks the safe to the ledger. He runs out the dealership and goes home.
The following morning, Lucas walks in on Brooke in her cheerleading outfit as she decided to wear it when she found it whilst packing her bags. He comes and sits down next to her and tells her he loves her and wants to be more than friends. Shocked, Brooke can't believe what he is saying and as she goes to the door, she locks the door and they begin to undress each other. Shocked by her reaction, Lucas admits he thinks he is dreaming and as Brooke pushes him onto the bed, he rolls out of bed having it been a dream. After his dream, Lucas goes for a shower. As he does, Brooke storms in demanding he gets out as he is taking forever. When she finds out he is taking a cold shower, she is disgusted and tells him next time he has 'one of those' dreams, to tell Peyton she says hi. After his shower, Lucas goes to see Karen and finds out she is packing her suitcase. She tells Lucas that Keith was right, she does run from love and she wants to go and see Andy. Then she realizes that they don't have enough money for two tickets, but Lucas encourages her to buy one as he will be fine. As she agrees to go, Karen tells Lucas that it is Dan who is stopping Andy getting back into the country, but Lucas tells her he won't be for long.At Nathan's apartment, Peyton is packing all his stuff ready for him to move back to his house. As she does so, she begins to tell Nathan to come and help as he has done nothing. The two then end up laughing with each other and as Brooke walks in finds them in a suggestible position. As Brooke becomes bitchy towards her best friend, she apologizes as she is just doing it because she has to leave and Peyton hasn't seen her enough lately. Making it up to her, Peyton calls Ellie's magazine to tell them to postpone the interview, but as she does she finds out Ellie doesn't work there and the three wonder if Ellie is who she says she is. Meanwhile, Lucas hands over the illegal ledger and records to Deb telling her that Dan can go to jail and he is telling her this so that her and Nathan can get out. Later that day, Dan goes into his safe to get the ledger and finds out it is gone, Deb then emerges from behind him and asks if he is looking for something, before walking out.
Back at the Scott household, Dan is asking Deb for the ledger who is refusing to give him any information. Deb tells him that Nathan told her that he blamed him for Deb's drug abuse but Dan denies it. Knowing her husband, Deb refuses to believe him and thinks she has the upper hand, until Dan turns the situation round. As the dealership is in Deb's name, the fraud Dan committed will also end her up in jail. Peyton receives another message from someone on IM telling her they are watching her. As she blocks the webcam again, Ellie calls and Peyton, confused as to how she got her number, hangs up on her telling her to leave her alone. Nathan arrives home to Deb who tells him that they are going to have to stay with Dan for a little longer as Lucas tried to help them, but the situation just turned out worse. She tells him to keep their escape a secret from his father and tells him he has to go to High Flyers and not look back. Annoyed with Lucas, he storms out the house. As he does, Deb takes some pills out of her back pocket. Dan goes to see Whitey and threatens to stop him from being a coach any longer due to him meeting Deb outside of rehab. As he does threaten him, Whitey tells him that he is playing with fire and that if he does, with him, he will get burned. Karen is set to go to New Zealand. As she gets in the cab, Lucas tells her he is happy she is going to find the love she wants and she departs Tree Hill for the summer. As she does she calls to check if Andy has checked in, only to find he hasn't yet. Meanwhile, Nathan leaves his apartment looking at the wall he painted pink with a clown picture, which has now been covered by Peyton's art with the quote 'sometimes they come back.'Dan goes into his office at the dealership to find a bottle of whiskey with a card next to it, he reads it and smiles, taking a drink of satisfaction. As Lucas gets back, he finds Nathan going through all of his stuff. He tries to stop him, but it is too late. Nathan finds the annulment papers and is furious Lucas lied to go and see his wife. He storms off not finding what he was looking for, the stuff he has on Dan. After his run in with Nathan, Lucas goes to the dealership and Dan asks if he is looking for the ledger, the one he has in his hands. He then shows Lucas the bag of cash he found in the roof, it was fake. He tells him it has all been a lie to test his loyalty and he failed the test and now, the college fund he had has been terminated as well as his heart medication stopped getting paid for. He tells him that he lost, but Lucas tells him he hasn't lost as now they both mean nothing to each other. As Lucas leaves, Dan laughs taking another drink. Brooke prepares to leave as Peyton puts her bags outside, she tells her she isn't going to be there when she leaves. Although disappointed, the girls have say their goodbyes once again agreeing that it's ho's over bros. Nathan goes to see Lucas at the river court and tells him he is going to High Flyers. Lucas is happy for him, but Nathan tells him that when he comes back, they are no longer brothers, not even friends, just people who play on the same basketball team. The cab arrives for Brooke to leave Tree Hill and no one is there for her. She begins to say goodbye to herself as Lucas comes in. They hug goodbye and then Lucas kisses her. Shocked, Brooke doesn't know what to say, she asks about Peyton's stuff as Lucas says he has feeling for her and that stuff is only a reminder of how badly he messed things up with her and a reminder never to do it again. But Brooke doesn't know what to say and instead of responding rushes out the house, leaving Tree Hill for the summer. As Brooke drives out of her hometown in tears, Dan takes another drink and Peyton's door bell rings. She goes down to answer it to find Ellie at the door. Thinking it was Jake, Peyton is greatly disappointed and Ellie tells her who she really is, her mother. When asked if it is her on IM, Ellie promises her it isn't, but Peyton is still in shock over the revelation of meeting her biological mom. Dan tastes something funny in his drink and as he checks the bottle, he realizes there is powder around the rim, his drink had been spiked. He reads the letter saying 'for everything you have done' and realizes what it really means. He begins to choke and as he does so, he looks up to find a person standing in front of him. The person lights a fire in the dealership. Back at home, Nathan gets home to Deb with his bag. Deb promises he will be free soon and has been waiting all night for him to arrive home. As Nathan goes to get his last bag, he opens the door to find Haley standing there. Lucas goes to sit with Peyton at the beach and they both agree that it is just them for the summer. Meanwhile, Dan's dealership burns down, with Dan trapped inside and unconscious.
- "But you seemed upset by that stuff, you still do"
- "Finding that stuff was like evidence. It reminded me of what happened and how it happened and I guess my heart just wasn't ready for that"
- "I was snooping through Lucas' things, kind of on purpose, and found a bunch of stuff that he saved. And I think he's still into you...Like I said, bad timing, seeing that Jake just left. Or maybe good timing?"
- "Brooke I'm sorry, I know you have feelings for Lucas"
- "Phantom feelings, like when you lose a leg and try to scratch it. Lucas was my gangrene infected amputated leg"
- "Well your eyes are puffy, which, from experience screams textbook crying eyes. You have your hair so you're probably not planning on impressing any boys today. I'd say you're nursing a hell of a broken heart and not the school girl crush kind, the real thing"
- "I can't let you leave tomorrow without saying this"
- "Lucas, if this is about Peyton, I don't want to..."
- "I love you Brooke, and I know we're just friends, but I need you to know how I feel"
- "I can't believe I'm hearing this...I can't believe you would walk into my bedroom, formally your bedroom, but that's besides the point and knowing our history blurt out that you love me? Cause I was hoping you would"
- "This has got to be a dream"
- "Well, well, well. First Luca. Then Jake. Now Nathan. Guess slutty's in season"
- "And why is bitch being a Brooke today"
- "The game's over, you lose"
- "No, you're wrong because I can finally let you go. I mean nothing to you? You mean nothing to me. I'm out"
- "Tell me that was a goodbye kiss"
- "I wanna be with you Brooke...I'm sorry. I know we're friends, it's just how I feel"
- "What about Peyton's stuff?"
- "I keep that stuff as a reminder of how badly I screwed up things with you. To remind myself if I ever got a second chance, I'd never let you go again"
- "I don't know what to say. I got to go"
- "My name is Elizabeth...Like your middle name, Elizabeth. It's where you got your middle name...I'm your mother"
- "Tennessee Williams once wrote; 'We all live in a house of fire. No fire department to call. No way out. Just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down… with us trapped, locked in it."
- Lucas Scott (closing voiceover)
- "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" - Andrew Paul Woodworth
- "The Good Kind" - The Wreckers
- "Petrified To Be God-Like" - Susie Suh
- "Cracks In The Sky" - Bosshouse
- "The Good Man" - Husky Rescue
- "Be Yourself" - Audioslave
- "Wires" - Athlete
- "Lavinia" - The Veils
This episode's title originated from the song The Leavers Dance, originally sung by The Veils.