"The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most" is the second episode of the first season of One Tree Hill and the 2nd produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on September 30, 2003. Lucas blows his first Varsity game and decides to quit the team. The wedge between Nathan and Peyton continues to grow after Peyton tires of Nathan's jabs at Lucas. Meanwhile, Keith forces Karen to deal with her feelings for Dan after she refuses to step foot in the high school gym to support her son.
It's Lucas' first game since he became part of the Tree Hill Ravens. The game is against Verona and his friends have decided they are coming to see him. Although he wasn't sure he wanted them to, Skills told him that they were coming because Lucas' victory over Nathan was a win for all of them. However, Lucas' mom, Karen, said that she couldn't go, using the cafe as an excuse. Karen said she needed the extra business at the cafe so she had to keep it open, remaining adamant about it even after Keith attempted to persuade her. Without Karen, Keith and Haley left to see the game.At the game, Lucas is given his New Jersey - he plays as number three and his surname 'Scott' written above it. As he is about to go onto the court, Mouth and Jimmy interrupt him for an exclusive interview for their website ravenshoops.com. As Lucas walks onto the court, Dan shouts "Son!", as Lucas turns around he seems to be staring at him. In reality, Nathan is standing behind him but Lucas is once again reminded of Dan being his father. Then before they begin the game, Nathan tells Lucas if he wants his world, then he's got it. Meanwhile, Peyton stands with her best friend Brooke Davis who asks if he is the one who beat Nathan stating that he "looks good from behind." As the game begins, Lucas is not playing the way he normally does and is losing vital points for the team. Whitey is forced to put Lucas on the bench to the amusement of Nathan.
After the game, Nathan and Peyton are in their car and are kissing, but Nathan's mind is distracted by his own amusement about Lucas' poor performance. Peyton doesn't understand how Nathan finds it so funny that Lucas got benched and she gets out the car and refuses to get back in. Annoyed, Nathan throws her pom poms and her CD out of the car and then drives off leaving her to walk home alone. At the cafe, Karen confides in Keith that she is not over her history with Dan and couldn't go back to the school she once attended as it holds too many painful memories. On arriving home, Nathan is told by his Dad to play better and that even though he scored 28 points he could have done better. Nathan lashes out at Dan and tells him he understands why his mother Deb is always on 'extended business trips.'
On her way home, Peyton passes the River Court where Lucas is playing basketball. Peyton asks why he is playing basketball and Lucas tells her it is to see if he is any good. Lucas responds with the same question - why is she a cheerleader? Peyton tells him that if she says she likes cheerleading she is just like every other stereotype, and if she says she doesn't like it, she is a liar and a fraud; it is a lose/lose situation. Lucas gives Peyton a lift home and she asks if he wants to come in. Lucas follows Peyton to the door, but she says she wasn't inviting him, she was asking him if he wanted to. Peyton starts to draw to channel her anger - and when Nathan calls her she hangs up and loses herself in her music. Eventually, she talks to Nathan and tells him she is sick of arguing. He asks if they can go back to being "them" tomorrow, to which she reluctantly agrees.The following day, in English class, Peyton is asked to describe Lucas in one word and she chooses "choke" in reference to his failures on the court. When asked to respond, he says "lonely." Nathan joins in the activity describing Lucas with the word "bastard" causing a fight to break out between the two. Whitey intervenes and berates Lucas for 'running away' from the team, but Lucas insists he didn't run away. In the locker room, Jake correctly guesses that Nathan's bragging over him beating Lucas is in the fight is incorrect. Nathan then tells Lucas that it's just "the start of it" for him. Lucas confides in Haley that he just wants things back to the way they were.
After school, in Peyton's room, she and Brooke are hanging out and Brooke tells Peyton that she is reliable even though she pretends to be such a badass. The differences between the two girls is highlighted when Brooke asks if Peyton has the new Beyonce CD, and Peyton gives Brooke a look that says she doesn't have the album and doesn't plan on buying it. Brooke then tells her that despite her being a "badass" she is still one of them. When Peyton asks if she ever looks past the "popularity drama" of high school and Brooke tells her that the future scares her - but her naivety is displayed when she says she'll probably go to college, join the right sorority and marry a rich guy... unless she gets fat.
At the garage, Lucas confides in Keith about how unhappy he is with his new life that he doesn't fit in. Keith tells him it's the same with all players, even Michael Jordan. After Keith leaves, Lucas finds Peyton's artwork in her car and begins looking at it. Peyton catches him and tells him it's private before taking her sketches and leaving the garage. After his shift, Lucas returns home and discovers Karen knows about the fight and in their argument Lucas reminds her that she wasn't even there to support him at the game. Meanwhile, at the Scott house, Dan is more concerned about who won the fight, but Nathan tells him that Lucas "wasn't swinging at me, Dad, he was swinging at you."
The following day, before Lucas leaves, Karen tells Lucas she can't go back because of Dan, because that is where Dan chose to leave her. Lucas then sees Peyton attempting to submit her sketches to Thud magazine. She backs out at the last moment and throws her drawings away, but Lucas takes them out of the trash. Meanwhile, on a run together, Dan tells Nathan about his last game at the state championship where he refused to play due to Whitey's game tactics not benefiting him personally, causing them to lose the state championship. Dan tells Nathan not to back off of Lucas because Whitey is using him to get back at Dan. In English class, the group is assigned to write down the one thing they want the most in their life and each character writes down one thing they want the most.
At the garage, Peyton collects her car and talks to Lucas (who is skipping practice). He gives her the sketches she threw away back and tells her to submit them because they're good, but she responds that she wants to draw something to means something to someone, something that makes her believe, but she can't. She leaves the sketchbook at the garage, saying that the sketches don't mean anything to anyone. Dan visits Whitey and tells him to stop embarrassing "Karen's son" as a feeble attempt to get even and to let go of their disagreement. Then it is revealed what each of the characters wrote in class: Peyton, who wanted "Truth," tears down her art from her bedroom wall; Nathan, who wrote "Revenge," works out; and Lucas, who put down "Answers," returns to the River Court and is approached by Whitey, who tells him that his spot on the team is still his until the start of the next game.
Returning home, Haley asks Lucas if he is playing in the next game, and Lucas says he isn't. This is the first thing he has walked away from, but he can't play because the game isn't his anymore. Haley tells him that basketball won't change him and that he shouldn't stop playing.
Lucas finds a sketch in Peyton's artwork which reads "They are not you." Karen goes to Lucas and they apologize and make up. Lucas confides in his mother telling him he can't play because Dan has a piece of him. Karen tells him he has to play to fight the things he is afraid of. She also tells him that sometimes you just need a little help to fight your fears. This gives Lucas the initiative to hand Peyton's work into Thud magazine without her knowing.
At the game, Lucas is once again reminded of Dan when he calls him "son" thinking he is another player, but Jake tells Lucas to not let Dan bother him. As the game begins, Karen enters the gym and, despite Dan seeing her, she goes and sits with Keith and faces her fear. Lucas walks onto the court and stops to tell Peyton "your art matters, it's what got me here." Lucas looks to Dan as he walks onto the court and turns to reveal he has taken his surname 'Scott' off his jersey and he begins to play.
- "She doesn't want to go, she doesn't wanna see her highschool sweetheart slash your brother Dan slash the jerk who abandoned Lucas slash the father of Nathan, the team star player slash my wrists if I hear this story again."
- "You want my world, you got it."
- "Nice hands."
- "Nice legs."
- "I can describe Lucas in one word... Bastard."
- "You know Peyton, I know you're all Gwen Stefani, plaid skirt, "I'm a bad ass," but we love you anyway, and you know why, 'cause Friday night, when it's game time, there you are, one of us."
- "P.S. Gwen Stefani's not a badass."
- "I want to draw something that means something to someone, you know. I want to draw blind faith, or a fading summer, or just a moment of clarity. It's like when you go and see a really great band live for the first time and nobody is saying it but everyone is thinking it. We have something to believe in again, I want to draw that feeling, but I can't, and if I can't be great at it, I don't want to ruin it. It's too important to me."
- "It's hard to fight the things we're afraid of; sometimes you just need a little help."
- "Hey, your art matters. It's what got me here."
- "Do you wanna come in?"
- "What about Nathan?"
- "What about him?...What are you doing?"
- "You just said..."
- "I didn't invite you to come in. I just asked you if you want to. Thanks for the ride."
- "There"s no shame in being afraid. Hell, we're all afraid. What you gotta do is figure out what you're afraid of because when you put a face on it, you can beat it. Better yet, you can use it."
- "Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours."
- - Lucas Scott (closing voiceover)
- "Overdue" - The Get Up Kids
- "Switchback" - Celldweller
- "Hard To Find" - American Analouge Set
- "Beside Me" - Forty Foot Echo
- "To Hell With Good Intentions" - McLusky
- "She's Got It So Phat" - Bosshouse
- "Echo" - Vertical Horizon
- "Further" - Longview
- "Belief" - Gavin DeGraw
This episode's title originated from the song The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, originally sung by Dashboard Confessional.
- This is the first appearance of Brooke.
- This is the first episode in which all of the main characters appear
- The phrase "Your art matters", spoken by Lucas, will become something of great significance for Lucas and Peyton's relationship later in the series.
- This episode introduces Peyton's art which also have relevance during the entire series.
- This episode reveals Lucas' first pet was a dog called Rocket, Haley had a bunny called Bunny and Haley's mother maiden name is Brigard.
- This is the first episode to feature Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be" as the opening title, something that would continue until the end of the fourth season (last appearing in the fourth season episode "The Birth And Death Of Day") but later returns for the eighth season.