"With Arms Outstretched" is the ninth episode and mid-season finale of the first season of One Tree Hill and the 9th produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on November 18, 2003. After fighting with his father and Haley, Nathan succumbs to the pressure he is feeling and takes amphetamines to help his game. However, he isn't prepared for the destruction the drugs do to both his body and his family. Meanwhile, Peyton goes to Lucas to rekindle their relationship, but when she arrives at his house, she catches him with Brooke.
It's a new day at Tree Hill High School. Peyton and Lucas are now viewing their relationship as just a friendship and nothing more. While Nathan and Haley are doing the opposite and kissing in corridors, something completely out of Haley's character. Lucas and Brooke are talking and Lucas gives Brooke a book to read. Being Brooke, she offers a proposition. If Brooke reads the book, then Lucas has to go out and have some fun with her. Lucas agrees.
At home, Nathan and Dan are eating whilst discussing how weird and unhappy they are about Deb working at the cafe. Dan tells Nathan to make sure his mom knows that he is happy with basketball and his life. Dan then continues to push Nathan to enhance his game. The next game the Ravens are playing, against Cove City, is the one where Dan holds the record for the most shooting points scored. Rubbing this in, Dan tells Nathan he will never beat his score and Nathan is put down just as Deb enters. Nathan sarcastically tells his mother he is happy and Dan loves him, before storming off.
In his room, Nathan gets very competitive with his Dad and decides the only way to beat him is to get better so he calls Tim to ask his brother for some performance enhancers for the game. After taking some before practice, Nathan is playing at his best. However, he begins fouling others and Whitey has to step in. Nathan fires back at Whitey forcing him to go and see his father. Whitey tells Dan about Nathan's behavior and Dan retaliates by blaming Whitey for Nathan's eagerness. Whitey then tells Dan that it is the belittling and pressuring at home that gets Nathan so wound up. Outside of practice, Haley finds Nathan and asks what happened as Lucas had told her. Nathan tells her to tell Lucas to mind his own business before lying about it just being a big game.
Brooke and Lucas go out for a night of fun after she reads Lucas' book. They start the night by playing pool and drinking, using fake IDs to get what they want. Brooke teases Lucas by pretending to be in shock that he is actually having fun. Later on, Brooke shows Lucas a tattoo she has on her inner thigh. During their night out, Peyton calls Lucas but Lucas rejects her call and goes to see Brooke. Saying he likes it, Brooke smiles at Lucas and they walk off. Meanwhile, Nathan and Haley are having a tutoring session, but Nathan doesn't seem to be able to focus and keeps fidgeting. Haley and Nathan get distracted and start kissing, but Nathan wants to take it further and wants to have sex, but Haley refuses and gets Nathan to leave, disgusted with what just happened. When both Scott brothers get home, Keith finds Lucas drunk and sends him to his room with the intention of discussing it the following day. Nathan is once again pressured by Dan about the game coming up.
The following day, Lucas reveals a tattoo to Keith that Brooke and him got the previous night. Keith goes mad at Lucas for doing something so stupid. He grounds Lucas for getting the tattoo and can't believe Lucas is taking advantage of him becuase his mom is out of town as he would never have pulled something like this with Karen. Meanwhile, Brooke goes to see Peyton and tells her about the date she went on with Lucas the previous night. She tells Peyton that they kissed, even though Peyton is less than happy to find out. Deb is taken to an old warehouse in Tree Hill. Dan shows her around and trying to impress her and calling it Deb's Diner, in an attempt to get Deb away from Karen. Deb refuses and Dan begins arguing with Deb about her and Karen's growing friendship. Meeting up with Haley, Peyton discusses Lucas and Nathan with her. Haley tells her about what happened the previous night with Nathan and her, and Peyton finds out that she is a virgin.
Its the night of the game, and Deb has to tell Dan that she can't go to the game as she has to keep the cafe open. This doesn't impress Dan who says at least one of Nathan's parents will be there. Nathan sees Haley before the game and once again has another argument due to the performance enhancers he has in his system. Through the game, the Ravens are leading, with most of the points being by Nathan. He has 1 more point to go before levelling his Dad's point record. Just as the ball is passed to him for the point, Nathan's sight goes blurry and he collapses in the middle of the court. Losing conciousness and well as the Raven's undefeated title. Waking up in hospital, Nathan is told he will be alright, but is asked about what drugs he has been taking. Next to Dan, Nathan denies taking anything and Dan lectures the doctor outside that 'his' son would never do such a thing. Only being told by Haley, Deb arrives at the hospital late. Very upset with Dan for not calling her, the two argue and find that Nathan has gone missing from the hospital. Returning home, Dan and Deb continue to argue until Deb has enough, she tells Dan that Nathan will never be safe as long as Dan controls him. She tells him to pack his bags and leave the house.
Meanwhile, Nathan finds Haley in her room. He comes in crying due to the ordeal he has just been through. He tells Haley he doesn't want to go anywhere else and doens't want anyone to know where he is. He tells Haley as he was fainting, the only thing he could think about was going to Haley and telling her how much he wanted to be with her. Haley forgives Nathan for his previous outbursts at her and passionately kisses him. Peyton goes to see Lucas, she tells him about how she made a mistake when they were about to sleep together. She wishes she had agreed with him as she does want the same as him. As Lucas tries to interrupt her, Peyton doesn't let him and continues to say she wants everything with him. Just as she finishes, Brooke walks out of the bathroom ready to have sex with Lucas. The two girls stare at Lucas as Lucas looks at the two of them, all of them in shock.
Dan leaves the house to go and live at the beach house on his own while Deb watches on proud of her decision. Whitey, not happy with the way basketball has changed, decides to cancel basketball practice until further notice. Nathan and Haley decide to spend the night together as Brooke, Lucas and Peyton look at each other, all taken aback.
- "You forgot, uh... pressuring him and belittling him. Of course, that happens at home, doesn't it?"
- "You took advantage of me, Luke. You'd have never pulled a stunt like this with your mom here."
- "What, are you a virgin?"
- "Yeah, so what if I am?"
- "Good for you."
- "When I fell on the floor tonight, I was so scared. So terrified. Then I saw you and I promised myself if I could just get up and walk over to you, and tell you how much I need you. How much I want you, then nothing else matters"
- "Lucas I made mistake, when you said you wanted to be with me, I got scared and ran away, but, but the truth is, I want all the same things you want. I do. And I want them with you"
- "What a frightening thing the human is, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can read only a few and those perhaps not accurately."
- - Lucas Scott (closing voice-over)
- "Hanging On For Hope" - The New Amsterdams
- "Push It Up" - Cham Pain
- "Rain King" - Counting Crows
- "Shabby Girl" - The Electric Farm
- "Yesterdays" - Pennywise
- "Fallen" - Sarah McLachlan
- "Re-Offender" - Travis
This episode's title originated from the song With Arms Outstretched, originally sung by Rilo Kiley.
- Karen does not appear in this episode.
- This is the first episode in which Karen doesn't make an appearance.
- This is One Tree Hill's first mid-season finale.