The first episode of One Tree Hill, begins with a hodgepodge of events. As the camera follows high school junior, Lucas Scott, dribbling his basketball down the street, he is almost hit by Peyton’s car. Peyton is one of the cheerleaders that cheers for the Raven’s basketball team. She is also the girlfriend of Nathan Scott, who is the star of the basketball team, just like his proud father was back in his day. Now, Dan Scott, his father, pushes Nathan even harder than their team’s coach does. In the next scenes we see Nathan scoring the winning basket and they proceed to celebrate their victory by “borrowing” a school bus. Dan Scott manages to get Nathan out of trouble with the authorities and some of his teammates, but not all of them are that lucky. As the team searches for new players, Keith Scott, who is the brother of Dan and the uncle of both Nathan and Lucas, tries to get the team’s coach to take a look at what Lucas can do. Lucas does not play basketball for the school, but he plays with his friends on the river court. Keith convinces Coach Whitey to watch Lucas play, and he is impressed with what he sees. The coach decides to invite Nathan’s half-brother Lucas Scott to join the team. Nathan is furious; Lucas seems to be stealing all of his thunder, and he also seems to get on with Nathan’s steady girlfriend Peyton. The star dares Lucas to a one-to-one game for high stakes: if Lucas wins, he can be on the team and he can also have Peyton. And so the games begin.
Throughout the course of this episode, Lucas struggles with his and his mother’s past. There is a lot of history and scandal that still remains in their small town of Tree Hill. Dan Scott and Karen Roe both went to Tree Hill high school where they fell in love. In her senior year of high school, Karen got pregnant with Lucas. When Dan did not show up to the hospital, Dan’s brother Keith was there for Karen, and he assumed the father figure role for Lucas even though he and Karen are nothing more than friends. Dan went on to play basketball in college where he met Deb. A few months into college, Deb became pregnant with Nathan. Dan married Deb and now all of them live in Tree Hill again. Love triangles seem to be something that really stands out in the first episode. There is so much tension between Peyton, Lucas, and Nathan, and also between Karen, Keith, and Dan. These relationships are very interesting to watch. Also, the relationship between the two half-brothers Nathan and Lucas makes the viewer question whether they will ever actually get along. The rivalry makes it seem like they will never be able to play like a team on the court or act like family members in day to day life. This episode opens so many issues and topics that will be explored in later episodes.