Lucas may have won the one-on-one battle with his half brother Nathan in the last episode, but that doesn’t mean that he is going to have an easy time from now on. In Lucas’s first basketball game with the team, he chokes and is humiliated in front of everyone including his crush Peyton. Then, the Scott boys have a fight in class about their dad Dan, when really their problems are within themselves. Everyone in this episode struggles with their own inner battles. Nathan and Lucas are struggling with their motivation and goals and their relationship with Peyton. Peyton is an amazing artist that doesn’t think her work is good enough to submit into a magazine. Her drawing talent impresses Lucas enough that he enters her work for publication without her knowing. Lucas is also struggling with the fact that his mother is having a hard time with the whole basketball thing. She wants Lucas to be able to play, but at the same time, she hates going to the games and seeing Dan there and reliving her past. Lucas sees this, and he thinks that he should quit team. She ultimately overcomes her past and goes to watch her son play where he scores the winning basket. Also introduced in this episode is Nathan’s mother, Deb, who was away on a business trip. She is now back, and she feels like basketball is tearing their family apart. She can see that Nathan no longer plays basketball to enjoy himself, but he plays for Dan. At the end of the episode, Deb is seen at Karen’s Cafe to make peace with Lucas’s mom. She tells Karen that just because they have a lot of history, doesn’t mean it has to be their future too. This is the start of peacemaking between the families, except that Dan only believes Deb is out of her mind trying to make peace with Karen and Lucas.
In this episode, each character overcomes issues within themselves. Lucas was afraid to play again because he feels like every time he plays in that gym, Dan has a piece of him, and he doesn’t want anything to do with Dan. When Lucas was little, he used to play on the same team with Nathan, “Guys kept teasing me about it, about how Nathan’s dad was my dad, too. So I asked my mom, and she said he wasn’t. But I get home, and I hear her crying in her room. I knew it was true. So I never went back. I told my mom it was because I didn’t want to have to see his face. But, it was mostly because I didn’t want her to have to” (Lucas). Lucas has a very strong relationship with his mother, and even though they both hate seeing Dan, they don’t want to let him win. If Lucas quits the team, that would make Dan happy, and all they want to do is prove that Lucas deserves a spot on that team just as much as Nathan does. Nathan is also struggling with the pressure that his father Dan is putting on him to be better than Lucas. Nathan feels like he is trapped and in one of the scenes, it shows him and Peyton talking about running away from it all. Even though Nathan would never do that, Peyton was so willing to put cheerleading and the whole facade behind her. Peyton’s mother passed away when she was only 12 years old from running a red light on her way to pick her up from school. Peyton is only a cheerleader because when her mother was in high school she was a cheerleader. She still struggles with the loss of her mother in the early episodes of OTH. It is a huge part of her identity and she uses her art to express how she is feeling. This episode shows the inner workings of each character, and how they came to be who they are. It not only gives the viewer insight into the mind of Nathan, but it shows us how he came to be the way he is.