"Choosing My Own Way Of Life" is the sixth episode of the sixth season of One Tree Hill and the 112th produced episode of the series. It was broadcast on October 13, 2008. When Lucas begins his book tour, he is joined by a familiar face. Nathan is given an opportunity to play basketball again, which forces him to question his health and Haley tries to help a student in need. Brooke considers a life-changing proposition while Peyton and Mick have a confrontation over his identity.
SynopsisPeyton wakes up to find Lucas packing his bags and is annoyed to be waking up. She asks if he is nervous and Lucas lets her know that the first book signings are the worst. Peyton tells him that she does not understand why they are sending him to Omaha first as Lucas tells her that it creates a buzz before the bigger markets and also that he gets to see Mouth. She admits that she wishes she could go with him, but she knows it would be awkward with Lindsey and admits that she is jealous that Lindsey gets Lucas for the full week whereas she gets Mick. Lucas asks why she thinks Mick is avoiding admitting he is her father as Peyton admits she might be wrong. They kiss goodbye as Lucas leaves for the plane. In Tree Hill High, Nathan is trying to get Haley to take some more time off after the incident with Carrie. Haley tells him that 2 weeks was long enough and needs a distraction. As they walk in, Nathan tells her to cut through Shop. Amazed that she didn’t do that in high school, Nathan laughs at her. They walk through as Haley sees Sam asleep in the back of the car. Shocked, she wakes her up by tapping on the window and Sam looks up in embarrassment. Haley then questions her student about why she was sleeping there and asks where she lives. Sam reveals that she lives in a foster home and begs Haley not to tell her foster parents as it will make it worse and it is none of her business. Sam assures Haley that she is in one of the best foster homes she has had, but it is still like she is invisible and as long as the parents cash their checks, she is fine. As Haley battles to make her get some help, Sam tells her not to as she is not her girl or anybody’s girl. Brooke walks into the store and finds Millicent waiting for her. She tells her they have a lot to do as Brooke reminds her that her store now has no clothes. As Brooke admits she is out of ideas, but Millicent tells her she has written some down. She reveals a list she has created. Brooke is shocked as she reads the list of daredevil, fun activities such as sky diving. Brooke asks how it will help the company, Millicent tells her in order to save her company, she has to heal her soul. Brooke smiles as Millicent reminds her they are all Brooke’s ideas that Victoria rejected as she was too busy. Millicent had wrote them down so one day Brooke could do them. Happily, Brooke hugs her friend and thanks her.
On the river court, Skills is still practising with Nathan and begins pressurising him to improve his game. Pushing him, Nathan brings his best as Deb cheers them on shouting ‘well done honey’ and both men reply awkwardly. Peyton arrives at the office and finds Mick passed out on the pool table. As she looks at his stuff, she finds his sober badge and sighs. She sits down looking at it as Mick wakes up and admits he has never been sober for a year. Peyton begins to make him feel guilty as Mick tells her that she does not understand. Peyton agrees with him and admits she wishes he never came. As she goes to leave, Mick yells that he is her father and that him and Ellie gave her up because he would’ve been a lousy father. Angrily, Peyton is disappointed with his announcement and walks out annoyed, after throwing his sober badge on the floor and thanking her dad and asking him to leave. At Jamie’s high school, Dan is waiting for Jamie and tells him he is picking him up today instead of Deb. They go to the pier and get Jamie an ice cream. As they walk, they see Skills and Deb kissing at the cafe on the riverside. Jamie sits down with them as the situation is made awkward, and Dan asks to talk to his ex wife. As they walk into privacy, Dan begins mocking Deb, who mocks him back. He then thanks her for telling the parole manager about Carrie. Deb refuses to accept his gratitude and tells him to have a nice life as Dan adds what is left of his life. Disturbed, Deb returns to the table and walks off with Skills as Jamie and Dan sit down together. Millicent and Brooke are eating Chinese as the conversation turns to Mouth. Millicent admits how much she misses him as Brooke offers her to walk whenever she wants, but Millie is determined to stay for her friend. Lucas arrives in Omaha and is picked up by someone from the publishing company. Lucas asks where Lindsey is and the man tells him that he is going to be with him on the tour as Lindsey is still in New York. As they get into the car, the man reveals he has never read the comet and thinks it is a science fiction book. Meanwhile, Dan returns to Tree Hill High and end up in the corridor he shot Keith in. He remembers picking up the gun as Keith looks at him and shooting him in cold blood. As he remembers, Nathan approaches him and Dan explains he is only there to drop off Jamie. He apologises for Quentin as Nathan tells him that Q was shot and it makes you wonder how someone could do something like that. As Dan walks off after the dig, Nathan tells him that even though he saved his family, he killed his uncle and he does not know where that leaves them, but Jamie loves him and he hates him.
Mick is in the studio making some music as Peyton walks in. Angrily she storms in the booth and tells him that she wanted him gone. Mick confesses he wanted to talk as Peyton asks why he pretended to not be her dad. Mick explains that it doesn’t matter, but Peyton disagrees as he has missed her whole life and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Mick then agrees that he should leave and packs away as Peyton angrily storms off. At the book signing, Lucas’ stand is empty as it is in the science fiction section. The man admits that they would never have gotten good publicity. A young girl then runs up and asks for a signing, for a gossip girl book. Embarrassed, Lucas signs it as Mouth walks in and finds it empty. Haley walks into Brooke’s store, who is booking sky diving lessons. Haley asks if she would be interested in fostering a child, Sam. Haley explains that she needs a home and parents that care. Unwilling, Brooke refuses, but Haley tells her that she is acting out for attention, like someone else she knew in high school. Brooke apologises and explains she cannot handle a teenager and Haley admits that she wonders who is protecting Sam like she should be. At the book signing, Lucas becomes embarrassed that no one came to his book signing. A fan then comes up and asks for a picture. Lucas agrees and is given a camera to take a photo of Mouth, creating more embarrassment. In the Scott house, Nathan asks Haley if she got through to Brooke and Haley tells him that she was unable to take on a teenager. Nathan then offers Sam to stay with their family, but Haley believes the family has gone through enough lately. As they consider their options, Mick Watson rings them and offers Nathan a way to play again, but not in the way he may want. That night, Jamie and Nathan go to watch a game of Slamball, Nathan’s way to get the opportunity to play again. As they watch people get slammed against walls and jumping high on trampolines, Nathan considers his back capability as Jamie insists that he has to do it. Meanwhile, Brooke is staring at her self drawing on her mirror. She remembers the night she was attacked as Peyton walks into her room and Brooke admits she has to tell her something and confesses that she lied and that she never fell down the stairs, but was attacked.
Nathan is looking around the slamball court with Skills as Nathan asks what he is thinking. Skills admits he is worrying about whether Deb would ever get back with Dan as Nathan is disgusted and refuses to talk about it. He tells Skills to stop acting as if their relationship is real as no one else believes it. As Skills is insulted, he sees Jamie on the trampolines and they admire his strength, which he believes to be from both Nathan and Haley. As they watch, Owen comes in with his slamball uniform on and greets them. Back at Brooke’s house, Brooke is telling Peyton that she is not sure whether Victoria was behind it or if she was even capable of it. As Peyton wishes she was told, Brooke admits she didn’t know how. Peyton tells her that she is her best friend and that is why she is there. Brooke explains that she felt weak and embarrassed and didn’t want to ruin how happy Peyton was with Lucas. Peyton tells her that she can always come to her no matter what and she will be there for her, forever. Brooke begins to cry as she apologises for being distant and that she is trying to get back but it will take a while. Back in Omaha, Lucas is told that his book tour is being cancelled. Lucas demands to see Lindsey but is denied to opportunity as he realises the man he was put with is the man who delivers the bad news and is furious as the man walks away cancelling his book tour. At Brooke’s house, Peyton and Brooke are reminiscing as Peyton reveals that she has met her real dad who is pretty messed up. Brooke apologises to her agreeing that they wish they could change their parents. Peyton then says it is good when they get to pick the child, like Larry picked Peyton. In Omaha, Lucas and Mouth are talking about his new job and Mouth lets Lucas know how much he likes his job and it is the job he always dreamed of, but it is not his home as he misses Millicent and is lost without her. As Mouth admits he will try to make it work, Lucas has decided to look at brighter things in his life, even though he is very disappointed about his book tour. At a slamball game, Nathan, Owen and Jamie are sitting together as Owen tells Nathan they need a scorer, but Nathan is a bit hesitant as it is a rough sport and watches as a player is barged into the wall. Mouth and Millicent are talking over webcam as they admit how much they miss each other, as Brooke walks in. She thanks Millicent for her help, by giving her burnt cookies as Millicent tells her she has added some more ideas to her list. Brooke reads them as she sees the final point is ‘to be a mom’ and Millicent tells her it is no fun to be alone.
Lucas is packing his cases as he watches Mouth on the news who is reporting on a player who gave up playing basketball to spend time with his family, something Mouth realizes the importance of. As he watches, he answers his phone to Peyton. Lucas tells her that the book tour is cancelled and that he is coming home. In Tree Hill Cafe, Sam is eating another meal as Brooke joins her and tells her that she is out late. Sam says she does not have a curfew as Brooke tells her that she was the same when she was young. They start talking about how over rated parents are and Brooke agrees that the statement is true sometimes. She then offers Sam a place to stay in her house, but Sam refuses saying she can take care of herself. Brooke agrees with this, but tells her she shouldn’t have to. Sam gets up and walks off as Brooke says that if she is that uncomfortable in her house, she can always sleep in her car and Sam turns around and smiles. Mick goes to see Peyton and gives her his sober chip. He tells her it is the only meaningful thing he has ever owned and that she should have it. He tells her that it was Ellie’s chip when she was pregnant with Peyton and that it was her that saved Ellie’s life. Mick admits that the reason she was given up is because there was a better life than their life for a child and that Ellie never really got over it. Mick admits he never said anything as he did not want to disappoint her with the image of her biological father. Mick then tells her he is leaving to go on tour and apologises before leaving an upset Peyton. As he goes, Peyton thanks him for giving her up. Deb arrives home to see a bunch of red roses on the bench. She reads the note that reads ‘To second chances, love Dan’ and is annoyed to the point where she throws them in the bin. Skills then calls at the door and gives her a bunch of less expensive flowers and Deb is delighted.
At the airport, Lucas is joined by Mouth who asks if he would rather drive back as he wants to come home and feels like he never really left. He tells Lucas it was the choice between his dream job and his dream girl and Millicent won as she misses her and his friends too much. Lucas agrees to it as long as Mouth agrees to read his book on the way back. Nathan is practising on the river court as Haley meets him and asks if he got on the team. Nathan tells her that it is up to her and explains how brutal SlamBall is. Haley checks if he thinks he can still play and checks there is no other option. She begins practising playing ball with Nathan and as she is annoyed at how good he is and tells him to go and play SlamBall and that he is making a comeback. Brooke gets home with Sam and shows her to her bedroom as Sam admits she has never had her own room. Brooke then goes in her own room and finds that Peyton has changed her mirror drawing with words such as ‘kind, creative, strong, worthy, beautiful, selfless and graceful’ written around it. On the bottom, Peyton has written that she loves her. Peyton is on the phone to Larry and tells him that she loves him and thanks him for being her dad. Nathan and Haley are checking on Jamie who admits he has nightmares sometimes but Haley admits that she has nightmares sometimes too. They laugh and both agree to sleep in Jamie’s bed tonight. On their way home, Lucas checks what Mouth thinks of the book who tells him he will throw it out the window if he asks again. As they leave, they joke about their time in Omaha and journey back to their home town.
- ”You don’t get it. Nobody cares. It’s kind of like being invisible. They cash their checks, I don’t get slapped around. That’s the deal. And it’s a pretty good deal. So don’t screw this up for me”
- Sam Walker on her foster parents
- ”I wrote down a list of ideas”
- ”Then you covered them with a sheet?”
- ”Yeah, that was more for effect. I’ve always wanted to pull a sheet off something and say ‘voila’”
- ”All right, well now’s your big chance”
- ”Go sky diving?”
- ”You didn’t let me say ‘voila’”
- ”I would’ve sucked at being your father. That’s why Ellie and I gave you up. There I said it. You happy now?”
- ”After 22 years, that is the best you can give me? There, I said it?”
- ”That’s all I got”
- ”You saved my wife, and you saved my son. But you killed my uncle, right here, where I’m standing. I don’t know where that leaves us. At least my son loves you”
- ”My son hates me”
- ”Both of them”
- ”I’m sorry, but I lied to you. I didn’t fall down the stairs, Peyton. I was attacked”
- ”I never want you to think that you can’t come to me, for anything. I’m here for you forever”
- ”Hey Jamie, how you doing buddy?”
- ”Sorry Owen, I’m on team Brooke”
- ”I still have you, and that’s all that really matters. Besides, this book brought us back together. So, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written”
- ”Listen, look, I know this is totally out of the blue, and I’m surprising myself by saying it, but I have an extra room and it’s yours if you want it. You can come and go as you please, whenever. So what do you say?”
- ”I don’t need this. I can take care of myself”
- ”Yeah, I know you can, but you shouldn’t have to right now”
- ”People always leave? Sometimes that’s a good thing, huh? For what it’s worth, you’re doing great, kid”
- ”Go play SlamBall...and this is officially a comeback, Nathan Scott”
- ”I’ve never had my own room before”
- "Half Speed" - La Rocca
- "Dreamers" - Jack Savoretti
- "Baby Doll" - The Fratellies
- "Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms" - Frightened Rabbit
- "Who Ya Think Ya Are" - Bosshouse
- "It Ends Here" - Matt Pryor
- "Storm" - Adrienne
- "Quiet Times" - Dido
- "They Bring Me To You" - Joshua Radin
- "Hearts In Pain" - Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
This episode's title originated from the song Choosing My Own Way Of Life, originally sung by Suicidal Tendencies.