Does this darkness have a name? This cruelty, this hatred. How did it find us? Did it steal into our lives or did we seek it out and embrace it? What happened to us, that we now send our children into the world like we send young men to war? Hoping for their safe return, but knowing that some will be lost along the way. When did we lose our way? Consumed by the shadows, swallowed whole by the darkness. Does this darkness have a name? Is it your name?
~ Lucas Scott
With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept (One Tree Hill season 3 episode 16)
My name is Jimmy. I was born in 1988, promptly abandoned by my father. His name was Danny. Born too early, I had this thing where I didn't eat. One day, I started eating. Too much. And, from then, I became chubby. And from chubby, I grew fat.
Throughout my years in kindergarten, I got picked on a few times. Nothing too serious. Just, normal kids stuff. It was kindergarten, what are you gonna say about that? I remember one day, riding my bike proudly on to the courtyard towards the stalls. Unfortunately, I had outgrown my bike. I kinda had it coming. Still, I was in kindergarten! Nothing to worry about.
Then came elementary school. There was this one moment, in my first year of elementary, when I was standing in the locker room for P.E. and one of my classmates said: "Hey, you're kinda fat. Never noticed that before." For me, that moment was the start of hell. From that moment onwards, I would be bullied almost every day. Physically and emotionally, I would be put through the wringer. Friends? From the top of my head, I can only remember three people that were my friends. And even then, we ran in different circles.
Even changing schools didn't help. I would continue to be bullied, by different people! But, on top of that, I was ignored and taken advantage of. I would continue to put my faith in people, and they would always stab me in the back.
That was my life up to the fifth year in high school. I flunked the entire year, and had to do it over again. That was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. At the end there, I was starting to get tired of it, and I started to lash out at everyone. But, because I flunked, I got in a class that helped me get over everything. I became someone better, who wasn't afraid to show who he really was. If it weren't for them, I don't know how I would be today.
Jimmy Edwards wasn't so lucky.
In the beginning of the series, we see this one character hang out with the gang at the River Court. His name is Jimmy. He's a bit on the chubby side, and definitely has a quirky personality, alongside his best buddy Mouth. However, Mouth and Lucas Scott were his only ties to the gang. So, once those two were sucked in to different circles, he faded in to the background.
You see, Jimmy wasn't so lucky. Lucas joined the Tree Hill Ravens, the high school basketball team. And he kind of pulled Mouth with him to those circles. And Jimmy was left behind. After that, his life turns to absolute crap. Just like me, he was physically and emotionally bullied. Until one day, he just came to school and noticed that he had disappeared. Nobody talked to him, looked at him or even acknowledged his existence. He thought that was the best day of his life.
Getting home, Jimmy realized how sad that was. He was literally nobody. Because of this, he took a pill of his mother's anti-depressant. Then he took another. And for fun, he took twelve more. Officials called it an accident. One that took him away of school for twelve months. When he got back, he came to see that nobody realized he had been even gone.
And so he records some nasty words for the school's Time Capsule. The Capsule that got opened just a few weeks after it was shot, and uploaded to the Internet. Then his life really became hell. Lucas and Mouth came to see what they had done, and tried to get him back in to their life. But it was already too late. Jimmy had enough, and so he brought a gun to school.
The entire episode was handled with utmost respect. Nothing was glorified, nothing was exaggerated. Everything that Jimmy said felt true. Because I felt like it could have been me. If I had been pushed that far, and if I hadn't flunked, maybe it could have been me. Who knows, right? Sure, we rationalize with saying that we would never do something like that. Still...
I had a long and good taste of what Jimmy Edwards went through. I was picked on, I was kicked and punched and I had my bike brakes cut as a JOKE, that almost made me drive in to the street where I could have been ran over. I was called names, isolated, made fun of and I was so alone, that I came home crying more than I did not.
When pushed as far as Jimmy Edwards, could I have been in his shoes? That is what went through my mind after the end of this episode. Scary part is, I was also getting tired of it. I was starting to hit back at those who bullied me. And I didn't give a damn if I hurt someone who got in the way. At that moment, I was pissed. I punched, I pushed, I threw stuff at em when they tried something. And you know what? They laughed at me! They still thought they were superior.
And that is only half of the story of this episode. The other half belongs to Keith and Dan Scott, brothers. Heh, Dan Scott. He left his pregnant wife so that she could raise her son alone. That rang a lot of bells for me.
It was because of that familiarity, that I really connected to these character. You had Dan Scott, and his out of wedlock son Lucas. Lucas was raised by a strict, but loving mother. He had a wonderful uncle, Keith, who was more a father to him than his actual father. Whilst I had an entire family behind me, Lucas had his friends. And, even though they were not related, they were still a family.
Keith was the kind of man who I would have wanted as a father. He was loving, kind, loyal and a true hero. He helped out wherever he could, and protected his family no matter what. Keith represented my own family as well, as they did the same for me.
Dan was a prick. He stayed out of Lucas's life, until he decided to join the Tree Hill Ravens. After that, he started to torture them. It started out easy, but then it just grew and grew. So much so, that he even made his bad relationship with his own family worse. Oh yes, Dan was off for just a few months before he knocked up another lady.
Keith and Dan never saw eye to eye. They were polar opposites, and they clashed like two titans. Everything was going so well for Keith all the time, and Dan just couldn't stand it. And no matter what Dan did to break Keith and to see him suffer, Keith pulled himself together and rose to the top. Keith was beloved by all, and Dan was furious to see it.
And in the end, all Dan really wanted, was to have what Keith had.
I always saw my own father, Danny, as being similar to Dan. A man who just didn't care, and who was a prick. I may not have known my father, but that is how I saw him sometimes.
And so it all came to a close. Jimmy Edwards was in the hallway with a gun, and Keith Scott was trying to talk him down. He failed. Jimmy was tired, he had enough. It hurt. And it just wouldn't stop. He saw no way out, so he took his own life. Struck with grief, Keith bended down and cried over Jimmy's dead body. Only for Dan to come in, and shoot his own brother in the chest.
That moment was what really cemented that episode in my mind. I had come to respect Keith, and even love him as a character. He was going to be married to Lucas's mom, he was going to adopt Lucas and he was going to be happy. Everything was coming together. Happily ever after was coming. And it was all taken away by a single bullet.
With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept
To this day, this remains to be my number one favorite episode of anything. It wasn't just the turning point of the entire series, it was also one that reached in and touched my heart.
Colin Fickes delivers a stunning performance as Jimmy Edwards. The music is beautiful, and deserves to receive awards. Not only the music, but the writing and cinematography as well.
You wanna know the kicker? My second favorite episode of anything is another One Tree Hill episode. It's called "Danny Boy". Not because I was glad of what happened to Dan. No, far from it. I shed many tears, because I didn't want it to happen. I was sad for him. His entire character arc is the best arc I have ever seen. First I hated him, but in the end I loved him. And, I have to wonder ... if I were to meet my own father, would that happen as well?