25 Love Stories 11/25
Clay Evans and Quinn James (One Tree Hill)
One Tree Hill featured some of the most ridiculously dramatic storylines and while I’ve rolled my eyes plenty of times during all my nine years as a fan, Mark Schwahn is still one of the most admirable writers when it comes to characters and romances. Clay Evans and Quinn James are the third pairing from the series that have secured a spot on this list with their charming story. It’s difficult to imagine what the series used to be like without their characters let alone their interactions with one another. I’m not sure who loves them more, the audience or Robert Buckley and Shantel VanSanten who to this day continue to pay homage to them in the sweetest ways. |x| One Tree Hill told stories in the most intense fashion sometimes, but at the end of the day, the love stories always have a unique beginning and a gorgeous impact on both characters.
It was instant with Clay and Quinn — sometimes you just know. There’s something in between pushing you towards a person and before you can even understand what’s happening, it’s inspired you in ways you’ve never imagined. One of the key rudiments in their relationship was their ability to have fun together. And from the very beginning it’s what made rooting for them so easy. Although there was some slight conflict when they had first met, they’re the pair that clicked the quickest making it incredibly pleasant to watch them fall into a trusting place together. The friendship they developed in the midst of all the contract negotiations allowed both of them to understand that they don’t have to take on the world on their own. They can move forward. They can open their hearts again. They can trust someone with every part of them and they can grow into better versions of themselves everyday. While it was lovely to see how comfortable they’d grown with one another before actually being together, everything heightened exquisitely after Clay’s secret was out, their first kiss, and his declaration about “falling completely and insanely in love with Quinn.”
It was during later times where their relationship was tested and with a steadfast devotion to one another they conquered it all. This wouldn’t be One Tree Hill if a stalker wasn’t involved threatening their lives. And while conquering obstacles is a common theme in all relationships, one of the distinctive elements within theirs was the arc involving Clay’s son, Logan. Because Sarah’s death had such a lasting and traumatic effect on Clay, he was able to unknowingly block out the existence of his son because of how much he reminded him of her mother. On normal occasions there’s no other appropriate word choice other than what the flip? And as this One Tree Hill and we know anything is possible, but this was perhaps one of the most mind-boggling storylines for it triggered some bizarre behavior on Clay’s end. While it felt a bit much, it gave Buckley and VanSanten some wonderful material to work with allowing their characters to grow in a way they probably wouldn’t have had this not surfaced. If it were someone other than Quinn standing by Clay’s side, they wouldn’t have understood him. They wouldn’t be able to cope or react in the way that’s needed, but it’s easy for Quinn because she not only knows him better than anyone else, she loves him in the every way possible. And it’s that very love which gives her the courage to comfort and understand him all while adoring Logan immensely because that comes naturally as well. She had to fight for him through his “zombie” (foreshadowing? LOL) days because while he couldn’t see something was severely wrong, she knew from the beginning he wasn’t acting as the man she’d fallen in love with.
Thus far at the top of my head, there are two other proposals on this list that have made me cry like a baby. And it’s with absolutely no shame that I admit to doing this during Clay and Quinn’s in a room full of people. Everything about the scene was brilliantly enchanting. Starting from Logan placing their family photo next to one of Sarah to Quinn’s beautiful answer about why she’s no longer afraid of immensity. And Clay’s sudden realization that he doesn’t want to wait until he has a proper ring and a proposal plan was so appropriate for the two of them. Their journey was a pleasant depiction of the conception that the unexpected things are often times the best. Sometimes even the biggest fears can be confronted when you’re surrounded by loved ones. It was easy to fall in love with one another and it’s even easier to want to spend their entire lives as husband and wife. The innocently intimate setting in an indoor tent showcased just what their relationship is — unexpectedly beautiful adventures. A gorgeous stillness that equates to eternity. Plus, Logan’s green ring was the perfect touch. Their lives revolved around unexpected moments, and this is why Logan calling Quinn “mom” was precisely what she needed to realize they shouldn’t wait for a fancy wedding because their marriage and union is what matters. Adopting Logan is what matters. They have dived head first into this relationship and it’s the best decision they’ve both made and will continue to make. They’re better together.
As over the top as their scenes get (ghosts in paradise?), it was always beautiful to see that they are in fact completely and insanely in love with one another. They can’t be without each other. And that desperation of needing one another was always a fantastic reminder that though they’re strong on their own, they’re unstoppable together. It’s what love does, it takes two amazing people and makes them immaculate. They complete one another.
Whether they’re taunting one another about silly things like lost keys and ridiculous first date snacks, or encouraging one another to follow their dreams while complimenting their capabilities, they’re an absolute delight to watch. There’s not a dull moment with these two and it’s entirely due to the fact that their relationship always feels organic. Quinn’s choice to admit Clay gives her butterflies and Clay’s dumbfounded adoration are all contributing factors in making this a solid partnership. Additionally, it’s necessary to state that Buckley and VanSanten’s real life friendship resonated onto the screen marvelously because it’s a massive reason why the chemistry between Clay and Quinn felt so real. Kudos and a special thank you to both for caring so much to do this.
Clay: “Somewhere along the way you changed all that. When I walk in the door and I see you, it’s like the weight of my day just falls away. I miss you in forever ways. You taught me to look forward again. To days and nights with you. And I love you so much for that.”
Quinn: “When I was a little girl, my dad would read the paper every Sunday, and my mom would read a book nearby. And I would sit at the top of our stairs and just watch them. Watch them be still together. And when I think of being in love, that’s what I picture – days like that. And nights like this.”
It’s this moment that’s defined them most for it’s what’s given the audience the chance to really see why there’s always something intriguing about their scenes together. From the very beginning it was effortless to be still with one another — to comfort each other with their promising presence and unparalleled adoration. And it’s always beautiful when a little girl’s dreams come true as they grow old, thereby making their scene during the season eight finale’s montage an impeccably magical one. All in favor of these two getting their own spin off?