As we predicted last month, new recurring character Anna (Daniella
Alonso) on the WB teen drama One
Tree Hill was revealed
to be attracted to girls in last night's episode, "The Heart Brings
You Back," when she kissed her surprised friend Peyton (Hilarie Burton),
then admitted to her almost-boyfriend Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) that she "likes
But surprisingly, she also said she "likes guys, too," which makes her one of the few bisexual characters ever to grace primetime network TV — and the first real recurring bisexual woman of color on TV (not counting Lindsay Price's bisexual-in-name-only Jane on the short-lived NBC sitcom Coupling in 2003).
Lesbian characters of color are rare on network TV, where conventionally attractive white women are overwhelmingly the norm, and there have only been two Latina lesbian characters on television: ER's Sandy Lopez (Lisa Vidal) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Kennedy (Iyari Limon). Meanwhile, bisexual characters of any color have historically been almost impossible to find on network or cable television, although this has been changing in the last few years with the introduction of lesbian characters on shows like All My Children, The L Word, The O.C. and now, One Tree Hill.
Anna's storyline in last night's episode picks up
shortly after her disastrous performance at a formal dance. Anna arrives
at Peyton's house to apologize for treating her poorly at the dance, and
sitting next to Peyton on her bed, Anna reveals that Lucas broke up with her.
"Do you think there's something wrong with me?" she asks Peyton,
who reassures her "I think there's something wrong with Lucas. 'Cause
you are great." When she gives Anna a hug, Anna turns it into a kiss, but
Peyton breaks away in surprise and stammers, "Uh, Anna, that's not
really my thing." As Peyton tries to tell Anna it's still okay, Anna
runs from the room.
Later, Peyton arrives at Anna's house, but Anna won't
look her in the eye, trying to blow her off by saying, "I don't know
what came over me, I wasn't really thinking straight." Peyton won't
be dismissed, and says, "Anna, it's cool, okay? Now a lot of stuff
makes sense. Like how you treated me at the formal. How you blew me off after
the whole locker thing." Anna's not taking the bait, pleading "Can
we please just forget the whole thing?!" but Peyton insists "Absolutely
not! Anna, don't be afraid to be who you are." Anna's not ready
to hear that, and when Peyton asks if they're still friends, Anna replies
"I don't know if I can do that."
Later, Anna arrives at outdoor basketball court at night, where Lucas is shooting some baskets. He stops to talk to her:
ANNA: I kind of owe you the biggest apology in the world, Lucas. I've
been blaming a lot of stuff on you that's not your fault. The last place
we lived? The old girl's school I went to? There were these rumors that
got started, and my family found out, and I made a big deal out of it all,
and we moved. Felix was pissed at me because of that. But Lucas, those rumors
weren't just rumors. They were true.
LUCAS: What were the rumors?
ANNA: That I like girls. (pause) You're the first person I've ever
said those words to out loud.
ANNA: I mean, I'm into guys too, so it's kind of confusing. I guess
I put all my hopes on you, which wasn't fair. I thought since you liked
me, and I liked you, maybe that would make it go away. But then you broke
things off, and there I was, right back where I started. I'm not proud
of it, but that's why I was mad at you. (pause) I guess I was really mad
LUCAS (half-smiling): Well, this is a new one.
ANNA: I'm not ready for people to know, especially Felix.
LUCAS: I won't say anything.
At the end of the episode, we see Lucas and Anna standing outside their high
school, forlornly watching all of the couples stroll by. Lucas offers Anna his
arm, asking if she wants to "feel left out together," and she smiles,
takes his arm, and they start walking.