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In the third season premiere, we finally discover Dan’s fate after the fire. Besides the situation with his father, Nathan also has to deal with Haley’s reappearance in Tree Hill and the future of their relationship. Meanwhile, Peyton tries to find the truth about the mysterious woman who pretends to be her mother. Also, Lucas looks forward to Brooke’s return after a summer apart.
The premier starts with reminders from the end of season two: a scene from the dealership fire. Then it goes to Nathan coming back home where his mum tells him they’ll be free soon. Someone knocks on the door and it turns out to be Haley saying she wants to come back home. Nathan and Deb get called to the dealership by the Fire Dept, and Deb tells Haley to come with them. There’s that scene from the end of season two where Luke is sitting with Peyton. She’s scared [the creepy emails and her "mum" suddenly showing up] and asks him to stay at her place with her. This episode [like the season 2 premier] is full of flashbacks. All this time Feeling the moment by Feeder is playing in the background.
Brooke lands at the airport and finds Lucas waiting with flowers. But as it turns out, Luke’s mum was also returning, so they aren’t really for her. She’s a little embarrassed and walks away. Dan tries to turn their house upside down looking for Nathan and Haley’s annulment papers. It turns out he has nightmares about the fire.
We then see Nathan at High Flyers, and he receives a letter from Haley. In a flashback, there’s a conversation between Nathan and Haley where she tells him the show didn’t really matter without him, but he tells her with a little hostility he’s going to High Flyers, and she can stay in the guest room if she wanted, since he moved out of their apartment [Haley’s parents left town after the wedding in Season 2].
Lucas goes to see Brooke, with flowers, and she’s happy to see him. She tells him she’d like to have a fling with him where they hang out but not exclusively, and he agrees. In a flashback, Luke and Peyton are talking in her room the night she asked him to stay with her and he tells her it was always gonna be there between them. In another flashback Peyton asks her dad about Ellie, and it turns out Peyton was adopted at birth and Ellie really is her biological mum. Peyton then grows angry at the rest of the world as usual and calls her mom and dad and Ellie liers.
Haley goes to their old apartment and finds the wedding wall Nathan obliterated in anger and in a flashback she and Nathan get into a fight about the annulment papers and she repeats to him the message she left on their machine [he deleted it before playing it – in Season 2 immediately after he got back from seeing her in New York]. She tells him that yes she loved the tour, but there was never a night when she loved it more than she loved him. Back in reality, Brooke finds her there and tells her she cant stay there because she’s rented that place. Mouth comes to help her move in and they talk about her non-exclusive thing with Lucas and Mouth’s breakup with Erika Marsh. Brooke asks Peyton to help her paint the apartment and cover up the wedding wall, but Peyton is all for leaving it. Haley shouldn’t be spared from looking at it because it’s her fault it’s there. Clearly, Peyton has a bone to pick with Haley – for leaving and never calling.
Karen goes to her Cafe for the first time and likes the changes Deb made while she was in New Zealand. Haley comes to ask for her old waitressing job back and gets it. In a flashback, the night before Nathan left for High Flyers she goes to talk to him. They almost have a moment, but Nate stops and says he cant do that anymore. Haley says she understands if he doesn’t love her anymore. He says "Always and forever", he still loved her but just couldn’t trust her. Brooke goes to the Cafe and tells Haley she can move in with her, and split rent.
Dan goes to the chapel for confession, and tells the father that he knows someone tried to kill him, and he is confessing for the sins he will commit when he finds out who that was. Luke goes to the beach to find Brooke and they share their first kiss of their non-exclusive relationship. Brooke takes a picture of them with her phone and blows it up for her room wall.
The episode ends with a Peyton voice over describing the current situations they are all in: Brooke – running scared; Haley and Karen – coming home; Deb – lying; her – hiding from the truth; Dan – evil struggling with good; Lucas and Nathan – good struggling with evil. "… Six billion souls, and sometimes, all you need is one."
Originally aired: Wednesday October 5, 2005 on The CW
Writer: Mark Schwahn
Director: Greg Prange
Show Stars: Sophia Bush (Brooke Davis), Paul Johansson (Dan Scott), Moira Kelly (Karen Roe), James Lafferty (Nathan Scott), Hilarie Burton (Peyton Sawyer), Chad Michael Murray (Lucas Eugene Scott), Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley James-Scott), Barbara Alyn Woods (Deb Scott (as also starring; 2004-present))
Recurring Role: Kevin Kilner (Larry Sawyer)
Guest Stars: Jimmy Hager (Priest) , Chip Lane (Firefighter) , Texas Battle (High Flyers Player)
Production Code: 2T6151