Cue up the montage music. This week's featured song is "Everybody Hurts," originally by R.E.M. but covered by Dashboard Confessional. Sing along if you like. Pretend there's a bouncing ball at the bottom of this recap.
Dan unlocks a secret box that has clippings and pictures of Lucas when he was a kid. Who knows where he got them from -- I highly doubt that Karen would have sent them, seeing as he did everything in his power to make her miserable -- but whatever, I'm just going with it. There's an article about Luke playing football when he was younger. A couple of really funny-looking pictures of The Chad when he was a kid. Dan sifts through them all and smiles in a strange way.
Okay, Nikki has graduated right into creepy as she stands outside the window and watches Jake and Peyton. Peyton puts a pillow under Jake's head, and he falls asleep while she holds the baby. Nikki sees this pretty picture, turns away from the window, and takes a deep breath.
Keith walks into a pawn shop and sells his engagement ring.
Brooke sits on her bed and bawls like a baby.
Luke sits at the kitchen table with his head in his hands. Karen comes into the room, and he tells her Brooke's not pregnant, that it was a scare. She asks quietly, "Are you okay?" He replies, "Not really." And that's the best acting The Chad did all episode. He jumps up and into his mother's arms, grabs her hair rather seductively -- or strangely, if you think about their relationship too much -- and cries himself. Maybe out of relief, maybe because he grew up a little bit, or maybe because the script told him to. He says, "Mom. Thanks." For what? "For slapping some sense into me!" No, really, he says, "For everything." She rubs his back and hugs him back. Whew! Who thought we'd make it back from the precipice of that cliff, hanging there over the edge. Yawn.
Next week: Luke stands outside the high school, looking at something. Peyton asks if Luke wants to go to Haley's party with her. Brooke and Slutty/Stalker Nikki show up at the party dressed to do some damage. They want to "let the fun begin." Deb screams, "Do you want the clothes off my back?" to Dan. Then she proceeds to rip her shirt off. He says, "I just want you!" They make out. Peyton and Nikki get into a fight at Nathan's apartment. Nikki: "You got a problem?" Peyton: "You bitch!" The claws come out: Peyton gets slapped, Nikki gets thrown to the ground, and it looks like Dim and Luke break up the fight. Things are never dull in Tree Hill, and that's a fact.