Keith's horrible, no good, very bad episode continues as he pushes a toolbox across the shop floor, the weight of the world hunching his shoulders and slowing his progress. As is her wont, Karen's dropped by to wreck his day further: "Hey. It's been a while since I laid a completely disproportionate guilt trip on you, but this episode's on the wind-down so I'll keep it short: you nearly killed my son, you horrible drunkard, and any hope you have of seeing me naked is a futile one." Or something to that effect: "I left you with the most important thing in my life, and you let me down at a time when I really thought we had something." Keith argues, "We do. Those six weeks were amazing to me. For once, I felt like I was in Luke's life in a real way. You can't know how much that meant to me." Yeah, well, that and $4.25 will get him a venti mocha at Starbucks. Keith points out that he wasn't drunk. Karen replies, "I know that, but that isn't what this is about." Then what is it about? He took care of the kid, he got in an accident, end of story. It's not like he tied Lucas to some train tracks. Keith replies, "I want you to know, one of these days, you're going to look at me and you're going to see the person you used to see." In the meantime, however, the two of them will have to settle for an entirely unnecessary non-consummation of their not-quite-a-romance.
Speaking of awkward conversations, Peyton's just headed on over to give Lucas the heave-ho. They sit on his porch, and she tells him, "When I saw you lying there in the hospital, after the accident, all I could think about was how my mom wasn't as lucky as you. And then I remembered, after she died, it was Brooke who was there for me. And we were just little kids, and she would come over every single day to make sure I was okay. She's been my best friend ever since." Aww. Sniff! Lucas, however, is unmoved by this tale of generous loyalty, and slings some emotional baggage Peyton's way by telling her, "Life's short." It backfires: Peyton replies, "Too short to live it as a bad person." Ha! Peyton continues, "I can't betray her, Lucas." Lucas points out that the horse is already out of that particular barn, so they might as well live in the now. Peyton's not buying that. She gets up, and Lucas apologizes. She replies, "But it's better this way, right?" The broody complaint ballad kicks in as she walks off.
Jake's leaving Karen's café as Nate comes in and hugs Haley hello. She asks if he's okay. Well, not so much, no. Haley offers him the chance to chat over coffee, and Nate's all, "Actually, I'm kind of tired of talking about it." Haley says, "If there's anything I can do to help, let me know." Nathan reminds her that music soothes the savage beast, so if she could trot on over to the conveniently located piano and sing for him, that would be peachy. Haley protests, and he reminds her, "You said you'd do anything to help me, and this would really help me take my mind off things." After a self-deprecating warning, Haley begins playing and singing. I have to admit, this whole "What this show needs is a musical number!" conceit is pretty sweet: why should Oz and Buffy have all the fun?