Lucas recovers enough over the commercials to go down to the river court, and that's where Karen finds him. She asks if she has to tie him to the bed to make him stay in, temporarily taking this show in a whole weird direction. Lucas apologizes, and Karen laughs, "The next time you leave the house, I'll be cashing in your life insurance." Wow, she's calm about this. I guess she's saving all her repressed fury and panic for Keith, the lucky guy. Mother and son sit on a picnic table, and Karen prods, "You want to tell me what's going on? Brooke's waiting for you when you come home from the hospital; Peyton's there when I get home from work." Lucas does not crack and sob, "I'm a shameless man-whore, Mother!" He just sighs. Karen asks what happened when she went to Italy, since she was under the impression that he was interested in Peyton. Lucas mumbles that he was, and things are all complicated, and rather than resort to direct communication to work things out, he decided to make things more complicated by dating Brooke. Oh, for -- if anyone on this show had a straightforward conversation where information was correctly and efficiently transmitted from speaker to listener, this show would be ten minutes long and shown as bumper material before Smallville.
Karen admits, "When I first met Brooke, I thought she was a little nutty." Yeah, the perpetual little-girl voice doesn't exactly convey "sanity," does it? Anyway, Brooke looking after Lucas proved Karen wrong, and "she cares about you, and I think that's a good thing." Lucas admits, "Actually, I broke up with Brooke yesterday?" Karen looks as crushed as Brooke did. Lucas decides he'd rather not talk about it.
Meanwhile, over at the mall, Haley and Peyton are shopping, and Haley calls Peyton on walking around like a zombie. I feel her on that: shopping malls are overwhelming for me. I get overloaded from all the different displays, and the people, and the noise. And then -- whoopsie! -- they run into a sad-looking Brooke sitting alone on a bench. She says to Peyton, "I looked all over for you. You didn't get my messages?" Peyton badly lies, "Really? Oh. No. My phone's been whacked out all day." Haley looks askance at this. Peyton plays dumb (badly) and asks, "Are you okay?" Brooke bursts into tears and admits, "Not really. No." Peyton makes no move to comfort her friend, and Brooke continues, "I said I wasn't going to do it, I said it wasn't worth it, but here it is. Lucas broke up with me." Peyton tries to feign shock. Brooke weepily continues, "I was looking forward to getting a chance to show him how much he means to me, and…and he said he just wants to be friends. And every idiot knows that's just code for 'go away.' I don't know what I'm supposed to do." Neither do Haley (who's settled for looking disgusted) or Peyton, who's settled for, "If he said he wanted to be friends, I'm sure he means it. Why, he was telling me yesterday, during our hot and heavy make-out session, that he feels a lot of platonic affection for you. It doesn't compare to the agape he and Haley share, or the eros we have, but platonic is nothing to sneeze at." Or maybe she just stops with the lame "I'm sure he means it" business. Brooke sniffles, "How do you [stay friends] with Lucas?" Haley pipes up, "You just, um, do everything you've been doing. Without the sex part." Brooke tries to pull herself together and replies, "There's a first time for everything, right?" Haley goes back to looking mortified. Peyton goes back to doing a whole lot of nothing.
Later that evening, Nathan's commenting on Haley's striking new streamlined outfit. She preens because it's part of "the new me" and asks if he likes it, and he replies, "What's wrong with the old you?" Awww. Anyway, Haley's feeling the need to try new things, because "there's a lot of stuff I want to try that I never did." You have time, honey. It's not like you're Granny Weatherall. Nathan leaps all over Haley's urge for exploration and adds to the list "fooling around with me." No. Apparently, that's not high on the list. Snowboarding is. As is singing. Haley claims she sings when no one's around, and Nathan swoons, "I think you should sing for me sometime." Nathan is a man smitten. It's kind of sweet to see after the needy psychosis Luke "I want to BEwith you" Scott has. Nathan segues into telling Haley that he appreciates her because she's helping him deal with his parents' impending divorce: "It's like, the worse things get with my parents, the better things get with you." Haley finally realizes that perhaps Dan's dickhead qualities may have made things rough on the parental front. After Nathan sighs, "I'm stuck with whoever has the best lawyer," Haley decides now is when Nathan should get himself schooled on what his rights are. "Knowledge is power," she schoolhouse-rocks, and then calls up the most inadvertently hilarious search interface ever. It's the Google interface, except in a pleasing hue of don't-sue blue with a graphical banner reading "Internet Search." Would it have killed them to pay Google a licensing fee?