It's stag party day in Tree Hill, and the fact that Nathan and Haley haven't spoken in over a week is on everybody's mind. No, seriously, that's all anyone talks about for the first five minutes. Lucas and Lindsey have a plan, though; they're going to secretly hold both of their parties in the same place. Those scamps!
Brooke sets Peyton up on with Woody's friend, so she won't have to go to this party alone. But wait! The friend turns out to be Chase, the former male leader of the Clean Teens, who lost his virginity to Brooke last season. The female head of the Clean Teens, by the way, slept with Mouth, which makes me think I'd have been more popular with the ladies in high school had I simply declared my virginity. Anyway, the situation is awkward for everyone, especially the writers, who have to explain how Woody and Chase have not put together that they both know a 22-year-old named Brooke from Tree Hill with a world famous clothing line.
Rachel plays the part of the Recovering Addict In A Television Show to a T. She looks healthy, has no needle marks whatsoever, and whiles away the hours at Brooke's house, happily discussing how she's sure she's done this time, and not trying to contact anyone, despite the fact that her phone is sitting right there on the table the whole episode. She even wants to go back to work! But then 1) Brooke won't let her be a model rightnowthisinstant, 2) Mouth won't sleep with her rightnowthisinstant, and 3) Brooke's mom tells her she sucks. Rachel skips town with a a conveniently placed envelope full of cash.
Nathan arrives at the party, which is at his own house, and Haley answers the door, and they both pretend to be surprised to see each other. "Pretend," because they both had a guess as to what Lucas and Lindsey were up to, because they've seen this show, too. They spend the evening having thirty-second awkward conversations, and resolve absolutely nothing, although by all indications Haley has backed way off the divorce talk.
Jamie spends the entire episode being disappointed that his parents won't play Rock Band with him. Jamie is an annoying child, though admittedly he'd be more annoying if he reacted to the various little disappointments of his day the way most four-year-olds react: with screaming tantrums. Instead, Jamie looks adorably sad. Fortunately, everyone in Tree Hill knows him, and they take turns feeding him cheery platitudes, especially Skills, who seems to like the kid a little too much, if you get my drift.
Oh yeah, Dan got his parole, and immediately manages to bed the cashier at a sporting-goods store. She is unfazed when he tells her, post-coitus, that he has recently been paroled and that he killed his brother. One would guess this is not the most shocking thing she has been told in bed.
Brooke finishes her evening by going to the store to... do something. She finds her mother, who has driven Rachel away and rescheduled some meeting and generally been a condescending pain in the ass. This is no different than her behavior for the past six episodes, and presumably the past two decades, but this is apparently the final straw. In our first surprise of the evening, Brooke fires her mother. Not as Mom, as president or CEO or whatever-she-was of the clothing company.
Okay, that was only mildly surprising, but we're just being setup for the big one. Haley is reading Lucas's latest book, and he's VO-ing something about Camus, and she picks up the phone. Lucas answers, and Haley says, "I needed to talk to-"
Nathan, right? She's ready for him to come home?
I might mention here that Haley is basically Lindsey's best friend in Town, and has been ready to smack both Lucas and Peyton for anything that might jeopardize Lucas's relationship with Lindsey. Why do I mention this? Well-
"You can't marry Lindsey."
Coming Tuesday: The wedding day! Will he? Will she? Will anyone hold their peace? Will Dan crash the party? It's the best birthday present EVER!