I imagine creator Mark Schwahn's pitch to Chad Michael Murray, attempting to get him to come back to One Tree Hill for "Last Known Surroundings," sounded something like this:
"Hey Chad, we have this episode about halfway through our final season in which absolutely nothing happens. We would love to get Lucas to come back so that the audience won't be completely bored out of their mind. Let me know what you think!"
Of course, I'm speaking hyperbolically, but without the first appearance from Murray since the season six finale, this episode would have gone nowhere.
With Murray, "Last Known Surroundings" was a nice trip down memory lane. It was not only a reminder of the old days, but of how great Chad Michael Murray was as a leading man for six years, and how lovable of a character Lucas Scott can be.
I'm not sure whether it's Murray's acting, or simply the character of Lucas, but his presence on screen just brought a completely different vibe to the show. It was very comforting, both having him back in our lives, and knowing that he was there to comfort his friend and family.
How about that rapport with Haley? It was just like old times, and I couldn't get enough of it. Whether it was those meaningful chats with his best friend, picking her up while she's down about Nathan, or being so playful with Jamie, I was cheering on the inside every time the camera made its way back to the airport.
Some might complain that OTH only brought back Lucas for this one episode and he just sat in the airport for the entire hour, and while I agree that I could never have too much Lucas at this point, I have a serious counter argument: this felt very real.
Haley is in serious shambles and she needed the person she could trust more than anyone in the world to help her out. Jamie and Lydia don't need to be there in the case that Nathan is in as much trouble as she assumes, so why not send them with Uncle Lucas? He got in, he got out, and nobody got hurt. It wasn't a spectacle. They didn't bring him back just to bring him back. It seemed to fit the story, and I'm just glad we got to see Luke one more time before the series ends later this spring.
Would I have wanted Murray to stay on and finish out the entire season? Duh.
The return of Lucas Scott gave us a lot to enjoy during "Last Known Surroundings," but like I said above, the rest of the hour was filled with snooze-worthy or retread stories.
Dan watching hours upon hours of that video, Clay chatting over and over again with his shrink, Chase dealing with Chuck's dad issues and Brooke meeting up with her attacker from years ago do not great episodes make.
Then there was Nathan. Nathan Scott, who finally worked at his zip ties long enough to free his hands and strangle Dimitri, only to end up in the exact same situation by the end of the episode.
I was extremely excited when the desk cop was introduced as a cog in this criminal mastermind behind capturing Nathan. It gave the story some Tree Hill relevance. The officer was local, so he probably knew Nathan, but when it seemed that he was just another henchman for whoever Dimitri keeps answering to on his phone, I was back to hating this story.
A European gangster, a small time drug dealer, and a local cop walk into an abandoned building... that sounds like a really bad joke, but no, it's who has Nathan kidnapped right now. Now I seriously want Dan Scott to save Nathan quickly, not only because it will be great to see Dan redeemed, but because this plot needs to end AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If it lasts until the finale, I think many of us fans will be upset.
Let's take a quick look at the One Tree Hill Relationship Rankings before handing it over to you all in the comments...
While Brooke having to deal with her attacker wasn't all that interesting to being with, she handled it very nicely. I loved that she took a stand, not only for herself, but for Q! I adored that dude. She was absolutely right that Xavier didn't change. When he mentioned that he was never convicted of killing Q, I wanted to punch him through my TV screen and the prison screen between him and Brooke.
Julian commending Brooke for what she did at the hearing was so very sweet, but we all know where this is heading. You don't show the crazy person hiding outside Brooke's cafe if he isn't going to do something awful in the near future. I am scared for her.
These two need to be reunited like NOW! I don't know if my heart can take watching Haley cry anymore. Thinking about that actually being Nathan under that sheet at this point is very upsetting.
Quinn didn't get much time on screen this week, but Clay certainly did. His sessions with the doc actually weren't that awful. The shrink's questions about jealousy and Nathan's family, had me wondering if some of our readers are right about Logan actually being Clay's kid. There may be a bit of foreshadowing going on there.
I thought "Last Known Surroundings" would have been rather boring if not for the return of Chad Michael Murray. What did you all think? Was it worth the wait to see Lucas again? Or are you mad that it was only for this one episode?
When did you know that the cop was in on Nathan's kidnapping? And does his involvement make that story more interesting? Will Chase end up staying to protect Chuck from his dad? And again, who tops YOUR One Tree Hill Relationship Rankings?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.