Julian left Baby Davis in the hot car last week. Nathan didn't make it home on "Don't You Want to Share the Guilt?." Indeed, One Tree Hill is not slowing down at all in season nine.
Seriously, how many more of these cliff hangers can we take before we start to black out on the regular like Clay?
I'll get to the latest in a long line of twists and turns for Clay (that I could care less about) later on. First, this Nathan issue needs to be addressed. The stuffed animal he had for Lydia was lying by the curb at the airport, so the most logical conclusion is that harm was done to him after landing in Tree Hill.
Who would want to hurt Nathan? The only person that we are familiar with that has the means, the history, and the motive is... Dan Scott, the father. We know he can do harm. He has killed in the past, his own brother in fact. Most importantly, if Nathan doesn't make it home, Dan gets to continue to spend time with Jamie and Lydia, the one thing that seems to make Dan Scott happier than we've ever seen him.
The only thing that makes me question this hypothesis is the timing. Haley and Dan had a conversation in the house around the time Nathan was supposed to be arriving home. It is definitely possible that he slipped out and kidnapped his own son in a matter of minutes, but it still would have been tricky to maneuver. I wouldn't put it past him, though.
As much as I can see Dan as the culprit, I would absolutely hate that to be outcome after the little things he has done to help around town. Camping out with Jamie was great, but the double whammy of meetings with the drug dealer and Clay were what really made him a bit of a hero here.
He was so quietly scary when threatening the dealer to stay away from his family, and then so loud and scary when knocking sense into Clay on the beach. He can do it in a variety of ways, and he seems to now be doing it out of love, but Dan Scott will always be frightening.
Do you know who else was kind of scary? "Not Alex"...or Tara as her name seems to be. The last time I saw Chelsea Kane on screen she was playing opposite the Jo Bros on the Disney Channel. I don't think this type of performance is even allowed anywhere near Disney.
Her character of Tara was sexy, she was seductive, she was downright spiteful. Between doing the deed with the recently heartbroken Chase 10 times (or was it 11?) while dating Chris Keller of all people, and being the one behind all of the drama at the Tree Hill Cafe, Tara has been up to a whole bunch of trouble.
That will certainly cause audiences to either love her or hate her. Guess what side I'm on. Of course I love her. I always enjoy the bad ones. Tara doesn't seem to care what anyone in Tree Hill thinks of her, which will make for plenty of entertaining moments. We were already treated to a few of those, like that awkward conversation between Tara, Chase and Chris at the bar, and Brooke yelling at everyone in her path at the cafe because of the sign Tara put it.
After noting that watching Kane interact with real life boyfriend Stephen Colletti on screen just makes it all that much more fun, let's take a look at this week's One Tree Hill Relationship Rankings...
Thanks to Haley's tireless efforts as the Tree Hill motherly figure, this long-time couple takes over the top spot this week. It was great watching her hand out long heartfelt speeches to both Julian and Brooke about her experiences with Jamie, and why those two will continue to be good parents. Sure, Nathan still wasn't around, and he might be in some serious danger in the near future, but it was nice to see him on that super clear video chat.
It was nice to see Mouth finally come around on his eating problem, but in the meantime, it was hilarious to watch Skills shoot straight with him. From the second Antwon walked through the door, he was telling Mouth that the kid got fat. The super awkward conversation on camera was the best. Skills talked about his job for two seconds before Millie made it all about exercise, then Mouth started defending himself, and finally Skills jumped in again telling Mouth how fat he was. The house salad with no dressing is a fine choice Marvin, but you should also probably hit a treadmill while you eat it.
These two fall back a few spots due to their depression all episode long. It was a very sad thing that happened, but like Haley explained to them, nothing that bad actually went down. Julian made a mistake, but everything is okay. Davis is okay. I just hope the dude gets out of his funk soon. Happy, goofy Julian is a lot more fun to watch.
Yes, you read that correctly. Chris Keller and Tara. Yes, she's sleeping with Chase, but technically she and Chris are a couple. I don't care if she is a cheating slut, Chris and Tara are still more fun and interesting than the next couple on the list.
Bring on the hate, people. If you enjoy watching these two, and have enjoyed Clay's sleepwalking/pain medication/black out story, then more power to you. I couldn't have cared less about it. The best part about it is that maybe now that Clay is getting help this plot will be over with and we can all move on to something else...
...like the budding rivalry between Tara and Haley's cafes, or what on Earth happened to Nathan, or how Julian is going to handle what he did to Davis, or what Chris Keller is going to do when he finds out Tara is sleeping with Chase.
There is certainly a lot going on in Tree Hill, and we might be heading down an even darker path than we imagined with Nathan currently missing. How will it all get resolved between now and the series finale? Will Nathan be the one underneath the sheet from the premiere?
I can't wait to find out what happens next on One Tree Hill. What about you? What did you think of "Don't You Want to Share the Guilt?" What was your favorite moment? What do you think happened to Nathan? And who sits at the top of you One Tree Hill Relationship Rankings this week?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.