We don't know what y'all do in your free time, but we're not ashamed to admit that replaying episodes of One Tree Hill is one of our favorite pastimes. Go ahead. Judge.
So you can imagine how excited we were when we found out original castmember Chad Michael Murray was returning for the final season, and even better, we got to sit down with him to learn all the details about Lucas Scott's Tree Hill homecoming. Plus, we've got exclusive scoop from Bethany Joy Galeotti about this season's Naley drama and how she really feels about Chad returning to the show…
"We get a little bit of an opportunity to see what we really loved in the relationship between Haley and Luke," Murray tells us with a smile. "And it's just kind of a little throwback and a little visit for our fans and for our wonderful following." He's baa-ack!
Former onscreen BFF Galeotti gushed: "It was wonderful having Chad back! Chad and I hit it off right away from my first screen test and we've been friends ever since. We've been through a lot of ups and downs, but you know, he's dear to my heart. It was wonderful to have him around."
If there is a round of minigolf or a water balloon fight atop Karen's Café, then our hearts will pretty much explode with happiness and sunshine. Unfortunately, Murray was quick to reveal that his return to OTH is not just for old times' sake. "Lucas needs to come back to combat some drama that is going on in Haley's life," he says.
Galeotti teased on that drama: "She's being challenged in ways that you hope to God no one will ever have to be challenged, and finding out if she is going to come out on the other side as a warrior with scars or if the circumstance is going to swallow her whole. It's intense." Knowing Tree Hill, we're gonna say that calling this problem "intense" is surely going to be a major understatement.
After last week's depressing Naley goodbye, we've got some strong speculations that this "drama" has to do with Nathan (James Lafferty) constantly being MIA on business this season. In fact, when we talked with our favorite 11-year-old Jackson Brundage, he explained, "Nathan's away, so Uncle Lucas comes out and takes Jamie and Lydia away to Uncle Lucas and Aunt Peyton's for a couple episodes." Aunt Peyton?! Too bad Hilarie Burton never got to bring back her character for season nine, but at least there will be mention of Mrs. Scott.
Murray described being back on set as a "breath of fresh air" and explains that his sole reason for returning was to give the fans a proper goodbye. "To be able to come back and give Lucas a little bit of life in the last moments of this world, I think it's a really cool blessing and I think it's a really cool surprise for our following."
The one and only Lucas Scott makes his reappearance in episode seven airing Feb. 22, and be sure to watch tonight's all-new episode of One Tree Hill on the CW at 8 p.m.
How thrilled are you for Lucas and Haley to be reunited?! What do you think is going to happen with Nathan? Bounce your ideas off us in the comments!