February 20, 2012 9:50am PT by Rebecca Ford
'One Tree Hill': Chad Michael Murray Returns
Chad Michael Murray returns to One Tree Hill on Wednesday after a three-season absence.
Murray, who played Lucas Scott on The CW drama, left the show after the sixth season, but will make a brief appearance in the ninth and final season this week.
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Lucas Scott returns to Tree Hill to help Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) deal with the disappearance for her husband Nathan (James Lafferty).
Murray played one of the main characters on the show when it premiered in September 2003. Lucas and Peyton's (Hilarie Burton) romance was one of the cornerstones of the series. Murray's character was last seen driving off into the sunset with his wife Peyton and their new baby Sawyer at the end of season 6.
As One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn told The Hollywood Reporter, the final season of the CW show won’t be just a retrospective, but will push the plot of every character forward. He added that things will get very dark for some characters.
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“In a season that could have just been a look back or a pat on the back or something quiet and soft, I just really felt like let’s go out being forward thinking and challenging the audience a little bit,” said Schwahn, who added that he felt the ninth season is definitely his favorite.
Already, Haley is dealing with the disappearance of her husband and the return of her sometimes-devious father-in-law; Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) are fighting Clay’s sleepwalking disorder; and Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Julian (Austin Nichols) are dealing with raising their twin babies while also competing against a neighboring café that recently opened up and seems determined to shut down Karen’s Cafe.
See more pictures of Chad Michael Murray’s return in photos below.