Chad Michael Murray on One Tree Hill

Seems like old times... with longer hair.

Original Tree Hill-ion Chad Michael Murray makes his long-awaited, final season return to the soap that made him a three-named household name, and from the looks of this exclusive behind-the-scenes snap, he's done some changing. Unfortunately, we'll only get a quick reunion for our boy Lucas and his bestie Haley (the perpetually fabulous Bethany Joy Galeotti), since CMM, who left back in '09, is only back for the Feb. 22nd episode.

"Yeah, he came back for one," says executive producer Mark Schwahn, quickly adding that fans should not read into the brevity of Murray's stay. In fact, it was Schwahn's idea to put his star player back in the game for a single shot instead of a longer arc. "I think he would have done more, but I just felt that the story he's back for was best served by one episode."

That story involves the ongoing search for his half-brother Nathan, and while we won't spoil for you what happens with the hunt, we can point out two things that OTH diehards will find fun. One is that, yes, that is Austin Nichols (Julian) sitting on the floor — he directed the episode. And the second is that Lucas is clearly still wearing his wedding ring. So even though we don't get Hilarie Burton back, there's hope that Peyton will at least get a shout-out to satisfy the fans.

How psyched are you for Chad's return to OTH?

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