Scott Elrod and Anne Heche by Sergei Bachlakov/ABC Scott Elrod and Anne Heche by Sergei Bachlakov/ABC

Let others wax pop-culturey about the premieres of Chuck, Reaper and Gossip Girl. The show I'm excited to see on the air - and after an unacceptably truncated first season - is ABC's Men in Trees. Uprooted from its time slot without any fanfare (and all to make room for the likes of October Road and Notes from the Underbelly), Men in Trees returns Friday, Oct. 12, at 10 pm/ET, with a rather excellent episode, which I had the pleasure of screening over the weekend. (Any quality TV that engrosses and delights my wife always gets the upgrade to "excellent.")

As you may know from embracing my news blog, ABC decided to take last season's unaired episodes and use them to "supersize" Men in Trees' sophomore season, resulting in fewer repeats and whatnot. Yet the first new episode out of the gate on the 12th is not from that batch. Rather, to better ease those both familiar with and new to the Anne Heche-starrer into the new season, they shot a brand-new episode titled "A Tree Goes in Elmo." This is not some lame "clip show" or filler episode, however. Rather, in the course of reintroducing us to the Elmo gang, it offers a few twists and turns and underscores the relationships in town, denoting their unique and sometimes fragile states. And yes, it offers a juicy amount of Marin-Jack angst... and maybe more than a bit of lingering romance there. There's also a reveal at the end of the episode suggesting a questionable fate for one of the characters.

But perhaps the most "curious" moment comes early on, when Chieftain barfly Jerome shares his wont to see Morgan Fairchild float into town one day. That's the same Morgan Fairchild who, recently scooped, will guest on Trees (as herself, and bearing a fixation on Marin) this season. I asked Trees surgeon Jenny Bicks if the line was pure coincidence, or intentional precursor. Her response: "Like Jerome says, 'just putting it out there in the universe.' I had written the line already but was hopeful we could make it happen. And we did!"

Now bring on the supersized season of Trees!