"Like You Like an Arsonist" is the first episode of the third season of One Tree Hill and the 46th produced episode of the series. It was broadcasted on October 5, 2005. Lucas awaits Brooke's return to Tree Hill after a summer spent with Peyton. Peyton investigates the mysterious woman who claims to be her mother while Nathan must deal with Haley's reappearance at the same time as the fire at Scott Motors. Dan's fate after the fire is revealed.
As Dan lies unconscious in the dealership, the building explodes leaving hardly any hope for Dan. Deb sees Nathan delivering his bags and says she has been waiting for him all night, Nathan says he had something to do before going to get his last bag out of the car. As he opens the door, he finds Haley at the door who asks to come home, with him. Deb then runs out the door saying they have to go as something is wrong with his father. As Nathan goes to leave with Deb, she turns around and tells Haley to come too and Haley runs to the car. Lucas goes and sits with Peyton who agree it is them for the summer. Upset, Peyton hugs Lucas in tears. Not wanting to be alone, she asks him to stay with her. Agreeing, they get back to her house, Peyton tells Lucas about Ellie claiming to be her mom, but she is sure her mom died, in the hospital. As Lucas searches for a reply, he hears sirens going past from outside and he suddenly pauses and tells Peyton he did something he can't take back. Meanwhile, Nathan, Haley and Deb arrive at the dealership and they realize Dan is in there. Shocked, Haley grabs a hold of Nathan's hand, who holds it back. A fireman then comes up and gets the captain to tell her about Dan. As the captain approaches, they see Dan emerge from round the corner in a stretcher awake but burned.
Three months after the start of summer and Dan's accident, and Lucas is waiting at the airport with flowers. Brooke comes up and tells him he shouldn't be here with flowers as it isn't fair on her. But as she turns around, she sees Karen standing behind her. Brooke realizes and walks away as Lucas didn't think she was coming home till the following day. Lucas then goes to visit Peyton who seem to have formed a strong friendship. As they joke on, Lucas tells her that Brooke is back and Peyton asks what he is going to tell her. Dan is looking in Nathan's room for the annulment papers as Deb finds him. She tells him that he will be going to work soon and it might bring some bad memories back. Dan confesses that he has a dream that his arm is on fire in the dealership. He also tells her he still doesn't remember what happened except he was drinking when the place was set on fire and then next thing he knows he is on the floor outside until the emergency services arrive. Deb tells him to be optimistic as Nathan will be home soon after High Flyers, but Dan asks his home with Haley or their home.
Nathan is at High Flyers camp when he receives a letter as he remembers the night Haley came back. Haley apologizes for everything, but Nathan seems less than happy to see her back. Haley admits they wanted to make her a solo artist but it didn't matter without him. He then interrupts telling her she made a mistake about coming back as he is going to High Flyers and they don't have an apartment anymore and her stuff has all been moved into storage. Seeing she is upset by this, Nathan offers her the guest room for the night. She tells him that her heart was always in Tree Hill with him, but Nathan says he is still going tomorrow, and taking his heart with him. Lucas goes to see Brooke, he apologizes for not bringing the flowers at the airport, but Brooke felt like she overreacted and they make up. As they remember the kiss, Lucas explains he panicked and that is why he kissed her. Brooke then says it was ok, and has thought about it through the summer and has decided to have a summer-like fling with him, through the fall. She tells him she wants a non exclusive relationship so they don't announce each other as boyfriend and girlfriend, but they still have fun together, including sleeping together. But she also wants to date other people. With her suggestion, Lucas agrees that it is the perfect solution and Brooke leaves to go and sort Peyton's mother drama out. In her room, Peyton remembers the night her and Lucas were left for the summer. She was freaked out that someone might be in her house and as Lucas assures her there isn't, they begin to laugh at how pathetic they have become to hang out together, but want to change that and hang out more. As she finishes a new piece of art work, she looks over at another painting of a boat leaving her on the shore as she remembers her dad arriving home to talk about Ellie face to face. He assures her that her mom has gone, but her biological mom is alive, and that is who Ellie is. Larry tells her, as they visited her mom's grave, that he never knew her biological father but knew her mother. As Larry says she got so much
from her adoptive mom, but Peyton asks what exactly, other than lies. Meanwhile, Deb finds her divorce papers as Dan looks at a lighter and his burns in the mirror. Haley goes to the apartment to see the pink painted over her face and she remembers the night she stayed at the Scott's house. Nathan checks on her and Haley tells him that when he took the drugs before the basketball game, he wished he could do it differently, and she wants to have a second chance with Nathan, to tell him that she has never doubted he has always been the best part of her life. Nathan retaliates asking what about the annulment papers she signed, the two argue and as she says she left messages, Nathan tells her he deleted her. She then tells him what the message said, that she fought against his ultimatum for the wrong reasons and as much as she loved performing, she didn't love it as much as him. As Haley stares at the wall, Brooke comes in behind her and asks her if she is staying. Haley says yes, but Brooke says that she isn't staying in the apartment, as she rented it, for her.
Setting up a room, Brooke begins unpacking her stuff, as Mouth lifts all her stuff into her room, feeling very weak. He looks at the wall of her summer, a bunch of photos with different boys. He asks about Lucas, but Brooke says they aren't exclusive as a romance, as she doesn't want to deal with the drama. Mouth tells her that he felt great when he was with Erica and would give anything to have it back. Brooke asks why they broke up, but Mouth says Erica got popular. As Brooke proves her point that playing the field is so much better. Peyton then comes to see Brooke and she is asked to do some painting for Brooke's new party palace. As she tells her to get rid of Nathan's graffitied wall, Peyton says to leave it as a reminder. Asking if they are fighting, Brooke finds out Peyton isn't happy with Haley. Brooke asks if it is more about Ellie than Haley and forces Peyton to go on a rant. As she realizes what she is doing, she calms herself down. Brooke tells Peyton that Haley might just need a little help. Meanwhile, Lucas is playing basketball and begins to lean over in pain, remembering his pain medication is no longer being supplied for him. As he leans over in pain, he finds Haley behind him, happy to see each other again, they hug.
After finding her picture of 'people always lie,' Larry goes to see Peyton. She tells her that her mom never slept for a week, in case something was wrong with Peyton as she was always going to be there for her and she will always know her mom will always love her. Larry admits that he didn't want to confuse Peyton by telling her she had another mom. He tells her to leave her mom out of the blame as it was not her fault as she would never lie and now Ellie is back, it doesn't change who her mom was. Deb goes to the cafe to see Karen who sees a major change in the cafe. Karen tells her that Andy isn't going to be back for a while and they both confirm they haven't heard anything from Keith. Haley and Lucas arrive at the cafe and Haley is happily greeted by Karen. She asks for her job back, as a waitress not a performer. As she cleans her first table, she remembers playing the piano in Karen's cafe as Nathan watches overwhelmed at her side. Lucas snaps her out of her memory as Lucas brings her the coffee, she tells him about her first performance to Nathan, and then that she has been sending him letters to the camp.
At High Glyers camp, Nathan scores and remembers Haley coming back into his room the night she stayed at his house. She asks to talk but Nathan doesn't know what to say, as he wants to hurt her like she hurt him. She tells him she is hurting, only to receive a nasty remark. As she leaves whispering 'always and forever,' to keep faith. Nathan calls her back, she gets into bed with him apologizing and kissing him, but Nathan tells her he can't do it and tells her to go. Devastated Haley says she understands he doesn't love her anymore and walks out. As she does, Nathan says it is not that he doesn't love her, it is just he doesn't trust her. Haley begins to cry at the door, devastated by his comment. Dan is once again looking for the annulment papers as Deb walks in with them. He grabs them off her, finding out that they are his divorce papers. Deb tells him that they are both recovered, but their marriage won't. Dan agrees, to Deb's surprise, and tells her that sometimes the fire burns out.
Brooke goes to see Haley at the cafe and tells her to bring her stuff to the apartment as she is moving in with her so Brooke can afford a new 'back to school' outfit. Peyton tells Lucas she cut her hair to not be like Ellie. As Lucas says he met her once, and he saw her today, which takes Peyton by surprise as she hasn't heard from her since she slammed the door in her face. Nathan is invited to a party at High Flyers but isn't sure whether he is going. As his friend leaves the room, he tells him that take it slow and he will get it all back. As he begins to read the letter he was sent, he remembers receiving the annulment papers. The ones he signed, and believed Haley had, but as he opened the envelope, he finds Haley printed the message 'I love you' instead of her signature. Haley moves into the apartment to find the wall Nathan grafittied with a border around saying love. Brooke then approaches her saying her actions created no pity for her, but she can still have the room, which Haley takes. Dan goes to the chapel and goes into the confession booth. He asks if it is possible to confess for future actions. He says he has been pretending he doesn't know who set the dealership on fire, but he is in piecing it together, and when he finds out, he will commit terrible sins. As he confesses, he remembers a person standing in the way of the dealership and setting it alight, but their face is blurred. He remembers all the flames but nothing else. Then he thinks of the possible culprits and his mind skips through Jules, Andy, Karen, Deb, Keith, Whitey, Lucas, Nathan and Haley, all the possible people who may have come after him.
Meanwhile, Brooke gets out the water in a bikini to find Lucas waiting for her, asking for to go for food, and keep their relationship casual. As they sit on the beach, Lucas asks if it will work and they both agree it will. The two kiss and as they do, Brooke takes a photo on her mobile.
Peyton finishes her painting on the wall. It is a long number of the amount of people in the world. She looks at the 1 and thinks sometimes, all you need is the one person. Meanwhile, Brooke sticks up the photo of her and Lucas kissing on her summer board as Haley mopes around on her bed and puts her wedding ring on. Lucas holds the note that was sent to Dan in the dealership, he had obviously been in the dealership. Nathan is at High Flyers and puts the wedding ring back around his neck, the same time Haley puts her ring on.
- "I've been getting these creepy emails lately and then this woman shows up and she knew things about me...She says she's my mother. My mom's dead Luke, I was in the hospital, I watched her die"
- "Nathan, there wasn't a moment when I was away, that my heart wasn't with you in Tree Hill."
- "That's great, but I'm still leaving tomorrow. Unlike you, I'm taking my heart with me"
- "Look, I know it wasn't fair how I told you I wanted to be with you, when your cab's just parked right outside. I just saw you slipping away and I guess I panicked"
- "It's ok really. I actually had the whole summer to think about us, and I thought, we could totally have a summer like fling, just in the fall. And non exclusive"
- "I didn't even listen to it. I deleted you"
- "Well, then you deleted this. I was being childish when I walked away from you for the tour, you gave me an ultimatum the night that I left, and I fought back for all the wrong reasons. And I was being stubborn, and I can't take that back, I wish that I could. Did I want to go? Yeah. I loved it. I loved every night of it. But I want you to know something Nathan, there was never a night where I loved it more than I loved you"
- "Hey Mouth, nice work...Brooke gets a place of her own and you already got her in the bedroom"
- "Ahh, easy on the skanky innuendo"
- "This, is our new post-game, party palace. All it needs is a P. Sawyer makeover, a little paint, a couple of those creepy 'nobody understands me' drawings that you do and a bunch of hot boys"
- "Hence the skanky innuendo"
- "Part of me just wants to find the words to hurt you, the same way you hurt me"
- "I am hurting Nathan"
- "You mean because I made out with Chris? Because I turned my back on us and walked away? Oh wait, that was you"
- "Always and forever"
- "I understand if you don't love me anymore"
- "Always and forever. That's what sucks Haley. I still do love you, I always will. I just can't trust you"
- "May the grace of god be..."
- "Yeah, ok. I got to tell you, padre, this isn't exactly my home court, you know. Never had much use for religion, I guess what you call kindness, I call weakness. But no man is bulletproof, I know that. After all, they crucified your boy, didn't they?...What troubles me is how I've made mistakes. How I lie awake at night keeping company with regret, fallibility. I've not been the man I intended to be, that troubles me"
- "And you've come seeking absolution"
- "Yeah, I suppose I have. Let me ask you something, is it possible to grant forgiveness for sinful acts yet to be commited?...It's simple really, three months ago somone drugged me and left me for dead. I pretended not to remember. But in fact, every night since, I tried to piece it together and when I find out who did this me, and I will find out soon, the sins I commit then could turn this place to rubble "
- Dan Scott confesses for future actions
- "At this moment, there are 6 billion, 4 hundred, 71 million, 8 hundred, 18 thousand, 6 hundred, 71 people in the world. Some are running scared, some are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day, others are just now facing the truth. Some are evil men at war with good, and some are good struggling with evil. 6 billion people in the world, 6 billion souls, and sometimes, all you need is 1."
- - Peyton Sawyer (closing voiceover)
- "Feeling A Moment" - Feeder
- "This Side Of Heaven" - Matthew Ryan
- "The Rhythm Of Your Breathing" - Trembling Blue Stars
- "Nobody's Darling" - Lucero
- "Light Years Away" - MoZella
- "Simple As It Should Be" - Tristan Prettyman
- "Stars and Boulevards" - Augustana
- "She's Adorable" - Leif Karate
- "All Eternal Things" - Trembling Blue Stars
- "Street Map" - Athlete
This episode's title originated from the song Like You Like An Arsonist, originally sung by Paris, Texas.
- Keith and Whitey do not appear in this episode.
- Deb's hair drastically changes during the opening scene, from medium to long, and Hilarie Burton is wearing a wig during her first scene, because Hilarie Burton cut her hair between season 2 and 3.
- This is the first season premiere to not feature Keith and Whitey.
- This is the first episode where Lee Norris (Mouth McFadden) is credited as a main cast member.