So many tangled relationships and it’s only the third episode! In this episode titled, “Are You True?”, Nathan is growing even more frustrated with Lucas’s growing popularity among the team and the school. Some of the more bitter team members including Nathan, start hazing Lucas. Nathan also searches for Lucas’s weak spot… which seems to be Lucas’s best friend Haley. Haley has been Lucas’s best friend since they were in grade school. She works at the cafe for Karen and she is in a lot of Lucas’s high school classes. Haley tutors for students at Tree Hill High School, and she loves helping them out, “When I’m tutoring someone, and they get it, and that light goes on, I feel good! I feel worthy. The same way that you feel when you play basketball” (Hayley to Lucas). Nathan is failing one of his classes, and gets the idea that if Haley tutors him, it will make Lucas lose focus and become jealous. Haley only agrees to tutor Nathan if the hazing stops. He also can’t tell anyone especially Lucas that she is tutoring him. Lucas and Haley are only friends, but if he were to find out that she was helping the “enemy,” he would not understand that she is doing this to help him not be hazed. Meanwhile, Peyton is furious at Lucas for submitting her sketches to the magazine without her knowing. Brooke, Peyton’s best friend and also captain of the cheerleading squad, moves in on Lucas. Peyton claims that Lucas is only and acquaintance to her and nothing is going on between them. Of course Peyton is lying to herself, but she insists that he means nothing to her. Brooke takes this as she can now move in on Lucas without having to worry about Peyton. “Wanna know what I think? I think Nathan likes tutor girl. But I think tutor girl likes Lucas. And I know I like Lucas. And I don’t know who the hell you like anymore. This is all turning into one big love… rectangle plus one, whatever that is” (Brooke to Peyton at a basketball game).
Lucas thinks that if he can stand through all of the hazing and be the bigger guy, things will start to turn his way. He believes this to be true when the hazing stops and Nathan starts to be a little more civil towards him. What Lucas doesn’t know is that Haley is the one who stopped the hazing. What Haley didn’t expect was that she would start to have feelings for Nathan. She tries to hide them as best as she can, but she can only hide them for so long. She sees Nathan when he is just himself and when he is not trying to put a show on for anyone else. He also confides in her a lot about what is going on with his family. He tells her he feels like basketball is tearing his family apart, but he can’t stop playing because his whole future rides on a scholarship from basketball. Haley tries to tell Lucas that maybe Nathan isn’t that bad of a guy and that he should try and see it from Nathan’s perspective. Lucas takes this in a bad way, and thinks that Haley is trying to stick up for how Nathan acts. Nathan is putting a strain on their relationship and this is what he wanted all along. But as he also starts to feel something deeper with Haley, he begins to slowly change his ways. This episode is truly about Haley and how being yourself can make other people comfortable enough to show their true personality. Nathan never talked about his family stuff with anyone, not even his girlfriend Peyton, but when Peyton breaks up with Nathan, Haley is he girl he turns to for comfort.