With Wall Street losing a trillion dollars and everything else pretty much falling apart in this country, MTV on Monday took a page out of the Spartan Cheerleaders book and said, “You know what this country needs? THE PERFECT CHEER.” And that cheer came in the form of an utterly wonderful new episode of The Hills. This latest installment was light on filler material, which meant we didn’t have four different scenes of people recapping previous conversations to other people. Instead, we were chock full o’ drama Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â whether it be Spencer clashing with Heidi’s mom, Stephanie lying terribly to Lauren, or Doug trying his best to weasel his way out of the frozen burrito of duplicity he’d wrapped himself into. Throw in a dash of Wet Whitney, and we have pretty much the best episode of the season so far. Yes, better than Vegas.
This week’s episode began with an old, familiar face: Jarrett the trainer who once went out with Whitney. I don’t really remember what happened on that front, except that it didn’t work out, and he disappeared much like many of the various house pets that enter Lauren’s life. Anyway, Jarrett was back in his old capacity as the professionally pretty Equinox trainer, and today, he was engaging in some sparring with Lauren. Not verbal sparring, mind you. Just traditional pugilism, all in the name of good health and toned arms. While LC threw some amazingly weak punches at Jarrett’s pads (seriously, I think Stephen Hawking could take her in a fight), she caught a nearby Whitney up on the latest gossip.
“Steph and Doug went out to dinner,” Lauren revealed, causing a perpetually slack-jawed Whit to shoot back, “Stephanie PRATT and Doug went out to dinner?” No, Whitney. Not Stephanie Pratt. Stephanie Powers. She wants Doug to star in a revival of Hart to Hart.
Of course Stephanie Pratt!!
Well, this spurred a feisty gabfest about proper dating etiquette and whatnot, and eventually Lauren completely stopped exercising, leaving Jarrett to do little else but stand there and look confused. Should he say anything? Should he be quiet? Should he try to date Whitney again? It was all too much for him. Finally, he just offered up his own take on the situation: “She better have a good explanation for you.” Please. If there’s anything we know about Lauren, it’s that once you get on her bad side, explanations don’t count for shit. Then again, it also doesn’t help that none of her friends are ever very good at explaining themselves ever. Nevertheless, with steely determination in her eyes, Lauren resumed her punches, thus revealing that if Stephanie were to piss her off, LC would have no qualms in lightly patting her in the chest with her fists.
After the opening credits, the producers set the tone of the episode by playing Britney Spears’ new song, “Womanizer.” Needless to say, it’s now been in my head for twelve straight hours. We then descended on the FIDM campus where we saw many examples of womanizers. Why, those two random girls sitting around Ã¢â‚¬â€ womanizers through and through! And that sparrow aimlessly meandering on the lawn Ã¢â‚¬â€ a bird womanizer if I’ve ever seen one! Womanizers everywhere!
Anyway, we eventually found Lauren sitting alone on a ledge, surely stewing with rage over her sidekick’s betrayal. Stephanie, meanwhile, didn’t know that her duplicity had been outed, and so she plunked herself down next to her Master and tried to engage in some small talk, but it pretty much went nowhere. In the awkward silence that followed, Steph merely muttered “Fun…” Oh, it was about to get real fun up in herre.
“So what else is new?” Steph then asked, unwittingly stepping right into the dragon’s lair of Lauren’s wrath. I pretty much expected LC to answer with a terse but violent, “What else is new? How about this: you’re not my friend anymore so get the hell off my TV show, BITCH!” Instead, Lauren merely called Steph out casually about her detante with DOUG (rhymes with “UGH”), and in turn Stephanie proved that she didn’t quite share all the same traits as her brother, namely his ability to lie shamelessly and successfully.
“He like came out of left field for me and totally took advantage of… I mean, using me to get back at you… yeah, I, um, deleted him out of my phone, and I got like missed calls from him. I’m not gonna call him back obviously,” Steph stammered. The only thing worse would have been if she had concocted some ridiculous story about an elephant knocking her unconscious, thus precipitating a potent but temporary bout of amnesia during which she had forgotten that Doug had dated Lauren, thus leading her to believe he was available for the occasional round of strings-free oral sex. I mean, it COULD happen.
Even worse for Steph was that she couldn’t even commit to her lie for more than five seconds. Apparently Doug was having a party the next day, and when Lauren asked Steph if she was going, Stephanie said yeah, totally. But wait a second Ã¢â‚¬â€ if Steph was disgusted by Doug and had deleted his number from her phone, why was she then going to his party the next day? She-Pratt explained, “This [the invitation] was like weeks ago before I was even friends with him.” Hmmm… didn’t quite answer the question. I mean, just because Doug invited her weeks ago didn’t mean that she still had to go. It was only a pool party. It’s not like it was a wedding (although, there’d certainly be a marriage of douchebaggery and drunkenness on display).
“Well, this is nice!”
Anyway, Steph seemed pretty happy with her explanation of things, and as she and Lauren sat together quietly, we headed over to Hollywood where Holly was helping Heidi make cupcakes for her 22nd birthday. Spencer, meanwhile, sat on the couch, clearly trying to take in as much TV before the Holly-monster could destroy his Tivo once again. Anyway, the good news for Heidi was that cupcakes weren’t her only birthday gift. That’s right, Holly had up and gotten her a bigger, more maternal surprise: their mother! That’s right, our old friend Darlene Montag appeared at the front door almost on cue, much to the delight of Spencer who gushed, “Mom’s here!” As Darlene settled in, we learned that she’d had no idea that Heidi had moved back in with Spencer, but fear not Ã¢â‚¬â€ it’s not like Heidi was hiding this information. She just didn’t want to tell her over the phone. Why? Beats me. But the ensuing drama on this point kind of played out like an After School Special on teen homosexuality, which was a nifty subtext to add, if only because it made Spencer represent repressed gayness.
Nevertheless, Heidi had been forced out of the Spencer closet, and Darlene was none too happy to have learned about it from Holly and not Heidi herself.
“You think it’s easy for me to… have not told you?” Heidi bleated back, conveniently employing some Pratt-logic to make herself seem like the victim. Unfortunately for her, the answer to her question is yes, we do think it was easy for her not to have told her mom.
Heidi then went on to somehow make this Darlene’s fault, saying, “I didn’t want you judging me!” Of course not. That’s why she has Spencer.
Well, it didn’t seem like these two were gonna resolve these issues anytime soon; so Darlene proposed getting lunch alone with Spencer, an idea he replied to with his phony, sing-songy voice: “I think I know some great lunch places!” I don’t know whether I should love Spencer or hate him for being the only one on the planet that can take such a benign comment and make it the most hatable sentence of 2008.
We then cut to some glamorous shots of the city at night, one of which was a prolonged view of two people’s crotches steadily marching towards the camera. Perhaps this was a metaphor for the ever-growing sexual overtures between Stephanie and DOUG, who we found moments later at local Italian restaurant Bella (not to be confused with Heidi’s long missing dog from season one). Steph seemed somewhat rattled by Lauren’s frosty reception earlier that day, but Doug reassured her that he would take care of the whole situation. He went so far as to say that he’d back Stephanie up, defending her honor if need be. He would shoulder all the blame and would reiterate that Stephanie did nothing wrong.
“Boom! Be quiet!” Doug said, deftly employing the hallowed onomatopoeia line of defense. Surely Lauren and Brody would be powerless against such retorts as “Bang! That’s enough!” or “Pow! Please say no more!”
Nevertheless, DOUG went on to reassure Steph with a serious of staccato proclamations and orders: “Just come to our party. Just play cool. You know?” I do know, Doug. I do know. He then insisted that if Brody starts up, he’ll say “Hey, relax,” and everything would be fine. And failing that, Doug will stuff so many frozen burritos in Brody’s pie-hole he won’t be able to talk for a good thirty hours.
Ultimately, Doug told Steph not to get crazy, which was a risky move as we all know that if there’s anyone who’s averse to being called crazy, it’s Crazy Steph. She let it slide though, probably because her loins were tingling at the mere sight of such a studly, caring burrito heir. Sensing horniness in the air, Doug the asked Steph what she was doing after dinner. Specifically: “move night or DVD night?”
“DVD NIGHT,” Steph said mischievously. Uh oh. These two are totally gonna DO IT. But to what DVD? My money’s on Mrs. Doubtfire. Or maybe one of those videos of birds and flowers that people put on for their cats. Or maybe just a screensaver.
The next day, we found Lauren at People’s Revolution catching Whitney up on all the drama. When Whit asked how things were with her and Steph, Lauren replied with a dismissive “fine.” Yup, sounds absolutely FINE. I actually liked Lauren’s attitude in this scene. She wasn’t as vigilant or righteous as she’s been in the past. Instead, she was more wryly amused and generally condescending, in a deserving way. Ah, the simple joys of watching youth become jaded.
Anyway, in exciting news, we learned that Whitney would be going to Doug’s party, which I suppose fills her quota of being able to tag along to exactly one event during the season. Whit was quite eager to check this shindig out, if only to finally meet Doug. Lauren, however, tempered her expectations: “You’ll hate him.” And just in case Whitney didn’t believe her, Lauren repeated the point many times. “Just trust me,” she added, throwing in an “OH YEAH!” for added emphasis. I guess we’ll just have to assume that Whitney has a natural predisposition against burrito heirs.
Meanwhile, over at DOUG’s spacious pad in the hills, we found him and Brody at what looked to be sunrise, talking about the Steph situation. Surely this was the moment we all feared Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â when the bros would come down on Doug for his ill-advised tryst Ã¢â‚¬â€ but we all knew that he was good to his word, and that in the face of antagonism, Doug would stand up for Steph and take the brunt of the responsibility.
Doug immediately sold Steph out, saying that he only wanted to be friends with her all along. He then went so far as to show Brody all of Steph’s texts, which apparently said something to the effect of “Come watch a movie late night?” Okay, well, so much for “Boom! Be Quiet.”
“I love you so much, bro.”
“Bottom line is I wanted to be friends with her, she blew it out of proportion, saying come over late night, watch movies,” Doug insisted, adding “Bang! I’m innocent!”
I don’t really know who was more into this whole stupid relationship, but Doug did at least have one decent point: “At the end of the day, Lauren broke up with me, know what I mean?” This was very true, and it did give him a right to go after Steph; however, knowing that, I’m not sure I understand why he wouldn’t just ‘fess up to it. Zap! I’m confused.
Ultimately, the conversation ended with Doug asking Brody to not make Steph cry at the party. “If she cries, she cries. Not my fault,” Brody said, clearly not understanding the entire concept of causality Ã¢â‚¬â€ meaning that if he causes her to cry, it’s HIS DAMN FAULT.
Speaking of gentlemen, we then headed over to the Bloom Cafe where Spencer and Darlene were settling down for what would surely be an awkward lunch. Darlene tried to start things off on a diplomatic note, saying it was nice of Spencer and Heidi to host Holly, but Spencer quickly corrected her, noting that “It’s nice of Heidi. I really, to be honest, wasn’t too fond of the idea.” And so the rudeness begins.
Spencer then went on to accuse Holly of having ulterior motives that extended beyond just complete and total Tivo subterfuge. Yes, according to him, it was Holly’s intent to move in with Heidi and send Spencer packing. This prompted Darlene to reply, “Well, maybe that’s not such a bad idea.” OOOOH. Darlene snap!!!
Spencer, however, proved that he was impervious to any and all insults, snapping back, “What planet are you living on?” Excuse me, that woman is your girlfriend’s mother, and if you must know, she doesn’t live on a planet. She lives on a butte. AND IT’S CRESTED.
Nevertheless, Spencer went on to praise Heidi’s ability to make a decision without calling “mom in Crested Butte,” as if calling “mom in Malibu,” which is certainly what Spencer does off-camera, is much better. Thankfully, Mom in Crested Butte brought out the big guns, saying what no one has really ever said directly to Spencer’s face: “I think you’re very controlling and manipulative.” Cut to America applauding vigorously. Bring it, Darls, bring it!
The best Spencer could come back with was a sarcastic and condescending “Oh, is that what you think from Crescent Butte?” It didn’t really make any sense. It’s not like in the low altitudes of the Los Angeles basin Spencer’s personality would suddenly become “well-mannered and pleasant.”
Striking a semi-apologetic tone, Darlene then clarified that it wasn’t her intention to grill Spencer and make him feel uncomfortable, but he merely shot back, “I don’t get uncomfortable, my dear.” My dear? MY EFFIN’ DEAR? This kid has some nerve, I say! Whether or not this scene was staged (I personally don’t care), you don’t act this way to your girlfriend’s mother. For shame, SeÃƒÂ±or Pratt.
Thankfully, Darlene did not back down. If anything, she got more brutal. “I think you’re condescending, rude, and very hostile right now,” she spoke, but the words fell on deaf, square ears.
“I think you’re totally taking this the wrong way because I’ve done nothing wrong in my opinion,” Spencer stated, perhaps giving a bit too much weight to his “opinion.”
“I bet you didn’t know that if you added an ‘r’ to the end of it, your town would be called Crested Butter.”
As with any Spencer impasse, the situation ended frustratingly with no resolution, just some regretful stares into the distance that led us into the commercial break. When we returned, it was finally time for Doug’s party, which promised as much hot action as a frozen burrito fresh out of the microwave. Of course, if there’s anyone who knows anything about burning sensations, it’s Doug, whose entire backside appeared to be red as a lobster (Bam! Use sunscreen).
Anyway, things seemed perfectly fine at first. Frankie and Brody stood off in the corner making dumb jokes about trucker hats (which they still wear) while Lauren and Whitney sat poolside and rolled their eyes. “You know what’s really gross?” Lauren asked, nodding towards the guys. “I’ve kissed two out of the three of those… That’s awful.” Hey, she totally stole my punch line. That’s like the third time that’s happened this episode. Lauren, stop pre-blogging my blog. I’m just gonna be stuck writing “Yeah, what she said” for ten paragraphs.
We then paused to gaze upon Audrina Patridges new breasts, which previously made a splash at her birthday party a few weeks ago. This time, however, her mighty orbs were slightly bouncier, and conveniently, the producers played some tune with the lyric “I’m Daddy’s little girl” just as Aud unsheathed her bursting mammaries. TouchÃƒÂ©, MTV.
Audrina shows off her Patridges.
Well, with the presence of two bronzed, undulating cantaloupes in their midst, the boys became understandably hot and bothered, which is why Doug took it upon himself to do some sort of cannonball into the pool. Unfortunately for Whitney and LC, the ensuing Doug-tsunami full-on doused them with water, to the point where Lauren’s top became instantly see-through and Whitney’s mouth wound up deluged with unexpected fluid. Spitting ensued.
Wet-ney Port. RIMSHOT!
A common visual in Doug’s life.
“That was NOT funny,” Whit stated, angry for the first time since, well, ever. Even better, when Doug later tried to apologize, she brushed it off by saying, “It’s okay,” which was followed by a more peeved “I don’t even know you. AND I DON’T WANT TO!” Wow, sounds like some of that Cutrone is rubbing off on her, but whereas Kelly comes off as bitchy, Whitney just seems… awesome.
Speaking of bitches, it was finally time for Brody to ruin the party by attacking Stephanie, a fixation of his that becomes less becoming every episode, regardless of whether or not she deserves it. My theory: Brody still feels hurt and resentment over the Spencer fall-out; so by cutting down Steph, he feels like he’s cutting down Spencer. You know, projection and repression and all that fun stuff.
Anyway, Brody immediately went in for the prissy kill, telling Steph, “Somebody’s got a lot of nerve to show her face around here.” I half expected him to do an air-snap, bob his head, and say, “Mmmmmm hmmmm!”
Well, with Audrina awkwardly sitting right in the middle of this convo, Brody continued to slam his victim, saying “Stephanie, you have to understand something: I was right all along!” So should we throw a parade or something? Maybe anoint this day as “Brody Was Right All Along Day”? Just how much stroking does this guy need? And why does he care so much about saying “I told you so”? Oh, that’s right Ã¢â‚¬â€ he’s AWFUL.
Ultimately, Steph denied everything and walked away, causing our resident Greek Chorus of Whitney to say, “It’s so awkward. Why would he yell at her at a time like this? It’s so inappropriate.” Here’s the thing, Whit. Some people, like you, are smart and have a certain degree of class or tact. And then there’s Brody. Don’t question it. Just accept it.
Meanwhile, Lauren turned to Whitney and asked if she could get a ride out of the party, semi-seriously adding that she was willing to walk all the way down to her apartment if need be. Again, loving this new, wry Lauren. And I’m also glad that while it may have taken four seasons, she and Whitney are finally realizing that maaaaaybe they don’t surround themselves with the most savory of individuals. I would volunteer me and my friends as suitable replacements, but somehow, I don’t think our exciting adventures grilling quesadillas, spilling food, and NOT getting into parties will really sate LC’s fast-lane lifestyle (although, to be fair, we do hobnob with a very exclusive crowd).
Elsewhere in the city, we headed to Tart restaurant (as seen amidst an artful bus-reveal) where Heidi and Darlene were seated at what appeared to be an abnormally high table. Again, Darls said she didn’t know why Heidi had been so reluctant to reveal that she was living with Spencer again, and when Heidi protested that she was sick of taking her mother’s opinion over own, Darlene made a surprisingly salient point: Heidi wasn’t in fact thinking for herself. She was merely parroting Spencer’s thoughts, much as she used to parrot Darlene’s thoughts Ã¢â‚¬â€ she was merely swapping one dominant personality for another. OOOH. (I mean, it’s an obvious point, but still OOOOH.)
Of course, this was entirely too much for Heidi to process; so she just barked back, “This is my life, and I want to be able to make decisions for myself.” Okay, that’s nice. When will that be starting?
Darlene then revealed that Spencer had been rude and sarcastic at lunch, and that as the mother, she deserved more respect than that. True and true. She then suggested that Spencer might not want Heidi to be close with her family anymore (true again). Heidi refused to accept this, instead turning the attention back on her mother and accusing her of being judgmental. So as you can see, this is all her fault (actually, it kind of is for raising such a weak-willed daughter, but that’s neither here nor there).
Well, just when I thought Darlene might have had a shot of getting through to her obstinate daughter, she up and fell apart, crumbling into a sad image of motherhood as she teared up at the table. Why, Darlene, why? Be strong! Don’t let your daughter bully you!
“I’m sorry, Heidi. I don’t mean to cry. It’s just that you’re such a massive failure. I don’t know what else to do!”
“Maybe I’m being too controlling,” she muttered through tears. No, Darlene! You’re not being too controlling! Stop placing the blame on yourself! (Like mother, like daughter I guess). Ultimately Darlene told Heidi she just wanted her to be happy, which was nice and all, but a total cop-out. Spencer sucks, and Darlene knew it. But it doesn’t appear as if the Speidi union will be over anytime soon. At least, not until The Hills is canceled, Heidi passes 25, and Spencer realizes he has newer, prettier ingenues to sully.
Back at the pool party, the cameras settled in on a ridiculous charcoal portrait of Doug Ã¢â‚¬â€ the kind you pay $5 for on a boardwalk… if you’re an idiot. It would have been tacky enough on its own, but it became all the more mockable when we discovered it was one of many odes to our favorite burrito heir (and yes, for all you Laguna aficionados, there was a picture of Doug’s sister Casey in the corner).
A rare piece from Picasso’s oft-overlooked AWFUL period.
Meanwhile, sitting amidst this veritable Louvre of the Hollywood Hills was Steph, who was trying to escape from the douche-wrath of Brody. And for good reason. The guy was still rehashing the whole stupid saga.
“I still can’t believe this is even an issue,” Doug said, not without merit. Of course, much of the blame lays on Doug who could have killed this whole drama if he’d merely owned up to his role in it. Instead, he again tried to deny any and all sketchiness on his part, saying that he and Steph went out merely as friends. He wasn’t trying to hook up with her. He just felt pity for her because “she was LOST. She’s like a LOST puppy!” He then reiterated that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with her whatsoever. Again, a magnificent defense of her character, just as he promised he’d do on their date.
I actually felt bad for Steph, who we were led to believe could hear this all. I mean, she really was the perpetrator of this whole mess, and yet, she’s the one coming off looking like the victim (to a certain degree). Meanwhile, Doug proved that he wasn’t the sharpest burrito in the box when he announced that he went in public with Steph only once, causing Lauren to repeat his words, which then in turn caused Doug to suddenly yell, “NO I DIDN’T!” (Insert me scratching my head). Even better, Doug then clarified that he didn’t take Steph out in public. He only went to dinner with her. OOOHHHH. But not in public? Maybe he just picked her up in one of those shower curtain costumes from the Karate Kid and hid her from prying eyes all night.
Unfortunately for Doug, his claims that they went out only once were undermined when he said “I went to dinner and then…” at which point he trailed off. Word to the wise, if you want to create a sense of finality, don’t say “AND THEN…”
Of course, the truth came out: Doug and Steph had gone to one dinner AND one coffee. Dunh dunh DUNH!!! This was turning into a Harlequin romance! And Doug proved to be ever the romantic charmer as he yelled at Lauren, “You’re like my ex-fling. What is that?” Well, you can take your burrito and SHOVE IT. No one talks to the star of the show that way! Lauren immediately got up and walked away, leaving Frankie and Brody to chide their brohan about going on the date with Steph in the first place. And since he never passes up an opportunity to browbeat, Brody whined, “I found out from my MOM because you lied to the homies!” For shame. Doug has surely committed a major homie offense, punishable by eight straight months of Brody tapping him on the shoulder and saying, “Hey bro, you should know that I’m right, you’re wrong, and I told you so.”
Meanwhile, Lauren encountered Steph elsewhere in the house, and upon seeing her sidekick in tears, LC asked if she was okay. It was a classic Master move: softening up the sidekick before declaring utter and total disappointment, leading to perhaps a dissolution of the entire bond in general. Always a joy to watch Ã¢â‚¬â€ and making it even better was the handheld camerawork, which added an air of urgency to what would become an amusingly tragic scene for She-Pratt.
Thinking that her Master might be in a conciliatory mood, Steph tried to spin the situation by saying that Brody and Doug were “trying to come in between our friendship!” It was about as clunky an attempt at manipulation as there ever could be. Still, Steph pushed onwards, saying that she never wanted to hang out with the boys again. EVER! (Until the next opportunity presented itself, natch).
Lauren struck a surprisingly mature tone, brushing off the Doug-Steph dinner date with a stoic “whatever” before adding that it was something they shouldn’t have done, and it sucks, but it’s done and over. Yes, it seemed as though Lauren was taking this all for what it was: a really stupid drama. Or was she? Just seconds after acting as if she was over all this silliness, an ice cold Lauren quietly added “I didn’t know you had coffee too…”
Huminah huminah huminah.
Steph explained that she had met Doug for coffee because she wanted to tell him that he was getting the wrong impression of her and that she wasn’t into him and that she needed to get coffee because she was really thirsty and that without coffee she becomes a mess and sometimes when she’s a mess, she writes text messages she doesn’t mean, but it didn’t matter because the text messages she sent were just jokes anyway Ã¢â‚¬â€ haha, they were hilarious right? Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â because it’s all a joke, and surprise, Lauren! You’re on Candid Camera! There’s a camera there and there and there, and it’s all been one big joke. Doug isn’t even Doug! He’s an impersonator named Julio, and he has three nipples, and Steph knows that because she hooked up with Julio, but not because she thought he was Doug but because she liked Julio for the person that he is and did she mention that they’re on Candid Camera yet? Why is it so hot in here? I mean, it’s not hot because Doug’s in the next room. Doug isn’t even hot, and Steph doesn’t even know why she even inferred that. She was just feeling hot because it’s the heat of her innocence radiating through her, and did she leave her purse in the other room? She thinks she did. Maybe she should step out and get it; so you know, see ya!
Of course, Steph didn’t get to say all that. Lauren swiftly cut her off with an all knowing, please-don’t-bullshit-me utterance of “Steph.”
There was no getting out of this one. Steph knew she was busted, and with nothing else to do but sob, Steph let out a weepy “I’m so sorry.” But it was too late. Lauren marched out of the room, got her bag, and was off.
Now taking applications for a new sidekick. Qualifications: don’t be a Pratt.
What did you think about this episode? Who was in the wrong? What’s the deal with Brody? How do we feel about Doug? And will Darlene be able to ever show Heidi the light?