I gotta say, I loved this episode of Laguna Beach. Well, maybe “love” is too strong of a word, but I found it highly entertaining. We can probably attribute that to the total lack of Cami and Kyndra. I’m not saying this because both those girls are heinous bitches who make us all embarrassed for our high school days. No, I say it because both those girls are so cognizant of the cameras at all times that they only serve to distract us from the story. Plus, they never say anything remotely interesting at all — not that anyone on the show ever has any insightful commentary on anything. My only quibble with this episode is that it began a good two minutes early. MTV, in its infinite wisdom, jumped the gun with the airtimes, which meant all us Tivo users missed the opening scene, which not only is a dependable goldmine of comic possibilities, but also a source of important expository information. And of course tonight was the night when I needed some context the most. It took a good five or eight minutes before we had any idea what was going on. They were going to San Diego? For some event? With boys? Huh? Don’t worry. I’ll explain all…This week’s episode was blithely titled “Kiss and Don’t Tell!” (I added the exclamation point), and I couldn’t be more excited. Surely some scandalous lip-locking would be taking place, and thanks to the previews, we already knew it would involve Cameron and town pariah Tessa. Didn’t he know any better? Didn’t he realize that she was UNTOUCHABLE???
Well, after the opening credits ran, we found Cameron lifting weights in a cramped boutique gym annoyingly named, “The Art of Fitness.” Look, I know Laguna Beach was founded as an artists’ colony, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s not like people are using elliptical machines to power a pottery wheel. Anyway, we were then treated to a lovely close-up of Cameron’s armpit hair as he bench pressed enough weight to make me feel shame for my physical stature. Just when we thought we were in for a quiet scene of contemplation and sweat, Jessica suddenly popped up by Cam’s side and chirped “I’ll lift weights with you!” She then added, “I WILL DO ANYTHING WITH YOU. I NEED TO BE LOVED AND DOTED UPON!!!”
Unfortunately, Jessica didn’t realize what she was getting into. Working out with Cameron is no walk in the park. He handed her two twelve pound dumbbells, enough to strain even the strongest of bodybuilders. “Isn’t that a lot of weight?” she asked, eyeing the weights with deep fear.
“NOT FOR INCLINE BENCH!” Cameron snapped back. Looks like Jessica hasn’t quite honed the art… OF FITNESS!!!
Anyway, Jessica turned out to be a total pest in the gym (imagine that!) as she warned Cameron, “Don’t step on my Sidekick or my sunglasses or my phone!” The very mention of the word “sidekick” had me excited that Roz might show up, and surely, who would want to step on Roz? But it turns out she was merely referring to her T-Mobile Sidekick, thus ruining my brief excitement.
Well, Jessica continued to bitch and moan and generally sully the Art of Fitness. “I don’t gym!” she protested, clearly not realizing that she was, in fact, “gyming” at that moment. A frustrated Cameron tried to push all the complaining aside and gave her some weights to lift for twenty-five reps. “Twenty-five’s a lot!” she balked. To be fair, she can only count to eighteen.
After this workout from hell, a pissed Cameron walked Jessica to her car, and even though he was obviously annoyed with her, he still asked if he could sit in her car because, you know, it was really cold out (that’ll happen when you wear a sleeveless t-shirt outside in the middle of winter at dusk). The two got in the car, parked distractingly on an oblique angle, but I’m not sure these new environs helped, what with the windows rolled all the way down. Might be hard to preserve that heat if you’re letting all the cold air in. I guess Jessica’s still working on the Art of Climate Control. Or at least the Art of Windows.
“Can you check under your door, Cameron? I think I parked on a hobo.”
By the way, the fact that Jessica was driving around in a Toyota Corolla was shameful. How could she not have a luxury car? Her Laguna membership should be revoked. Take it to Mission Viejo, sister!
Meanwhile, over in Dullsville, or as it’s more commonly known, Tessa’s house, our narrator was hanging out with her semi-crush, Chase. At first I was a little distracted — my eye kept wandering over to the sepia-toned family photo on a nearby table. Apparently Tessa and her parents had gotten a portrait taken at Sears — in 1896. Anyway, Tessa and Chase had a boring conversation as usual, and we learned that she was going down to San Diego that weekend. Oh, and I believe Tessa was actually packing during this scene, which would explain why Chase was there. If there’s anything we know about Laguna kids, it’s that they LOVE watching each other pack!
Anyway, regarding the trip down to San Diego, Chase asked, “Are you nervous at all?” Huh? Why would she be nervous? And what would she be doing that might make her nervous? Damn you, un-Tivoed opening scene!
Well, turns out Tessa was nervous about this unspoken San Diego event. “Um, I’m a little bit nervous just because it’s been a year since I’ve done it,” she said. And again, I was left wondering what the hell was going on. What had she not done in a year? Go to the San Diego zoo? Lego Land? Sea World? The Museum of Man in Balboa Park???
Luckily, Tessa mentioned that she’d be going to ASR; so at least now that was all cleared up. Oh, but one question. What’s ASR? Time for Google! ASR is actually a trade expo for the action sports industry aaaand I’m already bored. Anyway, turns out Tessa hadn’t been to ASR since before she was sick (ah, the mysterious illness raises its head again!), but now she was going with Rocky and Alex and Cameron and his buddy Nick, who we hadn’t met yet. For whatever reason, Chase found this curious and asked what was up with Cameron. Tessa squeaked that she’d been friends with him for a long time, but then she later suggested that there might be something between the two of them.
“Yeah. Yeah. Good. Good deal,” Chase said in response, clearly covering up his own amorous feelings towards Tessa. Or at least, that’s probably what we’re supposed to think. We all know his love is one thing and one thing only: his band. And Kelan. But mostly his band.
We then headed to Raquel’s house, which is apparently perched atop an impenetrable mountain of cacti. No wonder Breanna stopped going to Rocky’s house. She probably was scared of the rampant cactus overgrowth!
Well, we heard a few words from Raquel’s mom, and then Rocky, Alex, and some guy named Stephen hopped in the car and headed off to San Diego, hopefully picking up Tessa along the way. Then again, if they forgot her by accident, that would be okay. Tessa could just spend the weekend watching Corrina, Corrina with everyone’s parents.
Meanwhile, in SUV #2, Cameron and this Nick character hit the road also, but not before we met Nick’s mom (who thankfully also looked pretty normal). We knew Nick would be a standup guy because as he left, his mother called out, “Nick, I love you so much!” It’s not like he was going off to England to study for three years, but the sentiment was nice nonetheless.
Anyway, as the two guys drove down to San Diego, they talked about Jessica, and it became very apparent that Nick was the sidekick that Cameron so sorely needed. Phew! It was getting a little dicey there for a while, what with Cameron flying solo and everything. Nevertheless, Cam said he was just sick of Jessica, and like a true sidekick, Nick backed him up and said he had to cut her loose. Cameron then said that he was going to hook up with whoever he wanted to, dammit, and once again, Nick was there to cheer him on. I liked this Nick fella. We need to see more of his sidekick capabilities. I don’t think he’ll ever be at Roz or Lo or Cedric levels, but he could certainly give Dieter a run for his money.
Birth of a sidekick.
“You think I should make a move on Tessa tonight?” Cameron then asked.
“What happens in San Diego stays in San Diego!” Nick replied, further exhausting an overused phrase. Look, it was fine with Vegas, and same for Cabo, but soon it’s just going to lose its value. I wouldn’t be surprised if people start saying, “Whatever happens at the supermarket stays at the supermarket!”
We then went into the San Diego Convention Center where we found Tessa modeling for a fashion line called Lucy Love (any relation to Lisa Love?). I could swear I’ve seen that Lucy Love brand somewhere before — maybe at one of those silly Laguna Beach fashion benefits? Either way, it was clear that the mysterious ASR event that had caused Tessa to be so nervous was this modeling gig. It also became readily apparently why Kyndra and Cami hated Tessa so much: she was a model, and they weren’t. That’s not to say that Tessa was a particularly good model. No, quite the opposite. She spent most of the time slightly hunched over, meekness oozing out of her every pore. But she looked cute, and Nick even commented, “Tessa’s really unique looking.” He then added, “I’ve never seen a girl with that color hair. What do they call it? Bru… Brunette?”
Cameron didn’t think Tessa was unique looking. No, he thought she was HOT! And at that revelation, we went to commercial. When we returned, we found Tessa and Rocky primping in the hotel bathroom, getting ready for a big night out in San Diego. Raquel seemed rather preoccupied with whether or not to iron her top, and while she examined her wrinkle status, the guys came by, drinking out of mysterious red plastic cups. Tessa and Cameron then spoke cryptically about some recent summer romance, and we learned that these two had in fact once dated. Yet another reason for Kyndra’s irrational hatred of Tessa. Bitch was jealous!
I had to admit, I really enjoyed the sexual chemistry/tension between Tessa and Cameron. I’m not sure if it’s because there seemed to be genuine sparks or if it was more because I liked seeing Tessa grab the guy that all the annoying girls on the show were drooling over. Slight cosmic justice.
Anyway, the gang headed out to a restaurant called Dick’s Last Resort where a rotund waiter livened things up by pretending to spill a whole tray of waters on the kids. However, all the cups were empty, which meant they all just got punk’d!!!
His cups runneth over!
“OMG! Toppling cups!!!”
“Yeah, I got you guys!” the waiter said triumphantly. He then pulled up his shirt and revealed the word “Taco” written across his tummy. “My name is Taco. Don’t get mad we don’t serve tacos. Taco serves you guys!” he said, and no, I’m not even making this up. Why anyone would want food from a guy who just bared his fat stomach is beyond me, but the kids were all entranced by this Taco man and his practical jokes (turns out they didn’t get punk’d. They got Taco’d!).
Isn’t this some sort of health code violation?
Even though it was highly obnoxious and fairly pathetic on his part (Taco was about thirty-two), he then began asking all the kids who was dating who. At first it seemed ever so slightly amusing, but then it became clear that he really cared. Taco, GO AWAY!
“How old are you guys?” he asked. The bigger question, however, was how old was Taco? I’m not even sure he was a real waiter. He could have just been some poor PA on the production that was forced to pull out some exposition from the kids.
Taco went away for about two seconds, during which I noticed that Nick was all pre-bibbed for his dinner (they hadn’t even ordered yet). Sign of a good sidekick: he’s always prepared.
In an awkward turn of events, everyone suddenly disappeared from the table for a variety of reasons, leaving Tessa alone to deal with Taco by herself. Believe it or not, the guy actually sat down at the table and asked for the real scoop on who was with who. Specifically, he wanted to know which boy she liked. At this point, I’d be like “Where’s your manager?” but instead, Tessa just smiled bashfully and revealed a little crush on Cameron.
Move over, Dr. Phil. It’s time for Dr. Taco.
Luckily, everyone returned to the table soon enough, which meant Taco had to leave. We then saw the kids all enjoying their meal, and each of them seemed to have many straws in their drinks. Raquel in particular left us wondering just how many straws she could have in one cup before she was satisfied. Perhaps each straw represented a cactus growing under her house.
“They’re mine! They’re ALL MINE!!!!”
Meanwhile, back up in the ‘Guna, Jessica dined with Roz, who had sadly turned into a dark brunette. I liked her blonde look more. Anyway, Roz asked Jessica to describe the perfect man, but they were interrupted when a very non-Taco waiter presented them with a lemon tart in a huckleberry sauce.
“Huckleberry. I didn’t even know that was a real berry,” marveled Roz, but before she could reflect on this culinary revelation, Jessica suddenly said, “My ideal guy…” Translation: Less huckleberries, more me!!!
Anyway, Jessica described her ideal man: blue eyes, brown hair, tall, muscular (a “man man,” as Roz said), baby face, someone who’s polite and respectful, and a guy who wants to walk her to her car and mean it. She then added that she wanted him to fly, own a unicorn, and drive a car that ran on starlight and dreams.
Back down in San Diego, the kids were back in the hotel room drinking liquid from those curious red plastic cups. Romance was in the air, as evidenced by James Blunt crooning on the soundtrack, and suddenly, Tessa and Cameron were on the bed making out. Behold Tessaron! Or Camessa! Whatever their union was called, it was clear that Jessica was the last thing on Cameron’s mind at that time, even if she was at that moment pining for him up in Laguna.
At what point did this hookup turn into a psychological thriller?
After the commercial break, we found Cameron and Nick waking up in bed (their own beds, not together. This isn’t Cedric and Jason we’re talking about here). Nick seemed absolutely thrilled about Cameron and Tessa’s hanky panky, and like a good sidekick, he reveled in his Master’s sexual conquest. He also expressed hope that the hotel might serve a free continental breakfast, but Cameron dashed his hopes, saying, “It’s The Hilton. They probably expect you to pay for your own breakfast, man.” Look, it’s not like you guys are staying at the Waldorf Astoria. Let’s not get carried away.
Meanwhile, Rocky and Tessa stood outside and stared at the San Diego bay, enjoying the view. If only they too lived by a beach…
Raquel then handed Tessa a cup and said, “So I couldn’t make that tea thing you always get.” You mean chai?? She then added, “I got you a cup of that dark drink with the caffeine that Starbucks specializes in. What’s it called again?” Okay, she didn’t say that, but either way, the girls sipped down their drinks, with Tessa making the sort of little noises my baby nephew used to make when he drank from his bottle. The two then recapped the previous night’s activities, and Tessa revealed that she actually liked Cameron. “I had a lot of fun with him last night. I think I’ll do it again,” she said, clearly not realizing that he was probably going to dump her ass for Jessica the moment they got back to Laguna. Let’s not forget, what happens in The Hilton of San Diego stays in The Hilton of San Diego.
Well, after a fun time at the ASR trade show, it was time to head back up north to the ‘Guna. “Finally, we get back to Laguna!” Nick said as he hopped in the car. Those eighteen hours away were tough! He and Cameron then had a discussion about his hookup with Tessa, but I was mildly distracted the entire time because a) the dome lights were all on in the car despite it being daytime, and b) Cameron looked like he was driving at warp speed down the highway. I know it was just an illusion with the trees out the car window and whatnot, but damn, he looked like he was about to launch into space.
Anyway, Nick did the proper sidekick thing and made Cameron feel fine and justified for his little Tessa tryst. He reminded him that Jessica was not one hundred percent committed, and therefore, it was okay to kiss other girls. Hey, he was a man, and he was entitled to be “doing your thing, you know. Doing polo, cruising around, partying!” Yes, he was one wild and craaazy guy, what with the polo and the cruisin’ and the partying! Lord help any girl who tried to hinder his pursuit of happiness!
As the show came to an end, Cameron and Jessica met up on a beach at dusk. She of course asked him about the trip, immediately questioning if he hooked up with Tessa. “I used to go out with Tessa,” Cameron revealed before sort of laughing it off. The two then talked about their relationship and how they act around each other. “I’ve never played one game with you in your life,” Cameron said, perhaps forgetting the lies he just fed her about not hooking up with Tessa that weekend.
Cameron also said he felt “sketched” around Jessica and was scared to get close to her. She replied with her own psycho-babble about how she reacts to boys, and ultimately, they held hands and resolved to just hang out with each other. I couldn’t tell if they were together or broken up, but I’d side with together, especially after the previews for next week which seem to show a saddened Tessa learning the hard way that what goes on in the eastern-most bed in Room 12A of The Hilton of San Diego stays in the eastern-most bed in Room 12A of The Hilton of San Diego.
What did you think about this episode? Do you like Tessa and Cameron together?