Like OMG! I can’t believe Laguna Beach is over! Totally the saddest episode of the year! When Kristin and Jessica were hugging, I was like totally grabbing the tissues and calling all my besties to say I loved them. You guys, promise that when we come back after freshmen year that we’ll all still be friends and keep in touch and hang out. I never want to lose you! Maybe we can buy a pair of jeans and then mail them to each other all semester long! OMG! That would be so sweet! I’m gonna cry all over again!
Okay, so maybe I wasn’t exactly tearing up at this season finale of Laguna Beach (I am, after all, an old, crusty twentysomething with a heart made of stone), but at least this commercial-free installment did adequately capture that awkward, sad, and exciting transitional time when teens leave the nest and head to college (or at least an aimless life in Los Angeles). It wasn’t the most , uh, compelling episode this season, but then again, what else could we really expect? We knew it would just be twenty-two minutes of crying and pondering; so we might as well take it with a grain of salt, kick back, and enjoy some homemade quesadillas, just for old times sake. This season is dunzo.The show kicked off not with the usual grim disclaimer (“The people, the locations, and the drama… are real”), but instead with MTV VJ and professional salt lick, Damien, who promised us a very special guest after the finale. A very special guest?!?! Who would it be? Sherman Helmsley? Charlotte Rae? Dinah Manoff? And yes, I am plucking stars from NBC’s 1988 Saturday night lineup. Actually, my MTV-sense was telling me that this special guest was probably Kristin or LC; so I reserved my excitement for the time being and decided to solely focus on the show — not what wondrous pearls of wisdom these girls might have to share.
Nevertheless, the episode finally began for reals, and as usual, we were treated to a recap by Kristin. However, since this was the season finale, we got an extra-special, extra-recappy trip down memory lane. “I seriously had the best year of my life!” Kristin boasted as we then saw her exclaim, “Look at all the boys!” Something tells me Kristin will be saying that same phrase twenty years from now when she’ll be hanging out at a dusty bar in Idaho, sucking on a cigarette, and coughing up some phlegm. Wow, that was a dreary image.
Anyway, our happy voyage through the past season continued as we relived the glorious Casey vs. Alex hygiene war, the stupendous Alex vs. Jessica bitchfest, and then of course, the bitter LC vs. Jason breakup. Eventually though, we returned to the present day (or actually, the taped present day — so really August) as the usual gang of Kristin, Roz (or Alex H.), and Jessica sat at a restaurant with a lovely array of beverages in front of them. Talk, of course, centered on the future as Jessica pondered what the ten year reunion would be like.
“I can see Jason with the big ol’ beer belly,” she said, adding, “Seriously. I can see him. I’ll be watching from across the street for the next twelve years. At least.”
Meanwhile, Roz had some constructive ideas for this luncheon. “Let’s write our goals, like what we want to have happening,” she suggested. She then added, “For instance, my goal is to have a peace bonfire every fortnight of the new moon’s passing.” Okay, I don’t know why I turned Roz into an 18th century British aristocrat, but I like it.
Anyway, the girls pretty much ignored Roz’s plea for a more goal-oriented life and instead babbled on about their grand predictions for the future. The reigning consensus was that Jessica would be a mommy type, driving an SUV in Virginia and presiding over a clan of eight children (not including those she will have abducted from Jason). “Suzie homemaker,” said Roz, and she wasn’t that off the mark either. Jessica then revealed that in ten years, she saw herself “owning a daycare.” This girl plans to be responsible for other people’s lives? Okay, we’ll just start the class-action lawsuit paperwork now — just to get ahead of the inevitable charges. Actually, I trust that Jessica will be good with children. Although, it might be kind of creepy when she starts asking them for advice about Jason.
As for Kristin, the girls labeled her as the next big entertainment thing, saying they could totally see her as the hostess of her own TV show. Yeah, she’s pretty much the newer, odder-voiced version of Nancy O’Dell, and if looks don’t deceive me, it seemed as though Kristin was quite flattered. Roz, however, was less than enthused with the long term projections her friends had in store for her. When the gals said that she would most likely wind up running a small boutique, the offended Roz balked, “That’s not fun! GOD!” Whoa! Simmer down, Napoleon Rozamite! (Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s “gosh!” not “God!”)
Anyway, Jessica then asked, “Where we going to live?” and as the girls deliberated (the answer was Los Angeles), I couldn’t help wondering why they didn’t just bust out a pen and paper and play an old fashioned game of MASH. That game never lies. Why, just as was predicted in second grade, I live in a shack in Beverly Hills and drive a tricycle and work as a boobies doctor and have a wife who’s a supermodel (she drives a BMW) and have a lizard as a pet and have 500 children. Oh, and we have sex 3000 times a week. In our shack.
Well, the girls continued to gab about their futures, and as the scene drew to a close, Kristin eagerly said, “I cannot wait to see what happens!” Did she just do a promo for her life? Very meta.
For the last time this season, we enjoyed the Hilary Duff-laden credits, and then it was time to learn this episode’s title: “One Last Wave.” And yes, I’m sure there were about three thousand little girls who began crying as soon as they read “Last.” Anyway, we then caught up with Jason, Talan, and Cedric as they surfed the afternoon away — one last wave, if you will (it’s a theme). The guys played and cavorted in the ocean surf, perhaps sneaking in a fugitive grope beneath the waves (I’m looking at you, Jason), but alas, this endless summer would have to come to an end after all. “It’s just gnarly to see everyone going their own way,” Cedric commented, looking amusingly like a giant penis head in the process. “It’s really sad, actually. I really want to cry,” he added. Aww. Poor Ced. Clearly going through the early stages of sidekick separation anxiety. What will he do without his Master, Jason? Grow his own wings? Or attach himself onto a more dominant, yet handsome, ruler in college?
Seriously, his head is shaped like a penis.
Elsewhere in The ‘Guna, Taylor was preparing to ship out, which of course meant one thing: time for the obligatory friend-watching-another-friend-pack scene. It’s a Laguna Beach staple. Playing the role of observant non-packer this evening was Alex M. who popped up in Tay-Tay’s bedroom, sat on the bed, and then proceeded to get all verklemped. Hey — where’s Morgan S.? She’s a sidekick. Shouldn’t she be watching Taylor pack? That’s like what sidekicks do. Oh well. When kids go off to school, sometimes the social dynamics get a little screwy. I just have to accept that.
Anyway, while Taylor stuffed her luggage with various frumpy outfits and sweatshirts, Alex sniffled that she didn’t know what she was going to do with herself. “You can still call me, you know?” Taylor offered, adding, “Memo to self: change phone number before that crazy bitch calls me. Oh, did I say that out loud?” Okay, Taylor did not say that (but she may have thought it), and after some more sad, incoherent mumblings from Alex, the gals went outside to officially say goodbye. And look! There’s Tay-Tay’s mom, Karen! Or as I like to call her, K-Dawg. K-Dawg in the HOUSE! (this is followed by Redman-ish barking and possibly a Christina Aguilera cameo).
Well, while K-Dwag observed sadly, Taylor and Alex shared a lengthy, emotional hug full of tears and indistinct sounds. OMG guys! This is so sad!!! They’ll like never see each other again! (Until three weeks later at the MTV VMAs)
We then headed over to LC’s house to find her packing — a sight that would have been significantly more tear-inducing had we not seen her leaving the nest last year. Yes, for some crazy reason, watching people leave after they’ve already symbolically left doesn’t quite pack the emotional wallop that you’d think. Especially when said person is only heading an hour north to Los Angeles. Anyway, arriving to help LC pack was not her sidekick (where ARE they this episode?) but Stephen, who entered the bedroom already brimming with strange beeps, clicks, and clacks. Seriously, he was a bit out of control with the noises as he modulated between high and low pitches. Kind of sounded like someone was trying to find an AM station on him.
Well, the two buddies headed outside to take a gander at that lovable Pacific ocean and then retired to the chaise-longues to babble about, you know, stuff. LC informed us that last year, she really wasn’t ready to leave home, but now she’s like totally sooo over it. She then babbled on and on about how she has poor judgment with boys, calling Jason a “momentary lapse of reason.” Eventually though, the convo turned back to Los Angeles as both LC and Stephen expressed excitement about moving up to the big city. And I was excited for them too — in a non-excited, bored, END THIS SCENE kind of way.
After this meandering conversation had run its course (which for me would have been after the first thirty seconds), Stephen rose and walked out to his truck, which he adoringly treated like some pet horse or turtle. And of course, since no goodbye can ever last less than ten seconds, we then watched the amazing, unabridged saga of Stephen getting into his pickup, LC warmly observing, Stephen maybe going to say something, LC still watching, Stephen putting on the radio, LC still watching, Stephen scratching his chin, LC still watching, Stephen putting the car in reverse, LC shifting weight but still watching, Stephen testing the wipers — you get the point. To be fair, not all of that happened, per se, but seriously, with the time the camera lingered on this sequence, you would have thought the car had gone through a full inspection before Stephen finally pulled away.
The picture faded to black — clearly indicating the end of Act I — and as we returned for Act II, we found Kristin sitting somberly on the beach. Oh, and here comes Stephen to join her. GREAT. Why is there so much Stephen? This episode is supposed to be about the kids heading off to college. Well, my hopes were that this Stephen scene would be somewhat livelier than the one we had just witnessed, but alas, those were just pipe dreams. I should have known not to hold out such optimism. After all, I’ve always felt any Stephen scene was usually a snoozefest. Well, Kristin lamented to her ex that all year long, she’s wanted to leave Laguna, but now that the moment’s upon her, SHE DOESN’T WANT TO!! Your response, Sir Stephen:
“It’s weird, definitely,” he said before patting his hands together and literally tooting a sound that I can best spell as “blique!” To be fair, “blique” is Stephen-ese for “It’s all part of the passage of life. We must move on from our comfort zone and try new things, live new lives. Life is full of magnificent opportunities, wondrous experiences. Fly like the might eagle and soar to your potential!” So you see, it makes sense after all.
When Kristin was done expressing anxiety about the future, she and Stephen then took a stroll down memory lane as they reminisced on all those great times: the sushi on the beach, the towel on the beach, the… uh… sex on the beach? It probably happened. I don’t know. To be honest, at this point I had zoned out and was instead fixating on Kristin’s double-hoop earrings. Were they stolen from a birdcage?
Oh look! An impossibly small parakeet has landed in Kristin’s earrings!
Anyway, this snoozefest had a momentary glimpse of excitement as a mysterious, black poodle pounced onto the beach, but alas, not even Darth Poodle could jazz up this scene. Later, Kristin lost control of herself as she began to cry, saying, “I’m so emotional right now!” And so Stephen hugged her. And hugged her. And hugged her. You know, as long as these two are busy, is there any chance that maybe we can get a Casey-dilla update? Anything? Just flash her face on the screen real quickly. Give us SOMETHING!
And for old times sake:
Click on Casey to hear her request quesadillas…
Well, we never found out what Casey’s college departure was like, and as Stephen and Kristin parted ways, we faded to black once again. Yes, that’s right. The show used the entire second act on these two. I guess there are millions of people out there who still consider Kristin and Stephen the Luke and Laura for a new generation, but for the rest of us who’d rather see something more exciting (like say Jessica constructing a Jason voodoo doll), this was a minor disappointment. Anyway, we then moved to Kristin’s house where we found ourselves in familiar and welcomed territory: the Master packing sequence. Yes, in the classic style, Kristin dropped items into her suitcase while Roz quietly observed and occasionally assisted. Just like old times, man. Just like old times.
Kristin continued to express sadness, but the waterworks didn’t really get going until Jessica showed up. Then, with the trio together for possibly the last time ever, the group wallowing began in earnest. “How many memories have we had in this room?” Kristin asked.
“Getting ready, like sitting right here with the mirror right here,” Roz added.
“So many times it’s always like Jessica’s sitting right here, and like Alex and I in here,” Kristin added. Yes, the good old times. Who can ever forget all those explosive moments of… sitting around. So many memories…
Okay, I won’t be mean. I understood what the girls were getting at, and I could appreciate their sentimentality. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that I was in their position. Oh wait, it was sort of long ago, wasn’t it? Let’s not think about that.
By now, Jessica had begun to get teary, and Kristin was on the verge of spastic mess. After one particularly long pause, Kristin then turned to her trusty sidekick and said, “Thank GOD I don’t have to say goodbye to you!!” Poor Roz. No one ever says goodbye to her. (Actually, in this case, I’m pretty sure this was a quiet reference to the fact that Kristin and Roz would be living together in Los Angeles.) Nevertheless, Jessica and Kristin then embraced in a sob-filled hug, leaving Roz to awkwardly — nay, VERY awkwardly — observe from across the room. That’s right. You stay in the corner Roz. You will be invited to hug if and only if the others deem it appropriate. Oh, and fetch me a glass of water. NOW!!
Um… I’ll just stand here and not hug anyone. That’s okay.
Outside, the hugs continued as Jessica and Kristin bawled in each others arms, again shunning Roz from the hug-fest. “I love you, J!” Kristin sobbed. “I love you too!” Jessica replied back (“I love you, K” would have been a much better response. It’s called parallelism, JESSICA). Eventually the girls opened up the hugs to the public, which meant Roz could finally get some hot, three-way-crying action. If only they had one more person. It totally would have been series finale of the Golden Girls. Or Mary Tyler Moore, I suppose. Either way, Betty White would be involved.
And so Jessica drove off into the sunset to commence the next chapter of her life — a chapter entitled “The Ten Years I Stalked Jason.” Meanwhile, over at Talan’s house, J. Wahl had popped up to say goodbye to his bud. “Love you,” Jason said. “Love you,” Talan replied. See ya in an hour in Los Angeles! In the apartment you both will be living in!
Hey, where’s Cedric? How could we not see the big Jason/Ceddy goodbye? Like OMG!! That is just wrong! Laziness on the part of the producers, I say! Well, our boy Ced may not have been given a proper farewell, but fear not! We did get to say adios to LC. Again. Thankfully, the scene was brief, but we did have to watch as Lauren loaded up her car and hugged her choked-up parents goodbye. Yes, she was heading all the way up to Los Angeles — a full 65 miles away! Seriously, that’s a long trek, keeping in mind that LC’s parents travel exclusively by horse and buggy.
As the show ended, we found Kristin gazing over the beaches of Laguna, reminiscing on all the good times: her and Stephen at the sports shop, her and Stephen at Pomodoro, her yelling “My car is dunzo!”, the prom, the laughter in the car! The hugs! The bonfires! The Christmas party! The slides in Cabo — how slippery they were! The drunk fiestas! The graduation robes!! That conversation with Stephen just a few hours ago!!! SO MANY MEMORIES!! We need to Kenny Rogers this up. All together now: “Through the years, through all the good and bad, I knew how much we had, I’ve always been so glad…”
And so Kristin hopped into her brand new BMW and drove off to some unknown destination (probably a 7 Eleven), thus ending the tumultuous breakout season two of Laguna Beach. Thankfully, Damien was there to hold us in his arms as he greeted us from the TRL studios once again. “Well, that was truly incredible right there. An episode filled with so much drama,” he said. Drama? Did he even SEE the show?
So now the first big test. Did the girls in the studio audience — those fickle creatures with nothing but a throw pillow to keep them happy — enjoy the episode? The answer: YES. They really liked it a lot! But maybe they were just saying that because moments later LC came out to talk about the experience. Honestly, I was so taxed from this oh-so-touching finale that I didn’t have the heart to recap her interview. I was quite amused, however, when LC said that after two years, it was finally time to move on from Laguna Beach, and then promptly plugged her new show The Hills — which, by the way, looks like Laguna but features these really strange people called “adults.” Creepy!
Of course, we also saw a preview for next season of Laguna Beach, which seems to feature bustier, trashier girls, LC’s less attractive younger sister, reigning ethnic girl Cami, and lots and lots of Abercrombie models/high school guys. I’ll do a full dissection of this preview in another post, but for now, let’s just sit back and remember the season that was.
What did you think of the finale? Did it live up to your expectations? Did you cry? Was this season better or worse than season 1?