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Like OMG! I can’t believe Jason totally kissed Jessica in front of LC, but then he was like “No, she came onto me,” and then Jessica was like “No, it never happened,” and then Dieter was like “Why are you lying?” and Talan was like “I’m so nervous!” and Trey was like “Oh no! A landslide!” and Cedric was like “I’m dancing in pink undies!” and Polster was like “Hi, I’m Polster!”
Yes, it was a drama-filled episode of Laguna Beach last night as the kiddos cobbled together a fundraiser for local landslide victims. Who would have thought assembling every major player in the Laguna landscape would have resulted in absolute chaos? Well, clearly the producers, who I’m sure had plenty of influence on this whole event in the first place. And God bless ‘em. This was one of the best episodes of the season, or dare I say… EVER! I mean, yeah, there have been some classic Laguna dramas, but none have featured the delightful bonus of Talan and his merry band of music makers. Move over Bai Ling. You’ve got competition.Tonight’s episode began in typical form as Kristin babbled about the various romantic intricacies plaguing the teens for the past few weeks. She shifted gears however, and in the amusingly morbid understatement of the day, our intrepid narrator announced, “Then something really bad happened,” as we cut to many crumpled houses, destroyed after a spate of Laguna landslides. Man, even Mother Nature wants to be on this show.
Well, we already knew this episode was going to be memorable, just because for the first time ever, it looked like the teens would have to take note of events not involving dating, shopping, or gossiping. To be honest, this tonal shift left me feeling a little disoriented — perhaps even chilly with mild claminess. Nevertheless, Kristin revealed her skills as an on-the-scene reporter as she said, “A landslide destroyed like twenty homes in Stephen and Dieter’s neighborhood.” Like twenty homes? OMG! That’s like crazy! Cray-cray, if you will.
Luckily, since the adults were too lazy to do anything about it, Kristin informed us that the teens were arranging a benefit to help the victims. And when I say “teens,” I mean everybody. Don’t forget, this was summer break. All our friends — or at least the cool ones — were back in town. Wow. This fundraiser was going to be the Live-Aid for Laguna. Except, instead of raising money for awareness, they were raising money for Hummers and plastic surgery. Yay!
Nevertheless, it was time to help out their fellow neighbors, and so Stephen and Trey came up with the catchy fundraiser title, “Fight the Slide 2005.” Um, bad news guys. The slide already fought. And I’m pretty sure it won.
Kristin’s little opening voiceover eventually came to an end as she said, “We were just hoping we could get through one night without drama.” We then cut to Jessica. That was the producers’s way of saying, “That night without drama? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.” Anyway, the opening scene was oddly without our dearest Roz, or Alex H. as she’s officially known. Fans of this site know I have an uncontrollable tendency to call Alex “Roz,” simply because I think she bears a striking resemblance to Peri Gilpin, the actress who played Roz on Frasier. At this point, it’s not so much that I’m trying to force a joke out. I just really can’t think of her as anything BUT Roz. Kind of like how a random nickname will just stick to someone. Okay, enough explaining.
Anyway, as I was saying, the opening scene did not feature Roz nor Kristin. Instead, we found Jessica and Dieter hanging out in a kitchen, talking about the big fundraiser. Dieter revealed that he’d be emceeing the event, which was logical because he does have such a magnetic, larger-than-life personality… But then conversation shifted onto Jessica (shocker!) as Deet (my new nickname for Dieter. I would write Diet, but it looks like i said the word “diet.”) asked if she still talked to Jason — or J. Wahl, as the kids call him. Dieter, what sort of question is that? Of course Jessica still talks to Jason. She leaves a bloody carcass at his doorstep every night!
Sad aside: it just occurred to me that I totally should have been J. Wahl for Halloween this year. Yeah, it would have been somewhat pathetic and sad, but fairly awesome too. Of course, I had to go to work tonight; so I didn’t really have a Halloween anyway. So it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Well, the opening credits eventually ran, and afterwards, we learned the title of the episode: “I Saw You Kiss Her.” Oooh! Ominous! Looks like we’ll be in for a landslide of drama! And yes, I just blew on my slide whistle.
The action moved to a lovely patio set where the grand conclave of Laguna Thinkers and Planners assembled to discuss Fight the Slide 2005 (ironically, that’s the same phrase plastic surgeons use when they book Meg Ryan). Anyway, putting the “U.N.” in “Laguna” were LC, Alex M., Trey, Stephen, Dieter, Cedric, Taylor, Talan, Morgan, and our old friend… Polster? I vaguely remember this guy from last season, but without a distinctive feature like a giant helmet of red hair (Jake) or a raging addiction to Mystic Tan (Jen), it’s hard to really recall much about him. Nevertheless, this group (which did not feature such luminaries as Kristin, Roz, or Jessica) got to work planning out the big fundraiser, and they had a simple goal in mind: “We gotta make it damn good,” urged Trey. Well, as long as it’s halfway as good as that awesome fashion show last year, I think everyone will be quite happy. Maybe Casey’s maid can made quesadillas!
Meanwhile, over at Kristin’s house, she and her usual cohorts of Jessica and a dumpy Roz sat around looking bored. Jessica asked the gals if they would model at the fundraiser with her, and Roz immediately jumped at the chance, saying, “I’ll model. It’s for a good cause.” You just know inside she was bubbling over with “YES! YES! YES! I GET TO BE A MODEL!! YES!!!” Well, the good thing about these girls modeling was that– oh wait, somehow the conversation shifted to Jessica and whether or not she still liked Jason. “I don’t still like him!” she protested. Seriously people. When are you going to understand that? Jessica then added, “Yeah, I might think about him all the time, and yeah, I still call him three times a day, but it’s really only a symbolic gesture to honor the memory of me having liked him. I don’t actually like him. Oh wait, let me check my voicemail to see if he called me.”
Okay, Jessica didn’t say that, but she did sigh and complain that she was in a predicament.
“Don’t say that — ‘such a predicament,’” Kristin chided.
“Do you not know big words?” retorted Jessica.
“Are you kidding? Are you kidding?” responded an incredulous and offended Kristin, adding, “Seriously, is that what predicament means? The act of kidding?” Ah, again, I jest. Kristin knew what “predicament” meant (I hope). We then moved to the site of the big fundraiser where LC was overseeing the dress rehearsal. Unfortunately for Jessica, she was about to learn a vicious truth about productions: a dress rehearsal actually requires performers to dress up. Yes, Jessica could not believe that she’d have to put on outfits for the dress rehearsal, and while she managed to make a small drama out of virtually nothing, we then cut to Talan who was more than excited about the various outfits he’d get to model. Perhaps more awesome for him was the possibility of doing two whole songs with his band at the benefit. And this, of course, made me super psyched. After all, this would be a sneak peak at the future singer of the male response to “Hollaback Girl.” Might this performance tonight clue us in to what magical touches he’ll bring to his boy anthem??
Well, the dress rehearsal went off without a hitch, and even our favorite beauty queen Casey-dilla showed up to prance down the catwalk. Surprisingly enough, she actually had the most rigid, robotic sashays of all. I say in the spirit of Viacom synergy, MTV should send Casey over to Tyra on UPN for a Top Model crossover. Best ANTM season EVER.
After the big rehearsal, Kristin drove her cronies home in her brand new SUV and revealed a new love for the mysterious Polster. As usual, Roz had an insightful look at the evolution of his appearance: “I don’t know. Some boys, like when they get like older looking, they either get like hot, or they get ugly looking.” Yeah, um, that’s pretty much the only two ways it can go.
Well, all this Polster talk got Kristin into thinking: who would she rather hook up with? Polster or Trey? Answer: Polster. Now it’s your turn, Jessica. Jason or Jeff? Hmmm… I wonder who she’ll choose. If you answered “Jason,” you are correct. And if you answered “Jeff,” you clearly have never seen Laguna Beach before and are reading this recap out of sheer boredom in your office cubicle. And to you, I say “Welcome.”
We cut to commercial, and I have to be honest. Had I not seen all the promos for this week’s episode, I would have thought we had a dull show on our hands. Ah, but then again, you can never overlook that Laguna magic — that certain je ne sais quoi that makes these teens do stupid, scandalous things. Oh, and this just in. “Laguna magic” has been renamed, “Hormones.” Anyway, after the break, we caught up with Roz, Jessica, and Kristin on the day of the benefit. As the girls applied makeup, Kristin asked, “Should we call Lauren or something?” To which Roz asked, “Lauren who?” Ouch, Roz. As a sidekick, you should have a working knowledge of all ‘Guna Masters, even if they’re not yours and no longer in high school. And in case you’re wondering, Kristin was referring to LC.
Moments later, as the girls bashed LC’s weird relationship with Jason, Roz noted, “She’s not the smartest cookie when it comes to guys.” Huh. I didn’t realize cookies had the capacity for intelligence. (For the record, Roz, the expression is “tough cookie.”) Poor Roz. I don’t know what’s gotten into her. First she forgets who LC is. Then she futzes up the expression “tough cookie.” By the time we reach the season finale, she’ll barely be able to say words longer than two syllables. And speaking of mental decay, Jessica nearly had a seizure on the nearby bed as she anticipated Talan’s big performance. “I’m so excited to see TALAN!!!” she squealed, setting off a round of spastic “OMG!!!” and “I KNOW!!!” comments. Luckily, Roz kept it real and said, “I’m scared it’s gonna be bad, and I’m just gonna like laugh.” Why you scared? I’d be hopeful! The musical lineup then became even more intriguing as we learned Alex M. would be singing with Talan’s band too. Oh wow. Screw the fundraiser. Let’s just have a Laguna talent show.
Well, everyone. The moment we’ve all been waiting for: showtime! We cut to the crowded benefit where MC Dieter took the stage to kick off the night. And what a commanding presence he is. Meanwhile, backstage Alex and Talan huddled together and tried to work out their nerves. In the audience, however, was Jason who pulled Jessica over to sit on his lap. Uh oh. I smell trouble. Things didn’t get any better when eagle-eyed Heidi informed LC of this new seating arrangement. “Look, Jessica is on Jason’s lap,” she reported. We then cut to LC sharpening her claws on a nearby scratching post.
Up on stage, Talan ambled out and introduced his first song — nay, masterpiece — entitled, “Some Are Dead In Hollywood.” A few unstable and atonal notes later, I instantly became furious. How, please tell me, could VH1 so fecklessly pass over Talan for “But Can They Sing?” This is a travesty.
As Talan crooned (READ: warbled) his way through this stirring piece of cacophony, Jason, meanwhile, screamed a delighted “YEAHH!!!!” in the front row. He then turned to Jeff and literally screamed, “JEFF! JEFFF!!! YEAHHHH!!!!” Wow, Jason LOVES this song. But why was he acting like he’s waited ten years to hear it? Oh that’s right. Because he’s an IDIOT.
After Talan finished this legendary performance of “Some Are Dead in Hollywood” (I think that’s referring to eardrums), Jason then arose and walked over to LC, but not before telling Heidi, “Shut up!” It was only a jokey remark, but for some reason, felt oddly fulfilling. Unfortunately for Jason, even though he wanted to cuddle, LC was a little annoyed. You see, she wasn’t a big fan of girls sitting on his lap. “She just sat down,” lied Jason, conveniently forgetting how he pulled Jessica over. Watch out LC. He’s a cold-hearted snake. Look into his eyes. Uh oh. He’s been telling lies. Not satisfied with his answers, LC then brought Jason down to the garage where they continued their talk. “As gross as it sounds, I’m obsessed with you,” Jason told LC. Oh c’mon. We all know those bloody carcasses you give LC are just re-gifted from Jessica.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Alex M. took the stage, and while she managed to hit about 80% more notes than Talan, she still was nothing to write home to mom about. But at least she was better of aspiring Broadway sensation Christina, whose big audition for Rent last season remains a hallmark of atonal triumph. Anyway, Alex pretty much tooted her way through her song — the lyrics of which seemed mostly to consist of “Hello, hello, hello,” and for a moment, I was transported back to my own high school variety show where we suffered through crappy student band after crappy student band, pausing occasionally to hear some girl’s off-pitch take on Les Miserables or The Indigo Girls.
Once Alex put us out of our misery, it was time to commence the fashion show part of the benefit, also known as “the part of the show when things got goooood.” As the girls all hustled to put their makeup on, LC could barely contain her disgust with Jessica as she snipped, “Right now, you’re a very rude girl. You’re sitting on everyone’s laps, and you’re dancing around. You need to get your makeup.”
“Whose lap was I sitting on?” dumb Jessica asked (although, to be fair, Jason was the one who had pulled her onto his lap).
“Well, you should know that. I can’t even talk to her. She’s like a two-year-old,” LC huffed, walking away. Amazingly, Jessica was virtually silent and unmoved by this display, thus revealing her unfortunate capability to serve as punching bag (and hence, she has low self-esteem which drives her constant need for attention. Psych 101, people). Meanwhile, tantastic Jen found LC and told her she was being a bitch. LC simply laughed it off, but she wasn’t laughing long. Jessica approached Jason about something — who knows what — and the next thing we knew, the two were full-on kissing. To be fair, it looked like he just went in for a friendly peck, but then she roped him in for a long smooch. I think. Then again, he did have his hand on her cheek and… oh who cares. Either way, it wasn’t anything Jason would have wanted LC to see, which was unfortunate because, well, LC saw it. Dunh dunh dunh!! LC clasped her hands over her mouth and then stumbled back into the main dressing area, eventually lowering her traumatized self into a chair. MUST. SIT. DOWN!
After the commercial break, we returned to find LC a woman scorned. She was pissed, and understandably. Maybe next time she shouldn’t fool around with a douchebag like J. Wahl. Meanwhile, upstairs, the fashion show was in full force, and look who was having the best time ever! That’s right: Roz. You would have thought she was accepting an Oscar at Spring Break with the way she soaked up the scene.
Downstairs, though, things weren’t quite as jovial. When Jessica asked, “What do I do about my shoes?”, LC seethed back, “Get your own shoes, Jessica!” Meeeeow!
Aaaand upstairs, Cedric undulated around in his famous pink bikini briefs. So that’s where the photo came from. Another mystery solved!
Well, the big show finished up, but the drama was just getting started. When Jason tried to approach LC, she lashed out at him, snapping, “Get the hell away from me!” When he tried to find out the whole hoopla was about, LC said, “I don’t like it when people make me look dumb.” Which is why she’s spent two years of her life on a reality show…
LC then told trusty sidekick Jen to keep Jason away from her. “I will keep him ten feet away from you,” Jen promised. Yes, she’ll set up her powerful Mystic Tan forcefield. Not even the strongest SCUD missile could penetrate its surface. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that strong because about two seconds later, Jason grabbed LC and asked her what the hell was up. She told him what she had seen, and again assaulted him with the rage of many a Sally Field movies. It was actually pretty awesome. After all, it was about time one of these girls actually called out his shit.
Well, LC again told Jason to get away from her, and she escaped into a little section of the changing area as Dieter pulled closed a curtain behind her. Oooh. He’s not only an emcee, but also a bouncer! Nobody gets by Dieter’s curtain! Nobody! (Except Stephen.) In the privacy of their little area, Dieter and LC then hugged, and as she began to cry, he offered the healthiest advice of all: repression. “Just hold it. Just hold it,” Dieter said repeatedly. And we’ll add “Dr. Phil” onto the list of roles he was playing that evening.
After LC regained her composure, Dieter then approached Jason to find out what was really going on. And you know what that means: flagrant use of the word, “Bro.”
“Hey, bro. You’re my bro, right?” asked Dieter. Yeah, bro. Do your thing, bro. Anyway, Dieter asked if Jason kissed Jessica, and he replied, “Dude, no. She forced herself on me. What else could I have done?” Amusingly, the producers then cut to a crestfallen Cedric. Poor Ced. He just wants his man all to himself. But ’tis a forbidden love that dare not be named. Nevertheless, with Jason’s confession on the record, Dieter was gonna get to the bottom of this scandal. Because otherwise, if he finds out that Jason was screwing over LC, they won’t be CHILL. Yeah, that’s right. Jason might lose the friendship of Dieter.
Well, Dieter called up Jessica, put her on speaker, and then asked her about the big kiss. “I didn’t kiss Jason,” she said. Oh no she di’int!! This was gonna get rough, and I’m not just saying that because the Backstreet Boys were now playing on the soundtrack. Dieter told Jessica that Jason had already come clean about the kiss, but she had already dug herself in a hole and was not coming out anytime soon. “Um… no bullshit. When would Jason and I have kissed ever?” Jessica asked. Well, there was that time when you two were dating. And then that time when Jason and Alex were dating. And then that time five minutes ago when Jason and LC were dating.
It didn’t matter. Judge Dieter had made up his mind. “You are so full of shit!” he sneered, hanging up on her. So don’t worry, everyone. Dieter and Jason are still chill. I repeat: Dieter and Jason are still chill. By the way, what’s up with Dieter acting like a non-sidekick this episode? Where was Stephen?
For about one second, Jason had a look of relief on his face now that Dieter seemed to believe him, but oh yeah, there was that pesky eye witness account by LC. No matter what Dieter deduced, LC was still certain that the kiss was all Jason’s doing, and as the episode came to an end, Jason sat in the dark, looking sad for the first time ever. Worst fashion show EVER! Now, I don’t know if it was good storytelling, Jason’s newfound remorse, or simply the stupid Backstreet Boys song in the background, but this ending wound up entirely way more emotionally resonant than it ever had any right to be. Damn you, MTV! Why must you manipulate me so?
What did you think? Who was more at fault? Jason or Jessica? Or should LC have realized what she was getting into?