I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it would be damn near impossible to follow up last week’s triumphant episode of The Hills, which was so exciting and awesome and thrilling that it has inspired (at press time) a record 1016 comments on the recap. I mean, how could any episode compete with the intoxicating blend of betrayal, treachery, and intrigue caused by Spencer, Heidi, and their unwitting accomplice, Jenn Jenner? It was all so wonderful and amazing that in some ways, it was difficult to come back down to Earth and return to the more manufactured drama we’ve become so accustomed to. That’s not to say this installment wasn’t entertaining. Far from it! We had some much-welcomed face time with Lisa Love, an appearance from her haughty contemporary Lawren Howell, and the grand reality debut of Whitney’s younger sister, JADE. Plus, how could we not revel in the sheer joy of The Hills knowing that just hours prior, J-Wahl had been arrested for the umpteenth time this year. We can only hope the same fate befalls Spencer by this time next season. Nevertheless, while The Hills may not have lived up to last week’s powerhouse episode, I still love it, and since this is actually my last recap for the site, I can think of no better way to end my TVgasm career than by recapping this most guilty of pleasures.This week’s episode began with the usual, brief recap of the previous show, which meant once again we could witness the unforgettable sight of Jenn Jenner proudly wearing a tiara at her birthday party, not realizing the hellfire she was about to be submerged in. Even better though was revisiting the monumental clash at the Hillside Villas. How great it was to watch Lauren lay into Heidi all over again, repeating those cathartic words that we’ve been saying all along: “He’s a sucky person. HE’S A SUCKY PERSON!” I probably could have watched this ten second clip fifty times in a row and still not have been sick of it.
Anyway, once the recap was done, the first thing we saw was Heidi and Spencer sipping coffee on the Sunset Strip, mere footsteps from the TVgasm home offices yet again. Damn this show, taunting me with its close proximity and yet keeping me an eternal distance away. It almost feels like I’m strapped to one of those vertical turntables and MTV’s throwing darts of Hills goodness at me. They keep missing me, but one of these days, I’m sure I’ll get poked right in the face. Of course, in the metaphor, that would be a bad thing since bodily harm would most certainly ensue. Maybe I should reevaluate just how beneficial a Hills run-in would be to my life…
Nevertheless, Spencer was looking like a douchebag in full bloom, and once again, he was wearing his giant, clunky necklace, which has somehow gone unmentioned all season. Well, to paraphrase the show’s title, enough was enough. He’s been attempting to rock that bulky chain of abhorrence no matter what the outfit, and it’s never failed to look absolutely ridiculous. For some reason though, it just looked completely idiotic last night — a heavy, imposing accessory to his otherwise lowkey polo shirt. It was clear that he was trying to force some sort of fashion trend on America. You know that he planned it all out — he was gonna wear that chain on every episode, people would think it’s cool, and he’d be hailed as the man who brought Ugly Necklace Chic to America. Actually, he probably was just trying to promote his dumb jewelry business, Archangella — a collection that specializes in ghastly, tacky, faux-gothic items that not even the cheesiest mall shop would purchase. I can just imagine Spencer taking his collection to Spencer’s Gifts and saying, “C’mon, bro. My name is Spencer. You’re Spencer’s gifts. It’s a perfect match. I’m on Team Spencer!”
And, of course, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the mere fact that Spencer would so conscientiously use Heidi’s MTV exposure to promote his chintzy costume jewelry just calls his sincerity with her into question all over again.
Anyway, Heidi told her balloon-faced boyfriend she needed to spend more time with Lauren, on account of their ailing friendship. Spencer’s response probably should have been something supportive like “Okay, I respect that you need to keep time in your life for your friends,” but since he’s a manipulative douchebag, he instead tried to drive a wedge between the two girls yet again. “You have a roommate that looks at me like the plague,” he said, not sure if he was referring to Lauren or THE REST OF AMERICA.
Ever the optimist, Heidi insisted that Spencer’s bubonic qualities were wildly overstated. “I really think she’s gonna come around,” she said, perhaps forgetting that Lauren has what I like to call “A BRAIN.”
Nevertheless, sensing that Heidi might have been drifting back to Team Lauren ever so slightly, Spencer lured her back the only way he knew how: showering her with a random compliment. “How cute are you today?” he asked, causing Heidi to predictably bask in the attention. I half expected Spencer to then seek out that nefarious Max and yell, “YOU SEE? WE ALL THINK HEIDI IS CUTE TODAY!!!”
Anyway, the scene ended with Spencer and Heidi canoodling and making plans for Santa Barbara. Yes, they really deserved a weekend getaway from their stressful, do-nothing lives.
After the opening credits, we learned the title for this week’s episode, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” which implied that either Heidi was dropping Spencer (unlikely), LC was dropping Heidi (more likely), or Ashes was going to claw out Bella’s eyes (most likely). Before we could really get to the bottom of all this, however, we headed over to Teen Vogue where our gals happily strode into Lisa Love’s office for a refreshing dose of haughty passive aggressiveness.
“I’m always wondering why you guys are in Spring, and I’m in Fall,” Lisa joked to the girls, adding, “CHANGE YOUR WARDROBE IMMEDIATELY! OUT!!!”
Anyway, Lisa informed them that they’d be working with Lawren Howell, the veritable Wendy Mallick of the Teen Vogue universe. Apparently she had a reputation for being very particular (a.k.a. she was a bitch) and precise (a.k.a. she was ornery). Lisa explained, “She’s someone that you will learn a lot from if you pay attention.” Whitney nodded aggressively, as if to say, “GOT IT!” Cut to ten seconds later as a spacey voice in her head asked, “Wait, why am I nodding again? Do I need to post a blank Stickie about something?”
Lisa then informed the girls that the magazine would need some fifteen or sixteen year old girls for the photo shoot. Did they know anyone? This was like asking if Whitney’s Bavarian Candy Shoppe sold katzenzungen. Of course they knew teen girls! In fact, Whitney had a younger sister who would be perfect for this, assuming her parents hadn’t plumped her up with a steady diet of spaetzle and schinkenwurst. Personally, I had no idea why Lauren was just sitting there, refusing to volunteer lil’ sister Breanna for this cushy job. What about Bre-Bre, Laur? WHAT ABOUT BRE-BRE???
Nevertheless, this looked to be a purely Wh-Wh-Wh-Whitney family affair, which was still quite exciting. I couldn’t wait to see her sister. What would her name be? Uta? Dagmar? LIESEL? Sadly, mini-Whitney’s name was more exotic and ill-fitting: Jade. For a brief second I thought that maybe she was the same Pan-Asian girl who made appearances towards the end of Laguna Beach 3, but the coincidences of that would be far too great. Anyhoo, Lauren and Whitney returned to their hovel of an office and discussed their impending tour of duty with miss Lawren, who had apparently worked directly for the one and only Anna Wintour.
“It’s one thing to work for Vogue,” Whitney said. “It’s another to work for Anna Wintour.” I couldn’t even imagine working that desk. Just think of all the blank stickies you’d have to post!!!
Whitney then had a rare moment of personal reflection as she sighed, “Another photo shoot. I wonder how many I’ve worked on…” She then added, “There was the cover shoot for Bavarian Candy Shoppe Quarterly and the four page spread for Klosterfrau Magazine. Oh, and Schwartenmagen Fancy. The list goes on…”
Turns out that Whitney had actually worked for W magazine for three summers and now was on her second year at Teen Vogue. Five years of experience and no job offers? That’s what you call encouraging! Nevertheless, Whit informed us, “I’m just ready to have more responsibility.” Well, if it was responsibility she wanted, then it was responsibility she got. None other than the tragically misspelled Lawren Howell entered the room and began detailing what she’d need from the girls on the photo shoot. First, she’d need organization, and lots of it. Also, she’d need to make sure there were no holes, tags, or dirtiness on the clothing after the shoot. Meanwhile, we could see Lauren crackling with anticipation, just begging to ask, “Might there be a magic candle that needs resuscitation? Because I can DEFINITELY do that!”
Most importantly, however, Lawren insisted that all items MUST be steamed! She warned, “If I grab a dress that hasn’t been steamed, and you guys are just standing there, that’s kind of, you know, a problem.” She then added, “The last girl I had forgot to steam a capelet. She’s dead now.” Behold Lawren Howell, MISTRESS OF THE STEAM!
Well, if there was anything that Whitney didn’t want to do, it was steam. Luckily Lauren took one for the team and offered, “I’ll steam!”
“I’ve done enough steaming in my interning career,” Whitney noted, clearly not realizing that Lawren might have been just around the corner. One can never be so loose with the words when the Steaming Gestapo might be listening in!
Ultimately, Whitney wound up sighing, “I’m just ready to be something other than someone’s intern, you know?” Yes, she was ready to make a splash in the world of fashion. You know, like falling down a staircase on national TV!
Later on, we headed over to the Hillside Villas where Lauren was quietly doing some sort of project assigned by Nick Verreos, I’m sure. Heidi entered the apartment, and after some awkward greetings, she asked, “You doing some homework?” Lauren said yes, causing Heidi to cluck, “Look at you!” She then added, “I forgot that you didn’t drop out of college immediately like me!”
A few moments later, Lauren trekked upstairs to Heidi’s bedroom and asked, “Heidi?” In one of the more bizarre responses of the season, Heidi honed her Swiss roots and replied with, yes, a yodel. I mean, how else to describe the warbly, lilting, “Yaaaaa?” that spilled out of her mouth. Anyway, Lauren was quite surprised to see the Heidster packing a little bag. She asked where she was going, and Heidi responded (sans yodel), “I think I’m going to Santa Barbara for a couple of days.” You think? How could there be any doubt about where you are going? You’re packing luggage. That would be like me getting on a plane to Paris and saying, “Hmmm… I think I’m going to Paris. Or maybe Nantucket. Come to think of it, maybe I’m just going to the drug store. We’ll see!”
Well, Heidi then asked Lauren, “You want to come to Santa Barbara?” Ah yes. The token sympathy invite. A most insulting and patronizing turn of events. Oh how I wished Ashes would come out of nowhere and attack Heidi’s face.
Of course, Lauren turned down this ever so sincere invitation; however, at Heidi’s urging, the two booked Monday evening to be a whole “Heidi and Lauren alone night.” They’d get massages, do their nails — all that fun stuff. Lauren looked positively delighted. Sarcasm intended.
The next day, we found Lauren and Audrina roaming around that mecca of cheesy luxury: The Grove. The two babbled about whatever, with Audrina informing LC that she was dating this guy Chris who was super nice and not like any other guy. Or something like that. Anyway, yada yada yada, Audrina wanted to set Lauren up with Chris’s roommate. LC was apprehensive at first, saying she didn’t want to do like a double date, but Audrina insisted it would be like a whole big group thing. Of course, this then begged a major question: what about Brody? Lauren merely brushed off the suggestion that the Brodester still meant anything, flinging her hand back dismissively as if to say, “He hath been cast away!” Excellent.
Audrina laughed triumphantly, and we could just see the hopeful optimism in her eyes that seemed to say, “I’m so going to be the first sidekick now!”
After the break, we found Speidi walking along the beaches of Santa Barbara, polluting the pristine environment with their unabashed awfulness. I’m sure the dolphins we saw jumping in the surf were not so much migrating as attempting to flag Heidi down and warn her to run far, far away from Spencer. Let’s not forget, dolphins are very good at detecting douchebags.
Anyway, as the two lovebirds walked, Spencer (whose hair was suddenly brown — curse of Don Antonio’s?) bemoaned Heidi’s reluctance to stay longer in Santa Barbara. He noted that if it were Jason and Lauren, Lauren wouldn’t leave. She would have called up Heidi and ditched her. That may or may not have been true, but the logic was completely flawed. Lauren was no longer in that relationship; so there was no basis for a comparison. The implication from the J-Wahl breakup was that Lauren had learned and changed from it (hopefully) and wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes. So in a sense, it wasn’t fair to say that Lauren would have acted in a certain way with Jason when in reality, she no longer maintained the same behaviors. Besides, even more simplistically, TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT, BITCH!
Well, we then headed over to Teen Vogue where Lauren was busy informing Whitney of her upcoming date, er, group meeting with “Blake,” the hockey player roommate of Audrina’s guy. The conversation was soon cut short, however, when none other than JADE entered the office. Flaxen and Teutonic, Jade was certainly a hottie (although, later, I would downgrade her to merely “cutie”).
Little known fact: Jade is short for Jadenschfitzenstreudel.
Anyway, the three girls headed into another room where the Steam Queen herself awaited them. Yes, Lawren Howell quickly grabbed hold of Fräulein Jade and took her measurements, but not before alerting Lauren and Whitney that the room was rapidly becoming messy. I half expected her to growl, “Why are you not steaming? STEAM! STEAM! STEAM!”
That night, Audrina and Lauren prepared for their big night out with the boys. LC admitted that the rough and tumble nature of hockey players turned her on quite a bit, and Audrina, well, she was just excited to be cementing her role as Lauren’s #1 sidekick.
“I just want to meet my Prince Charming,” Lauren said, hopefully realizing that step one would have to be avoiding douchebags like J-Wahl and Brody.
Anyway, the girls arrived at the W Hotel, which was appropriate since this episode did seem to be brought to us by the letter W: W Hotel, W magazine, Wh-Wh-Wh-Whitney-centric storylines. The girls sat down at a table with Chris and Blake, and I couldn’t help feeling like Audrina had somewhat failed in her first task. Bitch, this was supposed to be a group thing, not a double date! Maybe the poor logistics explained why Lauren seemed less than enthused to be there. Blake made some banal patter about how he LOVED the W hotel and how he and Chris had known each other since sixth grade in Agora Hills and blah blah blah. To Blake’s credit, he seemed like a nice guy, but man, he was trying so hard. Amusingly, he asked Lauren where she was from. You idiot. Do you even bother Googling the girls you’re being set up with? I mean, she was in a television show based on a geographical location. Even Lauren looked embarrassed for him as she reluctantly said, “Laguna Beach.”
Well, everyone marveled over the menu, and Chris asked if they should get appetizers or just entrees (cheap bastard). Sensing an opportunity to make his mark with a funny, Blake offered, “Maybe we should just get dessert!” Rimshot! HIIII-larious, Blake!
The best part of all this, however, was when Chris blatantly recited a line fed to him by the producers. “So Audrina. The other night I was at Area, and I ran into that guy, Spencer,” he said so stiffly that he made Julie Chen look like the captain of an improv troupe. Well done, Chris. Well done.
Anyway, some mild Spencer discussion ensued, and Blake mocked, “Sounds like he’s a great guy.” Lauren’s face lit up with a huge smile as she laughed at Blake’s joke. All it takes is some minor Spencer bashing to open up her heart!
“Hey, you’re pretty cool after all! Now say something about J-Wahl!”
Despite the producers best attempts, there seemed to be absolutely no chemistry between Lauren and Blake, and not even multiple mentions of Sushi House could set off any sparks. Perhaps the guys should have taken the girls to Don Antonio’s — that place will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Nevertheless, when Audrina and Lauren drove off in their car afterwards, Lauren said she liked Blake and thought he was cute. Huh? Where did that come from? Ultimately, Lauren proclaimed, “I feel like I’m getting better at dating.” Well, pretty much anything is a step up after her last two duds. She could date a tree stump, and it would be an improvement.
After the break, we found Lauren and Whitney en route to the much-hyped Jade photo shoot. It looked to be a long day of work. I certainly hoped Whitney’s mother packed her daughters a healthy lunch of Hassenpfeffer and Westphalian Ham Lollipops!
Just prior to arriving, Heidi called up Lauren to find out if they were still on for Lauren and Heidi Night, which was kind of awesome because it was so obvious that Heidi was going to bail later (and not just because all the previews told us so). After the call, Lauren complained that it just wasn’t fun having to schedule a meeting with her friend. If she’s said it once, she’s said it a thousand times: every day should be Lauren and Heidi day!
Anyway, the girls finally showed up at the Los Feliz shoot, and shockingly, they were not immediately forced into turbo steamer service. That’s not to say Lawwwren wasn’t ready to crack skulls. Oh, no. Lawren was on top of Whitney from the getgo. ALL THE HANGERS GO THIS WAY, WHITNEY! MAKE THE PINS READY AND OPEN FOR ME AT ALL TIMES, WHITNEY!!! MAKE THE DOUBLE STICK TAPE STICKIER, WHITNEY!!! MAKE THE CLOUDS IN THE SKY PART, WHITNEY!!!! FIND A CURE FOR AIDS, WHITNEY!!!
“If only I had a blank Stickie to express my disappointment.”
If it was any consolation, Whitney wasn’t the only one getting the Howell treatment. Lawren unleashed on dearest Jade; although, since Jade was actually “talent,” Lawren’s brutality was masked in a passive-aggressive jokey-voice. “You are smushing your dress after I told you not to!” Lawren told the young model, just barely hiding her rage over the blatant case of dress-smushing.
Later on, while the two sisters were in the backroom doing whatever, Whitney complained about being Lawren’s bitch, saying that Jade got the better end of the deal, being the one on camera (unlike Whitney, who’s not on camera at all — except for that MTV reality show that she’s the cast member of). Nevertheless, Whitney noted that she wasn’t in a position to speak up ever whereas Jade could throw a bowl of mumma’s schlachtplatte at Lawren, and it would still be okay.
For a moment, it looked like Whitney’s fighting spirit might have wilted as she lamented, “As much as I love clothes, they’re only clothes.” WELL! Looks like somebody missed Meryl Streep’s big cerulean belt monologue in Devil Wears Prada. For shame!
Well, I guess all this talk about speaking up inspired Wh-Wh-Wh-Whitney to be aggressive, be-ee aggressive. As they were finishing up the day, Whitney approached Lawren, and, oh my god, she said, “I don’t mean to be difficult, but…” Oh Whitney, ABORT! ABORT! Say no more! Lawren will destroy you! But alas, she continued: “I have a farewell dinner for my sister tonighit; so we have to leave once Jade is gone.” Huh? Was Jade being shipped back to the motherland? Did she have unfinished business in the Alps?
Nevertheless, Whitney’s request — or statement of fact, technically — was duly noted… AND DENIED. Lawren didn’t get mad or fussy. She just simply nodded and said Whitney would have to stay at the shoot and finish up. Yeah, Whit, you probably should have mentioned all this before the very end of the day. Looks like she’ll be missing out on a glorious feast of hackbraten and tafelspitz. If it made Whitney feel any better, Lawren would be missing out on the highly anticipated Wendy Mallick Convention in Downtown L.A. WE ALL MAKE SACRIFICES!
Luckily, Lauren volunteered to stay later and pick up Whitney’s workload. Now that’s a true friend. With any luck, Whitney might make it to the farewell dinner in time for dessert, and as you might imagine, her parents’ Bavarian Candy Shoppe certainly produces the best pfeffernusse and gewurzplatzchen this side of Düsseldorf. Wouldn’t want to miss that!
“Whitney! Go tell Jade that her fladle uberbacken are ready!”
“But Mother, what about my apfelpfannkuchen?”
Later on, after all was done with the shoot, Lauren got on the phone and called Heidi — I think. I can’t remember because I was so distracted by the fact that she had one hand on the phone and one behind her head. A.k.a. she had NO HANDS ON THE WHEEL! OMG, people of Los Angeles — clear the roads! Lauren Conrad is coming through!
Oh wait, it actually wasn’t Heidi on the phone. It was Audrina. She was calling because she and the guys were going to Café Sushi the night. Might Lauren want to join? Sadly, LC had to say no, on account of it being Lauren and Heidi night. Audrina replied with a line she recited just a touch better than her boy Chris earlier in the episode. “Okay. Well, maybe another night,” she said woodenly, the MTV producer just inches away from her with big cue cards, I’m sure.
Well, Lauren returned to the apartment, and guess what? No one was there. Not even Ashes greeted her at the door. It was dark and empty. The only hint of human presence came in the form of a note left on the kitchen table. It was from Heidi, who apparently was not one for text messages anymore. Basically, she wrote that she was going to the movies instead. Dunh dunh DUNH! And worse, she was going to see Wild Hogs. THE BETRAYAL!!!
Okay, we don’t know what movie she and Spencer were seeing, but I imagine it probably had a lot of slide whistles and fart sounds. We saw the two of them buying concessions at the thrifty ArcLight movie theater in Los Angeles, a destination quickly becoming known for the place where girls on The Hills go on ill-advised dates (J-Wahl and Lauren season 1, anyone?).
“Heidi, I can already tell I’m going to be on Team Norbit.”
Back at the apartment, a dejected and crestfallen Lauren called up Audrina and said that she would in fact like to join for Sushi House. Blake will be thrilled! And just like that, the show came to an end, and so, sadly, does my TVgasm career. I’ll still be lingering around the comment boards and forums, but my recapping days are over. How awkward, ending a post with a farewell. These past three years have really been amazing. I never thought that the site would ever grow into what it’s become. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities it has afforded me, and even more so, I’m thankful to the readers who have really made so many of my dreams as a writer come true. Yes, I’m being a total cheeseball, but it’s true. As any writer will tell you, you live for the positive feedback of an audience, and the fact that people have been so complimentary and welcoming to my writing has been exceptionally amazing to me. I’m forever grateful for everyone’s kind words (and even the mean words too) because without you, I really don’t think I would have had the opportunities that I face now. I’m also immensely indebted to our other writers, who have all helped the site grow over the years. They really do deserve so much credit in the success of TVgasm. Anyway, it’s been a great run, and as a TV fan, interacting with the entire spectrum of the TV landscape — from fans to producers to actual cast members — has been invaluable. Thanks again everyone! Team TVgasm!