My friend just sent me this email:
I AM HYPERVENTILATING AT THE END OF THE HILLS
That pretty much sums it all up. Yes, if you see one episode of The Hills, make it this one. Holy Moly was it good. It was full of all the backstabbing, bitchy, obnoxious, and awful behavior we’ve come to expect from L.A. girls, but even better, it was all topped off with a welcome serving of tears, confrontation, and yelling. Now this was drama.
Oh, and Spencer remains a gigantic, unrepentant douchebag.This week’s episode began with the ominous sight of Lauren and Audrina chopping veggies together. The lack of Heidi in favor of sidekick #3 surely signaled that something was rotten in the state of the Hillside Villas. As you can imagine, the two were consumed with talk of Spencer and Heidi, or Speidi, as I used to call them. Audrina wanted to know if Lauren’s relationship with her former besty had improved, or was The Boy still breeding tension? Lauren explained, “The way we get along is that we just don’t talk about Spencer.” Soooo basically, they don’t get along at all.
Audrina, suddenly a voice of reason on this show, noted that Heidi had changed since she’d welcomed Spencer into her life. It was almost as if he’d cast a spell on her, she said. A spell I like to call Curse of DON ANTONIO’S!!!
Well, Lauren did not disagree. In fact, she revealed that Heidi had only slept over at the apartment twice all month. “it kind of bums me out when she’s like ‘Let’s plan a Lauren and Heidi day,’” Lauren said, further commenting, “I’m like, every day used to be Lauren and Heidi Day.” Oooh! Snap! The withering bitterness of a friend scorned. By the way, I’m really sad to hear of the demise of Lauren and Heidi Day. Had I known that this holiday was dwindling into obsolescence, I surely would have pioneered some sort of celebration to keep it alive — you know, like having a mandatory alfresco meal, much like those girls do every episode. Even if it were raining or freezing and if people asked why I was eating outside, I’d just roll my eyes and say, “Duh. It’s Lauren and Heidi day!”
After the opening credits, we learned the title for the episode: “With friends like these…”. Or, as I interpreted it, “WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE (dunh Dunh DUNH!!!!)” This could not end well (and I’m not just saying that because I saw pretty much everything that happened in last week’s previews).
We then found Heidi with over-eager sidekick Jen, who had heretofore been a shared second fiddle to both Lauren and Heidi. Servicing two Masters is of course totally acceptable, but we’ve noticed a certain degree of unbridled ambition in Jen, and it was clear that this was the episode when she was going to make a power move. But how? BUT HOW???
Anyway, the two girls walked the streets of Beverly Hills, and as they headed into Lisa Kline, Heidi cooed, “Thank you so much for coming with me!”
“ANY TIME!” Jen gushed, so thrilled to have been hand-selected for this Kline-tastic trip. And just in case Heidi was unsure of her dedication, Jen then added, “I get to spend more time with you!” MAKE ME YOUR SIDEKICK! SHOW ME THE WORLD, DEAR MASTER!
Well, as the girls browsed through the various garments in the boutique, we learned that Jen wanted to “hang out” with Brody Jenner, and not just because his last name sounded like her first name — although, that was a plus. I can just imagine Jen doodling hearts on a pad, surrounding the words, “Mrs. Jen Jenner.”
The one problem with Jen getting Jenned by the Jenner was that he was, you know, kind of seeing Lauren sort of. But whatever, claimed Heidi. “Lauren can’t control your life,” she said, adding, “I WILL INSTEAD, SIDEKICK! You belong to ME now!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say that last part, but Heidi did assure Jen that she had every right to hook up with Brody. Why was Heidi so adamant on getting Brody some booty? Well, she’d probably say that it was merely to make Jen happy, but we viewers know that she was simply serving as a mouthpiece for Spencer, who himself has an unnatural need to find suitable steeds for his master. Plus, considering that Heidi was mid-feud with Lauren, this would be a holly jolly way of stickin’ it to her, passive-aggressively of course. Whatever the motivations, Heidi was enabling Jen hardcore, and considering that Jen and Lauren were supposedly great friends, this was not what I’d call a “healthy” situation.
Over at Teen Vogue, Lauren sat at her swanky iMac, completely oblivious to the treachery that was brewing behind her back. Wh-wh-wh-Whitney entered the intern closet and sat down at her significantly less swanky iMac, which always amused me because there was a third, perfectly fine iMac sitting across from Lauren that always went unused (that is, when Emily wasn’t in town and subjecting the computer to a rigorous afternoon of Mapquesting and flower research). Anyway, Whitney regaled us with a fascinating story about how she wore her ensemble to school that day, but then afterwards, she tossed on another layer just to mix it up. I imagine getting to change outfits is a liberating experience for Whitney, who, as we all know, must adhere to a strict dirndl-only dress code at the Bavarian Candy Shoppe she calls home:
Anyway, the big news of the day was not the status of Whitney’s wardrobe, but that Jen was going to be celebrating her 21st birthday that night. Whoohooo! Drunken sidekick! Lauren informed Whitney (who was not invited, as usual) that she was super excited to celebrate with Jen because they’d been friends since third grade. Ah, the betrayal will be that much sweeter! LET THE DRAMA BEGIN!
Poor Lauren. She had no idea what sort of a mess she was about to wander into. Here she was, all happy to have a new sidekick in Jen, and little did she realize that the allure of Bolthouse Productions and the Jenner clique was more powerful than the Conrad pedigree and the MTV cameras that followed. Nevertheless, Lauren then told Whitney that Spencer would be coming to the party, which sucked, but on the upside, “the only good thing is if Spencer comes,” she said, “he brings Brody.” Because apparently Lauren was unable to communicate with Brody and arrange social interactions with him on her own. To her credit, he is very difficult to get a hold of. You never know when Brody will show up. He’s kind of like the Brigadoon of reality stars.
Speaking of Brody, we soon found him driving around Hollywood with Spencer in the passenger seat, marveling at things like tour buses on the side of the street. “I was always thinking I would be so amazing at doing Star Maps,” he mused, his entrepreneurial instincts clearly reaching for the sky. He continued, “Because I’d be, like, we could, like, give up all the homies’ spots.” Yes, nothing like selling out all your friends to make a buck or two. Dare to dream, Spencer. Dare to dream. Of course, the most amusing implication in all this was that Spencer’s “homies” (a.k.a. scruffy dude with a trucker cap) were actually “stars.”
Anyway, once Spencer was done fantasizing about taking over the Star Map industry, he then focused on Brody and his love life. He wanted to make sure the Brodester had a girl because Lauren was no good. I mean, Brody may have liked her and all, but her anti-Spence hate was a real killjoy, especially since Spencer wanted to go on double-dates (he actually said that — when he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for him to resist the siren song of a girl laughing). Anyway, who could Spencer fix up with Brody? How about someone who needed a guy like Brody — you know, to further her celebrity aspirations. Someone like Jen. Jen Bunney, that is. Yes, sidekick Jen’s last name is “Bunney,” which is oddly appropriate in ways I can’t really explain. You know, if Jen and Brody were to hit it off and get married, I would be the first to frame an invitation to the Bunney-Jenner wedding. It’s a festival of double-n’s! Oh, and if they hyphenate their names, it just gets out of control. Jen Bunney-Jenner. Or even better, Brody Bunney-Jenner. I defy you not to laugh. I DEFY!
Nevertheless, Spencer enthusiastically insisted that Brody should go after Jen, saying, “I think you should MACK Jen, to be honest.” He then, quite literally, endorsed a backdoor entry, if you know what I’m saying. Ah, the plight of the sidekick. The only way to advance your social station is to take it up the pooper. (I think Laguna‘s Cedric knows something about that).
That night, the party started up at Geisha House as Lauren, and two interlopers named Christine and Elizabeth (apparently some non-Laguna-bred college roommates of Jen’s) sat at a table and celebrated Jen’s birthday. Not present was Heidi who was lost somewhere in the Los Angeles neverland. She eventually walked, nay, sashayed into the restaurant, approaching the table of girls with a loud, piercing, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” Heidi embraced Jen, whose tail was wagging like a dog, and then a significantly colder hug was exchanged between her and Lauren. Unsurprisingly, the passive-aggression soon followed.
Lauren raised a shot of sake and said, “To Jen, one of my oldest friends in the world [unlike you, Heidi], who has always been there for me no matter what! [Again, unlike you, you stupid bitch face, HEIDI].” Lauren then finished everything off with a “Here’s to Jen’s 21st birthday, and for us, a decade of friendship.” She then added, “As opposed to my two years of acquaintanceship with Heidi.”
Overwhelmed by all the attention coming from her Masters, Jen gushed, “No, see, there’s friends, and then there’s BEST friends!” Yes, hence the use of the word “Best” as a descriptor. Well observed, Jen.
Well, in a move that would surely come back to bite her, LC then presented Jen with her birthday gift: a little, diamond martini glass necklace. Jen was blown away, especially when Heidi reminded her, “They’re diamond.”
“Lauren, those are NOT diamonds,” Jen said in shock, clearly not realizing that a diamond martini glass does, in fact, feature diamonds. I suppose after years of expecting to eat actual velvet in a red velvet cake, Jen had become disillusioned with promising descriptions. By the way, there was some minor confusion here for us in the TVgasm studios. Lauren repeatedly said “we” in regards to the gift, but the subtitles sometimes said “I.” I didn’t know if this meant that Lauren gave her the gift solely and was using the Royal We, or if maybe she had split the gift with Heidi, and MTV was just trying to make us think that it was all Lauren. We’ll just have to debate that one out.
Anyway, the entire meal climaxed with the ultimate sign of friendship: veering off the diet. “I love you so much, I’m eating carbs on your birthday!” Lauren said. Carbs? WELL. That most certainly is NOT the Teen Vogue way of doing things. Of course, I’m always eating carbs, but that’s because I’m in a perpetual state of celebrating Lauren and Heidi Day.
Well, very quietly, Heidi mentioned to Jen that Brody was coming to the club later that night, but the sidekick had a crisis of conscience. “Too bad he hooked up with my best friend,” she said, still at a point when she retained some semblance of a moral compass. Heidi and Jen then rushed off to the bathroom where they discussed the Brody situation. Jen had reservations, but Heidi wanted to force this union more than Spencer wanted to roll a cot into Don Antonio’s and call it home. C’mon, Jen. Brody wants you! And further more he wanted macking ASAP! WELL! Can’t ignore that. Who was Jen to deny her own dreams of becoming Jen Jenner?
The girls then marched off to Les Deux where a quick montage of images set the scene: There was Spencer! And Brody! And Audrina! And some guy with a trucker cap and his shirt unbuttoned entirely too far!
Pictures were taken, fun was had, and scandal was ready to break out. Heidi pulled Jen aside, and in a very ONE-OF-US manner, she asked, “Aren’t you glad Brody and Spencer are here on your birthday?” That would be like asking someone, “Aren’t you happy Hitler and Pol Pot came to your wedding???” Of course, Jen, like a bad afterschool special, was totally intoxicated by this clique, saying, “It’s my crew! It’s my crew!” Sounds like somebody got the greatest birthday gift of all: the chance to belong!
Speaking of birthday gifts, Spencer then revealed his present to Jen on this special day. Was it jewelry? Clothing? A gift certificate? No. It was waaay better. His gift was… Brody! Yes, like slimy pimp, Spencer pointed to his buddy and smiled widely. I half expected him to say, “You like? You like? I give you special deal. Fifty dollar!” Yes, after having read that disturbing Details article and now seeing this episode, it was clear that Brody was officially a manwhore, and Spencer was his pimp.
Anyway, Brody and Jen took a picture together, which was so good, Spencer declared, “That’s going on MySpace!” (Note that the photo is nowhere on MySpace, at least as of press time). With the sparks flying (in a forced, no-actual sparks kind of way), Jen once again asked her evil Master, “You promise Lauren’s not mad?” Of course Lauren wasn’t mad. SHE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON. And poor Jen thought she was making a love connection, not realizing she was merely a pawn in Master warfare. Anyway, Heidi continually brushed off Jen’s reservations, saying that she had a right to do whatever she wanted on her birthday. I didn’t realize that right extended to hooking up with a guy Lauren was sort of seeing, but hey, what do I know?
Further pressuring Jen was Brody, who asked, “Why would she be mad at you?” Jen tried to explain that she was best friends with Lauren and this would all be bad, etc., but Brody refused to take it. He walked away, saying that she was too much drama. Apparently, being thoughtful to your friend is “drama,” whereas cheating on your kind girlfriend with her best friend is perfectly fine. Truth was that Brody was just saying this to make Jen feel guilty: mind games 101.
Meanwhile, Heidi continually insisted that she just wanted Jen to have fun. She said it over and over again to the point where it almost made Lauren seem like she didn’t want Jen to have any fun at all. The implication was that Heidi was thinking of Jen’s best interests whereas Lauren, if she got mad about the Brody situation, was merely thinking of herself.
Somewhere amidst all this, Lauren and Audrina sat down with Jen and Heidi, oblivious to the plotting that was going on behind their backs. It was an awkward situation, and when the two girls eventually left, Brody swooped back in, and by this point, Jen was drunk enough to cater to her Heidi impulses. She grinded up on Brody, doing some sort of lapdance thing while Lauren and Audrina stood on the other side of the bar, thinking everything was hunky-dory.
Finally, everyone decided to go back to Brody’s condo, but no one bothered to tell Lauren and Audrina, who were left alone and unaware that the party was over. It was therefore particularly painful to watch them ponder the plans for the rest of the night, with Lauren at one point surmising that Jen would be staying until closing time (she had already left). It got even worse as Lauren announced, “I am dancing solely for her birthday!” Yeah, um, you might not want to do that. Truthfully, these clips could have been pulled from earlier in the night, but we don’t know that for sure, and honestly, do we really care? The foursome still left without Lauren and Audrina, and if that wasn’t a major, major dis, I don’t know what is.
We then cut to the next day, the producers once again forcing us to fill in the blanks about what happened after hours. Lauren was back at Teen Vogue, helping Whitney prepare a conference room. “I think we’re setting up for a meeting in here,” Whitney commented. What’s that you say? A meeting? In a conference room? Why, I thought they’d be making funnel cakes and sundaes!
Anyway, as the girls placed bouquets of flowers, we just knew that superstar intern Emily was somewhere at home, clawing at her TV and wishing she could jump into the scene and place more, More, MORE arrangements on the table. Lauren told Whitney about the whole situation at the party, and also informed us that Jen had called her up and asked if she could hook up with Brody. OH NO SHE DI’NT!!! Typical sidekick. She couldn’t just betray her best friend. She had to ask for permission first.
Well, Whitney honed her inner Whitney and was all HELL TO THE NO. “She had the nerve to ask you that as if she shouldn’t have known in the first place?” she asked, so mad I thought she might abduct Jen and throw her into the Hansel-and-Gretelish oven her parents kept at the house.
Nevertheless, the plot thickened. Lauren told Whitney that Jen had told Lauren that Spencer had told Jen that Jen should hookup with Brody. Got that? Basically, Lauren found out that Spencer had been pressuring Jen to make out with Brody. It certainly did nothing to make Spencer look any better, but as Wh-wh-wh-Whitney wisely pointed out, Jen should have been strong enough to say hey, Lauren’s my friend, I’m not going to hookup with Brody.
“Is it really worth screwing a friend over for that guy?” Lauren then asked. The answer: Yes, apparently. Who knows? Maybe Jen always wanted to be part of the Jenner Olympic dynasty? All these people were dumb though. They should never cross Lauren. Last time I checked, she was their meal ticket.
Now, I pause this recap to tend to a discussion point that will surely come up. How can Lauren bash Jen for hooking up with her man, when she, in fact, was hooking up with Kristin Cavallari’s man. And furthermore, didn’t her own sister, Bre-Bre, pull a similar move with Tessa’s boy during Laguna Beach 3? Here’s the difference. Lauren isn’t friends with Kristin, and Breanna wasn’t friends with Tessa. However, Jen was friends with Lauren, which made this whole thing pretty obnoxious. Plus, Lauren can pretty much do no wrong in our book, and that’s not because her mom posts comments on these recaps. Hey, I’m allowed to be biased. This is the blogosphere, after all.
After the break, we went to Epic Records to catch up with Audrina at her Epic job with her Epic friend, Chiara. This Jen scandal had proven to be so earth-shattering that it had actually pervaded the hallowed sanctuary of Epic Records. The two girls talked about how Heidi most certainly should have stopped and diffused the situation between Jen and Brody. Instead, Lauren was now faced with the ultimate betrayal. Audrina noted, “Jen and Lauren have been friends since they’ve been four or five.” Since they were four or five? Man, that’s pretty young for third grade.
Anyway, adding insult to injury, Audrina then reminded Chiara that Jen’s betrayal came right on the heels of Lauren giving her diamonds for her birthday. Granted, Jen might have been a little slower to stab her friend in the back had she believed the diamonds were actually diamonds, not glass, but that’s beside the point. Audrina ultimately came up with the best explanation of all: “I think that Spencer is brainwashing her a little bit.” A little bit? Look, I love Heidi. Or rather, loved Heidi, but it’s become very clear that she has adopted many of Spencer’s lesser qualities. Yes, yes, everyone is ultimately responsible for their own actions, but there’s something about this kid that’s just like a black hole for common decency. He appeals to everyone’s most base instincts, and girls like Heidi, who just wants to act like a spoiled princess, are totally susceptible to his influence. It’s just a bad, bad situation.
Well, Chiara agreed with Audrina emphatically, knowing that this sidekick vacuum might be her chance to gain entry into the Lauren Conrad clique. Of course, Chiara would have to duke it out with #1 on the standby list, Whitney. Speaking of whom, we returned to the Teen Vogue offices where the girls had since returned to their cubbyhole, their rigorous day of arranging vases having given way to some afternoon garment pressing. Suddenly, Lauren’s phone rang, and who could it be? None other than an apologetic Jen wishing for forgiveness. Lauren was no pushover though. She accused her friend of being complicit with Heidi in a cutthroat deed, and furthermore, the fact that the two girls kept pinning it on each other was rather despicable. She also scoffed at Jen for trying to make it seem like Lauren was creating the drama, and after ordering her to stop with the excuses, LC seethed, “Seriously, Jen. Don’t be at my apartment when I get home!” NIIICE! If this were a sitcom, the audience would have applauded rigorously. Nothing hurts more than when the sidekick loses visitation rights.
Whitney then decided to weigh in on the situation by saying, “Not that I think Spencer is, like, the issue…” However, Lauren interrupted her by saying, “Spencer is the issue.” To which Whitney replied, “Yeah…” Great point, Whit! You really stuck to your guns!
At long last, Wh-wh-wh-Whitney then made her first attempt at a power move: “It’s really time to evaluate the friendships you have.” Is that a U-Haul I see? Because Whitney’s MOVING ON IN!!!
Anyway, Jen then called Lauren back, but this time, she was given the old voicemail treatment. Consider this friendship OVER.
We then headed to the Hillside Villas, and I’m not gonna lie: I was beyond excited. This was gonna be the big confrontation that the previews had teased all week. Oh, and it was just as good as we could have hoped. Heidi entered the apartment to find Lauren (where else) on the couch. The two exchanged cold greetings and then got down to business. Heidi tried to play innocent, again taking a page from Spencer’s book and full-on lying about her culpability in the situation. “I had nothing to do with any of this,” she said, clearly forgetting the countless times she cheered Jen on to make out with Brody. I mean, the girl was half a drink away from taking the two kids and smushing their faces together.
In a move that was the true definition of friendship, Heidi then sold Jen up the river, saying, “Jen’s the one who was, like, making out with Brody!” The cat then wandered into frame for a few moments, clearly thinking that this was a “Hey, let’s gather ’round the cat!” moment. He was wrong. OUT OF THE WAY, FELINE!
Anyway, Lauren told Heidi that she wasn’t the same friend as she used to be. Heidi responded by saying that Lauren’s put up a wall, and that she feels like she has to choose between her best friend and her boyfriend. Lauren then said that she had already chosen, at which point she lost half a point for recycling her line from last week.
Well, with chins quivering all around, Lauren fretted that if things continued the way they continued, the two of them weren’t going to be friends (muted gasp from the audience). “Spencer has you freakin’ brainwashed. It’s so sick to see,” Lauren said, as I happily cheered her on from my apartment. Heidi denied this charge; although, if she had said that she was on Team Lauren, she wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. Anyway, the fight boiled down to the same old things: Heidi was ignoring her friend, spending too much time with Spencer. She tried to defend herself, saying she just needed reminders, but Lauren shot back with a bitter “I don’t have to reind you to be my best friend!” Actually, you sort of do. Let’s not forget this is the girl who had to write “9AM start work. 6 PM, stop work” on her Outlook calendar.
To be fair, Heidi wasn’t totally without merit in this whole argument. She noted that she was upset because she couldn’t talk to Lauren about her boyfriend, which did suck, but I have a feeling that just because Lauren didn’t like Spencer didn’t mean she couldn’t help out with the advice. Eh, not even going to bother to get into that one. Ultimately, Lauren was pushed to the brink, forced to announce what we’ve all been saying for the past several weeks: “He’s a sucky person! He’s a sucky person!!!” THANK YOU!
Lauren further proclaimed, “I hate Spencer! I’M NEVER GOING TO LIKE SPENCER!” Honestly, it was like the most glorious, exciting televised moment since man first walked on the moon. (Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration).
Oh, but it got better. Lauren then asked, “Did Brody tell you that she kissed him?”
“Yes,” Heidi answered unwittingly.
“BITCH,” Lauren seethed, clearly having discovered that Jen had lied to her. Lauren Conrad in the throes of vituperation? EXCELLENT!
Heidi then reverted to her standard defense: “I didn’t do anything!” And of course this resulted in the wonderful line we’ve seen all week: “Exactly! You didn’t do anything!” LC replied, adeptly turning Heidi’s words against her.
Ultimately, the conversation ended with an ultimatum of sorts from Lauren: “You know that it’s not going to be okay until you and Spencer are broken up.” On the one hand, that’s a crummy position for one friend to put another in. Friends really shouldn’t have to choose. On the other, a) she was being realistic, and b) knowing the scum that is Spencer, I really didn’t mind that Lauren was essentially putting the pressure on Heidi to break up.
So what will happen with these girls? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week, which looks to have plenty of Whitney and Lisa Love follies.
What did you think about the situation? Was Lauren wrong to force Heidi to choose? Was Lauren wrong for getting so upset at Jen? Did she no longer have ownership of Brody? Or was Jen at fault? And was this really Jen’s fault or Heidi’s? Or Spencer’s? And why hasn’t Brody caught any shit yet? Discuss! Discuss!