Off on a low-energy ski weekend, LC tries to deal with some puzzling unfinished business; meanwhile, Jason and Alex M. act like they're in love

By Timothy Gunatilaka
Updated September 05, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”Laguna Beach”: LC’s puzzling relationship

We’ve spent the past weeks in a perpetual frenzy. Jess and Jason! Jason and Alex! LC and Stephen! Stephen and Kristin! Cedric and…? Thus, it was refreshing to be spared the drama this week. Then again, what does it say about a show when we welcome boringness? Because this segment of Laguna Beach was, let’s say, less action packed. Did we really need the long blooper reel of the girls snowboarding? That said, the episode did have its moments.

Some actually dramatic “So, what’s going on with you guys?” moments

Although we all know most LB conversations are staged, this week offered some scenes that reminded us that sometimes the drama can be real. First, we saw that Alex M. and Jason are indeed dating. It was almost hard for the Jess lover in me to hate Alex, given the unabashed googly eyes she shared with Jason. Could this be true love? How else could you explain her need to tell the boy how much she likes his pocket T-shirt? Of course, we later found out that trouble’s brewing. (Jess!) Regardless, what was with Alex’s crazy eyes while she was making out with Jason? (Henceforth, Alex M. shall be known as Blinky.)

Similarly, the ”Kristin loves Talan” chants from Jess and Alex H., and Kristin’s subsequent embarrassment, struck me as one of the purest responses we’ve seen in a while. And in terms of LB‘s more scripted scenes, Kristin actually made an effective ”get over him” girl as she pep-talked a heartbroken Jess to come skiing at Mammoth at the episode’s start. Kristin didn’t even flinch when Jess weirdly announced, ”I’m really excited to get away from, like, the atmosphere.” (What did she say? The atmosphere? I’m not sure whether that’s the smartest or the dumbest thing we’ve ever heard Jess say.)

Conversely, looking at Casey’s orangey tan and stringy hair, it’s hard to believe that anything about her is unadulterated and authentic. And thus it was cringes aplenty amid her forced, faux-cutesy replies to Alex M.’s narration about going steady with Jason. By the way, it seems Casey’s lost her label as ”the New Girl.” Rather, she’s been demoted to just ”Alex M.’s friend” (to be known henceforth as Blinky’s friend). What happened? Did the producers feel our pain? What about MTV’s early promotional push annoucing the arrival of Kristin’s new rival? So many wasted shots of the girl’s bad blond hair extensions swept by the wind while she cruised in her convertible! I hated that ad.

The please-put-them-out-of-their-misery moment

Every week, Jess and Stephen each provide us with one maddening moment. But the stupidity of Jess’ ”I love you” voice-mail to Jason is mitigated by next week’s scenes of Jess and Jason apparently reuniting. Gasp! So, we’ll settle with Stephen.

Kristin: I am so tired….Snowboarded. Every day….

Stephen: See Lauren up there?

Kristin: [Accusingly] So why did you come down here this weekend?

Stephen: To see you. When you gonna come visit me?

Kristin: [Dismissively] Stephen.

Stephen: Please come up!

Kristin: Okay.

Yes, Stephen, why did you come down this weekend? Sure, the producers probably purchased your ticket, but how many times can you endure Kristin cleaning up her room, visiting the mall, or doing anything but having to engage in a real conversation with you? And while the girl continues to meet you (per the producers’ request perhaps?), you must see her complete detachment from the situation. Can’t you hear the ”Kristin loves Talan” chants too? Apparently not, as Stephen begged Kristin to visit. Sure. That’ll happen. (Producers!)

The choke-on-your-lollipop-what’d-she-just-say? moment.

In what may be the best scene in Laguna history, LC and Kaitlyn were chilling in LC’s family’s cabin. LC playfully complained about her tendency to overeat in cold weather before spontaneously turning solemn. Her eyes pointed downward, and her voice dropped in wistful resignation as she proclaimed:

”You know what I’d really like to do? Finish that puzzle.”

And then we cut to the sight of a pesky jigsaw puzzle. Alas, just the borders were complete. And what a giant jigsaw it was. Indeed, if I had a puzzle like that taunting me, I’d definitely and desperately need to finish before any frolicking in the snow. But maybe that’s why I can identify with LC so much, as opposed to her friend Kaitlyn.The camera cut to an equally defeated Kaitlyn, who replied:

”I’ve come to terms with the fact it’s never gonna happen….I regret starting it.”

Hmmm. LC is doggedly determined to finish something she barely began, while her friend wants LC to cut her losses — a joyously bizarre moment with an amazingly appropriate subtext. LC didn’t need Talan to inform her later on of Stephen’s Valentine’s dinner with Kristin, given that LC had already expressed her suspicions last episode. But the puzzle portent gloriously justified showing Talan break LC’s heart again. Well done, LB. If we can’t have Lo, then please provide more puzzles!

What do you think? Was anyone else as thrilled by this episode’s hot puzzle action? Also, what were Talan’s motives in telling LC about Stephen’s Valentine’s dinner? Finally, did Casey (a.k.a. Blinky’s friend) make the most racist quesadilla order ever?

Laguna Beach

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