On ''Laguna Beach,'' it's LC's turn to make a mixed-signal-filled visit to Stephen in San Francisco; plus, Kristin messes with someone else's relationship
Laguna Beach

”Laguna Beach”: LC makes another play for Stephen

I wanted to believe. Really. By the end of this week’s episode, I was hoping we had a new couple (Stephen and LC) and a new trio (Jess, Alex M., Taylor). But I doubt it. Welcome to Laguna Beach, where everyone’s hair is blond and everyone’s name is Alex, where ducks feed bread to children and nothing’s as it seems. As Jess and Alex H. said, ”I hate this f—ing game!”

Who better to initiate our exploration of Laguna‘s perpetual chicanery than the queen of self-deception herself, LC? I’m sorry, baby, but you’ve worn your heart on your sleeve too often to play it as coy as you tried to throughout this episode. As LC packed for her trip to the Bay Area, her friend Jen (who?) casually (ha) asked if LC would see Stephen (duh), to which LC responded: ”I probably should because I’m up there.” But this pre-trip exchange paled in comparison to LC’s forced skittishness while she was out with Stephen, who apparently may move back to SoCal. ”Now Stephen,” she said, ”senior year I decided I wanted to go to San Francisco. And then you decided you want to go to San Francisco. Then I decided to move to L.A. Stephen, are you following me? It’s okay, I understand.” And then she giggled.

Certainly, the circumstantial evidence is convincing, but LC’s fantasy play couldn’t cut it. Though Stephen forced a smile, he never went for the bait. How could he? Repeatedly, LC wavered between that too-cool-for-school chick shtick and wide-eyed puppy-love enthrallment that turned to lamenting whenever she sensed her kibble was challenged. ”So Kristin’s moving to L.A. too….How are you guys?” LC glibly inquired. Stephen pathetically rambled, ”We’re chill. We’re both doing our own thing. Like, we’re obviously both chill, and I’m out there every once in a while.” By doing your own thing, do you mean she’s playing the field and you fall asleep to the sound of your own whimpering every night?

”So you’re still close?” LC said. Stephen then resumed that nonverbal grunting he did last week with Kristin. The mere thought of Kristin still stupefied the boy. But as demoralizing as hearing Stephen gloss over his lost love with Kristin was, it was endlessly embarrassing to witness LC’s constant attempt to feign nonchalance and sarcasm with Stephen. Recalling their first kiss, LC claimed Stephen made the first move. Then, she rashly announced, ”Actually it was the sweetest first kiss I’ve ever had.” (Yeah, you followed me to San Francisco! Yeah, you kissed me first! Yeah, you love me, Stephen! Love me! Please?)

Then the boy detonated the bomb, saying that kissing her ”was kinda something I always wanted to do….What do you think if me and you ever full-on had a relationship that lasted?” Oh dear. Absolute ecstasy crossed LC’s face — mouth agape, gleeful head shaking, her own stupefied stammering (”I don’t know….I just…I?”). I started to worry her oversize head might explode.

But let’s return to reality. After dinner, the two strolled to a pleasant view of the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge! Remember last week, when Stephen busted his A game for Kristin? He took her to a romantic hill boasting a spectacular view of fireworks over the San Francisco skyline. For LC, however, we’re dropping C class. No arm around the girl, no blanket, no Chinese food, just a cement platform overlooking gloomy Oakland. Poor, LC. But who knows what the future holds? I know I have no idea.

And how could we know what Laguna relationships have in store? After all, Jess’ best friend nowadays is apparently Alex M. Forget Kristin. Who else cringed the moment Jess announced, ”Finally, my good karma’s catching up with me”? That good karma happened to be meeting new cutie Jeff, whom Kristin termed ”a nice guy.” Unfortunately, Kristin knew this too well as she soon swapped lollipops and spit with the boy during Alex H.’s fiesta.

Making cutesy for the camera, Jess and Jeff looked sweet together, but Kristin and Jeff looked sultry. Ugh, how could she? But even more distressing was how riled up Alex M. got upon learning of Kristin’s shenanigans: ”That is so rude to do to Jessica….What a bitch? Omigosh!” Alex M.’s sympathy was clearly more genuine than Kristin’s guilt-ridden joshing about Jess’ crush: ”You really like Jeff, huh? Yeah, you do. You do!” She didn’t really care. She couldn’t.

Does Kristin have a soul? She fittingly copped a Cruella De Vil pose (demonic finger nails and all) when she flippantly told Alex H., ”It’s not like I like Jeff….I was not thinking straight and there happened to be someone right there.” Kristin, those defenses just make it worse. At least Cruella was putting together a rad fur coat. You just kill puppies to pass the time it takes to dry your nail polish. (Unless Kristin’s planning on making a Jess coat. Maybe she could also knit a scarf with Jason’s ferrety face fuzz and Casey’s horsehair extensions. Ewwww.)

But regardless of Kristin’s evilness (and the debacle that was Jason), could anything prepare us for the geniality with which Jess accepted the Jeff-Kristin gossip? (Speaking of Jason, where was he this week? Did the 32-year-old finally graduate?) And how the hell did Jess become pals with Alex M.? Just because Jess is obsessing about another boy, they’re BFF? While Jess inexplicably giggled about how ”Kristin’s 20 times better than me,” more inexplicable were Taylor and Alex M’s reassurances: ”Not only are you pretty on the outside, you’re gorgeous on the inside.” Didn’t these two force Jess to proclaim herself a slut last month?

While I wanna believe a new alliance has formed, I suspect Jess would go along with any situation, no matter how awful. It was too perfect to see Jess talking to Taylor while Taylor was wearing that goofy hat displaying the word that best describes Jess: ”Turkey.”

What do you think? Has Jess found new friends? Was there progress in Stephen and LC’s relationship? What was in Alex H.’s green pre-party drink? And was Alex’s pet (a) a dog, (b) a ferret, (c) the source of Jason’s facial hair, or (d) all of the above?

Laguna Beach
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