On ''The Hills,'' Spencer and Heidi visit her folks and face their concerns; meanwhile, Lauren and Audrina get teary at Brody's party

By Lindsay Soll
September 10, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”The Hills”: Meeting the parents

Seems like drama took a back seat this week and friendship became the main attraction. Between Heidi’s mom preaching about Lauren, Brody giving Spencer s— for ditching him, and Lauren finally showing an emotion (other than rage) about the loss of a best friend, I almost felt like I was watching a cheesy after-school special on how valuable friendships are in life. It sort of made me want to call my best friends up and tell them I love them and I will always be there for them…but then I snapped out of it and realized this is The Hills I’m watching, not Oprah.

I guess my mind was stuck back in quaint Crested Butte, Colo., instead of sunny Hollywood where it usually is. How many of you were surprised that Heidi — who, lest we forget, has ”modified” a lot more than her personality since living in L.A. — came from such a stereotypical small town? And how many of you figured her upbringing fit nicely into her naïve behavior (one word: Spencer) and constant need to be in the spotlight? I’m definitely in the former group. Looking at Heidi now, I never would’ve guessed she came from a farm. God knows she might still be grooming horses at her family’s stable if she hadn’t met Lauren at the right place and time (college in San Francisco, for those of you keeping score at home).

Spencer showed a side we’ve never seen of him before tonight, too: vulnerability. When Speidi were packing and talking about meeting Heidi’s family, he said, ”This is pretty much the heaviest thing I’ve ever done.” Which is sort of weird to me, because I would think getting engaged to someone is just as ”heavy,” if not heavier. And don’t you typically meet the family before popping the question? (Oh, that’s right, he never officially proposed, and we still have no idea if the ring is real or not!)

I think Heidi’s parents, Tim and Darlene, were adorable. What’s more, they both seem to have a genuine interest in their daughter’s high-speed relationship with Pratt Daddy. The moment when Papa Montag asked Spencer to go have a little talk, you could almost see Spencer’s nerves take over. Sure, it felt a little like the episode of The Bachelor when the bachelor goes to the final four women’s hometowns and inevitably gets grilled by one or more of her family members, but it still provided some insight into Heidi’s life pre-Spencer. ”Heidi has been the type of gal that has been very social, and then she would get a boyfriend and she would lose all of her friends,” Tim explained to Spencer, ”because they would become secondary to her, and now all she has is you. If things were to go south, what would happen to her? I just hate to have her have all her eggs in one basket.” Plenty of us would agree. It’s interesting (and yet maybe not all that surprising) that Heidi has a pattern of losing friends over guys.

Mama Montag spoke up about her concern too, and made it clear that she was definitely a supporter of Team Lauren. She asked Heidi where she would go if she and Spencer ever had a fight, and Heidi’s response was, ”I have a lot of friends — Spencer’s friends, and they have girlfriends, and I hang out with a lot of them.” So basically, Heidi, Mama’s right: You’re far too dependent on your boyfriend/maybe fiancé.

Spencer didn’t help the situation at all with his inane explanation as to why he unexpectedly bought Heidi a ring. ”I just got it because I wanted her to know that I think of her as a wife, we live together,” he told the family over dinner. That’s really the reason he’s going to give her parents for getting engaged to their daughter? He may as well have said, ”Well, she is a nice piece of ass.” At least when Heidi excused herself to go to the bathroom, Spencer mustered up enough of his classic fake charm to say, ”What an angel” (to which I threw up a little bit in my mouth).

I felt a little bit embarrassed for Spencer when the ‘rents asked him what the deal was with Lauren. His serial-killer-like expression from last week came back for a second when he broke out his random impression of his arch nemesis, Lauren: ”It’s literally like a stubborn, immature, little selfish little girl who’s like, ‘I want Heidi to myself. You don’t share her, da da da da.’ It’s like literally like that.” Powerful, Pratt Daddy, powerful.

Meanwhile, back in Cali, after a long day of partying at Brody’s beach house, Lauren and Audrina had a sob fest. First, Lauren snapped and cried about losing Heidi as a friend. She admitted that even though Jason really hated Heidi (news to me — didn’t Jason hang out with Heidi’s boyfriend Jordan a lot during the first season?), she never let that bother her. Then it was Audrina’s turn to cry when she realized Justin Bobby ominously left her red-rose-imprinted motorcycle helmet on a couch, thereby symbolically leaving her heart behind, too. If I were her, I would’ve chucked that thing into the ocean.

I wish Audrina had been serious when she said, ”I’m done,” but we all know she isn’t. Just how many times can she and J. Bobby discuss why Lauren is so cautious about them as a couple? And just how many different apathetic and rude responses can he come up with? My personal fave so far: ”She doesn’t need to worry about anything — until you piss me off.”

Before I bid adieu, since so many of you TV Watchers have had such genius ideas as to who the two d-bags of The Hills look like (personally, I still think Spencer looks like Crush the totally rad turtle in Finding Nemo), I’ve decided we should take a poll so we can settle this once and for all. Cast your vote in the comments section:

Who does Spencer really look like?
A. Beavis
B. A Gremlin
C. Jim Carrey when he put on The Mask
D. Dennis the Menace with a penchant for hairspray
E. A Furby toy
F. A California raisin
G. A boy with Chicklet gum for teeth
H. A ventriloquist’s dummy
I. SpongeBob SquarePants
J. All of the above
K. None of the above

And who does Justin Bobby really look like?
A. Johnny Depp
B. Johnny Depp in character as a drunken Captain Jack Sparrow
C. A Geico caveman
D. Johnny Depp playing Colin Farrell playing a half-hippie, half-homeless guy
E. A washed-up extra on 21 Jump Street
F. A member of Milli Vanilli
G. A lobotomized Eddie Vedder
H. All of the above
I. None of the above

Until next time, here are a few other things to ponder: Should I have paid more attention to Brody’s football injury? Would you agree that Spencer looked like a lumberjack with that terrible beard in the previews for next week’s episode? Was Lo wearing an engagement ring or no? Do you think Whitney should get more screen time? Are combat boots the next big beach accessory?

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