The ''friends'' attend Doug's pool party despite the undercurrent of tension from his dinner with Stephanie

By Lindsay Soll
Updated September 30, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT
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‘The Hills’ recap: What’s dinner among friends?

Last night’s episode of The Hills began with Lauren and Whitney’s trainer (anyone recall if that’s the same one that asked Whitney out on a date last year? I’m guessing it’s not, because if that were the case, he probably would’ve been deemed worthy enough to get an on-screen name tag) providing more than just tips on how to work out their abs: ”If you’re friends with your girl, you don’t go out with an ex — unless you get the stamp of approval,” he said as Lauren punched his raised palms. He was, of course, referring to last week’s SDD (Stephanie-Doug date. How fitting that when abbreviated it sounds a little like STD?). While he sort of has a point, since when do (A) guys even give a crap whether or not girlfriends seek approval from each other?; (B) trainers offer relationship advice?; and, finally, (C) girls wear jewelry when they’re working out? Okay, so that last one has nothing to do with anything relevant, but c’mon, ladies, the gym is not a fashion show.

At school in the following days, Lauren and She-Pratt had their post-SDD awkward run-in. I was anxious to see how Lauren was going to handle the reunion, but instead I found myself staring directly at her ”mustache” (yes, the same imperfection many of you TV Watchers have pointed out in the past, which may very well be a case of bad shadows, but for our purposes let’s just pretend it’s real). I kept hoping Stephanie would bust out with ”Jeez, honey! Wax much?” And then Lauren would reply, ”When your friends are betraying you, you have a different set of priorities,” but apparently neither had seen the Sex and the City movie enough times to quote it.

Focusing our attention back onto the situation at hand, Stephanie explained to Lauren that Doug was using her to get back at Lauren and that she had deleted his number from her cell, even though she kept getting missed calls from him. Keep in mind, though, that throughout most of this conversation she chose to look directly at the camera instead of at Lauren, as she would have if she had been truly apologetic. Then, to top it all off, Stephanie said she was still going to go to Doug’s party, claiming that she RSVP’ed ”weeks ago before I was even friends with him.” Because, you know, that makes about as much sense as it does for Lauren to have cut her Italy trip off two days early. (I mean, once you purchase a pink Balenciaga handbag, what other purpose do you have being in that country?)

Faster than you can say, “All Pratts are cunning liars,” Stephanie was on another SDD at the Bella restaurant, grumbling about the web of deceit she’d created. Doug, ever the model of manhood that he is, insisted that he would have her back if anyone (specifically Brody and/or Frankie) tried to give her a problem. ”If you get any crap for it, I’ll back you up,” he said. ”I’ll be like hey, listen, she didn’t do anything wrong. Boom, be quiet.” How about you wipe that smirk off your face, Doug, and maybe try admitting that the only reason you’re on the show is to pimp your pretty face out there so you can become the ”Next Big Thing” in L.A. you’re also to blame?

NEXT: Everybody out of the pool

The day before the party, Brody asked what was up with Doug’s shady behavior. Doug maintained that he was just trying to be friends with poor, sweet She-Pratt and that she was the one continuously contacting him (and not vice versa as she had led Lauren to believe). He even provided text messages as evidence, but who knows if he hadn’t already deleted anything that would make him look guilty. The conversation ended with these famous last words by Doug, “I’m just hoping you’re not going to make her cry.” And with that, we of course all knew he totally would.

Finally it was time for the main event of the evening (for which EW’s own Tim Stack was present when he was reporting for his Hills cover story), and oh-so-many noteworthy (read: absurd) moments occurred just minutes into it:

? The obligatory (and unnecessary) shot of Audrina taking off her top.

? Stephanie’s I-look-like-I-have-an-itch-in-a-place-where-I-can-not-publicly-scratch-it facial expressions.

? Brody making fun of Doug: ”I’m pretty much so much finer than this trucker hat.”

? Lauren coming to terms with how ”awful” it is that she’s kissed both Brody and Doug.

? Whitney proclaiming, ”It is so hot,” and then, seconds later, Doug taking a giant leap into the pool — soaking both her and Lauren — and thereby proving Lauren’s theory that Whitney would ”hate him” to be true.

? Whitney then telling Doug, ”I don’t even know you, and I don’t want to.”

Of course Brody topped all of that nonsense with an attack on Stephanie. He plopped down next to her and ticked off just about everything that was pissing him off, which mostly involved how ”obnoxious” it is that she was pretending to be innocent about Doug. Afterward, Whitney commented that Brody’s actions were ”so inappropriate,” and I kind of loved Lauren’s sarcastic follow-up: ”If you leave, can you take me?…I’m totally serious. I’ll walk….It may take me an hour, but it’s worth it.”

Stephanie, meanwhile, had escaped to Doug’s bedroom, where she probably hoped to be comforted by all the portraits and pictures of the man himself but instead overheard Doug completely making a fool of her trying to defend himself. (By the way, I love how he stood up for Stephanie as he had originally promised. Ladies, take note: This is a guy who probably bulls—s so much he doesn’t even realize when he’s doing it anymore.) ”I wasn’t trying to hook up with her,” he said. ”I wasn’t trying to date her.” Take a second, please, to rewind your DVRs to the moment when he agreed to have a ”DVD night” with her. We all know what that’s really code for. He continued to get himself into even deeper trouble by denying just about everything that had to do with Stephanie. The clincher, however, came when he called Lauren his ”ex” — wait for it — ”fling.” Boom! Moral of the story: Frankie and Brody know best. (Oy, did I really just type that?) Doug should’ve never gone to dinner with Stephanie, or at least not lied to ”the homies” about it.

NEXT: A Pratt offensive

I thought it was awfully nice and surprisingly considerate of Lauren to halt her escape out of the party from hell by helping Stephanie fix her makeup. She may have been teary-eyed, but I definitely don’t think Stephanie deserved the special attention. She’d flat out lied to Lauren about all things Doug, plus she seemed more concerned with what Brody’s crew thought of her than actually admitting once and for all that she was in the wrong.

It’s more clear than ever that Stephanie and Spencer have the same unremorseful blood running through their veins, now that we’ve witnessed how the latter interacted with the Montag matriarch last night. Before we get into that, though, let’s back up a bit. So Mama Darlene, who showed up in L.A. as a birthday surprise for Heidi, immediately expressed her disappointment that her younger daughter had kept it a secret that Spencer had moved back in. ”I wasn’t just going to tell you over the phone,” Heidi argued. Right, because telling her over the phone was just too shocking? It’s not exactly the same as hearing something like “I’m pregnant,” so why make up such a sorry excuse? I swear, for every skill and facial expression that Heidi lacks the ability to show off, she certainly knows how to turn an argument around onto any person who’s upset with her. (Remember how she even guilt-tripped Holly after Spencer tried to kick her out?) ”I just didn’t want you judging me,” Heidi added. ”You just don’t know Spencer well enough.”

In an attempt to remedy that, Darlene and Spencer went to lunch together at the Bloom Café. The scene that unraveled left me completely awestruck. Sure, we all know Spencer is a giant douchebag (at this point, I’d bet even aliens living on far-off planets even know it, too), but disrespecting your girlfriend’s mother is an entirely different kind of evil animal. Darlene tried to express her feelings that maybe Heidi shouldn’t rush into anything (yeah, where exactly was she last year when Heidi supposedly said yes to marrying the idiot?), and all Spencer could do was fight back in a passive-aggressive manner. ”The one main thing I love about Heidi,” he said, ”is that she doesn’t feel the need to call Mom in Crested Butte to get approval of living with somebody in a different state.” Following Darlene’s comment that she wasn’t trying to make him uncomfortable, Spencer — in his most malevolent tone — said, ”I don’t get uncomfortable, my dear.” I came this close to chucking my remote control at the TV at this point, but I slowly put it down when I heard Darlene say, ”I think you’re condescending, rude, and very hostile right now.” You go, Mom! It’s about time someone put him in his place! With that statement, Darlene has officially stepped up as this season’s Elodie — a woman who says what we’re all thinking.

The series of unfortunate — and almost heartbreaking — events continued when Heidi and her mom lunched at Tart (such an apropos name for a place for Heidi to dine). Darlene confessed how utterly offensive she found Spencer, and Heidi still acted like she’d jump in front of a bullet for the dude. In fact, she’s so jaded (or is it brainwashed?) that when her mom began to get really weepy, Heidi looked like she was about to bust out laughing. ”I just want you to be happy,” Darlene concluded, ”and whatever that is, that’s what I want for you.” Oh, Mama Montag, if I could’ve jumped into the screen and given you a huge hug, I so would have.

Phew, what an emotional episode! Until next week, I’ll turn it over to you guys: Who did you think was telling the truth about the SDD(s): Stephanie or Doug? Or do you even care anymore? Were you impressed with how maturely Lauren handled the entire showdown at Doug’s pool party? Finally, what would you have done if your daughter’s boyfriend talked to you the way Spencer did?

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The Hills

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