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The Hills Season-Premiere Recap: Heidi’s Face Shocks and Awes

Can you tell me where my old face went? I can't find it.

It’s the end of the world as we know it … It’s the end of the world as we know it … It’s the end of the world as we know it … And I feel fine! They used to play that song in order to wrap up our summer-camp socials, signaling that the lights were going to come on soon, so you’d better disentangle from whatever boy you were slow-dancing with from Camp Manitou. Upon hearing the R.E.M. classic, you felt both sad that the night was ending — you’d looked forward to it (the date was circled in red on your countdown-to-home calendar) — but also so relieved to get out of that sticky room and be done with the stress of wondering who, if anyone, was going to ask you to dance. All you really wanted was to be back in your bunk, tucked in bed, listening to Bette Midler's "The Rose" on your yellow, waterproof, Sony Walkman. And so, folks, (you know where we’re going with this, don’t you?) this episode of The Hills was like that song — you’d seen the strange puppet promos, you were excited to watch Heidi’s mom yell at her about her face, but really, more than anything, it was a relief to be done, to have conquered this beginning of the end of the series before you could get back into the comfort of your bed, listening to Bette Midler's "The Rose" on your iPod speakers.

So were our predictions right? Well, sort of. There was very little action on last night’s episode, yet it was oddly enthralling, or, at least, one story line was. And you know which one! Yes, it was Heidi and her face, the details of which Lo rattles off like a tongue twister, “Eyebrow lift, ears pinned back, chin job, boob job, butt job!” (Though Heidi herself gives us a more accurate summation, which we’ll get to in a bit.) Lo and Stephanie meet for lunch, after Steph’s AA meeting. “I’m only 23 and I’ve been to jail twice, like, that’s not normal,” she opens. No, Stephanie, it's not, like, normal. It’s actually kind of horrifying, but whatever, we’re over it, and on to more important things: like Lo! Who was in this episode a lot, and back to being her endearingly judge-y self. Elaborating on Heidi’s tush enhancement: “Like, a bigger butt … a little junk in the trunk.” And defaming poor Kristin: “She looks like shit, her eyes are bloodshot. Like, hello!” We’ve missed you, Lo, and your small, piercing eyes, too! We learn that everyone’s going to Miami for the Super Bowl, yadda, yadda, yadda, and, OMG, new credits! With pictures of the cast before all their, er, enhancements! This is really an inspired touch by MTV — Heidi was so cute; oh, dear, that makes us sad. It also seems that basically every scene from the new credit mash-up is taken from this very episode, which is kind of weird. Does nothing happen the rest of the season? We can only hope that’s not that case.

And now, may we present to you, the new Heidi Montag! Holy crapballs, does she look scary. There’s a hilarious sequence in which Heidi’s face is hidden from the camera. We see her legs, we see her (“shaped”) back, we see Spencer’s ever rattier beard and favorite crystal pendant necklace … but no face. It’s like that episode of The Twilight Zone, when that woman’s head is wrapped in gauze, and it turns out that she’s the pretty one and everyone else looks like a monster! (Except in Heidi’s case, it’s the opposite.) Spencer tries to convince her that seeing her mom is a bad idea. “You need to stay here where I can take care of you,” he demands. He’s so creepy. But Heidi soldiers on to picturesque Crested Butte, where we’re shown her childhood pictures before the camera finally pans to the result of her gagillion surgeries. And it’s bad, people, it’s really bad. Her mom, Darlene (who looks refreshingly botox-free), starts crying at the sight of it, and this whole story line is actually kind of disturbing, because Heidi has gone crazy and her parents do love her, but clearly can’t do anything to help her. “It’s very weird and very awkward, I’m sorry,” sniffs Darlene. Heidi has to talk in a whisper, because her jaw “is kind of locked up”; she lists the changes to her horrified mother. “I got a slight eyebrow lift, which is why I have these staples in my head … my nose redone. My own fat injected into my cheeks. I had my ears pinned back, I had injections in my lips, I had my chin shaved down, I had my breasts redone, and my back shaped, and I had a little bit of inner and outer leg bone done.” Yeesh, leg bone? BONE? We didn’t even know that was possible. [Note: We now know she said "lipo" not "leg bone" but we're leaving in our first reaction because the fact that we thought she said "leg bone" is telling...and kind of funny.] “I felt like you were much more beautiful before,” her mother says, and Heidi also starts to cry. “Mom, this is what I chose, and there’s nothing that I can take back.” We’ll leave you with that, because the societal implications and psychological damage on display are too real to dissect in this light-hearted recap. So, how about we get back to what The Hills does best: drinking and partying scenes!

Over in Miami, the girls are pregaming in their hotel room when Brody, Frankie, and their friend who looks like a child molester (wait, where is Enzo? WHERE IS ENZO?) enter and they all toast to “friendship.” Heh. Brody flirts with Audrina, and Kirstin gets annoyed. After Heidi’s drama, this all seems so insignificant. So we’ll wrap it up quickly: Kristin ditches the other girls and goes out till 8 a.m. every night/morning, so they decide she must be doing coke in order to be able to stay out that late. It’s not a bad theory. “I can’t be around a person like that because of where I am in my life with the DUI,” says a suddenly holier than thou Stephanie. Then Lo takes it further, by calling Kirstin and her friends “crackheads.” The three musketeers make sure to wake Kristin up in time to get to the airport, and they cattily talk about her in the next room over. “Hey, are you guys really just, like, standing in here talking shit?” Kristin asks, accurately. And then Audrina claims she’s “worried” about her, and Stephanie adds, “Your legs are, like, tiny, you’re wearing sunglasses all day,” as if that’s not true about all of them. The story ends with Kristin packing dramatically and the girls going back to L.A. There’s no takeaway from this other than that we are anxious to get back to Heidi’s face …

And there it is! At dinner with her family. Tim, Heidi’s dad, seems rightly concerned about his daughter. “Your face is more structured. It looks tighter, or like you’re frozen, or … ” he trails off. “Plastic?” finishes Heidi. There’s some talk of Heidi’s former self-confidence and what has become of it. “I couldn’t fix who I was being upset with how I look on the outside,” she explains. So eat healthy! Take a jog! Don’t shave off the bones in your leg, for God’s sake. Her mom suggests that maybe she shouldn’t live in L.A., if this is what it does to her, and then has the most passive-aggressive comeback to Heidi’s jaw troubles. Holly: “How’s that burger?” Heidi: “I can’t really chew it.” Darlene: “Do you want me to put it in a blender for you?” This is going nowhere good. Heidi bids her family adieu, and then our stupid DVR cuts off before the final farewell. If anything else interesting happened, please let us know in the comments.

And now, our unequivocal Hills reality index!

As real as Darlene’s tears:
We love how Lo just jumps to the conclusion, with no evidence other than this is what she thinks, that Kristin is doing drugs. Because that’s something that you do speculate about behind people’s backs, it’s true. And yet usually not when cameras are filming for the entire world to see.
The look on Darlene’s face when Heidi arrives is pure, true terror. We shudder just remembering it.
Heidi’s jaw is really locked, she’s not faking that scary, scary result of her chin (ear?) job. How could she? Owwwww. What have you done to yourself, you crazy person?

As fake as Audrina’s “concern” for Kristin:
Are Lo and Stephanie really friends? Really? No.
We’d bet a million dollars that Brody has no interest in Audrina, whatsoever. Well, other than the obvious — she’s a hot girl — interest. It’s actually kind of great for Brody, as he gets to play the hunky catalyst for all the girl drama by doing nothing other than getting drunk and making googly eyes.
Spencer's offer to accompany Heidi to her parents' home. No way he actually wanted to face the wrath of Darlene after what he let Heidi do to herself.

Other Recaps:

EW’s Emily Exton thinks Heidi’s new face was a letdown. “Heidi’s big reveal to her family was anticlimactic since we’ve all seen (and heard about) her recent enhancements.”

Tracie Egan Morrissey at Jezebel defends Kristin’s, er, habits. “She didn't make an ass out of herself, although she did exhibit something that I'm quite familiar with, thanks to my partying days: Coke face.”

Photo: Courtesy of MTV