When we were 12, we went on an ill-fated whale-watching boat tour with our camp group in Boston. It was a surprisingly cold and rainy day, but the counselors didn't have alternate plans for us, so on to the boat we went, 30 tween girls dressed in only shorts, tank tops, and just-bought ponchos. We huddled inside the boat's small cabin to get out of the rain, and about ten minutes out of the harbor, one of our friends turned a sickly shade of green, put her head down between her knees, and promptly puked all over the floor. Then a girl across the way did the same thing. We watched in disbelief as our bunkmates, one by one, exited the cabin and puked over the side of the boat. (The force of the wind drove some of the puke back toward the cabin, suspending it in midair for a few seconds before it splashed the poor girl who'd gotten sick.) It was like that scene in Stand by Me, but real, and totally terrifying. The kicker is that we didn't see one whale the entire time. But you know what? At least something happened during that boat ride, which is more than we can say for The Hills' outing on a mini-yacht for Audrina's birthday. At this point, we'd be happy to see, (a) Spencer and Heidi pull up in a pirate ship, board the boat, and tie up the rest of the gang and torture them, or (b) Everyone get sick all over each other. And that's what it comes down to, people. We're hoping to see some vomit.
We open with Audrina, Lo, Stephanie, and Kristin sitting at a restaurant and talking about the Aud and Ryan drama. All four girls look EXACTLY the same; stick-straight blonde hair, black blazer, blank expression. Audrina has decided that it's totally over with Spike: "I made a mental list, like, pros and cons, if it’s really workable and it’s not." Aw, "mental." Keep it up, Aud! They decide to throw her a 25th birthday party on a boat, and maybe they'll invite Justin? Audrina scrunches up her face at the thought of it. Is it just us, or does she look different? Like, her face is wider or something. Or her eyes are bigger? Or we need a new contacts prescription.
Credits. Heiiiiiddddiiiiiiii! We will find you!
There's certainly a lot of lead up to this very lame party. Firstly, we have a scene with Lo, Kristin, and Steph, shopping in that store they always shop in, looking for a gift for Audrina. They pick up various items that they think Audrina might like, all of which are way too conservative for Aud's taste, in our opinion. The idea of inviting Justin to the party is floated once again. "They’re always going to be in each other’s lives — it’s like Brody and I," says Kristin. "I’m worried that if Justin comes, the opening will be there, and she might take it," says Lo, a concerned furrow on her very made-up brow. They devise a genius plan: Invite Justin, since he only comes to things he's not invited to! So surely he won't come, right? According the previews, wrong. A pox on this dumb show. A pox, we say. Sigh.
The boys are also talking about something or other while lounging on the beach. "Speaking of chicks, McKaela is out of her mind," says Brody. He's decided she's shady. Also shady? Taylor. Can someone please give us a trick to tell Taylor and Charlie apart? We're basically convinced that they're the same person, before and after a meal of like fifteen cheeseburgers.
That night, at some club, Brody is wearing a ski hat and Holly has a big white headband on, both of which look silly (and not in a silly-fun way. More of in a silly-dumb way). McKaela and Allie Lutz show up to ruin the evening, and Allie immediately goes over to Kristin and Stacie to resume her fight from the previous week. Kristin Jedi-mind-tricks her into admitting she broke into Brody's house, and then they sort of slap/hit each other, and yell and scream, and Kristin storms out. This scene could have run in basically any episode this season, and we wouldn't have known the difference.
The next day, Kristin and her romper go over to Smashbox to pick up Lo for lunch, and Lo just happens to be away from her desk, giving Kristin the perfect opportunity to have a fight with McKaela the intern ... in her office. Whatever, not like this is a real job, but it's still inappropriate. "I think that your world is too small," snipes McKaela. It's an odd insult, considering McKaela shows up at every single party that Kristin attends, but we'll let it go. She said it with just the right combo of condescension and nastiness: Point, McKaela!
Oh my God, are Audrina and Ryan going to break up again. Seriously? Yes, yes they are. She goes to his house to have yet another sit-down chat, telling him that she's just not feeling it. "I don’t know how to properly move forward," says Ryan, wearing a V-neck so deep it's giving us the heebie-jeebies. Cover up that gross chest hair, Spike! They decide that it's totally done, and Audrina looks semi-weepy, and Ryan seems sad that he's getting kicked off a reality show for, like, the twelfth time in his short life.
Later on, Justin and Kristin meet for a drink, and amazingly, they're both wearing cut-off vests, Justin in plaid and Kristin in denim. "I can’t believe that we’re both wearing cut-offs jeez," remarks Justin. Somehow, when he's not around Audrina, Justin makes a lot more sense. To which we say: Get him back with Audrina! Kristin tells him they're having a party for Audrina's birthday ("Is it today?" asks Justin), and that he should come. "It’s such a scene, man," says Justin. Kristin reveals that Aud and Ryan broke up. "That’s too bad, I wanted to get to know the little guy," he replies. Somewhere off in the distance, Ryan's hair grows another inch in protest.
The boat trip, the boat trip! And no vomit in sight. Darn. Justin's there, wearing a nautical peacoat, and Audrina changes mid-ride from her little sailor romper to a blue-and-white-striped boat neck (both equally on point, trend-wise). Everyone marvels at the cute seals on a rock, and we feel happy that The Hills is featuring some wild animals that aren't caged up at Les Deux. Justin takes the steering wheel and almost capsizes the boat, which is funny. The boys reveal that they're going to Costa Rica the following week, so the girls decide to go, too. The final scene shows a contemplative Justin Bobby sitting on the edge of the boat, looking out at the water. "Just taking it all in. You kind of get to think out here a little bit," he says to Audrina, who's impressed as ever at his depth. They talk about what they've learned from their relationship (Justin: "too little"), and kind of smile and flirt and make no sense. "This is good, this is a good place to be," concludes Justin, as the camera pans out and gives us a glorious shot of the sun on the water, reminding us that we should be spending more time actually outside, and less time watching annoying people on TV who are outside.
And now, our unequivocal Hills reality index!
As real as people wearing nautical stripes to a boat party:
Kristin and Justin did both wear cut-off vests to their MTV-arranged meeting, and they both seem embarrassed by this.
When Brody reveals that though McKaela is nuts, she's still "in the rotation," it rings true.
Fred the Ship Captain. Poor dude.
As fake as Allie and McKaela somehow having a GPS locator that leads them to the MTV cameras:
Stephanie's drinking/not-drinking thing. She's really going out to clubs and not drinking? And so then there's a deliberate close-up of her toasting with water. All staged.
The whole, "we're going to Costa Rica, too!" plotline.
"Honestly the whole time I was dating Justin, I felt like he was still not over you," says Kristin to Audrina. That is so not true! MTV is playing with your minds, people, trying to make you forget that they'd created a Kristin-Justin romance. Don't forget; don't ever forget.