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The Hills Recap: The Tears of a Clown

Things are beginning to wrap up here, readers. The Champagne is finished, the keg is tapped, and all that's left of the pretzels are the little salt particles at the bottom of the bowl. The party is definitely over for these people, about whom we've written faithfully, week after week, for years and years. Some are getting engaged, some are moving away, most are still giving each other unhelpfully stupid advice. We are tired. Tired of watching Stephanie's face, tired of hoping to catch a glimpse of Speidi, tired of Brody's revolving door of fake girlfriends. Mostly we are tired because we didn't sleep well last night. Upon waking up at 5 a.m. after a nightmare featuring John Stamos (why?), we lay in bed wondering what to do with our Tuesday nights now that we won't be tethered to the TV. Will we speak on the phone with our out-of-town friends? Will we take up baking? (We've had the same, hopeful bag of brown sugar in our cabinet since we graduated college — it comes with us from apartment to apartment, looking lonely and full.) Will we finally get to writing our book, a compilation of funny essays about a girl who has to watch reality TV for a living? The depressing thought crept into our exhausted brain that we'd most likely just find another crap TV show to watch like a zombie until bedtime. Any suggestions? Pretty Little Liars is not too bad, actually.

Oh, yes, The Hills. The penultimate episode of the series was bleak, though at least some plotlines moved forward, ending the stagnant five- or six-episode run since Heidi and Spencer disappeared. Lo, Holly, and Stephanie are out to lunch, and we learn that Holly and Heidi's mom, Darlene, is coming to visit. "A mom never gives up on her kids," says Lo, which is probably true, though apparently, according to this article, kids makes you stressed and unhappy, like, all the time. Something to look forward to! Lo talks about her one-year anniversary with Scott, which maybe we'd care about if we'd ever seen any part of their relationship, and then they discuss Kristin and Brody. "She acts like it’s a game, but it really means more to her. He knows that she’s in love with him," says Lo. "It's not cool," adds Steph, who has coordinated her orange sweater to match her Sunkist skin color. Just 'cause you own a personal tanning bed, doesn't mean you have to use it every day!

Credits. For the second-to-last time EVER. Oh well.

Brody and Frankie visit Taylor at his car shop, and talk about Kristin. If some girl rejected Brody, "I’d be like 'damn, that sucks,' but I wouldn’t go cry about it," he says. "Girls are more emotional," explains Frankie. Who is Frankie? Why is he always around? What does he do? Who does he hook up with? Is he gay? Questions to think about when you wake up in the middle of the night after dreaming about Uncle Jesse.

So now comes the story of Stephanie and Josh, a motorcycle racer from birth, who sweeps Steph off her feet at a club called Colony. "I’ve been in my little world. I race motorcycles," he says to Stephanie mysteriously when asked where he's been all this time. She is entranced by his tattoos and disproportionate body (his torso looks to be about three times the length of his legs — perhaps that gives him a racing advantage, à la Michael Phelps's freakish wingspan? Regardless, for everyday stuff, it looks weird). "Is Stephanie cool?" Josh asks Brody. "She’s got some issues. I’m serious," he replies. Brody is a dick, but rarely does he lie. Josh seems intrigued by Stephanie's danger, and possibly her breasts, who knows. So he walks her outside to her car and asks for her number, which is a brave act. Meanwhile, Brody ignores Kristin, who pouts.

Later on, Josh and Stephanie meet for a drink at a bar, though neither one of them drinks. That's funny, right? Because they both thought the other would want to drink. It's like a zany sitcom, except with no laugh track and no happy endings. And more drunk driving. They discuss their upbringings and interests (motorcycles, DUIs), and Stephanie notes that she has "real good parents," which, as we know, can't possibly be true. She is dressed for a black-tie wedding and he looks like he's been living on the streets, which we assume is de rigueur for L.A. His black ski cap must signal it's a date, because that makes his outfit dressier? As always, this show makes us happy to live in New York (though we have been noticing a steady influx of fedoras in our local eateries. Don't people know that they look stupid? No? They do.)

Lo and Scott have a romantic anniversary dinner, and it's all happy and cute, but we can't bring ourselves to care. We told you, we're tired, and in no mood for sappiness and talk of moving in and engagement, especially when the guy in question, Scott, isn't really a character on this show. You can't just make us interested in him now, producers! Plus, he looks like an alien that kind of resembles a frog. Lo loves him very much, but has a rule about not moving in with someone until she's engaged. "Too many of my friends move in with guys and then it ends," she says, loudly, to Stephanie during a (formerly quiet) yoga class. Shhhhh. It's a pretty good rule, though we've broken it ourselves, and nothing bad has come of living with our boyfriend except for the fact that he insists on talking over The Hills when we're trying to take notes, saying things like, "OMG, Adriana and Bobby are, like, so amazing!" in a fake valley-girl accent. He's trying to be funny, but it's annoying, because, like, this is our job. But otherwise, living together is fun.

And so we come to Darlene and Holly, which lends a tragic aspect to this episode, because they're really genuinely upset that Heidi has been brainwashed by Spencer. Holly can't even reach Heidi; she has to get her number from (we're assuming) an MTV producer, and they can't get through to her on the phone. We're not really going to comment on this plot, since it's way too real and disturbing. Here's what Darlene has to say about it: "I haven’t slept for months. I had to go get a prescription for sleeping pills, to the point that I didn't even know how I’d make it another day. I’ve been mourning the loss of a child. And it hurts; it hurts more than I thought I could hurt. I can’t live like that. I have to know in my heart that I did everything I thought I could do." Ugh.

On to Kristin and Brody, whose tragedy pales in comparison, though for Kristin, relatively, it's a big deal. She and Brody have a sit-down during which she finally, honestly shares her feelings for him. Brody: What do you want? Kristin: Um, I don’t know, I guess I kind of want to give things a shot with you. I want a boyfriend. I would be willing to really try. [Brody sighs.] Brody: Why were you playing games with me the whole time? Kristin: I wasn’t. When we went out, you were the only person I was looking at. [Brody sighs again.] Brody: Part of the reason why I’ve been so distant is because I’ve been hanging out with someone else. And I kind of want to see where it would go. [Kristin tears up.] Kristin: Good luck with this somebody else. Brody: Maybe I should go. End scene! End friends with benefits! End Kristin's run as girl who has never been rejected! People always say how it's really hard, also, to be the one who does the dumping, but you know what? It's always worse to be the dump-ee.

Kristin cries to Lo about it, who tries to be comforting while wearing curiously brown-ish lipstick (probably from Smashbox, and definitely unattractive. We did the brown lipstick thing in ninth grade, and we're never going back.) "It’s the one time I really put myself out there and gotten completely shut down," says Kristin. "You have always been this girl who guys crawl on their knees after, who girls desperately want to be," says Lo, in a line out of a teen soap. "The guy that I love doesn’t want me," concludes Kristin sadly. We've definitely been in that feeling-sorry-for-yourself-over-getting-rejected-by-a-loser-boy mentality, and while it's tough for a moment, our advice to Kristin is to move on quickly, kiss some more bartenders, and perhaps go for a guy who's not getting paid to create drama on the reality-TV show that is your life.

And now, our unequivocal Hills reality index!

As real as two annoying girls chatting during your yoga class:

Lo's relationship seems real. And her conflict over moving in with Scott is genuine. Is she really going to get engaged next week? Wouldn't we have read that in Us Weekly?
Darlene's misery. Real and depressing.
Poor Kristin! She actually got rejected by Brody Jenner, massive tool, who's now dating Avril Lavigne; how mortifying.

As fake as a face-to-face, final good-bye with someone you've been hooking up with:
Josh and Stephanie's orchestrated date. We liked Stephanie better when she was a maniac, this whole "Stephanie finds love" plot is so forced and un-fun.
In real life, there's no way Brody would have gone over to talk to Kristin about their nonexistent relationship. Boys aren't that thoughtful, unless they're being filmed.
Clearly, The Hills flew Heidi's mom in to up the drama. That said, she'd probably come on her own at some point, anyway. Though why she allows MTV to film her in the process of trying to rescue her daughter is beyond us. It's kind of creepy.

See you next week, for the series finale!

Photo: MTV