We started this segment of The Hills watching by informing Brooke that Season 3 has not 12 or 22 episodes but TWENTY EIGHT. Meaning we’ll be breaking this up into no fewer than three watch parties — and probably more. We’re in this for the long haul, friends. Let’s start with where we left off with LC and her pals. It’s been a full season since we’ve checked in with drug-addict ex-boyfriend Jason, Heidi and Spencer have moved one step closer to full Speidi mode by moving in together and Audrina, well, she was there. Now that we’re 7 episodes in, Brooke, what do you think of how things are progressing for our girls?

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B: DUDE. Season 3 is the definition of what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. Or at least when producers start meddling in their lives. We’re not quite a quarter of the way through, but I’m going to go ahead and declare this the best season ever. Let’s get into this from two directions: The LC storyline and the Heidi storyline. These have intersected occasionally, but mostly LC is doing LC thus far in season 3, and I am so proud of her.

We start off with some real cliffhanging drama when LC drops some vague but hot gossip on Whitney (now a full-time employee and head intern wrangler at Teen Vogue) in one of their classic Teen Vogue closet catch-up sessions. Or did she catch-up Lo first? Or Audrina? I can’t remember the order now, she caught a lot of people up. But none of those people were Heidi, because guess who motivated all the gabbing? Yeah, you guessed it. So, yada yada yada, drama drama drama, it transpires that there have been some quite explicit rumors going around about LC. Rumors that made it back to Laguna and her parents, rumors that hit the internet. Rumors (at least in part) that she and Jason made a sex tape. Naturally, we’re told that Heidi and Spencer are the source of these rumors.

On the other side of this coin, we have that dynamic duo. Heidi is feigning ignorance of why LC is freezing her out and why everyone else, including Heidi’s work “BFF” Elodie seems to be on LC’s side. The rift between Heidi and LC widened to his satisfaction, Spencer is no longer pretending to have anything but open hostility for LC. Whether these two are being painted as villains by the producers or not, they are every bit acting the part. We all have reason to believe Heidi is a pretty phenomenal manipulator/actress considering her timely entree into Lauren’s life and her selective revision of many events. BUT, we have no such reason to believe LC can pull off manufactured emotions. She knows how to play to the camera by now, for sure, but she still wears her emotions on her sleeve and all over her expressions.

SO, even though one of our favorite Hills-watch sports is searching for the fingerprint of the producers, we’re not sure how to classify this sex tape story? Lauren’s genuinely devastated, but is it about this potentially ginned-up rumor, or something we’re not seeing? Lauren plays it smart, we’ve almost never seen her even kiss on camera, so the existence of such a tape initially smacked of something she wouldn’t have allowed, or might not have been aware of. And yet, the camera creates performance and persona, so we can’t know for sure — and we shouldn’t. Even if there’s no truth to the thing, I cannot imagine how violated she must have felt by the whole ordeal. I don’t know what to make of it except to say that I hope LC circles the wagons and keeps her real friends close while shutting everyone else out.

Elsewhere, Heidi is sniping promotions she hasn’t earned from Elodie (now cooler than ever) and adjusting to life living with/engaged to Spencer. Much as she is the worst, it was quite impossible not to immensely enjoy her retaliation for the graffiti wall ordeal. But painful as it is, I have to agree with Spencer, if you’re going to have an arcade cabinet, you can’t destroy the cabinet graphics. Though, in Heidi’s defense, he did not pick the best games. Centipede is okay, but not the greatest of the era. And I’ve never even heard of that other garbage, although I spent every Tuesday for 3 years whiling away a few hours in an arcade whilst my mom was in a bowling league. This all took place in a massive family entertainment center, so the game selection was extensive.

I feel like I’ve opened several cans of worms and I haven’t even hit on all the big stuff going on. Should we unpack all of this before we even get into Justin Bobby, the many varieties of LC, the meeting of the parents, the drinking with the band, the return of Jason and the bro-rift? HELP ME, I’M POOR.

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A: Ahhh the sex tape. I hope I’m not spoiling anything when I say this moment is a dividing line. There’s Pre-Rumor The Hills and then there’s Post-Rumor The Hills. The relationships simply aren’t the same after this surfaces. We have several things to discuss further. First, does the tape exist in the first place? I have not been able to find definitive evidence (and I’m not Googling too far because I don’t want viruses) that the thing existed, but if you’ve got good lawyers, they can make those things go away. I agree that LC does seem the least likely person on the planet to make a sex tape, and she doesn’t seem mad at Jason about it, so we have to assume that either she knew about it or it simply didn’t exist and the whole thing was just a nasty rumor. We also speculated that perhaps some risque pictures or videos did exist, LC told Heidi about them, and that’s how it got out and why LC is so mad specifically at Heidi, NOT Spencer.

The only things we can know for sure is that there were rumors, they were mean, they caused LC pain and she’s angry at Heidi. Heidi, when confronted by LC at Les Deux seems eerily well prepared to handle the argument, simply saying over and over, “What did I do?” which prompts the famous “YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID!” from LC. Obviously, LC and Spencer have a strong dislike bordering on hate already, so perhaps she’s focusing on Heidi simply because Heidi had been her best friend. When your roommate/best friend betrays you so thoroughly less than a year after your drug addict boyfriend betrays you? I can’t imagine how much that would mess with you, especially knowing the whole world is watching.

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One more note on the rift before I kick it back to Brooke to discuss the rest of the drama. Several people, including Elodie, Bunney, Heidi’s mom and even Brody point out how Heidi and Spencer are isolating themselves. Heidi no longer has LC or seemingly any other close girlfriends and Spencer has stopped going out to clubs (which does make sense, because hello, live-in girlfriend!) but is also flaking on plans. Speidi get defensive about this, especially Heidi. The moment I’m thinking of is when her mom, over apparently the best chocolate lava cake ever created, asks Spencer with some hostility (as soon as Heidi goes to the bathroom) just why Heidi has no friends and what’s going to happen if anything happens to them as a couple. I realized this is not an unfair question to ask, but I also realized that Speidi get so defensive because of the way this keeps coming up. People keep assuming they simply won’t make it as a couple instead of saying, hey, you should both have friendships outside of each other because it’s healthy. This is kind of a nitpick on the situation, but I wonder if things would have been different if people simply communicated better on TV. We’re going down the rabbit hole, after all.

Now that we’ve very thoroughly covered Speidi vs LC, let’s move onto the B story for Season 3: The introduction of one Justin Bobby. Brooke, what was your first impression of him? And what are your thoughts on him and Audrina, other than you’re probably pleased that Audrina FINALLY has something to do?

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B: Ah Justin Bobby. I fully admit that for the first few seconds he was on screen, I was like, “You go, Audrina, this guy is hawt.” Then he spoke, and that was all over. If I show up to a date and you tell me I need to order for you because you don’t understand what anything on the menu is … I need to re-evaluate my choices. What I’m saying here is Audrina needs to look past those flowing locks of his and see what’s really going on. Which is basically that this guy is still the douchebag who abandoned her in Vegas.

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The upshot of this, other than Audrina finally having something to do is that it gives us a reason for us to see my second favorite Lauren. Judge-y Lauren. And Judge-y Lauren (rightfully so) is in full judgement mode over this bro when the trio have happy hour together. I know I’m not talented enough to do the scene justice if I attempt to recreate it here, but just know that LC was throwing some fire! She also spends rather a lot of time snarking with Lo about the whole two names thing, and you know I’m a great fan of that. And speaking of LC snark, I finally got to see what brought about one of the most famous GIFs from the show. I’ve seen it every time I go searching for images for this series and now I finally have context. I’ll add it here for your edification.

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The best part about this moment was that it fused my second favorite Lauren — Judge-y Lauren — with my first favorite Lauren. Drunk Lauren. Ideally, rasp-y voiced Drunk Lauren. I expected that Lauren was going to stick the landing on this burn, but as we’re many drinks into the beach party at this point, she actually sort of trips over the barb, which somehow made it more amusing. One of my favorite things about Season 3 so far is that now that Lauren is legal and evidently in the habit of hitting up Les Deux every Wednesday (this extrapolated from Lo’s, “Where are you going tonight? It’s Wednesday, so … Les Deux?”), we get to see Drunk Lauren come out to play more often. Including a Drunk Lauren who delightedly asks Whitney if the cute British boy she’s attached herself to is cute (’cause she’s drunk, so she can’t trust herself), a query to which our gal Whit responds with an emphatic “No.” For the record, I think Whit was a little harsh in that case, but per Audrina, that judgement didn’t stop Drunk Lauren from kissing him. We can’t know for sure though, because our girl still doesn’t kiss on camera.

Season 3 has also introduced me to my third favorite Lauren, Athletic Lauren. At the same beach party that gave us that sick LC burn featured above, we were treated to some scenes of LC, Brody and company playing some beach football. LC got turnt up and was tackling people all over the place, I mean she was really going for it. And … she evidently actually injured Brody to the point of needing a full arm cast. Don’t worry about him though, he came back to the party with a sweet club set-up for his hand. During the resulting ribbing we saw more of the chemistry that seems to suggest LC and Brody are always on the brink of hooking up, and yet, it doesn’t seem that they ever will. Although … AM, what was the deal with that night after Les Deux when Lauren decided the crew needed to go back to Brody’s condo and they had what he called a “friendly sleepover.” Again, no cameras, cause our girl is no dummy — but we have seen her pull similar moves with Stephen in the past. What’s the verdict there?

Also, can you explain to me why Lauren and Brody being pals is really reason enough for a Brody-Spencer rift? And have we talked about the whole graffiti conundrum?

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A: So we’re given to believe that a dude named “Justin” would sometimes go by “Bobby” as an alter-ego, and Lo for one isn’t buying it. She asks if she can call him by both names, because most people would probably take that in stride, or I don’t know, have ONE NAME, but JB clearly is like, who’s this girl? and bails on the conversation to “see Audrina’s room.” For someone who supposedly lives and breathes a super chill lifestyle, he seems to have a lot of crankiness toward Lo and LC. Recently burned from sharing her opinions on roomies’ boyfriends though, LC instead puts a tennis sweater on one of the cats and says she’s going to keep her opinion to herself. Sweater Cat doesn’t like JB though either, I can trust in that.

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I echo the sentiment that Justin, Bobby, JB and Justin Bobby are pretty much bad news for Audrina. After all, the famous beach party ends by having JB bail on Audrina yet again, leaving her helmet on the couch and presumably roaring off with another girl on the back of his bike. There’s some introspection from both ladies about their preferences for “bad boys,” so at least they’re aware that the attraction is at least in part the desire for a fixer upper of a man. LC also can’t relate as she likes her bad boys to be a bit more “upper crust” (a la Jason) and less punk band like JB.

The most frustrating thing about Justin Bobby, I think, is that he seems to not truly give a shit. He doesn’t care that Audrina wants to define the relationship and he clearly wants to keep his options open without stopping their liaisons. We mentioned during the watch party that he reminds us a bit of Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He thinks he’s an introspective philosopher but really he’s peddling in bullshit. The epitome of HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, AUDRINA.

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The last thing I’ll say on this relationship is that even though Audrina has said in 7 episodes “I’m done” no fewer than 5 times, we can surely guess that she’s not actually done at all. I think the allure comes mostly down to the fact that if he got his shit together, he’d be the “perfect” boyfriend and Audrina can’t help but be obsessed with trying to change him just enough to make him want to be only with her.

One more note on Drunk Lauren. This is the time as a fully legal adult that she’s not only going to Les Deaux every Wednesday, she’s at the Roosevelt Hotel pool every Sunday afternoon, soaking in sun and flirts with Brody. I am not quite sure what the friendly sleepover was about, but I can almost guarantee it’s meant to do two things: make us assume they’re more than just friends, and make us understand better why Spencer would feud with Brody over LC. Brody insists he’s allowed to have her as a friend and Spencer cannot deal with the breach of loyalty to the party line. You’ll see that loyalty is a huge, huge thing for Spencer and something he can’t easily forgive.

The other thing to consider in this whole situation is the Bunney-Heidi brunch at Doughboys, the worst patio restaurant in the entire world (I looked it up and their current location is on 3rd Street near The Grove, which looks to be different than during Season 3, so they might have moved…). It was hard to hear over the traffic noise and the feigned apathy of Heidi over her lack of LC in her life, but Bunney threw in a bit of a curveball and not-so-subtly suggested that Brody had a hand in the nasty sex tape rumors. Heidi’s main reaction about this mirrors what she’s said before. She can’t understand why she’s the only one LC won’t forgive. She’s shut out of the group and it’s painfully obvious it’s not where she wants to be.

I can’t support the graffiti thing but I could definitely get on board with a tank of jellyfish. I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposed to take from these various Boy Wants Apartment Games Without Consulting Girl episodes, except that clearly Spencer thinks he can just do what he wants, call it a surprise and Heidi will be thrilled. I do like that she stands up for herself and paints over the gaudy wall paint.

Let’s talk about Elodie now. Brooke, how much do you love her?

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B: Way back when we started in on The Hills you told me Elodie would be my favorite. For most of the first season, I could not tell her apart from the other blonde Bolthouse context-provider without some doing. But, she still gave some great snarky advice, so I was on board when I was aware of her. In season two, Elodie emerged as Heidi’s go-to work pal and did an amount of eye-rolling that tops Kristen and LC combined to this point in the series. Now, in season three, Elodie’s irritation with Heidi goes from barely contained to a more or less open endorsement of Lauren in the great Lauren-Heidi divide. So, yeah, I really dig Elodie these days.

Much in the same way I frequently feel bad for Whit getting shafted at Teen Vogue because she doesn’t have MTV clout, I feel absolutely horrible for what happens to Elodie as part of Heidi’s emergence into full-blown villain status.

Let’s recap, shall we? Heidi walks in to find Elodie looking at an open office. This happens for several reasons, obviously, Heidi doesn’t understand what “on time” means, and when she is at work all she seems to do is talk to Spencer. So of course, it would be news to her that there was an opening at Bolthouse. As Elodie stands there and tells her “friend” that she hopes Brent will promote from within and recognize the effort she’s put in over her tenure there we watch a terrible, awful, grinch-y idea form behind Heidi’s eyes. And sure enough, Heidi throws herself in for the job. Based on the endless footage of Heidi just hanging with Spencer or talking on the phone at work and at events while Elodie does actual work, we can only assume that Heidi gleefully skates by on her MTV muscle while Elodie actually hustles. To no one’s surprise, (except perhaps Elodie’s) Brent gives Heidi the promotion and the office and an assistant/intern. From there, Elodie has no time for Heidi’s games and openly throws looks of disdain as she gives directions like “but like the calls that will always get through are Spencer, Brent, Jen … the rest other than that, these are pretty much just…” to intern Lacey, who can only respond, “I’ll write them down for you.”

Poor Elodie can only look on and glower as this fame monster takes a position where she would have worked like a beast and more or less just passes time at a desk waiting for Spencer to call. But, this does lead us to a point where we get to see Elodie roundly dismiss Heidi and that is delightful. I look forward to more open hostility moving forward.

I cannot believe that we’ve already witnessed as much as we have and we’re not even officially 1/4 through season 3. AM, can you give us (okay, me) any hints about what’s to come, or are we going to go with the old refrain, “I don’t know anything about this show?”

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A: I don’t know anything about this show.

I will only say that the Elodie vs Heidi fight will get more… interesting before it concludes. I do want to point out that the grinch-y idea forms as soon as Heidi realizes that Elodie has only been at Bolthouse for a year longer than her. What Heidi clearly misses is that Elodie is MORE EXPERIENCED at the whole working thing than Heidi. Two years into Bolthouse could not have been her first foray into the working world, as it clearly is for Heidi. I know that doesn’t matter between Heidi’s machinations and the producers meddling, but that has always bugged me.

I can also almost guarantee that Audrina will definitely be “done” at least 53,634 more times with JB, the Speidi-LC feud won’t simmer down anytime soon, and I can only hope that Sweater Cat comes back. I’m genuinely not sure, but I can dream.

B: The dream of Sweater Cat is worth repeating that GIF. Send us out, Sweater Cat.

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We’re going to transition from twenty-somethings acting like they are in high school to err… twenty-somethings acting like they are in high school. It’s time for a segue into a divisive musical that finds Michelle Pfeiffer declaring her need for a rider that’s cool. 

About Annemarie Moody Miller

We Write Things Co-Scribbler-in-Chief. Wordsmith. Globetrotter. Shark Enthusiast. Denver Native. I like to write and read all the things.

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