Lauren Ditches The Hills — and We Are Entertained!

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People, we’ve figured out how to save The Hills! Ship Lauren off to Europe every episode! We finally get some action on this godforsaken show, all due to the fact that L.C. was on a merry holiday in Italia. With no phone service. The show starts as Lauren’s packing for her trip. Lo are Audrina are left home alone without their master, and the pair seriously do look like sad puppy dogs when Lauren pulls out of the driveway. Well, Audrina looks like a sad, skanky puppy dog with lots of cleavage, that is.

Stephanie comes over to visit Lo and Audrina, and Audrina can’t figure out how to buzz her in. Audrina, sweetie, you press the button … yes … good … you did it! We’re so proud. They chat about compelling issues, like how tan Audrina is; she laid out and drank strawberry mojitos all weekend. Nice life, wrinkles. Then the reveal: Stephanie tells Audrina that Doug asked her out, and Aud advises her to wait to speak to Lauren before she goes out with him. Then Steph finally betrays her true, duplicitous character and asks, “How would she find out?” And then Audrina finally reveals her true, gossipy character, and replies, “I don’t know…” Audrina, you sneaky devil!

Meanwhile, Lo and Audrina make do with one another and have lunch at Fred Segal — this is wonderfully awkward since, you know, they hate each other. “La, la, la,” says Lo. That is seriously all she can think of to say. Audrina spills the beans about Stephanie and Doug, and Lo is shocked. “Why would you want sloppy seconds?” asks Audrina, wisely. Why wasn't she so wise when Stephanie asked about it?

Lo and Audrina head over to Goa that night and get drunk and close-talk. Seriously, when we’re drunk, do we insist on spitting in our friends' ears like that? Probably. Spencer and Heidi walk in (shocker!), and Heidi comes over to the girls to chat. Lo politely turns her back, always keeping it real. Heidi and Audrina hug. “Me and you were really good friends when I first met you,” says Audrina, queen of incorrect grammar. And then Audrina tells Heidi about Stephanie and Doug. Can we step back for a minute and talk about how awesome Audrina is in this episode? She clearly feels like it’s her duty to spread the info about Stephanie and Doug and is totally enjoying being in the loop again. And in this petty way, she’s becoming less of a moronic cartoon, and more relatable (full disclosure: Our family calls us “the vault” … sarcastically). Whatever, family, spreading gossip is fun!

At some other party, we get the mandatory Justin Bobby appearance: This week, he wears a hat that says Hooligans on the inside brim. Spencer, a fan of douche-y hats, likes it. Then they talk about Batman — perhaps the closest this show has come to acknowledging the larger world.

Finally, we get to Doug and Stephanie's date — not surprisingly, it's just like when Doug and Lauren went out, only more boring. Yes, that's possible. And, wouldn’t you know it, Brody’s mom is in the same restaurant and comes to say hi to the kids. She is one skinny, crazy-looking blonde woman. Doug and Steph are upset by her appearance, as it means their very well-kept secret is out.

Cut to Audrina telling her work friend about Stephanie and Doug. Girl is obsessed! We’re calling Audrina “the vault” from now on. Our nickname has officially been handed over. Congrats.

Lauren eventually returns, and Stephanie’s gonna be in trouble. But first, allow Lauren to expound on the virtues of Italy: “You know how when you walk by a construction site? And all the guys, like, whistle at you? Italy’s kind of like a construction site.” Audrina, excited to finally tell her story to the one person it could hurt, informs Lauren about Stephanie and Doug. You’ve come full circle tonight, Audrina. Good work.

Next week: Stephanie and Doug try to lie some more about their relationship. We’re sure that’s going to work out. Heidi’s mom visits and cries. Whoopee!

And now, our Unequivocal Hills Reality Index:

As Real As Lauren Is Skeeved Out by Italian Men
• Spencer’s obsession with the Joker. Dude hasn’t found a character that close to his heart since Hannibal Lector.
• Stephanie’s immorality. Okay, so the whole Doug thing was probably an MTV setup, but we really do believe that she didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. She is Spencer’s sister, after all.
• Audrina’s compulsion to spill the beans. Been there, done that. Very real.

As Fake As Stephanie and Doug’s Love
• Audrina and Lo’s one-episode friendship. Poor Lo, being forced by MTV to hang out with vapid Audrina.
• Everything about Brody’s mom. Her lips, her hair, the fact that she just happened to be at the same restaurant as Doug and Stephanie…
• Heidi and Audrina’s run-in. There was some classic MTV staging going on in that scene.