Well that, I guess, is it. The last we'll see of old Lauren "LC" Conrad on The Hills, the reality dynasty that she helped build with her own two well-groomed hands. How did it all go down? Well, like any good comedy, it ended with a wedding.
Yes, Heidi and Fleshbeard finally, for realsies, tied the knot. But first there was much sloshing and murmuring and yelling to be done. Because that's what this show has become (and maybe always was): stretched and tired looking blonde people yelling in echoing rooms, their lives piles of gum and sawdust, fine bits of gems, like glittery mist, strewn across the top. Has an American family lurched toward ruination with as much ferocious celerity as the Montag clan, now that they're all on camera, all saying wretched things at the same time? What the ma's and pa's of Crested Butte, CO must think of these once-normalish folks. Went to Hollywood and got all fancy and ugly. Went to Hollywood and got all sad.
It all began with Heidi talking to Fleshbeard's terrible sister Handbags, her hair sticking up in odd places. She's like Salacious Crumb, old Handbags is, and I wish someone would come and zap her so she'll stop gnawing on our eyes. But no one has, yet. Though, when Handbags balefully asked Heidi who her bridesmaid would be, her face fell a bit, and maybe she did kinda get zapped, right in the feelings, when she heard the answer. It would not be Handbags, instead it would be Holly. Because, as Heidi put it, "You know... Holly's been my sister my whole life." Oh really? She's been your sister for your entire life? That's fucking amazing. My sister and I have been siblings for about, what is it Nel, six months? A year, tops. It's great, but I wish it could have been this way my whole life. Oh well. Heidi's so lucky. Heidi also wants a swan wedding full of actual swans and "dripping with diamonds." Handbags said "That sounds really nice." Yes, it does. If you're getting married inside of a Russian debutante's jewelry box.
For his part, Fleshbeard continued on his Good Will tour. He had lunch with Brody, who outright laughed in Fleshbeard's fleshy, bearded face. He thinks his turnaround is all fake. Which it probably is. But Spencer pressed on, arranging a little date with Belinda, Heidi's terrible mother, who has really settled with eerie ease into her new role in front of the cameras. She's learned terms like "hitting your mark" and "call time" and now she feels ready to get some real meaty roles in the future. Like Doting Mom of Pregnant Heidi or Consoling Mom of Divorcing Heidi. Or best yet, because it's such a juicy part, Grieving Mom of Dead Heidi. So she and Fleshbeard made a rickety peace with one another, their LED hearts flashing on and off, on and off, on and off forever. All was ready for the big day, they just needed to get one final dress rehearsal in. And what do you do after the rehearsal? Why, you go to the rehearsal dinner.
There they all were—Holly and Mommy and Heidi and Fleshy and Handbags and Sky, the Brother Montag who is fresh-faced and seemed nice, what a shame that he'll probably soon be ruined as well—at some white restaurant for white people, and then Holly exploded. Holly caught herself up in some netting or she found a nick in the fabric of space time and began scratching at it like a scab or suddenly the magic of the Four Winds all struck her at the same time and she became sort of broken god. Whatever happened, she was slurry and drunk-seeming and decided to throw a potato at her poor brother Sky but instead she hit Heidi's brand new handbag and stained and ruined it forever. So there was much shrieking and hooting and braying and whining and Holly burst into tears while her mother Belinda comforted her and looked at the camera and tried to cheat out and she embraced this creature who had once come out of her body and was now basically a tall, weeping near-empty ATM machine. At the table Handbags shook her head, because she'd wanted to be maid of honor, because she hadn't been late to the thrown-together bridal shower that involved huge expensive champagne bottles and the soul-wrecking claim made by Heidi that she wanted four boys and no girls because she always wanted to be the "queen of the throne" and didn't want some little girl threatening her primacy. (Belinda just looked at her strangely, hungry suddenly with a curling familiarity. I know that feeling, she thought bitterly. I am that feeling.) But regardless of poor performance, Holly will always be MOH. Sorry, Handsy.
Anyway. There's always shrieking and crying at rehearsal dinners, right? There's always potato throwing. And someone named Holly always accidentally summons the Handbag Stain demon and someone named Sky always sneaks out behind the restaurant and lights a cigarette and cries a little. That's just wedding tradition, I'm pretty sure, so it's nothing to worry about.
Then the wedding day came. All of our friends were there, from Jayde Scorpion to Justin Bobby, in their stupid mini dresses, doing their stupid preening walks, on the grandest set ever built for The Hills. This was the big wham-bang close of Act V when we find out who the killer is and maybe the young ingenues fall in love. Or get married. Or whatever. Everyone was wondering what happened to Lauren. Would she show up? No one knew.
Meanwhile Lauren had been lost and confused in that giddy sort of way. That feeling of pull and tide, that the world is expanding and yawning and your feet are itchy to explore it. Basically, it's just time to move on. Unsure what to do, she talked to her mentor Kelly Cutrone. Kelly didn't have much to say to her, other than that maybe she should just be a jellyfish for a while, float aimlessly, see what sticks. Good advice for people who have the money to be jellyfish. The rest of us have to be sharks, never stopping lest we disappear forever into the murky depths.
She and Lo were moving out of their Beverly Hills manse, and so they had one last cookout party, where everyone was sentimental and said sweet things, and Handbags made up with Brody, and Handbags urged Lauren to come to the wedding, and Handbags felt as though some great weight was both lifting and settling. Would this be the end of her run on the show? What else is there for the unwed spinster sister of reality's royal couple to do? But Lauren just smiled at her and seemed sad and complete. The world is ending, and isn't it wonderful.
And, yes, of course Lauren showed up to the wedding and took a private audience with Heidi and they sniffled at each other and as long as Heidi was happy, that's all that ever really mattered. Were her jewels and enormous pancake dress too much? Yes, of course. But also, who cares. And yes, of course, Kristin Cavallari showed up, wearing basically the same dress as Lauren. Everyone pretended to be surprised and MTV began the oh-so-subtle (not subtle at all) work of giving us visual cues that the guard was changing. Spencer and Heidi exchanged their sad little vows and then the wedding was over and everyone clapped and spilled outside where they threw flower petals and Heidi threw the bouquet and—oop!—Kristin Cavallari caught it and it was as if Adam DiVello looked up to the stars and said "No... there is another."
And Lauren. Lauren off in the background, got into her black town car and disappeared into the afternoon. The last we saw of her, the last anyone saw of that old gal, was a Mona Lisa smile in the back of a car. Was she happy that she'd been her own Ben Braddock and saved herself at this wedding? Was she unsure of all that awaited her? Who knows.
I like to think that now she'll disappear from the spotlight and begin living her own real life. Because, you know, there's a whole lot in real life that can be swishy and swoony. There's a whole lot to be discussed in bars and beauty salons, in walks on the beach, in cars speeding on highways. There's a whole lot in looks, in expressions, in little huffs that no one notices, in blinks and smiles, in kisses and hellos. There's a whole lot to do in this short spin, and I think it's done better when it's honest and off-camera. When it is, finally finally finally, the way it's always supposed to have been:
Unscripted. Unplanned. Unfilmed. Unsold.
And, most of all, unwritten.