People Staff
September 30, 2008 12:00 AM

Last week, Lauren Conrad vacationed in Italy and returned to The Hills to find out that another friend may have betrayed her. This week on the show, she tried to get to the bottom of the DougSteph mystery while Speidi’s surprise guest stirred up trouble on their end as well.

Shady Lady: LC filled Whitney and their personal trainer in on the details of Doug and Steph’s dinner date and two more voted their actions shady. “If you are friends with a girl, you don’t go out with an ex unless you get the stamp of approval,” LC’s trainer told her. “Coming from a guy’s point of view, she better have a good explanation.” LC then returned to listlessly punching his mitts.

She was plenty riled up when Steph found her at FIDM and tried to make small talk about fine Italian leather goods. She answered Steph’s query of “What else is new?” with “Um. Well I heard you had dinner with Doug. What are you doing?” Steph was stunned and tried to mush together a suitable answer, which mostly amounted to lies.

“He came out of left field for me and totally took advantage, using me to get back at you,” she said. “I deleted him on my phone and I got missed calls from him. I’m not going to call him back obviously.” But then her whole argument lost steam when she admitted she was still planning to attend Doug’s upcoming pool party.

When LC reported back to Whitney, she seemed to be taking the high road but still seemed suspicious. “I brushed it under the rug. There’s no point in fighting. Doug’s not worth fighting with a friend over but apparently he was worth it to her.”

Little did LC know, Steph and Doug met up to get their story straight at Bella before the barbecue. Doug promised: “If you get any crap for it, I’ll back you up. Just play it cool.” Still, she worried about Brody throwing her under the bus. He reassured her, “I haven’t talked to them about it. My business is my business. He’ll chill if I’m all, ‘Hey relax.’ We’re friends. That’s it.” It was hinted that there may have been more to the story as he asked what she was doing later, they discussed movie night and then left the restaurant together.

Boys Of A Feather: Doug talked a great game yet the first thing he did when Brody confronted him on the balcony about the situation was use Steph as a human shield to deflect blame. “I just want to be friends. I felt bad. She was out of her mind in Vegas. She’s hitting me up since we got back. Check out this text. ‘Come watch a movie late night.’ Bottom line is Lauren broke up with me. I wanted to be friends and she blew it out of proportion. She’s coming to the party. I hope you don’t make her cry.”

Brody, who takes every opportunity to pick at her, quipped: “If she cries, she cries. It’s not my fault.”

Mamma Mia: Heidi and Holly were making cupcakes for Heidi’s birthday when Holly announced she had another surprise present. A knock at the door turned out to be their mother Darlene. (Side note: What a lame non-effort. Not only was Heidi baking her own cupcakes, but her sister’s present was mom coming for a visit, which we’re guessing her mom paid for as Holly still seemed jobless.) To make her birthday even less happy, her mom started questioning her about living in sin. Holly had ratted her out and it seemed like Spencer had no idea that she hadn’t told them they were living together. Her mother said that she was disappointed to find out the news from Holly and Heidi told her that she didn’t come clean earlier because she didn’t want them to judge her and that they didn’t know Spencer well enough to make a fair decision about cohabitation.

In an effort to bridge the gap, Darlene invited Spencer to lunch. He looked bored with the drama but obliged. At Bloom Caf , it started with a thank you for being nice about letting Holly stay. Spencer didn’t take credit. “It’s nice of Heidi. To be honest, I was not fond of the idea,” he said. “Her intention is to get me out of there and just live with Heidi.” The conversation digressed into Darlene sticking her nose in their business, questioning whether they moved in together to soon.

“I just wonder if you’re pressuring her into doing something she might not be ready for,” Darlene pondered sharply.

Spencer bit back, “One thing I love about Heidi is that she doesn’t feel the need to call mom to get approval of living with somebody in a different state.”

Darlene started name-calling: “You are very controlling, manipulative, condescending, rude and very hostile right now. I’m not looking to grill you and make you uncomfortable.”

He responded coolly, “I don’t get uncomfortable my dear.”

Darlene attempted to get inside Heidi’s head later at a meal between the two of them at Tart. Heidi stood her ground when her mom again questioned why she didn’t discuss moving in together with them. “I owed it to myself and Spencer to make a decision for myself and not everybody’s input,” she told her mother. “This is my life and I want to make decisions for myself. Before it was your opinion that I took most of all and not my own.”

Her mom countered with the idea that now she has replaced their voice with his and worried aloud that “he doesn’t want you to be close to your family.” When the waterworks turned on, she relented a tad. “Maybe I’m being too controlling but I don’t want to lose you. I just want you to be happy and whatever that is, that’s what I want for you.”

Doth Protest Too Much: Despite saying she had brushed it under the rug, LC and Doug steered clear of Steph at the party. But Brody being typical Brody couldn’t let bygones be bygones. He attacked Steph: “Somebody’s got a lot of nerve to show her face around her. I was right all along. I told Lauren not to trust you. I saw all the text messages you sent to Doug. I know what you were doing. I know you were telling him to come over late night and I know 100 percent that there was something shady behind that. Live your life however you want. Just don’t pretend to be innocent when you’re not. That’s so obnoxious and annoying.” Doug listened from a safe distance and Whitney thought the confrontation was inappropriate.

LC was embarrassed and begged her friend, “If you leave, can you take me? I didn’t drive. I’ll walk. It may take me an hour in a sheer dress but it’s worth it.” But she stuck around for round two. Steph hid crying in a room that looked like a shrine dedicated to Doug’s baseball career (Ego, much?). When Brody started the debate again, she could hear everything. She made a bad decision, but that didn’t stop us from feeling a little sorry for her when Doug unloaded: “I can’t believe this is an issue. I can’t go have dinner with another girl if we’re friends? I wasn’t trying to hook up with her. I was trying to help the girl because she was lost. She’s like a lost puppy. I want nothing to do with her.”

LC pointed out what we were thinking for the last two episodes. “But for someone who really feels like they did nothing wrong, you’ve spent a long time defending it.” He then got caught lying about how many times they had met up and minimized LC as only an ex-fling. Offended, she got up to leave and Steph attempted one more time to patch things up by displacing the blame. “They are the worst, trying to come between our friendship. I never want to hang out with them again. They are just out to f— me over with you.”

LC looked tired of rehashing and tried to sum it up. “Something happened and it got blown out of proportion, but you and Doug shouldn’t have done what you did. It sucks but it’s done.” She paused before adding, “I didn’t know you got coffee too.”

This time when Steph offered up more excuses and lies, something clicked and LC had finally had enough simply saying, “Steph,” and shaking her head. She gathered her bags and walked out the door, leaving Steph crying and apologizing in a dramatic final scene. — Carrie Bell

Tell us: Was Lauren right to get mad at Steph for going out with Doug and trying to hide it? Or is Lauren blowing it out of proportion? MTV

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