Episode 19: Paris changes everything

We open in Paris! Lauren and Whitney get off the plane and meet their driver. "What do we want to do?" Whitney asks, foolishly assuming that they will have any free time. "You have your itinerary," the driver says. The girls consult it, see that they’re supposed to pick up shoes for two of the Crillon Ball’s debutantes… and decide to go to Alberta Ferretti and get their own gowns instead. Paris certainly hasn’t changed their ability to follow directions!

Crested Butte, Colorado. Heidi and her mom ski, drink cocoa and have a heart-to-heart about Spencer and Heidi’s relationship. "You have a lot of growing to do, both of you, individually," Heidi’s mom says pointedly. "I would love to see you starting fresh and working on yourself for a little while, and if he’s not gonna agree to that, and respect that, and want what’s best for you…" She shrugs.

Paris. The girls pick up their dresses and head over to Colette to get the shoes. The shop is, of course, closed when they get there. "Clearly we should have gotten the shoes first and our dresses second," Whitney says. "It’s our first night here; I’m sure they’ll understand," Lauren replies. Paris certainly hasn’t changed her naïve optimism!

Los Angeles. Spencer discusses Heidi with his sister, Stephanie, who is as kind and supportive as ever. "It’s kinda like touché, you leave her and now she leaves you," Steph muses. Spencer glares. "You know, if she went home and her parents liked you, this could be a great thing… but in your case, it really doesn’t sound good," Steph continues. "So, what are you gonna do?" Spencer tells her he’s going to Colorado, but his sister clearly disagrees with this plan. "Spencer, you don’t think! She just needs space from you. You need, like, a manual or something," she says. "I don’t know what to do," Spencer replies. "I guess you could just write a list of everything you’ve done and do the exact opposite," Steph offers helpfully.

Crested Butte. Spencer drives up to Heidi’s house. Her stepfather is shoveling snow in the yard. "What the heck?" he says when he sees Spencer. Spencer is undoubtedly used to this sort of reaction and is completely unfazed. "Heidi and I left things on some bad terms, and I was like, I have to get out there and get everything resolved," he says. "Phone call? A phone call’s a good idea," Heidi’s stepdad replies, but his small-town hospitality gets the better of him, and he invites Spencer in to wait for Heidi.

Crillon Hotel. Teen Vogue photo shoot. Things are going smoothly, so of course Audrina chooses this time to call Lauren and inform her that she spotted Brody out on the town with a girl he is apparently referring to as his girlfriend. Whitney can’t even muster up a decent surprised face when a distressed Lauren relays the news. "That took, uh, two days," she says.

Crested Butte. "I fell in love with a fool," Marié Digby sings unsubtly on the soundtrack as Heidi enters her house and is ambushed by a bouquet-wielding Spencer. He tries to say his piece, but Heidi shuts him down cold. For once, Spencer’s probably thinking that he should have listened to Steph.

Paris. The girls meet up with a band Lauren met previously in L.A. Matthias, the scruffy, vaguely creepy, chain-smoking guitarist, takes an immediate shine to Lauren, making eyes at her through his cloud of cigarette smoke. Paris makes his job easier, because all he has to do to win her over is invite her to see the Eiffel Tower up close. The band members escort the girls to the tower, where they all share a bottle of champagne.

Later, the boys text the girls to invite them out to a fancy nightclub. Whitney came prepared with going-out dresses, but Lauren did not. "We always have our ball gowns," Whitney jokes, but Lauren takes her seriously, exclaiming that she can easily sew a running stitch to turn her gown into a suitable club frock. Paris certainly hasn’t changed her excellent judgment!

Crested Butte. Heidi and Spencer and Heidi’s mom and stepdad are on the world’s most awkward double date. "I’d like to make a toast," Heidi says, raising her wine glass. "To my parents, who have always loved and supported me, I love you so much, and um… that’s about it," she finishes, with a pointed look at Spencer.

neo club. Matthias, his shirt unbuttoned practically to his navel, nervously runs his hands through his hair and jealously watches as Lauren talks to a ball escort she met at a rehearsal earlier in the day. "Is he your new best friend?" he asks her passive-aggressively. She laughs this off and even stares at him somewhat adoringly, because Paris certainly hasn’t changed her bad taste in men. I keep waiting for someone to spill something on Lauren’s dress, but shockingly, she leaves at two a.m. with the dress as good as new.

The next morning, Lauren whips out a huge pair of scissors and starts cutting through her running stitch. Shockingly, she does not slice the dress. Just when I’ve accepted the crazy possibility that the gown will escape unscathed, Lauren notices several stains along the hemline. At first she thinks they’re coffee, but then she realizes that she left the curling iron on and the dress was hanging against it – the marks are burns. She immediately starts crying, but Whitney comes to the rescue, calling the shop and procuring a second gown.

Crested Butte. Heidi and Spencer go out for tea and talk about their relationship some more. Heidi misses her friends and feels like she and Spencer were moving too fast, putting too much pressure on both of them. "It’s like, all you do is just keep stabbing me," Spencer complains. Sadly, this is a metaphor. Heidi lands the final blow: "I feel like when I get back, I want you to be moved out," she says.

Crillon Ball. Beautifully dressed debutantes pose, cameras flash, music swells, and Lauren and Whitney do their jobs without a hitch. Later, a Teen Vogue senior editor talks with Whitney about her job, encouraging her to pursue styling, as magazine work doesn’t seem like the best fit for her. Whitney agrees that it’s time to make a change.

As the ball is winding down, Matthias calls Lauren. He makes one last-ditch effort to woo her, promising to show her Paris by midnight. Lauren is powerless to resist the ‘City of Light’ siren call, so she climbs onto his Vespa, stuffs her replacement gown into her coat to protect it from the rain, and enjoys a cold, rainy ride through the city. This earns Matthias a goodbye hug, but not the kiss he was undoubtedly hoping for. Maybe Paris has changed Lauren’s bad taste in men, just a little.

"So, back to L.A.," their driver says as the girls head to the airport the next morning. "Back to reality," Whitney replies. If you say so, honey.

Shown: The Hills Lauren Conrad.  MTV.ca

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