The Hills Recap: Lauren Does the Doug-Out Deed

09/02/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Although one relationship ended and another started, Whitney went bicoastal for the first time and Pratt vs. Pratt went another round, the Labor Day edition of The Hills was fairly mellow and seemed to be laying the groundwork for future drama. Audrina and Lo even took the night off.

I Love New York … Boys: Whitney took her first business trip back East as part of her new position at People’s Revolution and was immediately thrown into a male model casting call by boss lady Kelly. “Ask the boys to take their shirts off, drop their pants, try on these clothes,” she instructed. In mere minutes, she came across a frat boy named Alex who attended her alma mater. They chatted more about USC before Kelly organized a group date for later that evening where it was obvious she thought another kind of Trojan might join the party. Whitney ran with her typical shy-girl routine and Kelly dismissed her silliness with “this is called multitasking in the power bitch world.”

Alex showed up at the Soho Grand where Whitney was already waiting like a good little brown noser. She instantly received a call from Kelly who, surprise (not!), couldn’t make it. Whitney apologized in case Kelly made Alex feel uncomfortable and then they resumed discussions about USC (Whitney pondered: “It’s so crazy that you went there.” Or not, as 33,500 are currently enrolled there.), Alex’s move to New York and Whitney’s reservations about living there full-time because she’d miss her friends. Alex assured her that she’d make new ones, that he’d show her around and that “fashion is an art” there. They ended their walk at the hotel door where the doorman was forced to witness their awkward half-hug. We’re pretty sure he wanted to kiss her, but our Whitney is too careful for that kind of nonsense. When she returned to L.A. she gave LC the rundown. She seemed excited by the prospect of Alex, but she also described her time as “not awful.” She said some other stuff but it was hard to focus on anything other than the oversized yellow barrette on the side of her head.

Baby Pratt: Spencer was on a me-against-the-world kick. First, Heidi got derided for bringing Holly to dinner too often. Heidi offered: “It’s fun like Three’s Company.” Spencer merely shook his head no before launching randomly into his regret over not throwing Stephanie’s cake in LC’s face. Heidi admitted she missed hanging with the She-Pratt and wished he would “make everything fine with her” because “she’s going to be his sister his whole life." He replied, “The day I am friends with Stephanie again is the day I am friends with Lauren Conrad,” and told her not to bother coming home if she hung with them. He then looked at his watch and ordered, “Time to get in bed and cuddle my dear.’

His sister brought a peace offering over to his apartment. When she let herself in, he chastised: “When somebody doesn’t answer the door, that doesn’t mean enter.” He returned his head to his book and his cell and refused to open the present because he wasn’t in the mood. She pleaded, “Will you please? I am so excited. On the car ride over here, I was like, ‘He’s gonna love it.’ He agreed to peek in and was thrilled to find a book on the CIA. He gave in a little by saying, “OK, good gift. You get a half a point.”

Stephanie Channels Jessica Simpson: Stephanie’s discussion about her pet transported the audience back to a simpler time when Jessica Simpson was still married to Nick Lachey and she pondered life’s biggest questions about buffalo wings and the chicken of the sea on her reality show. Some things can only be fully appreciated in transcript form: SP: It’s a bit lonely. Gotta talk to the hamster a lot. LC: I thought it was a guinea pig. SP: Hamster? Guinea pig? LC: Guinea pigs are like big. SP: She used to be a hamster. Now she’s a guinea pig. (Someone should tell her she should donate that species-changing furry pal to science.)

Doug Out: LC spent her week avoiding injured baseballer Doug and talking to everyone but him about their non-connection. Stephanie’s mind was blown apparently as her response to the topic was, “Are you kidding? Shut up.” Whitney advised: “It’s hard but it’s better not to string him along.” Brody bragged that he’d called it from the beginning before trying to get in her pants one more time. “I didn’t see that going very far. Can we talk about us getting naked?” He gave the I’m-kidding-unless-you’re-gonna-do-it look and eyebrow raise. He also took the opportunity to warn her again about her friendship with the She-Pratt, now symbolized by a friendship bracelet. “You think Stephanie’s being super genuine and I think she has ulterior motives. You don’t have to believe or whatever. I could tell you things that you’d be like, ‘Whoa really?’

By the end of the half hour, LC worked up the courage to do the deed. She stopped by Doug's hillside home (yet another how-can-these--afford-that moment), interrupting his takeout, and did the deed almost entirely without looking at him and with a lot of clich├ęs –“It’s just not there. You were way too nice. It’s not you, it’s me.” Doug seemed like he was caught off guard and disappointed, but wanted to stay friends. So quick, so painless, so staged. --Carrie Bell

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