TV Article

Reality Love Bites

On ''Laguna Beach,'' the kids go on their annual vacation in Cabo, where Jessica's hickey nearly sets off a fistfight with Alex M.

Laguna Beach | JESS, FOX UNWORTHY She may be a redneck
JESS, FOX UNWORTHY She may be a redneck

''Laguna Beach'': Girls gone wild: spring break

Spring break time, kids! And this year, I'm pretty sure what happened in Cabo is not just gonna stay in Cabo. As Alex M. warned, ''The s---'s gonna hit the fan.'' Hit it did. This week's edition of Laguna Beach was smoking. First, there was the needlessly long montage of gals frolicking in the pool. (Producers, we get it. Your cast is hot. There's a reason we watch shows about Orange County as opposed to Fresno County.) There was also the return of Sam, a.k.a. ''Kristin's crush.'' Where has Sam been all this time? Does he just stay in Cabo all year, awaiting his chance to return to ''Kristin's crush'' status? We'll never know, since Sam's exit from the episode happened pretty soon after his entrance. Sorry, Sam. See you next year! Of course, Sam's return and Kristin's love life played second fiddle to the fireworks blazing between Alex M. and Jess. (And Alex H., we get it. Talan likes Kristin. Stop repeating yourself a billion times.)

First, let's again establish my biases. I like Jess. I want nothing but the best for her. And yet, she perpetually disappoints me. Thus, it's been quite the struggle to maintain said devotion when lately Jess's enemy Alex M. has behaved so much more respectably. And besides, they're not really enemies, right?

Alex M: Everyone's on my side. Everyone! Kristin's on my side.

Taylor: That's the rule. You just don't hook up with your friend's...

Alex M:...boyfriend!

Very true, Alex. You don't hook up with your friend's boyfriend. Here's another rule: You don't throw yourself at your friend's boyfriend. And you definitely don't ask your friend's boyfriend to winter formal. But you did all that, didn't you? Whoops. Karma's a bitch ain't it? But really, when were Jess and Alex actually friends? They weren't. At least, I really hope not, because, if they were, clearly no one respected the rules.

Furthermore, to be fair to Jess, last week's news of her hookup with Jason was merely hearsay. The only evidence was an eyewitness account by Cammy (who?), who claimed a peck on the cheek had occurred. But upon seeing the giant red welt on Jess' neck, we realized Jess was indefensible. For all those wondering where Lo went, she probably fell into the bottomless pit residing on Jess' neck. Jess looked like she got shot — shot by a hickey bazooka.

So there it is. Kinda hard to refute that. Jess, you got some explaining to do. Of course, Jess didn't deny anything — that is, except for denying the truth to herself: ''I swear on my grandmother's grave,'' Jess told Emily (who's Emily? Cammy's friend?), ''I will never go back out with Jason ever. Well, maybe not ever. But I will never go back out with him ever again. Anyways, I can't wait to go home!'' I don't know what's more confusing: Jess's variable use of ''ever'' or the verbal garbage of ''go back out.'' Someone call Noam Chomsky.

Adding insult to the injury on her neck, Jess called Jason, who was vacationing in Costa Rica, saying she was calling to ''see how you're doing.'' First, does she really have phone service in Cabo? Second, does Jason have service in Costa Rica? I need to get on this Laguna cell plan. And third, Jess, you're a fool. Stop calling the jerk. Think about your grandma.

Now, I don't want to condone violence. But Jess was asking for a slap. And conveniently Alex M. has been jumping at the chance. Finally, we got the catfight promised from day one of this season. Alex confronted Jess about the hickey that ate Lo, even forcing her humiliated rival into proclaiming, ''I'm a slut!'' Ouch. And for this, I kinda respect Alex. I don't necessarily like her, but I appreciate that it took barely a week for her to rouse the will to face Jess. Conversely, not only did Jess lack the pluck to stop Alex from moving in on Jason, but Jess may even have encouraged it, given her current attempts to placate the girl. (''I'm not mad!'')

Are the tides turning? Has Alex proven herself worthy of the sympathy previously afforded to Jess? At the end of the episode, Alex went to talk with Jason, who was too busy playing Harlem Globetrotters to pay her any attention. But still, Alex appealed demurely to him as he looked on blankly. ''You're like afraid to talk to me now....I still have feelings for you....I haven't talked to you in a long time....You can always call me sometimes.'' It's funny, but in that light, with those glasses, and with that modest resignation, Alex kinda reminded me of Jess.

What do you think? Do you sympathize with Alex? Also, did anyone else notice Cedric playing with the Chapstick? Guy looked seriously dazed, as if his mind were altered by something. Should we hold an intervention? Cedric, just say no!

Originally posted Sep 20, 2005