TV Article

Grad Illusion

On ''Laguna Beach,'' as the seniors graduate, Rocky makes up with Breanna and stays with Alex; Cameron flirts with Jessica; Tessa remains alone; and no one learns anything

ROCKY ROAD She spent much of the episode smoothing out her bumpy relationships
ROCKY ROAD She spent much of the episode smoothing out her bumpy relationships

The ''Laguna Beach'' finale: Break-up make-ups

Dude, it's late, it's the finale, and I'm, like, totally feeling gnarly and stuff about this, like, sad graduation and everything. I'm not sure why this warranted a whole hour — but whatever. I guess it's just the end and stuff.

Basically, what we learned this time out was graduation = sad. We know this mainly because a lot of people said so. Explicitly. Once again, I think this is as much a function of high school as of being on camera. Teenagers know how they're feeling because they tell themselves. Seriously, when they eventually run a Laguna marathon — which you know they will — put it on closed-captioning and you'll realize how much the kids state their alleged state of mind for the world to hear. Usually in a less-than-articulate fashion. But that you already knew.

Even when playing tennis, Cami and Kyndra have to tell you precisely what they're thinking. ''It's so hard,'' Kyndra whined. I mean, like, uhhhh. How do they even deal? Anyway, she also decided she totally needed to take pictures of all the boys at graduation. I mean, how else would she know it happened? She'd have to, like, just remember it and stuff. That would totally suck.

Meanwhile, Rocky was, as usual, weirdly wise when she wasn't name-checking Vanna White. ''There's no point to like be together through summer if it's just gonna end,'' she told her mom while discussing her relationship with Alex. ''I know you're worried,'' said Mom, ''and I don't wanna see your little heart get broken, that's for sure.''

Eerily both less and more sensitive was Kyndra. ''If you don't cry, I'm gonna kill you,'' she told Cameron as they started their touching slide show of the seniors' childhood pics. ''I'll punch you so you like start crying.'' And, well, she was sorta right. They were all really super cute when they were kids.

''You're just gonna like have to make all new friends,'' Cameron later said in one of several heart-to-hearts with Kelan that indicated the two were actually way closer than we ever knew. ''That's weird.'' Sure, that somehow quickly segued into Kelan hoping his college roommate ''obeys the sock-on-the-door rule.'' And Cameron saying, ''I don't think any crew at Laguna Beach has ever had as much fun as we have,'' only for Kelan to respond, essentially, with a very reasonable ''um, really?''-type reaction. But still, it was sweet while it lasted.

Then a bunch of other convenient plot tie-ups happened: Breanna wrote a make-up letter to Rocky, Chase and Tessa had a final subtext-laden convo before he left to record his big rock-star album in L.A. Oh, yes, and Cameron called Jessica one last time after feeling lonely for what appeared to be about five seconds.

And so it was that we had our final Dramatic Reading of the night.

Cameron: Everyone's like moving on to like bigger and better things....You're like one of my best friends. You are.

Jessica: Thanks.

Cameron: You know like usually after like people are like together and then, like, they're like not together anymore?

Jessica: Yeah, they don't talk.

Cameron: It's awkward. You like don't wanna be around that person and stuff. It's like, it's really weird.

Jessica: It was fun though.

Cameron: I don't know. History repeats itself. [Knowing laugh.] What, why are you giving me the look, man?

Jessica: Not in our case.

Cameron: C'mon now. Do you think you'd like turn into my girlfriend?

Thank God the answer seemed to be no. (But you never know with these girls.) ''I will have a girlfriend,'' Cameron later told Chase. ''But I'm not gonna like settle down to a girlfriend until I meet someone where I'm just like, 'I'm so lucky to be with this chick. If she breaks up with me, like I'm gonna be bummed for like a year.' '' Sometimes, our Laguna kids are startlingly astute, even when they don't mean to be.

And though there was some more stuff about Rocky and Alex staying together, and one of the bitchy girls having once ''had an actual sardine'' in her Caesar salad (''it was scary''), I'll leave it on Cameron's deep thoughts. Somehow, that just feels right.

What do you think? How long will Rocky and Alex last? How long will Rocky and Breanna last? Are Rocky and Tessa over? And who should the show focus on next season?

Originally posted Nov 16, 2006