Lo, Lo, Lo. Maybe it was because Lo and LC were always up against the delightfully devious Kristin on Laguna Beach, but Lo always seemed as sweet as cinnamon and sugar toast. She was the most precious voice of reason, like having Dr. Phil wrapped up in the persona of petite, southern California beach bunny.

With the advent of "Shifty Lo," however, all sense of nostalgia has gone by the wayside. The theme for this mini-season of The Hills seems to be the constant shifting of alliances between friends and would-be family, but ironically, after all of these wild swings, no relationship is standing stronger than before. Scratch that - Justin Bobby was officially titled "Audrina's Boyfriend" with his onscreen introduction last night, so at least that romance has been legitimized by the reality show gods. Besides that surprising couple, however, friends, family, and romances are crumbling under the flimsy veil of loyalty that really seems to be desperate insecurity.

We had a classic set-up to start off "The Hills" when a very businesslike Heidi entered Brent Bolthouse's office where a camera happened to be perfectly set up behind Brent's left shoulder. In a very succinct speech, Heidi declared her desire to "make myself available" in any way possible, all for the betterment of Bolthouse Productions. If I was Brent, I'd rent a DVD of "The Hills," peruse a few eps, and recognize that this is the blond whose friends show up to her office at a mind-boggling frequency. And every time she's been handed a work assignment she's usually embroiled in a Spencer situation which derails her work assignment. That is foreshadowing by the way, since it looks like Spencer will interrupt another business venture with Heidi in Las Vegas.

Brent paused for about 0.2 seconds before giving Heidi carte blanche to help run his new Vegas extension of popular L.A. nightclub, Hyde. Can we all outright declare, "What?!" But then we can all outright declare, "Duh," for we all know Heidi has been kept on for the immeasurable amounts of free publicity "The Hills" brings Bolthouse Productions each week. Find your evidence right here. His name has been mentioned five times already, and this "Hills" reviewer can only stop and wonder, "Why the hell do I know the name Brent Bolthouse?"

Over at the mansion of much strife, Lo and LC did what they do best - bathed in the sun by their $2 million pool. LC seemed in better spirits this week, while Lo seemed inhabited by a truly evil soap opera character, mugging and contorting her face into devilish glares, and over-arching eye rolls. Does Los Angeles really suck the soul from every being who resides in the west coast mecca? It seems so, because our Lo has been hell bent on ousting Audrina from the new threesome, and her plan seems to be working perfectly.

As LC mentioned that Audrina wanted her and Lo to visit a recording studio and check out the new band she was overseeing, a long "Days of Our Lives" thunderbolt of displeasure crossed Lo's face, and leaning her pout to the sun, uttered, "All I wanna do is shop." A gong should have been sounded and shaken the mountains of L.A. In some worlds that statement would read, "All I wanna do is shop," but on "The Hills" it means, "I might put Nair in Audrina's shampoo bottle so that by tomorrow morning she's bald, ugly, and mentally destroyed."

Once at the recording studio, LC tried her best to make up for Lo's less than enthusiastic response to "Alkaline Trio." LC actually came across as human again in this ep, and I thank her for it because I was about to give up on every character last week. However, I did not include the words, "has a spine" either, so all is not forgiven. Within one awkward minute the whole studio session devolved into uncomfortable Audrina looks and apathetic Lo fidgetings, and soon LC had to announce that Lo wanted to just go eat, as if she was a two year old who needed to go home to get her bottle.

While at the sushi restaurant, where plates zipped back and forth on a conveyor belt (Is that sanitary? Do you eat that food?), Lo got the combative juices flowing by declaring, "Well, it [her and LC's friendship] is a different dynamic since we've been best friends since we were little." Is LC realizing that everybody wants a piece of "Hills" fame at this point, and maybe she should put the brakes on inviting old friends back into her life - especially old friends who might be camera hogs who crave fame, money and national recognition? I'm just saying.

Here is the obligatory Spencer paragraph, forgive me for its brevity. Spencer, as stubbly bearded and slack-jawed as always, sat with a blankie on sister Stephanie's couch and chewed out his sister when she dared to utter her displeasure at him becoming one with the cushions and simultaneously criticizing everything she does. Spencer, in turn. dug deep into his 3-year-old temperament and responded, "La la la la la la la la la go away and get out of my face." Yeah, this is definitely a person who should be making decisions that will affect the rest of his life. Even though hitching onto the Heidi train has certainly been smart for his bank account since I hear those two pull in about five figures an ep.

The next morning Audrina woke up, literally and figuratively, with Justin Bobby's help, and as she made him breakfast in the REAL house, Justin B. questioned why she would stay in such an unwelcome place. Audrina claimed she chose the guest house because she is a private person - so private that she's lived the past three years on camera and has about 25 nude photo sessions that were taken at age 18. Yeah, when you're private like that, I totally understand her point. Audrina, it seems, will begin to look for new apartments next week and move LC to tears with her honest confession that Lo is tearing them apart. Wow, a lot of people cry and tear people apart from each other on this show, don't they?

In another, "Are you kidding me?" moment, Heidi was escorted to her private plane by a sleek limo, and Brent showed up with equal pomp and circumstance. As they boarded their oversized, leathered cushioned jet, didn't it seem like one of these things does not belong? Here is Heidi, who has a clothing line called "Heidi-wood," (say no more), amongst two obviously powerful, money hungry, driven men about to close multi-million business deals in Las Vegas. And they chose Heidi to be their third compatriot? It was like watching Bridget, Holly, and Kendra sit in on a meeting with Bill Gates to discuss his newest gigabyte invention. As Heidi sat on her designer plane, Spencer came home to an empty house and immediately decided Heidi must be, A) in danger B) living somewhere else, or C) in need of an exciting storyline and decided to fly to Vegas to get his woman back. God this show is great.

Next week is the season finale, so catch up on your missed episodes and be prepared for lots of tears, tribulations, and temper-tantrums - what have become the 3 T's of "The Hills."

Story by Tiffany Bagster
Starpulse contributing writer